Roles, responsibilities and liabilities

Before we go into the roles, responsibilities and liabilities of people working in the meat processing industry it is important to understand some new terms that were brought in with the introduction of the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act.

The term ’employers’ has been replaced by ‘persons conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU) and ’employees’ has been replaced by ‘workers’.

A PCBU conducts a business or undertaking alone or with others. In the meat industry the PCBU may be:

  • the employer
  • a corporation
  • an association
  • a partnership or sole trader.

A worker is anyone who carries out work for a PCBU, such as:

  • an employee
  • a contractor or sub-contractor
  • an employee of a contractor or sub-contractor
  • an employee of a labour hire company
  • an apprentice or trainee
  • a student gaining work experience
  • an outworker
  • a volunteer.

An officer is a person who makes decisions, or participates in making decisions, that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of a business or undertaking and has the capacity to significantly affect the financial standing of the business or undertaking.

(WorkCover NSW, 2012, ‘PCBUs, WORKERS AND OFFICERS’ Factsheet, available from the WorkCover NSW Website)

For more information on about PCBUs, workers and officers, please visit the WorkCover NSW website

Roles, responsibilities and liabilities

PCBU – must meet its obligations, so far as is reasonably practicable, to provide a safe and healthy workplace for workers or other persons. Click here to find out how

Worker – must, while at work, take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others while complying with instructions from the PCBU. Click here for more information