Safety fines in WA to increase by more than 200%
Following the recent passing of the Occupational Safety and Health Amendment Bill 2017 and the Mines Safety and Inspection Amendment Bill 2017 through parliament, work health and safety (WHS) fines in WA are set to increase by more than 200%. The resulting maximum penalties are expected to come into effect mid-2019 and will be the highest in the nation.
Changes to level 4 maximum penalties under the OSH and MSI Act
- First Offence: $550,000 and five years imprisonment (increased from $250,000 and two years imprisonment)
- Repeat Offence: $680,000 and five years imprisonment (increased from $312,500 and two years imprisonment)
- First Offence: $2.7 million (increased from $500,000)
- Repeat Offence: $3.5 million (increased from $625,500)
- Employees that commit repeat breaches of their OSH duties will also be subject to increased punishment, with the maximum penalty rising from $12,500 to $50,000.
Higher penalties means bigger impacts for business
When the new penalties come into effect (expected mid-2019), they will represent a significant increase in exposure to loss for businesses plus their Directors and Officers. We recommend businesses increase WHS efforts now to minimise their risk of serious claims and resulting penalties.
Undertaking a thorough review of your current WHS policies alongside your business processes to identify hazards and non-compliance is a good starting point.
Businesses should also consider taking out insurance protection for statutory fines and penalties. If you already have cover through a Management Liability Insurance or Directors and Officers Insurance policy, it is important to review your policy limits to ensure your coverage is adequate once the new penalty amounts are in place.
How Coverforce can help
Our experienced insurance brokers can assist businesses with personalised risk advice and placement across a full range of general insurance products.
Our specialist Workplace Solutions team also offer a range of services to assist businesses in the efficient management of your HR and WHS risks including;
- Workers Compensation claims and injury management reviews
- Embedding of safe working processes
- Identification of risks and hazards in your workplace
- Identifying and closing compliance gaps
For more information, contact us today and experience the Coverforce difference for yourself.