I don’t know if you have noticed in the news, but there seems to be a lot of large fines for workplace breeches lately? We constantly see on LinedIn, media releases or on the news mediums (social and business) articles about organisations or individuals receiving massive fines for a safety breech.
Back in 2018 the WA government passed legislation to increase workplace safety and health offence penalties under the then current Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (OSH Act) and the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 (MSI Act). The current Work, Health and Safety legislation (WHS) Act 2020 and Regulations 2022, has continued with the new penalties. in general penalties have increased for body corporates (now anywhere from $450 000 to $3.5 million) and individuals (from $100 000 to $680 000 and imprisonment). The current legislation imposes a more expansive obligation on ‘Duty holders’ (Duty of Care) and individuals.
However it would be great to see that it is not the fines that are drivers for improving safety through lessons learnt but learning from mistakes and doing all that can be done to minimise the risk of a serious accident from happening again. This is not just in the immediate workplace that an incident has occurred, but even through future generations / students. Such an example is that of George Weston Foods – CAstlemain manufacturing plant in regional Victoria.