Workplace Consultation

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Do you need to discuss safety with everyone in your workplace?
YES it is essential for all PCBU[1]’s to consult with employees, contractors, work experience, volunteers and suppliers etc

Do you know when you last discussed safety with your employees, contractors, work experience, volunteers and suppliers?
If you answered no – read on

If you answered – yes fantastic.

Do you have a record of this consultation?
If yes – awesome.

If you answered no – read on.

Was it in the last 30 days?
If yes – marvellous.

If you answered no – read on.

How frequently do you need to consult?
Consultation is a mandatory requirement in the Work Health and Safety law in Australian and New Zealand. We know how important it is because it is in the WHS Act 2011 , Chapter 2 of the WHS Regulation is dedicated to representation and participation, and there is even a whole Code Of Practice dedicated to Work Health and Safety Consultation, Cooperation and Coodination.

If you’re still not convinced about how important it is to consult recent Enforceable Undertakings prescribed monthly toolbox talks for a construction company.

What does this tell us?
If your not talking to you workers about safety at least once a month you are possibly not meeting your minimum requirements to demonstrate due diligence or doing everything reasonably practicable.

Consultation in small business what have you got to do?
Small business needs to have agreed consultation arrangements

  • Have agreed arrangements for consultation, this can be documented in a procedure
  • Identify who you will consult with in your workforce( more than direct employees)

Determine when you will consult

  • There are changes to Policies
  • There are changes to your management systems
  • New hazards are identified
  • Decisions are required about the controls required
  • Introducing or altering a procedure
  • Changes are proposed to the workplace
  • Propose changes to the workplace, by buying new or used equipment or introducing new substance or materials


[1] PCBU – Person Conducting a Business of Undertaking and includes self employed people, school, builder, (principal contractors and sub contractors, any business, PTY LTD, LTD, franchise, council , school, partnerships, unincorporated joint ventures and not for profit organisation that engages and pays at least one staff member.

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