Business owners and employers, regardless of industry or brand, are mandated to report any health and safety incident during their operations. This covers all activities inside their premises and on official business transactions outside the company’s office. Failure to comply to this may be prosecuted, fined, or worst convicted according to the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.
Recently, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) prosecuted KFS Fuel Services Pty Ltd for failing to report an incident. One of KFS’s employees suffered a compound skull fracture and brain injury while completing a task involving a road fuel tanker 17 months ago. Workplace Health and Safety Queensland were only advised of the “incident” after the lawyers of the injured worked notified them.
The defendant, KFS Fuel Services Pty Ltd, was found guilty of a Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 breach. The court found that the company was aware of its obligation to report to WHSQ any work and safety accidents. KFS Fuel Services also emailed the court stating no further dispute with the findings. “Magistrate Lee fined the defendant $25,000 and ordered professional and court costs totalling $1589.40. A conviction was recorded.” The ruling stated.
Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 Updates
This recent prosecution is a reminder to all business owners and employers that they need to review and familiarise themselves with the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011. The companies are bound by law to report any incident arising from their operations regardless if it is a simple illness, a serious injury, or a fatality. As prevention, it is also a good practice for business owners and employers to be updated with their understanding of their role in preventing or obstructing the accident site until an authority surveys the site.
There are also definitely other ways to minimise risks and hazards in the workplace. The data may show that the number of fatalities in Australian workplaces have been increasing with each year. However, it is not too late to prevent further incidents in the workplace by developing a comprehensive and effective risk management plan.
A conviction may have serious consequences for future tendering and insurance for corporations and individuals, so it is in the employer and company’s best interests to report such incidents as soon as they happen.