Health and safety representative

SafeWorkSA inspectors to wear body cameras

Cindy Jackway
Monday, September 11th 2023

Photo: SafeWorkSA Website

SafeWork SA has announced that beginning on 4 September their inspectors will begin wearing body camera wear (BCW) during worksite visits. SafeWork SA have advised the South Australian Business Chamber that the cameras will be used when responding to the most serious of matters.

SafeWork SA Inspectors will use BWC in the following circumstances:

  • when responding to a critical event such as a fatality, serious injury or dangerous incident
  • when responding to matters where there is an immediate or imminent risk to health and safety
  • where an inspector has been appointed to resolve a dispute in relation to a work health and safety entry permit holder matters
  • where it has been identified that a client may be aggressive, or where sufficient or a lack of information available to SafeWork SA suggests the same

However, SafeWork SA Inspectors may use BWC in other circumstances, including:

  • routine compliance activities
  • proactive compliance campaigns
  • when an Inspector has determined there is a reasonable need to use a BWC when attending a workplace Inspectors will wear BWC on the front of their uniform, so they are clearly visible. The BWC will remain visible at all times during any interaction with persons.

When activating the BWC, Inspectors will consider a number of factors such as:

  • environments where the BWC is to be used, including security sensitive environments where classified material is present or where classified operations are being undertaken
  • involvement of vulnerable people
  • any other existing relevant factors

When activating the BWC, inspectors will consider whether its use is appropriate having regard to the physical environment, for example:

  • is the environment a security sensitive environment where classified material is present or classified operations are being undertaken
  • the presence or involvement of vulnerable people at a particular site, and
  • any other factors deemed relevant by the inspector in attendance.

Inspectors will clearly advise the person(s) being recorded of the presence of the BWC and that it will be recording video and audio of their actions and conversations.

The cameras record video and audio and are intended to support the safety of inspectors to investigate complaints and resolve disputes more quickly.

This comes after a three-month trial in 2020 and was also a recommendation in last year’s Independent Review of SafeWork SA. The cameras will be worn on inspectors’ uniforms and will be clearly visible and inspectors will advise the persons being recorded.

If you don’t want to be recorded, inspectors will note and record your objection, however, can lawfully continue recording. Private activities, such as private meetings between colleagues, will not be recorded. Footage cannot be shared with others unless required by law but can also be sought via Freedom of Information applications.

What should you do?

Understand that inspectors are legally allowed to wear body cameras and that the footage they capture is only to be used in dispute resolutions.

Be respectful of investigators and co-operate as best you can when they are undertaking site visits.


Cindy Jackway

Training Manager
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