New on-the-spot fines for asbestos and other offences in Victoria

New on-the-spot fines for asbestos and other offences in Victoria

Victorian employers or PCBUs who risk the health and safety of their workers will shortly face on-the-spot fines in an attempt by the Andrews Government to stamp out dangerous actions on work sites across the state.

The move makes good on a 2018 election promise from the Labor Government, and is also being positioned as an immediate alternative to prosecution for employers to don’t adhere to WHS legislation. 

From 20 July 2021, WorkSafe inspectors will be able to issue infringement notices up to the value of $1,817 for certain offences. This includes working without the appropriate license, registration, qualification, experience or supervision, or the use of substances or equipment that is not appropriately registered or licensed.

The infringements can also be applied to businesses or individuals who fail to meet duties relating to the storage or removal of asbestos, and failing to keep the appropriate records.

The new scheme will strengthen the workplace safety regulator’s compliance and enforcement capacity and is aimed to act as an additional deterrent for employers who don’t take the safety of employees seriously. 

The obligations of employers or PCBUs does not change under the scheme. 

Fines will vary, depending on the offence’s nature. The penalties range from $363.48 for an individual and between $1,090.44 and $1,817.40 for a corporation.

The Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt explained that, “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.”

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