The law enables trained HSRs to issue a provisional improvement notice (PIN) when, in their opinion, work health and safety laws are being contravened. They must have completed an approved HSR training course, or previously completed that training when acting as an HSR of another work group.
Before issuing a PIN, consultation must take place between an HSR and the employer or the person they believe is contravening the WHS Act or Regulations. HSRs should:
- provide information, either verbally or in writing, about fixing the alleged contravention or activities causing the contravention
- give the person an opportunity to express their views and take those views into account
- allow adequate time for the contravention to be fixed.
It will be considered that consultation has taken place even if:
- there is no response within a reasonable time, or not at all
- no agreement has been reached on the contravention and how to fix it.
Issuing a PIN
A PIN may be issued to any person including:
- an employer, which can be either an organisation or an individual
- a person with management or control of the workplace.
- be in writing – it’s not compulsory to use a specific form, although you may wish to use our sample template
- state the reasons why the HSR considers the laws are being contravened, or the contravention is likely to continue or be repeated
- be given directly to the employer or their representative who has responsibility for the specified contravention
- specify a time limit of at least 8 days after the date of issue for the contravention to be remedied.
If there is more than one contravention, a separate PIN must be written for each.
PINs cannot be issued for matters already being addressed by one of our inspectors through Improvement or Prohibition Notices.
Complying with a PIN
Unless we have appointed an Inspector to review a PIN, the person issued with it must take all reasonable steps to remedy the identified contravention by the due date on the notice or, if no date has been specified, as soon as possible.
The person issued with a PIN must display the notice in a prominent place close to affected workers and/or parts of the workplace(s).
PINs must not be intentionally removed, damaged or defaced while they are in force.
A PIN remains in force until the matter has been resolved. However the HSR who issued it may cancel it, by written notice, at any time.
Reviewing a PIN
The person issued with a PIN, or their employer if they are a worker, can ask us to appoint an inspector to review the notice. This request must be made within 7 days of when the PIN was first issued. We will attend your workplace as soon as practicable after your request has been made. Call our Help Centre on 1300 365 255 to request our involvement.
A PIN is temporarily suspended while the inspector enquires into the circumstances surrounding the issue and determines the matter. This review can take place even if the compliance period has expired. After the inspector has reviewed the PIN, they may either:
- confirm the PIN, considered to be an Improvement Notice issued by the inspector
- confirm the PIN with changes, in which case the employer must comply with the PIN
- cancel the PIN.
This decision is a reviewable decision listed in the WHS Act.