Information statements: Freedom of Information Act Part II

Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) requires an agency to publish a range of information about its functions, procedures, documents, publications and Freedom of Information (FOI) arrangements.

Make a Freedom of Information request


Statement 1 – Organisation and functions

The Victorian WorkCover Authority (known as WorkSafe) is the regulator of workplace occupational health and safety systems and the rehabilitation and compensation system in Victoria. WorkSafe is also the workplace injury insurer.

WorkSafe's job is to reduce workplace harm and improve outcomes for injured workers.

WorkSafe's objectives are to:

  • Manage the accident compensation scheme.
  • Ensure that appropriate compensation and provisional payments are paid to injured workers.
  • Develop internal management structures and procedures to enable WorkSafe to perform its functions and exercise its powers.
  • Administer the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (WIRC Act), Accident Compensation Act 1985 (AC Act), Workers Compensation Act 1958, Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, Equipment (Public Safety) Act 1994 and Dangerous Goods Act 1985.

WorkSafe has extensive functions, some of which include:

  • Making decisions on claims for compensation.
  • Promoting healthy and safe work environments.
  • Providing assistance to employers and injured workers.
  • Providing insurance and determining, collecting and recovering premiums in accordance with the WIRC Act.
  • Administering the WorkCover Authority Fund.
  • Detecting and implementing measures to deter fraudulent workers compensation claims.
  • Conducting or defending proceedings before a court or tribunal.
  • Defending actions against employers under the WIRC Act or the AC Act and at common law.
  • Undertaking of research and educational programs.
  • Collecting, analysing and publishing statistics of occupational injuries and diseases.
  • Providing information services to workers, employers, and the general community.
  • Collaborating with other bodies and providing funds for the purposes of developing national policies, enhancing co-operation between Australian jurisdictions in relation to health and safety and harmonising workers' compensation across the Commonwealth, State and Territories.

Legislation relating to WorkSafe's duties and functions

More information

Statement 2 – Categories of documents

WorkSafe uses TRIM (records management system) to manage and store records, which are organised by subject and type (form, policy, guidance etc) and filed by business area and subject matter.

Injury claims are filed by name and managed by authorised Agents in accordance with WorkSafe’s record management policy and authorities and standards issued by the Public Records Office of Victoria under the Public Records Act 1973. Details of the authorised Agents are available on this website.

Document Types

The types of documents that WorkSafe handles include:

  • Administrative records
  • Annual reports
  • Applications, such as licensing applications and renewals
  • Briefings and reports
  • Contractual documents
  • Correspondence, including ministerial
  • Complaints
  • Compliance codes
  • Consultations – past and present
  • Employee records
  • File notes
  • Financial records, including actuarial
  • Information sheets
  • Maps
  • Meeting records
  • Operational records
  • Photographs, images and multi-media
  • Policy, procedures, manuals, including the Online Claims Manual
  • Registers
  • Toolkits
  • Workplace visit entry reports, improvement notices and prohibition notices

Document Categories

Examples of document categories include the following:

  • Claims
  • Communications
  • Dangerous goods
  • Enforcement Group
  • Financial
  • Freedom of information
  • Health and safety – hazards and solutions by topics and industries
  • Health and Disability Services, including Clinical and Independent Medical Examiner services
  • Human Resource
  • Information Technology Shared Services
  • Insurance, including self-insurance and premium
  • Investigations
  • Legal and litigation
  • Legislation
  • Licensing
  • Mental Health – by topics and industries
  • Procurement
  • Policy
  • Programs/events
  • Prosecution
  • Provider Information
  • Return to Work
  • Risk
  • Service requests
  • Scheme Performance, including data and statistical
  • Strategic and operational planning
  • WorkWell

How to get access to information?

Many of WorkSafe's records and documents are available on the website.

There are other ways in which you may seek access to documents.

You can make a request under the FOI Act (see Statement 3).

The FOI Act does not apply to documents which contain information that is available for purchase by the public in accordance with arrangements made by WorkSafe.

Most communications or exchange of information with third parties occurs administratively in the normal course of our business and with injured workers directly or through our authorised agents administratively, or under the WIRC Act.

Injured workers have a right under the WIRC Act to obtain information relevant to their WorkCover claim. Please contact your WorkCover agent to access your claims information.

If you need documents for a court case or some type of litigation, speak to your legal advisor about your options for accessing those documents.

