WHS duties

If you’re a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), you must manage the health and safety risks to your workers, so far as is reasonably practicable.  This includes when they are working remotely or in isolation.  

Duties under WHS laws 

A PCBU has duties under WHS laws to eliminate risks to health and safety of workers and other persons so far as is reasonably practicable. If it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate risks, they must be minimised so far as is reasonably practicable.  

As a PCBU, you must, so far as is reasonably practicable: 

  • provide and maintain a work environment that is without risk to health and safety  

  • provide adequate and accessible facilities for the welfare of workers  

  • monitor workers’ health and safety and workplace conditions to prevent work-related illness and injury 

  • give workers the necessary information, instruction, training or supervision to do their job without risks to health and safety 

  • consult with workers, and health and safety representatives (HSRs) if you have them, about health and safety issues that may directly affect them.  

The model WHS Regulations (regulation 48) specifically addresses remote or isolated work. This includes the requirement for PCBUs to: 

  • manage the health and safety risks to remote or isolated workers, and 

  • have systems in place to effectively communicate with workers.  

Workers’ WHS duties 

Workers including employees, contractors, subcontractors, labour hire employees, outworkers, apprentices or volunteers have a duty to:  

  • take reasonable care for their own health and safety while at work  

  • take reasonable care to not affect others’ health and safety 

  • comply with reasonable instructions 

  • cooperate with reasonable policies and procedures.