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New Work Health and Safety Laws

The new Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) came into effect on 1 January 2013. This Act establishes health and safety obligations that apply to all industries. This Act is supported by the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA) which identify control measures that must be applied to specific work activities and hazards, and various Codes of Practice that provide practical information on how to meet the requirements of the regulations.

Who is responsible for worker safety?

The Act states that a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (‘PCBU’) has the primary duty of ensuring the health and safety of workers while they are at work in the business or undertaking. This requires a PCBU to eliminate risks to health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable. If it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate risks to health and safety, a PCBU must minimise those risks so far as is reasonably practicable.

The broad PCBU term is meant to cover all types of work relationships such as contractors, sub-contractors, labour hire companies and franchisors.

What kind of duties does a PCBU have?                             

A PCBU has to (amongst more):

  1. provide and maintain safe plant and structures;
  2. provide and maintain a safe system of work;
  3. identify reasonably foreseeable hazards that could give rise to risks to health and safety;
  4. provide first aid equipment for the workplace and ensure each worker at the workplace has access to that equipment;
  5. when necessary, provide personal protective equipment to workers;
  6. manage risks to health and safety associated with an object falling on a person if the falling object is reasonably likely to injure the person;
  7. ensure that that a worker does not enter a confined spacebefore certain requirements have been complied with;
  8. ensure that the noise that a worker is exposed to at the workplace does not exceed the exposure standard for noise;
  9. provide any information, training or supervision that is necessary to protect all people from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out; and
  10. monitor the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace to prevent workers from being ill or injured while at work.

To ensure that your company is complying with the new work health and safety legislation, or to discuss any aspect of business or personal law, contact Julia Adlem or Alisha Thompson at Adelaide Legal on (08) 8410 9494.


Julia Adlem

Associate Lawyer