Whs consultation why it is important and how to make it more effective
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WHS consultation: why it is important and how to make it more effective. Jane Clarke . Safe Work SA funded project. Identify features of effective consultation: Aged care Construction Hospitality. What difference does it make?.

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Safe Work SA funded project more effective.

  • Identify features of effective consultation:

    • Aged care

    • Construction

    • Hospitality

What difference does it make? more effective.

Participation of workers = improved HS systems + reduction in injuries and illness.

Why? more effective.

  • Critical knowledge held by workers;

  • Increased trust and ownership.

What do we mean by consultation? more effective.

Meaningful input

into decision making



What does the act say? more effective.

48 (1)

Consultation requires that workers be given the opportunity to:

b (ii) contribute to the decision- making process relating to the matter

It is not just if you have a committee…. more effective.

The extent and nature of consultation is a critical factor in the effect on illness and injury outcomes. (Eaton and Nocerino in Walters D, 2010)

Table discussion more effective.

What would meaningful and effective consultation look like in your workplace?

Does it matter how they consult? more effective.

Direct versus representative.

it’s a question of power….

Role of WHS Representatives more effective.

  • Independent (not management nominees)

  • Clear about your role

  • Respected by those who you represent

  • Time

  • Support to do the role

  • Training

  • Protection from discrimination

  • Access to advice and support from unions

Table discussion more effective.

What support do you need to be able to consult effectively?

Management culture matters…. more effective.



Support of participation

Ayres, more effective.Culvenor, Sillitoe and Else

Meaningful and effective consultation and the construction industry of Victoria, Australia


Disturbingly…. more effective.

The topic of consultation remained the same … trouble shooting or execution rather than strategic long term and design issues.

who controls the agenda???

Challenges…. more effective.

Growth in precarious employment; direct casuals and labour hire;



Waiting for safety: more effective.

Responses by young Canadian workers to unsafe work, by Tucker and Turner

Teenage workers in our study seemed reluctant to speak out when they have concerns and instead wait things out, reflecting an understanding of the managerial constraints on their action.

…unless collective concern

Table discussion… more effective.

What challenges do you face in your industries or worksites?

What examples of success do you have?

Jane Clarke more effective.

Project Officer

Centre for Work + Life

University of South Australia

(08) 8302 4234