{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research & forecasting Economics Housing outlook Tailored market research Economic reports & data Inspiring Australia's building professionals Business & digital Products & innovation Projects HOUSING Online The only place to get your industry news Media releases Member alerts Submissions See all
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder & manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies & tool insurance Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services How can safety solutions help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Professional services Industrial relations Member savings Toyota vehicles Fuel savings Handy pay See all
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials & products Concrete, bricks & walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Find jobs
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Mates rates Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Our initiatives GreenSmart Kitchen, bathroom and design hub Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Support for you Charitable Foundation Mental health program
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Awards program People & Business Awards GreenSmart Australian Housing Awards Awards winners Regional Award winners Australian Housing Award winners 2023 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping & delivery Purchasing T&Cs See all Products Purchase NCC 2022 Building codes & standards Economic reports Hard copy contracts Guides & manuals
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Change location
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

OH&S Improvement Notices in Victoria

WorkSafe can enforce occupational health and safety (OH&S) laws by issuing Improvement Notices, Prohibition Notices, Non-disturbance Notices and directions. In serious cases, WorkSafe may pursue further legal action. This information offers an overview of Improvement Notices under Victorian OH&S laws.

When are Improvement Notices given?

An Improvement Notice is a written notice that instructs you to fix an OH&S issue within a specified timeframe.

If an inspector believes you have breached an OH&S law they can issue you with an Improvement Notice. For example, if you have a site that has rubbish everywhere that could cause a trip or fall you may be issued with an Improvement Notice if the inspector believes that the poor housekeeping practices could lead to an injury.

Before the inspector issues you with an Improvement Notice he or she should talk to you about the suspected breach and seek immediate voluntary compliance that will fix the problem, such as tidying the site and providing waste bins.

An Improvement Notice must contain:

  • the basis for the inspector’s belief that an OH&S law has, or is likely to have, been breached
  • the actual OH&S law that has or is likely to have been breached
  • the date by which you have to fix the problem
  • the penalty for contravening the Notice
  • how the Notice may be appealed. 

What should you do if given an Improvement Notice?

  • Bring the Notice to the attention of each person whose work is affected by the Notice
  • Give a copy of the Notice to the relevant health and safety representatives (if any)
  • Display a copy of the Notice in a prominent place at or near the part of the workplace where the work that is affected by the Notice is being performed
  • Fix the problem within the date specified in the Notice.

If you are not sure what you should do to fix the problem you can ask the inspector or contact HIA for assistance. After fixing the problem you should inform the inspector that you have rectified the issue. The inspector may want to come and check what you have done.

Are you able to challenge the Improvement Notice?

If you do not agree with the Improvement Notice, you can seek a review of the inspector’s decision to issue the Notice. The first avenue of appeal is to the WorkSafe Internal Review Unit (IRU) and that appeal must be made within 14 days of the Improvement Notice coming to your attention. You can also apply for a stay or suspension of the Notice pending the outcome of internal review. A request for a stay should be lodged with the application for internal review.

The review may decide to affirm, vary or set aside the inspector’s decision. If you are not satisfied with the decision of the IRU your only other option is to seek a review of that decision by the Victorian Administrative Appeals Tribunal (VCAT).

What happens if I don’t comply with the Improvement Notice?

If you do not comply with the Improvement Notice you may be taken to court and face heavy fines. You can either comply with the Notice or seek a review with a stay within the set time periods.

To find out more, contact HIA's Building Services team.

Email us

Share with your network:
More articles on:
{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
Find the latest expert advice, guides and much more!

Managing your safety topics


Can’t find what you need, check out other resources that might be closer to the mark.

HIA Tradepass


HIA Tradepass takes the hassle out of collecting and verifying contractor business information and registrations. Developed by HIA specifically to suit the needs of residential builders.

  • Save time and money – get on site quicker
  • Less time on paperwork and more time building

Take me there

VIC Site Safety Sign

VIC Site Safety Sign enables the entry of builder and site-specific information and includes common emergency procedures and protective equipment requirement.

VIC Site Sign - Health and Safety Coordination Plan

Health and Safety Coordination Plan sign (600x900mm) outlines health and safety responsibilities on-site and summarises emergency and incident management procedures. This sign is for construction projects valued at $350,000 or mor...

Victoria Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017

The Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 provide the regulatory requirements for health and safety matters in the workplace.

VIC Notice of Extension of Time (Pad of 20)

Builders wanting an extension of time for completing work will need this Victorian Notice of Extension of Time (pad of 20). This product complies with Victorian legislation as the builder must advise the client in writing of their...

VIC Cost Plus Contract (Pack of 2)

This contract is used for residential constructions works on a cost plus basis, not a lump sum ‘fixed price’. Costs are totalled and a percentage or fixed sum added for administration, supervision and profit. It allows for project...