Induction of labour hire workers for host PCBUs
This guide is designed to assist host Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs) in the induction process of labour hire workers.
A ‘host PCBU’ is a business that uses labour hire workers supplied by a labour hire PCBU or contracts with a Group Training Organisation (GTO) for the training of apprentices or trainees.
Under WHS laws, PCBUs are responsible for ensuring [so far as is reasonably practicable] the health and safety of all workers at their workplace. As a host PCBU engaging labour hire workers or contractors, your duties as a PCBU also extend to these labour hire workers.
1. Rights and responsibilities
Everyone has a right to a safe workplace – and everyone has a role to play in keeping it safe. It’s important that new workers understand what their rights and responsibilities are, as well as the rights and responsibilities of you, the host PCBU.
2. Workplace hazards
Workers need to be aware of hazards so they can let you know if there are unsafe conditions that need to be fixed. It’s important that you identify all hazards to workers – even if they seem obvious. Also, explain what systems or measures you’ve put in place to minimise the hazard.
3. Safe work procedures
In most workplaces there are tasks that require specific safe work procedures and workers should be given step-by-step training on these by a suitably skilled and knowledgeable person. Don’t just tell them the steps or have them read the instructions, make sure they understand how to do the task safely and can demonstrate how to do it safely.
4. What you must do
You must look after the health and safety of your workers at work:
- show them how to do their job safely or make sure someone suitably skilled and knowledgeable shows them how to do the job safely
- make sure they understand the instructions they have been given, you may have to consider additional tools such as posters or audio training for example
- ask the worker to demonstrate their understanding
- make sure they are supervised by a competent person
- do not ask them to do anything that needs a special licence, like drive a car, a crane or a forklift, if they don’t have the right licence
- ensure they have the right tools and equipment to do their job safely
- give them safety equipment if they need it to do their job
- ensure workers understand that if they see any unsafe or damaged plant or equipment they should raise it with a supervisor immediately
- ensure the worker knows the work health and safety consultation process and how to report incidents and hazards
- ensure worker understand that they are required to report unsafe conditions and practices
- consult the worker and the labour hire PCBU before any change to the scope or location of their work
- undertake all required health monitoring, if required for the job.
5. Safety equipment
Work safety equipment is usually called personal protective equipment (PPE). You and the labour hire PCBU need to agree who will provide it.
To determine the PPE required, it is necessary to conduct a risk assessment on the work to be undertaken.
There are special types of equipment for each job. This could be a hard hat, goggles or safety eye glasses, gloves, boots, aprons, and hearing protection. PPE needs to be in good condition and it should fit comfortably. Workers need to know how to use it and need to wear it properly.
Your workers may think of something extra they need to do their job safely, in which case they should be able to approach you or a more experienced worker, or the Health and Safety Representative (HSR) if there is one at your workplace, in order to decide if it is required.
6. What workers must do to keep themselves safe at work
In Australia, the law also says there are things workers must do to look after their own health and safety at work.
- be fit enough to do the job they are employed to do
- be well enough to carry out their duties safely
- do what they are instructed to do if it is reasonable, unless they think it is unsafe or could cause harm to themselves or others
- not do anything that would hurt them or anyone else at work
- follow the safe work health and safety policies and procedures of the business.
The law says workers have the right to ask questions about the work they have been asked to do and to say no if they are asked to do work that they feel is unsafe. If they don’t want to talk to their supervisor about this, they should also know to talk to the labour hire PCBU about their work health and safety.
There should be a person at the workplace that can help them with any questions about work health and safety – ensure they know who this is and how to contact them.
Bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety in the workplace. It could be things like laughing at the worker, calling them unkind names, pushing into them or breaking their things.
Nobody should be bullied at work. You should let workers know that bullying is not tolerated, and let new workers know how to report if they are being bullied.
Find more information on workplace bullying.
8. Work injuries
Workers need to know what to do if they get injured at work. Ensure they know where and how to get first aid, or to have someone take them to see a doctor or nurse straight away. They have the right to choose the doctor they want.
Workers may be afraid they will get into trouble if they are hurt, especially if they have made a mistake. Reassure them that this would not be the case and that their health and safety is of the utmost importance, and that they should ask for help and report any injuries, incidents (including near-misses) or work related illnesses as soon as they occur, to both the host PCBU and the labour hire PCBU.
Find more information on being injured at work.
9. Drugs, alcohol and substances
Drug, alcohol and other substance misuse is everyone’s responsibility. It affects workplace health, safety and productivity.
Employers and businesses (and other PCBUs) should manage the work-related risks associated with alcohol and other drugs.
Find more information on drugs, alcohol and substances in the workplace.
10. WHS checklist for new workers
There are some important things that should happen when your worker first starts a new job. As host PCBU, you or another worker who knows the job should make sure that these things happen. If your worker doesn’t understand English well, provide an interpreter or ask another worker who speaks the language to translate.
This checklist will help you work through the things that are important for workers health and safety when they are starting work.
|1. Has the worker met their supervisor and the people they will be working with, especially the people who look after their health and safety i.e. health and safety representatives?|
|2. Has someone suitably skilled and knowledgeable shown the worker around the worksite, the entry and exit points, toilets, meal room and first aid areas?|
|3. Has the worker been told about any places they should not go, and why?|
|4. Has somebody suitably skilled and knowledgeable shown the worker how to do the job and ensured the instructions were understood, including safe work procedures?|
|5. Does the worker know who to ask if they do not understand the instructions they are given, are unsure of what to do, or need help?|
|6. Has somebody suitably skilled and knowledgeable shown the worker how to use their equipment, machinery, and substances to work safely and without risk?|
|7. Has the worker been provided with the information on hazard identification (eg pre-start safety checks plant or equipment) and how to report any issues?|
|8. Does the worker have all the safety equipment they need (personal protective equipment ie PPE)?|
|9. Does the worker know how to use it and wear it correctly, where to store it, and how to get replacements?|
|10. Does the worker know what to do and who to tell if they are injured or feel sick at work, and where to get help and first aid?|
|11. Does the worker know who to contact if they are unable to come to work due to illness or injury?|
|12. Does the worker know how to call the fire brigade, police or ambulance, and the location to provide to emergency services?|
|13. Does the worker know what to do if there is an emergency, what the alarm sounds like and where the evacuation assembly point is?|
|14. Does the worker know how to get out of your workplace in an emergency?|
|15. Has the worker been told about the regular work health and safety consultation arrangements with your workers?|
|16. Has the worker been told what the procedure is for resolving grievances and issues?|
|17. Has the worker been provided with information relating to your/PCBU’s drug and alcohol policy?|
|18. Does the worker know who SafeWork NSW is and how to contact us if they need to?|
Easy to do Work Health and Safety toolkit
The Easy to do Work Health and Safety Toolkit is a self-assessment toolkit to improve health and safety in the workplace. We understand small businesses don’t always feel they have the time, resources or expertise when it comes to managing health and safety in their workplace. We have developed the ‘Easy to do Work Health and Safety Toolkit’ to make it easier for small businesses to understand and meet their work health and safety obligations.
Find more information on completing the assessment or a tour.
If you are worried about anything to do with health and safety at work, or about workers compensation, you can get further information and advice from the following:
To ask about work health and safety contact:
To ask about workers compensation contact:
If you need an interpreter, call the Telephone Interpreter Service on 13 14 50.