What is the law?

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Employee / workerEmployer

The OSH Act and regulations place certain duties on employers, employees, self-employed people, manufacturers, designers, importers and suppliers and must be complied with.

Duties include:

  • Not exposing workers to hazards 
  • Providing information, instruction and training 
  • Conducting risk assessments 
  • Investigating hazards or injuries that have been reported to employers by employees 
  • Notifying WorkSafe of reportable injuries 
  • Providing safe workplaces 
  • Designing and constructing safe machinery, equipment and tools
  • Do not expose workers to hazards

Slips and trips hazards should be controlled so far as is practicable by providing and maintaining workplaces (eg. floors are not contaminated), plant and systems of work (eg. ‘clean as you go’ procedure) so that workers are not exposed to slips and trips hazards. There are general duties and responsibilities placed upon employers, workers and contractors under WA legislation. Refer to Sections 19, 20 and 23D, 23E, 23F of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Provide information, instruction and training

Employers are required to provide information, instruction, training (eg. risk management of slips and trips) and supervision to their employees so that they are not exposed to slips and trips hazards. Refer to Section 19(1)(b) Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Conduct risk assessments  

The three-step risk management process of hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control should be applied to slips and trips hazards. Refer to Regulation 3.1 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.

Investigate hazards or injuries that have been reported to employers by employees

Injuries and hazards that have been reported in relation to slips and trips incidents should be investigated. The Act requires employers to investigate matters reported to them by employees, determine the action to be taken (if any), and notify the employee who made the report of the action to be taken. Refer to Section 23K of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Notify WorkSafe of reportable injuries

Certain injuries and illnesses should be reported to WorkSafe, including injuries that are likely to prevent the employee from being able to work within 10 days of the injury and certain types of fractures. Refer to Section 23I of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and Regulation 2.4 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.

Provide safe workplaces 

Those that have control of workplaces have a duty to take measures so far as is practicable so that people (including non-employees) are not exposed to hazards when they enter, exit or are in that workplace (eg. guardrails on ramps and steps where required, non-slip floors, safe step design). Refer to Section 22 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Design and construct safe machinery, equipment and tools

Plant (includes machinery, equipment, appliance, implement, tool and any component) used in workplaces should be designed and constructed so that those who install, maintain or use them are not exposed to hazards.  The duties are applicable to designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers- Refer to Section 23 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Workplace, access and egress must allow safe movement and be free of obstructions

The workplace must be arranged so that persons can move safely within the workplace and passages are kept free of obstructions.  Access to an d egress from the workplace must be enable persons to move safely to and from the workplace and kept free of obstructions. Refer to Regulations 3.6 and 3.7 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.

Floor surfaces design 

Floors, stairs and ramps in the workplace must have unbroken and slip resistant surfaces and be free from any obstruction that may cause a person to trip or fall. Relevant duty holders must ensure that there is adequate drainage designed and constructed for areas where there is a risk of liquid coming into contact with the floor. Refer to Regulations 3.18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.

Warning signs 

A sign relevant to each hazard, including slips, trips and falls is displayed to persons that is in or entering the area and the sign complies with AS1319 : Safety signs for the occupational environment. Refer to Regulations 3.11 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.

Lighting is adequate for safe movement

Lighting in the workplace from both natural and artificial sources is adequate for the movement of persons around the workplace. Refer to Regulations 3.13 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.

Sufficient space to work 

There is sufficient space in which to work without risk to employee’s safety and health, such as risk of a slip, trip or fall. Refer to Regulations 3.14 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996. 

Clean workplace

Workplaces are maintained in such clean condition as is necessary to avoid hazards to persons in the workplace. Refer to Regulations 3.17 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996. 

Footwear PPE are adequate

If footwear PPE is provided, they must be adequate, including being slip resistant for the workplace floor. Refer to Section 19(1)d of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

 

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