Failure to comply with a safety duty

Under Part 2 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the Act) failure to comply with work health and safety duties can lead to the following penalties:

Category 1 - Reckless conduct

Section 31 of the Act states that a person commits a category 1 offence if:

  • the person has a health and safety duty; and,
  • the person engages in conduct that exposes an individual to a risk of death or serious injury; and
  • the person is reckless as to the risk.

Maximum penalty can include:

  • $300,000, imprisonment for 5 years or both for an individual;
  • $600,000, imprisonment for 5 years or both for an individual as a person in control of a business or undertaking or as an officer; or
  • $3,000,000 for a body corporate.

Category 2 - Failure to comply with health and safety duty

Section 32 of the Act states that a person commits a category 2 offence if:

  • the person has a health and safety duty; and,
  • the person fails to comply with that duty; and
  • the failure to comply exposes an individual to a risk of death or serious injury or illness.

Maximum penalty can include:

  • $150,000 for an individual;
  • $300,000 for an individual as a person in control of a business or undertaking or as an officer; or,
  • $1,5000,000 for a body corporate.

Category 3 - Failure to comply with health and safety duty

Section 33 of the Act states that a person commits a category 3 offence if:

  • the person has a health and safety duty; and,
  • the person fails to comply with that duty.

Maximum penalty can include:

  • $50,000 for an individual;
  • $100,000 for an individual as a person in control of a business or undertaking or as an officer; or
  • $5000,000 for a body corporate.

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