This paper argues for six propositions to advance a lateral approach for the restorative and responsive regulation of occupational health and safety (OHS). These propositions are as follows:
1. Very high maximum financial and other penalties are needed for OHS offences.
2. Because Australians support severe punishment of OHS offenders, innovative OHS agency heads, can publicise egregious under-punished cases in ways that make successful calls for very high maximum penalties.
3. In a world of very high maximum penalties with large penalty discounts for credible OHS management, most firms can be nudged to establish credible OHS management.
4. In a world with large penalty discounts for credible OHS management, workers and unions would rarely find it lucrative to launch private prosecutions against employers with impressive OHS performance.
5. Under laws which only allow private prosecutions by unions and workers where the state OHS agency fails to take enforcement action, business would support a well funded state OHS agency and would call them in whenever a serious breach occurred.
6. The above set of five propositions are conditions where business and OHS regulators could be expected to commit to restorative and responsive justice where business takes active responsibility for restorative justice inscribed in enforceable undertakings. After