WORK HEALTH SAFETY LEGAL SERVICES

Mel Esposito is our Work Health and Safety Lawyer.  Mel has extensive knowledge in work Health Safety matters and is a qualified Work Health and Safety Advisor.

The purpose of the Model Work Health Safety legislation is to reduce the risk of workers being killed or injured on the job.

At Esposito Lawyers we take a holistic approach to Work Health Safety (WHS) and it's relationships with Workers Compensation Laws and Employment Law.  Services include;

  • Audit and compliance -  reviewing policies, procedures, and systems;
  • Developing and implementing risk management strategies within the workplace;
  • Incident investigations;
  • Representation in prosecutions, litigation and coronial inquests at a state and federal level;
  • Best practice - Return to work facilitation;
  • Seminars and workshops;
  • Employee injury compliance and management.

As an example consider:

  • Do you have a training matrix?
  • When was it last reviewed?
  • How often is the training matrix reviewed?
  • What is the reminder process for review?
  • Is there a copy of each training certification in the file?
  • Who arranges for updated/refresher training?
  • Is your training matrix relying upon external certification?
  • Have you verified these competencies?

As you can see the list can go on.  While this may seem tedious, when you have correct safety management systems in place, time management of your Work Health Safety obligations becomes streamlined resulting in a safer workplace.

It is important to understand the impact upon a business for failing to comply with their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act. The emotional impact of an employee being injured, resulting in injury, death or illness can affect not only an employer but co-workers and stakeholders.  The financial impact upon the business is not restricted to the significant fines, prosecution or enforceable undertakings but also the business reputation.

PROSECUTIONS & FINES

There are 3 categories of offences for failing to comply with a health and safety duty under the Work Health Safety Act, depending on the degree of seriousness or culpability involved.

Category 1 - the highest penalty under either the Work Health Safety Act or the Electrical Safety Act is for a category 1 offence. These are the most serious breaches where a duty holder recklessly endangers a person to the risk of death or serious injury:

  • Corporation: up to $3 million
  • Individual as a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) or an officer: up to $600,000/5 years jail
  • Individual (for example a worker): up to $300,000/5 years jail.

Category 2 - failure to comply with a health and safety duty or electrical safety duty that exposes a person to risk of death, serious injury or illness:

  • Corporation: up to $1.5 million
  • Individual as a PCBU or an officer: up to $300,000
  • Individual for example worker: up to $150,000.

Category 3 - failure to comply with a health and safety duty or electrical safety duty:

  • Corporation: up to $500,000
  • Individual as a PCBU or an officer: up to $100,000
  • Individual for example worker: up to $50,000.

An on-the-spot fine is an alternative to prosecuting alleged offenders directly through the court. It is also called an infringement notice. In addition, an enforceable undertaking (EU) operates as an alternative to a court-imposed sanction for an alleged contravention of obligations.  Enforceable undertakings should not be underestimated. The first two published undertakings for 2018 involve one Company having a minimum expenditure of $249,509.00 and the other Company $410,103.00.  Further information about the enforceable undertaking list can be located here.

INVESTIGATIONS

We provide a range of investigative services for WHS, Workers Compensation, litigation, (estate, family law, civil, personal injury).   Further Information, can be located here.

Why choose Esposito Lawyers?

Mel Esposito is a qualified Work Health Safety Advisor and is the Principal Lawyer of Esposito Lawyers.  Mel has an extensive background in litigation including working for two national personal injury law firms.  Mel has a unique view of Work Health Safety as a result of her experience in Work Health Safety and injury litigation.  While we are based in Cairns our Work Health and Safety services extend to all of Australia.

Contact us now to discuss your business needs.

Work Health Safety