The introduction of pecuniary penalties

March 23, 2015

healthandsaftyIn terms of article 38 (3) of the OHS Authority Act (Chap. 424), the Authority may intimate the imposition of a pecuniary penalty in lieu of instituting criminal proceedings in a Court of Law, when an offence against the Act or regulations made under the Act is committed.

The scope of article 38 (3) is to create a speedy and effective deterrent against contraventions to the law. A functioning system of intimations will also reduce the Authority’s dependence on the Police and on judicial proceedings to solicit compliance with the law.

The law does not require the Authority to exhaust the administrative remedy before resorting to criminal procedures, but establishes a discretionary power. Thus it is up to the Authority to decide as to whether the circumstances of a case warrant the imposition of an administrative fine or the institution of criminal proceedings or to take any other action as contemplated by the law. However, for the sake of objectivity and fairness, this document establishes general criteria upon which such decisions shall be based.

This document is also intended to establish those administrative procedures required for the implementation of article 38 (3) of the Act, and will support subsidiary regulations issued under the OHS Authority Act for this purpose.