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
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There is concerning trajectory in the current conversation about regulating health and safety in Australia. The conversation is almost exclusively focused on the consequences of workplace accidents, specifically ongoing calls for increasing penalties and introducing a class of offence called “Industrial Manslaughter”.
At the risk of trying to close gates long after the horses have bolted, I would like to suggest some other conversations which do not simply involve more of the same.
Read more here: