Provide & Maintain Safe Systems of Work

The WHS Act 2011 requires that PCBUs must provide and maintain safe systems of work for their workers (Section19 (3)(c). However quite frequently workplace incidents occur because there is a fault in, or a non-compliance with a system of work and it becomes an unsafe system of work.


For example, in March 2018, an apprentice roof plumber fell six metres through a section of polycarbonate while working on an alcove roof, and suffered fatal injuries. SafeWork NSW prosecuted the PCBU, a roofing company. In August 2020, the District Court fined the employer $400,000 (Section 19(1) WHS Act 2011).


Could there be an Unsafe System of Work in Your Workplace?

Managers, Supervisors and other Workers play a vital part in a PCBU and its Officers being able to comply with their duties.


Here is a checklist that you may like to review with your workplace in mind.


  1. The PCBU has consulted affected workers about their systems of work through their HSRs, Health & Safety Committee, and or Managers & Supervisors.

  2. Safe systems of work have been established in the workplace – risks have been eliminated or minimised as far as reasonably practicable.

  3. Managers and Supervisors know the health and safety hazards in their area of the workplace.

  4. Managers and Supervisors know how those risks should be managed and make sure that safe systems of work are maintained.

  5. Managers and Supervisors understand and comply with their duties as set out in the WHS Act (Section 28).

  6. Managers and Supervisors understand what they need to do to contribute to the PCBU’s duty of care and they comply with instructions from the PCBU about this.

  7. Managers and Supervisors take the appropriate actions to comply with their duties and contribute to the PCBU’s duty of care in accordance with the level of responsibility and authority they have been given by the PCBU.

  8. Workers follow the safe systems of work in accordance with the information, training, instructions, or supervision they are given (Section 19(3)(d) WHS Act).



Provide & Maintain Safe Systems of Work
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29th March 2021

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