An employer and/or person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) MUST consult with workers when they are likely to be or are directly affected by a situation involving their health and safety. Workers need to have an opportunity to express their views and contribute to any decisions relating to their health and safety at their workplace.

For instance, any change to equipment, even for risk control purposes, must be discussed with workers before the change is made. Workers also need to be involved in any conversation about the adequacy of facilities.

As per s35 of the OH&S ACT 2004 the employer must consult when undertaking any of the following:

  • identifying hazards and assessing risks
  • making decisions about ways to eliminate or control risks
  • changing or updating workplace facilities
  • proposing changes that may affect the health and safety of workers
  • making decisions about consulting procedures, resolving safety issues, monitoring workers’ health and conditions, and providing information and training.

Employer’s also MUST consult, co-operate and co-ordinate activities with other individuals and organisations – and any Health and Safety Representatives (HSR’s) or WHS Committees – who have a duty in relation to the same matter.

Some workplaces have regular meetings of all staff, sometimes called ‘toolbox talks’, others establish Work Health and Safety Committees or Duly elect Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) to consult and represent safety concerns to management. It is important to establish an arrangement that best suits the needs of your workers.

Remember, consultation must be regular and ongoing. WorkSafe has developed the below video on consultation, which the ASU would like to share with you all to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qMJG9YMhUk

For further information please contact:
ASU OH&S Organiser Mick Vanbeek | 0438 133 363 | mvanbeek@asuvictas.com.au

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