How to make a complaint about a workplace hazard or incident
Contact WorkSafe to complain about workplace safety. This page should be read in conjunction with About WorkSafe.
To report a workplace related death, serious life threatening incident or disease please call 1800 678 198.
How do I report a workplace hazard, incident or injury?
WorkSafe encourages a consultative process where workplace safety complaints are first reported in the workplace and attempted to be resolved in house. An employee has a legal duty under section 20 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 to report any hazards they observe in their workplace to the employer. This might include involving elected safety and health representatives in order to bring the complaint to the attention of management.
Where consultation in the workplace has not resolved the problem it may be necessary to report the matter to WorkSafe and request an inspector’s intervention.
Report unsafe work?
To report unsafe work practices online, this is what you will need to have ready:
- Name and address of the workplace
- The type of workplace
- Details of the unsafe practices
- Your contact details – phone number, mobile phone number and/or email address
You can contact WorkSafe by calling 1300 307 877, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to Locked Bag 14, CLOISTERS SQUARE, WA 6850
Who can complain?
Anyone is able to complain to WorkSafe about workplace safety; however information that is received from a first-hand source employed at the workplace would be treated with greater priority than second or third hand sources.
When lodging a report on behalf of someone else it is imperative that you have their permission to do so and you should encourage them to contact WorkSafe themselves.
By leaving your contact details you allow an investigating inspector to contact you to clarify areas of your complaint. These contact details are kept confidential and will not be revealed to anyone outside of WorkSafe without the complainant’s consent.
You can ask WorkSafe to keep your contact details confidential. However, in certain circumstances, WorkSafe will not be able to conduct an investigation unless they are able to contact you to obtain further information. In addition, when investigating certain matters, such as claims of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, WorkSafe is unable to guarantee your anonymity. Therefore, an Inspector will not conduct an investigation without your consent.
What information do I need to provide?
- Who is involved?
- The people/companies that are involved in the unsafe acts at a workplace.
- What unsafe practices are taking place?
- Specific details of what you have observed and why you believe it to be unsafe at a workplace.
- Where are the unsafe practices taking place?
- An exact street address for where the unsafe practices at a workplace are taking place or enough information on the address to allow an inspector to find the site.
- When did the unsafe practices occur?
- Information such as, whether the unsafe practices at a workplace are occurring right now and what days or times the unsafe working practices occur.
- How did you become aware of the situation?
- It is important to know if the information you have given is first-hand experience at a workplace or passed on to you through other sources.
- It is also necessary so if an inspector does investigate, they know who to contact for further clarification.
- What consultation with management has occurred?
- As stated in the introduction, WorkSafe needs to know what level of consultation has taken place in the workplace. This includes whether the employer, supervisor and/or safety and health representatives have been consulted.
What happens next?
The information you have provided will be passed on to our Operations Directorate where it will be classified in line with the Criteria for Investigation publication. Not all complaints will result in an investigation by an inspector. If an inspector needs further information to clarify the concerns, they may contact you to ask some questions and discuss your complaint.
If an investigation takes place and reveals non-compliance with the occupational safety and health legislation, WorkSafe will take appropriate enforcement action. This may include improvement notices, prohibition notices, prosecution action, other sanctions or any combination of these. You can refer to WorkSafe’s compliance and prosecution policies for information on this.
What will I find out?
When you provide contact details to WorkSafe you will be provided with a reference number. This number is your reference to confirm that we have lodged the concern and it should be quoted if you contact WorkSafe again to add to the same complaint.
You can ask WorkSafe to keep your contact details confidential. However, in certain circumstances WorkSafe will not be able to conduct an investigation unless they are able to contact you to obtain further information. In addition, when investigating certain matters, such as claims of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, WorkSafe is unable to guarantee your anonymity. Therefore, an Inspector will not conduct an investigation without your consent.
WorkSafe investigates to establish if the occupational safety and health legislation has been complied with and may take a range of enforcement action in relation to that non-compliance. WorkSafe Investigates for WorkSafe’s purposes and not on behalf of a complainant. A WorkSafe inspector will only contact you if they need to clarify any details of your concern and will not contact you with the results of their investigation.
You can contact the department and quote your reference number if you would like to provide us with more information or if you would like to find out the outcome of the investigation. If you request information about the outcome of an investigation, an inspector will call you back. An inspector is able to provide limited information on the investigation, such as whether it has been completed, whether notices were issued and the general nature of any notices.
Further information on the results of an investigation may be able to be obtained by lodging a freedom of information request and paying the appropriate fee.
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