WHS duties of host and labour-hire PCBUs outlined in guide | NECA

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6th September 2019

WHS duties of host and labour-hire PCBUs outlined in guide

Labour-hire PCBUs and the PCBUs that host their workers all have a primary duty of care to those workers and must keep up to speed with changing circumstances, like changes to work processes or environments and new techniques for eliminating risks, according to the new Safe Work Australia guide, Labour hire: duties of persons conducting a business or undertaking.

"Like all PCBUs, labour-hire and host PCBUs are required to be proactive in managing hazards and risks. The duties in the model WHS Act are ongoing and must be complied with throughout the labour-hire arrangement," the seven-page guide says.

"Be aware that circumstances can change over time and this may result in a change in the hazards and risks or in the ways they may be eliminated or minimised," it says.

"Changes that may necessitate a review of hazards, risks and control measures may include: change in a work process; change in the physical environment; different people undertaking the work, with different skills or means of coordinating activities; new hazards are identified; and new ways to eliminate or minimise risks are identified or invented."

Before engaging labour-hire workers, a host PCBU must provide the labour-hire PCBU with detailed information about the nature of the work to be carried out, and verify, in consultation with the labour-hire PCBU, whether the selected workers have the necessary qualifications, licences and skills, and whether they're medically fit to carry out the work (for general diving and lead risk work), the guide says.

Before placing workers with a host PCBU, the labour-hire PCBU should consider reviewing the host's safety record, visiting the host workplace, assessing the health and safety risks and consulting with the host to ensure identified risks are eliminated or minimised, it says.

"As a labour-hire PCBU under the model WHS laws, it is your duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers during their placement with the host PCBU/s," the guide says.

"It is your duty to eliminate or, if that is not reasonably practicable, minimise risks to health and safety a labour-hire worker may encounter. In some circumstances, this means not placing workers in, or removing workers from, a workplace where you believe there is a risk to their health and safety or where risks have not been adequately controlled."

Published with permission OHS Alert