Fines for Safety Breaches

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More than 120 employers were fined for safety breaches last year.

WorkSafe Victoria recently warned that employers who continue to ignore wellknown safety measures risk joining the 123 companies and directors fined for flouting workplace safety laws in 2022.

Fourteen of those companies were hit with six-figure penalties for breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act, with the total of all fines imposed by the courts exceeding $5.5 million.

Offences involving working at heights saw 35 duty holders prosecuted and fined. This was followed by matters involving inadequate or absent guarding (23) and unsafe, or unsafe use of, machinery (18) and forklifts (11).

Construction (47) and manufacturing (36) matters accounted for two-thirds of WorkSafe’s workplace safety prosecutions. These two industries also accounted for more than a quarter of all accepted worker compensation claims in 2022.

Some employers still ignore their basic legal obligations when it comes to using established solutions for common workplace safety risks, said WorkSafe Victoria executive director of health and safety Narelle Beer.

“Training workers in the safe operation of equipment, using a passive fall prevention device when working at heights, ensuring machines are appropriately guarded and maintained, and erecting physical barriers to separate pedestrians from the mobile plant are all proven ways to reduce workplace injuries and deaths,” Beer said. “But having the knowledge is not enough. Employers must actively implement measures to make their workplaces safe.”