Workplace and facilities requirements

Workplaces must be clean, healthy, safe, accessible and well maintained so work can be carried out without risks to worker health and safety. This fact sheet outlines what you, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must consider when setting up your workplace.

Workplace requirements

A ‘workplace’ is any place where a worker goes or is likely to be while at work, or where work is being carried out or is usually carried out. This includes temporary workplace locations.

FeatureRequirements
Layout  Workers must be able to enter, exit, and move about easily and safely, including in an emergency.
Work areas Workers must have enough space to complete tasks safely.
Floors and other surfaces Surfaces should be flat, stable and dry. Floor coverings should be appropriate for the type of work.
Lighting Lighting must be appropriate for the work being completed and sufficient to enable safe evacuation in an emergency.
Ventilation Ventilation must be sufficient to provide workers with safe clean air.
Temperature Workers must be protected from temperature extremes while working.

Poor management of workplace facilities can pose a long term risk to health as well as an immediate risk to the safety of your workers.

Facilities requirements

Facilities you must provide in your workplace:

  • toilets
  • drinking water
  • hand-washing facilities
  • eating and break facilities
  • a place for unwell workers to rest if it is unreasonable for them to leave the workplace.

Facilities must be sufficient to meet the needs of your workforce and take into account the:

  • size, location and nature of your workplace
  • number and composition of your workers
  • nature of the work being carried out and workplace hazards.

Additional facilities

Some workplaces will have additional facilities to consider.

FacilityWhen to consider
Showers If the work might result in workers needing to wash their body.
Changing rooms If the workers' clothing is likely to become contaminated or wet.
Lockers If workers bring clothing that will not be used at work.
Seating If it is reasonable for workers to perform work while seated, or rest at intervals while working.
Floor drainage If workers could become wet from a wet floor.
Targeted ventilation/air extraction If the work produces airborne contaminants.

These requirements also apply to temporary or mobile workplaces such as construction sites, forestry sites and long haul trucks.

Worker engagement

You must engage with your workers when making decisions about facilities and when proposing changes that may affect their health or safety.