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WHS Act - provisional improvement notices and ceasing unsafe work

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					           Module 6

Provisional Improvement Notices
              And
      Ceasing Unsafe Work

                 WHS Act – Awareness Course for Union Members
               Provisional Improvement
                  Notices (PINs) and
                 Ceasing Unsafe Work

    This module covers requirements in relation to consultation,
    representation and participation under the WHS Act and
    includes:
           Rights to cease or direct the cessation of unsafe work

           Provisional Improvement Notices (PINs)

           Requirements for issuing of notices




WHS Act s83-102, s202-210         www.nsca.org.au                    2
                  Ceasing unsafe work


    There may be times when work is unsafe and serious actions
    may need to be taken. Can you think of such a situation?

    New provisions under the WHS Act for situations considered to
    involve unsafe work include:
           Rights to cease unsafe work or be directed by a HSR to
            cease unsafe work; and

           HSRs (and deputy HSRs) having the power to issue a
            Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN).

     HSRs can only exercise these powers if they are trained to do so.
WHS Act s83-103                 www.nsca.org.au                      3
        Workers’ right to cease work

  A worker has a right to cease or refuse to undertake work
  if:
      they have a reasonable concern that doing the work
      would expose them to a serious risk to their health
      and safety from immediate or imminent exposure
      to a hazard.
  Have you previously experienced situations where you
  needed to stop work? Would you refuse to work if you had
  serious concerns about a risk to health and safety?

  What actions would you take immediately after stopping or
  refusing to undertake unsafe work?

WHS Act s84                www.nsca.org.au                    4
                  Requirements when
                  ceasing unsafe work
When a worker ceases unsafe work they must:
  notify the PCBU, as soon as practicable, unless directed to
    stop work by a HSR (in which case the HSR notifies the PCBU);
  remain available to undertake alternative work.

Alternative work
    A PCBU can direct a worker to do other safe, suitable work at
      the same or another workplace until normal duties can be
      resumed.
    The worker in doing so retains continuity of engagement.
An inspector may be requested by the worker, PCBU or the HSR to
assist in resolving the issue.

 WHS Act s83-89              www.nsca.org.au                    5
         Right of HSRs to direct workers
              to cease unsafe work

A HSR (if trained) may direct a worker of their workgroup to cease
unsafe work:
    if they have a reasonable concern that doing the work would
     expose workers to a serious risk to their health and safety
     from immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard; and
    only after attempting to consult and resolve the matter with
     the PCBU, unless there is a serious risk to a worker’s health
     and safety emanating from an immediate or imminent
     exposure to a hazard (in which case consultation must occur
     as soon as practicable after the unsafe work has ceased).

The HSR must inform the PCBU of any direction to cease unsafe work.
  WHS Act s85-89                www.nsca.org.au                       6
              Provisional Improvement
                   Notices (PINs)
A PIN can be issued by a suitably trained HSR if they believe a
person:
    is breaching a provision of the WHS Act
    has breached a provision of the WHS Act and is likely to
      continue to or to repeat this breach.

A PIN issued by the HSR may require the person to:
    remedy the breach
    prevent a likely breach from occurring
    remedy the things or operations causing the breach/likely
      breach.
See Fact Sheet 5 for additional information.
WHS Act s90                  www.nsca.org.au                      7
                 Module 6
               - Activity 1 -

The facilitator will divide the group into smaller
 groups to review the scenarios to determine what
 actions are required and who has responsibilities in
 relation to these actions.

The group will come back together to discuss the
 answers.




                        www.nsca.org.au                 8
              Provisional Improvement
                   Notices (PINs)
A PIN cannot be issued to a person if:
    the HSR has not received the required training;
    the HSR has not firstly consulted with the person; or
    an inspector has already issued (or decided not to issue) an
     improvement or prohibition notice for the same matter.

Note: HSR training provides the knowledge and skills required to
issue a PIN and to direct unsafe work to cease.


  What information is required to be contained in a PIN?
WHS Act s90                  www.nsca.org.au                       9
                 Provisional Improvement
                      Notices (PINs)
A PIN must be in writing and state:
    the HSR believes a person is in breach of the WHS Act, or is
      likely to continue or repeat the breach;
    what that provision is and how it is being breached; and
    a date as to when the breach is to be remedied.

A PIN may also state:
    directions on what is required to remedy or prevent the
      breach (this may include a reference to a Code of Practice);
    the cause or likely cause of the breach; and/or
    a choice of ways in which the breach could be remedied.

WHS Act s91-99               www.nsca.org.au                     10
               Provisional Improvement
              Notices (PINs) - requirements
                      A notice can be delivered personally or by post, fax or
 Issuing a PIN
                      electronically.
                      A person who is issued a PIN must display it, as soon as
 Display              practicable upon receipt, in a prominent place at or
                      near the workplace or work areas affected by the PIN.
                      A HSR can at any time cancel a PIN in writing to the
 Cancellation
                      person issued the PIN.
                      A notice is not invalid because of a formal defect or
                      irregularity (e.g. in the wording, section breach or name
 Irregularities
                      of the person identified in the PIN) unless it is likely to
                      cause a substantial injustice.
                      A PIN must be complied with, within the time specified
 Compliance
                      on the PIN.

WHS Act s209, 97-99                www.nsca.org.au                              11
                 Review of Provisional
              Improvement Notices (PINs)

   Requirements under the WHS Act relating to a PIN include:
         request for review by the person to whom the PIN was
          issued;
         inspector’s review; and
         possible outcomes of a review by an inspector.


   Fact Sheet 6 provides a flowchart for the issuing of PINs and
   some additional information on the requirements for PINs.



WHS Act s100-102               www.nsca.org.au                     12
                 Module 6
               - Activity 2 -

The facilitator will divide the group into smaller
 groups to review the scenarios and determine what
 information the HSR would include in the sample
 PIN.

The group will come back together to discuss the
 answers.



                       www.nsca.org.au                13

				
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