The McGowan government has announced harsher penalties for workplace health and safety offences in Western Australia. The penalties came into effect at the beginning of October 2018 and intend to ensure consistency with the national model Work Health and Safety Act.
The new laws will provide increased maximum penalties under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994. The changes include:
- The maximum term of imprisonment for offenders will be increased from two years to five years and fines for body corporates will also be increased.
- Level 4 offences will now receive a maximum $2.7 million penalty for first offenders and $3.5 million for subsequent offenders up from the previous $500,000 and $625,000 penalties. An offence is considered Level 4 when gross negligence is involved.
- Level 3 offences (when the incident results in death or serious harm) have an increased maximum penalty from $400,000 to $2 million.
- Level 2 penalties (when there is a contravention, but it does not cause death or serious harm) have increased from $200,000 to $1.5 million.
- Level 1 penalties have increased from $50,000 to $450,000 for first offenders and from $62,500 to $570,000 for subsequent offences.
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