Emergency response planning requires employees to understand all of the risks that they are exposed to while at work.
This is only possible in an organisation where everyone who has a responsibility to mitigate risk, understands their roles and there is complete transparency over issues that may affect its employees or the working environment.
This means that employees who highlight unsafe working practices need to feel there will be no recompense for making authorities and senior management aware of issues as and when they occur. This proactive approach will encourage others to come forward to make suggestions for a safe working environment, however this isn’t possible if they face punishment or job loss as a result of their actions.
Recently a change in to the law has made it harder for NHS trusts to fire employees or refuse people employment due to previous whistleblowing incidents.
The new rules brought in by the Department for Health mean that employees can take employers to an employment tribunal if they are the victim of either of these situations.
In order to introduce these, the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 has been extended to include NHS employees, and give them a right to complain to an employment tribunal or court over discrimination. However, the nature of this change means that some people are concerned that victims will only be able to achieve justice with an expensive court case, many of them may not be able to afford.
The changes were brought in following an investigation and report into the issue which found that many employees were facing bullying and job losses as they chose to flag unsafe practices which were occurring in healthcare environments they worked in, the Times reported.