Health and safety committees bring together workers and management to assist in the development and review of health and safety policies and procedures for the workplace.
The functions of the health and safety committee are:
- to facilitate co-operation between the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU - the new term that includes employers) and workers in instigating, developing and carrying out measures designed to ensure the health and safety of workers
- to assist in developing standards, rules and procedures relative to health and safety
- such other functions prescribed by the regulations or agreed between the PCBU (includes employers) and the committee.
The effective operation of a health and safety committee is dependent upon everyone fulfilling their role.
Establishment of health and safety committees
The PCBU (includes employers) must establish a health and safety committee within two months after being requested to do so by:
A health and safety committee may be established for workers who carry out work at one or more locations or for those who do not have a fixed place of work.
An PCBU (includes employers) can also establish a health and safety committee on their own initiative.
The constitution of the health and safety committee may be agreed to between the PCBU (includes employers), HSR and workers at the workplace. If agreement is not reached within a reasonable time, any party may ask WorkCover to appoint an inspector to decide the matter.
Health and safety committee membership
The makeup of the committee can be agreed to between the workers and the PCBU (includes employers). The PCBU can only nominate up to half of the members.
An HSR is a member of the committee if they consent. If there are two or more HSRs at a workplace, then they can choose one or more who consent to be members of the committee.
Coal and mine committees
There are special provisions for health and safety committees in coal and mine workplaces.
A coal workplace must have a site check inspector and the electrical check inspector as members of any health and safety committee.
A mine workplace must include a site check inspector for that workplace as a member of any health and safety committee.
Call 13 10 50 for more information on health and safety committees.