The duties imposed upon workers under our OHS Act (the 2004 Occupational Health and Safety Act) remain largely consistent with those outlined in the earlier 1985 Act. However, one notable addition was the introduction of a new offense called 'reckless endangerment', which applies to everyone - an employer, a worker, a designer, manufacturer, supplier or installer, even a member of the public.
For more information on Reckless Endangerment, refer to our Reckless Endangerment webpage.
Section 25: Duties of employees
- take reasonable care for their own health and safety
- take reasonable care for the health and safety of others who may affected by their acts or omissions
- cooperate with anything the employer does to comply with OHS requirements
- not 'intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse' anything provided at the workplace for OHS.
The Act also specifies that in determining whether a worker failed to take reasonable care, 'regard must be had to what the employee knew about the relevant circumstances'.
- WorkSafe Victoria has produced a publication providing information on the 2004 Act for workers: Information for employees on health and safety.
- There is also a brief information leaflet for workers in a number of community languages: Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, (and perhaps others...)
The 2004 Act can be downloaded (in both pdf and word format) on the Victorian government legislation repository website.
Updated July 2023