Our staff levels are about to exceed 300 persons. As our business is classed as a high-risk industry, are we required to employ an occupational nurse on-site? Our business is based in Queensland.
Unfortunately, your request requires considered legal advice and is outside the scope of the help desk service. We may, however, help clarify the law.
Generally, Queensland’s work health and safety legal framework includes:
- the Work Health and Safety Act 2011;
- the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011; and
- codes of practice.
The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 has identified the manufacturing industry as a priority to reduce fatalities due to the high number and rate of work-related injuries and illnesses.
A workplace health and safety risk assessment will help you determine the type of first aid facilities needed.
The First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice 2014 provides that a first aid room is recommended for high risk workplaces with 100 workers or more. Health centres staffed by a registered health practitioner (a doctor or nurse) or paramedic can provide emergency medical treatment and cater to the types of hazards in high risk workplaces. A health centre may be established in the workplace or, if readily available, external emergency services may be used.
If a health centre is located at the workplace, the facility should:
- be self-contained;
- be located at ground level where possible in a quiet, clean area that is a safe distance from hazardous operations and clear of any general thoroughfare;
- be convenient and accessible to workers at the times that they work and have an entrance clearly marked with health centre signage;
- have walls, floors and ceilings that are made of impervious materials and are easy to clean; and
- have enough space to accommodate first aid equipment.
Further information on Workplace Health and Safety Laws in Queensland may be found at: https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/laws-and-compliance/work-health-and-safety-laws.