New regulations for the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Infringements and Miscellaneous Matters) Regulations 2021 (Infringement Regulations) will commence on 31 July 2021.  

The Infringement Regulations amend the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) to prescribe certain offences where an infringement notice may be issued.  

They also specify penalties for these offences and give WorkSafe inspectors the power to issue infringement notices, as an alternative to prosecution. 

The infringement notices scheme expands the suite of compliance and enforcement tools already available to WorkSafe, including: 

  • providing information and guidance
  • issuing improvement notices, prohibition notices and directions to remedy contraventions and risks to health and safety
  • seeking injunctions for non-compliance with notices
  • prosecution for contraventions of occupational health and safety laws
  • issuing letters of warning and letters of caution
  • accepting enforceable undertakings in connection with alleged contraventions of occupational health and safety laws.

It will also strengthen WorkSafe’s compliance and enforcement capability and act as an additional deterrent to non-compliance of OHS laws. 

There are 54 infringement offences, including (but not limited to) contraventions of the following: 

  • Allowing a health and safety representative for the designated work group to have access to certain types of information
  • Requirements for licence or registration (g.Asbestos removal, High Risk Work Licences) 
  • Requirements for prescribed qualifications or experience (e.Requirement to hold a current construction induction card) 
  • Register of hazardous substances
  • Several asbestos obligations
  • Copy of safe work method statement to be kept for the duration of the high-riskconstruction work 
  • Health and safety co-ordination plan available for inspection
  • Signage of principal contractor showing the name and contact telephone numbers of the principal contractor
  • Construction induction card to be kept available

Importantly, infringement notices do not impose any additional duties.  

However, breaches of offences that are included in the infringement notice scheme can now be met with an immediate penalty.  

Worksafe is committed to ensuring you have the information you need to implement these measures upon commencement of the Infringement Regulations.  

  • Initial information about the scheme is available on WorkSafe’s website here and will be updated ahead of commencement.  
  • The Infringement Regulations, including the table of offences, are also available on the Victorian Legislation website here.

MBV Members are invited to contact the OHS team if you have further questions on (03) 9411 4555.