Speaking up

Speaking up about safety at work can help protect you and your workmates.


Speak up and say no to unsafe work

A decorative image showing speech bubbles with example questions.

Speaking up can include

  • pointing out hazards to your employer or asking "Is that safe?"
  • asking for help or supervision with a task you're unfamiliar with
  • asking about safety equipment or PPE
  • asking about emergency policies
  • reporting unsafe conditions at work

You can speak up to your employer, health and safety representative (HSR), co-worker, friend or family member.

See our young worker case studies for more examples of speaking up at work.

Identifying unsafe conditions

Unsafe work conditions are practices or hazards that can put you or someone else in danger, mentally or physically.

A key unsafe condition is starting a job without enough training or without a job induction. You should have an induction when you start a new job. Induction can include information about your employer or your work, such as systems that are used, company values, codes of conduct and any emergency policies or procedures.

Here are some other examples of unsafe work conditions:

  • Not being shown how to do a task safely.
  • Not being properly supervised.
  • Not being given the personal protective equipment (PPE) you need to work safely.
  • Physical hazards like slippery floors, falling objects, unguarded machinery, heavy lifting or work with repetitive actions.
  • Hazards to your mental health, like work-related fatigue or exposure to bullying, sexual harassment, customer abuse, traumatic material, aggression or violence.

If you find yourself working in unsafe conditions, it's important that you speak up and report it.

Making a report at work

Your employer needs to show you how to report unsafe work conditions and work-related injuries or illnesses as part of your induction and training. If you’re ever unsure, ask them how.

Report unsafe work conditions and work-related injuries and illnesses to your manager, supervisor, employer or HSR.

By law, your employer must work with employees, including HSRs, to address the health and safety issues they raise.

Reporting incidents, hazards and near misses, no matter how small, is important to protect yourself and others.

If you are injured at work, it is important to seek medical care immediately.

Your employer must have a register of reportable injuries available.

You have the right to put the details of an injury in the register of injuries. Depending on the how the injury happened, you may be eligible for workers compensation.

Information on how to make a claim:

You can always contact WorkSafe

If you are having trouble reporting a problem at work, or are still concerned after raising the issue with your employer or HSR, you can always contact WorkSafe and even report the matter anonymously.

Contact WorkSafe

Other services you can contact for advice

Further information