Employers have a legal duty to make workplaces safe for everyone. Health and safety risks exist in every workplace, but by following proper health and safety practices and communicating openly with workers, employers can eliminate or reduce these risks.
Workers have an important role to play in ensuring their own safety as well. You are responsible for taking reasonable care of our own health and safety and that of your co-workers. But if your employer is putting health and safety at risk, they are breaking the law.
Note: Health and safety laws vary between States and Territories. To check what laws apply at your workplace, contact your union.
Union workplaces are safer
Unions are experts in health and safety and evidence shows that having union members in the workplace increases health and safety awareness by up to 70%.
Having the protection of union membership helps if you feel too intimidated to speak up about workplace health and safety. Your union can provide you with safety advice, organise meetings to discuss concerns with your co-workers and if required, support you in meetings with management.
By working together with your co-workers, employers and your union, we can make sure the workplace is safer and healthier for everyone.
Funding for this factsheet was provided by:
- the Victorian Government as part of the uTech project; and
- the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Please note that the information given here is general information only and is not legal advice. For further assistance, it is recommended you speak to your union.