Home - Tightening exposure to work health and safety prosecution in NSW

UpdatesJan 30, 2021

Tightening exposure to work health and safety prosecution in NSW

On 10 June 2020, amendments to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) came into effect.

By Kelly Godfrey

On 10 June 2020, amendments to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) (WHS Act) came into effect. The amendments expanded the category of offences to include an act of “gross negligence”. This makes it an offence for a duty-holder to be grossly negligent in exposing workers to a risk of serious illness or injury or death. This amendment is significant, as unlike the concept of “recklessness”, “gross negligence” does not require proof of any intent to disregard a risk of serious illness, injury or death. This will make it easier to prosecute duty-holders for WHS Act breaches.

A duty-holder includes a corporation, a person conducting a business, an officer of the business (which may include a broad range of persons involved in the business) and other workplace participants.

Tips to reduce your risk

It is important for duty-holders to:

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