On-the-spot Fines and the Prevention of Injury and Disease: The Experience in Australian Workplaces

Neil Gunningham , Darren Sinclair, Patricia Burritt

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


In 1997/98 NOHSC embarked on a new national strategic approach and initiated National Solutions Projects to identify practical preventative solutions in the workplace and, as a result, to make prevention happen in the workplace.

As part of this drive, NOHSC selected several significant prevention initiatives that are taking place in different jurisdictions.

The extent to which different enforcement approaches contribute to prevention of injury and illness in the workplace is a relatively unexplored area in Australia. State and Territory governments employ a range of strategies to enforce compliance with regulations relating to the prevention of workplace injury and illness. In some jurisdictions, these strategies include on-the-spot fines.

A national initiative selected for evaluation was occupational health and safety enforcement strategies with the focus on the implementation of on-the-spot fines in NSW and the Northern Territory as a preventative tool. This report details the results of that evaluation.

Professor Neil Gunningham, Director of the Australian Centre for Environmental Law in the Faculty of Law at the Australian National University, Canberra was commissioned in late 1997 to carry out the evaluation. Professor Gunningham is well known as the author of many publications in the area of OHS regulatory reform, policy and compliance. He also prepared the review of international occupational health and safety regulation for the 1995 Industry Commission Report on occupational health and safety in Australia.

A reference group comprising representatives from OHS authorities from a number of States and Territories, ACCI and ACTU provided expert and industry advice and assistance to the project.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherCommonwealth of Australia
Commissioning bodyNational Occupational Health and Safety Commission
Number of pages70
ISBN (Print)0642476020
Publication statusPublished - May 1998


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