Knowing your health and safety responsibilities

A practical guide for farmers and growers

Health & Safety


Onside Napier Trip32

Health and safety legislation states that everyone has a role to play in managing health and safety risks. In this blog, we’ll explain who is responsible for what.


There are four key roles, each with different health and safety responsibilities:

  1. The Person Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU)
  2. Officers
  3. Managers and team leaders 
  4. Workers



‘PCBU’ is a term used throughout legislation to describe all types of working arrangements. In most cases, it simply means a business or company.


Their responsibilities, so long as they are reasonably able to be done, are:

  • Make sure workplace, equipment and systems H&S risks are being managed continuously.
  • Make sure the handling and storage of plant, structures, and substances is safe.
  • Provide adequate facilities for the welfare of workers.
  • Provide information, training, instruction, or supervision to protect workers and others from risks.
  • Monitor the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace to prevent illness or injury.
  • Communicate with workers on issues that affect their health and safety.
  • Consult, co-operate, and coordinate with other PCBUs when there is a shared work H&S matter.


2. Officers

Officers are owners, directors or partners who have significant influence over the management of the business (they could also be managers).


Officers must:

  • Take note if no incidents have been reported — it’s not always a good thing. Encouraging your team to report incidents is the fastest way to improve your safety management as you can learn from mistakes and near misses.
  • Have up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters.
  • Understand the business operations and any risks involved.
  • Make sure there are enough resources available to manage risks.
  • Respond in a timely way to any information about an incident or risks that is received.
  • Have the right processes for complying with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
  • Make sure the processes mentioned above are available and used properly.


3. Managers and team leaders

This is anyone who has other workers reporting to them.


Managers and team leaders must:

  • Demonstrate good health and safety practices.
  • Implement and maintain a safety management system.
  • Make sure workers are able to carry out their responsibilities safely.
  • Make sure workers understand their health and safety responsibilities.
  • Report and investigate any notifiable events.
  • Communicate safety information to stakeholders (including contractors, team members, families, visitors, etc).
  • Make safety part of all business decisions and operations.
  • Promote a positive culture of safety.
  • Create risk and incident reports regularly to review these with your team or provide to stakeholders.


4. Workers

This covers all other employees or contractors.


Workers responsibilities are to:

  • Take reasonable care of their own health and safety.
  • Take reasonable care not to put the health and safety of others at risk.
  • Immediately report notifiable incidents, injuries or illnesses.
  • Comply with the safety management system.
  • Use personal protective equipment provided.
  • Attend organised safety training.
  • Participate in safety meetings and discussions.
  • Report new risks or dangerous situations.
  • Make sure the work area is safe before starting work and when leaving the area.


Use Onside to manage health and safety on your rural properties


For the PCBU:

  • The PCBU is responsible for making sure risks are well managed and communicated.
  • Onside enables you to identify, assess, control, and review risks.
  • You can effectively communicate information to about risks and safety to contractors, visitors, and staff through the mobile app.


For Officers:

  • When your management team use Onside, they have the resources needed to manage risks, and can easily keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the business.
  • Download a summary of risks and incidents that have been logged each month.
  • Encourage your team to log incidents in their Onside app, including near misses.


For Managers and team leaders:

  • Use Onside reporting to run a risk and incident report once a week. Review these with your team at weekly team meetings.
  • Use Onside to quickly respond to and manage risks and incidents that are reported through the app.
  • Encourage everyone to log incidents through their Onside app, including near misses.


For Workers:

  • Report new risks through the app so that the property can review and respond immediately.
  • Report any incidents including near misses through the Onside app on their phone.
  • Include photos and the location of risks and incidents easily in Onside.

Learn more or book a demo here to see how you can mange your health and safety responsibilities easily in Onside.