By Joanna Weekes
In the WHS Act (to take effect on 1 January 2012), there three levels of obligations placed on people within your company:
The duties of these parties as laid out in the WHS Act and Regulations are much more onerous than in previous OHS legislation.
It is for this reason that the maximum penalties are also heavier for a breach of the Act or its Regulations.
Maximum penalties under the WHS Act:
|Type of offence||Maximum penalty for corporation||Maximum penalty for officers||Maximum penalty for workers|
|Category 1 – Breach of a health and safety duty involving recklessness as to the risk of death or serious injury or illness without reasonable excuse||$3,000,000||$600,000 or 5 years’ imprisonment||$300,000 or 5 years’ imprisonment|
|Category 2 – Breach of a health and safety duty which expose an individual to death or serious injury or illness (without recklessness)||$1,500,000||$300,000||$150,000|
|Category 3 – Other breaches of health and safety duties||$500,000||$100,000||$50,000|
If you’d like to learn more about your extended duties under the WHS Act and about how you can prepare yourself, your workers and your business, your OH&S Handbook includes a new chapter, O6 OHS Business Obligations in the WHS Act which provides an overview of the obligations of people at different levels within your company and what they need to do to comply with their new duties.
The soon to be released sixth update for the year also includes lots more information about the specific duties that officers and workers have in the WHS Act with 2 brand new chapters featuring that content.
Thanks for reading…