Statement 3 – FOI arrangements

Under the FOI Act, you have a right to request:

  • access to documents we hold about your personal affairs and our activities, or
  • the amendment or removal of incorrect or misleading information about you held by us

The word 'document' includes paper documents and a broad range of media (including maps, films, microfiche, photographs, computer printouts, emails, computer discs, tape recordings and videotapes).

WorkSafe can refuse to grant access, or may decide to grant partial access, to certain documents or information that we hold based on exemptions under the FOI Act ('exempt documents'). Exempt documents include:

  • Cabinet documents (section 28)
  • documents concerning national security (section 29A)
  • some internal working documents (section 30)
  • law enforcement documents (section 31)
  • documents covered by legal professional privilege, such as legal advice (section 32)
  • documents containing personal information about other people (section 33)
  • documents containing information provided to an agency in confidence (section 35)
  • documents containing information provided to an agency by a business (section 34)
  • documents which are covered by secrecy provisions in other legislation (section 38)

You can authorise another person (e.g. a solicitor) to make a request on your behalf. If you would like someone to make a request on your behalf for your personal information, you must give them written authorisation.

A non-refundable fee is charged when you make an FOI request (the 'application fee'). You can claim a waiver of the application fee if payment of the fee would cause you financial hardship. Evidence of financial hardship must be included with your FOI request if you wish to seek a waiver. If you have any questions or queries about waiver of the fee, please contact us.

Additional charges apply in certain circumstances ('access charges'). Access charges are the costs incurred in granting access to the requested documents (e.g. photocopying the documents to provide copies to the applicant).

These costs may or may not apply depending on the nature of your request. All fees and charges are exempt from GST.

In order to make an FOI request for documents held by WorkSafe, you may use the online form on the Freedom of Information Commissioner’s website.

Once we receive your request, we will conduct an initial assessment. If your request is valid, we will process it. We will contact you if we require further information or clarification.

We have 30 days (after the day we receive your request) to process your FOI request, unless that time is extended in accordance with the FOI Act. This time limit only commences if your request is valid.

When WorkSafe has reached a decision about your request, we will send you a letter informing you of WorkSafe's decision. WorkSafe may decide to:

  • release the documents you requested in their entirety
  • release part of the documents you requested, or
  • release none of the documents you requested

If you are not satisfied with WorkSafe’s decision in relation to your FOI request, you can seek a review by the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.

If your request has not been processed within the time limit, this is taken to be a refusal to grant access to the requested information under the FOI Act (a 'deemed refusal'). If this occurs, you can apply directly to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for review of the deemed refusal.

Statement 4 – Publications

WorkSafe produces a wide range of publications, many of which can be accessed on the website.

The manual was developed by WorkSafe for use by its staff and authorised Agents who manage WorkCover claims to assist with decision making in line with the legislation.

Read our news items and subscribe to receive our latest media releases in your email.

You can subscribe to the Provider Plus newsletter for treating healthcare providers, including allied health, GPs, other medical practitioners, hospitals and occupational rehabilitation.

WorkWell supports employers to create safe and mentally health workplaces. Subscribe to the WorkWell newsletter to stay updated.

If you cannot locate a publication, contact WorkSafe Advisory on 1800 136 089 from 7:30am to 6:30pm, Monday to Friday.

Statement 5 – Procedures

Statement 2 provides information on policies and procedure documents created and held to support the administrative functions of WorkSafe.

The types of documents that can be found on the website include:

  • Accessibility statement
  • Copyright disclaimer
  • Privacy policy
  • Privacy statement
  • Workwell disclaimer
  • myWorkSafe privacy collection statement
  • Social media terms of use
  • Provider policies

To find a specific topic, conduct a full site search or contact the relevant business area.

Statement 6 – Report literature

This section lists the reports and records WorkSafe publishes:

  • Data and statistics including claims and workplace fatalities since 2009.
  • Annual reports.
  • Prosecution result summaries and enforceable undertakings.
  • WorkSafe injury claims data based on injuries and hazards.

To find a specific topic, conduct a full site search or contact WorkSafe Advisory.

WorkSafe Advisory Service

WorkSafe's advisory service is available between 7:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. If you need more support, you can also contact WorkSafe using the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) or the National Relay Service.

1800 136 089 More contact options

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