Fact Sheet 23: Working Space

Employer to provide sufficient working space.

What this means for you

Under Clause 45 of the OHS Regulation, the employer must make sure there is a large enough working space to guarantee workers have adequate room to carry out their tasks in safety.


EXAMPLE: A checkout operator needs to have adequate room to scan and package products without having to uncomfortably contort their body or strain muscles.

Restricting a person’s space can cause medical conditions related to overuse of some muscles as well as shoulder and neck injuries. This is why mechanics are given pits to work in or a car is raised when they work them.

Under the Clause, employers must also make sure floors and surfaces are designed to prevent slips, trips and falls and that they are also kept in good repair.

EXAMPLE: Broken tiles, uneven surfaces and slippery floors all pose safety risks to workers. This is why slip-proof mats are put down on highly polished floors if it is raining outside and why non-slip treading is put on stairs.

For more information: There are Australian Standards on slip resistance pedestrian surfaces refer to Australian Standard AS/ANZ 3661.

Did you know? 40% of Workers Compensation claims involve slips trips and falls.

Also, employers must make sure people’s movement are not hindered or restricted when carrying out their tasks.

EXAMPLE: In the retail industry employers must not fill storerooms with so much stock that workers are unable to easily access products.

EXAMPLE: In hospitals, leaving wheelchairs, trolleys and other equipment cluttering working areas can hinder movement and pose safety risks.

EXAMPLE: In the building industry, leaving piles of bricks or other building materials around can cause workers to trip and fall. There have been a number of very serious injuries caused this way.

EXAMPLE: Exits and emergency evacuation areas must be clear and unobstructed to enable safe evacuation.

For more information: Other useful material is available Safety in The Office and the Building Code Of Australia.

Download more info:
Click here to download Fact Sheet 23: Working Space

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