What do you know about OHS Due Diligence?

Most often, employers end up thinking about OHS due diligence when they have an incident that requires formal investigation. Furthermore, at this point, it could be too late. Nevertheless, it is crucial to understand that OHS due diligence in not a past or future process. In fact, it’s an ongoing process. Further, as an employer, to be in due diligence, you need to ensure that:

  • You have done everything reasonable.
  • To protect the health and safety of your workers.

What do you know about OHS Due Diligence?

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Why is OHS due diligence becoming important?

Given the increased supervisory prosecutions and penalties, OHS due diligence is becoming extremely crucial for organizations. Moreover, amendments to the Criminal Code under Bill C-45 in 2004 became a landmark move made by the authorities. Furthermore, the authorities amended the Criminal Code to enhance workplace health and safety. In fact, it brought a potential criminal liability angle to OHS offences, which was not the case earlier.

Anyone can face criminal negligence charges if:

  • He or she fails to meet his or her duty.
  • Shows “wanton or reckless disregard” for the lives or safety of others at the workplace.

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How do supervisors play a vital role in establishing and managing OHS due diligence

Supervisors of an organization must ensure that workers understand, implement, and follow the company’s policies & procedures. Moreover, they must advise employees of any hazards and potential exposures at the workplace. In fact, direct monitoring of employees’ performance of activities is one of the best approaches supervisors can adopt. Furthermore, supervisors can mitigate workplace risks through increased monitoring for high risk tasks. In fact, it is the duty of the supervisors to enforce disciplinary actions for non-conformity. Moreover, the proof of enforcement such as checklists, warning emails, and memos, is critical for proving due diligence.

Every employer is aware that OHS due diligence is an ongoing process. However, they do not take much action to maintain due diligence on an ongoing basis. Moreover, conducting a safety compliance review or gap analysis is an effective way to ensure due diligence. In fact, an employer could do this either annually or every 18-24 months. Furthermore, in addition to helping with due diligence, this will help you stay on top of workplace safety. Thus, you can work more effectively towards building a sustainable safety culture. Hence, as an employer, you must always focus on being in compliance as well as staying in compliance. In fact, that’s the best way to make your OHS program come alive.

Best ways to conduct a safety compliance review to help you with OHS compliance 

You can conduct a safety compliance review internally through your in-house safety team. Furthermore, you can also conduct it externally through a third-party consultant. However, self-audit of the program could include biases or complacency. In fact, the in-house safety team could get lethargic about the program thinking everything is fine, overlooking prospective gaps. Moreover, the authorities may or may not accept a self-audited program as a due diligence document.

Therefore, the prudent thing to do is to involve an expert health and safety consultant for doing the safety compliance audit. Moreover, in addition to being a third-party, an expert OHS consultant can bring the following benefits to the table:

  • They can find all the vital gaps in your program and make good recommendations to fill those gaps. Moreover, these recommendations coupled with the actions you take on them serve as due diligence documents.
  • Expert OHS consultants will provide you with an unbiased third-party view of your program.

Moreover, they will provide you with a clear roadmap for implementing the recommendations to fill the gaps.

Given that the MOL has increased the maximum fine for workplace safety offences and non-compliance of the OHSA requirements, due diligence has become even more important.

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