Those performing governance roles don’t have to be experts, but they should obtain enough rail health and safety knowledge to ask the right questions of the right people to obtain credible information. This is referred to as due diligence.
Due diligence is defined in Section 44(4) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015(external link) as taking reasonable steps to:
a) acquire, and keep up to date, knowledge of work health and safety matters
b) gain an understanding of the nature of the operations of the business or undertaking of the PCBU and generally of the hazards and risks associated with those operations
c) to ensure that the PCBU has available for use, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking
d) ensure that the PCBU has appropriate processes for receiving and considering information regarding incidents, hazards, and risks and for responding in a timely way to that information
e) ensure that the PCBU has, and implements, processes for complying with any duty or obligation of the PCBU under this Act; and
f) verify the provision and use of the resources and processes referred to in paragraphs (c) to (e).