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Definitions (1)

What is duty of care?
(link to definitions used in the Act)
The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 is based on the principle of Duty of Care and covers all workplaces in NSW except mines.

Implementing the duty of care principle means planning for the prevention of workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses.

  • There is a general duty of care on employers of the workplace to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees and others who come on to the workplace.
  • It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that all reasonably practicable measures have been taken to control risks against all possible injuries arising from the workplace.
  • The employer's duty of care applies to all people in the workplace, including visitors, contractors etc.
  • There is a general obligation on designers, manufacturers and suppliers of plant and substances for use by people at work to ensure that their products are not a risk to health and safety when properly used, and to provide information on the correct use and potential hazards associated with the use of the products in the workplace.
  • There is a general obligation on employees to take care of others and cooperate with employers in matters of health and safety An employee must also co-operate with the employer or other person so far as is necessary to enable compliance with the OHS Act 2000 and OHS Regulation 2001 (section 20, OHS Act 2000).
As employers are in control of the workplace and workplaces can have significant risks to health and safety, employers are required to organise their workplace and their work systems to ensure people at work are not put in harm's way.