Risky Business

January 2013

People on Hand

Welcome to the new year and this month's edition of "Risky Business".  


New Workplace Health and Safety laws introduce a greater duty on officers to exercise due diligence in ensuring their businesses or undertaking complies with the laws. A breach of this duty can result in criminal prosecution. 


Please read our article below for more information.

  Insurance News 

Cliff Sign

Management Liability and Workplace Health and Safety changes

Unfortunately many organisations in Australia are unaware of their obligations under the latest workplace health and safety (WHS) laws. Some have chosen not to invest in compliance management. Their excuse is similar to the reasons some organisations do not take out insurance because "it will never happen to them". We strongly recommend they look carefully at this area of law.


One of the key features of the new WHS laws which you should take note of is the move away from the employment relationship. The laws now dictate that a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), owes the primary duty of care to each of its 'workers'. This means not just an employer, but also a Principal engaging contractors.


The new WHS laws introduce a greater duty on officers to exercise due diligence in ensuring their businesses or undertaking complies with the laws. A breach of this duty can result in criminal prosecution and significant individual penalties of up to $600,000 and/or five years imprisonment.


To assist in preventing a breach of these laws, you need to be prepared to demonstrate to an inspector how you are discharging your duty of care. This includes how your organisation is making sure your workers, including contractors and subcontractors, are safe. Read more here.


We have a panel of people we recommend if you need assistance in setting up compliance systems. Call us for a referral.


The Insurance Solution 

Prevention is better than cure and there are insurance solutions. Management Liability Insurance or Statutory Liability cover can assist in the event of allegations being made against you.


However, these are mainly able to provide legal representation to defend charges as well as pay for damages. The intention is to cover statutory fines and penalties (where indemnifiable by law) but there is still an expectation that the insured is managing the risk with internal procedures and compliance systems. 


The combination of good systems backed up with Insurance cover will provide the best protection with Workplace Health and Safety risks for your business. Call us to discuss these risks further.

  Joke of the Month 

3 balloons
The Story of the Three Balloons


Once upon a time there were three balloons. Mummy balloon, daddy balloon and baby balloon.


They all used to sleep in the same bed, with baby balloon in the middle. One night baby balloon just could not get comfortable. Things were just too squeezy.


So baby balloon leaned over to mummy balloon and let some air out of her. That was better, but still too squeezy. So it leaned over to daddy balloon and let some air put of him. Again, that was better, but alas, still too squeezy.


So baby balloon let some air out of itself, and that made all the difference. Baby balloon then went on to have a good night's sleep.


In the morning they all woke up. But daddy balloon was not very happy.


He stared at baby balloon with a very angry look on his face.


"Baby balloon", he said, "I am, very disappointed with you! Not only have you let me down, but you have let your mother down, and you have let yourself down."


See you next month.




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