The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 – PCBU?

As you know on 4 April 2016, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 will come into force and as a PCBU you need to be ready.  It follows a long and arduous review of our health and safety practices following the Pike River tragedy.

There will be a number of changes to the new Health and Safety laws currently in place and it is important that you keep up to date and abreast of the changes as they are implemented and tested.

Health and Safety at Work Act changes

There are a number of new definitions and principles that need to be kept in mind when carrying out your day to day activities.  As time moves on we will visit new terminology, principles, examples and suggestions on our website so keep looking back for new and helpful information as the new Health and Safety at Work Act unfolds.

We briefly review some of the new terminology below and in the following articles.

New terminology under the Act

Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)

A “PCBU” is the new fundamental term introduced by the Act.  This is a “Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking”. It is far-reaching, including employers, those who have influence and manage workplaces, manufacturers, importers and suppliers.  It is important to note that individuals (excepting workers), such as a sole trader, can also be deemed a PCBU.

Duties of a PCBU

The primary duty of the PCBU is to ensure, so far is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all their workers, while they are at work, as well as workers whose activities in carrying out work are influenced or directed by the PCBU.

In addition the PCBU must, as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain a work environment that is without risk to health and safety.

The additional duties imposed on PCBU’s, so far as is reasonably practicable, are:

  • provide and maintain safe plant and structures and safe systems at work;
  • ensure safe handling and storage of pant, substances and structures,
  • provide adequate facilities for the welfare of workers at work as well as provide all information, training, instruction and supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety; and
  • monitor the health of workers and conditions of the workplace for the purpose of preventing injury and illness of workers arising from the conduct of the business or undertaking.
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