The Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare (Penalties) Amendment Act 2007 was proclained in the Gazette on 13/12/07 and will come into effect on 1/1/08. Ramifications of the amendments for employers are:
● The trebling of penalties will significantly elevate the commercial risks associated with OHS&W compliance failures for many businesses.
● To avoid personal liability, company officers must take a direct interest in their OHS&W responsibilities.
● The available defences for companies and company officers require a clear trail of considered measures taken to address workforce OHS&W risk.
The amendments are likely to come into force early in 2008. Minter Ellison has issued a news alert outlining the impact of the amendments. To view the advice click here. The Act as passed by both Houses of Parliament can be viewed here.