Occupational health and safety


Nobody should get hurt in the workplace, yet many do.

  • What steps can I take to prevent injury or disease in the workplace?
  • What does WorkSafe expect me to have in place in the workplace?
  • Why are WorkSafe so worried about new employees, apprentices and young people?
  • Can I perform drug and alcohol tests on my employees?
  • Do I have to supply workboots, goggles or other safety equipment?
  • Do I have to have a qualified first aider and supply a first aid kit?
  • Will I be liable if I supply alcohol at a work party?
  • Should I give pain killers to an employee who requests them?
  • What criminal law now impacts on bullying in the workplace?
  • Am I liable for Independent Contractors or Labour Hire employees if they get hurt?

The Fair Work Commission now also handles bullying complaints from current employees.  It is important that companies have policies in place regarding bullying, plus procedures that ensure specific, time-lined action.

  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act places the onus on employers to provide a healthy and safe workplace with safe systems of work. We can discuss steps that your business can take, including consultation with employees, customised safety procedures, inductions and training your supervisors to understand their higher duty of care to new and younger employees, and the company’s duties regarding independant contractors and other visitors to your workplace.
  • Discuss with an expert the possible impact of not only drugs and alcohol in the workplace, but the wider issue of being “fit for work” and what processes you should follow if you suspect an employee is not fit for work.
  • Customise your policies and workplace training to encourage employees to wear personal protective equipment, discuss how PPE fits into the OHS “hierarchy” and how you can word your contracts to recoup costs if you supply PPE to a new employee who then leaves.
  • Talk to us about what levels of first aid may be expected in your workplace under WorkSafe Compliance Codes.
  • Extreme cases of workplace bullying can now be prosecuted under the Crimes Act. Get professional advice on developing a healthy workplace culture and how to prevent and stop bullying from escalating.
  • Don’t punish your employees by not holding a work Christmas party, or any other workplace celebration. Discuss different options for rewarding good work throughout the year and strategies to encourage drinking in moderation.

Tip: Do not keep pain killers or any other tablets for employee use. If somebody has an adverse reaction to medication supplied in this way the company can be liable. Instead, allow the employee a quick break to go and see a chemist for professional advice, if this will enable them to be fit for work. Also, use this opportunity to find out if this problem may be work related and how you may work together to prevent this.