Due diligence program in Sydney

In August 2017, Dr Rob Long and I ran a due diligence program for a client in New Zealand. The program was really well received and we have decided to run a public program in Sydney on 1 & 2 November.

You can access details about the program at the link below, but if you have any questions or would like to discuss whether this program s suitable for you or your organisation, you can email me directly at gws@nexuslawyers.com.au

Due Diligence Workshop Nov 2017

 

Supervisor obligations in Kalgoorlie

This is a shout out to all of my contacts in Kalgoorlie.

I have had a few clients ask me if I could run a public program on supervisor obligations for health and safety in the WA mining industry, in Kalgoorlie. To be able to do this, I need minimum numbers to run the program, so if anybody thinks they might be interested in attending, or sending one or two people, please contact me directly and I will send you some information.

You can contact me by e-mail – gws@nexuslawyers.com.au

Best regards

 

Due Diligence prosecutions under WHS Legislation (and other fairy stories)

Due diligence was supposed to be the health and safety “boogie man“, hiding under the beds of boards and CEOs – keeping them awake at night and focusing their minds on health and safety. The truth is the due diligence provisions in WHS legislation have made no practical change to the legal regulation of health and safety management at an executive level (whatever their theoretical legal effect might be) and continue the long-running lack of interest in health and safety at a boardroom level that Australian regulators have evidenced for years.

I am happy to be corrected on numbers, but as far as I can tell, since introduction of WHS legislation in about January 2012, there have been 819 workplace fatalities according to Safe Work Australia’s figures. I do not know how many of those resulted in prosecutions – it is extraordinarily difficult to draw the disparate data of health and safety regulators together to create a meaningful picture. But what does seem fairly clear, is that there have only been a handful of prosecutions under the due diligence provisions of WHS legislation. Moreover, every one of those has been against a small business and the person prosecuted has some hands-on, day-to-day involvement with the work being performed. There is no example as far as I can tell of a “company officer” who is removed from the day-to-day operations of the business.

Presumably, all of the boards and chief executive officers of large organisations who have suffered workplace fatalities are exercising effective due diligence. I think it is far more likely that the question has not even been asked and this level of executive management has not been subject to any scrutiny whatsoever about their oversight of health and safety management. Again, I stand to be corrected.

None of this should come as a surprise to anybody who has an understanding of health and safety prosecutions in Australia over the years. Nearly every example of “management” prosecutions have been against managers of small businesses with day to day involvement in the operations of the business.

A 2005 paper by Neil Foster found:

In cases involving formally appointed directors, almost every case involved a director who was heavily involved in decisions or actions “on the ground” which led directly to the incident concern (page 114).

and

Almost all the companies concerned (as far as can be judged from the reports examined) were either effectively “one-person” companies or at least small family companies with limited assets. … The directors concerned were almost all likely to have high personal knowledge of workplace procedures and, as noted above, many were heavily involved in the particular incident concern. There are no examples in these cases of a large company where a member of the board was held liable for failure to exercise “due diligence” in addressing the issue of safety (page 116).

(Personal Liability of Company Officers for Corporate Occupational Health and Safety Breaches: Section 26 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (NSW), (2005) 18 Australian Journal of Labour Law, 106)

Nothing, it seems has changed.

Supervisor obligations for safety and health in the WA mining industry

I recently posted up information about my new program, Supervisor obligations for safety and health in the Western Australian Mining Industry.

If you are interested in having a look at the program, you can access one of the chapters for free below:

Chapter 5: The importance of supervision

supervisor training ispring

If you would like to review the whole program, or talk about delivering the program in your organisation, please send me an email – gws@nexuslawyers.com.au

 

 

Legal obligations for supervisors in the WA mining industry

My latest training program, Supervisor Obligations for Safety & Health in the Western Australian Mining Industry is now available as an online program.

The program examines supervisor obligations in the specific context of the Western Australian, Mines Safety & Inspection Act,  providing simple, non-technical principles and guidance, supported by lessons from cases.

You can have a look at the introduction to the program below.

You can access the program for $125 (plus GST) per person and bulk discounts are available.

If you are interested in reviewing the program to see if it would work in your organisation, or would like to organise access for your employees, get in touch by email – gws@nexuslawyers.com.au

I can also modify the program for your organisation.  If you have an introduction by the CEO you would like to add , or build an induction as part of the obligations program, or even change the program so that it deals specifically with issues in your business, just drop me a line and we can start a discussion.

Due Diligence Program in New Zealand

This is a call out to all of my connections in New Zealand.

Dr Rob Long and I will be in New Zealand at the end of August, running due diligence programs for clients. While we are in Auckland, we want to take the opportunity to run some 1-day, public due diligence programs, and are calling for expressions of interest for either 30 or 31 August.

During the program we will be discussing ideas from our book, Risk Conversations: The Law, Social Phycology and Risk. You can also see our discussion about due diligence from the book, in the video below.

The expected cost of the 1-day program is $495 (AUD) plus GST.

You can access more information about the program HERE. You can also email me directly- gws@nexuslawyers.com.au – or email admin@humandymensions.com.

 

 

Employee prosecuted for workplace fall

In a recent Western Australian prosecution, the operations manager of a roofing company was prosecuted and fined $7,500.00 after a worker fell about 5 metres, through a skylight.

The worker suffered serious injuries, and was lucky not to be killed.

The operations manager, Charles Farmer, was prosecuted under section 20(1)(b) of the Occupational safety and Health Act, as an employee who “failed to take reasonable care to avoid adversely affecting the safety or health of any other person through any act or omission at work, and by that failure caused serious harm to a person“.

According to the prosecution summary, although Mr Farmer had identified the skylights on the existing portal frame roof, he did not ensure that a safe working procedure was in place that required the workers to use a fall injury prevention system.

You can access the prosecution summary HERE.

If you would like information about employee obligations for safety and health, I have developed an online training program, and you can find out the details at the link below:

Online training programs