Details of prosecutions for breaches of Victoria’s Occupational Health and Safety, and workers compensation laws can now be found online.
The Victorian WorkCover Authority’s prosecutions database can now be searched and details of cases are available as soon as possible after the case is heard.
Similar databases with details of court judgements can be found at the County and Supreme Court websites.
Printed copies of the Prosecutions handbook in 2004 and 2005 are also available. Online versions of these publications, dating back to 1991, are also on the VWA website.
Publishing the details of VWA prosecutions helps the community understand the consequences of health and safety violations, and the need to ensure an efficient and equitable workers compensation scheme.
Many of the cases described are unreported in the legal literature, and have been detailed to provide a snapshot of the issues handled by the VWA each year.
Despite WorkSafe’s efforts to provide proactive and constructive advice, some people and companies still neglect their legal and moral obligations. This puts the lives of their workers or workmates at risk, or undermines Victoria’s workers compensation scheme through dishonest practices.
While advice and guidance are always considered a way to improve safety, the community relies on us to use compliance powers constructively.
This strengthens the deterrent value of the regulatory approach by demonstrating what are not appropriate means of running a business, working or dealing with workers compensation matters.
Among last year’s WorkSafe cases:-
27 involved fatalities
two involved offences by employees
four involved offences by company officers
involved breaches of inspector's notices
one involved obstruction of an inspector
one case involved a supplier of unsafe plant.
Cases involving workers compensation cases included-
14 cases involving employers
15 cases involving workers
1 case involving a service provider
Material on WorkSafe’s compliance and enforcement policies and the VWA’s general prosecution guidelines are are also on the website.