In today’s workplace, every employer and employee has responsibilities to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of anyone in a workplace, remembering that a workplace is ‘..anywhere work is performed’. It is not just employees who are covered by the legislation.
A workplace must also care about on-site contractors and sub-contractors, visitors and volunteers. When everyone takes safety seriously and work together workplace injury and harm can be reduced.
This information aims to provide clarity around the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers to ensure workplace health and safety (WHS) stays at the forefront of how we work.
All employees have responsibility to:
Specific legislation outlines important rules and requirements for all Victorian based employers and their employees as well as Health and Safety Committees/Representatives as is the Occupational Health and Safety Act (2004). Each state has their own Act which in turn are supported by specific regulations for higher risk activities (e.g. asbestos removal). If your Employer works across different States you may need to check the Act that relates to where the workplace or injury occurred.
The government agency in Victoria responsible for ensuring compliance is Worksafe Victoria. www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/
Advisory Service Contact Details: 1800 136 089 (8.30 – 5.00pm Mon – Friday) or 24/7 Emergency Contact Details: 13 23 60
The WorkSafe Victoria website has information on a range of important health and safety issues including:
While WH&S can be a complex matter, it is important to know where to go for basic information. It is possible that matters may be referred to other agencies and organisations due to the specialist nature of the work they do.
All Employers have a general ‘duty of care’ to provide a safe workplace free from hazards that may impact on physical or psychological wellbeing of those at the workplace.
Employers have specific responsibilities including: