{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Housing industry insights Economics Data & forecasts Tailored research and analysis Advocacy & policy Advocacy Policy priorities Position statements Submissions News and inspiration Industry news Member alerts Media releases HOUSING Online
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder & manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies & tool insurance Member perks Toyota vehicles The Good Guys Commercial Fuel savings See all Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) Solutions for your business Contracts Online Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Industrial relations
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials & products Concrete, bricks & walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects Getting approval to build Sustainable homes See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Find jobs
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Mates rates Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Our initiatives HIA Building Women GreenSmart Kitchen, bathroom and design hub Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Support for you Charitable Foundation Mental health program
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Awards program People & Business Awards GreenSmart Australian Housing Awards Awards winners Regional Award winners Australian Housing Award winners 2024 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA shop
HIA shop $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Most popular products National Construction Code Vol 1 & 2 Waterproofing wet areas AS 3740:2021 HIA Guide to Waterproofing HIA Guide to NCC Livable Housing Provisions Top categories Building codes & standards Contracts & documents Guides & manuals Safety products Signage For your business Contracts Online Digital Australian Standards Digital Resource Library Forecasts & data
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Change location
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Duties of a PCBU

Work, Health and Safety laws require a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) to ensure workers and others are not exposed to a risk to their health and safety so far as reasonably practicable.

On a construction site, the PCBU will include the builder/ principal contractor, any sub-contractors including sub-contractors engaged by the sub-contractors (including self-employed contractors), along with the client engaging the principal contractor/ builder. 

When is there a Duty of Care?

A PCBU will have a health and safety duty if they: 

  • direct or influence work carried out by a worker. 
  • engage or cause to engage a worker to carry out work (including through subcontracting). 
  • may put other people at risk from the conduct of their business or undertaking.
  • manage or control  a workplace.   
  • manage or control fixtures, fittings or plant at the workplace.
  • design, manufacture, import or supply plant, substances or structures for use at a workplace.
  • install, construct or commission plant or structures at a workplace.
  • provide services relating to work health and safety.

What are the duties of a PCBU?

Under the primary duty of care a PCBU must ensure so far as reasonably practicable:

  • the provision and maintenance of a work environment that is safe including safe access to and exit from the workplace,
  • the provision and maintenance of plant, structures and systems of work and that are safe and do not pose health risks,
  • the safe use, handling and storage of plant, structures and substances,
  • the provision of adequate facilities for the welfare at work of workers at work,
  • the provision of information, instruction, training or supervision to workers needed for them to work without risks to their health and safety and that of others around them,
  • that the health of workers and the conditions of the workplace are monitored to prevent injury or illness, 
  • the maintenance of any accommodation owned or under their management and control to ensure the health and safety of workers occupying the premises. 

Additional duties apply for:

  • a PCBU that designs, manufactures, imports or supplies plant, substances or structures for use at a workplace,
  • a PCBU that installs, constructs or commissions plant or structures at a workplace,
  • a PCBU that provides services relating to work health and safety,
  • notification and recording of workplace incidents,
  • compliance with the requirements of the work health and safety regulations.

A PCBU also has duties in relation to:

  • consultation with:
  • workers who are or are likely to be directly affected by matters relating to WHS, 
  • health and safety representatives, and 
  • health and safety committees.
  • consultation, cooperation and coordination with other duty holders who have a duty in relation to the same WHS matter,
  • health and safety committees and elected health and safety representatives, and 
  • resolution of health and safety issues.

What if there is more than one PCBU on a site?

There may be more than one PCBU with the same duty on site at the same time. 

When PCBU’s share duties or have ‘overlapping duties’:

  • Each PCBU must comply with their duty, so far as reasonably practicable.
  • Each PCBU must discharge their duty to the extent they have management or control.

Example of PCBUs sharing duties include:

  • Principal contractor and sub-contractor.
  • Labour provider and person with management of workplace.
  • A contractor with employees working in another's workplace.

Read more on PCBU responsibilities.

To find out more, contact HIA's Contracts and Compliance team

Email us

Share with your network:
More articles on:
{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
Find the latest expert advice, guides and much more!

NSW Site Sign - Warning Asbestos Containing Material

Erect this 600x450mm warning sign at your construction-site to show that asbestos materials are present and that a licenced asbestos removalist is managing its removal. NSW signs are made from weather resistant, 5mm thick corflut...

QLD Site Sign - Warning Asbestos Containing Material

Erect this 600x450mm warning sign at your construction-site to show that asbestos materials are present and that a licenced asbestos removalist is managing its removal.

TAS Large Site Multisign - 8 In 1 Safety Sign

This large 8-in-1 multi-sign warns of potential hazards on your construction-site.

WA Site Sign - Asbestos Removal in Progress

Show that asbestos materials are present and that a licenced asbestos removalist is managing its removal with this 600x450mm warning sign at your construction site.