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Consultation

Introduction

Southern Cross University is committed to providing for the health, safety and welfare of people at the University through a process of consultation. To this end the University will endeavour to ensure that everyone involved in work communicates with each other to identify hazards and risks, discusses health and safety concerns and works together to find solutions. This includes cooperation between the people who manage or control the work and those who carry out the work or are affected by the work.

The objective of consultation is to make sure everyone associated with the work has a shared understanding of what the risks are, which workers are affected and how the risks will be controlled.

The University will respond to concerns and questions raised by workers within a reasonable timeframe and offer feedback about options proposed. The University will inform workers of the decision or course of action as soon as possible. The University will also provide information to help workers understand the reason for the decision or course of action.

Role of the University Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Team

The role of the WHS team is to provide advice and assistance about the University's Health and Safety program.

At any time, any WHS matter may be raised directly with a member of the WHS Team. The WHS team will assist and facilitate solutions to health and safety matters in consultation with relevant employees and managers.

The WHS team is:

Manager, WHS - Jess Bermingham
T: 0266 26 9143

WHS Advisor - Sophie Andrews
T: 0266 20 3651

E:whs@scu.edu.au

Health and safety representatives (HSRs)

HSRs are the primary mode for workers for having their voices heard on health and safety matters. HSRs:

  • Represent work unit members in relation to health and safety matters at work;
  • Investigate complaints from work unit members relating to work health and safety matters and inquire into anything that appears to be a risk to the health or safety of work unit members, arising from the conduct of the University;
  • May direct unsafe work to cease under certain circumstances;
  • May issue Provisional Improvement Notices but only after receiving appropriate training;
  • May accompany an inspector during an inspection; and
  • May request that a health and safety committee be established.

HSRs assist the University in meeting its legislative obligations by:

  • Making consultation between workers and the University easier by providing a direct line of communication and point of contact on health and safety matters;
  • Playing an active role in assisting the University to protect workers against risks;
  • Providing access to the views of workers who have a good understanding of the nature and operation of the work;
  • Fostering a strong commitment to safety from workers by involving them in decisions on how to manage risk; and
  • Getting rapid resolution of health and safety issues at a local level.

An employee is eligible to be elected as a HSR for a work group if he or she is a member of that work group and is a non-casual employee with current appointments in excess of 12 months (as at the date of the call for nominations).

A HSR for a work group holds the position for three years.

Training

Approved work health and safety training assists HSRs to understand and fulfil their role and functions. HSRs will attend a five day training course in work health and safety and a one day refresher course each year.

HSR meetings

HSRs meet regularly throughout the year as a group. The meetings will be organised and coordinated by the WHS Team.

HSR communication

The WHS Team will establish a communication forum for HSRs to raise issues or concerns with their counterparts for discussion, feedback and solutions.

Flow Chart - identification and communication of WHS issues

  1. Problem reported to supervisor/manager by worker.
  2. Issue not resolved.
  3. Worker reports problem to HSR or WHS team who may discuss with the supervisor or line manager if required.
    • Problem resolved OR
    • Issue NOT resolved
  4. HSR refers the issue to WHS Team or WHS refers to HoWU.

Consultation flowchart