Each jurisdiction has rules which allow union representatives to enter workplaces. It has been stated by some political commentators that as the rules are tightened by the federal government for entry regarding industrial reasons, that there will be more temptation to use the workplace safety right of entry excuse.
To avoid allegations of non-compliance or unnecessary disputation, each business should clarify its instruction for relevant managers and site security. There is now even a smartphone “app” checklist, which could help local staff.
The key rules include:
- Confirm the person (wishing entry under OHS/WHS Act) meets the eligibility criteria, per relevant government website. Have this printed off and ready for reference;
- Confirm the person has two (2) permits (state & federal with photo);
- Enquire about the purpose of the visit, which must be specific (not a “fishing expedition”);
- Ensure the person completes the site induction;
- Remind the person they are not allowed to disrupt or hinder operations;
- Escort the person to location of inquiry or concern (to ensure safety while on site);
- Allow the person to conduct reasonable investigation into the agreed matter;
- Maintain records of all activities conducted while on site.