Home - Maximum penalties under the WHS Act

UpdatesOct 12, 2011

Maximum penalties under the WHS Act

In the WHS Act (to take effect on 1 January 2012), there three levels of obligations placed on people within your company:

PCBUs
Officers
Workers

The duties of these parties as laid out in the WHS Act and Regulations are much more onerous than in previous OHS legislation.

By Joanna Weekes

Dear Reader,

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 offenceMaximum penalty for corporationMaximum penalty for officersMaximum 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…

Joanna Weekes

Joanna Weekes
Editor
OH&S Bulletin

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