New South Wales labor laws mandates employers to look into their employees’ health, safety, and welfare at work; The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 is the principal statutory act that employers must work within in maintain the expected standards (Work Cover NSW).
In part 2, section 8, division the acts gives employer the duty to ensure that their staffs working condition and to some extent their social welfare like health.
According to the act, employers are expected to ensure that work stations do not offer any workplace risks; the work place environment should be favorable for living by human beings. Among the issues that the act proposes should be looked into is proper sanitation, veneration, safety exists, fire extinguishers among other parameters to make life bearable.
The act advises employers to not only work with local bodies to maintain the set standards but should consider the opinions and standpoints of their employees when setting safety measures. The act is of the opinion that a number of work place injuries can be avoided if employees abide to set regulations and work with their employees in that effect (Storey, 2004).
The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 is founded on international labor laws that require that employees should be protected from unhealthy and unsafe working environments; in Section 8 of Part 2, division 2, the act extends the requirement to other people within the premises of an employer.
According to the division, in the case that an organization has some other people apart from normal employees then employers are mandated to ensure that they are protected against any workplace related injury (Creighton and Rozen, 2007).
In Section 9 of Part 2 referred to as “Duties of self-employed persons”, employers are given the mandate to enact such appropriate measures that will protect any third person to be injured, health wise or otherwise by the conduct of his or her employees.
The part protect the society in general as well those people who are working closely with an organization; to make the definition clear, the act refers to visitors, students and contractors as other people within working environment who are not employees, they are categorized under the title non-employees.
When the non-employees visit a NSWFB workplace, the act requires that they need to be given safety rules, identification budges or other such gadgets, any protective gear, or any such equipments that can be used to reduce their chances of getting injured.
Non members despite having the gears and being well trained on how to remain save the act requires that in NSWFB workplace, they should be guided strictly and rules of restrictions within the company adhered to (Hofmann and Tetrick, 2003).
Section 10 and 11, mandates controller of working premises to ensure that machinery and any other properly that is under their control has been well vetted for safety; other than vetting the safety, they should ensure that they give such safety information that can assist in prevention of accidents or injuries.
The section separate the mandate given to controller of dwelling premises and those of working premises, those in the working places should have the power to control when the place will be opened, how and by whom, when the premises should be closed or exited and offer such appropriate methods to approach the same.
Like any other act in New South Wales, any person, whether natural or artificial, who goes against the requirements of the act, through an action or an omission is liable of an offence with the punishment there on as penalties.
Employers are on the receiving end where the act requires and emphasis that the need to consult their employees when it comes to issues of health, safety and welfare at work; in the event that the employer fails to do this, employees can enforce the law against the employer.
In section 68 of Part 5, division 2, the enforcement of the act is given to the local councils where at any one time the state can conduct an investigation to ascertain that a certain facility has what it takes to be called safe; when conducting the exercise, the act gives power to the investigator to appoint any person whom he or she thinks is capable of guiding the exercise to do so.
Failure to comply with this provision leads to an offence punishable by law. To make the law comprehensive, the following are some of the provisions provided in Part 2, sections 21, 24, 25, division 3:
- Nobody within or without an organization should make people fear of an injury if the situation cannot be justified (Boyd, 2003).
- Employees, employers, and non employees should not interfere with safety measures put by the company
- Everybody should be willing to respond to a call of help; spirit of assisting each other should be reinforced within the company
- Nobody should hinder another when the later has offered to give aid or prevent injury with work places.