A man from Canberra has been convicted and fined $ 5,500 by the ACT Magistrates Court for obstructing a WorkSafe inspector from doing their duties.
ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe said that WorkSafe ACT should not be stopped from performing their work safety duties since they are doing an important role in protecting workers’ health and safety.
“This is a reminder that WorkSafe ACT inspectors are public officials and must be allowed to perform their work safety duties without obstruction, resistance, hindrance or intimidation. WorkSafe ACT performs an important function in ensuring the health and safety of workers in their workplaces, and WorkSafe ACT inspectors also have the same right to be safe while working,” said Mr McCabe.
The inspectors were revisiting a business in Gungahlin in July 2011.
“While the inspector was performing their duties, they were physically obstructed from continuing their duties and removed from the premises by an individual from the business,” explained Mr McCabe.
The Magistrate noted that the obstruction was in the form of physical contact as well as verbal abuse, and also said that inspectors must be able to perform their function without being stopped and abused in the way in which the inspector was in this case.
“I trust that this conviction underlines the seriousness of the case and that the public knows that inspectors are here to protect workers and the community from harm in the workplace,” said Mr McCabe.
Obstructing a public official from performing their duties may result to a maximum fine of $ 22,000 and/or two year imprisonment.