8 min read

Enforceable undertakings

Last updated May 2022

This chapter explains the meaning of an enforceable undertaking and how your organisation can prepare a proposal to the safety regulator.

What is an enforceable undertaking?

If you have breached your health and safety duties, a health and safety regulator may accept an enforceable undertaking from you as an alternative to prosecution.

Definition: Enforceable Undertaking

An enforceable undertaking is a legally binding agreement entered into by a person or business as an alternative to a court-imposed sanction. An enforceable undertaking is a commitment to implement effective health and safety initiatives that are designed to deliver tangible benefits for workers, industry and the community.

An enforceable undertaking requires you to:

  • admit that the safety regulator has alleged that you have breached your obligations;
  • issue a statement of regret that there has been such a contravention; and
  • agree to certain undertakings that are beneficial to safety in the workplace, industry and the broader community, such as:
    • conducting research into a nominated safety issue;
    • conducting an educational campaign on a nominated safety issue; and
    • engaging a health and safety expert for the workplace.

In 2015, NT WorkSafe accepted an enforceable undertaking from Alcan Gove Pty Ltd after a worker was killed while working alone at a lime calcination plant.

Under the undertaking, Alcan Gove agreed to:
- introduce a human behaviours safety program and training video;
- deliver presentations on the incident at relevant industry forums; and
- fund community activities and training.

The undertaking was completed in mid-2018 at an actual cost of $1,347,809.