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Most serious charges yet under new workplace safety laws

A New South Wales maintenance engineer faces up to five years in jail and his bosses could be fined $3 million over the death of a young Canberra worker, 21-year-old Ben Catanzariti, two years ago.

WorkSafe Canberra says the charges are the most severe to come before a court under the new nationally harmonised occupational health and safety laws. The treatment of this case intends to send a clear message to employers around Australia, that workplace health and safety can no longer remain a back seat issue.

Mr Catanzariti was killed when he was struck by the boom of a concrete pouring machine on a building site, in July 2012.

The boom had recently undergone a full six-year inspection and the charges of ''category-one reckless conduct'' are against the company that undertook the maintenance as well as the engineer who was supposed to do the job.

WorkSafe commissioner Mark McCabe emphasised that workplace safety is a responsibility not to be taken lightly by employers and concluded by saying, “every worker has the right to return home safely at the end of the day.”

Under the new occupational safety and health laws, the maximum penalty for a category one offence is $3 million for the company and $300,000 and up to five years' imprisonment for the individual worker.

This is where WHS Solutions can help safeguard you against workplace ruin. Our highly trained team of consultants provide assessment and certification to meet all our applicable workplace health and safety regulations.

This ensures that your employees are fully covered and working in the safety possible environment.

Enlisting WHS Solutions to manage your occupational health and safety is the smartest way to avoid not only workplace incidents but also big money losses.