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Guideline 
WHS Representation and Consultation  
Objective file number:  2015-10314 
Document classification:  I2- A2 
Policy developed by:  People and Culture,  
     System Performance and Service Delivery 
Approved at Portfolio  
  Executive on:   18 November 2016  
Next review due:   30 July 2018 
 

Version control and change history 
Version Date from Date to Amendment  
2.0 18/11/2016 30/7/2018 Formally reviewed in line with 1-5 year 

scheduled timeline for review and alignment to 
the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA). 

 

1.0 07/2012  07/2015 Original Version  

  Department for Health and Ageing, Government of South Australia. All rights reserved

 

Summary This document provides guidance for SA Health LHN/HS/BUs to ensure 
mechanisms and processes are implemented for effective work health and 
safety (WHS) consultation and communication, participation and 
representation, and issue resolution as defined in the Work Health and Safety 
Act 2012 (SA), its regulation, the code of practice Work Health and Safety 
Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination and the Work Health and 
Safety Worker Representation and Participation Guide. 

This WHS commitment supports all SA Health people in the acquisition of 
knowledge and information, enabling decisions to be made in the 
management of WHS hazards, risks and issues at the workplace.  

Keywords Consultation, Representation, Participation, Issue Resolution, 
Communication, Co-operation, Co-ordination, Provisional Improvement 
Notice, PI, HSR, Deputy HSR, Health and Safety Representative, Training, 
HSR Training, HSR Powers, Election, HSR Online Registration Portal, HSR 
Portal,  Roles, Responsibilities, Governance, OHS, OHSW, WHSIM, 
Occupational, Health, Safety, Welfare, Injury, Management, Work, Worker, 
Work Health Safety, WHS,  Officers, WHS defined Officers, WHS 
Consultation Committees, Health and Safety committee 

Policy history Is this a new policy?  N 
Does this policy amend or update an existing policy?  Y 
Does this policy replace an existing policy?  Y 
If so, which policies?  
Policy Guideline   Health and Safety Representatives  
 

Applies to All SA Health Portfolio 
 

Staff impact All Staff, Management, Admin, Students; Volunteers 
 

EPAS Compatible NA 
Registered with Divisional 
Policy Contact Officer 

Yes 

Policy doc. Reference No. G0170 

Policy 
 

 



 
 
 

 
 
 

WHS Representation and 
Consultation  

Policy Guideline 
 

 

 



 
 
Document control information 

 

Document owner Executive Director, People and Culture, System Performance and Service Delivery   

Contributors 
Principal Strategy and Policy Consultant, Workforce Health, System 
Performance and Service Delivery 
 

Document classification  For Official Use Only  I2- A2 

Document location 

SA Health internet    policies page   
 
SA Health intranet only    policies page  (publishing exemption requested and 
approved by Portfolio Executive) 
 
&lt;List any pages that content will be linked to. Eg. Oracle Assist&gt;  

Reference 2015 - 10314 

Valid from July 2015  

Review date July 2018 
 

Document history 
 

Date Version Who approved New/Revised Version Change reference 

18 Nov 2016   V. 2 Portfolio Executive  

Formally reviewed in line 
with 1-5 year scheduled 
timeline for review and 
alignment to the Work Health 
and Safety Act 2012 (SA). 

July 2012  V. 1 Director, Workforce Health  Original Version. 

 

Endorsements 
 

Date Endorsed by 

18 Nov 2016 Portfolio Executive  
 

Approvals 
 

Date Approved by 

25 Oct 2016 Deputy Chief Executive, System Performance and Service Delivery 

21 Oct 2016 Executive Director, People and Culture , System Performance and Service Delivery 

 
  

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Contents Page 
 
1. Objective .............................................................................................................................. 4 
2. Scope ................................................................................................................................... 4 
3. Principles .............................................................................................................................. 4 
4. Detail .................................................................................................................................... 6 
5. Roles and Responsibilities ................................................................................................. 14 
6. Reporting ............................................................................................................................ 19 
7. EPAS .................................................................................................................................. 19 
8. National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards ..................................................... 19 
9. Other .................................................................................................................................. 20 
10. Risk Management .............................................................................................................. 20 
11. Evaluation .......................................................................................................................... 20 
12. Definitions .......................................................................................................................... 20 
13. Associated Policy Directives / Policy Guidelines ............................................................... 20 
14. References, Resources and Related Documents.............................................................. 21 

  

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WHS Representation and Consultation 
Policy Guideline 

1. Objective 
 
SA Health, as a Responsible Agency for the  Crown  , takes reasonably practicable steps to 
ensure that Local Health Networks/ Health Services/Business units have mechanisms and 
processes in place for effective work health and safety (WHS) consultation and communication, 
participation and representation, and issue resolution as defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 
2012 (SA), its regulation, the code of practice Work Health and Safety Consultation, Co-operation 
and Co-ordination and the Work Health and Safety Worker Representation and Participation 
Guide. 
This WHS commitment supports all SA Health people in the acquisition of knowledge and 
information, enabling decisions to be made in the management of WHS hazards, risks and issues 
at the workplace. 
 

2. Scope 
 
The policy guideline applies to all SA Health workers, contractors, sub contractors, volunteers, 
labour hire personnel, students and workers who carry out work for SA Health Local Health 
Networks, Health Services and Business Units, and who are (or likely to be) directly affected by 
health and safety matters and decisions which SA Health LHN/HS/BU influence or control. 
 
This policy guideline also applies to other PCBUs and /or duty holders with a shared duty who are 
located at SA Health LHN/HS/BU workplaces. 

