If an Occupational Health Officer decides that someone in the workplace is not complying with occupational health and safety requirements they must either have the person enter into a Compliance Undertaking or issue a Notice of Contravention.
These steps must also be taken if someone did not comply in the past and the circumstances show that it is something that is likely to be repeated.
A Compliance Undertaking is a written document that a person, who has not complied with occupational health and safety requirements, signs committing to comply in the future. The person must also commit to providing progress reports. For example, a person who has sexually harassed a worker could be required to sign an undertaking agreeing to stop the behaviour.
An officer can also decide to issue a Notice of Contravention. This can be done if the person does not comply with an undertaking or it can be done instead of an undertaking. The Notice of Contravention must:
The Notice can give the person directions about how to remedy the situation but should, if possible, give the person choices about how to remedy the situation. Generally the role of OHS is to tell people when they are violating the law but to leave it up to workplaces to determine how they are going to follow the law. If the activity in question is a risk to worker health or safety the Notice can direct that the activity must stop.
Anyone directly affected by the decision of an Occupational Health Officer can appeal the decision. This must be done in writing within 15 days of being notified of the decision. The Notice of Appeal must include the:
Appeals are heard by adjudicators appointed by the Government for this purpose. A date is set for a hearing with input from the Adjudicator and the parties. Notice of the hearing is served on everyone directed affected by the decision being appealed. Hearings can be informal and Adjudicators can admit evidence that would not be allowed in a court of law. At the end of the hearing the Adjudicator can dismiss the appeal or change the decision.
An Adjudicator's decision can be appealed to the Labour Relations Board but only if the Adjudicator made an error concerning the law.
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