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WorkSafe Notifications and what they mean

In our recent catch-ups with WorkSafe, we have been discussing Contractors’ rights when dealing with WorkSafe. Here is some additional information around different times of communication from WorkSafe and what is expected in terms of compliance.


An onsite direction given by an inspector, informing the duty holder that they are not compliant with a provision of the Act or Regulation. It is not a legislative tool therefore is only used where the risk is low. Compliance with a verbal direction is not followed up.


A written direction from an inspector, informing the duty holder that the inspector has established reasonable belief that they are not compliant with a provision of the Act or Regulation. It is not a legislative tool so is used in situations where the risk is relatively low. It is used where the inspector has a high confidence that the duty holder will voluntarily comply. Compliance is not always followed up, however it is recorded.


One of the most used tools for inspectors. They are written notices that require a duty holder to comply with a specific provision of the Act or Regulations. The notice sets out the contravention, or likely contravention, and sets a time period for the duty holder to achieve compliance.


A written notice that can prohibit the carrying on of an activity, either in its entirety or in a specific way. As a Prohibition Notice immediately stops the relevant activity, it is a tool that is only used when there is an immediate or imminent serious risk to workers or others.


A written communication from an inspector, informing the duty holder that they were not compliant with a provision of the Act or Regulation when the inspector visited the site, but that the breach has now been rectified. It is not a legislative tool but is used to create a written record in situations where the breach would have resulted in a Notice if it was not able to be rectified. As no further action is required to achieve compliance, a Sustained Compliance Letter will not be followed up by an inspector. However, it is recorded and may be taken into account during their next interaction with WorkSafe.


If you disagree with an inspector’s decision, you can apply to WorkSafe requesting an internal review of the inspector’s decision. See more on how to request an internal review at

This article appears in the May 2024 edition of Logger Magazine under the FICA Column