Publishing prosecutions

On this page:

Where and how we publish prosecution information

Prosecutions prior to 2020 under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 or the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Safety Acts), were published at worksafe.qld.gov.au managed by the Office of Industrial Relation (OIR).

Enquiries about such content (and in particular any commentary published) should be directed to the OIR at first instance.

The OWHSP publishes prosecution outcomes on this website commencing 2020.

The OWHSP aims to ensure that all published information on our website is accurate, impartial and balanced. If you notice any issues with our information, please do not hesitate to contact us on enquiries@owhsp.qld.gov.au.

What information is published and for how long

The OWHSP prosecutes companies and individuals. Identifying details of both companies and individuals who are defendants will be published (only) if a conviction is recorded.

Where there is a successful prosecution, but an order is made that no conviction is to be recorded, the defendant’s information is removed from the court summary to avoid breach of the court's order and infringement of section 12 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (the Penalties Act).

Cases will appear on the WHSQ or OWHSP website for five years and will then be removed and archived. Cases against individuals under the age of 18 will appear on the WHSQ and OWHSP website but will not include identifying details.

What information is not published

Examples of information that may not be published includes information about:

  • breaches which did not lead to a court case and were dealt with using other enforcement options, including infringement, improvement and prohibition notices
  • unsuccessful cases, where the court decided we had not proven our case and ruled in favour of the defendant
  • cases where a conviction was overturned on appeal.

Providing public comment and publishing of information

Prior to charges or proceedings

Information released by the OWHSP (if any) in relation to the issuing of charges, the start of prosecution proceedings, or trial will generally only be in response to a media enquiry and will generally be managed on behalf of the OWHSP by the Office of Industrial Relations (OIR). We may also issue a media release and post information on our website. Information issued is confined to stating facts only.

Identifying information of the defendant(s) may be published. No information relating to any injured persons, or involved third parties, will be released. Any description of the incident will be factual, brief and in no way suggest that the charges are well-founded, infer guilt or are likely to succeed or not.

After charges or proceedings

Guilty finding

Upon a finding of guilt by the court, identifying information in relation to the defendant(s), the offence, the penalty imposed and related matters may be published on the WHSQ or OWHSP website.  Neither WHSQ or OWHSP will publish information about the defendant’s name if an order was made that no conviction be recorded.

Where charges are not proven

Where the alleged offender is found not guilty at trial or the charges are withdrawn, we may publish on our website or via the WHSQ website identifying information in certain circumstances such as to clarify the status of proceedings (e.g. where requested by the person who has been found not guilty or against whom charges have been withdrawn). Such information will be limited to information that is already in the public domain as a result of the prosecution process.

Appeals

Where a finding is under appeal

The words 'under appeal' will be highlighted in the information posted on the WHSQ or OWHSP website as soon as possible after the OWHSP receives official written notification of the appeal having been lodged.

Where a conviction is overturned on appeal

All information on the case will be withdrawn from the WHSQ or OWHSP website as soon as possible after we receive official written notification of the judgement quashing the conviction and advise WHSQ accordingly.

Where a sentence is overturned on appeal

Any change to the sentence as a result of an appeal will be indicated in the information posted to the WHSQ or OWHSP website as soon as possible after the OWHSP receives official written confirmation and has notified WHSQ of same.

Complaints about published information

The OWHSP adopts a formal complaints management policy and process to ensure that complaints are addressed appropriately. The policy aims to promote public confidence in the agency by ensuring openness and transparency in handling complaints about its services and/or products. If you notice any issues with our information, please do not hesitate to contact us on enquiries@owhsp.qld.gov.au.