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Work Health and Safety Act 2011 – Responsibilities of PCBU towards Employees


In the recent matter of SafeWork NSW v MMP Industrial Pty Ltd (NSW) the PCBU was found guilty on a criminal charge for failing in its duty of care as set out in the WHS Act which resulted in an employee being seriously injured. The PCBU failed its duty of care specifically regarding the following:

  • To provide adequate information, instruction and training of workers to competently perform tasks.
  • It kept machinery unguarded which ultimately posed a risk of death or serious injury to its employees that is well known to the industry.

Since this was the second prosecution against the PCBU a fine of $350,000.00 was imposed.

Members are reminded of their primary duty of care (section 19) under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT). It includes:

  • Employ a WHS Officer that will competently manage the risks of the PCBU and duty of care to the employees;
  • Provide and maintain safe plant; and
  • Provide information and training to reduce risks to the health and safety of workers.

If you have any questions in relation to your obligations under the WHS legislation, contact our Workplace Relations and Legal Team on (02) 6175 5900.