Occupational Health and Safety in NSW

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Occupational Health and Safety in NSW

The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2001 place three important duties on all business operators: “duty of care”, “duty to consult” and “due diligence

Duty of care – you must ensure that your workplace is safe and free of risks to all who work or visit your workplace including your employees, contractors, visitors and customers.

Duty to consult – you must include your workers in the decision-making process when dealing with safety issues. You must consult with them before you make a decision about controlling a hazard, altering designs of your premises, workflow or purchase of new equipment.

Due diligence – if your company violates any clause in the Act or Regulation, then each director and each person in management is said to have violated the rules personally, unless they show that they could not influence the situation or that they have used all due diligence to prevent the event. This means that you have considered all the “foreseeable risks” in the workplace and have controlled them.

Employers must provide:

  • A safe workplace and safe ways of working.
  • Information, instruction and training to employees about risks to health and safety in the workplace.
  • Reasonable supervision of employees, and take into consideration the competence, experience and age of each employee.
  • Provide first aid facilities for the immediate treatment of injuries and illness in the workplace.
  • Equipment, tools and machinery in a safe condition.
  • A process for consultation with workers and to keep workers informed and involved in decisions that may affect their health and safety.
  • Processes for identifying hazards, assessing risks and implementing risk control strategies.
  • Ensure the health and safety of people who are not employees, by not exposing them to risk when they visit or work (contractors) in the workplace.