News & Views

27th July 2021

Work Safe On-the-Spot Fines for Safety Breaches

In order to deter poor behaviour and guarantee that every employee returns home safely, employers who put the health and safety of their employees at risk are now subject to on-the-spot penalties.

Beginning 31, July, WorkSafe inspectors will be able to issue infringement notices with penalties of up to $1,817.40 for 54 offenses such as:

  • having to work without a required license and registration
  • working without the necessary qualification and experience, or supervision
  • using unlicensed or unregistered equipment or substances.

Individuals or companies that fail to fulfill their responsibilities related to the removal and storage of asbestos, as well as failing to maintain necessary documents, may also be fined on the spot.

The infringement notice system is introduced to underpin WorkSafe's compliance and enforcement capabilities and serve as an extra disincentive for both companies and workers that do not prioritise safety.

WorkSafe inspectors will continue to issue improvement, non-disruption, and prohibition warnings, and prosecute safety violations as needed and so from 31 July you may receive both a infringement fine as well as be issued with an improvement notice etc.

There is no change to responsibilities of employers with the introduction of the infringement notice system. Duty bearers (employers) need to continue to do everything reasonably possible to ensure a workplace free of health and safety hazards.

WorkSafe's compliance and enforcement strategy will continue to include the authority to investigate and, when appropriate, prosecute OHS Act violations in court.

Fines will range from $363.48 for a worker up to $1,090.44 to $1,817.40 for a company, depending on the severity of the offense with 21 days for the infringement notice to be paid.

All penalties will be handled via Fines Victoria, with infringement notice money going back into the WorkSafe program.

NECA will advise all members of the list of 54 offenses as soon as they are published by WorkSafe.

Download Media Release Here

For ongoing advice on OH&S matters, please contact the NECA safety team on 1300 300 031 or safety@NECA.asn.au