SafeWork SA adds new compliance and enforcement tool

Close up of a woman in high-vis holding a clipboard marking off a check box

12 June 2024

SafeWork SA adds new compliance and enforcement tool

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

These 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.

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.

Expiations 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.

The use of expiation notices to deter repeat work health and safety offences are also used interstate.

Quotes attributable to SafeWork SA Executive Director Glenn Farrell

“Expiation notices are an important compliance and enforcement tool and send an instant message to individuals, businesses and organisations that they must make improvements.

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