How can consultation be improved?

When should the workforce be consulted?

Consultation with workers should be undertaken, so far as is reasonably practicable, when doing one or more of the following:

  • entering into discussions about safety and health representatives and the election process
  • making decisions about procedures to consult with workers on safety and health matters
  • identifying or assessing hazards or risks that may harm people
  • undertaking risk assessment and risk management exercises
  • making decisions about the prioritisation of issues
  • making decisions on how to control risk that may cause harm
  • making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for worker welfare
  • making decisions about procedures on how to resolve safety and health issues
  • determining the membership of safety and health committees
  • proposing changes to the workplace, plant or equipment, or the work performed at a workplace that may affect the safety and health of workers.

Formal consultative processes at the workplace - guideline - 761 Kb

Formal consultative processes at the workplace - guideline: This guideline provides explanatory information to employers and employees about safety and health representatives.

What makes the consultation process more effective and efficient?

The consultation process need not be difficult. It can be broken down into the key steps described below.

Planning

  • To better facilitate the consultation process, employers should take time to effectively plan both the consultation and evaluation processes. Planning may include the identification of issues, stakeholders, intend, goals and objectives, and the determination of resources and consultation methods.

Undertaking consultation

  • This should be done in line with the aims and methods identified in the planning process. A consultation plan will also be useful in guiding this process.

Response and implementation

  • Effective consultation needs to have a free flow of two-way communication between the operator and workers (or worker representatives), and include the provision of feedback.

Monitoring and evaluation

  • Ongoing monitoring throughout the consultation will help to ensure it is being conducted according to the aims, objectives and methods outlined in the consultation plan. An evaluation at the end of the process will also help determine the effectiveness of consultation and can be used as lessons for future consultation processes.

Consultation at work - code of practice - 1735 Kb

Consultation at work - code of practice: This code of practice provides guidance on meeting the requirements in the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 relating to consultation in the workplace.

Formal consultative processes at the workplace - guideline - 761 Kb

Formal consultative processes at the workplace - guideline: This guideline provides explanatory information to employers and employees about safety and health representatives.

Prevention and management of violence, aggression and bullying at work - code of practice - 246 Kb

Prevention and management of violence, aggression and bullying at work - code of practice: This code of practice provides guidance on meeting the requirements in the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994.

Dealing with bullying at work - guideline - 608 Kb

Dealing with bullying at work - guideline: This document provides guidance on prevention and management of workplace bullying, including bullying behaviours, workplace culture, effects of bullying and what you can do about it.

Related information

The following presentations covering topics related to communication and consultation can be downloaded to use at toolbox meetings.

Communication strategies (2005) - 490 Kb

This toolbox presentation outlines communication strategies.

Effective consultation (2008) - 1873 Kb

This toolbox presentation contains information on how to consult effectively and ways to resolve issues that may arise.

Raising and solving safety and health issues at the workplace (2011) - 2873 Kb

This toolbox presentation covers appropriate ways to raise and solve safety and health issues in the workplace.