Worker obligations

A worker has a responsibility to take reasonable care of their own health and safety, and that of others.

A worker is a person who carried out work in any capacity for a business or employer (or other PCBU). They can be:

  • an employee
  • a trainee, apprentice or work experience student
  • a volunteer
  • an outworker
  • a contractor or sub contractor
  • an employee of a contractor or sub-contractor
  • an employee of a labour hire company

Duties of a worker

While at work a worker must: 

  • take reasonable care for their own health and safety
  • take reasonable care for the health and safety of others
  • comply with any reasonable instructions, policies and procedure given by their employer, business or controller (or other PCBU) of the workplace

Further information

Definition of a PCBU

A 'person conducting a business or undertaking' (PCBU) is a legal term under WHS laws for individuals, businesses or organisations that are conducting a business or undertaking.

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

Our PCBUs, workers and officers fact sheet has more information about PCBUs and workers.