What are provisional improvement notices (PINs) for a mining operation?

Legislative basis

A provisional improvement notice (PIN) can be issued to a person when a qualified safety and health representative is of the opinion that:

  • the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 or related regulation is being contravened, or has been contravened

and

  • the contravention will continue or be repeated.

Issuing and receiving a provisional improvement notice (PIN)

PINs are issued:

  • by an elected safety and health representative who has completed the training required to become a qualified safety and health representative
  • at the mine where the safety and health representative works — or if elected by a group, at a mine where any member works
  • when the qualified safety and health representative believes that there is a breach of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 or regulations that has not been resolved through consultation.

Provisional improvement notice (PIN) for use by safety and health reps - pro forma - 147 Kb

The Provisional improvement notice (PIN) for use by safety and health reps - pro forma is provided to assist safety and health representatives.

If a PIN is issued to another worker, the safety and health representative must provide a copy to the mine manager as soon as is practicable. The principal employer and manager then must take all reasonable steps to ensure the person issued with the notice complies with it.

Go to What is a safety and health representative for a mining operation? to find out more about the role of safety and health representatives.

Requirement for consultation

Before issuing a PIN, the safety and health representative must consult with those involved about the matter considered to breach the Act and regulations. If practicable, other safety and health representatives for the mining operation should be consulted.

Consultation can provide an opportunity for the alleged breach to be addressed without the need to issue a PIN, and supports a positive safety culture.

Various resources are available to assist with effective consultation in the workplace, including those listed below.

Consultation at work - code of practice - 1735 Kb

Consultation at work - code of practice: This code of practice provides guidance on meeting the requirements in the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 relating to consultation in the workplace.

Formal consultative processes at the workplace - guideline - 761 Kb

Formal consultative processes at the workplace - guideline: This guideline provides explanatory information to employers and employees about safety and health representatives.

Effective consultation (2008) - 1873 Kb

This toolbox presentation contains information on how to consult effectively and ways to resolve issues that may arise.

If a qualified safety and health representative misuses the power to issue PINs, he or she can be disqualified from being a safety and health representative.

Recording the notice

On receiving the notice from the qualified safety and health representative, the mine manager must:

  • provide a copy of the notice to the principal employer
  • display the notice at the mine site
  • fix a copy in the mine record book.

Notice of the action taken and the completion of the remedial action should be posted at the site and in the mine record book.

If a review of the notice is requested, a copy of the request for review must also be attached to the mine record book.

If no review is requested, the person issued with the notice must comply with it. Failure to do so is an offence under the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994.

Requesting a review of the notice

The mine manager or principal employer issued with the PIN can ask for an inspector to review the notice. This application for review must be lodged with the relevant inspectorate before the remedy date on the notice.

The PIN is suspended during the review process.

The inspector can cancel, uphold or modify the notice. If upheld or modified, the PIN then becomes an improvement noticed issued by the inspector (with all the same rights of review and appeal).

Related information

Please see below:

Issue of provisional improvement notices by safety and health representatives - MSIA pamphlet - 571 Kb

This pamphlet explains what is a provisional improvement notice (PIN) and how it relates to the Mines Safety and Inspection Act.

Issuing a Provisional Improvement Notice - poster - 157 Kb

This poster outlines the process a qualified safety and health representative must take to issue a provisional improvement notice (PIN).

Receiving an improvement or provisional improvement notice - poster - 168 Kb

This poster provides advice on what to do when an inspector/assistant inspector issues an improvement notice, or a safety and health representative issues a provisional improvement notice (PIN).

Contact

To contact the relevant inspectorate office to request a review of a PIN, use Regional inspectorate boundaries for mining operations.