This policy only covers the statutory decisions specified in Appendix 1. It doesn’t cover decisions about whether or not we’ll intervene following a notification or a health and safety concern.
This policy should be read alongside the Authorisations policy.
This policy’s purpose
This policy sets out our approach to reviewing statutory decisions made under or in relation to:
- Health and Safety at Work Act (2015) (HSWA) s130(external link)–135 and s220(external link) exemptions
- Health and Safety at Work (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2016 s60(external link)–63
- Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 s93(external link)–96
- authorisations of a workplace/worker/plant/ activity by licence, permit, registration, consent, certificate, or other authority as required by regulations
- energy safety regulations.
What a statutory decision is
A statutory decision is a decision based on our interpretation of the law. Appendix 1 lists all of the statutory decisions that can be reviewed.
What a review is and why we undertake them
A review is a process that lets us take another look at the legal basis for, or accuracy of, a decision we’ve made if we’re challenged.
It may consider:
- our original decision
- the process that led to that decision
- any new evidence presented to us
We undertake reviews as they help us:
- improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of our decision-making
- ensure fairness for duty holders, as it provides a means for checking our decisions and holding us to account
- develop and maintain public confidence in our decision-making process.
The impact of a review on a statutory decision
The original decision remains in effect until the review is complete, unless the applicant has made a request to stay for a notice under HSWA. A request to stay effectively suspends the notice until the review is complete.
If we receive a request to stay, we’ll:
- acknowledge receipt of it
- make a decision within three working days, and
- advise the applicant of the outcome.
Who can apply for a review
A person affected by the decision, or that person’s representative, can apply to us for a review.
What we expect of those seeking a review
Different legislation sets different requirements for applying for a review of a statutory decision. In some instances, we require applicants to complete an application form. We provide assistance to any applicant where needed/when requested to ensure that their application is completed correctly.
Where we don’t have sufficient information to undertake the review, we request additional information from applicants.
Some of the provisions have timeframes for requesting a review. In general we won’t accept late applications. The only exception is where:
- the application is made very soon after the deadline has passed, and
- there are extenuating or special circumstances for the late application, and
- the applicant provides evidence of the extenuating or special circumstances, and
- accepting the late application doesn’t cause injustice to anyone else.
Who undertakes the review
Reviews are completed by people who weren’t involved in the original decision.
Principles that guide us when reviewing a decision
We apply procedural fairness, or ‘natural justice’ when undertaking a review of a decision. This means we act fairly when exercising statutory powers that may affect a person’s rights, interests, or legitimate expectations.
In order to make good decisions and maintain natural justice, we apply the following principles:
- We allow a reasonable opportunity for the applicant to be heard.
- We provide the applicant with the relevant information so they can make informed applications.
- We inform the relevant parties of the outcome and provide clear reasons for the decision reached.
Lack of bias
- We are impartial, unbiased, and independent when undertaking a review.
- We ensure people:
- involved in the original decision are not involved in the review
- conducting the review note any conflicts of interest and put a plan in place for how these will be managed.
- We keep an open mind and use all relevant insights available to us.
- We consider each application on its merits.
- We act promptly and meet statutory timeframes where applicable.
- Where statutory timeframes do not apply, we’ll provide a timeframe to the applicant.
- If there are delays, we advise the applicant of the reason and when they can expect a response.
What happens after we make a final decision
After the review is complete, we:
- record our final decision and the reasons for it
- action it
- inform the applicant of our final decision, the reasons for it, and of their right to appeal through the courts
- share our findings with others in WorkSafe who need to know
- reflect on our findings, and adapt our policies, guidance, and practices (as needed).
We regularly review a sample of our reviewed decisions to ensure consistency in our decision-making.