Enforcing Health and Safety Law

The Health and Safety Inspector’s job is to keep people safe and healthy at work. We visit hundreds of locations every year as part of that job.

We may have arrived without warning. This isn’t unusual. We don’t always tell people we’re coming and the law lets us visit at any reasonable time.

The inspector will look at how you keep your workers, and anyone who may be affected by your work, healthy and safe. They may also give you advice on health and safety or make sure you are providing suitable welfare facilities, such as running hot and cold water and toilets.

While the inspector is with you, they may:

  • ask you about your workers and what they do;
  • look at any possible health risks arising from the work you are doing;
  • look at any machinery or other equipment that you have;
  • ask to see records or other documents; and
  • take photographs.

The inspector will want to know about:

  • the main health and safety issues in your workplace; and
  • your own knowledge or experience of health and safety.

The inspector may also talk to you about things like safety standards, guidance and everyday practices in your industry. The inspector will also need to talk to your employees or their representatives during the visit.

What if there’s something wrong?

The inspector may take action if they find you’re breaking the law during the visit. They may also tell you to stop a dangerous activity in your workplace immediately.

After the inspector has finished looking round your workplace, they might:

  • offer advice (either verbal or in writing);
  • give you a notification of contravention;
  • give you an improvement notice;
  • give you a prohibition notice; or
  • prosecute you for breaching health and safety laws.