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Duties

Duties of a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU)

The work health and safety (WHS) laws require a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers while at work in the business or undertaking. This includes:

If a worker occupies accommodation owned by or under the management and control of the PCBU because other accommodation is not reasonably available, the PCBU must, so far as is reasonably practicable, maintain the premises so that the worker occupying the premises is not exposed to risks to health and safety.

Other duty holders are persons conducting a business or undertaking who are:

Officers

An officer has a duty to exercise due diligence to ensure that their organisation complies with the WHS laws. An officer can be found guilty of an offence regardless of whether the organisation has been found guilty.

In particular, the WHS laws impose a specific duty on officers of corporations and unincorporated bodies such as clubs and associations to exercise due diligence to ensure that the corporation, club or association meets its work health and safety obligations. This requires officers to be proactive in ensuring that the corporation, club or association complies with its duties.

A volunteer officer cannot be prosecuted for failing to comply with their officer duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (PDF, 1.42 MB) (WHS Act). This immunity from prosecution is designed to ensure that voluntary participation at the officer level is not discouraged. A volunteer officer can however, be prosecuted in their capacity as a worker if they fail to meet their duties as a worker under the WHS Act.

Workers

‘Workers’ includes any person who carries out work, in any capacity, for a person conducting a business or undertaking. Workers must:

Other persons at the workplace

A person at a workplace, whether or not the person has another duty under this part must: