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What is consultation?
Consultation involves sharing information, giving workers a reasonable opportunity to express their views, and taking those views into account before making decisions. It allows you to really get to know your workplace, workers and the hazards they face.
Who do you consult with?
You must consult on health and safety matters with workers, workers’ health and safety representatives, and anyone else you engage to carry out work for you.
This includes your contractors and sub-contractors and their workers, labour-hire workers, volunteers and anyone else working for you and who are directly affected by any health and safety matter.
You should also consult with union representatives.
What are the benefits of consulting?
It’s easier to achieve a safer workplace when everyone is involved – when they talk and work together to address potential problems and collectively find solutions
Some other Benefits of Effective Consultation!
- greater awareness and commitment, because workers have been actively involved in how decisions are made
- positive working relationships, because hearing and understanding the views of others leads to greater co-operation and trust.
Share work health and safety around and your business will be safer, healthier and more productive.
How do you involve your workers?
Never underestimate the value of your workers’ input when it comes to knowing about the hazards associated with their work. They often have ideas about how to reduce safety risks, make improvements and find solutions.
Involve your workers as you:
- develop your work health and safety policy and procedures
- use safety checklists
- develop safe work procedures
- create hazard, incident, near miss and injury reporting procedures
- identify hazards, tasks and conditions, and the safe way to manage them
- review policies and procedures.
What else can you do?
Other ways to encourage talking about safety include:
- encouraging your workers to hold elections for health and safety representatives
- establishing a health and safety committee
- holding regular staff/toolbox meetings and make health and safety a topic to discuss (if you engage
contractors, include them in this process and seek their feedback too)
- holding practical training sessions.
These are also opportunities for you to get your workers’ feedback on the effectiveness of any existing or proposed safety solutions.
Check if your workers are receiving enough — and the correct — information to do their job safely, or whether they need additional information and resources.
For further information, refer to the Work Health and Safety Consultation, Cooperation and CoordinationCode of Practice