Changes to OHS penalties

The State Government recently passed new legislation that increases the penalties for breaches of the OHS Act. This is the first step in the McGowan Government’s efforts to include Western Australia in the harmonised national laws.

The Bills for the harmonisation are being drafted, this will be read into parliament in the government’s first term.

Western Australian farmers should be aware of their ongoing responsibilities for themselves, employees, family and contractors while they are the property.

Below are some indicative guidelines regarding the suggested penalty levels. 

  • Level 1 offence – generally a breach of the regulations, usually without any harm to anyone. An example would be a breach of the fatigue management regulations in which an employer did not make a truck driver take the required rest breaks.
  • Level 2 offence – usually a breach of the general duty of care with no serious harm caused.
  • Level 3 offence – breaches of the Act that result in serious harm or death.
  • Level 4 offence – gross negligence on the part of the employer resulting in serious harm or death.

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