Last month we explored the ‘Officers’ Due Diligence requirements, paraphrasing Sec 27 of the WHS Act, to detail that ‘Officers’ are required to take ‘reasonable steps’ to:
- Firstly, acquire (and maintain) an understanding of WHS [Sec 27 (5)(a)] and an (effective) understanding of the organisation’s operations and the hazards and risks [Sec (5)(b)]
- Then, ensure appropriate resources and processes are used to eliminate or minimise the WHS risks [Sec 27 (5)(c)] and ensure processes are in place for the timely receipt, consideration and response to incidents, hazards and risks [Sec 27 (5)(c)]
- And finally, implement assurance and verification process to ensure that hazards and risks are being appropriately controlled and that legal requirements are being fulfilled (Sec 27 (5) (e) and (f)]
Now to explore the appropriate resources and process component.
What does it mean?
The Board and Executive Management, as ‘Officers’ of the organisation, must ensure the ‘PCBU’ has an appropriate level of financial and personnel resourcing in place to eliminate or minimise the WHS risks.
Then this needs to be coupled with ensuring a timely reporting and appropriate response to hazards, risks and incidents, and the analysis of the resulting data. The aim of this is to prompt a risk review process every time new information is available so that the risks (and change) are effectively managed.
What needs to be done?
Officers should take the following steps:
- Ensure management system and processes are implemented to assist with the management of the WHS risks, and those responsible for applying the system are held accountable
- Ensure action plans are in place across the organisation to manage the WHS risks
- Provide a budget allocation for WHS operations and improvements
- Appoint an adequate number of personnel with appropriate WHS knowledge, skills and capability
- Maintain and upgrade premises, plant and infrastructure
- Implement efficient and timely reporting systems incorporating a process for escalation of unresolved WHS issues to Officers (i.e. EMT/CEO/Board)
- Analyse all provided data, whether it be drawn from hazard, risk or incident reports
Please contact QRMC for more information.