WorkSafe NZ are warning of bogus inspectors as it would appear that people are turning up at a business identifying a ‘safety problem’ and threatening action such as closing the business down if an ‘instant fine’ is not paid.
It’s a ruse which unfortunately is close enough to be believable. The provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act, unlike the HSE Act, allows an inspector to issue an Infringement Notice without prior warning. This arrangement has tended to have the Infringement Notice called an ‘instant’ fine. It should be noted however that this doesn’t mean you have to pay instantly as these fraudsters seem to be suggesting. An interesting variation on this in Australia is where WorkSafe Victoria are investigating reports of people posing as WorkSafe inspectors and touting services for other businesses, such as electrical safety checking.
Inspectors carry a warrant card which you have the right to sight and have a good look at it. It should have:
The WorkSafe logo
Issue and expiry date
Type of warrant - Health and Safety, HSNO or both
Signature of Chief Inspector
If the person arrives in a vehicle you would expect that this should be a white vehicle sign written with the WorkSafe logo and generally branded clothing.
If you in doubt ring 0800 030 040 to check details.