This policy guideline should be read and administered in conjunction with: 
  SA Health WHSIM    Governance, Accountability and Consultation Framework 
  SA Health WHSIM Policy Directive - Roles Responsibilities and Governance 
  SafeWork Australia Code of Practice - Work Health and Safety Consultation, Co- operation 

and Co- ordination 

3. Principles 
 
The SA Health WHSIM Management System supports all SA Health LHN/HS/BU and its workers 
by enabling communication and consultation pathways to be established and maintained. The key 
principles for effective consultation and communication, participation and representation, and issue 
resolution are: 

  Ensuring that all workers are encouraged to communicate with each other, 
managers/supervisors, HSRs and consultative committees in efforts to: 

o discuss WHS information  
o find solutions to WHS issues 
o consider matters raised through consultative processes 

  Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) effectively establishing greater awareness and 
commitment of WHS matters amongst workers, foster positive working relationships with 
co-operation and trust within their workgroups. 

  WHS Consultative Committees being established, as relevant, with regular, planned and 
structured meetings, encouraging a co   operative approach and collaborative discussions 
to improve systems for WHS, and to encourage the development and retention of 
knowledge on health and safety matters at the LHN/HS/BU. 

  Understanding and implementing the  Work Health and Safety Act 2012 ( SA), its 
regulations and code of practice entitled   Work Health and Safety Consultation, Co- 
operation and Co- ordination which defines legislative requirements for consultation  when: 

o Identifying hazards and assessing risk 
o Making decisions about ways to eliminate or minimise those risk 
o Making decisions about the adequacy of facilities  

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o Proposing changes or other decisions that may affect health and safety 

  Ensuring that effective two way consultative conversations take place, enabling a greater 
awareness and commitment to WHS, in creating a positive working relationship amongst 
all. This is achieved when workers, managers/supervisors, HSRs, WHS defined Officers, 
members of WHSIM Governance, LHN/HS/BU consultative committees and local 
consultative committees: 

o Talk to each other about WHS matters 
o Listen to concerns and raise concerns 
o Seek and share views, and information 
o Consider what all workers, managers/supervisors, HSRs and other PCBUs on SA 

Health worksites say before making decisions 
o Advise all workers of respective workplaces the outcome of any consultation 

process and concerns raised in a timely effective manner. 
  Implementing a minimum standard and process to guide the prompt and timely resolution 

of any WHS concern that may have arisen in the workplace which has not been resolved 
through consultative mechanisms. 

 
Reference may be made to the following documents for further guidance: 

  SafeWork Australia Code of practice Consultation, Co-operation and Coordination 
  SafeWork SA Consultation and representation at work- Guideline s for employers and 

workers 

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4. Detail 
4.1 WHS Consultation, Communication and Representation 

This diagram supports SA Health LHN/HS/BU in demonstrating methods of meeting the WHS 
commitment to consult and communicate. It recognises worker input, participation and 
representation (where relevant),   which contributes and improves the decision making capabilities 
of health and safety in reducing work related injuries, illnesses and disease. 

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4.1.1 WHS documentation development and Implementation  
 
SA Health planning, development, implementation and evaluation of WHS documentation related 
procedures must clearly define consultation mechanisms ensuring that all workers have the 
opportunity to contribute to WHS documentation and be informed. 
 

SA Health WHS business units must develop internal business procedures which reflect their 
consultative process. 

 
Consultative  mechanisms that may be used to achieve an effective consultation and 
communication process during the development of SA Health  polices, policy guidelines and 
documentation and/or LHN/HS/BU local WHS procedures, i.e. safe work procedures ( or similar ) , 
may include correspondence, as relevant, to: 

  LHN/HS/BU WHS Business units and all team members directing  distribution of SA Health 
draft documentations across the LHN/HS/BU 

  Other identified SA Health business units that may have a vested interest in the draft WHS 
documentation requesting feedback  

  LHN/HS/BU Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) to consult with their respective work 
groups and local WHS consultative committees 

  Union Groups, who may distribute to their members 
  SA Health , LHN/HS./BU WHSIM Governance Committees ( or similar ), ensuring that 

WHS defined Officers have received information 
 
The use of WHS Due Diligence reports may also be utilised to notify WHS defined Officers of 
upcoming SA Health WHSIM documentation. This mechanism may also be used at the 
LHN/HS/BU level by WHS Professionals to introduce local WHS procedures which align to the 
corporate SA Health WHSIM Management System. 

4.1.2 Workplace change  

SA Health LHN/HS/BU must consult with workers when planning changes that may directly or 
indirectly affect their WHS, examples of change may include, but not limited to: 

  Changing work systems i.e. rosters and schedules, work procedures, work environment 
  Planning a new project 
  Purchasing new or used equipment or new chemicals / substances i.e. introducing new 

technology/electronic systems 
 
SA Health WHS business units must support and provide guidance to their respective LHN/HS/BU 

when workplace change is occurring. 
 
The WHS defined Officer or the person with delegated authority of the workplace change must 
consider the following consultative measures: 

  Identify the workgroup which may be affected and the representing HSR (if elected) 
  Provide information to the identified workers, HSR, WHS Consultative Committee ( or 

similar )  
  Allow opportunity for workers to express their views and raise health and safety issues 
  Enable workers to contribute to the decision making process 
  Ensure workers views are considered and taken into account 
  Advise workers of the consultative outcome. 

 
4.1.3 Developing local procedures  

SA Health LHN/HS/BU workplaces may develop local procedures for work activities to ensure 
clarity and certainty at the workplace. These written procedures also demonstrate compliance 
requirements during internal and external audits, evaluations and accreditation processes.  
WHS defined Officers with the delegated authority of the workplace must ensure that consultation 
takes place with workers when developing procedures for: 

  Resolving WHS issues 
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  Consulting with workers on WHS 
  Monitoring workers health and workplace conditions 
  Providing information and training 

4.1.4 Sharing information 

Information sharing is required when matters affect the health and safety of workers, it must be 
easily understood, and take into account the literacy, cultural, and lingual diversity of workers. 
WHS defined Officers or person with delegated authority for the workplace must provide 
information to all workers, examples of information which may be provided may relate to: 

  The SA Health WHSIM Management system i.e. policies, policy guidelines 
  Technical guidance about hazards, risk and their risk control measures or treatments 
  Hazard reports and risk assessments 
  Proposed changes to the workplace, system of work, plant or substances 
  WHS Due Diligence reports containing data on incidents, illnesses or injuries  

4.1.5 Other Duty Holders 

SA Health LHN/HS/BU premises may have circumstances where more than one business or 
undertaking operates at the workplace. In these situations each business may share a WHS duty. 
Each business and/or undertaking, WHS defined Officer, and worker, must take reasonably 
practicable steps to consult, co-operate and co   ordinate to the extent to which they have 
influence and control on the matter. 
 
