On 1 January 2012, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (the WHS Act) commenced in Queensland. The WHS Act imposes an obligation on officers of not for profit corporations and associations (both incorporated and unincorporated) to exercise ‘due diligence’ to ensure the company or association complies with its duties under the WHS Act. Due diligence requires that the officers:
- acquire and keep up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters;
- gain an understanding of the nature of the operations of the business of their organisation and the hazards and risks associated with those operations;
- ensure resources are available and utilised by the organisation to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety from those operations;
- ensure the organisation has processes in place for receiving and considering information regarding incidents, hazards and risks and responding in a timely way to that information;
- ensure that the organisation has, and implements, processes for complying with any relevant duty or obligation; and
- verify the provision and use of the resources and processes by the organisation.
Failure to exercise due diligence may result in substantial financial penalties or even imprisonment.
If you wish to discuss further the new obligations on officers of your not for profit organisation please contact Dr Joanne Redburn on 07 3160 0010.