Workplace health and safety responsibilities
WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
Each year, 650,000 workers suffer a work-related injury or illness. That's one in every 12 Australian workers. At least 120,000 of these injured or ill workers require more than five days off work.
It is also estimated there are at least 2,900 work-related deaths in Australia each year. This is nearly one and half times the number of deaths each year from motor vehicle accidents. Each year, around 430 fatalities occur in Australian workplaces as a result of traumatic accidents - the remainder of deaths are linked to work-related diseases, often the result of exposure to hazardous substances many years before.
Economic losses from work-related deaths, injuries and disease impose a heavy burden on the Australian economy. The total cost of that workplace injury and disease is estimated at $27 billion each year. High worker's compensation and medical costs can reduce your company's ability to compete.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MY HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK?
The law says your employer has the main responsibility to make sure that the workplace is safe and healthy. Your managers and supervisors are required to help your employer meet these responsibilities.
In most states and territories in Australia senior managers are held responsible if the health and safety laws are broken. Investigations are carried out by the relevant state or territory occupational health and safety agency.
Although all states and territories in Australia have fairly similar health and safety laws there are some differences. Below are listed typical legislative responsibilities imposed on employers, employees and others. However you should check precise legislative requirements which affect your workplace with the relevant state or territory occupational health and safety agency.
Typically, health and safety legislation in Australia requires employers to make sure that -...