Who can cease work?


A worker can stop or refuse to carry out work if they believe that the work is unsafe or would expose them to a serious health and safety risk.

A worker who has stopped work must:

  • as soon as possible, notify the PCBU that they have ceased work and
  • remain available to carry out suitable alternative work.

What is alternative work?

A PCBU can offer a worker alternative work until they can resume their normal duties. The work must be safe and within the scope of the worker’s employment agreement or contract.

Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs)

A trained HSR can direct a worker to cease work if they reasonably believe that carrying out the work would expose the worker, or any other person, to a serious health or safety risk.

The HSR must consult with the PCBU about the issue before giving the direction, unless the risk is serious and immediate; in which case the HSR can direct the worker to cease work immediately and consult afterwards.

What happens if the work cessation cannot be resolved?

Where attempts have been made and have failed to resolve a cessation of work issue, the PCBU, HSR or worker can request WorkSafe to assist.

When contacting us about a cessation of work issue, you will need to provide:

  1. Details of the cessation of work issue you want assistance with;
  2. Details of the actions that have been taken to try to resolve the issue; and
  3. Contact details of all involved parties, and details of their involvement.

Once we receive the form, we will review the information provided and contact you as soon as possible.

Please note that in some circumstances we may identify that we cannot provide assistance with the issue.

Request help to resolve issues relating to the cessation of work form (PDF 875 KB)

Submitting your Request for Assistance to Resolve a Cessation of Work Issue form

  1. Click the link above to access the form
  2. The form is in a PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat to open it .
  3. Save the form to your computer.
  4. Type directly into the form all of the information we require
  5. Re-save the form with your information included.
  6. Email the completed form to your local WorkSafe office. The contact details for each local office are on the back of the form.