State Government to increase fines for workplace safety offences

The WA State Government announced significant increases to jail terms and fines for businesses and employees who commit safety offences.

The new laws – announced on October 4 – will increase penalties for workplace safety offences under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994.

Harsher penalties for offenders include increasing the maximum term of imprisonment from two years to five years, and increased fines for body corporates: 

  • Level 4 offences now attract a maximum $2.7 million penalty for first offenders and $3.5 million for subsequent offenders (up from $500,000 and $625,000 respectively); and
  • Level 1 penalties have increased from $50,000 to $456,000 for first offenders.  

Employees who commit repeat breaches will also be subject to increased punishment – maximum penalty rising from $12,500 to $50,000.

The amendments will take effect on a date to be fixed, expected mid 2019.