Welcome to ThinkSafe
WorkSafe Prosecution Policy
WorkSafe’s purpose, in prosecuting non-compliance, is to encourage businesses to embrace the law and create safer workplaces. WorkSafe is responsible for enforcement and required to hold persons who breach the law, to account and this ensures that all duty holders take their Health and Safety responsibilities seriously.
- Assess Health and Safety practices
- Investigate events (e.g. if there is a fatality or a serious injury in a workplace)
- Review and resolve Health and Safety issues
WorkSafe Inspectors can use the following tools for enforcement and compliance:
- Improvement notices – requiring changes to be made to improve a risky situation, within a certain time period
- Prohibition notices – requiring activities that pose a serious risk to people’s health and safety to be stopped immediately, until the problem is resolved.
Duty Holder Review
Duty Holder Reviews are done when a Duty Holder is asked by an Inspector to review an incident that has occurred. The process identifies why the incident happened and what actions need to be taken by the Duty Holder to prevent it happening again. WorkSafe needs to check that a Duty Holder has taken or will be taking the action/s detailed in the Report. This provides assurance that improvements have been made or voluntary compliance action/s have been taken.
WorkSafe may bring a prosecution for breach of Health and Safety law. If convicted the Court can order the responsible party to pay a fine, complete an order (e.g. publicise the outcome of the prosecution) or impose a term of imprisonment.
WorkSafe’s enquiries into Health and Safety matters are conducted by Health and Safety Inspectors. Following investigation, where these staff consider that prosecution action is warranted, they will make a recommendation to their Manager.
So how can ThinkSafe help?
Unfortunately incidents can occur despite having sound Health and Safety processes in place.
ThinkSafe has a highly qualified and experienced incident support team on call to assist our clients. This Team is led by ThinkSafe principal consultant and Managing Director, Andrew Burns. The qualifications of our team include:
- Post Grad. Diploma OSH
- TapRoot Root Cause Analysis
- National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH)
- Incident Cause Analysis Method (ICAM)
The Incident Support Team at ThinkSafe are on call to assist our clients. The following details some of the assistance that we have provided our clients in recent times:
- Improvement Notice issued by WorkSafe Inspector after a random workplace inspection (potential $250,000 Fine). Outcome - no further action from WorkSafe after ThinkSafe assisted client in putting new processes in place.
- Improvement Notice issued by the WorkSafe Inspector after a random workplace inspection of an asbestos disposal facility (potential $250,000 Fine). Outcome - no further action after ThinkSafe created an Asbestos Management Plan for the client.
- Duty Holder Review requested after an incident at work where a worker fell down a steep bank whist spraying weeds resulting in fractured spine and bee stings. ThinkSafe worked extensively with the client on an in-depth root cause analysis and incident investigation report. Outcome - no further action from WorkSafe who were happy with the ownership demonstrated by the client and corrective actions put in place.
- Notifiable Incident – amputation of fingers whilst using wood splitter – ThinkSafe assisted client in completing an incident investigation report which was submitted to WorkSafe. Outcome - no further action from WorkSafe.
- Incident – logging truck hit oncoming vehicle resulting in fatality. ThinkSafe provided assistance and advice to our client on how to manage the impact of this tragedy, focusing on worker well-being.
- Notifiable Incident – excavator bucket fell on worker's calf resulting in serious laceration - ThinkSafe assisted client in completing incident investigation report which was submitted to WorkSafe. Outcome - no further action from WorkSafe.
- Notifiable Incident – fall from scaffold resulting in fractured back. ThinkSafe assisted client in completing incident investigation report which was submitted to WorkSafe. Outcome - no further action from WorkSafe.
All of the above interventions involved many hours of work and are completely free of charge for ThinkSafe clients.