It must not be assumed that another business on the premises has taken action for a WHS matter. 
The WHS defined Officer, or person with delegated authority of the workplace must ensure that the 

requirements are met even if it is others who have the duty to do so. 
 
SA Health WHS defined Officers, or person with delegated authority, must ensure that their 
consultative process includes other duty holders which may be providing a service at their 
delegated workplace. 
The WHS defined Officer or the person with delegated authority of the workplace must: 

  Identify and consult with other duty holders i.e. contractors and their workers, at the 
workplace 

  Identify and consult with other WHS defined Officers at the workplace 
  Consult with other duty holders,  i.e. tenants, at the workplace  ( for example in relation to 

emergency and evacuation plans 
  As a tenant , consult with other duty holders at the premises   

4.2 Health and Safety Representatives 

SA Health workers may request the election of a HSR to represent them on WHS matters. When a 
worker makes this request, the WHS defined Officer or person with delegated authority for the 
workplace is legally required to establish a work group to facilitate the election process.   
WHS defined Officers and workers may contact their LHN/HS/BU WHS Consultant who will be 
able to provide guidance in the election process and determining work groups. 

4.2.1 HSR Functions and Powers 

HSRs have particular functions and legal powers that include: 
  Representing workgroups on health and safety matters 
  Investigating complaints about health and safety 
  Monitoring compliance with WHS requirements 
  Enquiring into anything which may appear to pose a risk to health or safety 
  Direct unsafe work to stop 
  Issue a provisional improvement notice (PIN)  
 
A HSR can only direct unsafe work to stop or issue a PIN if they have completed a SafeWork 
SA approved level one training course. 

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4.3 Forming Workgroups 

A single HSR is able to represent more than one workgroup if the work of each workgroup is 
similar in nature. The group of workers represented is called a workgroup. Any worker, including 
Managers/Supervisors and/or WHS defined Officers may request that a workgroup be established 
for their workplace. If a request is made, the WHS defined Officers or their delegated persons, i.e. 
Managers/Supervisors, must commence consulting with workers on the establishment of a 
workgroup (within 14 days of the request).All SA Health LHN / HS/ BU workgroups must be 
registered on the relevant LHN/HS/BU Workgroup Register (or similar). 
Further guidance in establishing and defining a workgroup may be sought from the: 

  Safe Work Australia Guide - Worker Representation and Participation  
  Relevant SA Health LHN/HS/BU WHS Business Unit. 

4.3.1 Establishing and managing Workgroups 

When establishing designated workgroup(s), the following factors must be considered: 
  The number of workers at the workplace 
  Any overtime or shift arrangements at the workplace 
  The number and grouping of workers who perform the same or similar types of work 
  The areas at the workplace where each type of work is performed 
  The type of work performed at the workplace 
  The nature of any hazards at the workplace 

When workers agree on the designated workgroup, the workgroup will be identified by a workgroup 
name. SA Health LHN/HS/BU WHS defined Officers or the person with delegated authority will 
maintain a list of their workgroups and ensure they are prominently displayed at the workplace. 

Revising and changes to an existing workgroup should be considered if: 
  WHS defined Officers and their delegated Managers/Supervisors and/or members of the 

workgroup are dissatisfied with the practical workings of the group 
  The organisational structure changes and the changes affect the workgroup 
  One or more members of the workgroup are not happy with the workgroup composition. 

If there is a substantial change in the workgroup during the term of office of a HSR, and it is agreed 
by the majority the workgroup members, a new HSR election should occur. 

4.4 Electing Health and Safety Representatives 

The election of a HSR must be held when representation is requested by a worker (Work Health 
and Safety Act 2012(SA), s50). In other circumstances the election of a HSR should be held when: 

  A new workgroup is established 
  The HSR ceases to hold office 
  The term of office of the existing HSR expires (i.e. 3 years after the election date) 
  The composition of the workgroup significantly changes 
  The majority of the workgroup are unhappy with the current HSRs performance and decide 

to elect a new representative(Work Health and Safety Act 2012(SA) s64) 
 
WHS defined Officers, with delegated authority for the workgroup, must consult, negotiate and 
reach an agreement with the workgroup, on the number of deputy HSR and HSR vacancies. 
Should the number of nominations for the role of deputy HSR and HSR meet the number of 
vacancies an election is not required.  

4.4.1 Deputy Health and Safety Representatives 

Workers can elect a deputy HSR to represent them when the HSR is away from the workplace. 
The deputy HSR may also assist the HSR, as required. Members of a workgroup can decide how a 
deputy representative is elected.  Some possible options may include: 

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  Using the same procedure used to elect the HSR 
  Declaring  the runner-up in the election as the deputy HSR 
  Jointly running the election for the HSR and the deputy HSR. 

4.4.2 Returning Officer 

  Before an election can be held, the workgroup must appoint a Returning Officer who is 
responsible for coordinating the election process and conducting the ballot. 

  The Returning Officer should be someone who has the trust and confidence of the 
workgroup, and does not wish to nominate for the position.  At least half of the voting 
workgroup members must agree to the person nominated as the Returning Officer.  A 
LHN/HS/BU WHS Professional could be selected for this role. 

  The Returning Officer in agreement with the workgroup may determine when and how the 
election will take place, ensuring that all workers are notified of the election, have an 
opportunity to nominate and vote. 

4.4.3 Nominations 

  Any worker in a workgroup can nominate or be nominated as a HSR/deputy HSR. 
Reference may be made to the SA Health WHSIM Form   HSR Nomination. 

