Episode Summary

Greg Smith is both a safety lawyer and a safety professional. He graciously reached out to me after listening to our episode a couple of weeks ago on whether the capacity index is a good replacement for incident-count safety metrics, noting that when it came to due diligence, he felt that further elaboration on some of the topics we discussed might be a good idea. So of course I invited Greg to share his thoughts on today’s episode – which he kindly agreed to do.

Episode Notes

Greg makes it very clear how important it is to avoid oversimplifying the term “due diligence”. He shares how this mistake has, unfortunately, led to safety officers and businesses being held liable for incidents at their premises. Today’s conversation with Greg was incredibly insightful to me and he clarified all his examples with real-life examples.


  • Introduction to Greg Smith
  • Paper Safe
  • Capacity Index vs incident count safety metrics research paper in epi
  • What is due diligence?
  • Misleading due diligence products
  • Reasonably practicable vs due diligence
  • The validity of injury rates
  • Site inspection limitations
  • The role of health and safety reporting
  • Learning from incidents
  • Practical tips from Greg
  • Advice for safety officers meeting with the board of directors


“I find it fascinating the number of different disciplines, all landing at the same point at about the same time but without any reference to each other, I think it says something about the way that health and safety is managed at the moment.”- Greg Smith

“Due diligence creates a positive obligation on company officers in the same way that the reasonableness elements of WHS create positive obligations on employees.”- Greg Smith

“Injury rates from a legal perspective are not a measure of anything. They don’t demonstrate reasonably practicable, they do not demonstrate due diligence.” – Greg Smith

“ I am not an advocate of moving from complexity to simplicity. I think we need to be careful of that because a lot of what we do in safety is not simple and by making it simple, we’re actually hiding a lot of risk.”  – Greg Smith


Paper Safe Book – by Greg Smith

Forgeworks – Safety work vs Safety of Work

A capacity index to replace flawed incident-based metrics for worker safety