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Contents (2011 - 10)
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 No 10
Current version for 7 July 2017 to date (accessed 24 October 2017 at 02:12)
Part 2
Part 2 Health and safety duties
Division 1 Introductory
Subdivision 1 Principles that apply to duties
13   Principles that apply to duties
This Subdivision sets out the principles that apply to all duties that persons have under this Act.
Note.
 The principles will apply to duties under this Part and other Parts of this Act such as duties relating to incident notification and consultation.
14   Duties not transferrable
A duty cannot be transferred to another person.
15   Person may have more than one duty
A person can have more than one duty by virtue of being in more than one class of duty holder.
16   More than one person can have a duty
(1)  More than one person can concurrently have the same duty.
(2)  Each duty holder must comply with that duty to the standard required by this Act even if another duty holder has the same duty.
(3)  If more than one person has a duty for the same matter, each person:
(a)  retains responsibility for the person’s duty in relation to the matter, and
(b)  must discharge the person’s duty to the extent to which the person has the capacity to influence and control the matter or would have had that capacity but for an agreement or arrangement purporting to limit or remove that capacity.
17   Management of risks
A duty imposed on a person to ensure health and safety requires the person:
(a)  to eliminate risks to health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable, and
(b)  if it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate risks to health and safety, to minimise those risks so far as is reasonably practicable.
Subdivision 2 What is reasonably practicable
18   What is “reasonably practicable” in ensuring health and safety
In this Act, reasonably practicable, in relation to a duty to ensure health and safety, means that which is, or was at a particular time, reasonably able to be done in relation to ensuring health and safety, taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters including:
(a)  the likelihood of the hazard or the risk concerned occurring, and
(b)  the degree of harm that might result from the hazard or the risk, and
(c)  what the person concerned knows, or ought reasonably to know, about:
(i)  the hazard or the risk, and
(ii)  ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, and
(d)  the availability and suitability of ways to eliminate or minimise the risk, and
(e)  after assessing the extent of the risk and the available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, the cost associated with available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, including whether the cost is grossly disproportionate to the risk.
Division 2 Primary duty of care
19   Primary duty of care
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of:
(a)  workers engaged, or caused to be engaged by the person, and
(b)  workers whose activities in carrying out work are influenced or directed by the person,
while the workers are at work in the business or undertaking.
(2)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of other persons is not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking.
(3)  Without limiting subsections (1) and (2), a person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable:
(a)  the provision and maintenance of a work environment without risks to health and safety, and
(b)  the provision and maintenance of safe plant and structures, and
(c)  the provision and maintenance of safe systems of work, and
(d)  the safe use, handling, and storage of plant, structures and substances, and
(e)  the provision of adequate facilities for the welfare at work of workers in carrying out work for the business or undertaking, including ensuring access to those facilities, and
(f)  the provision of any information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking, and
(g)  that the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace are monitored for the purpose of preventing illness or injury of workers arising from the conduct of the business or undertaking.
(4)  If:
(a)  a worker occupies accommodation that is owned by or under the management or control of the person conducting the business or undertaking, and
(b)  the occupancy is necessary for the purposes of the worker’s engagement because other accommodation is not reasonably available,
the person conducting the business or undertaking must, so far as is reasonably practicable, maintain the premises so that the worker occupying the premises is not exposed to risks to health and safety.
(5)  A self-employed person must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, his or her own health and safety while at work.
Note.
 A self-employed person is also a person conducting a business or undertaking for the purposes of this section.
Division 3 Further duties of persons conducting businesses or undertakings
20   Duty of persons conducting businesses or undertakings involving management or control of workplaces
(1)  In this section, person with management or control of a workplace means a person conducting a business or undertaking to the extent that the business or undertaking involves the management or control, in whole or in part, of the workplace but does not include:
(a)  the occupier of a residence, unless the residence is occupied for the purposes of, or as part of, the conduct of a business or undertaking, or
(b)  a prescribed person.
