Discussion 6

over 1 year ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Do the model WHS laws make it clear how consultation with workers and participation of workers in WHS matters should occur? If not, do you have a view on how this could be made clearer?

  • vanders1000 over 1 year ago
    I think that the current legislation is clear enough. We don't need more rules, just better compliance and enforcement of the ones we have.
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    • Safer Habits over 1 year ago
      Agree, continued engagement and education from regulators on what is expected from organisations along with promoting and recognising those achieving best practice.
  • Grant HCA over 1 year ago
    I don't see any need to change what is currently there except that alternative methods can be more effective that creation of committees. In some work places, particularly in low risk sales driven organisations, getting staff to engage in safety committees is difficult. In a previous business I had to create a nominal payment for membership to the safety committee to get enough interest to for a worker nominated committee.Consultation is not necessarily driven by committees, and committees can in some instances be ineffective and a barrier to continuous improvement. Team meetings, constant bi-lateral communication, and reporting systems and consultation process during incident investigation are very effective methods.Not to say that all committees are ineffective and as a business we have multiple quality committees oversighting various key aspect of our business including safety. As a business we have found that our reporting system, by either telephone and on line reporting of safety and other incidents, instigates the dialogue across the business. The investigation process, RCA where required and analytics from the reporting system are provided to the various committees for discussion and drives discussions and development of innovative controls.
  • Darren Hunt over 1 year ago
    I believe the WH&S Laws should detail more of the responsibilities that leaders in the work place have with consultation, mainly with the on ground role with supervisors or foreman level, to often do you see these roles believe they have no responsibility to WH&S matters. A lot of companies supply a support role in WH&S and then the most important person with on ground leadership believe they can step away from having any involvement in WH&S.these roles in the work place are the ones workers look to for direct leadership and who workers consult with more often.
  • John Chambers over 1 year ago
    HiThe problem that i and many others have experienced is not the laws or lack of them its the consequences we may have to suffer if we report them. Working for my organisation is rampent with cost cutting. I would not say safety is breeched but stretched yes. Work Policies are re written and assessed oftento coincide with changing enviroments. But support to persons who speak up do not. People are afraid of losing their jobs, so new Laws put the worker up against a board room of lawyers, in other words, why make new Laws with less protection for consequences. I am sure there will be comments about these Laws are to protect us and improve safety, that is fine but making fines to some businesses are just poket money to them. They spend more on the company of soliciters they employ. And penalties are not enforced. I will tell you a secret THEY ARE NOT AFRAID. They should be.
  • SafetyOz over 1 year ago
    The WHS laws, as the OHS laws did beforehand, promote a formal structural approach to consultation that often implies tha Consultation can only occur with the involvement of HSRs and OHS Committees. The recent Safe Work Australia guidance on Consultation was closer to reality by emphasizing active discussions on health and safety and collaboration on risk assessments and control measure, with the inclusion of HSRs if they were available.The reality of Consultation needs to be reflected in WHS laws and, I would suggest, that the HSR, DWG and Committee options be included as an Appendix or in a Code of Practice so that this formal, costly and complex structure does not distract from harm prevention and active engagement with workers. Very few Australian workplaces have HSRs and union representatives but all need to effectively consult on WHS matters. Those that do have HSRs etc, can continue to consult in the traditional manner but let’s not turn off the non-union sectors from WHS improvements.