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Worker Participation

04/11/2020

When workers are engaged in work health and safety, then everyone benefits. Your business is a healthier and safer place for everyone, and performance and productivity increases. It’s a win-win!

Understanding your duties
Under the Health & Safety at work Act (HSWA), businesses have a duty to engage with workers and enable them to participate in improving health and safety. The PCBU must:

  • Ensure that workers’ views on health and safety matters are asked for and taken into account, and 
  • Have clear, effective, and on-going ways for workers to suggest improvements or raise concerns on a regular basis.

Engagement
Together with your workers, you can determine the best way to meet these duties. What is reasonable and practicable will depend on workers’ views and needs, the size of your business, and the nature of its risks.

The PCBU must:

  • Share information on matters relating to health and safety 
  • Give your workers time to consider the issues
  • Give your workers a reasonable opportunity to
    • Express their views and raise work health or safety concerns, and
    • Contribute to the decision-making process 
  • Take into account the views of your workers, and
  • Advise your workers of the outcomes in a timely way.

When is engagement required?
You need to engage and consult with workers who are directly affected by a matter relating to health and safety. This includes when:

  • Hazards are identified and assessed
  • Making decisions about:
    • Addressing risks
    • The suitability of staff welfare facilities
    • Monitoring worker health and work conditions
    • Providing information and training to workers
    • Procedures for resolving work health and safety issues
  • Determining workgroups, and
  • Proposing changes which may affect the health and safety of workers

Participation

It’s important to have meaningful and effective H&S talks. It’s good for people and it’s good for business. This doesn’t mean hour-long talks or lots of documentation, it’s simply about approaching H&S with the right attitude and aiming to get everyone involved.

HazardCo makes it even simpler to do this with our ‘Toolbox Meeting’ feature on our HazardCo App – handy for making sure everyone on-site is up to speed with the latest goings-on.

You can also check out the health and safety at work strategy for worker engagement, participation, and representation here.

If you need a hand getting started or would like more information, get in touch with the friendly HazardCo team today. 

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