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Work health and safety inspections

Comcare is responsible for carrying out inspections under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).

In a WHS inspection, a Comcare inspector attends a workplace to help resolve work health and safety issues, to respond to an incident, complaint or allegation, or as part of a planned program or campaign.

There are two types of inspections:

Liaison inspections. Comcare carries out collaborative inspections with employers, workers and their representatives to invest in better work health and safety outcomes. These inspections are proactive, focussed on promoting better health and safety outcomes, and encouraging continuous improvement.

Compliance inspections. Compliance inspections focus on achieving a safety outcome, reducing non-compliance and encouraging continuous improvement. These inspections may feature in our proactive work, but are usually triggered by an incident or complaint. The tools we use to improve health and safety in conjunction with an inspection may include improvement notices, prohibition notices and investigations.

Inspections help improve health and safety outcomes by:

  • helping duty holders achieve compliance with legislative obligations 
  • improving workers’ health, wellbeing and safety 
  • improving hazard identification and risk control capability 
  • encouraging the identification, sharing and implementation of better practice.

At the end of an inspection, the inspector will produce a report that summarises the activities carried out, any powers used, and the safety outcomes to be achieved. This is provided to key safety stakeholders and WHS Act duty holders for the relevant workplace.

Page last updated: 14 Jul 2016