SafeWork NSW privacy statement

SafeWork NSW and the NSW Privacy Law

Binding privacy standards for the NSW public sector, known as Information Protection Principles and Health Privacy Principles, regulate the way public sector agencies collect, use, store and disclose personal and health information.

These standards are set out in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIP Act) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIP Act).

Information Protection Principles and Health Protection Principles

What personal and health information we collect

SafeWork NSW collects the personal and health information we need to provide you with our services, such as your name, date of birth, contact details, payment information and information collected in response to workplace incidents eg. the nature of an injury, or to assist with return to work following a workplace incident eg. work capacity and return to work plans. A more comprehensive list of information we collect is available in our Privacy Management Plan.

We limit the information we collect to only what we need to provide our services.

How we collect your personal and health information

SafeWork NSW usually collects personal and health information directly from you or someone you authorise to act on your behalf, usually via phone, email, application form or social media.

We may also collect information about you indirectly, including from:

  • our agents or contractors
  • third parties, such as training and research organisations, Australia Post for the processing of licences and the State Insurance Regulatory Authority when our inspectors are acting as an authorised person under the workers compensation legislation
  • other state and federal government agencies, such as NSW and Federal Police (security or criminal reference checks), Australian Skills Quality Authority or a State Training Authority (training related complaints or investigations), State or Territory agencies regarding activities relevant to licence applications or licences and equivalent regulators in other jurisdictions, and
  • others, in the event of an emergency.

If we collect your health information from someone other than you, we will take any steps reasonable in the circumstances to let you know.

When we collect your personal and health information, or when we tell you we’ve collected your health information from someone else, we’ll let you know:

  • that we’re collecting it/have collected it
  • whether the provision of information is mandatory or voluntary
  • what it will be used for
  • who it will be provided to, and
  • your rights to access and correct the information.

Why we collect your personal and health information

SafeWork NSW may need to collect your personal and health information:

  • to assist you with a work health and safety enquiry
  • in response to a complaint or notification of a work health and safety incident for yourself or someone else
  • if you report a workplace incident or provide a witness statement
  • to process a license application or related appeal
  • to conduct compliance management and monitoring
  • to investigate complaints
  • to respond to requests for access to information we hold
  • for business planning and service improvements, and
  • for research to develop our services

Storage

We keep your personal and health information on controlled systems, which are secured against unauthorised access. We keep personal and health information no longer than necessary, protected by reasonable security safeguards and from unauthorised use or disclosure and dispose of it appropriately.

Access and accuracy

You can ask us to provide you with details of the personal and health information about you that we hold.  The process for requesting this information is identified in our Privacy Management Plan. Alternatively, you can make a request to us in writing at privacy@safework.nsw.gov.au.

If you find that the personal and health information we hold about you is inaccurate, please contact us on privacy@safework.nsw.gov.au so that we can correct the information.  If we refuse to amend the information, we will give you reasons for that decision eg because we disagree that the information is inaccurate, or otherwise where authorised by law.

Use

We use the personal and health information we hold to:

  • regulate the work, health and safety system
  • promote the development of healthy and safe workplaces
  • investigate workplace incidents
  • assist injured workers to return to work
  • manage and monitor compliance where SafeWork NSW has issued an approval, accreditation, licence or other type of authorisation under the legislation
  • evaluate our programs and services
  • undertake research and plan new services
  • process licence and other applications and send licence renewal notices, and
  • respond to and handle enquiries and complaints

We also ensure the personal and health information is relevant, accurate, up to date, complete and not misleading before using it.  Further information about how we use the personal and health information we hold is available in our Privacy Management Plan.

Disclosure

We may need to provide your personal and health information to organisations outside SafeWork NSW, for example:

  • our agents or contractors
  • third parties, such as training and research organisations and Australia Post for the processing of licences
  • the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA)
  • other state and federal government agencies, such as NSW and Federal Police (security or criminal reference checks), Australian Skills Quality Authority or a State Training Authority (training related complaints or investigations), State or Territory agencies regarding activities relevant to licence applications or licences and equivalent regulators in other jurisdictions, and
  • others, in the event of an emergency

We only disclose personal and health information:

  • for a purpose directly related to the reason we collected it, and where SafeWork NSW has no reason to believe the individual would object
  • where the individual concerned has been put on notice that information is usually disclosed in this way, or
  • if it is necessary to do so to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to someone’s life or health

We will not disclose personal and health information about a person’s ethnic or racial origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health or sexual activities, unless such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to life or health.

Other important elements

What exemptions apply?

Generally, SafeWork NSW does not have to comply with certain Information Protection Principles and Health Privacy Principles where this would prevent SafeWork NSW from carrying out its proper functions, such as investigation and prosecution of suspected offences under work health and safety legislation.

Public registers

SafeWork NSW maintains the asbestos assessor register. In maintaining the register we only provide information from it if satisfied that the information will be used for a purpose which is in accordance with the purpose of the register. We also allow people to have their personal details held on the register suppressed in exceptional circumstances where the safety or well-being of the person is at risk.

Privacy complaints about the conduct of SafeWork NSW

If you are unhappy with the way SafeWork NSW has dealt with your personal information, you can make a complaint – either directly to us or to the NSW Privacy Commissioner (see below).

Complaints to us should be in writing, addressed to SafeWork NSW, specifying a return address within Australia, and be lodged with SafeWork NSW within 6 months of the time when you first became aware of the conduct you are complaining about.

Further information about our handling of complaints is available in our Privacy Management Plan. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of our review, you can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a further review of the conduct. The Tribunal has the power to make any orders that it thinks necessary, including the power to award damages.

Privacy complaints about other persons or bodies

Privacy complaints can also be directed to the NSW Privacy Commissioner (www.ipc.nsw.gov.au). The Commissioner does not have power to make orders or to award compensation but will conciliate complaints by assisting parties to reach a decision that all are happy with.

Related information

Contacting us

Web: www.safework.nsw.gov.au

Email: privacy@safework.nsw.gov.au

Phone: 13 10 50

Mail:  SafeWork NSW, Locked Bag 2906 Lisarow NSW 2252

Related Content

Contact Us

Email
contact@safework.nsw.gov.au
Telephone
13 10 50