Last updated June 2020
This chapter explains how to meet your obligations to train and induct your workers, and how to ensure they are competent to safely perform tasks.
Your duty to train and induct your workers
You are required by health and safety legislation in all jurisdictions to provide your workers with:
- training in how to safely carry out their tasks; and
- induction to your workplace, and your specific health and safety procedures.
Case Law: Leucaena Chop Pty Ltd (2018)
In Leucaena Chop Pty Ltd (2018), a short-term casual employee of a tree harvesting services provider, Leucaena Chop, was performing work to harvest trees with a modified cane fertiliser-spreading machine.
The employee was operating the machine in the paddock when it became bogged. The employee asked the property owner for help.
The property owner attempted to unbog the machine by towing it with a chain attached to a tractor.
The machine remained bogged, so the employee attached a snatch strap to both the tractor and the machine. However, the employee attached the snatch strap to the wrong connection point on the tractor and did not attach anti-recoil safety straps. When the property owner attempted to debog the machine with the snatch strap, the tow hitch of the machine broke off and was slung at great force through the back window of the tractor, striking the seat from which the property owner was driving the tractor. He was thrown forward off his seat and suffered severe injuries.
The company was charged with a failure to ensure safety, including a failure to provide proper training. The company pleaded guilty to a Category 2 breach of its primary duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) in exposing an individual to a risk of serious injury. The company was fined $104,000 and ordered to pay costs of $1596.15.
Case Law: Inspector Stephen Charles v Premier Precast Pty Ltd (2009)
In Inspector Stephen Charles v Premier Precast Pty Ltd (2009), Premier Precast was prosecuted after a worker was killed on the third day of his employment. The worker had fallen into a large concrete mixer that he was hosing out.
The Court found that the worker had no experience in the work he was told to do, and had not received adequate training or instruction. He was performing the task unsupervised, despite never having hosed out a mixer before.
The Court fined Premier Precast $99,000 after the company entered a guilty plea.