OHS Scammer Fined $1 Million

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OHS Scammer Fined $1 Million

02/02/2016

A New South Wales company Safety Compliance Pty Ltd has been fined $515,000, and its three executives have been ordered to pay $165,000 in penalties, for telling employers they were required by WHS laws to buy the company’s safety wall charts and first-aid kits, as well as tricking prospective customers into believing it either was, or was affiliated with, a government workplace health and safety agency.

The Federal Court ordered the respondents "jointly and severally" to pay the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's costs of $315,000 and also disqualified the shadow director, the general manager and the director from managing corporations for eight years, 30 months and 18 months respectively.

The court found Safety Compliance's business model relied on conveying to vulnerable owners or employees of small businesses, via telemarketing phone calls, that WHS laws required them to have a wall chart or first-aid kit of the kind it supplied, and that if they didn't they would be fined.

This goes to show the importance for businesses to have a good understanding of safety legislation requirements and to only deal with reputable companies.

It is an interesting point of comparison that the average fine for a fatality to an organisation is only $217,000 whilst a conviction for fraud is almost double.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Safety Compliance Pty Ltd (in liq) (No 2) [2015] FCA 1469 (22 December 2015)

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