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Enforceable undertakings

An enforceable undertaking is one of the options available to promote compliance with workplace health and safety (WHS) laws. It is a legal agreement which obliges an organisation to carry out specific activities to improve not only worker health and safety, but also deliver benefits to industry and the broader community.  

What is the difference between a prosecution and an enforceable undertaking?

A prosecution involves an alleged contravention being decided by a court whereas the acceptance of an undertaking does NOT involve consideration of whether the alleged contravention has been proven.

A prosecution will generally result in the court issuing a fine after it has been decided that the alleged contravention has been proven. While the fine is intended to act as a deterrent to future non-compliance, it does not give any assurance of future behaviour by the party subject to the fine.

In contrast, an enforceable undertaking includes an ongoing commitment to effective management of health and safety, in the person’s workplace.. An enforceable undertaking provides an opportunity for lasting organisational change at the workplace through the development and maintenance of an occupational health and safety management system and the implementation of specific health and safety improvements.

State authority information

Enforceable undertakings are authorised by State workplace, health and safety authorities and members are advised to contact their relevant State authority for more information.

Information currently available can be found at the following links:

New South Wales
Northern Territory (PDF)
Queensland 
South Australia
Victoria

Enforceable undertakings supported by the ASI

The Australian Steel Institute supports our membership by providing the platform to share relevant information with our industry. The following enforceable undertakings have been lodged and can be viewed at the following links:

Brookfield Multiplex 2016 - Steel erection in multi-storey buildings
Orrcon 2013 - Coil handling (PDF) (609 Kb)
Ador 2013 - Crush injury (PDF) (181 Kb)
Quality Assured Bolt and Steel Fabrication (QABSF) 2011 - Metal lathe (PDF) (168 Kb)