A PCBU is a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’. While a PCBU may be an individual person or an organisation, in most cases the PCBU will be an organisation (for example, a business entity such as a company).
An individual, such as a sole trader, can also be a PCBU.
While the terms ‘business’ and ‘undertaking’ are not defined in HSWA, the usual meanings of these terms are:
Examples of PCBUs:
Individuals or organisations can be PCBUs if they carry out work, regardless of their legal structure. Examples of PCBUs are:
The following are not PCBUs:
Kitchen Construction Limited (KCL) operates a small business which specialises in building and renovating kitchens. Simon is KCL’s sole director. KCL employs several full-time staff and regularly contracts Jill, a self-employed electrician, to do electrical work for KCL’s projects.
A PCBU must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and that other people are not put at risk by its work. This is called the ‘primary duty of care’.
This means ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable:
A PCBU who is a self-employed person must also ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, his or her own health and safety while at work.
The primary duty of care is a broad overarching duty. It includes but is not limited to, so far as is reasonably practicable:
PCBUs must also maintain any worker accommodation that is owned or managed by the PCBU and provided because other accommodation is not reasonably available. The accommodation must be maintained so the worker is not exposed to health and safety risks.
All PCBUs have the primary duty of care.
HSWA does not define legal entities, it only defines a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU). The legal form of a PCBU is not relevant in terms of its coverage by, and duties under, HSWA. If an organisation meets the definition of a PCBU it has the duties of a PCBU regardless of its legal construct.
The high-risk sectors or industries this relates to are defined using the Australia New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC) codes, and include the following:
Within these codes there are some sub-sectors and industries that are excluded. Because they are excluded, businesses in the sub-groups only have to follow up on a request for an HSR or HSC if they have more than 20 workers.
If you're not sure which industry code your business belongs to, you can:
Can't find the answer to your question?
We're regularly answering lots of questions about the new law. If you can't find what you're looking for here, take a look through our other question and answer categories.
If you still can't find an answer to your question, you can ask us a question online.
Last updated 19 May 2016
FIND OUT WHAT RISK LOOKS LIKE IN YOUR INDUSTRY
Introduction to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA): Special Guide
This guide provides a comprehensive overview of HSWA - New Zealand's key health work and safety law and its regulator - WorkSafe New Zealand.