The ultimate responsibility for Work Health and Safety lies with the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU). It is important to decide who else will have responsibilities for carrying out certain Work Health and Safety (WHS) tasks.
Your workplace safety roles and responsibilities should be documented in a way that:
- Key safety and welfare issues are dealt with to minimise risks;
- Clear lines of management responsibility are documented to avoid confusion amongst management / supervisors and with workers; and
- Names and contact numbers are provided.
For every role or responsibility there may be several tasks, one person may carry out all of these tasks or shared amongst other workers. By identifying all of the steps and what is required it is easier to identify roles and responsibilities and who will be accountable. Having procedures in place is one thing, making sure they are followed is another. You should use a Roles and Responsibilities Register for suggestions of tasks that need to be fulfilled and add your own to suit your organisation.
It is important to identify who is specifically responsible for carrying out key WHS roles in the workplace and on a worksite under your management / supervision. Once a key individual has been identified, make sure their name, position and contact number has been recorded in your Key Roles and Responsibility Register. Distribute this register to supervisors and all workers.
An Organisation Chart may be used to indicate your organisation’s structure and who reports to whom.
Consult, co-operate and co-ordinate with subcontractor(s) you engage to make sure you both meet health and safety responsibilities for everyone in the workplace. You are responsible for making sure that a subcontractor is not put at risk by the activities of your workers and visa versa.
- Work with the subcontractor to identify and assess the risks;
- Apply procedures to eliminate or control any risks that have been identified; and
- Make sure subcontractors are included in site safety training, site inductions and any other WHS related instruction.
A Subcontractor Safety Checklist can also be used to record relevant details about your subcontractor’s qualifications and safe work procedures.