Managers And Supervisors

As a manager or supervisor, your responsibilities include ensuring the health and safety of your workers.

You might not realise it but you’re at the forefront of implementing health and safety in your organisation, especially as workers and health and safety representatives (HSRs) often approach their manager or supervisor first with safety issues.

This information outlines your obligations and includes general information to help you improve health and safety in your workplace.

A WorkSafe-approved training course specifically for managers and supervisors is also available - taking part in the training will give you a good understanding of your responsibilities and how to meet them.

Allowing or ignoring dangerous work practices is unacceptable. If you aren’t confident you have the knowledge or skills to keep your people safe, ask for support before it’s too late.

Your health and safety obligations

As someone responsible for instructing and supervising others at work, you have authority from your employer to take action on their behalf to meet legal requirements for health and safety.

This means you should:

Take all reasonable care to prevent injuries or illnesses occurring at work

Take every step to make sure workers are aware of your organisation’s health and safety policies and follow them. Do everything within your authority to remove or reduce the risk of injury and illness.

Attempt to resolve any health and safety issues as soon as possible

If you’re unable to resolve an issue (eg because you lack the authority, approval for expenditure, or the technical knowledge and skills) you should speak to your manager about the problem. In the meantime, if there’s an ongoing risk to workers, take all possible steps to reduce it while the situation is being resolved.

Do everything reasonable to help an injured worker to return to work

Firstly, if a worker is injured you should help them to get appropriate medical treatment. If the incident resulted in or could have resulted in serious injury or death, notify WorkSafe immediately (132 360). You must also record the details of the injury or illness in your workplace’s Register of Injuries.