Small business: obligations for employers checklist

This checklist helps small business employers comply with occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements, meet their obligations when an employee is injured in the workplace and plan for their return to work after an injury.


Employer's obligations

As an employer, you have legal obligations to:

  • ensure workplace health and safety
  • assist injured workers
  • help injured workers return to work

Work through this checklist to better understand your obligations to your employees and to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

Workplace health and safety

  • Provide and maintain safe machinery and equipment, and safe systems of work.

  • Maintain the workplace in a safe condition.

  • Ensure safe use, handling, storage and transport of chemicals.

  • Provide employees with adequate facilities.

  • Keep records relevant to your employees' health and safety.

  • Consult with employees on matters that may affect their health and safety.

  • Notify WorkSafe Victoria immediately by calling 132 360 of any:

    • workplace death
    • serious injury where medical treatment is required
    • incident that could have caused death or serious injury
  • Display the 'If you are Injured' poster, in a place for all employees to see.

Assist injured employees

  • Assist your injured employee with appropriate medical treatment.

  • Complete the employer section of the Worker’s injury claim form, ensuring you sign and date it.

  • Confirm receipt of your Worker’s injury claim form in writing — give your employee the carbon copy.

  • Complete the Employer injury claim report.

  • Send original documents to your WorkSafe agent within 10 calendar days of receiving the Worker's injury claim form or penalties may apply.

Helping injured workers return to work

  • Nominate a Return to Work Coordinator.

  • Prepare a return to work plan for any injured worker. (your WorkSafe agent can assist you with this).

  • Support your worker and regularly review their return to work plan.

  • Provide your worker with suitable employment when they have a capacity for work. This obligation exists for 52 weeks and usually commences on the date the worker is unable to work as a result of injury.

  • Establish occupational rehabilitation and risk management programs.

  • Contact your WorkSafe agent for advice or assistance on claims or return to work.