  All workgroup members, including the nominees are eligible to vote and should receive a 
ballot paper. Reference may be made to the SA Health WHSIM Form   HSR Ballot Paper. 

  Nominations must be in writing and received by the Returning Officer at least three 
business days before the ballot is to take place.  

  The time allowed between calling an election and closing nominations will not be less than 
two weeks. 

4.4.4 Voting 

  If only one person nominates for the position the person can be appointed as the elected 
HSR or Deputy HSR for the workgroup 

  If more than one nomination has been received then the Returning Officer must organise a 
ballot (vote) 

  The Returning Officer distributes voting information by mail and/or electronically with the 
surname of all candidates listed in alphabetical order.  Reference may be made to the SA 
Health WHSIM Form   HSR Ballot Paper. 

  All recognised members of the workgroup are entitled to vote, including each nominee 
  Where practicable, voting should take place at the same time and place 
  The Returning Officer will count the votes in the presence of the workgroup manager and 

one other member of the workgroup who is not a nominee for the election 
  The nominee who receives the most number of votes is elected as the HSR for a three 

year term 
  Records of voting material must be forwarded to the LHN / HS /BU WHS Business Unit 

and maintained for a 5 year period in accordance with the requirements of the Work Health 
and Safety Act 2012 (SA). 

4.4.5 Notification after Election 

  The Returning Officer will notify the successful nominee, workgroup manager and 
designated LHN/HS/BU WHS Consultant of the appointment using the SA Health WHSIM 
Form - HSR Notice of Election Results. 

  After the election, the HSR must complete the SA Health WHSIM Form - HSR Notice of 
Election and Resignation and provide it to the designated LHN/HS/BU WHS Consultant.  
This will ensure that the HSR is registered with SafeWork SA through the HSR Online 
Registration Portal. 

  The designated WHS Consultant will provide an induction package, containing information 
sourced from the Safe Work SA website, and the documented SA Health WHSIM Policy 
Guideline   WHS Representation and Consultation to the newly elected HSR. 

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  A list of the successful deputy HSR(s) and HSR(s) must be made available to the 

workgroup(s) in a convenient location. 

4.5 Safe Work SA HSR Online Registration Portal 

The SafeWork SA HSR Online Registration Portal maintains a record of all elected HSRs. This 
secure online network is designed to allow SA Health HSR Portal Administrators and elected HSRs 
to view and update their contact information. 

Each SA Health HSR Portal Administrator and elected HSR will be able to access the SafeWork 
SA HSR Portal via their unique username and password. 

As an elected HSR, if you are not certain if you are registered with SafeWork SA or you are having 
difficulty accessing the site please contact your LHN/HS/BU WHS Consultant. 

Further reference may be made to the SafeWork SA publications: 

  HSR Online Registration Portal   Information Guide for HSRs 

  HSR Online Registration Portal   Information Guide for PCBUs 

SA Health LHN/HS/BU SafeWork SA Portal Administrators have the delegated authority to 
maintain their respective LHN/HS/BU HSR Portal records. Features of the SafeWork SA HSR 
Portal include the ability to: 

  view listings of current HSRs by LHN/HS/BU 
  add new HSRs and amend HSR election information 
  produce reports on current HSRs using export feature compatible with Excel. 

As a designated LHN/HS/BU HSR Portal Administrator, should you experience any difficulty in 
accessing the site please contact SafeWork SA. 

4.6 HSR Training  

SA Health LHN/HS/BUs must allow elected HSRs or deputy HSRs attend a Safe Work SA 
approved training course, within 3 months of their election. 

HSRs and deputy HSRs must attend an initial training course of five days, and are entitled to 
attend three days for the second year of the term of office and two days for the third year of office. 

The course of training must be approved by SafeWork SA and be chosen by the HSR in 
consultation with the SA Health LHN/HS/BU WHS defined Officer , or person who has delegated 
authority of the workgroup. It is desirable for HSRs and the SA Health WHS defined Officer agree 
on which course the HSR should attend. Considerations may include: 

  timing and cost of attendance including travel and accommodation expenses 
  costs of courses 
  the relevance of the any hazard-specific course to the workgroup 
  the total number of workers requiring training. 

Further reference may be made to the SafeWork SA Website - HRS Training  for a list of 
approved SafeWork SA training providers and the scheduled training calendar. 

4.7 WHS Consultative Committees( Health and Safety Committees ) 

Health and Safety Committees (HSC), at the local or LHN/HS/BU level are an effective means 
for: 
  Proactive and proportionate consultation and communication , inclusive of all workers who 

carry out work or are engaged by SA Health in service provision 
  Consultation, co-ordination and co-operation with other duty holders that have a duty of 

care over the same matter and their workers  
  Supporting governance of SA Health s WHSIM management system, and a mechanism to 

discuss health and safety matters, ensuring SA Health LHN/HS/BUs, WHS defined 
Officers and all workers meet duty of care obligations. 

 

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Reference may be made to the SA Health WHSIM Policy Directive Roles, Responsibilities and 
Governance, and the listed associated resources for further guidance in the establishment and 
membership of WHS Consultative Committees: 

  LHN/HS/BU WHS Consultative Committee Model Terms of Reference 
  Local WHS Consultative Committee Model Terms of Reference 

4.8 Resolving Health and Safety Issues   

SA Health supports the assistance of workers in ensuring that SA Health workplaces are safe and 
a caring environment for all. Each worker has a duty of care to raise WHS concerns that may affect 
the health, safety and wellbeing of persons in the workplace; this may include hazards and risks to 
other workers, volunteers, consumers or visitors. HSRs have the authority to raise safe work 
issues with management, either themselves, or on behalf of their workgroups and workers. 

Workers may approach their line managers directly with their concerns, their workgroup HSR for 
assistance or may report the hazard or concern via the SA Health Safety Learning System   WHS 
module. 

