The District Court has ordered a company to pay $260,000 in penalties for breaching its Health & Safety duties after a failure to appropriately manage the risks associated with its business. This failure put employees and clients at risk of harm, and was found to be a serious breach of the health and safety requirements of a business.

The Company failed to undertake an adequate risk assessment and failed to implement appropriate controls over its operations to ensure the health and safety of its employees and clients.

There was also a failure to monitor and review known hazards, even after the danger associated with these hazards increased.

Finally, the Company did not ensure that the information available to clients was adequate to inform them of the risks involved in the operation of the Business.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching those health and safety standards and was ordered to pay a fine of $227,500 and costs of $40,000. This was a very expensive outcome for the company and these expenses were, of course, in addition to their own legal costs and down time dealing with the prosecution. They will also have put their staff and clients at serious risk and suffered significant reputational damage from the prosecution as well.

If there is confusion around the required health and safety measures of a business, it is wise to seek advice from a professional in the area.


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Alan Knowsley