Employers are being warned that penalties handed to executives and business managers are “significantly increasing” for health and safety failures. After the very first jail sentence was announced last month, yet another has been handed down in courts.
Typically jail sentences for breaches of workplace health and safety (WHS) rules had been suspended, but this no longer looks to be the case. Courts now appear more accepting of handing jail sentences to employers over fatal workplace accidents, with a second such ruling in as many months.
Executives, managers with direct reports, and business owners are now feeling the weight of jail term if an accident occurs to an employee. We often are asked the question, “What if I had nothing to do with the worker’s negligence or decision that led to their accident, am I still at risk of a penalty?” The answer? Below:
The simple answer is yes. Under the Workplace Health and Safety (iso 450001) for example, you as a business owner or manager of a person involved in a workplace fatality will face a possible jail term and heavy fines if the following circumstances are found:
With heavy fines are now the norm in the USA, a disparate mix of groups lately have begun to get traction on their demands that somebody pursues criminal actions against employers involved in workplace fatalities. The Democrats have been unsuccessful for 20 years in efforts to amend the OSHAct to include more severe criminal sanctions. Having failed, they are now looking for ways employers may be prosecuted under other Federal and State laws.
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