Home - Understanding the WHS Act: Offences – Part 1

UpdatesMar 21, 2012

Understanding the WHS Act: Offences – Part 1

Welcome to the final week in the special bulletin series – Understanding the WHS Act: A Practical Guide.

This week’s topic is offences under the WHS Act…

The WHS Act sets out three main categories of offences which are detailed below.

By Joanna Weekes

Welcome to the final week in the special bulletin series – Understanding the WHS Act: A Practical Guide.

This week’s topic is offences under the WHS Act…

The WHS Act sets out three main categories of offences which are detailed below.

Fines can be imposed on an individual or a business and, in the case of an individual, the Court is also able to order a term of imprisonment.

The Courts also still have broad powers to order a business to publish the details of its conviction. This type of order can significantly impact on a business reputation.

Category 1

It is an offence under the WHS Act to recklessly engage in conduct that exposes an individual to a risk of death or serious injury or illness, without reasonable excuse.

The maximum penalties are:

Category 2

It is an offence under the WHS Act to fail to comply with a health and safety duty owed, exposing an individual to a risk of death or serious injury or illness. This is similar to category 1 but there is no requirement for the safety regulator to prove the element of recklessness.

The maximum penalties are:

Category 3

This category of offence deals with all offences which are neither Category 1 or Category 2.

The maximum penalties are:

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