SOME CARE, LITTLE RESPONSIBILITY? PROMOTING DIRECTORS’ AND MANAGERS’ LEGAL ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THE WORKPLACE

KAREN WHEELWRIGHT

Abstract


[Health and safety at work remains a serious and under-recognised prob- lem in Australia. This paper argues for the importance of increasing the individual responsibility and accountability of senior managers and direc- tors of corporations for the development and maintenance of occupational health and safety (OHS) standards in the workplace. In order to do so, the paper first sets out the range of statutory and general law duties and li- abilities to which directors and senior managers are subject, considers to what extent these obligations have relevance in the OHS area and argues for the extension of these duties and liabilities in some circumstances. The paper then goes on to argue for a better legislative model for the legal re- sponsibility of managers and officers, supported by the increased prosecu- tion of individuals in appropriate circumstances, as well as acknowledging the benefits of a broader range of non-legal strategies to improve board- level commitment to OHS that will influence corporate compliance over- all.] 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/dlr2005vol10no2art288

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