As I was driving past the other day I noticed road surfacing works happening. I also noticed that none of the workers directly involved nor any others in the general vicinity were wearing protective face masks or similar. I then wondered whether these workers were unknowingly being exposed to harmful chemicals and if so, what damage might be being caused to them, and when might this damage manifest itself.
Employers have a legal obligation to provide their workers with a safe work environment. This includes making sure their workers are not exposed to any risk of injury or harm. If an employer fails to meet their legal oblighation and a worker suffers an injury as a result, then the employer exposes themself to the risk of being sued.
Using the roadworks example, if an employer has taken steps to ensure its workers are not being exposed to harmful chemicals, or alternatively has provided them with appropriate protective equipment, then the employer has discharged their legal obligation.
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