Would You Like More Benefits From WHS Consultation in Your Workplace?
The WHS duty to consult with workers and others in your workplace is based on the recognition that their input, participation, cooperation, and coordination improves decision-making about health and safety matters and assists in reducing work-related injuries and disease.
But are you obtaining all the expected benefits from the consultation process in your workplace?
Do you Obtain these Benefits from your WHS Consultation?
The benefits listed below are based on material in the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice – Work Health & Safety Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination*.
You could reasonably expect that because you have HSRs and/or a H&S Committee and a consultation process, and cooperate and coordinate with other parties in your workplace that you will reap benefits such as;
The PCBU and other duty holders are in a better position to identify hazards and workable solutions to health and safety matters
More informed decisions can be made about how the work should be carried out safely because you draw on the knowledge, experience expertise and skills of your workers,
A safer workplace – because everyone involved in the work communicates with each other to identify hazards and risks, talks about any health and safety concerns and works together to find solutions. This includes cooperation between the people who manage or control the work and those who carry out the work or who are affected by the work.
Greater awareness and commitment – because workers have been actively involved in developing health and safety decisions.
Positive working relationships – because understanding the views of others leads to greater co-operation and trust.
Improved ability of workers to identify and control hazards
Increased motivation of workers to work safely.
Improved safety culture
Gaps in managing health and safety risks are handled - where you share responsibility for health and safety with another person, consulting, co-operating and co-ordinating activities with these other duty holders can prevent situations such as:
a lack of understanding of how the activities of each person may add to the hazards and risks to which others may be exposed,
duty holders assume that someone else is taking care of the health and safety matter,
the person who takes action is not the best person to do so.
Review of Consultation Benefits in your Workplace
If you use the above list of benefits as a checklist you may identify one or more areas in your workplace where the expected benefits of consultation are not yet apparent. Further attention to those areas could then reveal actions that are needed to improve the situation and achieve the expected benefits.
Any material in this article that is based on the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice – Work Health & Safety Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination is 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.
17th February 2021