As of October 3, WA’s Occupational Safety and Health Amendment Act 2018 and Mines Safety and Inspection Amendment Act 2018 are in effect.
This means Western Australian employers can be fined up to $3.5 million (up from $625,000), for repeat level 4 safety breaches. Individuals can also be fined $680,000 and jailed for five years (up from $312,500 and two years).
The fines are now Australia’s second highest maximum work health and safety fine, behind Queensland’s $10 million fine for industrial manslaughter.
The sharp increase comes after the McGowan government committed to harsher fines in August last year. At the time, the state was under pressure to bring its controversially low work safety fines into lines with other states and territories, and to safety fines better reflected the importance of a safe workplace.
The Amendment Bills for general industry and mines passed through Parliament last month. The new penalties are roughly aligned with the national model WHS Act, with an additional 14 per cent added for inflation.
Download the current Bill here.