Offences and penalties

The HSWA places emphasis on being proactive in keeping workers safe and healthy. If the board does not put appropriate processes in place to identify risks and manage them, prosecutions and penalties may apply.

Individuals (eg parents/non-workers) must take reasonable care of their own health and safety and ensure that any action or lack of action doesn’t adversely affect the health and safety of any other person. If they fail to take reasonable care they may be liable for prosecution. Trustees not working in their capacity as trustees may also be liable.

The board as the PCBU may be liable; however, individual trustees, other than the principal, are exempt from fines under the HSWA. It’s still important that individual board members are proactive about health and safety within the school.

Insurance can only be used for the cost of defending a prosecution; it can’t be used to pay a fine or infringement fee.

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