Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) has over 250 inspectors, advisors and investigators that actively work with industry to seek sustainable solutions to health, safety and electrical safety problems. Designated teams of inspectors conduct audits and investigations and actively seek business cooperation prior to the application of escalating sanctions for ongoing non-compliances.
Inspectors work with industry and participate in state-wide compliance campaigns, workplace assessments and provide innovative strategies for practical guidance and compliance support based on risk management principles and industry experience.
WHSQ employ inspectors and advisors that specialise in:
Learn more about our individual workforce areas
Workplace Health and Safety inspectors work with businesses to improve health and safety in Queensland workplaces. Inspectors play a key role in helping businesses meet relevant requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), Electrical Safety Act 2002 (ES Act) and Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 (SRWA Act). Inspectors use a mix of advice and directing compliance to help businesses achieve sustainable safety outcomes.
They achieve this by:
- providing advice and information on how to manage workplace hazards
- assist to resolve work health and safety issues
- assist to resolve right of entry and workplace access disputes
- review disputed provisional improvement notices
- issue notices to require compliance with work health and safety laws
- investigate contraventions of work health and safety laws.
Compliance inspectors undertake a broad range of compliance activities. They respond to health and safety incidents and electrical safety incidents by monitoring and securing compliance in relation to specific hazards and risks. This is achieved through non-punitive and constructive means to achieve compliance with legislation administered by the Office of Industrial Relations (OIR).
WHSQ advisors deliver information, education and training activities to assist industry, employees and the community reduce the risk of injury from fire and explosion and improve electrical safety.
Small business advisors
Small business advisors provide free work health and safety advisory services to small businesses throughout Queensland. Through the small business program advisors deliver information and advice through on-site visits, presentations and group coaching sessions.
The aim of small business advisors is to improve the ability of small businesses to manage their own health and safety. They advise and provide small business owners or managers with tools and information to help them meet their work health and safety requirements.
Advisors in the small business program also work with groups such as business networks and industry associations to help provide industry-specific assistance to small businesses within those groups.
Injury prevention and management advisors
The Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) program is a joint, state-wide initiative between WHSQ and WorkCover Queensland. The program is a free, advisory service to help organisations make simple but effective improvements to their health, safety and return to work management systems.
IPaM Advisors use a case management approach to assist with reviews of an organisation’s:
- management and leadership commitment
- safety reporting
- risk management
- planning and evaluation
- consultation and communication
- training and supervision
- injury management processes
- safety culture and climate
- health and wellbeing programs.
IPaM has been so successful that participating organisations have on average achieved greater reductions in workers’ compensation premiums and claims than non-participating organisations.
Licencing compliance inspectors
Licensing inspectors monitor the assessment practices of accredited assessors and their compliance with their conditions of accreditation in an attempt to positively influence the standards of competency of high risk work (HRW) licence applicants as a whole in Queensland.
The licensing inspectors undertake random evaluations of accredited assessors to monitor compliance with their conditions of accreditation. In addition they conduct investigations when critical non-compliances are discovered through the evaluation process or complaints are received that would warrant investigation. These investigations can lead to a number of sanctions being placed upon either Accredited Assessors or HRW licence holders.The licensing inspectorate also get involved in matters pertaining to exemptions and in the monitoring of other authorisations issued under the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulation 2011.
Telephone advisors within the Licences and Advisory Services (LAS) are responsible for high level advice and interpretation of work, health and safety legislation. This may involve research and legislative interpretation in regard to a spectrum of complex topics such as (but not limited to) asbestos removal, working from heights, licensing, union right of entry and employer obligations.
Licence and authorisations
Licence and authorisations staff (LAS) administer a number of authorisations under the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulation 2011, including authorisations such as high risk work licences, asbestos removal licences, assessor accreditation, asbestos assessor licences, general construction induction cards and plant item registration. This involves working with a diverse range of clients to facilitate the issuance of their licences and authorisations.
LAS also has a group of officers that are responsible for projects, business engagement, major contract administration, ICT enhancement, data analysis and business process review.
Hazardous industries and chemicals
The Hazardous Industries and Chemical Branch (HICB) team provide specialist advice on the safe handling and storage of hazardous chemicals within a wide range of industrial contexts. HICB employ a risk based approach to the proactive surveillance of businesses with significant chemical storages. The branch also develops hazard and industry specific compliance programs and assist in incident investigations.
Major Hazard Facility Advisors administer a safety case and licensing regime for determined major hazard facilities to ensure that the risk of a major incident is reduced so far as reasonably practical. HICB contributes to the development of chemical safety policy and standards in Queensland and nationally.
The engineering unit provide technical training and on-going engineering support to inspectors in their role to engage with industry stakeholders to secure compliance with work health and safety legislation. This includes compliance audits, incident investigations and preparation of expert reports for prosecutions related to plant. The unit also provides input to the review and development of workplace, health and safety legislation and administers the design registration function.
Asbestos and occupational hygiene
Members of the asbestos and occupational hygiene unit provide specialist advice on asbestos and other occupational health issues for the prevention of work related exposure to asbestos, hazardous chemicals, vapours, fumes, dust, radiation, carcinogens, noise, heat, infectious organisms and lead.
The unit aims to build a sustained culture of safety with regard to asbestos and occupational health and hygiene issues through raising awareness in improving knowledge through education and engagement activities to achieve compliance.
The unit produces a range of guidance materials on what compliance looks like in regard to asbestos and occupational hygiene and conducts and reviews research regarding such hazards and risks.
The ergonomics unit promotes work health and safety through good work design. The unit provides strategic direction and technical support for the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) ergonomics program. The unit works with industry and all WHSQ business units to build capacity to manage musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) and ergonomics risks in order to prevent injuries and achieve the national target of a 30% decrease in the incidence rate of serious MSD claims by 2022.
The unit actively contributes to national collaborative projects and networks with the other Australian work health and safety jurisdictions.
The unit aims to build capacity in musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention and management through the application of good work design giving consideration to the work systems and procedures, the broader working environment, and the individual worker.
Key workplace hazard areas traditionally addressed by the ergonomics unit include hazardous manual tasks, slips, trips and falls and hit and being hit by objects.
The unit is working to promote a holistic and integrated approach to managing MSDs which considers emerging contributory factors such as the psychosocial risks and chronic disease linkages. A key initiative of the unit is the Participative Ergonomics for Manual Tasks (PErforM) program, which is a simple and successful participative workplace risk assessment program for hazardous manual tasks.
Key projects the unit is currently leading include a Cattle Crate Design Project, Leadership in Major Contractors: Prevention of Sprains and Strains, Building supervisor capacity in manufacturing and Physical and mental impacts of transport supply chain and sedentary work.
- Last updated
- 16 January 2019
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