A recreational scuba diving and tourism business must pay over $22,000 in fines, penalties and costs after being found guilty of not holding a valid workers’ compensation policy.
On 13 June 2012, WorkCover WA successfully prosecuted Ningaloo Reef Dreaming in the Perth Magistrate’s Court under Section 160(1) of the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981. The business was fined $10,000, and ordered to pay a further $11,124.75 for avoided premiums plus $1,030.90 in costs, for not having a valid workers’ compensation policy between January 2010 and May 2011.
During the period of non-compliance, a worker employed by the business sustained a work-related injury, prompting an investigation by WorkCover WA’s compliance officers. The investigation revealed that the Exmouth-based business had 46 workers employed without valid workers’ compensation coverage during this time.
This case follows on from successful prosecutions in May 2012 where four separate businesses were fined a combined total of $18,382.45 for not holding a current workers’ compensation policy. A recent June prosecution against a hospitality business also resulted in a combined fine of $17,170.65 for not covering workers’ against work-related injury.
Successful prosecutions have been steadily increasing over the past two to three years. To read more details about these and other prosecutions, view WorkCover WA’s prosecutions page which outlines the costs of non-compliance dating back to 2009.
Workers’ Compensation is compulsory
It is compulsory for Western Australian businesses who employ workers to have a current worker’s compensation policy and to provide a work environment that protects workers in the event of work-related illness and injury.
Workers’ compensation laws ensure injured workers are able to access appropriate medical treatment and weekly income during periods of incapacity and providing the opportunity for them to be gainfully employed following their workplace injury. These laws ensure that employers have the financial means, via insurance arrangements, to meet such commitments.
Workers must have confidence that if they are injured at work, they will be supported both financially and medically, and assisted in their return to work.
WorkCover WA provides a range of information resources to help employers and workers understand their rights, responsibilities and obligations in relation to workers’ compensation, injury management and return to work programs under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981.
WorkCover WA conducts compliance programs across a range of industries to ensure that employers comply with their obligations under the Act.
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