An inquiry conducted by the Herald Sun has revealed that 45 firms and 13 individuals are avoiding fines they were charged with since 2007 over workplace deaths.

Since 2002 there has been approximately 269 workers killed.

The average lost life fines are typically around $170,000 and the median is $95,000. Interestingly, WorkSafe’s prosecution database revealed that some cases involving lost fingers have had higher fines imposed than those involving the death of a worker.

One such company was fined $145,000 when a worker lost a thumb.Another company was fined $25,000 when a worker had to have three fingers amputated.

Other results of the investigation concluded :

  • Some companies have been found to go into liquidation to avoid paying fines and then reopening shortly after.
  • Approximately every 17 days a worker is killed in the workplace in Victoria.
  • Since 2009-2010 the number of WorkSafe visits have dropped drastically.
  • Some families have had to wait up to seven years to see the company responsible for the death of a loved one, to be fined.
  • Individuals or companies charged can operate their businesses for years before charges are laid. Only approximately 40 per cent of
  • lawbreakers are charged within the first 12 months. The most courts can
  • Individuals charged can be jailed for up to five years, however no one has yet been imprisoned for any related charges.
  • The highest fine imposed for the death of a worker was $1.4 million. However the company, AAA Auscarts Imports Pty Ltd went into liquidation and the fine was never paid.
More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source:  http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/families-demand-action-on-workplace-charges/story-e6frf7kx-1226463481904

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