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Compliance monitoring and enforcement policy

The compliance monitoring and enforcement policy (the policy) has been developed in response to the 2017 best practice review of Work Health and Safety Queensland.

The purpose of the policy is to inform duty holders of the regulator's approach to compliance monitoring and enforcement and guide inspectors and their managers in their decision-making and use of enforcement measures.

Duty holders must comply with their obligations under the legislation to ensure workers and others are not exposed to unacceptable risks that may result in death, injury or illness.

The policy explains how the regulator uses regulatory enforcement measures to ensure duty holders are meeting their legislative duties, and to create credible deterrents for contravening the legislation.

The purpose of monitoring compliance and, when required, enforcing compliance, is to ensure duty holders comply with their obligations. The threat of being caught and the deterrent effect of a strong regulator will provide a better environment where the risk of exposure to injury, illness or death is eliminated, or where that is not possible, minimised.

Enforcement measures available to the inspectorate include prohibition notices, improvement notices, electrical safety protection notices, unsafe equipment notices and infringement notices.

Priority infringeable offences

There are currently 240 infringement notice offences for contraventions of the work health and safety and electrical safety legislation. An infringement notice is also referred to as an on-the-spot fine, with fines ranging from $144 - $720 for individuals, and $720 - $3600 for a business.

The regulator has identified a smaller number of infringeable offences as priority areas for enforcement (see below). An inspector will have additional focus on these areas, and if an inspector identifies a contravention of one of these provisions, the inspector will issue an infringement notice. These priorities will change periodically to reflect current and emerging risks.

The priority areas do not prevent an inspector from issuing an infringement notice for an infringeable offence not identified as a priority; an inspector may issue an infringement notice for any infringement notice offence.

  1. Non-compliance with an improvement notice
    • The person must comply within the period stated on the notice - WHS Act s193
    • The person must comply within the period stated on the notice - ES Act s146B
  2. Incident notification and reporting
    • PCBU must keep record of each notifiable incident for 5 years after notification - WHS Act s38(7)
    • PCBU must keep a record of each serious electrical incident or dangerous electrical event for at least 5 years after notification - ES Reg s265(6)
  3. Consultation with workers
    • PCBU must allow adequate time for HSR to exercise powers/functions - WHS Act s70(2)
  4. Safety management – construction projects
    • Safe Work Method Statements (high risk construction work) - WHS Reg s299(1); s300(1); s300(2); s301; s302; s303(3); s312
    • WHS management plan must be accessible - WHS Reg s313(3)
    • Provision of hygienic, safe and serviceable amenities - WHS Reg s315A(2)
  5. Construction work
    • Trenching/excavation - WHS Reg s304(3); s304(5); s306(1)
    • Fall arrest system as control measure - WHS Reg s306I(7)
    • Ladder safety - WHS Reg s306K(2); s306L(3); s306O(5)
    • Scaffolding - WHS Reg s306P(2); s306Q(2)
    • Falling objects - WHS Reg s315F(3); s315G(3); s315L(3)
    • General construction induction training - WHS Reg s316
  6. General workplace management
    • Air monitoring for airborne contaminants - WHS Reg s50(1)
  7. Specific hazardous work
    • Overhead or underground electric line (safe distance) - ES Reg s68(1); s68(2)
    • Confined spaces - WHS Reg s66(2); s69
    • General diving work competency - WHS Reg s175(1)
    • Hazardous chemicals register – WHS Reg s346(1); s346(3)
    • Asbestos management - WHS Reg s425(1); s449; s419(1); s446(1); s446(3)
  8. Licensed high risk work
    • Written evidence of licence, training, application or certification - WHS Reg s85(1); s85(2); s85(3)
  9. Electrical work
    • Electrical work - ES Reg 14; 15(1); 26(2); 31(1); 32(1)
    • Electrical installations - ES Reg 70; 71; 85(2)
    • Electrical supply - ES Reg 221(1); 221(2); 227(1)
  10. Electrical licences
    • Unlicensed electrical work - ES Act 55(1); 56(1); 57(1)