An Officer of a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has a duty to use due diligence to ensure the PCBU complies with its WHS
duties and obligations.
If an Officer does not do that and exposes an individual to a risk of death or injury, then the Officer could be prosecuted by WorkCover and have to pay a penalty up to a maximum of $300,000 (category 2 offence).
If the Officer recklessly fails to use due diligence then the maximum penalty is $600,000 and or 5 years imprisonment (category 1 offence).
If the failure to use due diligence does not result in exposing an individual to a risk of death or injury then the maximum penalty is $100,000 (category 3 offence). (See sections 31 to 33 WHS Act 2011).
The amount of these penalties illustrates the high importance that is placed on due diligence in preventing injuries and harm under the WHS Act 2011. All employees; managers, supervisors, workers, health & safety representatives and WHS committees, can help officers to apply due diligence in their workplace. (see section 27(5) WHS Act 2011 for details of due diligence)
Maximum Penalties for Officers
Category of Offence for an Officer of a PCBU
Category 1 - $600,000 or 5 Years imprisonment or both