Around the world, legislation is being enacted that is extending responsibility for the regulatory compliance of your suppliers. This now includes individuals and office holders of your organisation. In Australia the national harmonisation of Work Health and Safety has led to new, consistent laws being passed in all States and Territories (except VIC and WA at time of writing). In 2016 New Zealand saw the enactment of the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015) which is very similar in intent and structure to the legislation implemented in Australia.
In both Australia and New Zealand the legislation requires an organisation to do what is "reasonably practicable" to minimise risks. In both countries, the penalties for not complying with these new laws are now far greater and extend further down into an organisation than in the past. Any individual (not just Officers - Directors etc) within an organisation that is found to have failed to comply with the legislation, (ie has failed to do what is deemed 'reasonably practicable') can face serious penalties.
The maximum penalties for breach of harmonised Australian Work Health and Safety laws and the New Zealand Health and Safety at Work Act are:
|Reckless conduct as to the risk to an individual of death or
serious injury or serious illness
5 Years Imprisonment
5 Years Imprisonment
|Failing to comply with duty that exposes individual to risk
of death or serious injury or serious illness
|Failing to comply with duty
1Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) includes an employer,
corporation, association, partnership, sole trader and certain volunteer
2At the time of writing, the Maximum Penalties for Australia and New Zealand are indentical except the Australian penalties are in Australian dollars and the New Zealand penalties are in New Zealand dollars.
3An Individual is anyone who is not an Officer as described in
item 4 below. Examples are Health and Safety Managers,Team Leaders,
Managers, Supervisors, Safety Inspectors and people with 'officer' in their
title such as Safety Officers. All of these are Individuals unless they are
also Officers as described below.
4Examples of Officers are Company Directors, Partners or any person excercising significant influence in an organisation such as a Chief Executive Officer.
In all cases, fines imposed on individuals cannot be insured against and
cannot be paid for by the organisation.
These legislations extend beyond high risk industries such as construction
and mining to every industry, including office based organisations. In
short, you are obliged to check and be satisfied that anyone invited to work
on your premises or on a site for which you are responsible or at your
direction is appropriately
licensed, accredited, trained and insured.
Implementing a robust internal system such as ARCUS SIM allows you and your organisation to put forward a strong argument in relation to the 'reasonable practicability'
of ensuring that sub-contractors, suppliers and others are fully compliant.
Please contact us at Trade
Interchange to discuss your supplier compliance and risk management