Due diligence requires taking all reasonable steps to protect workers from harm. 'All reasonable steps' is based on the level of judgment and care that a person would reasonably be expected to do under the circumstances. An organization that actively manages health and safety and takes all reasonable steps to protect workers from harm is being duly diligent.
Due diligence requires that you:
- Identify all workplace hazards
- Implement all necessary preventive measures
- Communicate appropriately to all necessary personnel
Steps to being duly diligent
Ignorance is no defence, so know your legal obligations under the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, your health and safety responsibilities, and best practices for your industry.
Identify issues for your workplace through risk assessments, using appropriately knowledgeable people. Consider using external professionals for certain aspects of this analysis. Review your incidents and trends, inspections, audit findings, program evaluations, and input from workers.
Develop a robust health and safety program that includes policies, procedures, and practices to minimize risk from specific hazards. Communicate these policies, procedures, and practices and ensure all workers are trained on them. Check to make sure procedures are being followed, and enforce compliance with the Regulation as well as your own internal policies and procedures.
An active health and safety management approach — one that demonstrates due diligence — ensures that workers are provided with valuable health and safety information, instruction, training, and supervision. It also confirms when knowledge and processes are working, and corrects for unsafe hazards and practices that are not.
Review your systems and processes frequently through self-evaluations. Continuously assess health and safety in the workplace. Monitor changes in regulation and industry practices and apply changes to your own operations as necessary.
Be on record
Gather evidence of your health and safety program and all its components. Be able to demonstrate how you are implementing your health and safety policies, procedures, and practices and to provide proof of enforcement when necessary. Be able to demonstrate that appropriate checks and reviews are in place to ensure continued vigilance. The Due Diligence Checklist can help you understand the records and documentation needed to demonstrate an effective health and safety program.