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SafeWork NSW 2 mins read

08 APRIL 2024 

On 11 March 2024, the District Court of NSW convicted and fined a residential care provider $300,000 for breaching its work, health and safety obligations and as a result of exposing workers to a risk of violence, including inappropriate sexual behaviour, in the workplace.  

The case was brought by SafeWork NSW against Marist Youth Care Limited, for failing to address risks of inappropriate sexual and violent behaviour and a history of assault by clients, which resulted in a risk of serious illness or injury to workers. 

Workplace violence including sexual harassment is a WHS hazard which affects workers across all industries. To help prevent this WHS hazard, employers can: 

  • Consult with workers to develop policies and procedures to identify and prevent WHS risks and communicate them to workers, visitors and customers 

  • Regularly assess work design and environment risks that can contribute to workplace violence and sexual harassment such as working at night, alone, in remote or isolated settings and client or home visit related work 

  • Address barriers to reporting, provide timely and confidential (informal and formal) reporting options and offer support to anyone who makes a report. 

For further advice and resources on preventing workplace sexual harassment visit: 

Please attribute to Head of SafeWork NSW, Trent Curtin:

“This is a significant conviction brought by SafeWork NSW against Marist Youth Care for failing to prevent the risk of work-related violence and should be a warning to NSW employers that violence and sexual harassment in the workplace are never acceptable.   

“Under NSW WHS laws, employers are required to address WHS risks and should take proactive, preventative action in their workplaces to ensure workers are protected from harm, including from violence and sexual harassment. 

“To help ensure workers are protected from sexual harassment, SafeWork NSW has set up a dedicated Respect at Work Taskforce – the first Australian WHS regulator to do so – and will support NSW employers to take systemic action to address this pervasive harm.” 

MEDIA: | 0438 108 797 


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