First prosecution of an officer under WHS ACT

GavelCanberra construction company Kenoss Contractors and its acting director have been accused of safety breaches related to a failure to maintain safe work systems and a safe work environment without risks to health and safety. The Director of Public Prosecutions will allege Kenoss Contractors and Mr Munir al-Hasani breached their duties under sections 19, 27 and 32 of the the territory’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT) which commenced on 1 January 2012. 

Employee Michael Booth, 48, was electrocuted when he tipped his truck to offload gravel and his trailer hit a power line.

In their summary of the case, lawyers Norton Rose Fulbright sumised: “This case includes a prosecution of both an organisation for allegedly failing to meet the primary health and safety duty and an officer for allegedly failing to exercise due diligence under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT) .  This case is ostensibly the first prosecution of an officer under the new harmonised WHS laws.”

If found guilty, Mr al-Hasani could face a personal fine of $300,000 and the company $1.5 million under new nationally consistent work safety laws.

The hearing of his case has been scheduled for 17-19 December 2014.
References

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RTO No. 122052