A 25 year old South Australian man was recently convicted and fined $15,000 by South Australia’s Industrial Court for impersonating a SafeWork SA Inspector.
Between October 2013 and February 2014, Sam Narroway attended seven business premises and residential properties across metropolitan Adelaide, pretending to be an authorised work health and safety inspector.
Concerned businesses made complaints of Narroway’s illegal activities via the SafeWork SA help centre phone line.
On each occasion he claimed to staff and residents that he was a SafeWork SA inspector despite having never been employed by the state’s work health and safety regulator or appointed an inspector as required by the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA).
The magistrate set an initial fine of $20,000 which was reduced to $15,000 plus court costs in recognition of an early guilty plea.
Presiding Magistrate Lieschke indicated that the conviction was based on the number of offences, and that individual deterrence was an important sentencing consideration.
“In my view these are serious offences – they involved risk to the community, damage to the credibility of SafeWork SA and to professional work health safety consultants,” said Magistrate Lieschke.
“SafeWork SA Inspectors are entrusted with responsibility and accountability under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) and it’s important that businesses and workers know that they are allowing authorised officers to enter their workplaces,” said SafeWork SA executive director, Marie Boland.
“This conviction and fine acknowledges the important role our inspectorate has in enforcing and upholding the work health and safety standards in our workplaces.
“SafeWork SA inspectors, readily identifiable by their uniform, always carry authorised photo identification and provide their full name on arrival at any worksite,” Boland said.
“We encourage people to ask for proof of identity of any unknown person seeking access to their work areas as well as to report suspicious behaviour.”