Ten Commandments of Due Diligence

The term "due diligence" (or "reasonable diligence" or "proper diligence") as it applies to work health and safety is the level of judgement, care, prudence, determination, and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to perform under a particular set of circumstances.

In short, it means that employers will take all precautions, reasonable under the circumstances, to prevent incidents in the workplace and protect the health and safety of workers and others.To exercise due diligence, employers must implement a plan to identify possible workplace hazards and carry out appropriate corrective action to prevent accidents or injuries arising from those hazards.

The following conditions are necessary to establish that you have exercised "due diligence", the Ten Commandments of Due Diligence:

  • Maintain and communicate a current WHS policy
  • Maintain management systems and establish responsibilities and accountabilities
  • Identify risks throughout the organisation and ensure continuing compliance with your WHS policy
  • Maintain systems for the induction, training and continued supervision of employees
  • Identify all relevant Acts, Regulations, industry standards, practices and controls that apply to the organisation
  • Establish an adequate system of compliance and anticipate contingencies
  • Establish systematic and independent internal and external reporting procedures
  • Report results of compliance monitoring to the appropriate level of management and ensure they are acted upon
  • Ensure management regularly and adequately reviews compliance, (with reliance on reports provided by qualified staff)
  • Ensure management takes appropriate steps, personally, to correct situations and responds when there is reason to suspect the integrity of any system

Articles are intended to provide commentary and general advice only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

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