The District Court has ordered an employer to pay $180,000 for breaching its health and safety obligations by failing to stop work on a dangerous site.

The employer was contracted to carry out work on a multi-level site. When Worksafe inspected the site, it noted that one of the levels did not have proper fall protection for employees.

It issued a prohibition notice to the employer to stop work until protective measures were put in place. The employer ignored the notice and work continued.

The employer was issued with two further notices that it also ignored.

Worksafe was satisfied that the employer “was aware that health and safety obligations were not being met” and prosecuted the employer.

The Court held that the employer failed to comply with the notices and that employees were put at risk.

The Court ordered the employer to pay a fine of $180,000 for breaching the prohibition notices.

It is important that employers take prohibition notices seriously, not only as a warning that their employees are at risk of harm, but that a failure to comply may result in an expensive prosecution. Prosecutions can occur, as in this case, where there has been no actual incident or injury to employees.

If there are concerns that an employer is not complying with a prohibition notice, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

What is prohibition notice?

A prohibition notice is notice that can be issued by Worksafe that requires all work in a workplace or on a site to be stopped. They can be issued where a significant risk to employee health and safety has been identified.

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