Penalties for workplace safety offences will soon increase in Western Australia to bring WA into line with other states and ensure penalties reflect the importance of a safe workplace.
The amendments will increase penalties for businesses which commit safety offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984 (OSH Act) for the first time since 2004.
“Penalties for workplace safety offences haven’t changed for 13 years. The substantial increases reflect the seriousness of ensuring the safety of Western Australian workers,” said Premier Mark McGowan.
“The McGowan Government is committed to improving workplace health and safety laws to ensure all workers return home safely from work.”
The new penalties will be consistent with the national model Work Health and Safety Act (Model Act) with a further increase for inflation (1.14 percent) from 2010.
The penalties include increasing the maximum term of imprisonment from two to five years.
First offence fines for body corporate offenders will drastically increase. Level 4 first time offences will increase from $500,000 to more than $2.7 million. Level 1 penalties will increase from $50,000 to $456,000.
“The changes to penalty levels will take place ahead of the introduction of the Government’s Work Health and Safety Bill, expected to be introduced into State Parliament by mid-2019,” said Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston.
“The new penalties will provide an incentive to comply with workplace safety laws and ensure penalties meet community expectations.”