WorkSafe

WorkSafe is the division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety that administers the OSH Laws. It can provide further information on occupational safety and health matters, including educational materials.

WorkSafe has both an educative and compliance role. As part of its educative role, WorkSafe has various initiatives to promote understanding of occupational safety and health. For example you can find information about small business safety which may be relevant to associations on the Worksafe website.

As part of the compliance activities, WorkSafe investigates and prosecutes breaches under the OSH Laws and conducts compliance campaigns. Inspectors, who are appointed officers of WorkSafe, have broad powers to visit and inspect workplaces. It is an offence to interfere in the performance of an inspector's functions.

Generally, where an inspector is of the opinion that there has been, or may be, a breach of the OSH Laws, or there is activity which may occur, or is occurring, at a workplace which involves, or may involve, the risk of injury or harm to health, he or she may do a number of things.  An inspector's powers include issuing verbal directions, improvement and prohibition notices, and initiating a prosecution under the OSH Laws. Any notices issued by a WorkSafe inspector, including copies, must be displayed in a prominent place at, or near, workplaces affected by each notice.

Reporting accidents

In the first instance, all accidents and incidents (near misses) should be reported to the association (the employer) as soon as possible, via the relevant supervisor or manager. As a matter of best practice, a written report should be made, setting out all the relevant details of the accident.

The WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner must be notified of all work related injuries that result in a death or fracture of the skull, spine, pelvis, any bone in the arm (other than in the wrists or hand) or the leg (other than a bone in the ankle or foot), some types of amputations, the loss of sight in an eye or an injury that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, is likely to prevent the employee from being able to work within ten days of when the injury occurred. Certain infectious and occupational diseases must also be notified, including viral hepatitis. The OSH Laws deal with the notification requirements for work related injuries. Information about the processes involved is available from the WorkSafe website.