Workplace Health and Safety

Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 | Lesson 6 | Lesson 7 | Lesson 8 | Lesson 9 | Lesson 10

Lesson 3: Responsibilities of employers

Basically, it is the responsibility of employers to make sure that employees are not injured in the workplace. Employers have a number of specific responsibilities, duties and obligations under the Queensland occupational health and safety laws. The diagram which follows outlines these responsibilities

Responsibilities of Employers

There are two types of information provided to help employers and others (such as contractors) fulfil their responsibilities:

These standards are outlined in the Act.

workplace safety

Regulations and Industry Codes of Practice

Regulations set out legal requirements which must be followed. They may deal with administrative matters, and prescribe ways to prevent or minimize exposure to risk.

Advisory Standards

Advisory Standards provide guidance and advice about how to identify and reduce risk of injury to workers and others. For example, the Advisory Standard for noise provides advice on how an employer can prevent damage to a person’s hearing but it is not compulsory for the employer to follow these. If an employer has another way of preventing damage to a person’s hearing, then this is acceptable, provided it is as effective as the way(s) listed in the relevant Advisory Standard.

If an employer does not follow an Advisory Standard, then he or she has not necessarily committed an offence against the Act. However, if a worker is injured, then the Advisory Standard can be used in court as a ‘yardstick’. If the court decided that a workplace did not have a system that was as good as the methods described in the Advisory Standard, then an employer could be fined or jailed. If there is no Regulation or Advisory Standard, relating to a particular work environment the employer must take reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of others. Occupational health and safety legislation undergoes frequent change. It is important that employers and employees always consult the latest copies of Acts, Regulations and Advisory Standards.

Rights of employers

While employers have a number of responsibilities according to the Act, they also have certain rights. An employer has the right to expect that employees will:

Go to the and follow the thread about a Workplace Health and Safety problem written by an employee. In the tools section of your content management system. Create a blog (What is a blog?) entry of approx 100 words to reflect on your learnings about this forum topic.

You will need to reflect on the following:

  • What are the benefits to using online forums to solve workplace health and safety problems such as this problem?
  • Is the information given to the employee beneficial?
  • Is the information reliable and how do you know you can trust the information?
  • What would be the next step for the employee?

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