The sentence imposed today by the Melbourne Magistrates' Court in relation to the Essendon Football Club is a warning to every Victorian employer that they must provide a healthy and safe workplace for their employees.
All employees, whether they are working on a factory production line or competing as a professional sportsperson, have every right to expect that their employer will provide a healthy and safe workplace.
Essendon failed to provide a safe workplace for its players by failing to provide them with a safe system of work. It admitted its guilt to two charges, and the Court has now imposed what it considers to be an appropriate penalty.
While this was a matter of great media and public interest, WorkSafe will continue to direct its resources to Victoria’s high-risk industry sectors - such as manufacturing, construction and agriculture - where, tragically, fatalities occur all too frequently and thousands of Victorians continue to suffer injuries at work.
However, today’s outcome serves as a warning to professional sports organisations that they must protect the health and safety of their players, many of whom are young and vulnerable workers. They cannot afford to ignore OHS laws.
Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.