WorkSafe Victoria recently added 22 new Inspectors whilst 3 new Inspectors have been added by WorkSafe in the ACT. The bottom line is that each State in Australia has a regulating body who manages compliance of the WHS/OHS laws and an Inspector could visit your workplace at any time. The question is, are you ready for them?
Inspectors can visit your workplace with or without prior notice and obtain access with consent, the use of force or through a search warrant. They also have the powers to speak with your employees and authorised officers to gain information relating to your business and activities.
It’s worth remembering that failure to comply or provide assistance to an Inspector can lead to fines and penalties being issued and even prosecution, for both individuals and businesses. In Victoria alone, WorkSafe Inspectors make more than 40,000 visits and issue more than 16,000 notices for breaches in relation to occupational health and safety in one year.
If your workplace is not complying with the OHS Regulations, Inspectors are able to issue:
Each State Authority targets various industries throughout the year but, again, may visit your workplace at any time without any notice. For example, WorkSafe Victoria is targeting farms in November. In July and August they were focussing on construction sites. WorkSafe WA targeted the accommodation industry and the goods and equipment rental and hire industry in 2016 whilst the ACT and NSW joined forces to improve construction industry safety. They could target your industry at any time!
The best way to prepare yourself for any surprise visits is to make sure you are compliant with all the legislation in your State and to regularly review and update your OHS/WHS management system. Find the hazards, assess the risks and fix the problems. It’s that easy.
For peace of mind and to ensure you’re meeting all your legislative requirements