Health & Safety Committees

Health & Safety Committee

Why do we need them?

While each State and Territory has its own Occupational and Work Health Safety legislation, all employers have a legal obligation to ensure that each workplace or site is safe for employees, clients, and visitors.

Health and Safety committees (HSCs) can play a key role in enabling employers to provide a supportive, systematically and strategically safe working environment.

A HSC can provide the following benefits to your workplace:

  • Process for hazard identification and risk minimisation.
  • Supports communication between workers and managers.
  • Assists with establishing a culture of safety in your workplace.
  • Supports health and well-being of workers.
  • Contributes to the avoidance of injuries in the workplace.
Health & Safety Committee

It is generally recommended that members of the HSC be comprised of employees in addition to management representatives. It is also preferable that the committee is comprised of employee members from various roles or responsibilities or locations from across the business (if there is more than one site). This is to ensure that there is wide ranging knowledge and expertise to contribute to the HSC and any decisions that the HSC may make.

A diverse membership also means that the HSC processes can draw on a broad range of skills, for example policy development, physical, plant or production perspectives, financial authority, and technical systems of work. The employer should ensure that they include a senior level leader that has the authority to make decisions around budgets and expenditure.

HSC’s function in the workplace is to facilitate employers and employees working together to develop a safety culture and associated processes and protocols. The HSC will typically be tasked with performing risk assessments in the work environment, reviewing safety policies and procedures, reviewing incident or injury reports, responding to reports of safety concerns, communicating to all staff regarding health and safety, and ultimately contributing to ensuring the health and safety of employees in the workplace.

The size of the HSC and how often they meet may depend on the type of work being carried out in your workplace, the degree of risk, and the size of your organisation or operation.

Want to understand workplace safety better? Need advice on how to establish or engage with an HSC committee? Contact us at [email protected] or 1300 720 004.

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts are meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains general information about human resources matters and due to factors, such as Government legislation changes, may not be up to date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.


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