New compliance and enforcement tool rolls out

Friday, 14 June, 2024

New compliance and enforcement tool rolls out

SafeWork SA is embedding cautions into its suite of compliance and enforcement tools to help reduce injuries and fatalities.

Inspectors will use these cautions to provide a formal reminder to individuals, businesses and organisations to improve safety, as well as supporting more severe penalties if they repeatedly breach safety laws.

Cautions add to the regulator’s compliance and enforcement tools which compel a duty holder to remedy any identified contravention, and in some cases sanction them.

Where a SafeWork SA inspector identifies a breach that warrants an expiable offence they will consider issuing a notice which includes a fine.

Alternatively, they may issue a cautionary expiation notice, which doesn’t include a monetary fine.

“Expiation notices are an important compliance and enforcement tool and send an instant message to individuals, businesses and organisations that they must make improvements,” said Glenn Farrell, Executive Director at SafeWork SA.

“They provide SafeWork SA with options to enforce laws efficiently and cost-effectively.”

The level of risk associated with a hazard and the safety history of the business, organisation or individual will determine the severity of any penalty.

Expiation notices can attract fines of up to $3600 for a business or organisation and $720 for an individual. They are designed to streamline the process of dealing with minor offences to reduce the burden on the courts.

Safety breaches where a prosecution is warranted will continue to be dealt with by the courts.

SafeWork SA introduced cautionary expiations in late 2023 and is now embedding them into its suite of compliance and enforcement tools to reduce injuries and fatalities in support of the national Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2023–2033.

Image credit: you for your assistant

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