Easy OHS

National OHS Laws - Reckless Conduct - $3,000,000 Fine

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Warning - New Safety Laws on Track
Set out below is an extract from the Model Work Health and Safety Bill prepared by the Parliamentary Counsel Committee and approved by the Workplace Relations Ministers' Council on the 11th December 2009.  A full copy of the model can be found here - Model Work Health and Safety Bill. We will be bringing you regular updates and reviews of various sections of the proposed harmonisation laws.

Employers should be on notice, that the fines for non compliance in any of the nominated compliance areas (if enacted) are very substantial.  For example, for reckless conduct regarding workplace safety the offences and penalties include 5 years imprisonment and fines of up three million dollars.

RECKLESS CONDUCT - CATEGORY 1
Division 5 Offences and penalties

29 Health and safety duty

In this Division, a health and safety duty is a duty imposed under Division 2, 3 or 4.
 
(1) A person commits a Category 1 offence if:

(a) the person has a health and safety duty; and

(b) the person engages in conduct that, without reasonable excuse, exposes an individual to whom that duty is owed to a risk of death or serious injury or illness; and

(c) the person is reckless as to the risk of death or serious injury or illness to that individual.

Maximum penalty:

In the case of an offence committed by an individual (other than as a person conducting a business or undertaking or as an officer of a body corporate)—$300 000 or 5 years mprisonment or both.

In the case of an offence committed by an individual as a person conducting a business or undertaking or as an officer of a body corporate—$600 000 or 5 years imprisonment or both.

In the case of an offence committed by a body corporate—$3 000 000.

(2) The prosecution bears the burden of proving that the conduct was engaged in without reasonable excuse.

DO NO DELAY

In addition to the above,  there are many other areas with mandated penalties.

All employers should be doing their upmost to ensure full compliance.  The most major shake up to workplace safety laws in the last decade is moving closer.  We urge you not to delay getting your safety systems in order. 

 

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