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Principle 2: Due Diligence

Like any other Director or Officer of a ‘PCBU’, myself and my fellow Director need to know where we are at with Health and Safety in our business and manage our Due Diligence well. This includes ensuring we understand and manage our key health and safety risks, support our focus on continuous improvement to health and safety, ensuring a mentally and physically safe and healthy workplace for our Workers (employees and Contractors); and promote a positive Health and Safety Culture.

To do this we ensure we take all reasonable steps to:

  • Have relevant, up-to-date knowledge of workplace health and safety;
  • Understand the nature of our business and its operations and associated health and safety risks;
  • Ensure our business has appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risk; and
  • Ensure our business has processes for receiving, considering and responding to information about incidents, hazards, and risks.

How do we do this? (In no particular order):

  1. Have Health and Safety as the portfolio of one Director;
  2. Assign the role of Health and Safety Coordinator to one person who makes sure that stuff happens on a day-to-day basis (it is part of his wider role);
  3. Follow-up when things do not happen;
  4. Use PeopleSafe (Cloud based Safety Software), supported by some very basic procedures that suit our business;
  5. Hold ACC WSMP at Secondary Level;
  6. Have a budget for Health and Safety that is relevant to the level of risk in our workplace;
  7. Make sure that Health and Safety is an integral part of any significant Team Meetings and Planning Days;
  8. Regularly ask questions of Workers relating to their health and safety in their personal as well as their work lives;
  9. Check the odd thing like Vehicles, Work Station Set-up, PPE and people well-being;
  10. Ask for honest feedback on how we can improve things; and
  11. Recognise the good stuff.

Health and Safety Due Diligence does not mean that as Officers we need to be directly involved in the day-to-day management of health and safety. However, we are still required to take reasonable steps to ensure our business is complying with its health and safety responsibilities morally, ethically, and legally.

Please note, that even though we are a Health and Safety Consultancy, we do not always get it right.  We have the same work, financial and people pressures as every other business, but we see this as an important partnership between us (Directors), and our people, where we owe it to them to lead by example and ensure things happen as we said they would, and they are empowered to know they are collectively responsible for their own and others safety, and that they can safely raise any health or safety issue with us and know we will treat it seriously, and more importantly, respond.

What we have found is that it has not affected our ability work with our Clients, our finances, or our ability to engage with Workers. It has helped us create a positive and engaging relationship with Clients, Employees and Contractors, and our people are hopefully safer!

See here for a list of all 8 Health and Safety Principles.

If you would like to discuss how to better manage your Health and Safety Due Diligence requirements as a business, please give us a call for a chat on 0800 023789 or email us at info@allaboutpeople.co.nz. We are more than willing to help with advice or resources.

Craig Macdonald, All About People Director Special Operations

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