The first penalty has been handed down under Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (QLD) (WHS Act).

A building contractor was ordered to undertake industry training which is one of the new sentencing options available under the WHS Act.

The building contractor pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an inspector's direction to cease work on a roof in Cairns until fall protection was in place. The contractor also obstructed and intimidated an inspector.

No conviction was recorded. The Court ordered the building contractor to enter into a 12-month good behaviour bond, with a surety of $10,000, and to undertake a safety training course under section 241 the WHS Act. 

The Court took into account the contractor’s remorse, good safety history and the fact that other experienced workers had agreed to the method of work.

The order by the Court for the contractor to undertake training is an example of the wider sentencing options available under the mirror Work Health and Safety legislation.