Are Boards aware of the scope of due diligence required under the new Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011?

When the WHS Act commenced on 1 January 2012 it imposed a specific duty on Officers of corporations and unincorporated bodies such as clubs and associations to ensure that the corporation, club or association
Board meeting
exercises due diligence in relation to work health and safety obligations.

The duty under the WHS Act means that Officers are to be proactive in ensuring the corporation, club or association complies with its duty.  In demonstrating due diligence officers need to show that they have taken reasonable steps to:

  • Acquire knowledge of health and safety issues
  • Understand operations and associated hazards and risks
  • Ensure that appropriate resources and processes are used to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety
  • Establish and maintain compliance processes
  • Verify the provisions and the use of resources as outlined above.

I would be interested to know what questions are being asked by Executive Teams in relation to ensuring that the broad scope of changes under the WHS Act are articulated and understood by Board members.

Are Board members or the senior executive team aware that a work health and safety inspector may ask a corporate director to produce evidence that they are meeting their due diligence requirements during a routine audit inspection?

I would be great to hear feedback from you as to how your Senior Team are coping with this issue. If you need any assistance please contact us on +61 2 9836 3100 or