VTHC greets historic OHS Prosecution

August 9, 2007

The union movement and health and safety representatives today greeted the successful prosecution of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, for ignoring a Provisional Improvement Notice issued by an OHS Representative.

“OHS Representatives are the lynch pin of workplace health and safety. They deserve to be respected and they must be listened to,” said Brian Boyd, Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council. “The courage shown by this OHS Rep in the face of this mammoth bureaucracy deserves recognition by all in the community.”

The OHS Act requires employers, to whom a notice has been issued, to either comply with the notice or appeal the notice to WorkSafe Victoria. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development did neither. It chose to break the law.

Mr Boyd said: “This is an historic case. Never before in the history of Victoria’s OHS laws has an employer been prosecuted for this breach. Employers and OHS Reps everywhere should take note of this case. It is a message to everyone to take OHS duties seriously.”

Trades Hall also commended WorkSafe for initiating the prosecution. The original issue was the lack of seating in the staff room of a school, where only 13 chairs were supplied for a staff of 25.

For further information, please contact:
Brian Boyd, Secretary – 9662 3511 or 0418 587 461
Helen Atkinson, EA to VTHC Secretary – 9659 3542

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