The District Court has convicted a company for exposing its employees to a risk of serious injury.  The company operated machinery which was not properly guarded and employees were in close contact with the equipment in an unsafe manner.  Luckily no one was injured by the machinery and the prosecution was as the result of Worksafe routine inspections, not an accident.

The Court decided the company could not afford to pay any fine due to its precarious financial position and to it having spent $60,000 to fix the safety issues.

This was a very unusual outcome that will not apply in most cases.  If the company did have assets to pay a fine, the starting point would have been $300,000 despite the lack of any injuries occurring.

All reasonable practicable steps must be taken to remove the risk of serious injury and a failure to do so exposes the business to the risk of significant penalties, on top of the risk of serious injuries to staff.