Work Health and Safety

Nothing describes the responsibility of Employers to guarantee a safe system of work as nicely as:

“Safety is not an intellectual exercise to keep us in work. It is a matter of life and death. It is the sum of our contributions to safety management that determines whether the people we work with live or die.”

Brian Appleton former Director of ICI PLC and ICI Australia

The national legislation prescribes this:

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (PDF, 833 KB) (the WHS Act) imposes a specific duty on officers of corporations and unincorporated bodies, such as clubs and associations, to exercise due diligence to ensure that it meets its work health and safety obligations. The duty requires officers to be proactive in ensuring that the corporation, club or association complies with its duty.

What is due diligence?

In demonstrating due diligence, officers will need to show that they have taken reasonable steps to:

  • acquire and update their knowledge of health and safety matters
  • understand the operations being carried out by the person conducting the business or undertaking in which they are employed, and the hazards and risks associated with the operations
  • ensure that the person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU) has, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks arising from work being done
  • ensure that the PCBU has appropriate processes in place to receive and respond promptly to information regarding incidents, hazards and risks
  • ensure that the PCBU has, and uses, processes for complying with duties or obligations under the WHS Act.

This approach emphasises the corporate governance responsibilities of officers. It is critical to the achievement of positive safety outcomes for senior management to lead the corporate safety agenda.

SME Assistance Group actively supports SME through the process of ‘designing and implementing’ their WH&S Management Plan.  We don’t supply dust collectors.