Dangerous working practices: What to do

We are all entitled to do our jobs in safe environments, where the risk of a workplace injury is as low as possible.

Unfortunately, this is not always going to be achievable. Accidents can – and often will – happen.

But if these accidents have been the result of dangerous working practices on the part of your teammates or managers, it can be even more frustrating.

To reduce the chances of such an accident, companies should ensure they make use of the safest and most efficient working practices possible.

Know your rights

The first thing to do is to familiarise yourself with your rights at work. Make sure you know just what your employer’s duty of care is to their workers. This will include the legal requirement for employers to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees.

This means they have to ensure that working practices are safe. They should train you and your colleagues in safe working practices and ensure that these are being followed. There is little point in showing someone how to do something safely if they are not actually going to do it.

Your employer is also legally required to carry out risk assessments to identify hazards and take action to reduce the risk they pose. If your workplace has five or more employees, the risk assessment will have to be officially written out.

Preventing accidents

You also have a duty of care to your colleagues – and to yourself. To avoid a preventable accident at work, remember that every time you witness a dangerous working practice, you should immediately bring it to the attention of your manager and any health and safety representative in your workplace.

If you’re worried about any punishment or disciplinary action your employer might take against you for highlighting any breaches in workplace safety, rest assured that they are not legally allowed to end your employment for an action like this. If they do or attempt to, they open themselves up to legal action on their dismissal procedures.

You may also find that your employer either does not want to act on your information about dangerous working practices and the resulting potential for an accident at work or they are not acting quickly enough. You may have to take fairly drastic action in this case.

In instances where your employer isn’t acting on unsafe work, you can report them to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE’s officers can enter premises and investigations into reports of dangerous working. They can seize and destroy any dangerous items or equipment and they can start prosecutions against companies that flout their obligations to ensure safety.

What to do after an accident

There are going to be times when you won’t be able to prevent an injury at work. This may be because you didn’t witness the dangerous working practices until it was too late.

If you think you have sustained an injury at work that was caused by your employer’s negligence, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim against them.

To find out how we could help you do that, just give us a call, request a call back or start your claim online.


Fill in our simple form and
get a call back at a time to suit you.

Or talk to our team on :

0808 256 2340

By submitting an enquiry to First4Lawyers you agreeing to the terms and conditions of service as outlined in our Privacy Policy.


It seems you are using an outdated browser.

This will impair your browsing experience around the web. Please visit one of the links below to update to a modern browser then re-open the site with the new browser.

Thank you


Can't find what you are looking for?

We are open as normal during the Coronavirus lockdown and are able to help with all your legal needs.

Call us free of charge

0800 567 7866

Request a Callback

Continue browsing