There is a general duty on all PCBUs to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of:
workers employed or engaged, or caused to be employed or engaged, by the PCBU while the workers are at work in the business or undertaking; and
workers whose activities in carrying out work are influenced or directed by the PCBU while the workers are carrying out the work.
PCBUs must also ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of other people is not put at risk from work carried out by the PCBU.
There are also specific duties imposed on PCBUs in respect of:
the management and control of fixtures, fittings, and plant in the workplace;
the design and manufacture of plant to be used in a workplace; and
the supply, importation and installation of plant to be used in a workplace.
There is a positive duty on officers to exercise due diligence to ensure that the PCBU complies with that duty or obligation. This is a key change from the HSE Act, where directors of a company can only be held liable where they have directly participated in, contributed to, or acquiesced in their company's failure. Under the HSWA officers may be convicted for a breach of due diligence regardless of whether the PCBU has been convicted of an offence.
Due diligence includes taking reasonable steps to:
acquire, and keep up-to-date, knowledge of work health and safety matters;
gain an understanding of the nature of the operations of the business or undertaking of the PCBU and generally of the hazards and risks associated with those operations;
ensure that the PCBU has available for use, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety;
ensure that the PCBU has appropriate processes for receiving and considering information regarding incidents, hazards, and risks and for responding in a timely way to that information;
ensure that the PCBU has, and implements, a process for complying with any duty or obligation of the PCBU under the Act; and
verify the provision and use of resources and processes.