Section 11 - Consultation
How effective employee consultation can benefit you?
Provides an opportunity for finding better solutions to workplace health and safety
issues improves overall industrial relations between management and employees.
Facilitates the implementation process regarding business decisions.
State and Territory health and safety legislation makes provisions for two mechanisms of consultation, Health and Safety Committees and Health and Safety Representatives.
The duty for employers to establish a health and safety committee varies within States and Territories and will depend on the number of employees and/or whether the employees request a committee to be established.
The role of health and safety committees and representatives should generally be viewed as:
- Providing an avenue for health and safety issues to be raised.
- Assisting in the formulation of solutions to health and safety problems.
- Assisting in the investigation of workplace accidents, conducting ·inspections and evaluating the health and safety program generally.
- Assisting in promoting health and safety in the workplace.
- Assisting in the formulation and review of the Health and Safety Improvement Plan.
Where your business is not large enough to have a Health and Safety Committee, your duty of care obligation to consult with employees must be demonstrated by other methods to achieve the above objectives and could include:
- Achieving a consensus regarding health and safety issues among existing employees.
- Ensuring that union representatives endorse policies.
- Holding and documenting regular meetings.
- Issuing agenda items prior to these meetings.
- Using employee notice boards.
- Using employee suggestion boxes.