In 2011, Safe Work Australia (SWA) developed a single set of Work Health Safety (WHS) laws. The plan was, and remains, for the new WHS approach to be implemented across Australia. Western Australia (WA) and Victoria are the two states yet to implement the new regulatory paradigm. It has been reported that WA Government will present before parliament legislative changes that will modernised Work Health Safety laws in WA. The modernised law will incorporate aspects of the national model and deliver a common approach to WHS across various jurisdictions.
No longer are there simply Occupational Health and Safety laws to abide by but there is a raft of new, more demanding, WHS regulations, to adhere to. If your organisation, which is redefined as a ‘Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking’ (PCBU) is not ready for the WHS regime, or fails to implement the new regulations, and depending on the state or territory jurisdiction in which the PCBU is located it could end up paying millions of dollars in fines, so paying attention to the new legislation is of critical importance to any business; big or small.
If you are an officer or high level associate in a PCBU, it is important that you understand what ‘due diligence’ means. You can no longer just sit by and think that the hidden powers that own the company are in control of every facet of the business when it comes to employee risk because you have, or will have, a proactive legal obligation to warn people of any foreseeable hazards under your supervision. If you aren’t careful when it comes to alerting people to the health and safety issues that relate to their working area and varied positions, you are very likely putting yourself at risk of a fine or prison sentence.
No longer is the definition of the workplace and worker limited to just those direct employees they used to be responsible for; now they are responsible for day labourers, contractors and in some cases visitors as well. What this means is that under the new WHS regulatory regime the employer, manager and supervisor (responsible person), that hire these temporary workers are required to be pro-actively responsible for them when it comes to their health and safety. Consulting your workplace dependants about the safety and risk management facets of the business is no longer achieved by simply sparing a thought for their safety, or proving the odd encouraging word, you are required to proactivity link workplace dependants with the PCBU’s safety risk management process/system. WHS requires you to make every facet of the new regulation clear and concise.
The requirements of the due diligence are defined to include the following six elements:
1. Knowledge of WHS matters; and
2. Understanding of the nature of the operations of the organisation and the hazards and risks associated with those operations; and
3. Resources and processes; and
4. Information regarding incidents, hazards and risks and responding in a timely way to that information; and
5. Legal compliance; and
6. Verifying the provision and use of those resources and processes.
The net result of effective due diligence is knowledge.
To contribute to the meaningful reduction of death and injury in the workplace.
A credible activist promoting and imparting accurate knowledge and understanding to those charged with the responsibility of providing a safe work environment.
Fides' purpose is to provide and update organisations on the ever-changing role and expectations of Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations. We provide external and independent advice in relation to the interpretation of and obligations arising from Work Health and Safety Act. We don’t just provide advice and then leave it to the individual / organisation to grapple with the “how” but provide the products and services required to meet those legal responsibilities.
Our aim is to deliver state of the art innovative products and services with the latest accurate knowledge and understanding on Work Health and Safety legal obligations with the ultimate goal in providing safe work environment.
Fides products and services are cost effective solutions embracing Work Health and Safety as not a cost burden, but rather a cost saving producing net dollars to you and to your organisation bottom line.