That’s what one business owner got hit with due to an incident with a forklift truck resulting in the death of a worker.
Failing to have a safety management system in place with procedures, checks for appropriate tickets and licences and the provision of training was a key factor in the death of the worker.
The employer was hit with a $600,000 fine and that was only the beginning. Ongoing related expenses including compensation payments, increased insurance premiums, and other ongoing related costs were in addition to the fine!
On the other side of that one of our clients had a Master involved in a marine incident which involved an injury to a passenger. This resulted in AMSA and Work Health and Safety undertaking a major investigation into the incident.
The company was facing $250,000+ in fines plus potential jail time for the owner and the Master was looking at fines of $18,000 or more.
When the officers reviewed the SMS manual then the induction and training documents that we developed they were satisfied that the employer had taken all reasonable steps to ensure a safe vessel and workplace. No action was taken against the business or its owners.
The outcome of the investigation was that the Master was negligent in his actions in operating the vessel resulting in the injury to the passenger. Based on our expert witness statement the fine was reduced to $5,000.
The bottom line!
Most vessel owners and operators now know they require an SMS which complies with either MO 504 for Domestic Commercial Vessel (DCV) or the ISM Code for Regulated Australian Vessels (RAV).
What many business owners don’t know or choose to ignore is the fact that any person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is required under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable the health and safety of workers at the workplace.
This is achieved by implementing a Work Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS). Today there are 2 recognised systems of WHSMS available:
- AS/NZS 4801 which is recognised in Australia and New Zealand; or
- ISO45001 which is recognised internationally.
If you only operate in the domestic (Australian) marketplace then AS/NZS4801 is fine but if you operate internationally then you’re better off with ISO45001.
Note that under the Work Health and Safety Act a volunteer association does not conduct a business or undertaking for the purpose of the Act. See Section 6 (7) on Page 22.
It’s simple, if you don’t have a safety management system in place for your vessel or workplace if you’re a land-based business then you need to get one NOW, don’t waste time and be exposed, especially in the event of an incident.
Note that the global trend now is moving towards “is there a failure by an organisation or an individual to create a culture of compliance” which is what AMSA and WHS are looking at now and why our managed services are quickly gaining traction!
Determine what standard is best suited to your business and get started now to ensure not only your safety but that of your crew or worker! Do you have questions? Contact us today and we would be happy to discuss further!