I have had several new subscribers sign up today, I think in response to a LinkedIn post i put up:
Just by way of quick explanation, that video was created when I was with another legal group several years ago, and at the time all of my blog posts were on this site. I have kept this site active because I believe the articles still have value, but most of my blog articles are now on my new website, https://www.waylandlegal.com.au/blog and you can jump over and subscribe to that blog for my most up-to-date work.
Thank you to all the new subscribers.
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.
I have recently updated my website with a new article on due diligence. You can access the article HERE.
I will continue to publish links to my new articles through the My Safety Thoughts blog for the rest of the year, but moving forward I will be transitioning all my publishing to my website, www.waylandlegal.com.au
To ensure that you don’t miss out please subscribe to my website, which you can do HERE.
From 4 April 2018, Nexus Lawyers (WA) Pty Ltd will change its name to Wayland Legal Pty Ltd.
Wayland Legal is a boutique Western Australian based law firm specialising in workplace health & safety and employment law.
As part of the change, I will be moving my online articles and videos to my new website, which you can find HERE.
I will keep the My Safety Thoughts blog online so people can access past articles, and there will be a link to My Safety Thoughts on the new website.
Go to the website, www.waylandlegal.com.au to find out more.
Today I was reading a LinkedIn post lamenting the state of health and safety management, evidenced by too many “safety stickers” on a piece of machinery.
A commenter noted that the situation was “absolute madness“, which doesn’t keep anyone safe. Much of the conversation from there was focused on whose “fault” it was and we ended up with all of the usual suspects in the firing line – insurers, lawyers, consultants and so on. Probably quite justified too.
To my mind, this issue illustrates the disconnect apparent in health and safety management between “process” and “outcome“. It seems to me that health and safety management is obsessed with process – the way that we “do” safety. This obsession means that every few years somebody reinvents the way we do safety, or the way we do parts of safety. As evidence of this you only need to think of the transition from safety culture, to safety 1, through to safety 2 and now safety differently – with god only knows what in between. On a micro level, just think how many iterations of the JHA you have seen during your working career.
What makes this more interesting is the process doesn’t really matter. How you “do” safety is not really an issue. What is important is whether you can show your process achieves the outcome it was designed for.
The table below lists a series of cases looking at the “outcome” of understanding hazards. The “processes” were all different: documented, undocumented, buddy systems, on-the-job training and so on. But even where the processes were the same this did not determine the decision – the decision was determined on whether the outcome, and understanding of hazards and risks, was achieved.
So, the question is not how fancy, new or shiny your process is. The question is whether it achieves the outcome.