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Certificate IV in Frontline Management Significance of an Effective Consultative Mechanism Occupational Health and Safety topics such as the importance

e of an effective consultative mechanism are being emphasized in Intellitrains Certificate IV in Frontline Management. Occupational Health and Safety Committees are a requirement by law in NSW for companies that employ over 20 staff, where a majority of employees have requested a committee be established. There are different regulations that apply within each State in Australia and as a manager you need to investigate and be aware of the legislation that applies to you, your company and your industry. Information on the latest laws can be checked by visiting the NSW legislation website (www.legislation.nsw.gov.au). The following information has been sourced from www.workcover.nsw.gov.au and is correct at time of publication (January 2011). You can view the fact sheet at this URL; http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/Documents/ohs _training_manual_insert_factsheet4_2704.pdf Fact Sheet How to set up an OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) Committee An OHS Committee is established when: there are 20 or more employees and the majority of employees request that an OHS Committee be established, or WorkCover NSW directs that an OHS Committee be established, or the employer, in consultation with their employees, establishes an OHS Committee The are 4 phases to establishing an OHS Committee: 1. Lay the groundwork 2. Determine the OHS Committee membership 3. Form an OHS Committee

4. Evaluation PHASE 1: LAY THE GROUNDWORK Become familiar with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (The Act), Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 (the Regulation) and the OHS Consultation Code of Practice 2001 Consider whether an OHS Committee is the most appropriate consultation arrangement for health and safety matters in your workplace Determine the composition of the OHS Committee, ensure that different workgroups are adequately represented Consult and educate managers and employees to let them know the OHS Committees purpose, start date and their role in supporting the Committee PHASE 2: DETERMINE OHS COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP Determine, through consultation, the number of employer and employee representatives on the OHS Committee It is beneficial to consider inviting sub-contractors and their employees to observe Committee meetings, particularly when common OHS issues arise. Committee members should be allowed to invite a delegate from a trade union or employer association to a Committee meeting. The delegate may address the meeting if the Chairperson agrees. There are no formal qualifications required of Committee members, however the following characteristics would be beneficial in Committee representatives: o ability to effectively represent members of the workgroup o ability to see other viewpoints o commitment to improving the management of OHS o communication skills Explain to employees what is involved in being on an OHS Committee and what training will be provided if they are elected or appointed

Appoint and notify employer representatives Decide on an election process for employee representatives and conduct an election Inform all employees and management of the names of OHS Committee representatives Provide representatives with a copy of the Code of Practice and any other relevant information (including existing OHS procedures) PHASE 3: FORM OHS COMMITTEE All members of the OHS Committee must undertake OHS Consultation training Convene the first meeting as soon as practicable o elect a Chairperson o establish arrangements for OHS Committee meetings o determine frequency of meetings o discuss the purpose of the Committee o review the Code of Practice The initial meeting could also: o clarify the roles and responsibilities of Committee members o develop an OHS Consultation Statement if not already established and have it supported by management PHASE 4: EVALUATION Periodically review the OHS Committee and its consultation arrangements in line with the Code of Practice When managing health and safety risks, managers need to be aware of and understand the importance of communicating with all staff any applicable processes and procedures that are required, that are going to ensure everyone is safe in the workplace, and that require follow up.

There should be an appointment of Health and Safety Representatives within an organisation that can also monitor and report back any findings and act as the point of liaison between management, staff, OHS Committee members and themselves. Having support and buy-in from employees helps to maintain the processes and creates an inclusive working environment where staff members and team members feel valued and appreciated. This in turn creates more loyalty towards keeping everyone safe in the workplace and assists in achievement of organisational goals. Team members should be given adequate responsibility and opportunity to take ownership for decisions that relate to the health and safety procedures in the workplace. This can include decisions that relate to; Training and development of staff members in safety matters Training in use of new equipment and technology General working conditions Reporting procedures General OHS procedures Intellitrain offers courses in Certificate IV Frontline Management for Coordinators, Leading Hand, Supervisors and Team Leaders.