Legal Alert: Is your business OH&S Compliant?
Queensland employers owe a duty to every individual at their business to ensure the occupational health and safety (OHS) of the workplace. If an employer fails to ensure OHS they are in breach of the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (Qld).
An employer has a legal obligation to ensure the workplace health and safety (OHS) of all employees, all other workers at the business, and any other person including customers and clients at the workplace. This requires an employer to:
- provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment;
- ensure safe systems of work;
- provide training to staff to ensure OHS; and
- provide adequate supervision of the workplace to guarantee OHS.
Implications for your business
If you fail to meet your OHS obligations you are breaking the law and will face prosecution and significant penalties. According to the Workplace Health and Safety Act, the following penalties apply to an OHS breach:
|Multiple deaths||$200,000||3 years||$1,000,000|
|Offences causing death or grievous bodily harm||$100,000||2 years||$500,000|
|Exposure to a substance likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm||$75,000||1 year||$375,000|
|Offences causing bodily harm||$75,000||1 year||$375,000|
|Other offences||$50,000||6 months||$250,000|
Things you can do now
In order to minimise chances of an OHS breach an employer may undertake the following:
- look for hazards in the workplace;
- decide who may be harmed and how from this hazard;
- decide on control measures to minimize or remove the hazard;
- put the control measures in place;
- review and improve the control measures to continue to minimize the hazard and reduce the risk of an OHS breach.
For more information about how to ensure your business is OHS compliant please contact Hemming+Hart Lawyers.