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Settlement Guide: 5 things to know about work safety

Source: public domain

Whilst all workers in Australia have the right to say no when asked to work in an unsafe manner, foreign workers and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds tend to keep quiet.

1. What your boss must do

Must show you how to do your job safely, make sure there is someone to watch out for you, not ask you to do anything that needs a special licence, like drive a car, a crane or a forklift if you don’t have the right licence, have the right tools and equipment for you to do your job safely, give you safety equipment if you need it to do your job.

Forklift driver

2. What you must do to keep yourself safe at work

You must look after your own health and safety at work, including being fit and well enough to do your job. You cannot be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or use alcohol or illegal drugs while at work or do anything that would hurt yourself or anyone else at work.

Safety clothes
Pixabay/Public Domain

3. Your right to fair pay and conditions

In Australia, there are minimum wages and working conditions. The Fair Work Ombudsman helps employers and workers to understand these rights and responsibilities at work, they can also help you find out what you should be paid.

Fair Work Ombudsman
Courtesy of Fair Work

4. Bullying at work

If you are bullied, talk to your boss or to another worker and tell them you want it to stop. If it doesn’t stop you can talk to someone in the government in the state or territory where you are working. You can also talk to the Fair Work Commission or call 1300 799 675.

Bullying at work

5. What to do if you get hurt or injured at work

Get first aid or see a doctor or nurse straight away. You have the right to choose the doctor you see. You can ask the doctor for a medical certificate and you can show this certificate to your boss. Tell your boss that you have been hurt and fill in an incident report.


If you suspect you are exploited or feel unsafe or bullied at work, you can make confidential enquiries to the Fair Work Ombudsman or workplace safety regulators in your state.

For more information on working safely in Australia, go to the Safe Work Australia.

If you require language assistance, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.

Translated factsheets are also available in 11 languages.