If you are a person conducting a business or undertaking (such as a business owner or workplace operator, referred to in this guide as a PCBU), this guide is for you. It explains what your duties are for monitoring the health of your workers under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act and model WHS Regulations.
Safe Work Australia is a national policy body responsible for WHS and workers’ compensation. We do not regulate or enforce WHS laws. When you monitor the health of your workers, you must follow the WHS laws that apply in your state or territory alongside other legislation, for example privacy laws and state and territory laws for handling personal information of your workers.
How to use this guide
This guide will help you to understand your duties as a PCBU to provide health monitoring for your workers. It will assist you to comply with your duties under the model WHS laws, but should not be relied on in the place of the full text of those laws.
In this guide we use ‘must’, ‘requires’ or ‘mandatory’ where you are legally required comply with an obligation. We use ‘should’ to recommend an action and ‘may’ where you can choose to do as we recommend.
Important terms used in this guide
This guide covers a PCBU’s obligations to its workers. A ‘worker’ under the model WHS Act includes not only your employees, but also other persons who work for you, such as contractors, subcontractors and apprentices. When the term ‘worker’ is used in this guide be mindful that it captures this wide range of people.
Under the model WHS Regulations the hazardous chemicals that require health monitoring are listed in table 14.1 of Schedule 14. Lead and asbestos are also hazardous chemicals, but have slightly different health monitoring requirements. Information about health monitoring for lead and asbestos are also provided in this guide.
‘Lead risk work’ means work carried out in a lead process that is likely to cause the blood lead level of a worker carrying out the work to exceed:
- for a female of reproductive capacity - 5μg/dL (0.24μmol/L), or
- in any other case - 20μg/dL (0.97μmol/L).
Some specific lead processes are identified in the model WHS Regulations and your regulator may also identify additional lead processes.
A registered medical practitioner with experience in health monitoring must carry out or supervise your worker’s health monitoring. In this guide, we refer to this registered medical practitioner as the health monitoring doctor.
You will find further information on health monitoring requirements including information on individual scheduled chemicals,
on our website:
- Health monitoring guide for workers
- Health monitoring guide for registered medical practitioners, and
- Health monitoring guides for hazardous chemicals
Further information may also be available from the WHS authority in your jurisdiction. If you need help deciding what you need to do at your workplace, contact your WHS regulator.