Is my employer obligated to provide accident avoidance training?

Published 03 Apr 2018

Practice Area: Work Related Accident Claims

Health and safety rules are designed to protect employees from the hazards that exist within the workplace. But regardless of how careful employers are to create a safe working environment for staff, accidents still occur.

There were more than 61,000 workers compensation claims filed in the state in 2012-13, according to the latest WorkCover Queensland statistics. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg, as they don't include people who hurt themselves but didn't take time off or pursue a claim.

Types of employee training 

While some accidents are unavoidable, employers are obligated to provide adequate training to staff in order to prevent injuries, illnesses and deaths in the workplace.

The Queensland government provides a rundown of legal obligations that organisations must follow when training staff, including:

Work health and safety (WHS) training

Employers must offer WHS training both to new recruits and existing staff on a refresher basis. When areas of a business change, such as the implementation of new equipment, training materials and courses must be updated.

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 provides the framework for WHS processes and obligations in Queensland. The legislation covers the protection of multiple types of employee, as well as other people who may be affected by work activities, such as members of the public or customers.

Fire and emergency training

Organisations must ensure all employees are aware of company policies regarding fires and other emergencies. This includes conducting effective evacuation training, as well as educating staff about assembly points, fire alarms and safety equipment.

Businesses must also perform a practice evacuation at least once a year.

Industry-specific training

Employees working in certain industries may also require additional training to ensure they can perform their jobs safely.

This is particularly common in businesses where heavy machinery, chemicals and other potentially hazardous materials are present. Some organisations may even require staff to undertake security and cash management protocols in case of attempted robberies.

Can I claim for workplace injuries?

Workers compensation is available to employees who injure themselves while performing their jobs. These payments provide financial support until a time the worker is healthy enough to return to their duties.

However, if your employer's negligence and failure to offer adequate training resulted in your injuries, you may be eligible to pursue damages under liability laws in Queensland.

To discuss your case in more detail, please contact a personal injury expert at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.