Penalties

What is a breach

If you do not fulfil or if you breach your statutory duties or obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012, WorkSafe Tasmania may initiate prosecution proceedings.

A breach occurs when the law is not upheld; when:

  • an action is taken that places a person at risk of injury, illness or death
  • steps are not taken to avoid a risky situation from occurring
  • there is a failure to comply with regulatory requirements.

Examples of breaches

Examples of breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 include:

  • exposing workers to the risk of excessive noise
  • working at heights where the risk of falling is not controlled
  • allowing unlicensed operators to use specified equipment such as forklifts
  • not ensuring plant or equipment is appropriately guarded to remove or reduce the exposure of workers to moving parts
  • failing to have in place safe work method statements for work carried out in or near a confined space
  • not notifying WorkSafe Tasmania of a notifiable serious incident, injury or illness.

Categories of offences

There are three categories of offences for a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012, depending on the degree of seriousness or liability involved.

Category 1

These are the most serious breaches where a duty holder who recklessly endangers a person to risk of death or serious injury. Offences will be prosecuted in the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

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

Category 2

Failure to comply with a health and safety duty that exposes a person to risk of death, serious injury or illness. Offences will be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court.

  • 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. Offences will be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court.

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