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Notify WorkSafe Call 1300 366 322

Resolving issues

An ‘issue’ is any concern about workplace health and safety that is unresolved even after consultation between the affected workers and the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU).

Examples include:

  • a difference in opinion about whether something is a potential risk to health and safety, or whether a control measure is adequate
  • the ways workers are consulted or participate in health and safety decisions.

If your workplace doesn’t have an issue resolution procedure, use this one:

Agreed procedure

The PCBU must ensure an agreed procedure for issue resolution at the workplace is:

  • put in writing
  • communicated to all workers.

‘Agreed’ means it is consensual and there has been genuine consultation and agreement between the PCBU, the health and safety representative (HSR) and workers.

Any party to the issue may start the procedure by informing the other party:

  • that there is an issue to be resolved
  • the nature and scope of the issue.

As soon as parties are informed of the issue, all parties must meet or communicate with each other to attempt to resolve the issue.

The parties must consider all relevant matters, including:

  • the degree and immediacy of risk to workers or other people affected by the issue
  • the number and location of workers and other people affected by the issue
  • the measures (temporary and permanent) that must be implemented to resolve the issue
  • who will be responsible for implementing the resolution measures.

A party may, in resolving the issue, be helped or represented by someone they nominate.

If the issue is resolved, details of the issue and its resolution must be set out in a written agreement, if any party to the issue requests this. Everyone involved must be satisfied that the agreement reflects the resolution of the issue. It must be given to all parties involved and, if requested, to the workplace’s health and safety committee.

Who’s involved in resolving an issue

  • The PCBU (or their representative) that the issue has been raised with
  • Any other PCBU (or their representative) involved in the issue
  • Where at least one worker in a work group is affected by the issue, their HSR (or the HSR’s representative)
  • Where a least one worker who is not in a work group is affected by the issue, the worker (or their representative).

If asked to so do, the representatives may enter the workplace to attend discussions to resolve the issue.

The PCBU’s representative must:

  • not be a HSR
  • be sufficiently competent to act as the person’s representative
  • have an appropriate level of seniority.
Updated: 11th December 2019