Is it mandatory to document your consultation?
The Consultation Code of Practice at page 10 points out that:
“Consultation with workers and with other duty holders does not have to be documented unless specifically required under the WHS Regulations”.
However there are numerous instances where the WHS Regulations do not “specifically” require that consultation be documented.
So the Consultation Code of Practice recommends that you also keep records of consultation to:
- “demonstrate compliance with consultation requirements”
- “assist the risk management process”
- “make disputes less likely”
4 compelling reasons to document consultation
Based on what the Consultation Code of Practice says, and your need to avoid prosecution and enhance health and safety, we suggest that there are 4 compelling reasons to document consultation. They are:
1. to “demonstrate compliance with consultation requirements”
2. to “assist the risk management process”
3. to “make disputes less likely”
4. because the WHS regulations specifically requires it
What should you put in your consultation records?
The Consultation Code of Practice recommends that:
“The records should include any outcomes of discussions. The records can be brief and simple, and cover:
- who is involved
- what the safety matter is
- what decision has been made
- who is to take action and by when
- when the action has been completed.”
The full title of the Consultation Code of Practice is, Work Health & 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