The primary role of WorkSafe inspectors is to ensure workplaces are complying with occupational health and safety (OHS) laws. Is your business ready for an inspection?
Managing a workplace inspector visit
Regardless of whether a WorkSafe inspection is planned or unplanned, remember the objective of the inspection is to keep people safe. To find out how to manage a WorkSafe visit, contact us.
WorkSafe inspectors frequently visit organisations for planned and unplanned workplace inspections. When they enter a workplace, they will notify the occupier or person in charge, as well as any health and safety representatives of their presence. Inspectors can enter any workplace during working hours or when there is an immediate health and safety risk to any person. All WorkSafe inspectors carry official identification.
Planned inspections may focus on:
- Industries where injuries are occurring most (such as construction, farming, aged care)
- Specific hazard types (falls from a height, manual handling)
- Businesses which have never previously been visited
Unplanned inspections occur in response to:
- ‘Notifiable’ workplace incidents (serious injuries, fatalities, dangerous occurrences)
- Reports of unsafe working conditions
Inspectors engage in issue resolution to resolve disputes regarding:
- Provisional improvement notices (PINs) or cease work action initiated by health and safety representatives (HSRs)
- Employee representation and consultation processes
What happens during a WorkSafe Inspection?
While at your workplace the Inspector might:
- Provide practical and constructive advice about how to comply with Victoria’s health and safety laws
- Advise how to fix any safety breaches they come across
- Issue notices or directions, conduct interviews and make enquiries, take photos and measurements, take samples and items for examination or testing, and read and copy documents
If an inspector finds serious health and safety breaches at a workplace, it may be referred for further investigation and the employer may be prosecuted. Find out more about the powers of WorkSafe inspectors under health and safety law and WorkSafe investigations and prosecutions.
At the end of an inspection (or as soon as possible afterwards) the inspector will provide a written report that includes a summary of their observations, a description of things they have done, the powers they used and where any photos, sketches or records taken will be available for inspection.
If you have questions about an upcoming WorkSafe visit, or would like to ensure compliance before an unplanned WorkSafe Inspection occurs, contact our health, safety and wellbeing consultants online or call 03 8662 5333.