Attention employers and PCBU

Be warned

From businesses large and small, to government agencies and councils, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) (‘WHS Act’) requires that ‘workers’ (see meaning below), inter alia, be kept safe at work. In focus for this article is the requirement of ‘the provision of any information, training, instruction or supervision’.

Namely, the WHS Act s 19(3)(f) requires:

A person conducting a business or undertaking [PCBU] must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable [WHS Act s 18], the provision of any information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking.

For instance, Auimatagi v Australian Building and Construction Commissioner [2018] FCAFC 191heard in the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia, provides guidance on the application of the WHS Act ss 7, 19. Specifically, Allsop CJ, Collier and Rangiah JJ held at para [3]:

It should be said at the outset that John Holland [the PCBU], as the entity in control of the site and conducting its business on the site, had important duties owed to all workers (not just its own) on the site over which it had control.

However, at para [4], it was said that ‘[w]orkers had their own duties in this regard. A self-employed person was obliged, by s 19(5) of the WHS Act, to ensure, as far as was reasonably practicable, his or her own health and safety while at work’.

Yet, the court’s statutory interpretation was manifestly clear:

By s 19(3)(f) of the WHS Act, John Holland was obliged (so far as was reasonably practicable) to provide “information, training, instruction or supervision to protect workers from risk to health and safety and by s 28(c) workers on site were obliged to comply with any reasonable instruction by John Holland to allow it to comply with the WHS Act. The word “instruction” in ss 19(3)(f) and 28(c) is to be understood as including directions to do something.

Moreover, the WHS Act ss 7(1)(a)-(i) states:

A person is a worker if the person carries out work in any capacity for a person conducting a business or undertaking, including work as: an employee, a contractor or subcontractor, an employee of a contractor or subcontractor, an employee of a labour hire company who has been assigned to work in the person’s business or undertaking, an outworker, an apprentice or trainee, a student gaining work experience, a volunteer, or a person of a prescribed class.

We can help

While we at ALLTRUCK DRIVER TRAINING are not qualified to provide legal advice (yet), we do offer professional training and assessment solutions that may assist PCBUs to meet their WHS Act obligations.

We provide tailored programs, which are informed by your context and your worker’s individual needs. Services include, but may not be limited to, load security awarenessheavy vehicle driver licensing, new employee screening, remedial training and assessment, and verification of competency (VOC).

Training and assessment service options include, but may not be limited to, on or off-site programs, company vehicle or vehicle supplied, variable training or assessment ratio, contextualised content and criteria, and in-class or in-vehicle delivery.

For decades, ALLTRUCK DRIVER TRAINING has been the preferred heavy vehicle driver training provider for many Sydney councils and some of Australia’s largest companies.

Contact us today on 1300521289 or to learn more about managing your obligations, and most importantly, ensuring your drivers are kept safe in the workplace.

Michael Sciberras

Michael is the Chief Executive Officer at ALLTRUCK DRIVER TRAINING. He has 16 years of heavy vehicle training and assessment experience, and is currently studying law at the University of New England.