In the past, where an employer breached an Act or regulation that set safety levels in the operation of the business, an employee injured as a result of that breach may have had a claim for damages. The particular Act or regulation must have as its aim the protection and safety of employees from injuries at work. These claims have now been abolished with the removal of common law actions.
The main Act in South Australia imposing safety requirements on employers is the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA). In the event of breaching the Act an employer will be fined, see Safety legislation.
However, only the rights of employees have been abolished. Contractors and other people who are injured may be able to make a claim for a breach of an Act. An injured plaintiff need only prove non-compliance by the employer with the Act, or any regulations made under that Act, and that the injury has resulted from the breach. In these circumstances it is not necessary to prove reasonableness or foreseeability as these factors are irrelevant unless they form part of the particular statutory duty.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.