In this blog we’re going to be talking about Work Health & Safety Consultation.
Why you should consult with your workers
Work health and safety consultation is a legislative requirement under Australian legislation and also a requirement under the new health and safety international standards, but even without those two things, I think it’s a great idea that you consult with your workers either way, because;
- It’s good business sense
- Your going to get a much better picture of the hazard profile of your workplace
- The workers are going to feel much more involved in their own health and safety.
How to consult with workers
Its important that you involve workers in decision making, which can be done during something like a toolbox talk. If you regularly run toolbox talks, you can ensure workers feel involved and that they have an opportunity to have a say on their own health and safety.
If a toolbox talk doesn’t suit your workplace, you could use other measures such as implementing health and safety committees, or running other meetings to get workers involved talking about their own health and safety.
Some of these could be;
- Hazard inspections
- Risk assessments
- Health and safety training
Who you should consult with
Aside from consulting with your workers, it’s also important as a business to consult with any other business who has a similar or overlapping health and safety responsibility. This is going to be relevant for things like combined emergency procedures.
For example, you might have a few different businesses working in the same type of workplace where they all have similar or overlapping evacuation procedures. It’s important that you consult with that other business to make sure that those procedures are in alignment.
Another example of this is, if you have workers from one business coming in and working in the other business, such as labour hire, there needs to be some consultation between those businesses. This will ensure their health and safety requirements and training for the labour hire workers are covered off and that each company knows where their responsibilities lie.
Other legislative requirements that are listed under the work health and safety legislation are health and safety representatives and health and safety committees.
These are not required for every workplace, and are only needed when specific requests are made. Once they are in place, workplaces will have specific requirements in relation to those two things, such as;
- Requirements in regards to how you elect and the rights of your health and safety representatives
- Requirements in regards to the committee (who’s on the committee and how often they run)
We’ll cover those particular requirements in a separate video on health and safety representatives and health and safety committees, but just be aware at this stage that they are a requirement when requested by the workplace.
- Consultation is required under the harmonised legislation
- You must consult with both workers and other relevant businesses (tool box talks, training, day-to-day chats)
- Be aware of legislative requirements with regards to health and safety reps and health and safety committees when requested