WHS Governance: What works?

13 Nov 2020

WHS Governance: What works?

WHS Governance is often talked about by safety professionals, executive leaders and board members. However when it comes to designing a practical system to ensure that officers of an organisation receive the information required to enable them to discharge their duty of due diligence, there can be a lot of conflicting opinion.

Following the Best Practice Review, there is an increasing focus on officer liability. Matters such as the Multi Run Roofing litigation, and the Brisbane Auto Recycling industrial manslaughter charges highlight the approach being taken by the WHS Prosecutor to individual liability under WHS laws. It is more important now than ever, that safety professionals have the skills to ensure that WHS Governance systems are fit for purpose.

This session will summarise the tools safety professionals need to design a new WHS Governance system or reviewing an existing one. In doing this, the session will:- incorporate guidance from the Banking Royal Commission (which made a number of comments on board reporting which are equally applicable in a WHS context);

– make observations in relation the outcomes of the Dreamworld coronial investigation;
– discuss lessons from the approach being taken by the WHS Prosecutor in relation to officer liability (including responding to due diligence based improvement notices); and
– provide a the foundations for a WHS Governance system that works.