Safety Institute of Australia

Understanding effective enforcement tools

23 May 2019
10:50 - 11:10

Understanding effective enforcement tools

Our research proposes changes to the National Compliance and Enforcement Policy and the development of additional guidance such that inspectors can more easily identify which tool (or combination of tools) will generate the desired behaviour change. Our recommendations have been cited in the national model WHS legislation review and, if implemented, will have impacts on not only the regulators and inspectors who use enforcement tools but the businesses that receive them.

Enforcement serves two purposes;

  1. To punish and directly deter the individual from reoffending,
  2. To send a message of deterrence to the wider community to prevent offending. It generally does not focus on rehabilitation and any positive impacts on behaviour tend to be short-lived. This is why tailored education and support are essential to complement enforcement actions. The current compliance and enforcement approach relies primarily on professional judgement and the NCEP does not provide much guidance on how considerations or assessments are to be made. This impacts effectiveness of enforcement and consistency in approach among inspectors, both among and within jurisdictions. Additional guidance on consideration of attitude, risk and responsiveness factors will make intervention design easier and more effective.