Primary duty of care
Employers or businesses, or anyone who falls under the definition of a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (a PCBU), has legal obligations under work health and safety laws.
However, as an employer and/or a PCBU, you have the main responsibility for the health and safety of everyone in your workplace, including visitors. This is your primary duty of care.
If you are self-employed, you have the primary duty of care for your own safety and the safety of others.
Practical examples of meeting your duty of care responsibilities include:
- observing all legal requirements regarding health and safety
- resourcing and implementing health and safety procedures and programs
- planning to do all work safely
- making sure that all work is conducted without risk to workers’ health and safety
- identifying health and safety training required for an activity
- ensuring workers undertake appropriate and specific safety training
- consulting workers about health and safety
- investigating hazard reports and making sure corrective actions are undertaken
- making sure workers can quickly receive and respond to information regarding incidents, hazards and risks.
You also have workers compensation obligations to provide and assist in rehabilitation and return to work initiatives. View your legal obligations.
The statutory duties are set out in section 19 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.