(2)  The person with management or control of a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace, the means of entering and exiting the workplace and anything arising from the workplace are without risks to the health and safety of any person.
21   Duty of persons conducting businesses or undertakings involving management or control of fixtures, fittings or plant at workplaces
(1)  In this section, person with management or control of fixtures, fittings or plant at a workplace means a person conducting a business or undertaking to the extent that the business or undertaking involves the management or control of fixtures, fittings or plant, in whole or in part, at a workplace, but does not include:
(a)  the occupier of a residence, unless the residence is occupied for the purposes of, or as part of, the conduct of a business or undertaking, or
(b)  a prescribed person.
(2)  The person with management or control of fixtures, fittings or plant at a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the fixtures, fittings and plant are without risks to the health and safety of any person.
22   Duties of persons conducting businesses or undertakings that design plant, substances or structures
(1)  This section applies to a person (the designer) who conducts a business or undertaking that designs:
(a)  plant that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, as, or at, a workplace, or
(b)  a substance that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, at a workplace, or
(c)  a structure that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, as, or at, a workplace.
(2)  The designer must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the plant, substance or structure is designed to be without risks to the health and safety of persons:
(a)  who, at a workplace, use the plant, substance or structure for a purpose for which it was designed, or
(b)  who handle the substance at a workplace, or
(c)  who store the plant or substance at a workplace, or
(d)  who construct the structure at a workplace, or
(e)  who carry out any reasonably foreseeable activity at a workplace in relation to:
(i)  the manufacture, assembly or use of the plant for a purpose for which it was designed, or the proper storage, decommissioning, dismantling or disposal of the plant, or
(ii)  the manufacture or use of the substance for a purpose for which it was designed or the proper handling, storage or disposal of the substance, or
(iii)  the manufacture, assembly or use of the structure for a purpose for which it was designed or the proper demolition or disposal of the structure, or
Example.
 Inspection, operation, cleaning, maintenance or repair of plant.
(f)  who are at or in the vicinity of a workplace and who are exposed to the plant, substance or structure at the workplace or whose health or safety may be affected by a use or activity referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e).
(3)  The designer must carry out, or arrange the carrying out of, any calculations, analysis, testing or examination that may be necessary for the performance of the duty imposed by subsection (2).
(4)  The designer must give adequate information to each person who is provided with the design for the purpose of giving effect to it concerning:
(a)  each purpose for which the plant, substance or structure was designed, and
(b)  the results of any calculations, analysis, testing or examination referred to in subsection (3), including, in relation to a substance, any hazardous properties of the substance identified by testing, and
(c)  any conditions necessary to ensure that the plant, substance or structure is without risks to health and safety when used for a purpose for which it was designed or when carrying out any activity referred to in subsection (2) (a)–(e).
(5)  The designer, on request, must, so far as is reasonably practicable, give current relevant information on the matters referred to in subsection (4) to a person who carries out, or is to carry out, any of the activities referred to in subsection (2) (a)–(e).
23   Duties of persons conducting businesses or undertakings that manufacture plant, substances or structures
(1)  This section applies to a person (the manufacturer) who conducts a business or undertaking that manufactures:
(a)  plant that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, as, or at, a workplace, or
(b)  a substance that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, at a workplace, or
(c)  a structure that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, as, or at, a workplace.
(2)  The manufacturer must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the plant, substance or structure is manufactured to be without risks to the health and safety of persons:
(a)  who, at a workplace, use the plant, substance or structure for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured, or
(b)  who handle the substance at a workplace, or
(c)  who store the plant or substance at a workplace, or
(d)  who construct the structure at a workplace, or
(e)  who carry out any reasonably foreseeable activity at a workplace in relation to:
(i)  the assembly or use of the plant for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or the proper storage, decommissioning, dismantling or disposal of the plant, or
(ii)  the use of the substance for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or the proper handling, storage or disposal of the substance, or
(iii)  the assembly or use of the structure for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or the proper demolition or disposal of the structure, or
Example.
 Inspection, operation, cleaning, maintenance or repair of plant.
(f)  who are at or in the vicinity of a workplace and who are exposed to the plant, substance or structure at the workplace or whose health or safety may be affected by a use or activity referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e).
(3)  The manufacturer must carry out, or arrange the carrying out of, any calculations, analysis, testing or examination that may be necessary for the performance of the duty imposed by subsection (2).
(4)  The manufacturer must give adequate information to each person to whom the manufacturer provides the plant, substance or structure concerning:
(a)  each purpose for which the plant, substance or structure was designed or manufactured, and
(b)  the results of any calculations, analysis, testing or examination referred to in subsection (3), including, in relation to a substance, any hazardous properties of the substance identified by testing, and
(c)  any conditions necessary to ensure that the plant, substance or structure is without risks to health and safety when used for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or when carrying out any activity referred to in subsection (2) (a)–(e).
(5)  The manufacturer, on request, must, so far as is reasonably practicable, give current relevant information on the matters referred to in subsection (4) to a person who carries out, or is to carry out, any of the activities referred to in subsection (2) (a)–(e).
24   Duties of persons conducting businesses or undertakings that import plant, substances or structures
(1)  This section applies to a person (the importer) who conducts a business or undertaking that imports:
(a)  plant that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, as, or at, a workplace, or
(b)  a substance that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, at a workplace, or
(c)  a structure that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, as, or at, a workplace.
(2)  The importer must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the plant, substance or structure is without risks to the health and safety of persons:
(a)  who, at a workplace, use the plant, substance or structure for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured, or
(b)  who handle the substance at a workplace, or
(c)  who store the plant or substance at a workplace, or
(d)  who construct the structure at a workplace, or
(e)  who carry out any reasonably foreseeable activity at a workplace in relation to:
(i)  the assembly or use of the plant for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or the proper storage, decommissioning, dismantling or disposal of the plant, or
(ii)  the use of the substance for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or the proper handling, storage or disposal of the substance, or
(iii)  the assembly or use of the structure for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or the proper demolition or disposal of the structure, or
Example.
 Inspection, operation, cleaning, maintenance or repair of plant.
(f)  who are at or in the vicinity of a workplace and who are exposed to the plant, substance or structure at the workplace or whose health or safety may be affected by a use or activity referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e).
(3)  The importer must:
(a)  carry out, or arrange the carrying out of, any calculations, analysis, testing or examination that may be necessary for the performance of the duty imposed by subsection (2), or
(b)  ensure that the calculations, analysis, testing or examination have been carried out.
(4)  The importer must give adequate information to each person to whom the importer provides the plant, substance or structure concerning:
(a)  each purpose for which the plant, substance or structure was designed or manufactured, and
(b)  the results of any calculations, analysis, testing or examination referred to in subsection (3), including, in relation to a substance, any hazardous properties of the substance identified by testing, and
(c)  any conditions necessary to ensure that the plant, substance or structure is without risks to health and safety when used for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or when carrying out any activity referred to in subsection (2) (a)–(e).
(5)  The importer, on request, must, so far as is reasonably practicable, give current relevant information on the matters referred to in subsection (4) to a person who carries out, or is to carry out, any of the activities referred to in subsection (2) (a)–(e).
25   Duties of persons conducting businesses or undertakings that supply plant, substances or structures
(1)  This section applies to a person (the supplier) who conducts a business or undertaking that supplies:
(a)  plant that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, as, or at, a workplace, or
(b)  a substance that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, at a workplace, or
(c)  a structure that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, as, or at, a workplace.
