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Are you allowed to refuse a DoL inspector entry onto your site?

by , 28 November 2013
One of the most common questions regarding inspections is whether or not employers are allowed to refuse a DoL inspector entry onto their construction sites. Read on to find out what the law says about this...

Labour.gov says that 'Health and Safety Inspectors may enter any workplace, accompanied by anyone who is able to assist them, to get any type of evidence. They may also block off unsafe workplace areas.'

The big question is:

Can you refuse an inspector entry onto your site?


You can't refuse a DoL inspector entry onto your construction site!

If you deny an inspector access onto your site, he can have you arrested for the obstruction of his duties.

'It's never a good idea to work against the DoL's inspectorate and by denying them access you're only suggesting you have something to hide by creating suspicion,' warns the Health & Safety Advisor.

Inspectors are here to help you ensure your compliance.

The DoL is trying to foster and increase good relations with the construction industry to raise the profile and standards of health and safety.

While this may be the case, DoL is also fully prepared to prosecute if you fail to comply with their rules.

It's recommended you welcome inspectors onto your site and see their presence as assistance to compliance rather than trying to hide issues of non-compliance from them and get away with breaking the law.

DoL inspectors have the following rights…

Inspectors may do the following:

  • Enter any workplace;
  • Question anyone in your workplace;
  • Examine and copy documents;
  • Inspect and remove any item that is or was on the premises;
  • Invite interpreters, members of the SAPS, or others to accompany them; and
  • Block off unsafe workplace areas.

The bottom line: DoL inspectors are always allowed to enter your construction site. It's illegal to refuse them entry.

Remember to keep these documents in your in your health and safety file, ready to produce for any DoL inspector who calls on your construction site.


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