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The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 imposes certain obligations on employers to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers in their workplace.
As an employer, other obligations you have include:
- providing and maintaining a work environment without risks to health and safety
- providing and maintaining a safe plant and structures
- providing and maintaining safe systems of work
- ensuring the safe use, handling, storage and transport of plant, structures and substances
- providing adequate facilities at work for the welfare of employees carrying out work for the business or undertaking, including ensuring access to those facilities
- providing appropriate information, training, instruction or supervision necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from their work for the business
- monitoring the health of workers and the workplace conditions to prevent illness or injury of workers arising from the conduct of the business.
Duties of Work Health and Safety Officers
The Work Health and Safety Act imposes obligations on “officers” of corporations. An officer includes directors and secretaries of corporations, as well as those:
- who make, or participate in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business of the corporation, or
- who have the capacity to affect significantly the corporation’s financial standing, or
- whose instructions or wishes the directors of the corporation are accustomed to
Officers have a duty to exercise due diligence to ensure the organisation complies with all work health and safety laws. An officer can be found guilty of an offence, and can be ordered to pay a penalty, if they do not exercise appropriate due diligence.
Our lawyers can advise you on your responsibilities – contact us to learn more.
Workers Compensation Claims
Employees are entitled to lodge workers compensation claims with WorkCover (or with their employer, if the employer is self-insured) when they are injured at work.
If the claim is accepted, the employee will receive compensation and the employer will have to take all reasonable steps to provide suitable duties to that employee.
As an employer, it’s important that you do everything reasonable to get your employee back to work as quickly as possible.
If your employee has lodged a workers’ compensation claim in relation to a work-related injury, you may be able to seek a review of the decision. Strict time limits apply to appeals: applications must be filed within 3 months of receiving the insurer’s decision.
Our workplace and employment lawyers can boost your chances of a successful appeal.