Responsibilities and duties of employer.
Occupational Health and Safety Act Section 8 – Duties of the Employer
Employer rights and responsibilities
As an employer you must provide a safe and healthy workplace for your workers and contractors. This includes:
- Providing and maintaining safe plant (machinery and equipment) and safe systems of work (such as controlling entry to high risk areas, controlling work pace and frequency and providing systems to prevent falls from heights)
- Implementing arrangements for the safe use, handling, storage and transport of chemicals (such as dangerous goods and other harmful materials)
- Maintaining the workplace in a safe and healthy condition (such as ensuring fire exits that is not blocked, serviceable emergency equipment and tidy, healthy worksite)
- Providing adequate facilities for workers / contractors (such as clean toilets, cool and clean drinking water and hygienic eating areas)
- Ensuring that workers are skilled, knows the requirements of the OHSA, have adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to work in a safe and healthy manner.
You must also:
- Adequately monitor your workers’ health (such as providing hearing tests for workers exposed to high noise levels, lung function tests for workers exposed to high levels of dust and providing blood tests for workers exposed to lead and monitoring fatigue levels of transport and other workers).
- Keep information and records relevant to your workers’ health and safety (such as records of biological monitoring, asbestos assessments, injury records and relevant medical information).
- Employ or engage people with the necessary qualifications or expertise to advise you on health and safety issues affecting your workers (qualified Health and Safety Consultants).
- Consult with employees on matters that may directly affect their health, safety or welfare. Where the employees are represented by a health and safety representative (HSR), the HSR must also be involved in the consultation (competent Health and Safety Representatives trained by competent Facilitators).
- Provide your workers with information in the appropriate languages about your workplace health and safety arrangement, including the names of those to whom the workers can make an inquiry or complaint.
- Pre-employment Medical requirement – When hiring new employees you should inform them, in writing, of the nature of the work and ask if they have any pre-existing injury or illness that may be affected by the work.
- You should also inform them, in writing, that failing to notify or hiding a pre-existing injury or illness which might be affected by the nature of the proposed employment, could result in that injury or illness being ineligible for future compensation claims.
- Exit Medical requirement – When employees resign or leave your employ in any way ensure that exit medicals are performed for your own protection against possible claims.