The Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (Tas) contain a default WHS Issue Resolution Process that must be followed unless another compliant process is agreed upon.
Summary of Default Procedure:
- This applies where there is disagreement regarding WHS, including action taken when a hazard or incident report is submitted. It’s important to include the following details about any WHS issues raised:
- Details of the issue
- The nature and scope of the issue
- Once a report has been submitted, all parties (this means the worker, their HSR, the UFU, TFS and DPFEM) must meet or communicate as soon as reasonably possible to try to resolve the issue. The parties must consider:
- The urgency of the issue
- The number and location of people affected or potentially affected
- The severity of the risk
- What measures should be put in place to resolve the issue – both temporarily and permanently
- Who is responsible for implementing those measures
- A request for the resolution to be recorded in writing, documenting how the above has been taken into consideration, cannot be denied and must be provided to all parties
- If an agreement cannot be reached, negotiations can continue or any party can contact WorkSafe Tasmania for mediation and potentially to make a determination on the issue.
Default Procedure outlined in the WHS Regulations:
23. Default procedure
(1) This regulation sets out the default procedure for issue resolution for the purposes of section 81(2) of the Act.
(2) Any party to the issue may commence the procedure by informing each other party –
(a) that there is an issue to be resolved; and
(b) the nature and scope of the issue.
(3) As soon as parties are informed of the issue, all parties must meet or communicate with each other to attempt to resolve the issue.
(4) The parties must have regard to all relevant matters including the following:
(a) the degree and immediacy of risk to workers or other persons affected by the issue;
(b) the number and location of workers and other persons affected by the issue;
(c) the measures (both temporary and permanent) that must be implemented to resolve the issue;
(d) who will be responsible for implementing the resolution measures.
(5) A party may, in resolving the issue, be assisted or represented by a person nominated by the party.
(6) If the issue is resolved, details of the issue and its resolution must be set out in a written agreement if any party to the issue requests this.
Under the Act, parties to an issue include not only a person conducting a business or undertaking, a worker and a health and safety representative, but also representatives of these persons (see section 80 of the Act).
(7) If a written agreement is prepared all parties to the issue must be satisfied that the agreement reflects the resolution of the issue.
(8) A copy of the written agreement must be given to –
(a) all parties to the issue; and
(b) if requested, to the health and safety committee for the workplace.
(9) To avoid doubt, nothing in this procedure prevents a worker from bringing a work health and safety issue to the attention of the worker’s health and safety representative.
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