Skip to main content

WSH Act: responsibilities of stakeholders

The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act defines the responsibilities for each stakeholder group, such as employers, occupiers, employees and self-employed.

Under the WSH Act, the stakeholders and their responsibilities are as follows:

Employer

As an employer, you must protect the safety and health of your employees or workers working under your direction, as well as persons who may be affected by their work.

You must:

  • Conduct risk assessments to identify hazards and implement effective risk control measures.
  • Make sure the work environment is safe.
  • Make sure adequate safety measures are taken for any machinery, equipment, plant, article or process used at the workplace.
  • Develop and implement systems for dealing with emergencies.
  • Ensure workers are provided with sufficient instruction, training and supervision so that they can work safely.

Principal

A principal is any person or organisation who engages another person or organisation to supply labour or perform work under a contract for service.

As a principal, you must ensure that the contractor you engage:

  • Is able to perform the work they are engaged for.
  • Has made sure that any machinery, equipment, plant, article or process that is used at work is safe.

However, if you instruct the contractor or the workers on how the work is to be carried out, your duties will include the duties of an employer.

Occupier

In workplaces registered or notified as a factory, the occupier is the person who holds the certificate of registration. In all other workplaces, the occupier is the person who has control of the premises, regardless of whether they are the owner of those premises.

As an occupier, you must ensure that the following are safe:

  • The workplace.
  • All pathways to and from the place of work.
  • Machinery, equipment, plants, articles and substances.

You must ensure that the above does not pose a risk to anyone within your premises, even if the person is not your employee.

You may also be responsible for the common areas used by your employees and contractors. Common areas include the following:

  • Electric generators and motors.
  • Hoists and lifts, lifting gears, lifting appliances and lifting machines.
  • Entrances and exits.
  • Machinery and plants.

Manufacturer or supplier

As a manufacturer or supplier, you must ensure that any machinery and equipment or hazardous substances you provide are safe.

You must:

  • Provide information on health hazards and how to safely use the machinery, equipment or hazardous substance.
  • Examine and test the machinery, equipment or hazardous substance to ensure that it is safe for use.
  • Provide results of any examinations or tests of the machinery, equipment or hazardous substances.

Installer or erector of machinery

You must ensure that the machinery and equipment that you have erected, installed or modified is safe and without safety or health risks when properly used.

Employee

As an employee, you must:

  • Follow the workplace safety and health system, safe work procedures or safety rules implemented at the workplace.
  • Not engage in any unsafe or negligent act that may endanger yourself or others working around you.
  • Use personal protective equipment provided to you to ensure your safety while working. You must not tamper with or misuse the equipment.

Self-employed

You are required to take measures to ensure the safety and health of anyone in the workplace who may be affected by your work.

Last Updated: 18 July 2016