WHS right of entry disputes

A WHS permit holder is a union official who has completed an approved training course and holds an entry permit under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or an industrial officer authority under the Industrial Relations Act 2016. A WHS permit holder may enter a workplace to inquire into a suspected contravention or breach of the WHS Act.  For more information, please visit Worksafe - Right of Entry.

A business should not refuse or delay entry of, or hinder or obstruct, a WHS permit holder.  Likewise, a WHS permit holder must not delay, hinder or obstruct any person or disrupt work at the workplace, or act in an improper manner.

Should a dispute arise with regards to right of entry, a party to the dispute may ask the Regulator to appoint an inspector to attend the workplace to assist in resolving the dispute.

The Commission may also deal with the dispute about a right of entry under s 142 of the WHS Act, either;

  • on its own initiative; or
  • on application by the permit holder, a relevant union, the person conducting the business, the Regulator, or any other person affected by the exercise of the right of entry by the permit holder.

The Commission may deal with the dispute in any manner it thinks fit, including by means of mediation, conciliation or arbitration.  If dealing with the dispute through arbitration, the Commission may order one or more of the following in relation to a WHS entry permit:

  • impose conditions;
  • suspend or revoke the WHS entry permit;
  • impose requirements for the future issue of a WHS entry permit to one or more persons; or 
  • any other order considered appropriate.

To notify the Commission of a WHS right of entry dispute please complete Form 73 - Application to deal with a dispute about right of entry

Urgent after-hours matters: If the Registry is closed and you wish to notify the Industrial Registrar of an urgent WHS entry dispute you should call the after-hours and weekend phone number on 0466 745 897.