What Managers & Supervisors Must Do in WHS Consultation with Workers

Consultation is a 2 way process between you and your workers where you;

  • Talk to each other about health & safety matters

  • Listen to their concerns and raise your concerns

  • Seek and share views and information

  • Consider what your workers say before making decisions

Why Managers and Supervisors Must Consult

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

You are welcome to download and distribute the article in your workplace if you feel it may be useful

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Courtenell Pty Ltd

as Trustee for the Vowles Family Trust

WHS Training Specialists, Sydney, Australia  

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