Due diligence in the BC Public Service

Last updated: February 23, 2023

Due diligence looks at what was done before an accident occurred, not what was done after.

Under Canadian occupational health and safety legislation, everyone responsible for health and safety must ensure that all precautions reasonable under the circumstances are taken.

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Key concepts

  • Reasonably practicable: the standard is a reasonable and prudent person, acting with common sense and taking reasonable care. It is a higher standard than 'the average person'
  • Degree of risk: the approach chosen to carry out a task depends on the degree of risk. The higher the risk, the greater the safety measures

Criteria for employers

  1. WorkSafeBC’s Basics of Due Diligence information sheet identifies due diligence responsibilities that apply to all employers and helps you understand what due diligence means for your workplace.
  2. Establish a safety program that identifies hazards and assesses and manages their risks. The plan should reduce the likelihood of the hazards causing harm
  3. Ensure the program will meet the needs of the workplace and the workers. It must reflect the nature of the workplace and type of work, as well as the hazards that exist
  4. Monitor and evaluate the program's effectiveness. A process must be in place for staff to do this regularly. For help, use the JOHSC Annual Evaluation Tool (DOCX, 150KB)

If faced with a WorkSafeBC order, penalty or possible prosecution, you must show that you acted with due diligence.

You must provide sufficient documentation of safety program activities.

Learn more about WorkSafeBC inspections.

Investigation assistance

If you're not employed by the B.C. government please call WorkSafeBC at 1-888-621-SAFE (7233).

If you receive an investigation notification and need help:

  • Call the BC Public Service Agency 24-hour emergency safety line (IDIR restricted)
  • Submit an AskMyHRIDIR restricted service request and a member of the Occupational Health & Safety Team will contact you. Use the categories Myself (or) My Team/Organization > Workplace Safety > Other Issues & Inquiries

Contact us

Can’t find what you need?

Submit an AskMyHR (IDIR restricted) service request.

Use the categories Myself (or) My Team/Organization > Workplace Safety > Urgent Health & Safety Support

If you're a B.C. government employee without an IDIR, call the BC Public Service Agency to submit your service request