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Last updated April 2022

This chapter examines the health and safety duties you owe volunteers in your organisation.

Health and safety obligations to volunteers

Most organisations in Australia that engage volunteers will owe health and safety duties to those volunteers.

Definition: Volunteer

A volunteer is a person who works for an organisation without payment or financial reward, even if they receive money for some out-of-pocket expenses, e.g. travel allowances.
Tip: Volunteers can include students undertaking work experience or work placement.

Health and safety duties to volunteers are imposed by:

  • the Work Health and Safety Act (WHS Act); or
  • in Victoria, the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2004 (Vic) (OHS Act).