Consulting with workers

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.

Consultation

You must consult on 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 is directly affected by any health and safety matter.

You should also consult with union representatives.

When to consult

You must consult with your workers when:

  • identifying hazards and assessing risks to health or safety arising from the work you carry out (or is about to be carried out)
  • making decisions about ways to remove or reduce those risks
  • making decisions about the adequacy of workers' facilities
  • proposing changes that may affect the health or safety of workers
  • making decisions about the procedures for consulting with workers, resolving safety issues in your workplace, monitoring the health of workers, monitoring the conditions at any workplace under the management or control of the PCBU, and/or providing information and training for workers.

You can also involve your workers as you:

  • develop or review your policies and procedures for work health and safety, safe work, and incident reporting
  • use safety checklists

Other ways to encourage talking about safety include:

  • hold 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)
  • hold practical training sessions
  • encourage your workers to hold elections for health and safety representatives
  • establish a health and safety committee.

Guidance

Work Health and Safety Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination Code of Practice ((pdf, 685.1 KB))