The Victorian Government has introduced on-the-spot fines for employers who put the health and safety of their workers at risk, to eliminate bad behaviour and help ensure every worker gets home safely. The introduction of on-the-spot fines provides an immediate alternative to prosecution, for those employers who do the wrong thing. Inspectors from WorkSafe Victoria can now issue infringement notices with penalties of up to $1817.40 for certain offences, such as working without a required licence, registration, qualification or supervision, or the use of equipment or substances that are not licensed or registered. Infringements can also be applied to individuals or businesses failing to meet duties relating to the removal and storage of asbestos and failing to keep required records.
The infringement notice scheme is intended to strengthen WorkSafe Victoria’s compliance and enforcement capability and act as an additional deterrent for employers who do not take the safety of their workers seriously. WorkSafe Victoria and its inspectors and investigators will continue to provide guidance and information, issue improvement, non-disturbance and prohibition notices, and prosecute safety breaches where appropriate. Under the infringement notice scheme, the obligations of employers do not change; duty holders must continue to do everything that is reasonably practicable to provide a workplace that is free from risks to health and safety. The ability to investigate and prosecute breaches of the OHS Act in the courts continues to be part of WorkSafe Victoria’s compliance and enforcement approach.
Fines vary depending on the nature of the offence and range from $363.48 for an individual and between $1090.44 and $1817.40 for a corporation. All fines are processed through Fines Victoria with funds received from infringement notices to be allocated back to the WorkSafe Victoria scheme. “Adding on-the-spot fines to the range of compliance tools available to WorkSafe will provide a clear message to employers that putting their workers at risk will not be tolerated. This is about making sure every worker gets home safely — and making sure those who are doing the wrong thing face the consequences,” said Victorian Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt.
Source: NSCA Foundation