Expanded on-the-spot fines for work health and safety offences

Twenty one new infringeable offences have been added to the Territory’s work health and safety laws, giving WorkSafe Inspectors wider scope to issue on-the-spot fines to businesses and workers found breaking the law.

The new infringement offences come into effect today (29 July 2020), with the majority of the fines costing an individual $720 or a body corporate $3,600.

The Northern Territory’s Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulator Mr Bill Esteves said WorkSafe Inspectors who discover breaches in circumstances which warrant a penalty, but are not serious enough to prosecute directly through the Courts, will now be able to issue on the spot fines for the new infringeable offences, as an alternative.

“WHS laws impose overlapping duties on both businesses and workers.  On the spot fines sit within a broad range of regulatory tools available to the Regulator which include, advice and guidance, improvement or prohibition notices, injunctions, enforceable undertakings and prosecutions, all aimed at ensuring workplace parties meet their obligations” Mr Esteves said.

"Advice, guidance, improvement and prohibition notices are often issued for breaches of a similar factual nature, meaning some business and workers are not getting the message; and are still willing to take shortcuts."

"Certain types of offences need to be discouraged, and on the spot fines are a mechanism for sending a clear and timely message that there are consequences" Mr Esteves said.

A list of the new infringeable offences is available on the NT WorkSafe website.

Peter Chan
0401 114 569