WHS duties

If you are a volunteer organisation, you have WHS duties to your paid (employed) and unpaid (volunteer) workers. 

If you are a volunteer association, you do not have WHS duties under law. 

WHS duties for volunteer organisations 

As the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) at a volunteer organisation, you’re responsible for all workers’ safety, including volunteers. 

WHS includes physical safety and mental health. 

You might: 

  • make sure equipment is suitable for the work and does not put volunteers’ health and safety at risk 

  • provide volunteers with personal protective equipment

  • give volunteers instructions, information and training on how to work safely.  

You also have a duty to consult workers, including volunteers, in relation to health and safety issues. 

The Guide to WHS for volunteer organisations has more information on WHS duties for organisations. 

WHS duties for volunteers 

If WHS laws cover their organisation, volunteers have the same duties as paid workers.  

They must take reasonable care: 

  • for their own health and safety 

  • to not adversely affect others’ health and safety. 

As best they can, volunteers must also follow reasonable instructions, policies and procedures. 

The Guide to WHS for volunteers has more information on WHS duties for volunteers. 

Volunteers as officers 

A volunteer may also be an officer of a PCBU.  

Officers have due diligence duties under the model WHS Act.