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Who Is Responsible For Managing Health And Safety Risks

Who Has Responsibility For Managing Work Health & Safety Risks

Regarding healthy and safe workplace practices, knowing who is responsible for managing risks and ensuring safety is essential. Everyone has a part to play in creating an environment where people can work safely, but who has the ultimate responsibility?

Who Is Responsible For Managing Health & Safety Risks?

In this article, we will delve into the role of employers in health and safety risk management, explore how they must assess risks in the workplace, and highlight employee responsibilities under health and safety regulations. We’ll also look at what should happen if any hazards are identified – who handles the follow-up action? By delving into these topics individually, you can be sure that you’re armed with all the information needed when considering how best to manage any potential health or safety-related issues at your organization.


Employers are responsible for managing health and safety risks in the workplace. This means they must identify potential hazards, assess the likelihood of them occurring and take steps to eliminate or reduce them. Employers must also ensure that employees are aware of any risks present and provide training on how to mitigate them. In addition, employers must provide emergency response plans, fire safety plans, first aid supplies, and any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).


Employees also have responsibilities when it comes to workplace health and safety. They must be aware of the risks present in the workplace, follow the procedures provided by their employer, and use any PPE provided. Employees should always inform their employer of any hazards they become aware of and report any accidents or injuries.

According To WHS Act and Regulations

The WHS Act and Regulations require persons who have a duty to ensure health and safety to ‘manage risks’ by eliminating health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable and, if it is not reasonably practicable to do so, to minimize those risks so far as is reasonably practicable.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking will have health and safety duties to manage risks if they:

  • Engage workers to undertake work for them, or if they direct or influence work carried out by workers
  • May put other people at risk from the conduct of their business or undertaking
  • Manage or control workplace fixtures, fittings, or plants.
  • Design, manufacture, import, or supply plant, substances, or structures for use at a workplace
  • Install, construct, or commission plants or structures at a

Deciding what is ‘reasonably practicable to protect people from harm requires taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters, including:

  • The likelihood of the hazard or risk concerned occurring
  • The degree of harm that might result from the hazard or risk
  • Knowledge about the hazard or risk and ways of eliminating or minimizing the risk
  • The availability and suitability of ways to eliminate or minimize the risk, and
  • After assessing the extent of the risk and the available ways of eliminating or minimizing the risk, the cost associated with available ways of eliminating or minimizing the risk, including whether the cost is grossly disproportionate to the

If a hazard is identified, the employer must take necessary steps to eliminate or reduce the risk. This could include implementing new procedures, providing additional training, or introducing new safety equipment/PPE. It’s also essential for employers to regularly review any safety measures that have been put in place and ensure they are still effective.

The meaning of key terms

A hazard is a situation or thing that has the potential to harm a person. Hazards at work may include noisy machinery, a moving forklift, chemicals, electricity, working at heights, a repetitive job, bullying, and violence in the workplace.

The risk is the possibility that harm (death, injury, or illness) might occur when exposed to a hazard.

Risk control means taking action to eliminate health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable. If that is not possible, minimize the risks so far as is reasonably practicable. Eliminating a hazard will also eliminate any risks associated with that hazard.

What is Involved in Managing Risks


Effective risk management starts with a commitment to health and safety from those who operate and manage the business or undertaking. You also need the involvement and cooperation of your workers, and if you show your workers that you are serious about health and safety, they are more likely to follow your lead.

To demonstrate your commitment, you should:

  • Get involved in health and safety issues
  • Invest time and money in health and safety
  • Ensure health and safety responsibilities are clearly

By understanding the legal requirements for health and safety in the workplace, employers can be sure that they’re taking all the necessary steps to protect their staff and customers. It’s important to note that failing to identify and address potential hazards could lead to severe consequences. Employers must therefore ensure that they regularly assess the risks in their workplace and take appropriate action whenever necessary. This will help minimize potential risks of harm or injury and help create a safe working environment for everyone involved.

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