Managers and Supervisors have an important part to play in consultation with workers because;
They naturally are interested in keeping their workers safe and healthy If they do not consult with workers in accordance with the authority delegated to them by the PCBU, then the PCBU cannot comply with the mandatory consultation required by the WHS Act (section 49).
They have a personal duty to take “reasonable care” of the health and safety of their workers,
WHS Act (section 28). Taking “reasonable care” includes consultation.
The Benefits of Consultation
A safe and healthy workplace is easier to achieve when workers are consulted and involved. Why? Because:
Workers have skills, experience, and expertise that will help make better solutions
Consultation will improve a worker’s willingness and ability to spot and control hazards
Understanding the views of workers leads to better solutions and greater co-operation and trust
Workers who have been actively involved in the decision-making process are likely to be more committed to implementing the solution
When Must Consultation Be Done
Managers and Supervisors must consult with workers when they are;
identifying hazards and assessing risks to health and safety
making decisions about ways to eliminate or minimise those risks
proposing changes that may affect the health and safety of workers
making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of workers
when making decisions about procedures for:
(i) consulting with workers
(ii) resolving workplace health and safety issues
(iii) monitoring the health of workers
(iv) monitoring workplace conditions
(v) providing information and training to workers
Consultation may be done direct with workers, or with their Health & Safety Representatives, or with their Health & Safety Committee.
For further details see page 5 of the Work Health and Safety Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination Code of Practice