Workplace inspections reduce harm and empower HSRs to identify hazards and raise them with the employer and designated work group (DWG).
HSRs have the authority to inspect any area of the workplace where their DWG members work.
These inspections can occur when reasonable notice is given, following an incident, or when there is an immediate risk to anyone's health or safety.
During inspections, HSRs can either conduct them independently or in collaboration with the employer or their representative.
Worth noting: WorkSafe Inspectors should be asking to speak HSRs when they enter a site.
As an HSR, your primary role during inspections is to advocate for your colleagues.
While the duty and responsibility for providing a safe and healthy workplace lies with the employer and those in management or control, effective communication among employers, employees, and HSRs is crucial for identifying and addressing safety concerns.
Resolving health and safety issues discovered during inspections may be possible through discussions between the HSR and the employer, ultimately benefiting the workers represented.
However, in some cases, further consultation focused on hazard control may be necessary if matters cannot be resolved during the inspection.
It is advisable to take notes during inspections to document relevant information that can aid discussions with the employer and other workers, as well as serve as a reference for observations and conversations during the inspection process.
Download WorkSafe’s Employee representation: A comprehensive guide to part 7 of the OHS Act 2004 (PDF version) to learn more.