Safety and health committees
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A safety and health committee can be established if any employee requests a committee, or the employer decides to establish one. The WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner can direct the appointment of a committee.
Each workplace can choose the best committee structure to suit their operation. For example, a construction company might have one committee across several worksites. A large hospital however, might choose to have one committee with several sub committees.
Workplaces can also choose the composition of their occupational safety and health committee provided the safety and health committee is made up of half or more worker representatives. The committee may include elected safety and health representatives and also may have other workers elected by the workers to represent them. Other members can be employers and/or the employer representatives.
The functions of a safety and health committee are to:
- enable and assist consultation and cooperation between employers and workers;
- help to initiate, develop and implement safety and health measures;
- keep informed about safety and health standards in similar workplaces;
- make recommendations on safety and health rules, programs, measures and procedures;
- ensure information on hazards is kept where it is readily accessible;
- consider and make recommendations about changes that may affect the safety and health of workers;
- consider matters referred to it by safety and health representatives; and
- perform other functions prescribed in the regulations or given to the committee, with its consent, by the employer.
With regard to workplace safety and health, the committee may deal with:
- policy development;
- monitoring programs;
- emergency procedures;
- training and supervision;
- trends in accident and illness reports; and
- resolution of safety and health issues.
Guidance note Formal consultative processes - Part 4 Safety and health committees
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