On-the-spot fines

Eighteen offences under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 have become infringement notice offences, commonly known as “on-the-spot fines”, under the State Penalties Enforcement Regulation 2014.  

These new infringement offences relate to high-risk areas such as asbestos, hazardous chemicals and construction work and commenced on 9 December 2016.

What is an infringement notice?

Infringement notices are generally issued for certain breaches of work health and safety laws that are not serious enough to require prosecution or other sanction, and attract a financial penalty.  

They include a description of the offence but do not contain information on how to rectify the issue. This means an inspector will usually issue an improvement notice or prohibition notice at the same time as the infringement notice to set out what needs to be done to correct the breach. 

How much will it cost?

The fine amounts for these infringement notices range from $432 for an individual to $3,600 for a corporation.

How are infringement notices determined and issued?

When making a decision to issue an infringement will consider the following:

  • Whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a duty holder is committing or has committed an offence for which an infringement notice can be issued
  • The seriousness of the risk or any injury
  • Whether there have been similar breaches at the worksite or other worksites of the same duty holder
  • The duty holder’s safety and compliance history and willingness to address the issue, and
  • Whether the issue is a common occurrence in the construction industry and there is information readily available on the risk.

Which offences attract an on-the-spot fine?

Offence code Infringement notice offence Infringement notice fine (penalty units)
9000 s42(1) Duty to provide first aid

Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600 

9001 s299(1) Safe Work Method Statement required Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9002 s300(1) must comply with Safe Work Method Statement Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9003 s300(2) must ensure that work is stopped immediately if not carried out in accordance with the Safe Work Method Statement Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9004 s306(1) trench excavation to be secured from unauthorised access Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9005 s306L(5) ladder has a device fitted for stability when working on a pole Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9006 s306Q(2) measures to be used when dismantling scaffolding Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9007 s317(1) worker must have carried out general construction induction training Individual – $432
Corporation – $2,160
9008 s330(1) manufacturer or importer must prepare a safety data sheet for the hazardous chemical Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9009 s339(1) supplier of a hazardous chemical to a workplace must ensure the current safety data sheet is provided with the hazardous chemical Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9010 s339 (3) supplier of a hazardous chemical to a workplace must ensure the current safety data sheet is provided if the person asks for the safety data sheet. Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9011 s346(1) register of hazardous chemicals at the workplace is prepared and maintained Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9012 s346(3) register of hazardous chemicals is readily accessible Individual – $432
Corporation – $2,160
9013 s419(1) a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must not carry out or allow a worker to carry out work involving asbestos Individual – $720
Corporation – $3,600
9014 s446(1) a PCBU must not use or direct or allow a worker to use high-pressure water spray or compressed air on asbestos Individual – $432
Corporation – $2,160
9015 s446(3) a PCBU must not use or direct or allow a worker to use power tools, brooms or any other implement that causes the release of airborne asbestos into the atmosphere unless controlled (defined) Individual – $432
Corporation – $2,160
9016 s466(1) a licensed asbestos removalist must give written notice to the regulator at least 5 days before the removalist commences licensed asbestos work Individual – $432
Corporation – $2,160
9017 s466(3) if asbestos is to be removed immediately a licensed asbestos removalist must give notice to the regulator immediately by phone and in writing within 24 hours  Individual – $432
Corporation – $2,160

Need more information?

Our Workplace Health & Safety team are on hand to help you understand your obligations and avoid an on-the-spot fine. Phone us to discuss your options and obligations with an industry expert or email us your enquiry.