Increase in penalties for workplace safety offences in WA

The NECA WA Safety team would like to advise all members that on 27 August, a media statement was made by Premier Mark McGowan, announcing an increase in penalties for workplace safety offences. This brings Western Australia into line with other states and ensures penalties better reflect the importance of a safe workplace. 

Businesses which commit safety offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984 will see an increase in penalties for the first time since 2004. 

The amendments include:


  • Increasing maximum term of imprisonment 2 to 5 years;
  • Level 1 penalties will increase from $50,000 to $456,000; and
  • Level 4 first time offences will increase from $500,000 to more than $2.7million.

These new penalties will be consistent with the National Work Health and Safety Act.

Comments attributed to Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston were:

“The changes to penalty level will take place ahead of the introduction of the Government’s Work Health and Safety Bill, expected to be introduced into State Parliament by mid-2019”.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan were:

“Penalties for workplace safety offences haven’t changed for 13 years. The substantial increases reflect the seriousness of ensuring the safety of Western Australian workers.” 

For more information about the increase in penalties, the media statement can be accessed here. Alternatively, you can contact the NECA WA Safety team on (08) 6241 6100.