Getting started - business must haves

As an employer or business, you have a primary duty of care to your workers.

A man in a wood working workshop looking at a tablet

There are things you have to do to comply with health and safety laws such as having:

  1. a first aid plan
  2. an emergency plan
  3. display the "If you get injured at work" poster
  4. provided training and instruction
  5. an injury register
  6. a workers compensation policy
  7. a return to work plan.

This also applies to contractors and any business engaging both volunteers and paid staff.

Now go to safety support for then next steps.

Safety is serious but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

‘Keep it simple; don’t get too overwhelmed and end up doing nothing.’

Taryn Wynne

Human Resources and Safety Officer, Controlstore

To get you started, we have set the essential 'must haves' you need - and most are free or at very low cost.

You need first aid and an emergency plan

It is a 'no-brainer' to make sure you have proper first aid on site and to make sure people know where it is.

We even have a free medical emergency plan poster to help emergency services access an injured worker quickly and easily.

This poster is free - and it's mandatory

You can download and print or order one from our online shop or call 1300 799 003.

If you get injured at work poster
If you get injured at work poster

This poster is free and needs to be displayed at every workplace.

Find out more

Train your people, record any accidents and know what to do if there is an injury

It is just good business practice to train and instruct your workers to ensure the job is done properly and safely.

And just like keeping a record of the work you do, you need to keep a record any injuries that occur.

If there is a major incident you need to call us on 13 10 50.

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Workers compensation insurance and getting back to work

You need a workers compensation insurance policy and a return to work program.

Workers compensation is compulsory and if something happens, it's best for everyone to get back to work as soon as possible.

Employers in NSW must have a workers compensation insurance policy to help cover work related injuries and illnesses.

There are though, circumstances that may make your business exempt.

In NSW, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) regulates the insurers who provide this insurance. Comprehensive information about obtaining workers compensation insurance can be found on the SIRA website.

A certificate of currency will be issued to you and provides evidence of insurance.

The best place to recover from a work-related injury or illness is at work. It is good for mental and physical health, and reduces the risk of longer term disability.

A return to work program is the formal policy that outlines your general procedures for handling any work-related injury or illness. It represents your commitment to the health, safety and recovery of workers following an incident.

Your obligations

In NSW, you must have a return to work program within 12 months of starting your business.

Your program must:

  • be developed in consultation with your workers and any industrial union representing them
  • be consistent with your insurer's injury management plan
  • comply with the State Insurance Regulatory Authority’s (SIRA) guidelines for workplace return to work programs
  • be accessible and communicated to the workforce.

The SIRA website has detailed information on what is required in a return to work program and how to set one up.

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