You have a right to speak up and say no to unsafe work
If you are asked to do something that you think may be unsafe, it's OK to say no and refuse unsafe work.
You have the right to be safe at work. And your employer has a legal responsibility to keep you safe at work.
Identifying unsafe conditions
If you find yourself working in unsafe conditions, it's important that you speak up and report it. Unsafe conditions are practices or hazards that can put you in danger both mentally and physically, for example:
- not getting a job induction when you start work
- not being shown how to do a task, or not being properly supervised
- not being given suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job
- not having the right falls protection systems when you're working at height
- physical hazards such as slippery floors, falling objects, unguarded machinery, heavy lifting or work with repetitive actions
- hazards to your mental health such as exposure to bullying, sexual harassment, occupational violence and aggression, or work-related fatigue
Young Worker -- Bakery TV Commercial
Making a report at work
Your employer should show you how to report unsafe work and work-related injuries or illnesses as a part of your induction and training.
You can report unsafe work and work-related injuries and illnesses to your manager, supervisor, employer and/or Health and Safety Representative (HSR). By law, your employer must work with employees including HSRs to address the issues they raise.
Reporting incidents, hazards and near misses, no matter how small, is an important action that you can take to protect yourself and others.
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.
Other services you can contact for advice
Making a claim
WorkSafe provides compensation to workers for work-related injuries or illnesses.
How to make a claim
- Seek immediate medical attention if needed.
- Tell your employer as soon as possible so they can record the injury. They should give you a copy of the injury report form.
- See your doctor and get a certificate of capacity. A certificate of capacity is an official document that describes your injury or illness and any limitations you have to perform your regular work tasks.
- Complete the worker's injury claim form and provide both documents to your employer.
Your employer must acknowledge in writing that they have received the claim form. Keep a copy of all documents for your records.
Your employer will then complete an employer's claim report and send all completed documents to the WorkSafe agent.
The WorkSafe agent will assess your claim. If the claim is accepted they will work out what payments you'll receive for medical treatment and/or time you need to take off work.
If you need help with this process, contact Worksafe's advisory service. You can also talk to our advisory service if you're concerned about a health, safety or compensation issue.
Young workers: Safety basics
Young workers: Mental health
Talking to young workers about health and safety
Young workers: information for employers
Young worker case studies
Occupational health and safety – your legal duties
What to do if workplace bullying happens to you
Workplace bullying and the law
Occupational violence and aggression
Work-related gendered violence including sexual harassment