Information sourced from WorkSafe website.
A PCBU cannot contract out of its duties.
It doesn’t mean a PCBU has to duplicate another PCBU’s work.
PCBUs must manage their overlapping duties and risks to the extent of their ability to influence and control the health and safety matter.
PCBUs may enter into reasonable arrangements with other PCBUs about their overlapping duties to plan how to control and monitor risks, and to ensure risks are not passed on or increased due to the arrangement.
This can make risk management more efficient, and improve communication between PCBUs.
How can a PCBU work with other businesses at the same location?
A PCBU will fulfil their duty to consult, co-operate, and co-ordinate if they:
- identify the health and safety risks that need managing
- plan ahead, by thinking through every stage of the work
- recognise how the work could affect other PCBUs and the public
- agree together which PCBU is best placed to control each risk
- clearly define roles, responsibilities and actions, and explain these so everyone knows what to expect
- do reasonable and proportionate monitoring, to make sure the arrangements are working.
PCBUs and contracting chains
We expect a PCBU at the top of a contracting chain to be a leader in encouraging good and health and safety practices throughout the chain. We also expect them to use sound contractor management processes. For example:
- choosing competent contractors
- exchanging information
- planning and monitoring carefully
- doing post-contract reviews. A PCBU at the top of a contracting chain should not push risk down the chain.
WorkSafe’s expectations of PCBUs
WorkSafe expects PCBUs to be able to explain the steps they have taken to consult, co-operate and co-ordinate with other PCBUs, and their arrangements to manage risks. We may check to see that these arrangements are working well.
WorkSafe may consider enforcement action
We may consider taking enforcement action where we see a PCBU is not meeting their duties. We may consider enforcement action against multiple PCBUs where a failure of this type is found.
Figure 1: Overlapping duties in a shared workplace
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Figure 2: Overlapping duties when businesses don’t share a workplace