Small business - Frequently asked questions

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This page contains frequently asked questions relating to small business.

Why it is important to have good OSH practice in the small business sector?

The small business sector is an important contributor to the Western Australia economy. This sector creates jobs and provides products and services to communities. About 210,000 small businesses operated in Western Australian in 2013 which constitutes about 97 per cent of all businesses in the State and employed about 43 per cent of the Australian workforce. Thus it is important that everyone in this sector complies with their duty of care to ensure their workplace is free of work-related injury and ill health.

What is occupational safety and health for small business?

Safety and health applies to every business, whether it operates in a low risk or high risk environment, is a new or well-established business, or a self-employed or employing business.

It is your legal responsibility to prevent you and people from being injured or harmed in your workplace. Therefore you must know the potential risks of the workplace and tackle those risks by taking the right precautions to manage and control them.

What are my responsibilities?

Safety and health responsibilities apply to everyone in the workplace, although those in charge of the work activities have higher legal responsibilities. In Western Australia, the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (the OSH Act) and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 define the occupational safety and health responsibilities.

When do I have to report work-related injuries and incidents to WorkSafe?

When serious injuries, accidents, and certain types of diseases occur at a workplace, it must be reported to WorkSafe. There are no exemptions for the self-employed, family business and small business. Reporting must be done by the relevant employer whenever these occur in connection with their business. Find out more on what constitutes as a serious occurrence at How to report an injury and disease.   

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