An enforceable undertaking is one of the options available to promote compliance with workplace health and safety (WHS) laws. It is a legal agreement that obliges an organisation to carry out specific activities to improve not only worker health and safety, but delivers benefits to industry and the broader community.
(Above) Can Stock.
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.
Enforceable undertakings are authorised by state workplace, health and safety authorities and members are advised to contact their relevant state authority for more information.
Current information from the state authorities:
New South Wales: Enforceable undertakings guidelines, Jan 2018 (PDF)
The ASI supports our membership by providing the platform to share relevant information with our industry. The following enforceable undertakings have been lodged:
Brookfield Multiplex 2016 – Steel erection in multi-storey buildings
Orrcon 2013 – Coil handling (PDF)
Ador 2013 – Crush injury (PDF)
Quality Assured Bolt and Steel Fabrication (QABSF) 2011 – Metal lathe (PDF)