Business owners must consult about health and safety issue with the people who work for them. Effective consultation also encourages greater awareness of issues and can lead to an improved safety culture and outcomes.

Talking with the people who work in your business enables information sharing before making any decisions that may impact on them. This includes concerns about your workers' wellbeing - their mental health and physical health.

The people who work in your business are often the best people to understand the risks in the workplace.

Seeking their input when making decisions shows them that you take their health and safety seriously. The benefit to your business is that you address potential problems before they escalate.

Employer responsibilities

As an employers you need to involve the people who work in your business to identify and resolve health and safety issues.

You can do this through:

  • informal consultation such as toolbox talks
  • formal consultation such as staff meetings and/or safety committee meetings
    • distribute the meeting minutes or post them on a noticeboard.

You can also provide general safety information through noticeboards, emails or newsletters.

Worker responsibilities

Workers need to:

  • actively participate in safety discussions
  • follow procedures for resolving issues
  • highlight any areas for improvement.

WHS checklist

Check the safety of your business by completing our work health and safety checklist to identify hazards at your workplace and determine which areas you may want to start with for improvement.

Example: Talking with your team checklist
 AlwaysSometimesNever
Are safety issues discussed with workers    
Are workers involved in making safety decisions and developing procedures    
Are workers views valued and taken into account    
Workers are encouraged to be involved as you develop and later review your work health and safety policy and procedures    
You have discussions or consult regularly with workers about health and safety issues    
Records are kept of meetings, feedback, decisions and action items – see sample Safety Discussions Record Form   
Safety solutions are regularly reviewed for effectiveness    
You have procedures for resolving issues – see sample Grievance and Complaint Resolution Procedure   

Further resources