Unsafe work practices

In New South Wales everyone in the workplace, including apprentices and trainees, has rights and obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

What is an unsafe work practice?

  • Not securing the guard before turning on a machine
  • Leaving large boxes in the way of staff in a corridor, or in front of the fire exit
  • Trailing an electrical extension cord across the workspace
  • Not wearing a hard hat on a construction site.

Unsafe work practices threaten the physical and mental health of staff.

Unsafe work practices are avoidable with good management, training and awareness.


Your obligations

As an employee you have an obligation to:

  • take care of your, and your workmates safety
  • report safety issues to your supervisor
  • cooperate with management in safety practices.

Employer obligations

Your employer must provide:

  • safe premises
  • safe machinery and substances
  • safe systems of work
  • information, instruction and training in OH&S
  • supervision
  • a suitable working environment (the shop floor, docking area, the building site etc) and facilities (the kitchen, the toilets etc).


Work Health and Safety Act 2011

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011:

  • describes the procedures and activities that are needed to protect the health, safety and welfare of all people at the workplace
  • makes it clear that everyone has a role to play, including you as an employee.

Who can help?

Advise your supervisor immediately if you see a safety problem at work.

If you have concerns about safety practices in the workplace you can contact:

  • The workplace Health and Safety Representative (HSR)
  • Your union
  • SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50

Page last updated: 11 January 2017