Knowledge base

How to Report an Unsafe Workplace

If you work in the State of Queensland, there are laws & regulations in place that require a safe workplace environment for all workers.

Employers have a duty of care to be proactive in reducing health & safety risks to avoid workplace injuries.

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Common hazards:

Safety cone and preventing common workplace hazards

Some of the most common hazards that workers report in Queensland include:

  • insufficient safety training
  • lack of safety equipment
  • frequent or heavy lifting
  • defective equipment causing increased risks
  • exposure to risky substances, fumes, gases or dust
  • unsanitary conditions
  • workmates placing yourself or others at risk
  • avoidable road hazards affecting transport workers

Reporting to management

If you are working in an environment which you feel is unsafe for yourself or other workers then you have a duty to report it.

Reporting an unsafe workplace

The first step is to report any issues to your manager e.g. line manager. Worksafe Queensland and the Queensland Workplace Health & Safety Act 2011 encourage internal consultation and resolution of safety issues where possible.

  • Report issues as soon as you become aware of them.
  • If reporting issues verbally then follow up with a written report. Ask your management for the correct procedure for your organisation as there may be specific forms to complete. If there are no forms then an email follow up can be helpful. e.g. 'As discusses today, I believe there is an issue with XYZ which may be unsafe'.
  • If the unsafe environment has caused a specific incident then ask to complete an 'Incident Report Form' to record the details and facts of the incident in writing.
  • Keep your own log of any issues and the response received.

Once management are informed of a risk, they will have a duty of care to ensure the issue is resolved if it is deemed to be causing a danger.

Reporting work safety complaints to Queensland authorities

Raising a workplace concern

If you feel management do not respond sufficiently to your concerns then there are other avenues available via Worksafe Queensland (Workplace Health & Safety Queensland).

  • Raise a workplace health and safety concern online via Worksafe Queensland online form - follow the steps through the interactive form. This can be used for all industries with the exception of mine sites and bullying / harassment issues. You can choose to allow Workplace Health & Safety Queensland to make all parties aware that the issue was resolved by you or request for those details to remain private. If you feel raising the issue may put your job at risk then this allows you to raise an issue while remaining anonymous. These options are chosen during the 'Privacy Statement' section of the form. You will still have to provide your personal details in the form submission but they will only be disclosed to the workplace if you consent. The form will ask for various information including date you became aware of issue, whether you raised issue, details of the issue, action taken by business to resolve the issue.
  • Ask a work health and safety question to Worksafe Queensland (Workplace Health & Safety Queensland) - ask a question via online form and receive reply via email or phone.
  • Contact Worksafe Queensland (Workplace Health & Safety Queensland) via phone on 1300 362 128.

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Last update on:
June 1, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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