All WHS issues must be brought to the attention of the Line Manager/Supervisor in the first 
instance to enable resolution of the issue at the workplace level. If the WHS matter is reported via 
the SA Health Safety Learning System, an automated email is generated notifying the direct line 
manager and HSR unless discretion regarding the circumstances is selected. 
In the event that an issue cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of workers and managers, formal 
escalation procedures may be initiated. 

Reference may be made to the following flowchart which provides a visual step by step 
representation of Steps for the resolution of Health and Safety Issues or Immediate Threat to 
Safety. 

 
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4.9 Work Health and Safety Legislative Non Compliance (breaches) 

Should a WHS matter raised by a worker or HSR be a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act 
2012(SA) or its regulations the following process (or similar) must be followed: 

  The worker must report the issue to the Line Manager and/or workgroup HSR directly or 
via the SA Health Safety Learning System- WHS Module 

  The workgroup HSR ( if elected ) must inform the line manager about the non compliance 
and provide relevant information 

  Consultation must take place with the HSR, workers and management to jointly find a 
solution and resolve the matter. 

  Should the issue not be resolved the matter must be escalated to the Local WHS 
Consultative Committee 

  The Local WHS Consultative Committee will work together with the HSR and management 
to resolve the issue. Should the issue not be resolved then the matter must be escalated to 
the WHS defined Officer, with delegated authority of the workplace, for further resolution  

  If the HSR considers that the non compliance has not been satisfactorily resolved, then the 
HSR may issue a Provisional Improvement Notice to the WHS defined Officer,  with the 
delegated authority of the workplace,  requiring a remedy to the WHS legislative breach 

  In the event that there is an immediate threat to health or safety, a HSR has the right to 
stop or direct a stop of unsafe work without first consulting with the supervisor/line 
manager or Local WHS Consultative Committee 
 

Reference may be made by the HSR to the SafeWork SA website - Provisional Improvement 
Notices (PIN) for further guidance. It must be noted that only elected and trained HSRs have WHS 
legislative power to issue a PIN to the workplace delegated WHS defined Officer after all internal 
consultative and resolution processes have been conducted and the matter has not been resolved. 

4.10 Stopping unsafe work  

WHS legislation enables a worker to stop or refuse to carry out unsafe work where they reasonably 
believe they would be exposed to a serious health or safety risk arising from an immediate or 
imminent exposure to a workplace hazard.  
 
Should a HSR have reasonable concern that the work being performed poses a serious risk to any 
person in their workgroup , and there is no time to first consult with their line manager, the HSR 
can direct workers in their workgroup to stop work, and then consult with their manager as soon as 
practicable after doing so. 
Workers must remain available to perform suitable alternative duties during this period.  

4.11 Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) 

A PIN may be issued by an elected and trained HSR to the workplace designated WHS defined 
Officer, if they reasonably believe that a person is contravening or has contravened a provision of 
the Work Health and Safety Act 2012(SA) that makes it likely that the contravention will be 
continued or be repeated. 
 
The HSR may issue the PIN to: 

  Remedy the contravention 
  Prevent a likely contravention from occurring 
  Remedy the work practices or work environment  causing the contravention or likely 

contravention 
When issuing a PIN, the HSR must complete the SafeWork SA   Provisional Improvement 
Form as follows: 

Section 1: Health and Safety Representative (HSR) details 

Section 2: The Duty Holders details   This is the Chief Executive /Deputy Chief Executive of SA 
Health, The Chief Executive Officer of the relevant Local Health Network or Health Service   

Section 3: HSRs must provide the PIN to the WHS defined Officer with delegated authority for the 

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workgroup (for example, a Director, Executive Director). 

Section 4: Acknowledge that all internal consultative and resolution processes have been followed  

Section 5: Complete the details of the contravention 

Section 6: Complete compliance details  

4.11.1 Receiving a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) 

The WHS defined Officer who receives the PIN must ensure that: 
  The notice is displayed  in a prominent place at or near the workplace affected 
  Workers who may be affected by the PIN are advised  
  All reasonable steps to resolve the matter are taken by the  date compliance with PIN 

required  timeframe as specified in the notice 
  The PIN remains on display and in force until the issue is resolved 
  A copy of the PIN is maintained for 5 years. 
  If there is disagreement with the PIN or the date of compliance, communication takes 

place with the HSR who issued the PIN. If the matter is unresolved a SafeWork SA 
Inspector may be requested to attend.  

4.11.2 Disputing the Provisional Improvement Notice  

Should the WHS defined Officer receiving the Provisional Improvement Notice wish to dispute the 
notice, the WHS defined Officer or person with delegated authority,  must contact the LHN/HS/BU 
WHS business unit for assistance, who will contact SafeWork SA (1300 365 255) and request that 
an inspector be appointed to review the PIN. This must be done within 7 days of the PIN being 
issued. 
The decision made by the SafeWork SA Inspector is a reviewable decision, as listed in the Work 
Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA). Guidance must be sought from the LHN/HS/BU WHS business 
unit should you wish to have the inspector s decision reviewed. 

4.11.3 Cancellation of a Provisional Improvement Notice  

A PIN remains effective until the matter is resolved unless 
  The HSR issuing the PIN cancels the notice 
  A SafeWork SA Inspector is appointed to review the PIN and cancels the notice. 

4.11.4 Actions of a SafeWork Inspector on a Provisional Improvement Notice 

The SafeWork SA Inspector will attempt to resolve any WHS matter that remains unresolved and 
may confirm, modify or cancel the PIN, in addition to taking other appropriate action to resolve the 
issue. 
If the Inspector confirms or modifies the PIN, the WHS defined Officer, with delegated authority for 
the workplace must comply with the instructions within the date of compliance specified by the 
Inspector. It is a legislative offence not to comply with the Inspector s direction. 
At the time of attendance an Inspector may also  

  Provide  advice on compliance and seek voluntary compliance  
  Resolve or assist parties resolve certain WHS disputes  
  Issue a prohibition notice  
  Issue an improvement notice  
  issue an infringement notice 

The Inspector is also obliged to provide the WHS defined Officer with a written report about the 
inspection.  

