Tough new penalties for workplaces

The State Government announced significant increases to jail terms and fines for businesses who commit safety offences.

The new laws – announced on October 4 – will increase penalties for workplace safety offences under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994.

Harsher penalties for offenders include increasing the maximum term of imprisonment from two years to five years, and increased fines for body corporates:

  • Level 4 offences now attract a maximum $2.7 million penalty for first offenders and $3.5 million for subsequent offenders (up from $500,000 and $625,000 respectively); and
  • Level 1 penalties have increased from $50,000 to $450,000 for first offenders and from $62,500 to $570,000 for subsequent offences.

The penalties are consistent with the national model Work Health and Safety Act.

“I’m pleased the new laws have come into effect – the significant increases reflect the seriousness of ensuring the safety of Western Australian workers,” Premier Mark McGowan said.

“All workers have the right to return home safely from work, and my Government is committed to improving workplace health and safety laws.”

►CCI also offers regular courses on the content of the Model Work Health and Safety Act and how they compare to WA’s current Occupational Safety and Health laws.

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