(2)  The supplier must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the plant, substance or structure is without risks to the health and safety of persons:
(a)  who, at a workplace, use the plant or substance or structure for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured, or
(b)  who handle the substance at a workplace, or
(c)  who store the plant or substance at a workplace, or
(d)  who construct the structure at a workplace, or
(e)  who carry out any reasonably foreseeable activity at a workplace in relation to:
(i)  the assembly or use of the plant for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or the proper storage, decommissioning, dismantling or disposal of the plant, or
(ii)  the use of the substance for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or the proper handling, storage or disposal of the substance, or
(iii)  the assembly or use of the structure for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or the proper demolition or disposal of the structure, or
Example.
 Inspection, storage, operation, cleaning, maintenance or repair of plant.
(f)  who are at or in the vicinity of a workplace and who are exposed to the plant, substance or structure at the workplace or whose health or safety may be affected by a use or activity referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e).
(3)  The supplier must:
(a)  carry out, or arrange the carrying out of, any calculations, analysis, testing or examination that may be necessary for the performance of the duty imposed by subsection (2), or
(b)  ensure that the calculations, analysis, testing or examination have been carried out.
(4)  The supplier must give adequate information to each person to whom the supplier supplies the plant, substance or structure concerning:
(a)  each purpose for which the plant, substance or structure was designed or manufactured, and
(b)  the results of any calculations, analysis, testing or examination referred to in subsection (3), including, in relation to a substance, any hazardous properties of the substance identified by testing, and
(c)  any conditions necessary to ensure that the plant, substance or structure is without risks to health and safety when used for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured or when carrying out any activity referred to in subsection (2) (a)–(e).
(5)  The supplier, on request, must, so far as is reasonably practicable, give current relevant information on the matters referred to in subsection (4) to a person who carries out, or is to carry out, any of the activities referred to in subsection (2) (a)–(e).
26   Duty of persons conducting businesses or undertakings that install, construct or commission plant or structures
(1)  This section applies to a person who conducts a business or undertaking that installs, constructs or commissions plant or a structure that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used, as, or at, a workplace.
(2)  The person must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the way in which the plant or structure is installed, constructed or commissioned ensures that the plant or structure is without risks to the health and safety of persons:
(a)  who install or construct the plant or structure at a workplace, or
(b)  who use the plant or structure at a workplace for a purpose for which it was installed, constructed or commissioned, or
(c)  who carry out any reasonably foreseeable activity at a workplace in relation to the proper use, decommissioning or dismantling of the plant or demolition or disposal of the structure, or
(d)  who are at or in the vicinity of a workplace and whose health or safety may be affected by a use or activity referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).
Division 4 Duty of officers, workers and other persons
27   Duty of officers
(1)  If a person conducting a business or undertaking has a duty or obligation under this Act, an officer of the person conducting the business or undertaking must exercise due diligence to ensure that the person conducting the business or undertaking complies with that duty or obligation.
(2)  Subject to subsection (3), the maximum penalty applicable under Division 5 of this Part for an offence relating to the duty of an officer under this section is the maximum penalty fixed for an officer of a person conducting a business or undertaking for that offence.
(3)  Despite anything to the contrary in section 33, if the duty or obligation of a person conducting a business or undertaking was imposed under a provision other than a provision of Division 2 or 3 of this Part or this Division, the maximum penalty under section 33 for an offence by an officer under section 33 in relation to the duty or obligation is the maximum penalty fixed under the provision creating the duty or obligation for an individual who fails to comply with the duty or obligation.
(4)  An officer of a person conducting a business or undertaking may be convicted or found guilty of an offence under this Act relating to a duty under this section whether or not the person conducting the business or undertaking has been convicted or found guilty of an offence under this Act relating to the duty or obligation.
(5)  In this section, due diligence includes taking reasonable steps:
(a)  to acquire and keep up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters, and
(b)  to gain an understanding of the nature of the operations of the business or undertaking of the person conducting the business or undertaking and generally of the hazards and risks associated with those operations, and
(c)  to ensure that the person conducting the business or undertaking has available for use, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking, and
(d)  to ensure that the person conducting the business or undertaking has appropriate processes for receiving and considering information regarding incidents, hazards and risks and responding in a timely way to that information, and
(e)  to ensure that the person conducting the business or undertaking has, and implements, processes for complying with any duty or obligation of the person conducting the business or undertaking under this Act, and
Example.
 For the purposes of paragraph (e), the duties or obligations under this Act of a person conducting a business or undertaking may include:
•  reporting notifiable incidents,
•  consulting with workers,
•  ensuring compliance with notices issued under this Act,
•  ensuring the provision of training and instruction to workers about work health and safety,
•  ensuring that health and safety representatives receive their entitlements to training.
(f)  to verify the provision and use of the resources and processes referred to in paragraphs (c)–(e).
28   Duties of workers
While at work, a worker must:
(a)  take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety, and
(b)  take reasonable care that his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons, and
(c)  comply, so far as the worker is reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by the person conducting the business or undertaking to allow the person to comply with this Act, and
(d)  co-operate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the person conducting the business or undertaking relating to health or safety at the workplace that has been notified to workers.
29   Duties of other persons at the workplace
A person at a workplace (whether or not the person has another duty under this Part) must:
(a)  take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety, and
(b)  take reasonable care that his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons, and
(c)  comply, so far as the person is reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by the person conducting the business or undertaking to allow the person conducting the business or undertaking to comply with this Act.
Division 5 Offences and penalties
30   Health and safety duty
In this Division, health and safety duty means a duty imposed under Division 2, 3 or 4 of this Part.
31   Reckless conduct—Category 1
(1)  A person commits a Category 1 offence if:
(a)  the person has a health and safety duty, and
(b)  the person, without reasonable excuse, engages in conduct that exposes an individual to whom that duty is owed to a risk of death or serious injury or illness, and
(c)  the person is reckless as to the risk to an individual of death or serious injury or illness.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an offence committed by an individual (other than as a person conducting a business or undertaking or as an officer of a person conducting a business or undertaking)—$300,000 or 5 years imprisonment or both, or
(b)  in the case of an offence committed by an individual as a person conducting a business or undertaking or as an officer of a person conducting a business or undertaking—$600,000 or 5 years imprisonment or both, or
(c)  in the case of an offence committed by a body corporate—$3,000,000.
(2)  The prosecution bears the burden of proving that the conduct was engaged in without reasonable excuse.
32   Failure to comply with health and safety duty—Category 2
A person commits a Category 2 offence if:
(a)  the person has a health and safety duty, and
(b)  the person fails to comply with that duty, and
(c)  the failure exposes an individual to a risk of death or serious injury or illness.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an offence committed by an individual (other than as a person conducting a business or undertaking or as an officer of a person conducting a business or undertaking)—$150,000, or
(b)  in the case of an offence committed by an individual as a person conducting a business or undertaking or as an officer of a person conducting a business or undertaking—$300,000, or
(c)  in the case of an offence committed by a body corporate—$1,500,000.
33   Failure to comply with health and safety duty—Category 3
A person commits a Category 3 offence if:
(a)  the person has a health and safety duty, and
(b)  the person fails to comply with that duty.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an offence committed by an individual (other than as a person conducting a business or undertaking or as an officer of a person conducting a business or undertaking)—$50,000, or
(b)  in the case of an offence committed by an individual as a person conducting a business or undertaking or as an officer of a person conducting a business or undertaking—$100,000, or
(c)  in the case of an offence committed by a body corporate—$500,000.
34   Exceptions
(1)  A volunteer does not commit an offence under this Division for a failure to comply with a health and safety duty, except a duty under section 28 or 29.
(2)  An unincorporated association does not commit an offence under this Act, and is not liable for a civil penalty under this Act, for a failure to comply with a duty or obligation imposed on the unincorporated association under this Act.
(3)  However:
(a)  an officer of an unincorporated association (other than a volunteer) may be liable for a failure to comply with a duty under section 27, and
(b)  a member of an unincorporated association may be liable for failure to comply with a duty under section 28 or 29.