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Work out how to consult

The first thing you need to do is talk to your employees and Health and Safety Representatives about the procedures to be used when consulting, including determining whether employees require information in other languages.

While the law is flexible about how to consult your employees, if your employees have elected a health and safety representative (HSR), you must involve the HSR in the consultation process.

You can tailor consultation to your workplace by establishing agreed consultation procedures. These must be developed in consultation with employees and must be consistent with your legal duties under the OHS Regulations 2017.

Consultation needs to be planned but it doesn't always have to mean scheduling specific meetings or workshops. In small workplaces for instance, the best way to consult your employees may be to engage in direct discussion as part of everyday work.

However, discussions must still include the sharing of information, allowing employees to express their views and taking those views into account.

Example: include health and safety as a standing agenda item at regular team meetings

These options for consultation are not necessarily alternatives. One or a mix of these arrangements may be appropriate, depending on your workplace.

Example: An office with 40 employees may have a health and safety committee, which includes several health and safety representatives, as well as a separate agreed arrangement for regular direct discussions about health and safety with five employees who work at remote locations.

Once you've established consultative mechanisms and procedures for your workplace, you need to make sure that everyone understands them and knows how they can raise any issues.