An Officer of a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has a duty to use due diligence to ensure the PCBU complies with its WHS duties and obligations.
The word ‘Officer’ includes the directors and very senior management persons in the organisation - they are persons who participate in making decisions affecting the whole, or a substantial part of the organisation. Managers and supervisors who do not make key decisions on how the PCBU operates but instead provide information and implement decisions, are not regarded as Officers.
An Officer includes
The Directors, Secretary & CEO of a corporation
A person who can significantly affect the corporations financial standing
A person who makes or participates in making decisions, that can affect the whole or substantial part of:
- the business of a corporation or entity
- the business or undertaking of a public authority or of the Crown
Members of Boards of Management of Public Authorities
Receivers, liquidators, administrators and certain trustees
Not an Officer
Ministers of the Crown
Elected members of local authorities
Partners in Partnerships
Person who is responsible for implementing the decisions of an Officer, e.g. Supervisor
Note: Safe Work Australia has published a comprehensive “Interpretive Guideline” on Officers that we recommend you read. See the Publications/Guidance section of their website www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au. For the full definition see sections 4, 247, and 252 of the Work Health & Safety Act 2011, and section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001.