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Enforceable Undertaking $1.4 Million with Industry & Community Benefits

When we hear that a PCBU has entered into an enforceable undertaking with SafeWork NSW, we feel like applauding.

It means that SafeWork NSW will not prosecute the PCBU in a court case. They have agreed upon the actions that the PCBU will take to improve WHS in their workplace and to improve WHS in their industry and in their community - a productive and very worthwhile use of the PCBU’s funds. And a better return on funds than having to spend money on legal costs and a fine in a court case.

An Example

Here are some details of a specific enforceable undertaking that SafeWork NSW approved in 2020 that is underway. It shows the benefits that are being achieved in the PCBU’s workplace, and the great benefits being achieved for their industry and community. The total cost of the enforceable undertaking is $1,474,000.

The PCBU’s Workplace Benefits – total estimated cost $933,000

The program of actions includes; overhaul and increase safety actions of the machine that was involved in an employee’s serious injury; review and improve traffic management in production areas; improve WHS communication in workplace with tailored English language training; audit all production lines in the factory and correct any guarding issues as necessary.

The PCBU’s Industry Benefits - total estimated costs, $282,000

The PCBU will develop and promote a leadership training program aimed at raising the standard of safety leadership and improving safety culture in the manufacturing sector, and deliver this training program to small and medium sized organisations.

The PCBU’s Community Benefits – total estimated costs, $259,000

The PCBU will develop and deliver an awareness program targeted at linguistically diverse workers that outlines their basic safety rights and responsibilities in the workplace and be translated into two different languages. The PCBU will work with the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW to deliver the program in Arabic and Mandarin in the Western Sydney area.

In total, this PCBU decided to spend $541,000 on actions that will provide benefits to its industry and community. A commendable decision.

It is very pleasing to see that the number of PCBU’s in Australia who choose to make an enforceable undertaking has continued to rise, and as at 2016-2017, the number of these has risen by 43% since 2012-13 (Safe Work Australia - Comparative Performance Monitoring Report)

An enforceable undertaking option is one of the tools that the Commonwealth, state and territory governments included when they developed and agreed on the National Compliance and Enforcement Policy (see triangle diagram below from page 6 of the Policy).

12th August 2020

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