An internal review allows an eligible person to seek a review of a range of decisions made by our Inspectors when dealing with work, health and safety issues and by other SafeWork SA officers in relation to licences, registrations and authorisations.

The service is free.

See Attachment A of the List of reviewable decisions for details of decisions eligible for an internal review.

Some decisions are not subject to an internal review but may be eligible for an external review through the South Australian Employment Tribunal. See Attachment B of the List of reviewable decisions for details of decisions eligible for an external review.


Only an ‘eligible person’ can apply for a review of a decision.

Eligible persons include:

  • the person issued with the notice or licence
  • the person with management or control of the workplace
  • anyone whose interests are affected by the decision, such as a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), a worker, a health and safety representative or a person affected by a decision involving registrations, assessors or training.

Getting started

You can start a review by completing an Internal Review Application.

All the essential details needed for a review are on the application form. Make sure you identify:

  • under which legislation you are applying for review of a decision
  • what category of ‘eligible person’ you fall within.

You can have legal representation, at your own expense. If you want your lawyer to act on your behalf, please include their contact details when completing the application form.

Lodgement timeframes

Applications relating to an Improvement Notice must be lodged either:

  • before the notice’s compliance date or
  • within 14 days after the day on which you became aware of the notice, whichever is earlier.

Applications for review of Prohibition and Non-Disturbance Notices must be lodged:

  • within 14 days after the day on which you became aware of the notice.

Applications made under the WHS Regulations must be lodged:

  • within 28 days after the day on which the decision first came to your notice
  • for WHS Regulations 89(5), 118(5), 256(5), 269(5) and 497(5), within 28 days following the decision period referred to in the provision

In some circumstances the internal reviewer may allow you to lodge an application outside these times by considering:

  • your explanation for the late lodgement
  • whether, if accepted, it would adversely affect anyone else
  • the views of the original decision-maker.

Internal reviewers

The person who made the original decision cannot act as the internal reviewer.

Reviewers must act independently and exercise their own judgement.

Reviewers will be consistent in their approach and follow best practice to ensure their decision is correct in law and that the facts are established based on evidence. All decisions must provide for natural justice, or procedural fairness, to all parties and deal with any real or perceived conflict of interest or bias.

The reviewer can speak to the original decision-maker and other relevant people, including experts if it’s a technical issue. They may also refer to written documents such as codes of practice or industry standards.

The reviewer may arrange either a meeting with you or a workplace visit if they think it’s necessary to help them make their decision; and it can be done within the review timeframe.

Review process

The review considers:

  • the material available to the original decision maker at the time the decision was made
  • any new, relevant information that becomes available during the review.

The reviewer must make a decision within 14 days of receiving your application. You can withdraw your application at any time up to the point at which a decision is made.

The review timeframe will not start until we receive your completed, valid application. If it is incomplete we may ask you to provide more information or the application may be returned to you for completion. The review is suspended for that time.

In light of all the material, the reviewer will then decide either to:

  • confirm the original decision, or
  • vary the original decision, or
  • set aside the original decision and substitute another decision.

You will receive the internal reviewer’s decision and the reasons for it in writing. If the decision is complex, we may phone you to help clarify the reasons. You will also receive information about how to seek an external review of the decision by the South Australian Employment Tribunal.

Multiple applications

Sometimes more than one eligible person could apply for internal review of the same decision. If possible those applications will be considered by the same reviewer.

If the original review has already been completed, depending on that new decision and the nature of the new application, the reviewer will decide whether to accept it.

Where a valid application is refused, you will be advised of your right to seek external review by the South Australian Employment Tribunal.

Invalid applications

If an application is invalid, it cannot be determined by the internal review process. Insufficient information does not invalidate an application. An application can be invalid if:

  • you are not an eligible person
  • your application seeks review of a decision which is not reviewable
  • your application has been determined previously
  • you have a complaint about the behaviour of the decision-maker.

You will be advised if your application is invalid and given other options for following up your concerns.

Stays of reviewable decisions

A ‘stay’ is a holding off of the operation of the initial reviewable decision. This stay is automatic for most reviewable decisions from the date you apply for a review.

Improvement notices

Improvement notices are automatically 'stayed' once you lodge an application for a review. That means they do not operate and can’t be enforced during the internal review period and until a decision is made.

Prohibition and non-disturbance notices

There is no automatic stay for prohibition or non-disturbance notices. You need to request this by ticking the appropriate boxes on the application form. Alternatively, the reviewer may decide to stay the operation of the notice on their own initiative.

A reviewer must either grant or refuse the stay:

  • within one working day of the request being made, and
  • in writing.

If a decision isn’t made within that time, the stay is automatically granted.

If granted, a stay continues either:

  • until the end of the prescribed period for applying for an external review of the internal review decision, or
  • an application for external review is made, whichever is earlier.

Decisions under the WHS Regulations

Decisions under the WHS Regulations cannot be stayed by a review application, nor can one be requested.

External review

If you are not satisfied with the internal review decision, you may request an external review through the South Australian Employment Tribunal (Form A50).


For complaints about the behaviour of the decision-maker or if you disagree with the compliance requirements of the reviewable decision, either: