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On-the-spot fines for electrical and asbestos offences in NSW

An amendment to the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 (NSW) came into force on 14 October 2022 that allows SafeWork NSW inspectors to issue on-the-spot fines for existing electrical work and asbestos offences.

Head of SafeWork NSW Natasha Mann said the amendments will allow SafeWork inspectors to issue penalty notices for work near overhead wires with fines of $3,600 for corporations and $720 for individuals.

“In the past two and half years, SafeWork NSW has responded to more than 1,000 workplace incidents involving workers coming into contact with electricity, two of which resulted in fatalities,” Ms Mann said.

“The most common risks associated with electrical work include contact with overhead powerlines, underground services and unsafe wiring that includes temporary wiring, installations and electrical equipment.

“We’re urging businesses and workers undertaking electrical work to shut off mains power supply when working near electricity and under no circumstance should electrical work be done without holding a licence to do so,” Ms Mann said.

“We’re also strengthening penalties to provide greater deterrents to existing offences relating to asbestos removal work in response to reoffenders within the asbestos and demolition industry.

“The new on-the-spot penalties will provide SafeWork NSW inspectors an additional compliance tool to take immediate action when they observe workers and businesses engaging in highly unsafe activities onsite.

“We will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to workers’ lives being placed at risk,” Ms Mann said.

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