If a rep issues a PIN, then it's clear the OHS problem is real and not resolved using the issue resolution as per the OHS Act or the regulations, or using the agreed process in the workplace. So if you've issued a PIN that your employer challenges, and an inspector comes out to the workplace to look into it, certain things should happen. Firstly, the inspector must 'enquire into the circumstances', speaking to both the employer representative and to you as the rep who issued the PIN. Make sure that you have an opportunity to discuss the matter with the inspector on your own, if you feel this is necessary. The inspector must then decide whether to affirm (with or without modification) or cancel the PIN, and give notice in writing.
If, as a result of the discussion with the inspector and the employer over the disputed PIN, an agreement on action to be taken is agreed, then do not withdraw the PIN, even if this is suggested by either the employer or the inspector. Note on the PIN that it has been complied with following agreed action, and sign it.
If the inspector cancels the notice and you do not agree with the inspector's reasons for cancellling the notice, then you have the right to seek a review of that decision – a new provision of the 2004 OHS Act. Reps should absolutely ask for such a decision to be reviewed, as it is possible that sometimes inspectors either don't get the whole picture or act on incorrect advice. In these situations, it's absolutely crucial for you to contact your union's OHS officer for assistance in doing this.
- Read more on reviewable decisions.
- WorkSafe publication: Overview of how inspectors deal with specific issues [pdf] - This document provides information about how WorkSafe OHS inspectors deal with specific issues when performing their functions, including investigating a disputed or non-complied with PIN.
Last amended April 2015