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Workers' rights and responsibilities

As a worker in Australia you have rights and responsibilities under workplace health and safety laws.

A worker can be:

  • an employee
  • a trainee, apprentice or work experience student
  • a volunteer
  • a contractor or sub-contractor
  • an employee of a contractor or sub-contractor
  • an employee of a labour hire company.

Your rights

You have the right to a safe and healthy work environment, including:

  • safe machinery and structures
  • instruction, training and supervision
  • any necessary safety equipment
  • consultation about safety in the workplace
  • workers compensation.

You also have the right to:

  • speak up about work conditions
  • say no to unsafe work.

Your responsibilities

Workers have legal responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

You must:

  • take reasonable care for your health and safety in the workplace
  • take reasonable care for the health and safety of others who may be affected by what you do or don’t do
  • follow any reasonable health and safety instructions from your employer. For example, use equipment properly, follow safe work policies and procedures and attend training.

It's important that you:

  • ask for help if you are not sure how to safely perform your work
  • follow instructions and work safely
  • report hazards, unsafe situations and injuries to your employer.

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