Consulting with mine employees and Health and Safety Representatives

Mine operators have duties to consult with employees or Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) on specific matters at specific times.

Read the Regulations

The full legal definitions of the duties referred to in this guidance are contained in Part 5.3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).

You must read the legislation in addition to this guidance.

When you must consult with employees or HSRs

Employers must consult with employees and independent contractors under section 35 of the OHS Act.

In addition, all mine operators must consult with employees when:

  • developing and implementing strategies to control the risks relating to alcohol and drugs, and fatigue
  • identifying mining hazards

Operators of prescribed mines must also consult when:

  • implementing a safety management system
  • conducting a safety assessment
  • developing a safety role for employees
  • preparing, reviewing or revising an emergency plan

Developing a safety role for employees at the mine

Regulation 424 of the OHS Regulations covers the duty to develop a safety role.

Operators of a prescribed mine must develop a safety role for employees, which includes procedures employees need to follow to assist with:

  • identifying mining hazards
  • implementing, reviewing and testing risk control measures
  • establishing and implementing a safety management system, and
  • conducting and documenting a safety assessment

How to develop a safety role for employees

You should:

  • develop specific procedures outlining employees’ safety role
  • review the skills and competencies required when modifications are made to the mine
  • create records to demonstrate that employees are being consulted when: identifying mining hazards; conducting a Safety Assessment; adopting, reviewing and testing risk control measures; and establishing and implementing a safety management system (SMS)

When to review the safety role for employees

You must review the safety role, including the procedures employees need to follow:

  • if there is any change in circumstances, including mine modification, which could change the knowledge or skills employees need to perform their role

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