Link between WHS Mgt Review & Due Diligence

By QRMC / Posted on May 22, 2018

In Insight issue 83 we described methods of optimising the management review process.

In addition to ensuring that the management review achieves systems improvements, and meeting the compliance requirement of the relevant management system standards, there are also benefits to be gained by the organisation’s Officers.

An Officer is defined by the Corporations Act as:

  • a partner in the partnership if the entity is a partnership; or
  • an office holder of the unincorporated association if the entity is an unincorporated association; or
  • a person:
  • who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business of the entity; or
  • who has the capacity to affect significantly the entity’s financial standing.

This is a broad definition and will include a lot of people who probably don’t realise that they’re formally Officers for their organisation. And it means that the due diligence requirements for Officers need to be fulfilled by those people.

Here is where the WHS management review comes in.

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 s.27 imposes a specific duty on Officers to exercise due diligence to be proactive in ensuring that their organisation meets its work health and safety obligations.

As advised by WorkCover Queensland’s guide to due diligence, Officers need to be able to show that they have taken reasonable steps to:

  • acquire and update their knowledge of health and safety matters;
  • understand the operations being carried out by the person conducting the business or undertaking in which they are employed, and the hazards and risks associated with the operations;
  • ensure that the person conducting the business or undertaking has, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks arising from work being done;
  • ensure that the person conducting the business or undertaking has appropriate processes in place to receive and respond promptly to information regarding incidents, hazards and risks;
  • ensure that the person conducting the business or undertaking has, and uses, processes for complying with duties or obligations under the WHS Act; and
  • ensure there is a system in place that records and provides evidence of the above.

The WHS management review meeting, as described in Insight issue 83, should be held with Senior Management (Officers). By attending such a meeting, these Officers would fulfil many of their due diligence requirements as detailed in the WHS Act.

As mentioned in our previous Insight article, it is imperative that a record of management review meetings is retained. Such a record would help to demonstrate Officers’ due diligence requirements have been fulfilled.

Please contact QRMC for more information or assistance in developing your management review processes.


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