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.
Information for workers