Safety Consultative Process

Consultative Process to PlanOne of our readers asked for more information on the ‘consultative process’ with staff when developing OHS Policies and Procedures.

The following extract has been taken from the Safety Concepts E-Guide OHS Secrets for Small Business:

Determining a Consultation Mechanism Within Your Organisation.

Basically, how are you going to consult with your workforce to agree on OHS issues? Will you talk with each member individually? Will you consult with them through Safety Meetings?

Consultation on the subject of promoting a safe and healthy work environment, with all people in your workplace is good management. The ‘team approach’ that the government legislation steers the consultation process towards creates effective communication, improves productivity and morale, and creates a sense of ownership for all involved.

Consultations with your workers are your chance to put together a sound OHS Policy and procedures that are practical and which everyone agrees upon. After all, what would be the use of putting together work and safety procedures for your workers if:

  • they don’t agree with the policies and therefore aren’t motivated to apply them
  • the policies are far from practical because they were designed by administration or someone who has never used certain equipment in the warehouse before, or has never sat at a table inputting data into a computer, hour after hour
  • they simply don’t know about the policies to begin with!

You need to develop a policy for OHS Consultation and communicate this policy to all employees. Failure to consult is a criminal offence that can carry a significant fine.

Make sure you maintain adequate records in relation to consulting with your employees about health and safety in the workplace.

Other Policies that your workplace may benefit from having in place are:

  • No Smoking Policy
  • Drugs and Alcohol Policy
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • Rehabilitation Policy
  • Return to Work Policy

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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