Understanding Health and Safety

Now more than ever, it is imperative that Directors and Officers have an understanding of health and safety issues that affect the people in the workplace and take the appropriate action.

Under the new WHS Act, company Directors and Officers will have to exercise due diligence to ensure that their businesses comply with their safety obligations. This means that officers could be liable for breaches of safety, even without an incident or accident even occurring.

There are five steps to meet due diligence requirements from the WHS Act:

  1. To acquire and keep up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters to gain an understanding of the hazards and risks associated with business operations,
  2. To ensure the business or undertaking has available for use, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks,
  3. To ensure business or undertaking has appropriate processes for receiving and considering information regarding incidents, hazards and risks and responding in a timely way to that information,
  4. To ensure the business or undertaking has, and implements, processes for complying with any duty or obligation of the PCBU under the Act, and
  5. To verify the provision and use of the above resources and processes.