HEFTIER SAFETY FINES FLAGGED FOR BIG FIRMS

The Victoria Sentencing Advisory Council (SAC) is considering changes to workplace health and safety fines to ensure they have a ‘real economic impact’, especially for larger companies.

‘To achieve the purposes of sentencing, a fine needs to have a real sting to it. If fines for unsafe work practices are just the cost of doing business, then the system is not working,’ SAC has said in a new 138-page consultation paper.

The paper notes yearly incremental increases in penalty units have had ‘little effect on the values of fines imposed in the Magistrates Court’, and ‘average fines have actually decreased significantly over the last decade’.

SAC is seeking input from experts and the community on potential improvements to the sentencing regime, including factors like the severity of harm caused and the size of the defendant company.

They are also considering expanding the possibility of imprisonment for health and safety offenses. The SAC's final recommendations are expected by the end of this year.

The Advisory Council is hosting community conversation sessions in February and March. SafetyNet strongly encourages all HSRs to get involved.

  • Ballarat (19 Feb)
  • Morwell (21 Feb)
  • Shepparton (23 Feb)
  • Bendigo (26 Feb)
  • Geelong (28 Feb)
  • Lilydale (18 March)
  • Dandenong (20 March)
  • Melbourne CBD (22 March)
  • Werribee (25 March)

Share your views or register for a community conversation session in your area.

 

 

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