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WHS Responsibilities for
Duty Holders



The Work Health and Safety laws expand on the basic premise that there are “specific Duty Holders”. Every WHS Duty Holder has corresponding Duties to perform and expectations to be met at the workplace. Courtenell’s half-day WHS Responsibilities for Duty Holders course covers each of the duty holders stated in the WHS Act, their responsibilities and how they interact with each other to forward the success of the WHS management system and thereby the health and wellbeing of all persons in the workplace. This course aims to give participants are clear explanation of the:

  • Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (Business Entity) as the ultimate duty holder.

  • Officers of the PCBU (Directors, GMs, and CEOs) and their duties.

  • Management team, Workers, and any other person at the Workplace.


The course also covers how multiple businesses interact with each other while operating at the same premises or work sites, with contractors and with the suppliers. While this course is primarily a legislative-based training program, it uses real-world examples, case studies, and scenarios that apply to all persons and positions that have duties under WHS law.




On completion of this training, participants should be able to:

  • Explain an overview of the current OHS / WHS legislative framework in Australia and apply legislative requirements effectively within their organisations.

  • Explain who are WHS duty holders and their responsibilities in relation to current Safety Legislation and how duty holders interact with each other.

  • Clarify key components of WHS legislation including “Primary Duty of Care”, “Reasonably Practicable”, “WHS Due Diligence,” “Consultation” and “Reasonable Care.”

  • Give examples of the result of failure to comply with obligations, Offences and Penalties, and what indemnities and insurance are and are not available.

  • Identify hazards at work, including psychosocial hazards and apply appropriate WHS risk management strategies to minimise the risks of injuries arising from the hazards.

  • Identify the role of consultation in regard to representing workers and resolving WHS issues.

  • Describe the framework, importance, and benefits of WHS Management Systems.

  • Describe Continuous Improvement and Evaluation approaches in order to achieve statutory compliance.


  • Improved Safety Culture: Investing in legislative compliance training for all persons who have a duty under WHS law fosters a culture of safety within the organisation.

  • Enhanced Governance: WHS Legislation training strengthens corporate governance by emphasizing the importance of health and safety in decision-making. This contributes to a culture of responsibility, accountability, and ethical business practices.

  • Role Clarity: Clarification of roles within the organisation enables business owners to successfully manage the systems, procedures, measures, plant, and machinery, that are in place to ensure that all persons are able to do their jobs safely. 

  • Risk Reduction:  knowledge gained from the course enables participants to understand their involvement in the organisational risk management process including contributions from workers about risk management proposals including psychosocial hazards and risks; there by contributing to a safer work environment.

  • Legal Compliance: Achieving compliance with relevant WHS laws reduces the risk of legal penalties, fines, and regulatory actions, safeguarding the organisation's reputation.



  • Understanding Legal Compliance: Participants gain a clearer understanding of WHS laws and regulations, ensuring they are well-versed in legal requirements. This knowledge empowers them to interact with their peers and other WHS duty holders to enable the success of the WHS management system and compliance with workplace safety standards.

  • Effective Legal Communication: Participants learn how to communicate effectively regarding WHS legal matters within their organization. This includes conveying legal requirements to persons within their organization as well as other businesses and contractors that they interact with, fostering a culture of compliance and cooperation organisationally as well as personally.

  • Compliance Assurance: With a comprehensive knowledge of WHS legislation, participants are better equipped to ensure their organization complies with legal requirements and their own participation in this. This includes understanding reporting obligations, maintaining proper documentation, and implementing necessary safety measures.

  • Improved Incident Response Skills: Improved awareness of effective and prompt reporting systems, feedback procedures, approval processes, and general communication methods to minimise delays in actioning responses and data gathering.

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