A work health and safety (WHS) entry permit holder must usually give written notice to visit a workplace under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).
Notice for entry under the WHS Act
You must have a WHS entry permit to give written notice to an occupier of a building or premises.
Under the WHS Act, you may wish to enter a workplace to:
- inspect or make copies of documents
- consult and advise workers.
In these cases, you must give written notice no less than 24 hours and no more than 14 days before you wish to visit.
The rules are different if you want to investigate a ‘suspected contravention’ of the WHS Act. In this case, you must give written notice as soon as possible after entering the workplace. This does not apply if giving notice would:
- defeat the purpose of entry
- unreasonably delay you in an urgent case.
What a WHS entry notice should include
A WHS entry notice will look different depending on the section of the WHS Act that authorises entry. It must include:
- the full name of the WHS permit holder
- the name of the union the WHS permit holder represents
- the section of the Act that authorises the entry, for example:
- inquire into suspected contraventions of the Act – section 117 of the WHS Act
- inspect records or documents – section 120 of the WHS Act
- consult and advise workers – section 121 of the WHS Act
- the name and address of the workplace they have entered or propose to enter
- the date of entry or proposed entry
- details of the suspected contravention (sections 117 and 120 of the WHS Act only)
- a description of the records or documents they want to inspect (section 120 of the WHS Act only)
- a declaration stating:
- that the union may represent the industrial interests of a worker at the workplace and they are, or are eligible to be, a member
- which part of the union's rules gives them the right to represent the workers (this will be found in the union's eligibility rule)
- that the suspected contravention relates to, or affects, that worker (sections 117 and 120 of the WHS Act only)
- that the records and documents they propose inspect relate to that contravention (section 120 of the WHS Act only).
Comcare has a template for a WHS entry notice.