All workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. Making sure that people are safe at work and have strong support if they are injured is a top priority for the AMWU.
What are my rights around safety in the workplace?
Many protections and rights we take for granted were fought for and won by unions. These include:
- Workers’ compensation
- Rest breaks
- Protective clothing
- Restrictions on lifting heavy objects
- Licences and training when working with certain equipment, and
- Prohibitions on asbestos and dangerous chemicals.
All workers have the right to:
- A safe and healthy working environment
- Know what health and safety hazards they are exposed to at work and a right to be involved in and negotiate how hazards are dealt with
- Determine who represents them on health and safety issues, and
- Refuse unsafe work
Who will stand up for my rights to safety in the workplace?
Everyone has the right to elect their workmates to be their representatives around health and safety issues. Health and safety representatives make sure that employers comply with health and safety laws and policy. They also get proper resources and training.
If you would like to become a health and safety representative please speak with your delegate today.
What if I am injured in work?
If you are injured at work, report the incident immediately to the company and your delegate. Remember that you have the right to see your own doctor. You do not have to see the company doctor.
If you are injured, you may be able to make a claim. The two key types of claims you can make if you are injured are:
- A WorkCover claim (statutory claim) and
- A common law claim
Our union works with injury experts, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers who can provide free initial advice on your options and prospects of success for an injury claim. Make sure you keep copies of any records, documentation or medical assessment about your injury.
What are the rules in my state?
Every state and territory in Australia has different safety guidelines and codes. In Queensland, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland oversee these guidelines and in the Northern Territory, NT WorkSafe does. Remember, if you are ever unsure of your rights, contact your AMWU delegate or organiser immediately.