You might have heard the term thrown around by compliance officials without ever really knowing exactly what PCBU stands for, or even means. A PCBU is simply a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking.
At its core, a PCBU is the one person held responsible above all others, for the mental and physical safety of a group of people. A PCBU could be the person who runs your favourite little coffee haunt, or it could be the director of an industrial operation employing thousands of people in a high-risk environment. Not for profit, community and religious organisations are also responsible for the safety of their members, users, and anyone they interact with. Even if you’re not benefiting financially, if you’re organising anything more than a family BBQ, chances are you are, or have been a PCBU at some point in time.
Being a PCBU comes with serious responsibilities! It’s not all bad though, it just means that you get to look out for the safety of everyone in your organisation… In fact, we could think of you as the ‘superhero’ of your organisation, or maybe an advocate of the people! We’re going to take a closer look at some of the most common things PCBUs from many walks of life should be looking at to ensure safety. Over the coming weeks we’ll be looking at the responsibilities of PCBUs in various industries.
Home Based Business PCBUs
Did you know that if you run a home-based business, you’re a PCBU? Owning your own home-based business can be an incredibly rewarding experience, giving you flexibility and a great lifestyle. It also means that you have a duty of care to make sure any employees, clients and visitors are all safely accommodated while on your premises.
For most home-based businesses this means things like providing clean and safe facilities including toilets, drinking water, eating facilities, first aid and making sure there’s no slip or trip hazards, or any dangerous substances.
If your home was built before 2003 there’s every chance it could be harbouring asbestos, and possibly lead paint too if it’s an older home.
If you’re renovating your pre 2003 home to create or upgrade office space, ensure you’re aware of asbestos and lead dangers and consider getting any internal and external cladding materials tested for asbestos prior to removal.
Tourism and Hospitality PCBUs
Somewhere between pulling beers and pouring lattes, if you’re a hospitality and tourism PCBU you have a whole lot of other responsibilities to make sure everyone is safe at your place.
Some of the biggest safety concerns to be aware of in hospitality and industrial kitchens:
- Slippery surfaces leading to slips, trips, and falls
- Chemical gas and environmental hazards.
We can’t help you perfect a silky froth for the perfect latte, but we can help you maintain and refurbish your kitchen, bar, café, cellar door, farm stay or other hospitality premises. When refurbishing, it’s important to note that asbestos was frequently used to line wet areas, in areas that are considered high risk for fire, and extensively in roofing and roof cavities – especially in commercial buildings. Many pipes and control boards are also likely to contain asbestos, along with older water and sewer pipes.
If your commercial hospitality venue needs upgrades, don’t risk it, get asbestos an asbestos survey completed by a professional before you begin and unwittingly contaminate your whole site.
Aged Care and Health PCBU
Working in health and aged care is a big responsibility, particularly if you’re the PCBU. You’re not just looking out for the safety and comfort of your clients, you’re also responsible for the safety of your nurses, carers, and of course visitors and families.
Safe accesses are incredibly important in your industry. Providing safe access for building entries, bathrooms and other facilities can be a big job. We can assist with creating and maintaining your accessible infrastructure.
We can also assist with asbestos management, refurbishments, keeping your pathways free from slip and trip hazards, and maintaining your roads and carparks. We can help you keep your site safe and maintained so that you can focus on helping others.
We know you’re always busy looking out for everyone else, so when it comes to keeping your facility safe and maintained, we’re here to help!
Large commercial facilities like shopping centres and educational precincts require a huge amount of compliance. Neglecting to stay on top of maintenance, safety and compliance can cost companies into the millions from lawsuits or compensation.
Slip and trip injuries, according to insurance data, are regularly costing between $40,000 and $100,000 an incident.
Some of the other biggest issues facing PCBUs of these organisations are managing multiple contractors and ensuring they’re all appropriately inducted, trained, and safe. Considering that most shopping centres in Australia were build prior to the asbestos ban in 2003, asbestos exposure risks play a big part in keeping construction and maintenance contractors safe.
We can help with asbestos management, highly trained, reliable maintenance workers and of course, asbestos removal to remove the inherent danger for good.
At HTS Group, we pride ourselves on keeping our workers and clients safe! If you’d like to work with professionals who are there for every step in your site’s lifecycle, get in touch with HTS Group.
NB. HTS Group provides specialised site services and asbestos removal in Newcastle and regional NSW.