SafeWork SA

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SafeWork SA administers South Australia’s health, safety and workplace relations related legislation, including the Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation. It does this by providing information, advice and support as well as compliance and enforcement activities to ensure safe, fair, productive working lives. The National Compliance and Enforcement Policy sets out our approach to compliance and enforcement activities.

The role of our inspectors is to ensure those with a duty under the WHS legislation have fulfilled their obligations to ensure workplaces are safe and that the activities of a workplace do not pose a risk to other person, such as members of public. They do this by performing proactive compliance audits and by responding to incidents that have exposed or caused injury to a person.

We have work health and safety advisors to help educate you on your rights and responsibilities as well as health and safety inspectors who investigate workplace incidents.

SafeWork SA is a business unit within the Department of Treasury and Finance and is accountable to the Treasurer. We have released our first  Annual Activity Report and our priorities and goals are outlined in our 2019‑2022 Strategic Plan.

Workplace advisory service

We're committed to safe workplaces for all South Australians by providing information, support and advice to improve workplace safety for everyone.

You can email our advisory services team to request tailored face-to-face support and practical advice based on your workplace's industry, size, risk and complexity, or call 1300 365 255 and ask to speak to one of our advisors.

Our advisors can visit your workplace to help you understand your work health and safety responsibilities as well as provide practical support to improve your systems, practices and general approach to safety.

Our advisors have no inspector powers so you can be comfortable asking us for help.

Whether you are a worker, an employer or a Health and Safety Representative, our advisors are available to help you.

Read what other businesses had to say about our service:

WHS inspectors

Understand how our WHS Inspectors respond to incidentsaddress notifiable incidents and complaints, and the range of enforcement options that can be used to ensure compliance or to take action against those who have failed in their duty under the legislation.

Annual activity reports

Our annual activity report is in response to recommendation 23 of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption’s (ICAC) Evaluation of SafeWork SA which stated:

That SafeWork SA prepare its own annual report for tabling in Parliament which reports on its operations, including the exercise of statutory powers, the number of internal and external reviews conducted and the outcomes of those reviews.

The 2018-19 Activity Report outlines the important work delivered by SafeWork SA in administering legislation in relation to work health and safety, public safety and state-based industrial relations services within South Australia.

The report is prepared and submitted to the Treasurer for tabling in Parliament after the end of each financial year and made available on our website from November.

SafeWork SA reports to the Department of Treasury and Finance and is accountable to the Treasurer. You can find our 2018-19 annual reporting summary including financials in the Department of Treasury and Finance Annual Report.

Our 2017-18 annual reporting summary can be found in the Attorney-General's Department Annual Report.

Industrial Relations Consultative Council

The Industrial Relations Consultative Council has a consultative and advisory function within the industrial relations portfolio, providing high level advice to the Treasurer about work health and safety and industrial relations matters in South Australia.

The Council also has the ability to establish time-limited, outcome driven issues groups to consult on specific matters as they arise.

Council members

Representatives are appointed for a three year term commencing 17 March 2019 and expiring 16 March 2022.

Employee representatives

  • Leah York, Australian Education Union
  • Peter Lamps, Australian Workers’ Union (SA branch)
  • Jessica Rogers, Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union
  • Natasha Brown, Public Service Association of SA
  • Monique Gillespie, Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association SA & NT
  • Angas Story, SA Unions

Employer representatives

  • Owen Webb, Australian Hotels Association (SA)
  • Estha van der Linden, Business SA
  • Erma Ranieri, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment
  • Charlie Condo, Housing Industry Association
  • William Frogley, Master Builders Association
  • Gary Coppola, Motor Trade Association


We report on work health and safety matters including:

  • notifiable workplace fatalities where the death of a worker is confirmed as work related
  • the number of Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices issued by our Inspectors to enforce work health and safety compliance
  • audits of major public events
  • finalised work health and safety investigations which includes all completed investigations further to a notifiable serious injury or dangerous incident or complaint
  • how many workplaces we visit and audit - we call these workplace interventions.

Workplace fatality statistics are preliminary, based on initial reports, until confirmation of work-related status is established following investigation. All confirmed workplace deaths are reported nationally to Safe Work Australia - Notifiable fatalities monthly report and Worker fatalities.

Key Statistics
Activity 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018
Reactive compliance and enforcement 10357 12525 8675
Complaints, notifications, education, engagement and support visits 4015 24338 2356
Proactive compliance and enforcement 5157 8815 6662
Improvement Notices Issued 1575 2342 1650
Prohibition Notices Issued 688 650 525
Expiation Notices Issued 0 1 0
Notifiable Fatalities under WHS legislation 19 20 8 (in 2018)

*Since 1 January 2012 road traffic incidents resulting in the death of a worker are included as notifiable.

Library collection

The Library service holds SA's most comprehensive work health and safety (WHS) collection of resources, including all Australian Standards referenced in the State's WHS legislation. Search our Library catalogue anytime or contact us on 8204 8877 or resources.safework [at]

Further information

Work Health and Safety Act 2012 - Parts 8 & 9 and sections 171 and 172 detail your rights and those of SafeWork SA and our inspectors.

The National Compliance and Enforcement Policy provides guidance for regulators and inspectors.

The Global Code of Integrity for Labour Inspection, developed by SafeWork SA and the International Association of Labour Inspection, aims to promote professionalism through integrity, commitment, responsiveness and good governance.