5. Roles and Responsibilities 
 

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The following Roles and Responsibilities are specific to this policy guideline should be read in 
conjunction with SA Health Policy Directive - Roles, Responsibilities and Governance (WHS): 

5.1  Chief Executive / Deputy Chief Executives 
 Will take reasonably practicable steps to:  

  Exercise due diligence to ensure compliance with the intent of this policy guideline; 
  Establish awareness and accountability for the implementation of this policy guideline  
  Ensure effective consultation on WHS issues occurs across all levels of SA Health 

LHN/HS/BU 
  Ensure that consultation mechanisms are embedded in: 

o the development, planning, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of WHS 
documentation, activities, return to work and claims management initiatives 

o SA Health WHSIM corporate frameworks which supports participation and 
involvement of workers through the  implementation of SA Health WHSIM 
management system 

o WHSIM Governance Committees ( or similar ) Terms of Reference 
  Ensure SA Health has effective mechanisms in place to consult with workers throughout 

the development of WHS documentation 
  Ensure SA Health has effective mechanisms in place to consult with workers throughout 

the planning and implementing of workplace change 
  Ensure that consultation mechanisms include other duty holders and/or PCBUs who may 

provide a service to SA Health/LHN/HS/BU 
  Ensure SA Health has effective mechanisms in place to guide LHN/HS/BU in the  election 

of HSRs and establishment of workgroups 
  Resolve and address WHS disputes if unable to be resolved by Executive Directors / 

Directors, LHN/HS/BU 
  Hold Chief Executive Officers / DHA Executive Directors accountable for the effective 

consultation, communication and dissemination of decisions made aboutabout WHS 
matters WHS matters inclusive of matters related to HSR elections and workgroup 
establishment , and of  other duty holders and/or PCBUs who may provide a service to SA 
Health LHN/HS/BU 

  Ensure establishment of  WHS Consultative Committee (or equivalent) across the LHN / 
HS/BU 

  Ensure effective consultation on WHS issues occurs across all levels of  SA Health 
LHN/HS/BU 

  Resolve and address WHS disputes if unable to be resolved by Executive Directors / 
Directors, LHN/HS/BU 

5.2  Chief Executive Officers / Chief Operating Officers (LHN / HS / BU)  
 Will take reasonably practicable steps to:  

  Exercise due diligence to ensure compliance with the intent of this policy guideline  
  Provide financial and physical resources required for the implementation and support of 

this policy guideline i.e. Funding availability for HSRs to attend entitled training; 
  Ensure that consultation mechanisms are embedded in: 

o  the development, planning, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of WHS 
documentation, activities, return to work and claims management initiatives 

o LHN/HS/BU WHS consultative committees/ WHSIM Governance Committees ( or 
similar ) Terms of Reference ensuring consultation takes place  with workgroups 
/workers on WHS issues 

  Ensure workers receive adequate information, direction and support in fulfilling their 
responsibilities 

  Ensure that consultation mechanisms include other duty holders and/or PCBUs who may 
provide a service to SA Health LHN/HS/BU 

  Ensure effective consultation with workers, and communication and dissemination of 
decisions made about WHS matters across the LHN/HS/BUs 

  Ensure that WHS consultative processes are reviewed with workers and their 
representatives 

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  Ensure respective LHN/HS/BU have effective mechanisms in place to guide WHS defined 

Officers and/or their delegated Managers/Supervisors in the  election of HSRs and 
establishment of working groups 

  Hold respective LHN/HS/BU WHS defined Officers accountable for the effective 
consultation, communication and dissemination of decisions made about WHS matters 
related to HSR elections and workgroup establishment, inclusive of other duty holders 
and/or PCBUs who may provide a service to their respective workplace. 

  Ensure effective consultation mechanisms and processes are in place for WHS  issues 
across all levels of the LHN /HS/BU 

  Resolve and address WHS disputes if unable to be resolved at the local level. 
 

5.3  Executive Directors / Directors (LHN / HS / BU) 
 Will take reasonably practicable steps to:  

  Exercise due diligence to ensure compliance with the intent of this policy guideline  
  Provide financial and physical resources required for the implementation and support of 

this policy guideline; 
  Ensure that consultation mechanisms are embedded in: 

o  the development, planning, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of WHS 
documentation, activities, return to work and claims management initiatives 

o local WHS consultative committees ( or similar ) Terms of Reference ensuring 
consultation takes place  with workgroups /workers on WHS issues 

o The election process of HSRs , including establishment of designated workgroups 
to represent workers in the workplace 

  Ensure that consultation mechanisms include other duty holders and/or PCBUs who may 
provide a service to SA Health/LHN/HS/BU 

  Ensure that WHS consultative processes are reviewed with workers, workgroups and 
HSRs 

  Ensure workers receive adequate information, direction and support in fulfilling their 
responsibilities 

  Ensure effective consultation with, and communication and dissemination of decisions 
made about WHS matters across the LHN/HS/BUs 

  Ensure their respective HS/BU has effective mechanisms in place to guide their delegated 
Managers/Supervisors in the  election of HSRs and establishment of workgroups 

  Hold Managers/Supervisors accountable for the effective consultation, communication and 
dissemination of decisions made about WHS matters related to HSR elections and 
workgroup establishment, inclusive of other duty holders and/or PCBUs who may provide 
a service to their respective workplace. 

