ASK RENATA

I requested my employer share video footage of a workplace incident, but they cited privacy concerns for employees. My understanding is that HSRs have the right to access certain information related to hazards. Appreciate your thoughts before we issue a PIN.

Congratulations on your solid understanding of our OHS Act, Comrade. Section 69(1)(a) imposes a duty on employers to grant HSRs access to information concerning actual or potential hazards in the workplace and regarding the health and safety of their designated workgroup.

Even if certain details in the information were to be considered private, the Act imposes restrictions on how this information can be used (section 58) and excludes sharing certain medical information (section 69(2)).

Subject to s.69(2), once the preconditions set out in section 69(1)(a)(i) and (ii) are met, and the employer MUST share the information they have with the HSR.

The request to access CCTV footage aligns with the Act's provisions, ensuring a functional health and safety system through recognised HSRs. Legal precedence in cases like Griffiths v Victoria Workcover Authority supports this right.

You're encouraged to formally request the footage in writing, involving your DWG and obtaining their endorsement. We provide a consultation proforma and email template for your convenience.

If your employer denies the request, issuing a PIN citing breach of section 69 could be necessary. The wording should be simple, for example:

‘My employer refuses to provide OHS records regarding hazards affecting my designated workgroup.’

Additionally, seeking guidance and representation from your Union’s experienced officials is always recommended. If unsure about filling out a PIN correctly, your Union or HSR colleagues, alongside resources provided by VTHC and WorkSafe’s Advisory Line, can offer support.

Refer to our webpage A PIN: How to use it for guidance and consider having your Union review it or reach out to us at VTHC for assistance.

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