Significant legal obligations are now being imposed on officers of organisations as a result of the new work health and safety laws. As of 1 January 2013, new work health and safety legislation has commenced in seven out of nine jurisdictions in Australia. Under the legislation, officers of organisations (being directors and senior managers) now have a personal, non-delegable, positive duty to exercise ‘due diligence’ to ensure that their organisation implements processes for complying with its safety duties.
The fifth element of the due diligence obligation requires officers to ensure that their organisation has and implements processes for complying the organisation’s duties under WHS legislation: that is, legal compliance processes. In order to meet this requirement of the due diligence obligation, officers need a robust and comprehensive WHS legal compliance audit tool.
Taking the guesswork out of compliance
As Australia’s experts in this area, with the largest and most respected occupational health, safety and security practice in the world, we are uniquely placed to identify and distil the key elements of the Work Health and Safety laws into a user-friendly electronic compliance tool which we are proud to offer as a product to the market.
Demonstrating ‘due diligence’
N-sure is a complete Work Health and Safety legal compliance audit tool and its implementation provides a system to demonstrate that processes are in place for discharging your organisation’s Work Health and Safety duties.
Compliance is important as a breach of the ‘due diligence’ duty can occur even though there may not have been an actual Work Health and Safety incident. A breach is a criminal offence attracting a maximum penalty of A$600,000 and up to five years imprisonment for serious offences. These penalties are imposed on officers personally and are over and above any penalty that is imposed on their organisation. Being criminal in nature, they cannot be insured against – nor can the officer seek an indemnity from their employer.