Employee health and safety
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees are safe in the workplace. Knowing and understanding the Occupational Health and Safety laws will help you avoid the unnecessary costs and damage to your business caused by workplace injury and illness.
It is important to inform all employees about the health and safety requirements in your workplace. It is part of the occupational health and safety responsibilities and obligations for employers and employees.
Duty of care in the workplace
Each person has a
duty of care to ensure their action, or failure to take action, does not harm others.
As an employer, your
duty of care extends to ensuring that all employees are aware of:
any risks to their health and safety;
the procedures that are in place to ensure they do not suffer injury or illness while at work; and
any instructions and relevant protective equipment that are required.
New employees are most at risk of being injured, primarily due to a lack of experience or familiarity with your workplace and processes. Make sure that you or experienced staff members provide proper training and supervise the new employee until you are confident that they are competent enough to be left unattended or unsupervised.
Make sure that your (new and long standing) employees have the required experience and are familiar with safety procedures even if they have worked in similar jobs or workplaces.
Managing safety and health issues for migrant workers should be considered within the context of health and safety management for all workers. As an employer you have a general duty to provide and maintain, as far as practical, a working environment where workers are not exposed to hazards.
Issues to consider for migrant workers may include:
cultural or religious differences;
limited knowledge of local legislation and safety standards; and
reluctance to engage with authority figures.
WorkCover WA is the government agency responsible for overseeing the workers' compensation and injury management system in Western Australia. Your
legal obligations to employees and other workers will depend on which labour relations system your business falls under.