Do you understand what the broadened duties and obligations are under the new Health & Safety at Work Act?

Under the new Act, the PCBU has a duty of care to anyone the organisation causes to carry out work for it, whether they be an employee or the employee of someone contracted to do work for the organisation.

The PCBU’s obligation is to protect all its workers against harm to their health, safety and welfare arising from the work. The PCBU also has an obligation to keep safe anyone else who might be affected by its work. The expectation is that the organisation will have effective systems and processes to ensure everyone’s safety.

So what does this mean for you as an officer of the PCBU?

The officer’s obligation is to ensure the PCBU is meeting its obligations. They do that by conducting “due diligence”, monitoring to ensure that what they think is happening is actually happening.

What about the worker’s obligation?

Workers also have a proactive duty to keep themselves and others safe. This means that if they see a danger, they cannot sit by and watch an accident unfold. They must make an effort to prevent harm from occurring.

Did you know that the officer’s due diligence obligation includes ensuring they understand what their obligations are?

MCG can help you meet that obligation by providing your Board with an update of your duties and obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act and various regulations.

This article was first published on LinkedIn in March 2016.