Everyone has the right to be safe at work. Workplaces must be healthy and safe places and your employer must do everything they reasonably can to make sure that health and safety risks in the workplace are eliminated. Your employer must consult with workers about health and safety in the workplace.

If you think that your workplace is unsafe, or if you think that the work you are being asked to do is unsafe, speak up, help is available. If there is an immediate threat or risk to your health and safety, you have the right to remove yourself from the situation. If you are asked to do work that you reasonably think is unsafe, you have the right to say ‘no’. Your employer can direct you to do appropriate alternative work which is safe.

In the ACT, the government body charged with monitoring and regulating workplaces to make sure they are healthy and safe is WorkSafe ACT. WorkSafe ACT works to keep all workers in the ACT safe at work.

You can make confidential reports of health and safety issues and concerns to WorkSafe ACT through their website: https://www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au/app/forms/worksafe_report You can make the report anonymously or request that they contact you.

You can also call or email WorkSafe ACT

Phone: 6207 3000

Email: worksafe@act.gov.au.

If you or someone you know are in immediate or imminent danger, stop work, remove yourself from the situation and tell your supervisor if it is safe to do so. You can call WorkSafe for help on 6207 3000. If it is an emergency, contact emergency services if it is safe to do so: Phone 000.

If you are injured or made sick at work, get first aid assistance (your workplace should have a first aid officer and first aid kit) and seek medical assistance if needed, and report the injury or illness and what happened to your employer (whoever is supervising you at work). Your employer must maintain a register of health and safety incidents in the workplace and make sure that all of the details of the incident, injury or illness are recorded in the register. Ask us for advice on what to do next: youngworkerscbr@unionsact.org.au.

Serious health and safety incidents and dangerous occurrences are called ‘notifiable incidents’ and your employer must immediately inform WorkSafe ACT by calling or emailing them. A formal report must be made within 48 hours. Notifiable incidents include accidents, spillages, shocks, leaks, structural collapses, interactions where a worker is seriously injured or made seriously ill or exposed to serious danger.

If you’re unsure about your health and safety rights, or what you should do about health and safety at work, ask us: youngworkerscbr@unionsact.org.au. You can confidentially report a health and safety concern to us and we’ll help you with what to do next, how to talk to your employer and what your rights are.

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