OHS Duty of care

All staff have a duty of care responsibility to clients.

First, make sure your Occupational Health and Safety system is up to speed. You should have identified hazards, assessed them, and put controls in place. Your access and exit ways should be safe. Your instruction and induction training should be promoting a safety culture in the workplace.

Next, differentiate between places that are open to the public and those which are not. You may also need to specify particular locations that have particular hazards or risks.

Allow only authorized people to enter places that are closed to the public. You may allow visitors admission, but should have duty of care systems in place. Train staff who are responsible for accompanying visitors. This especially applies to all high hazard areas.

You would normally restrict visitors from all high hazard areas. People having access to closed areas should go through a procedure for reporting in, and particular staff should be given the responsibility for monitoring entry.


Duties of employers

Employers have a duty of care as far as practicable to provide and maintain a working environment where employees are not exposed to hazards.

(1) Provide and maintain a working environment in which employees are not exposed to hazards.

  1. give employees information, instruction, and training
  2. supervise employees so that they aren't exposed to hazards
  3. consult and cooperate with any safety and health representatives
  4. where it isn't practicable to avoid hazards, ensure that  employees have adequate personal protective clothing and equipment
  5. make arrangements for ensuring that dealing with plant and substances is done without exposing employees to hazards, as far as practicable.

(2) Consider the particular functions and responsibilities of employees when determining the training required.

(3) Notify the Commissioner immediately if an employee is injured or affected by a disease at a workplace that results in death or is prescribed in the regulations.

(4) If a person engages a contractor, he is deemed to be the employer for matters over which he has control, even if he has made a contract to the contrary. The contractor and his employees are considered the employees.

Duties of employees

Employees must take reasonable care to ensure their own health and safety and avoid adversely affecting the health or safety of others through any act or omission.

(1) Employees must take reasonable care to ensure his own safety and health at work, and to avoid adversely affecting anybody else's safety or health (including by omission)

(2) An employee contravenes if he:

  1. fails to comply with instructions given by his employer the safety or health of himself or others
  2. fails to properly use protective clothing and equipment
  3. misuses or damages any equipment
  4. fails to report immediately to his employer hazards that he cannot correct, or any injury or harm to health of which he is aware

(3) An employee shall co-operate with his employer in the carrying out OHS laws

Based on sections 19 and 20 of the
Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA)