What is the defense of due diligence?
In prosecutions for violations of health and safety laws, the prosecutor must prove that the accused committed a prohibited act. To be acquitted, the accused must then establish that on a balance of probabilities all reasonable precautions to comply were taken in the circumstances. This is the defense of due diligence.
According to the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, it’s the employer’s responsibility to implement an occupational health and safety (OHS) program to prevent workplace injury and disease.
OHS programs must meet certain standards. The employer must exercise due diligence in taking steps to meet those
Demonstrating due diligence in implementing OHS programs can be a defence to a monetary penalty or prosecution when WorkSafeBC requirements have allegedly been violated.
What is the test of due diligence?
Documentation of an effective OH&S program; an effective OH&S program includes:
- A written OHS program that has been implemented.
- An employer who takes steps to control or eliminate specific hazards.
- Written safe work procedures that are understood and followed by workers.
- Workers who are provided with adequate instruction, training, supervision and discipline to work safely.
Who Should Attend
This course is intended for supervisors, joint health and safety committee members, worker health and safety representatives, and business owners or operators who wish to improve health and safety knowledge in their workplace.
After completing the course, participants will be able to:
Identify workplace hazards
- Develop safe work procedures and corrective measures to control hazards
- Apply the process of identification, control and evaluation to eliminate hazards or reduce risks specific to the construction industry
- Locate pertinent regulatory requirements related to workplace hazards and safety standards in British Columbia
- Explain the legal responsibilities of employers, workers, supervisors, and others