Worker rights and responsibilities

Workers have rights and responsibilities regarding workplace health and safety. These rights and responsibilities are outlined under Northern Territory legislation.

Representation and consultation

Workers have a right to be consulted in the workplace when decisions are made regarding their health and safety. Workers also have a right to be represented for their views on any health and safety issues in the workplace.

Worker can be represented by:

  • a Health and Safety Representative elected by the workers
  • a Health and Safety Committee representing workers
  • by other arrangements agreed (for example, Union Representative).

Workers also have a responsibility to consult with their employers. These responsibilities include:

  • Participate in and appropriately contributing to consultations initiated by the employer.
  • Take into consideration suggestions made by the employer on health and safety issues.
  • Notify the employer of any a risk to health or safety in the workplace.

Workers duty of care

Workers also have the following duty of care:

  • Take reasonable care for the worker's own health and safety, and for the health and safety of others, while at work.
  • Follow reasonable directions given by, or on behalf of, the employer on issues related to health or safety.
  • Use relevant safety equipment provided for the worker's use.
  • Report a workplace accident to the employer as soon as practicable after it occurs.

A worker must not:

  • Intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse safety equipment provided by the worker's employer.
  • Intentionally create a risk to the health or safety of another at the worker's workplace.​

Staying safe at work

Workplace accidents and injuries can be avoided if appropriate care is taken by both the worker and the employers. Workers have a responsibility to take reasonable care of their own health and safety.

The following are some tips to help workers stay safe at work:

  • Pay attention to any training you receive, including your workplace induction training.
  • Know the health and safety procedures in your workplace, including emergency procedures.
  • Always follow the health and safety procedures in your workplace.
  • Ask for training when you are doing a new task or using / operating new tools or machinery.
  • Asked to be supervised to make sure you are doing to the job correctly.
  • Talk to your supervisor if you think a task is too dangerous or difficult for you.
  • Always wear any personal protective equipment supplied by your employer.
  • Report all hazards, near misses and injuries (no matter how minor) to your supervisor.
  • If you can’t remember how to do a job safety, ask your supervisor or workmate to help you.
  • Keep an eye out and help new or young workers.
  • If you have a safety concern, talk with more experienced workers such as your supervisor or workmates.

Related Forms and Resources

Information for workers
Work Health and Safety consultation duties
Worker representation by Health and Safety Representative
Workers right to cease or refuse unsafe work