Your business, your responsibility.  In another of what is a series of cases that have highlighted the fact that Directors will be held responsible for the safe operations of their businesses a (reduced) penalty of $300,000 was applied to the business in addition to a $25,000 fine to the Director when a detailed and comprehensive safety system was placed on a shelf and risky work directions led to breaches.

The business operator, who held qualifications to direct crane movements and had extensive safety systems, directed two untrained workers to climb a stack of formwork to direct a crane.  One of the workers fell sustaining multiple injuries.

In handing down the penalties the Judge noted “Employers must take steps to protect workers against risks created by inadvertent conduct of workers in the course of their work…this duty is not delegable”.

Learnings for all businesses

“In this case the business had in fact done the work to ensure that safety procedures were designed and in place, so the business had identified the risks, put into place the controls….but they did not use it.  Ignorance is no excuse for failing to comply with the safety requirements, but it is arguably worse to fully understand the risks and then ignore them, putting the workers at risk” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.

“Every business must understand the risks and hazards associated with the work their staff do, implement controls for those risks then ENSURE that the controls are followed.  Anything less is dangerous.  Anything less is simply not good enough” concludes Elisha.

Here to Help

Safety Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business.  They are provided as general information for you to consider and do not constitute advice.  You should seek further advice on your situation by contacting your legal advisor.  ACAPMA members can access resources and receive advice, guidance and support from the ACAPMA employment professionals via employment@acapma.com.au  , it is free for members.  ACAPMA Membership delivers this and more benefits, see; https://acapma.com.au/membership/    for more information.

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)
ACAPMA

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