Body worn cameras (BWC) are an independent and objective resource to record incidents and interactions. From Monday, 28 September 2020 SafeWork SA will begin a trial with our inspectors to evaluate the effectiveness of BWC.

BWC aim to:

  • improve the safety of both SafeWork SA inspectors, persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) and workers by encouraging safe and mutually respectful interactions
  • assist with the accurate and impartial collection of exchanges via video and audio
  • aid the timely resolution of disputes and complaints.

The trial will involve approximately sixteen inspectors across South Australia who will wear BWC at all site visits and at any time a statutory power may be exercised.

All recordings will be retained.

Recording specifications

The body worn cameras can record both audio and video and will be worn on the inspector’s chest and in view of the public.

Image of the Axon body worn camera

The camera is a digital video recorder offering high quality video and low-light gathering capabilities. The recorder is designed to store up to 12 hours of recordings.

The camera has an operating mode which provides pre-event buffering to capture activities that occur prior to a recording being commenced. The cameras automatically capture 30 seconds of video before the record button is pressed, as a safety measure.

Inspectors may use an application on a mobile phone as a visual aid for using the camera.

All recordings are the property of SafeWork SA and will be uploaded from the device to a secure and certified file management system based in Australia.

Use of body worn cameras

For the trial, a body worn camera will be used by inspectors at all site visits and at any time a statutory power may be exercised.

The inspector will advise the third party being recorded that the body camera is on or will be switched on, unless it is impractical to do so. For example, an impractical situation may be when physical or verbal abuse unexpectedly occurs.

A red light will blink to indicate when the device is recording.

Accessing footage

Body worn camera recordings are considered as information gathered by SafeWork SA. The recordings will be treated in the same way as other information under SafeWork SA records management obligations.

Anyone can apply for access to information held by SafeWork SA by submitting a Freedom of Information request.

Complaints

If you are dissatisfied with your experience with SafeWork SA or the use of BWC you can submit a complaint or feedback via the Department of Treasury and Finance.

Next steps post trial

It is anticipated that the trial will run until December 2020. SafeWork SA will evaluate the effectiveness of BWC and a report will be prepared for the Treasurer with a recommendation as to whether this technology should be issued to all inspectors in the future.