Health and safety leadership

Leadership is a critical element of workplace health and safety. Leaders direct culture and lead by example. They also set expectations for management and workers, and hold them accountable.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Boards
  • All Early Learning Services
  • Proprietors
  • Principals and Tumuaki

Boards, proprietors, early learning services and self-employed educators hold the legal responsibilities of a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU). They must understand their role and responsibilities as a leader not only within health and safety culture, but also as it relates to the regulations in the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

PCBU in the workplace

PCBU stands for “person conducting a business or undertaking.” A PCBU is a legal entity.

In the context of early learning services and compulsory education, the PCBU is a:

  • school board as an entity
  • early learning service
  • kōhanga reo
  • national education association
  • Ministry of Education or District Health Board (as landlords)
  • sponsor
  • proprietor
  • self-employed educator.

Workplace management

School and early learning service leaders and management staff should be on site and be seen to be demonstrating the right behaviours in a timely way.

  • Every person visiting a school site or early learning service must be inducted to the site.
  • This includes all workers, children, students and visitors.
  • The induction may include the:
    • physical site plan
    • emergency plans, and
    • health and safety requirements.

School and ECE duty holders

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 has set of defined duty holders. Use this information sheet to help you identify which positions have duties at your school/kura.

Early learning resources

The types of positions considered to be duty holders vary depending on the service type. The following information sheets help identify which positions have duties in your early learning service.

The Health and Safety in Early Childhood Education table sets out the definitions and responsibilities of the duty holders and has space for you to fill in the positions at your early learning service.

We recommend that you print this document and write in your service’s positions.

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