Defence of Worksafe and Occupational Health and Safety Prosecutions
A person may be charged with a criminal offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act), in circumstances where an employee or contractor has been injured or killed, as the result of a work-related accident.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act
This legislation has been introduced with the intention of ensuring that workplaces are safe for workers and also members of the community. Since the Act was introduced, numerous companies and individuals have been charged with criminal offences. Leanne Warren & Associates have been involved in a number of OHS prosecutions and strive to provide expert advice and obtain the best results for their clients.
Offences under the Act
Offences under this legislation relate to:
- Recklessly endangering persons.
- Failure to provide and maintain a safe working environment.
- Exposing non-employees to risks.
- Failure to take reasonable care and comply with health and safety requirements.
Penalties under the Act
The most likely outcome for these types of offences is a fine, and in most cases a very large fine. However, the court can impose a range of other penalties including a term of imprisonment. When considering what penalty to impose the court will consider a range of factors including the following:
- The circumstances of the case including the nature of the breach, and the foreseeability of risk.
- Any previous convictions and safety records.
- The scale of harm and risk.
- The role of the offender in the breach.
- The offender’s conduct following the offence, further offending and/or safety upgrades.
- The presence of any remorse.
If you or someone you know has been charged with an offence under the OHS Act you should contact the lawyers at Leanne Warren & Associates as soon as possible. Please contact us on 03 9670 6066.