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WHS - Duty of Care

WHS - Duty of Care

What are the duty of care responsibilities of workers?

Workers must:

  • Take reasonable care for their own health and safety while at work 
  • Take reasonable care that their acts (things they do) or omissions (things they do not do) do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons
  • Comply as far as they reasonably can with any reasonable instruction given by the PCBU to ensure compliance with regulations
  • Cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure of their organisation relating to work health or safety that has been notified to them.

This means, for example, keeping your work area safe and tidy, and telling other workers about hazards that you have noticed (such as tools or equipment which need repair).

WHS Consultation

Open and effective communication is vital for good industrial relations, quality management and effective work health & safety. When effective mechanisms for worker consultation exist, the PCBU works with workers and their representatives to obtain common goals.

All workers have a role in achieving a safe and healthy working environment. Every worker can directly influence work health and safety by identifying hazards and contributing to discussions on WHS.

Workers are encouraged to report work health and safety issues to their immediate supervisor and/or PCBU.

Managers and Supervisors will initiate consultation with workers when:

  • Risks to health and safety arise from work or the assessments of these risks are reviewed.
  • Decisions are undertaken to eliminate or control risks.
  • Decisions are made about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of workers.
  • There are proposed changes to the:
    • Work premises;
    • Systems or work methods;
    • Substances or plant used at work.
  • Making decisions about the procedures for:
    • Resolving health or safety issues;
    • Consulting with workers;
    • Monitoring the health of workers;
    • Providing information and training to workers which may affect health and safety.
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