  Ensure workers receive adequate information and support in the HSR and workgroup 
nomination and election process 

  Ensure effective consultation on WHS issues occur at the workplace with delegated 
authority  

  Resolve and address WHS disputes if unable to be resolved at local level 
  Ensure HSRs are provided with information about WHS including immediate notification of 

an incident or immediate risk to health, safety or welfare in the workplace 

5.4  Site Managers / Line Managers / Supervisors / Team Leaders 
 Will take reasonable practicable steps to: 

  Exercise due diligence (where relevant) to ensure compliance with the intent of this policy 
guideline ; 

  Ensure that consultation mechanisms are embedded in: 
o  the development, planning, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of WHS 

documentation, activities, return to work and claims management initiatives 
o Local WHS consultative committees Terms of Reference ensuring consultation 

takes place  with workgroups /workers on WHS issues 
o The election process of HSRs , including establishment of designated workgroups 

to represent workers in the workplace 

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  Ensure that consultation mechanisms include other duty holders and/or PCBUs who may 

provide a service to SA Health LHN/HS/BU 
  Ensure that WHS consultative processes are reviewed with workers, workgroups and 

HSRs 
  Ensure that consultation mechanisms are embedded in  local WHS consultative 

committees Terms of Reference ensuring consultation takes place  with workgroups 
/workers on WHS issues 

  Ensure workers receive adequate information, direction and support in fulfilling their 
responsibilities 

  Ensure effective consultation with, and communication and dissemination of decisions 
made about WHS matters across the respective workplace. 

  Ensure the effective consultation, communication and dissemination of decisions made 
about WHS matters related to HSR elections and workgroup establishment, inclusive of 
other duty holders and/or PCBUs who may provide a service to their respective workplace. 

  Ensure workers receive adequate information and support in the HSR and workgroup 
nomination and election process 

  Respond to worker requests to form or alter workgroups within 14 days of request 
  Consult with workers regarding the composition of workgroups 
  Notify changes to workgroup structures to the LHN/HS/BU WHS Business Unit 
  Notify the LHN/HS/BU WHS Professional of HSR vacancies and election results 
  Support the workgroup designated Returning Officer for HSR elections 
  Consult with workers on any WHS issue that may impact on their health, safety or welfare 
  Support formation of designated workgroups and election of HSRs 
  Establish a workplace / worksite WHS Consultative Committee if requested by workers or 

a HSR 
  Provide HSRs and WHS Consultative Committee members appropriate support, including 

training, to fulfil their role and function 
  Ensure WHS issues raised are documented in local action plans and actioned within 

required timelines 
  Resolve and address WHS issues. 

5.5 Workers 
 Will take reasonable care to: 

  Take an active role and cooperate, contribute and participate in consultation  processes 
and issue resolution arrangements at the workplace 

  Take an active role and cooperate, contribute and participate in consultation  processes 
and arrangements at the workplace, including assistance with decision making regarding 
the composition of a workgroup 

  Assist in the selection of a Returning Officer for HSR elections and participate in the 
election process 

  Maintain an awareness of the principles of this policy guideline 
  Notify, liaise and consult with the  elected HSR and line managers/ supervisors  when 

hazards , risks and WHS issues are identified at the workplace 

5.6 Health and Safety Representatives (Incl. deputy HSRs) 
 Will take reasonable care to: 

  Actively communicate with workgroup members providing information as required 
about WHS matters , inclusive of workgroup establishment processes 

  Abide by confidentiality requirements when communicating about WHS matters 
  Utilise WHS Consultative Committee meetings to communicate  WHS information 

and to raise any issues for resolution 
  Consult with management when a hazard has been identified by the workgroup 
  Encourage all workers  to report hazards and incidents 
  Actively communicate with workgroup members and raise any issues affecting the 

health, safety and welfare of workgroup members with the relevant workplace / 
worksite manager / supervisor 

  Represent workgroup members at any discussions between management and 
workers that relate to WHS 

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  Upon identification of a WHS issue, ensure the principles outlined in this policy 

guideline are considered, as relevant. 

5.7 Workforce Professionals (including LHN/HS/BU WHSIM Managers) 
 Will take reasonable care to: 

  Ensure that consultation mechanisms are embedded in the development, 
planning, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of WHS documentation, 
activities, return to work and claims management initiatives 

  Establish and maintain effective business partnerships with LHN / HS /BU for 
consultation with and communication of information and decisions made about 
WHS matters, including other duty holders and/or PCBUs who may provide a 
service to SA Health LHN/HS/BU. 

  Provide advice to the respective Executive Director , People and Culture ( or 
similar ) regarding WHS information 

  Provide advice and support,  and where relevant, assist in the establishment of 
mechanisms to achieve effective consultation , co-operation , and coordination of 
WHS matters across the delegated LHN/HS/BU 

  Provide advice and information , and where relevant, assist HSRs in fulfilling their 
role and function at the workplace 

  Provide specialist advice, guidance and recommendations to the WHS defined 
Officer of a workplace in assistance to meet their elements of due diligence. 

  Establish and maintain effective business partnerships with LHN / HS /BU for 
consultation with and communication of information and decisions made about 
WHS matters, inclusive of HSR election processes and workgroup establishment 

  Provide advice to the respective Executive Director , People and Culture ( or 
similar ) regarding WHS information, inclusive of HSR election processes and 
workgroup establishment 

  Maintain up to date listing of workgroups and HSR Registers 
  Provide a Returning Officer and election packages for HSR elections,  if requested 
  Monitor systems for reviewing workgroups and election of HSRs at their respective 

LHN/HS/BU 
  Ensure all LHN / HS/ BU HSRs are registered on the SafeWork SA Portal and 

their respective HSR Register (as relevant). 
  Provide advice, and where relevant, assist management in the resolution of 

WHS disputes 
  Consult with line management in a timely manner to facilitate intervention to 

control workplace hazards and risks, and to assist in resolving WHS matters 
raised by workers and/or HSRs  

  Provide HSR Induction packs to newly elected HSRs, advise, and where relevant, 
assist HSRs in fulfilling their role and function at the workplace 

  Provide specialist advice, guidance and recommendations to the WHS defined 
Officer of a workplace when a SafeWork SA Inspector is in attendance. 

5.8 Chairperson, WHS Consultative Committees 
Will take reasonable care to: 
  Make recommendations to relevant workplace WHS defined Officers  on the 

resolution of WHS issues if the issue has not been resolved by designated 
Managers / Supervisors 

5.9 Executive Director, People and Culture (or similar) 
Will take reasonable practicable steps to: 
  Exercise due diligence to ensure compliance with the intent of this policy guideline; 
  Ensure that consultation mechanisms are embedded in the development, 

planning, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of WHS documentation, 
activities, return to work and claims management initiatives 

  Ensure effective consultation with, and communication and dissemination of 
decisions made about WHS matters 

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  Ensure workers receive adequate information, direction and support in fulfilling 

their responsibilities 
  Establish and maintain effective business partnerships with Local Health Network / 

Health Service WHS Professionals for consultation with and, communication of 
and dissemination of decisions made about WHS matters and performance 

 

6. Reporting 
6.1 SA Health WHSIM Corporate Documentation - Key Performance Indicators   
This policy guideline may be subject to KPI reporting as per the SA Health WHSIM Performance 
Review and Continuous Improvement Framework. 

6.2 Incidents reporting and the safety learning system  
In accordance with SA Health Policy Directive   Work Health Safety Reporting and Investigation 
efficient and timely hazard and incident reporting, investigation and resolution is an integral 
component of a successful and compliant safe work system. 
 
All WHS hazard, incidents with injury and/or no harm must be reported on the SA Health Safety 
Learning System (SLS). Refer to SA Health WHSIM Procedure   Reporting and Investigating WHS 
Hazards and Incidents and SA Health WHSIM Flowchart   Work Health Safety Incident Reporting 
and Investigation for the step by step process. 
 
All incidents that affect a client/patient must be reported as a patient incident in the SA Health 
Safety Learning System (SLS) to ensure the correct investigation is conducted. 
 
Where an injury has been sustained by a worker, the injury must also be reported to WHS Injury 
Management on 1800 702 264. All SAAS workers must report the injury to the SAAS State Duty 
Manager on 1300 886 268.  

6.3 Reporting Extreme and High risk   
All extreme or high rated hazards and associated risk categories must be actioned, escalated and 
reported as per the timelines for corrective actions; this may also include reporting by WHSIM 
Managers to LHN/HS/BU Governance Committees (or equivalent) via Due Diligence Reporting 
mechanisms.  
 

7. EPAS 
 
N/A 
 

8. National Safety and Quality Health Service 
Standards 

 
 

 
 

National 
Standard 1 

 
Governance 

for Safety 
and Quality 

in Health 
Care 

 

 
 

National 
Standard 2 

 
Partnering 

with 
Consumers 
 
 
 

 
 

National 
Standard 3 

 
Preventing 

&amp; 
Controlling 
Healthcare 
associated 
infections 

 
 

National 
Standard 4 

 
Medication 

Safety 
 
 
 
 

 
 

National 
Standard 5 

 
Patient 

Identification 
&amp; Procedure 

Matching 
 
 

 
 

National 
Standard 6  

 
Clinical 

Handover 
 
 
 

 

 
 

National 
Standard 7 

 
Blood and 

Blood 
Products 

 
 

 

 
 

National 
Standard 8 

 
Preventing 

 &amp; 
Managing 
Pressure 
Injuries 

 

 
 

National 
Standard 9 

 
Recognising &amp; 
Responding to 

Clinical 
Deterioration 

 
 

 
 

National 
Standard 10 

 
Preventing 

Falls &amp; 
Harm from 

Falls 
 
 

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 
 
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9. Other  
 
N/A  
 

10. Risk Management 
 
WHS risk management guidance and considerations defined in this policy guideline align in 
principle with the SA Health Risk Management Framework 2014 and ISO 31000 Risk Management 
  Principles and Guidelines.  
 

11. Evaluation 
 
In accordance with SA Health Policy Directive   Performance Review and Continuous 
Improvement, implementation of this policy guideline will be monitored via the SA Health 
WHS Internal Audit Program against the following criteria: 

  There are effective mechanisms in place for communication of WHS information and 
consultation which takes other duty holders into consideration. 

  An effective WHS consultative committee structure has been established in accordance 
with the SA Health WHSIM Governance, Accountability and Consultation Framework.  

  An appropriate HSR workgroup structure is in place.  
  LHN / HS/BU procedures are developed which outline consultative arrangements for WHS.  
  Workers and their representatives are consulted in relation to development and review of 

WHS system documentation, all stages of the WHS risk management process and any 
changes to the workplace which impact on WHS.  

  Documentation relating consultation activities is retained for required time frames. 
  Evidence of local procedure which informs nomination and election of HSRs 
  Evidence of consultation with interested workers on formation of new workgroups 
  Evidence of completed records for nomination and election of HSRs 
  There are effective consultative structures and mechanisms in place which includes WHS 

consultative committees, designated workgroups and elected HSRs.  
  Workers are informed of arrangements for resolving WHS issues at induction/orientation 

and through ongoing training as required.  
  WHS consultative committee members and HSRs are provided with adequate support, 

information and training to enable their effective functioning.  
  There are appropriate escalation processes in place for resolution of WHS issues which 

includes WHS consultative committees; WHS defined officers and the WHSIM governance 
committee. 

  Extreme and high risk rated hazards and issues are actioned, escalated and reported in 
accordance with designated timelines.  

  PINs are issued and managed appropriately in accordance with legislative requirements.  
  Documentation relating to resolution of WHS issues is retained for required time frames.  

 

12. Definitions 
 
Reference may be made to the SA Health Work Health Safety Injury Management System   
Glossary and Terms for clarification of any general terms used throughout this procedure. 
 

13. Associated Policy Directives / Policy Guidelines  
 
SA Health Policy Directive   Roles, Responsibilities and Governance (WHS) 
SA Health Policy Directive   Work Health, Safety and Injury Management (WHSIM) 
SA Health Policy Directive   Work Health Safety Reporting and Investigation 
 

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14. References, Resources and Related 

Documents 
 
  SafeWork Australia Code of Practice - Work, Health and Safety Consultation Co-operation 

and Co -ordination 
  SafeWork Australia Guide - Worker Representation and Participation 
  Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) 
  Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA) 

 

 

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	Guideline - WHS Representation and Consultation - Cover - Nov2016
	Guideline - WHS Representation and Consultation - Policy - Nov2016

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