The Duty of Care and
Why You Need to Know
By Nick Ashton, Founder, CEO,
Tracometry Group of Companies.
Since 1998 I have been preaching this necessary characteristic of business, life and social understanding, it is our responsibility to others and always a high priority. Logically you would think everybody would understand the need for this important factor in our society, Your Duty of Care!
Duty of Care requires everything reasonably practicable to be done to protect the health and safety of others in the workplace and anywhere basically people gather or live. This duty is placed on all employers, their employees and any others who have an influence on hazards, security and day-to-day activities in a, neighborhood, community or workplace.
The latter includes contractors and those who design, manufacture, import, supply or install plant, equipment or materials used within a workplace.
Reasonable practicable means that the requirements of the law vary with the degree of risk in a particular activity or environment, which must be balanced against the time, trouble and cost of taking, measures to control the risk. It allows the duty of care holder requiring change in technology and knowledge to be incorporated but only as and when it is efficient to do so. The duty holder must show that it was not reasonably practicable to do more than what was done or that they have taken reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence.
Specific rights and duties logically flow from the duty of care. These include:
v Provision and maintenance of safe plant and systems of work;
v Safe systems of work in connection with plant substances;
v Safe working environment and adequate welfare facilities;
v Overseeing all persons under your care and recording all information regarding their daily care;
v Information and instruction on the workplace hazards and supervision of employees in a safe workplace;
v Disaster preparedness planning and testing of such planning;
v Security of building and glazing from potential attacks or faults;
v Information flow at a rate that maintains up-to-date records;
v Simplification of record keeping with major redundancy capabilities;
v Auditable records that are accessible and checkable in a reasonable time frame;
v System that is usable and accessible by all.
The ‘hierarchy of control’ refers to the range of feasible options for managing the risk to health and safety. The hierarchy normally ranges over the following controls: elimination of the hazard; to choose the most efficient means for controlling a particular risk from the range of feasible possibilities.
The qualification allows those responsible to meet their duty of care at the lowest cost. It also allows substitution with a less harmful version; its redesign; engineering controls; isolation of the hazard from people at the workplace; safe work practices; redesigning work systems; and the use of personal protective equipment and methods by people at the workplace.
This includes all information to make that right decision. Gathering and analyzing the data to inform and allow management to be “in the know”, enabling correct and precise judgments. Knowingly ignoring the capabilities of the information that can be collected is placing all in a libelous position. Failure to recognize the systems and solutions today does not negate responsibility, it is still your Duty of Care.
In practical terms, you as an employer have the obligation to take reasonable care to avoid causing foreseeable harm to another person or his or her property. The breach of Duty of Care is the failures to take reasonable care to avoid injury or damage to a person or their property in a situation where the law imposes a duty of care. It is logical and sadly missed every single day in America’s workplace.
Due to the activities of our enemies on September 11th 2001 the responsibility to protect your business, employees, clients and members of the public has increased by one hundred fold. The legal liability is astounding and as any competent lawyer will tell you, you had better have taken measures against such incidents or face the consequences.
In a press release issued January 24th, 2002, Gartner Inc. in The Business Continuity Readiness Survey reports that the areas in which companies and government organizations are least prepared in are the same areas that are most likely to incur loss or damage in physical attacks. Only 13 percent of companies’ report that they are "mostly" prepared for major loss of life; 28 percent report business continuity plans for addressing physical attacks; and 38 percent are prepared for loss of transportation infrastructure. Only 36 percent have a plan for complete loss of physical assets and workspace.
Chuck Taylor, Gartner EXP vice president and research director, said; "Scenario planning is never a pleasant exercise. However, CEOs owe it to their employees, their families and to shareholders to protect their most valuable assets -- their people -- and to ensure that business can continue even under the extreme circumstances. Business continuity should be on the agenda of every corporate board meeting.''
The Duty of Care can be your best ally or worst enemy. To make sure all are safe from all eventualities is one thing, but to do nothing at all is total irresponsibility, especially in the field of corporate security or public liability. The ability to secure your company to the best of your capability is available and at hand.
Today we must document everything, store the information and have at hand for auditors or in the event of a lawsuit, for the legal beagles to sift through in a competent manner.
The instrument used by most to record their daily information is the pen and paper. It is ubiquitous and carried by all. Converting that written information to data has never been easier than with the Tracometry Group of Companies and is just part of our circle of fire.
At the heart of our circle is the analytics, the ability to be one step ahead of the bad guys with crime analytics, tracking, Calls for Service, Next Event Predictability, all available in our three level solutions. Even a 24/7 availability via the Internet for the public of required street level information. This ties in to our community solutions with the Pied Piper Project, rejuvenating communities, removal of social problems, which include utilizing all the laws on the books to spring clean society. Municipalities have monies owed sitting the hallways and streets, court order monies in fines, court charges and property taxes, our recoupeit, reuniting revenues, collects those monies which are in fact owed to the citizens indirectly.
All this in the Tracometry Group of Companies, Circle of Fire and it is Your Duty of Care and responsibility.
WE are in the NOW and KEEP YOU; in the KNOW…
Call: +1 (317) 426.0110