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When are your Workers Consulted?

Weekly WHS Article 3rd November 2021

The WHS Act (section 49) identifies the matters and occasions when a PCBU must consult with workers. You can find those listed below in a check list format so that you can readily run your eye over that list and flag any item that you feel may require more attention.

A safe and healthy workplace is easier to achieve when workers are consulted and involved.

Are Workers consulted;

When hazards are being looked for, and identified?

When risks to health and safety are being assessed?

When decisions are being made about ways to eliminate or minimise those risks?

When changes are proposed that may affect the health and safety of workers?

When decisions are being made about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of workers?

When making decisions about procedures for:

- consulting with workers?

- resolving workplace health and safety issues?

- monitoring the health of workers?

- monitoring workplace conditions?

- providing information and training for workers?

Spot Potential Problems at an early Stage

It is better to consult regularly instead of only consulting as and when an issue arises. This is because consulting regularly enables you to spot and fix potential problems at an early stage before they become a real problem or a disaster.

WHS Consultation Requirements in the WHS Regulation

The WHS Regulation has a number of specific consultation requirements that you may need to know and carry out. You can find a list and details of these requirements on page 39 of the SafeWork NSW: Code of Practice: Work Health & Safety Consultation, Co-operation and Coordination.

These requirements mainly concern; plant and structures, energised electrical work, designers of structures, principal contractors, and hazardous chemicals.

When are your Workers Consulted
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* Material in this article that is based on the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice – Work Health & Safety Consultation, Co-operation and Coordination is used under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 3.0 Australia License. To view a copy of this licence, visit 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.

3rd November 2021


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