Performing inspections under WHS law
A union official may have a right to perform WHS inspections under State or Territory WHS legislation. In order to perform WHS inspections, union officials must ensure they meet certain requirements under
- the relevant State or Territory WHS legislation, and
- the Fair Work Act 2009.
An official must not exercise a State or Territory WHS right unless the official is a Federal permit holder.
What must a union official do before entering a site to use a State or Territory WHS right?
A permit holder must, on request, show the occupier of the premises or an affected employer their Federal permit.
A permit holder:
- may only exercise a State or Territory WHS right during working hours
- must not exercise a State or Territory WHS right unless he or she complies with any reasonable request by the occupier to observe on-site specific WHS practices.
What if the union official wants to inspect or access employee records?
A permit holder must not exercise a State or Territory WHS right to inspect or otherwise access an employee record, unless by written notice.
The written notice must be provided to:
- the occupier of the premises
- any affected employer.
The written notice must:
- set out his or her intention to exercise the right, and reasons for doing so
- be delivered at least 24 hours before exercising the right.
The entry notice must name:
- the site or premises to be entered
- the day of entry
- which union the permit holder belongs to.
WHS in your state
There is a separate WHS body for each State and Territory:
|Australian Capital Territory||WorkSafe ACT||(02) 6207 3000|
|New South Wales||SafeWork NSW||13 10 50|
|Northern Territory||NT WorkSafe||1800 019 115|
|Queensland||Workplace Health and Safety||1300 362 128|
|South Australia||SafeWork SA||1300 365 255|
|Tasmania||WorkSafe Tas||1300 366 322|
|Victoria||WorkSafe Vic||(03) 9641 1444 or 1800 136 089 (toll free)|
|Western Australia||WorkSafe WA||1300 307 877|
Need more information?
For further information, advice or assistance please contact the ABCC at 1800 003 338 or enquiry [at] abcc.gov.au.