Employer responsibilities

As an employer or business owner you have a primary duty of care for your staff and you are responsible for work health and safety in the workplace.

Duty of care

As an employer you have the main responsibility for the health and safety of everyone in your workplace, including visitors.

If you are self-employed, you have the primary duty of care for your own safety and the safety of others.

Some practical ways of carrying out your duty of care responsibilities include ensuring:

  • the work environment, systems of work, machinery and equipment are safe and properly maintained
  • information, training, instruction and supervision are provided
  • adequate workplace facilities are available for workers
  • any accommodation you provide to your workers is safe
  • workers’ health and workplace conditions are monitored
  • chemicals are handled and stored safely.

There are additional responsibilities you have and these are detailed in our Legal obligations section under primary duty of care.


You need to consult any workers who will be affected by any changes to the health and safety in your workplace. This includes changes to equipment, procedures or risk controls. We have prepared detailed information about consultation in the workplace in our Legal obligations section.

Due diligence

You must continue to review and update your risk management and safety protocols, and any training programs.

Further, you need to keep up-to-date with changes or improvements to health and safety, both in your industry and more generally.

The review of your programs and your health and safety knowledge forms part of your due diligence.

You will find comprehensive information on due diligence in our Legal obligations section.

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