The elements of a manager’s WHS duty of care are set out in section 28 of the WHS Act 2011. But the actions that each manager needs to take to satisfy this duty of care will depend upon the extent of the authority and responsibilities of their management position.
This article is designed to assist managers to consider the WHS actions they need to take to satisfy their duty of care and to help create and maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
Areas of WHS action that help satisfy a Manager’s WHS duty of care
In reading each area of action below bear in mind that managers are only expected to do what is reasonable based on their duty of care and the authority and responsibilities they have been given by the PCBU.
For example; all managers must take reasonable care that everyone in their area of responsibility is fulfilling their duty of care. But only some managers have the authority to allocate personnel, resources and time to create a WHS Management System.
By checking each of these areas of action we hope that managers will be able to identify and be better acquainted with, the actions they need to take to satisfy their duty of care.
- Ensure that personnel, resources and time are allocated to create and implement, health and safety systems, policies and safe work procedures, that are relevant to the activities and WHS management system of the business
-Ensure risk management processes are in place that will result in the elimination or control of health and safety risks
- Consult about health and safety matters with relevant persons such as employees, HSRs, H&S Committee, and contractors
- Ensure that all workers understand and satisfy their duty of care, and the actions needed to maintain health and safety
- Inform, instruct, train, and supervise all workers in the risks involved in their work activities and how to control those risks
- Train workers in the policies and procedures that are relevant to their activities
- Take appropriate action to ensure policies and procedures are followed
Why Managers and Supervisors Have a Vital Role in WHS Compliance