Health and Safety at Work (Worker engagement, participation and representation) Regulations 2016

On this page you will find information about worker engagement, participation and representation (WEPR).

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) says that persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) must engage with their workers about health and safety procedures and decisions in the workplace. They must have practices in place that allow their workers the opportunity to participate in improving health and safety in the workplace.

Key concepts

This document includes explanations of key concepts that might help you understand other documents.

Key concepts [PDF: 281kB, 7 pages]

Information for PCBUs

The information in this section might be useful to you if you are a PCBU.

What is a PCBU?

All types of working arrangements that we usually call ‘businesses’ are PCBUs. Some working arrangements that are not profit-making or commercial in nature are also PCBUs (for example, a yacht club paying one or more people to work for them).

Examples of types of PCBUs operating on ships include:

  • the owner of a commercial vessel who either operates it or hires it to others
  • the operator of a commercial vessel
  • a company that operates passenger ferries.

Examples of types of PCBUs on major ports include:

  • stevedoring companies
  • log export companies
  • trucking companies
  • companies performing marshalling services.

Your WEPR duties and how to fulfil them

This document outlines your WEPR duties.

PCBU duties [PDF: 271kB, 5 pages]

This document provides specific examples of things for you to think about to make sure your engagement with workers meets HSWA requirements.

Reviewing your WEPR practices [PDF: 295kB, 6 pages]

More detailed information about WEPR

This document takes a more detailed look at ways you can engage with workers.

Engaging with your workers [PDF: 454kB, 21 pages]

This document goes into more detail about good practices in worker participation.

Worker participation practices [PDF: 758kB, 17 pages]

This document briefly outlines your worker representation duties (health and safety representatives and committees).

Health and safety representatives and committees [PDF: 258kB, 4 pages]

For more detail about PCBU duties regarding health and safety representatives or health and safety committees, check out the WorkSafe publications on this topic. A good place to start is their Health and Safety Representatives page.


Information for workers

HSWA gives different health and safety responsibilities to different groups of people.

If you do any kind of work for a business, you are considered a worker. A stevedore is a worker. A deck hand is a worker. Someone who manages stevedores or deck hands is a worker. You are a worker no matter what your legal arrangements are with the person you do the work for (employee, contractor, sharefisher) and no matter how you are paid.

The business or person you work for is called a PCBU (person conducting a business or undertaking). This term is broad so it can include many different arrangements.

The words we use to talk about people in our guidance for workers

On ships and major ports, the most common type of PCBU is a business, so our guidance uses the term business.

Where we use the term ‘employer’, we mean the PCBU you do work for.

You can belong to more than one group at the same time. For example, if you are a self-employed contractor working on a port you are likely to be both a worker and a PCBU. It is important that you are aware of your rights about health and safety in the workplace, and what your employer must do when they engage with you about health and safety issues.

Your health and safety rights around engagement, participation and representation

Read this guidance to learn about:

  • your employer’s duty to engage with you around health and safety issues
  • what HSWA requires of processes your employer sets up to allow you to participate
  • what they have to do around health and safety representatives and health and safety committees.
Your health and safety rights around engagement, participation and representation [PDF: 280kB, 5 pages]

What you can expect from your PCBU when they engage with you

There are specific requirements about when and how your PCBU has to engage with you. Read this guidance to learn about them.

What you can expect from your PCBU when they engage with you [PDF: 244kB, 42 pages]