The HSWA creates three offence tiers relating to breaches of the health and safety duties. The offences and the respective maximum penalties can be summarised as follows:
Reckless Conduct (has a duty and exposes any person to whom the duty is owed to risk of death or serious injury/illness and is reckless as to that risk) – fines up to $3 million (or $600,000 and/or up to five years' imprisonment for individuals).
Failure to comply with a Duty (with exposure to risk of death or serious injury/illness) – fines up to $1.5 million (or $300,000 for individuals).
Failure to comply with a Duty (no exposure to death or serious injury/illness) – fines up to $500,000 (or $100,000 for individuals). In addition to the fines and imprisonment that may be imposed, the HSWA provides for new orders which the court may impose at sentencing:
Adverse publicity orders – requiring the offender to publicise in a particular manner the offence, its consequences, and the penalty imposed.
Restoration orders – requiring an offender to take specified steps to remedy any matter caused by the offence.
H&S project orders – requiring an offender to undertake a specific project for the general improvement of work health and safety.
Court-ordered enforceable undertakings – adjourning the proceeding for up to two years, during which the offender undertakes to comply with certain conditions.