Defending Worksafe Prosecutions
There are very few law firms with experience in handling Worksafe prosecutions. Sometimes they can be defended, in other cases the work must be done to minimize what can be a very substantial fine.
We recently represented a large company in a prosecution by Worksafe under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 for failing to maintain a safe work environment.
The prosecution was commenced after an employee was seriously injured on our client’s premises.
The maximum penalty which could have been imposed against our client was $400,000.
We were successful in arguing that a fine at the lower end of the scale was appropriate. A fine of $75,000 was imposed against our client.
We submitted at the sentencing hearing that a penalty at the low end of the scale should be imposed against our client.
We submitted that:
Our client had taken all practicable steps to maintain a safe working environment;
Our client entered a guilty plea at the earliest possible opportunity;
There were no prior convictions against our client;
The accident was not foreseeable;
Our client made changes after the accident to ensure another incident of this nature could not occur.
It is important if you receive a Worksafe prosecution notice to contact us immediately. Our experience representing clients in Worksafe prosecutions gives us an understanding of the way the Court deals with these cases which allows us to make strong submissions to ensure the lowest penalty available is imposed against you.
Because our offices are not located in the CBD our rates are substantially lower, often up to 20% lower, than most commercial law firms.