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ARE YOU AN EMPLOYER? DO YOU KNOW WHAT A PCBU IS?

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ARE YOU AN EMPLOYER? DO YOU KNOW WHAT A PCBU IS?

Across Australia there is a new term which is going to become common for business owners, managers and employers.

A ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU) is a legal term under WHS laws for individuals, businesses or organisations that are conducting business. A person who performs work for a PCBU is considered a worker.

Types of PCBUs can include:

  • public and private companies
  • partners in a partnership
  • sole traders and self-employed people
  • government departments and authorities
  • associations if they have one or more employees
  • local government councils
  • independent schools
  • cooperatives
  • universities

 

As a PCBU you must meet your obligations, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure the health and safety of workers and other people like visitors and volunteers.

These obligations include:

  • safe systems of work
  • safe use of plant, structures and substances
  • adequate facilities for the welfare of workers
  • notification and recording of workplace incidents
  • adequate information, training, instruction and supervision
  • compliance with requirements under the Work Health and Safety Regulation
  • effective systems for monitoring the health of workers and workplace conditions
  • a safe work environment
  • maintain the premises used for accommodation for workers, if required

 

A PCBU has further obligations if involved in specific kinds of activities like:

  • the management and control of workplaces, or fixtures, fittings or plant at workplaces
  • the design, manufacture, import or supply of plant, substances or structures
  • installation, construction or commissioning of plant or structures.

PCBUs must also have meaningful and open consultation about work health and safety with workers, health and safety representatives, and health and safety committees.

As a PCBU you must also consult, cooperate and coordinate with other PCBUs if you share duties.

Primary duty of care

As a PCBU you have a primary duty of care to ensure workers and others are not exposed to a risk to their health and safety.

You owe this duty of care when as a PCBU you:

  • direct or influence work carried out by a worker
  • engage or cause to engage a worker to carry out work (including through sub-contracting)
  • have management or control of a workplace

 

The term PCBU is going to become a common term for employers in the future.

If you are a PCBU must also ensure that the health and safety of others is not put at risk from work done as part of the business.

So now that you know what a PCBU is, you’d better make sure that you are taking action to comply with the requirements of a PCBU.

For more information you should refer to various Work Safe or Workcover websites.

Here is one for Queensland. https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/

 

Author: Bruce Coudrey

Director of Benchmark Business Sales & Valuations

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