Fact Sheet 19: Employers Obligations to assist OHS Representatives

Under the new Safety Laws, your employer must consult with all of their workers about safety The employer has an absolute obligation to do this and they face severe penalties if they don’t do this.

The law states that an employer must have consultation arrangements in place such as OHS representatives and OHS committees (Section 15 of the OHS Act and Clause 22 of the OHS Regulation).

An employer must also (Clause 27 of the OHS Regulation):

  1. Record those arrangements.
  2. Advise all of the employees about the arrangements for example who the OHS reps and committee members are. This information should be in a prominent place such as staff, lunchrooms, site sheds etc.
  3. All new employees must be inducted in OHS and they must be provided with this information. Also information about the hazards in that workplace.
  4. Provide members of OHS Committees and OHS Reps with reasonable access to the employees they represent during working hours, for the purposes of communication.
  5. Provide reasonable facilities and access during working hours to the workplace for the purposes of OHS consultation arrangements, including, meetings, holding elections, and inspections.
  6. Ensure that the employer representatives, on OHS Committees participate in the work of the Committee on a regular basis.
  7. Ensure that employees participating in consultation and in training for consultation are paid as if they were engaged in the duties of their employment.
  8. Pay costs reasonably and necessarily incurred by employees in connection with their participation in consultation and/or training.
  9. Facilitate the arrangements for another employer where employees are at that employer’s place of work, e.g. on a construction site there may be a number of sub contractors, therefore the principal employer would be responsible for setting up the OHS consultation arrangements.

There are heavy penalties attached for employers who breach these obligations and they can be fined up to a maximum of $55,000 under the OHS Act and $27,500 under the OHS Regulation.

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Click here to download Fact Sheet 19: Employers Obligations to assist OHS Representatives

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