Targeting Employers Flouting Workplace Safety Rules

A new workplace health and safety awareness campaign targeting employers who risk workers’ lives is warning they face tough penalties if they do the wrong thing.

Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy joined Worksafe inspectors today to launch the new ‘More Inspectors. More Inspections.’ campaign which highlights the consequences for employers who fail to protect the health and safety of their workers.

It is viewed through the eyes of employers who experience the immediate trauma and aftermath when workers are killed or seriously injured while doing their job.

There have been 15 workplace deaths this year, leaving grieving families and friends behind.

The Andrews Labor Government has already announced that WorkSafe will employ up to 40 new inspectors over the next four years to focus on health and safety in the construction industry.

WorkSafe completed 48,652 health and safety visits last financial year, issuing 14,550 health and safety compliance notices. A total of 151 prosecutions for breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 were completed with court fines of more than $6.8 million imposed.

The Labor Government announced a Workplace Manslaughter Implementation Taskforce earlier this year as the first step in developing new legislation to make workplace manslaughter a criminal offence.

Under the proposed new laws, employers will face fines of almost $16 million and individuals responsible for negligently causing death will be held to account and will face up to 20 years in jail.

The campaign begins on August 25 and will include advertisements across TV, radio, print, billboards and social media.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy

“Worksafe inspectors are out in force, cracking down on employers who do the wrong thing – because one death in a workplace is one too many.”

“This campaign is about reminding employers of their responsibilities, and that those who do the wrong thing will be caught and prosecuted.”

Quote attributable to WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies

“We want to remind employers of their responsibility to keep workers healthy and safe, and the pain, suffering and heavy legal consequences they face when they don’t.”