1 min read

What obligations do we have to children visiting the workplace?

Q: Are there any specific requirements, e.g. under health and safety legislation or regulations, for managing children in the workplace? One of our workers occasionally brings their child to work to babysit for a few hours. If children are in the workplace, does this mean that all or any of our workers need a Working with Children Check?

A: A workplace has a primary duty of care under section 19(2) of the Work Health and Safety Act to ensure that, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of other persons is not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking.

There is a general obligation to take reasonably practicable steps to minimise or eliminate the risks of injury to anyone in the workplace. This would require you to first assess the risks (including their likelihood and gravity of any harm that may result), and then look at any available controls.

For example, you may assess the risks to be low, meaning that no additional steps are required, or if there are significant risks, you might consider implementing a policy that any children visiting the workplace must stay in a designated area with an adult present at all times.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Children in the workplace for current advice.

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