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Training for every WHS duty holder

Weekly WHS Article 15th November 2023


The WHS Act 2011 identifies four specific duty holders who have health and safety duties in the workplace:

  • PCBU = The business entity

  • Officers = Directors, CEOs, and other Executive Officers

  • Workers = Employees, Contractors, Apprentices, Volunteers.

  • Others = Visitors and Customers

While all duty holders interact with each other in many ways and in many scenarios to maintain a safe, hazard-free or hazard-controlled workplace, each duty holder involved has specific duties that apply to them.


Some duty holders can be in more than one class of duty holder, e.g., an “officer” can also be a “worker.”


Hence it is vital to understand these delineations well.


To help you with this, Courtenell has three short training courses targeting each of the identified WHS duty holders to help staff understand their duties under WHS law and the WHS duties of those they work with.


WHS Law for Directors

This course is for persons who are interested in learning or refreshing on the key duties that belong to the PCBU. A PCBU must provide the WHS management system in the first place and must manage risks to health and safety. The PCBU has the overarching responsibility for these. A PCBU must also be able to consult with other duty holders including other PCBUs and workers on health and safety matters that will or may impact on persons in the workforce. The officers of the business have duties to ensure the PCBU meets its obligations.


WHS Due Diligence for Officers

This course is focused on the specific duties that officers of a business must perform to ensure that the business is in compliance with its requirements under the WHS Act and Regulation. The actions an officer does in practice are broadly classified as “exercising due diligence.”


An officer’s duty to exercise due diligence is separate and distinct to the PCBU’s duties.


There does not need to be an incident for an Officer to breach their duty to exercise Due Diligence. An officer may be found guilty of an offence whether or not the PCBU has been found guilty or convicted or an offence.


WHS Responsibilities for Duty Holders

This course is for everyone from managers to workers. It presents and covers all WHS duty holders and the duties of each. This course is ideal as an introduction to employees as well as an overview or refresher for managers and supervisors. This course may be useful in workplaces where there are a lot of new staff, or the leadership team has expanded.


Any one of these courses may be useful for some businesses, as cooperation and coordination is a major theme in WHS law and both are key to the success of any WHS management system.


If you are interested in any one of more of these short training courses, please contact one of our friendly training advisors.






Training for every WHS duty holder
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15th November 2023








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