New WA OSH Penalties commence today – 3 October 2018

Without making any comment on the wisdom or efficacy of increasing penalties for breaches of health and safety legislation, it is nevertheless noteworthy that amendments to the Western Australian Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 were proclaimed on 2 October 2018, and take effect today, 3 October 2018.

The result of the amendments is a significant increase in penalties for breaches of safety and health legislation in Western Australia. The most common penalties for employers, Level 2 and Level 3 have increased from $200,000 to $1.5 million and $400,000 to $2 million respectively. Level 4 penalties, breaches of the legislation in circumstances of gross negligence, have been increased from $500,000 to $2.7 million.

Breaches of health and safety legislation by an employee that caused the death of, or serious harm to, another person have increased from $20,000 to $80,000 for a first offence, and from $25,000 to $100,000 for a subsequent offence.

You can access a copy of the proclamation HERE.

You can access a copy of the amending legislation, with details of all the penalty increases HERE.


3 thoughts on “New WA OSH Penalties commence today – 3 October 2018

  1. The issues only come to light after the event!
    Why are the regulators not more proactive therefore preventing many of the underlying issues?
    I see fines as counter productive however I do not want to see people injured at work under any circumstances

  2. Hello Greg

    Thank you for this post. Are you able to shed light on why penalty level one for an employee is greater than level 2? ($50,000 and then $40,000)

    Kind regards

    Samia Hughes WHS Consultant


    1. Hi Samia.

      Are you talking about sections 20A(3)(c) – $40,000 and section 20A(3)(d) – $50,000? These are the only related provisions I can see for employees that have penalties of $40,000 and $50,000.

      20A(3)(c) ($40,000) is in relation to a first offence, but 20A(3)(d) ($50,000) refers to a subsequent offence.

      Please let me know if this does not answer your question.

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