Penalties for workplace safety offences are set to increase in WA to bring the state in-line with the rest of the country. These changes will be brought into effect before the new Work Health and Safety Act that is due to be introduced in WA in 2019. So, how do these penalties affect your small business?

  • First offence fines for body corporate offenders will increase, for example level 4 first time offences (which deal with gross negligence) will increase from $500,000 to more than $2.7 million.
  • Level 1 penalties will increase from $50,000 to $456,000.
  • The new penalties will also result in an increase in the maximum term for imprisonment from two to five years.

The increase to penalties will ensure that WA’s workplace safety legislation is the same as the rest of Australia, increasing the safety of employees around the state. The hope is that the increased penalties will encourage employers to stick to the rules and ensure the safety of employees always. There is also the hope the new penalties will better meet community expectations.

Workplace safety penalties have not been updated since 2004. It is vital to ensure that all your work health and safety policies and procedures are up to date and consistent with the updated legislation. This will help your small business prepare for the upcoming changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984 (OSH Act).

If you would like more information on changing work health and safety penalties, please contact us on (08) 9316 9896 or

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