Serious Safety, Health Violations Should have Serious Consequences: Howard
Maximum fines for workplace safety violations would increase substantially under proposed legislative amendments in Bill 4, the workplace safety and health amendment act, introduced by Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard today.
“These amendments will substantially increase the fine levels under the act to better reflect the serious nature of violating laws that protect workers,” said Howard. “Higher maximum fines increase their deterrence value and send a message that serious safety and health violations have serious consequences.”
The current maximum fine under the Workplace Safety and Health Act is $150,000 for the first offence and $300,000 for a second or subsequent offence. These current fine levels are among the lowest in the country. The government is acting on a recommendation from the Minister’s Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health to increase the maximum fines levels to $250,000 for a first offence and $500,000 for a second or subsequent offence, said Howard.
“The advisory council is made up of an equal number of representatives from employers, labour, and health and safety technical organizations,” noted the minister. “I’m very pleased that all advisory council members endorsed this effort.”
The maximum fines were set in 1997 and have not increased since that time.