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Improving Worker Involvement in WHS Compliance

Using the Effective Consultation Checklist we provided with our article last week is an excellent way to improve involvement of workers in WHS and also of satisfying the consultation requirements of the WHS Act.

You can download the Checklist by using this link.

However there may be further steps you could consider taking to motivate and involve your workers in WHS, eg. following safe work procedures, complying with their duty of care.

How to Improve Worker Involvement

The connection between the involvement and commitment of your workers in WHS and the marketing experiences and strategy of American flour companies may not be immediately clear but please read on. The same factors can be used in your workplace.

P. Duff and Sons made history in the early 1930s by producing and patenting the first cake mix. Just buy the box of cake mix, put the mix in a bowl, add water, 2 eggs, stir, put it in a baking pan, slip it in the oven and bake your cake. Very convenient.

Many other companies joined the new game but sales reached a plateau in the early 1950s. So one of the largest cake mix companies engaged a marketing expert called Ernest Dichter to get sales moving upwards again. Dichter used focus groups for his research and concluded that women wanted to feel more involved in the cake making process.

So cake-mix-in-a-box companies began a campaign to inform and help women in how to make icings for their cake, how to colour and flavour their icing, and how to create images of all shapes and sizes to go on their cake. And cake mix sales expanded. The cake mix companies were very happy.

Women who made cakes and iced them could justifiably feel that, despite buying a cake-mix-in-a-box, they could make a cake that was mostly theirs, contained a good part of their effort, their choices and create. They were very happy with their cake creations and the attention and admiration they received from those who saw and ate their cakes. L

ooking back from 2017 at the cake mix marketing of the 1950s we can readily see factors that are commonly known today about motivation and involving people and workers. People;

- are happier with a product if they have participated in making it

- will have more affection and attachment for a product if they design it or have put effort into it

- need to be recognized for making or doing things that are needed and wanted by others

- are strongly motivated to accomplish tasks that attract the attention and admiration of others

- like to create things or be involved in the creative process.

You can find one or more of the above bullet points in current day marketing and HR strategies. For example; what international company sells affordable, functional furniture and gives you all the parts in a flat pack box? And you have to follow their assembly instructions to combine and connect those parts into the functional piece of furniture you want. Yes it is IKEA. How many of the bullet points above can you see in IKEA’s marketing strategy?

Using the Effective Consultation Checklist can bring one or more of the above bullet points into play. And perhaps in addition to that you may find other opportunities in your workplace to apply these bullet points to boost the involvement and commitment of workers to WHS compliance.

Inform and Help

Remember that the cake mix companies informed and helped women so that they were able to be creative and more involved in their cake making. Likewise, you may need to inform and help your workers to become able to be more involved and committed to WHS compliance.


1.The Effective Consultation Checklist is based on the requirements of the WHS Act sections 47-49 and the practical guidance in the WHS Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination Code of Practice.

2. The term “worker” includes all employees. See section 7 of the WHS Act for full definition.

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