Duty of Care Legislation - Employees

Duties of your Employee

Section 28 of the WHS Legislation states that while at work, an Employee has the following duties:

  • take reasonable care for their own health and safety;
  • take reasonable care that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons;
  • comply with any reasonable instructions given by you; and
  • co-operate with any reasonable policies and procedures that you have notified them of.

All "relevant circumstances" are taken into account when considering whether an Employee has taken reasonable care.  This will include such things as the Employee's state if knowledge, qualifications, expertise and experience which would be relevant to the issue.

In order to discharge their duties, an Employee should be doing the following things:

  • identifying hazards and using their best endeavours to avoid such hazards;
  • noticing and reporting risk in a respectful way; and
  • working with the Employer and their family to problem solve around the setting up of safe practices in the areas of the home that are a workplace.

Rights of Employees

The WHS Legislation recognises that employees also have certain rights with regard to health and safety in their workplaces.  These include:

  • being informed of any potential hazards, provided this does not breach people's right to confidentiality;
  • ceasing work if they consider that the work exposes them to a serious risk to their health or safety, resulting from an immediate or imminent hazard; and
  • being represented on matters relating to health and safety.

Duties of other persons at the workplace

Any person at the workplace (including visitors) must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affect by their actions or omissions. They must also cooperate with reasonable instructions given by you in the course of your endeavours to comply with the WHS Legislation. 

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