Friday, February 12, 2016

Are you following all elements of due diligence?


      Most of us are aware of what due diligence means and that we must be prudent to ensure that we are doing our due diligence to protect our workers and ourselves. Have you ever thought about ensuring that you have met the requirements of the many different elements of a due diligence program and at what point does a situation go outside of your due diligence and cross into circumstances outside of your control?

      Let’s take a closer look at due diligence as it relates to machine safety. The major elements of a due diligence program are:

  1. Identifying hazards:  Have you allocated appropriate resources to identifying hazards in your workplace? Do you take a continuous improvement approach towards identifying hazards, or have performed an audit ten years ago and not considered it since? As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your workplace is a safe environment and the best way to do this is to continuously be looking for ways to improve.
  2.  Controlling hazards:  Have you taken a systematic approach to controlling hazards in your workplace by applying the hierarchy of controls? Have the controls that you’ve implemented been designed in accordance with legislation and applicable standards? Have the controls been designed in such a way to discourage workers from defeating them? This last question is the one that can end up causing you a lot of grief if an incident occurs. If you’ve identified a serious hazard that can cause major harm and you install a guard rail (which can be easily jumped over or stepped through), have you really done all that is reasonably practicable to protect your workers? Ensure that the safeguarding control you implement is effective for the level of hazard you are protecting from.
  3.  Training: This can be an obvious one that most of us all know. You must train your workers to understand the hazards of their job and know how to work safely and properly use the controls you put in place for them.
  4. Enforcement: This is one that we often forget, but it’s a biggie. You could do all of the above perfectly, but if you witness a worker defeating a safeguard or working unsafely and you do not enforce the rules, guess who can be found at fault? Not the worker, it will be you. It is so important not only to give your workers all the tools they need to do their job safely but to ensure that they do in fact follow the rules.

Keep a lookout for our next blog where we will discuss the differences between employer due diligence and employee responsibility.

Posted by Kristin Petaski at 2:08 PM


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