New Power to Issue Fines for Safety Breaches Introduced

HIA Industry Update for NHS
Approx read time: 2 minutes

From 1 November 2017 SafeWork NSW inspectors have the power to issue a penalty notice (fine) against a corporation or individual who do not control the risks associated with working from heights or where workers who require a licence (for example asbestos removal, demolition, high risk work activities and general induction training) don’t have one.

Inspectors will be able to issue on the spot fines of up to $3600 to corporations and $720 to individuals where risk to workers is imminent or serious, or if the workplace is considered to be a repeat offender.

Falls from Heights

It is important to properly assess the risks involved for each activity that includes the need to work at heights. Construction work that involves the risk of a person falling more than two metres requires a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS).

Click here for information about managing the risks associated with working from heights.  For more information about how to work safely at heights refer to the Preventing falls in housing construction code of practice.


Licences are required for certain types of work that are considered high risk.

In most cases, workers must be trained and assessed as competent before they are issued with a licence.

What you can do:

  • Check your workers licences and never let an unlicensed worker do work requiring a licence
  • Keep a register of when licences are due to expire, and make sure they are renewed
  • Ensure you hold the appropriate licence to do the work you are doing
  • Ensure the removal of friable asbestos or more than 10 square metres of non-friable (bonded) asbestos is undertaken by a licenced asbestos removalist with the relevant class of licence. Click here for more information.

Click here for more information about safety licenses.

If you have any further questions regarding these matters members should contact the HIA Workplace Services team on 1300 650 620 for more information about how to work safely at heights, or how to obtain a licence.

Alternatively, for more information about the new offences view the SafeWork NSW media release by clicking here.


Craig Jennion
HIA Executive Director – Hunter