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Why Managers & Supervisors Must Consult

Weekly WHS Article 13th April 2021

Managers and Supervisors have an important part to play in WHS consultation with workers because;

  • 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 47).

  • 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.

  • They naturally are interested in keeping their workers safe and healthy.

Consultation may be done directly with workers, or with their Health & Safety Representatives, or with the Health & Safety Committee.

Effective Consultation

As described in the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice, Work Health & Safety Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination, … “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.”

WHS Consultation has Valuable Benefits

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.

Managers and Supervisors - WHS Duties

As set out in Section 28 of the WHS Act, Managers and Supervisors must:

  • take reasonable care for their own health & safety

  • take reasonable care not to adversely affect the health & safety of other persons

  • comply, so far as reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by the PCBU so that the PCBU can comply with the WHS Act, and

  • co-operate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the PCBU relating to health or safety at the workplace that they have been notified of.


Some material in this article is based upon, and the quotation used in this article is from, the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice – How to Manage Work Health & Safety Risks, and are used under 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.

Why Managers & Supervisors Must Consult
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13th April 2021


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