Should You Create and Keep Records of WHS Consultation?
Weekly WHS Article 15th June 2021
Must or Should
If the WHS Act or WHS Regulation says you must create a document record of consultation then obviously you must do that and comply with that legal requirement.
However, the major should do for creating and keeping records of consultation is because;
those records are needed and used in the process of consultation on the way to achieving the desired improvements and resolution of a work health and safety situation, and
those records may assist the risk management process and foster and facilitate agreement between persons involved in the WHS situation, and
the PCBU should have and keep records of consultation that demonstrate that the PCBU is complying with any relevant consultation requirement in the WHS Act or WHS Regulation.
“Consultation with workers and with other duty holders does not have to be documented unless specifically required under the WHS Regulation, for example clause 552 of the WHS Regulation requires a major hazard facility’s safety case outline to include a description of the consultation with workers undertaken in the preparation of the safety case. However, it is good practice to keep records to demonstrate compliance with consultation requirements.
Records of consultation may also assist the risk management process and make disputes less likely.” (page 15, Code of Practice: Work Health & Safety Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination)
Health & Safety Committees should keep records of the agenda and minutes of each committee meeting and any documents that are relevant to the WHS situations that they deal with.
Records of Discussions
“Records should include outcomes of discussions. Records can be brief and simple, and cover:
what the safety matter is
who was identified as affected, or likely to be affected
who was involved in consultations
key issues consultation identified
what decision has been made and why
who is to take action and by when, and
when the action was completed.”
(page 15, Code of Practice: Work Health & Safety Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination)
Quotations in this article from the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice – Work Health & Safety Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination are used under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 3.0 Australia License. To view a copy of this licence, visit www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/au. You are free to copy, communicate and adapt the work for non-commercial purposes, as long as you attribute the work to SafeWork NSW and abide by the other licence terms.
15th June 2021