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BSBWHS401 assignment

BSBWHS401 – Task 2 – 2.3
Task 2
2.1 – Communicate to workplace parties the importance of effective consultation
mechanisms in managing health and safety risks in the workplace:
1. When researching my own workplace, I concluded that there did not appear to be an
HSC operating on our behalf. A work colleague forwarded the email as per Appendix
A from our Manager which was forwarded with a pre-written Charter (Appendix B).
2. Before I could provide the appropriate evidence for this Task, I needed to start from
the basics and fully research the full fundamentals of WH&S in the workplace as it
applied to us. I commenced with investigating the regulatory framework around the
Managers email to further determine if an HSC existed within my workspace and who
was responsible for safety within a workplace. The following legislation was relied
upon for this in the following order (sub-paragraphs explain what I was looking for):
a. Work Health & Safety Act 2011 – S75 Health and Safety Committees
answered my following thoughts:
i. Should there be an HSC in our workspace – yes
ii. Is the Manager's email referencing an existing HSC – yes it was
1. Is it possible his email was a response to a request by an HSR
or 5 or more workers – no
b. Responsibilities for safety of those in a workplace:
i. Work Health & Safety Act 2011 – Division 2 – S19 Primary Duty of
Care (Person conducting a business or undertaking/PCBU defined S5
of Subdivision 2) – Transport & Main Roads (TMR) & Translink
ii. Work Health & Safety Act 2011 - Division 4 - S27 Duties of Officers
(Officer defined under Schedule 5 of the Act, Safework Australia
Information Sheet – Who is an Officer),
iii. Work Health & Safety Act 2011 – Division 4 - S28 Duties of Workers
(Worker defined under S7 of Subdivision 2)
c. Translink Work Health & Safety Framework supported the above via the
following procedures:
i. TMR Health & Safety Committee Procedure
ii. Work Health & Safety Guidelines
iii. TMR WHS Assurance Framework
d. Worksafe Qld was also referred to the above with no new information.
3. Whilst researching this matter, it became apparent that the term 'Workgroup' was
important under the following explanations:
a. Work Health & Safety Act 2011 – Part 5 Consultation, representation, and
participation – Division 3 Health and Safety Representatives - S51, 52, 52.
b. TMR Health & Safety Procedure
As a start I referred to the HSC Charter as outlined in Appendix B which indicated the
workgroup as far as our Manager was concerned was called The Busway Operations
Workgroup and was explained as 'all employees who perform operational busway duties
within the Transport Operations and Scheduling team'. Firstly, there is no such team as the
Transport Operations and Scheduling team. Our full position is Busway Safety Officer
(official role) | Events, Scheduling & Busway Operations (Section within Passenger Transport
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Services) | Passenger Transport Services (the branch within Translink Division) | Translink
Division (of DTMR) | Department of Transport and Main Roads
I then explored the individual members and role descriptions of all persons within this
group that had been grouped into an email and it contained:
a. 2 managers – Administration stream
b. 4 supervisors – Administration stream
c. 2 admin – Administration stream
d. 20 busway safety officers – Operational stream
e. 1 busway customer service officer – Operational stream
As my intent was to form a workgroup as per legislation that best represented the
same or similar roles of workers, I referred to our award – The Queensland Public
Services and Other Employees Award – State 2015. Of the above breakdown, the
realistic workgroup that I wanted to communicate with were the 21 Operational
stream members only. Of the additional 8 Administration stream members, not one of
them work outside of their office environment at any time and rarely, if ever, have
reason to attend our operational area. From initial conversations with Operational
staff, no-one had never investigated the formation of the workgroup or HSC in the
past and therefore have always worked under an imposed workgroup and charter that
was always initiated by the Manager. With all this knowledge supported by State,
Commonwealth and internal legislation I penned the email as per Appendix C.
I felt that to accurately demonstrate the provisions of this Task, I had to be communicating
the importance of effective consultations to what I considered were similar workers to myself.
I received a combination of oral and written responses (Appendix D) which were mostly
supportive of my efforts to establish an HSC that involved a dedicated workgroup of
Operational officers. Of the oral responses I received, only one said no.
Appendix E is how I then responded to the Managers email (Appendix A) which was replied
to (Appendix F).
To continue the momentum of communicating the importance of effective consultation I sent
the email as per Appendix G relying on my referenced legislation with a written reply.
I will admit I'm not the best communicator as far as negotiation is concerned. The pending
meeting with the Manager was in front of me and I'm not confident how I'm going to navigate
this. I had noticed with relief that one of my supporters was a colleague, Damien. Damien
has 15 years' experience in the same role I perform plus he is our Union rep. I note that
Work Health & Safety Act 2011 under the Schedule 5 definition of 'representative, in relation
to a worker, means (b) a union representing the worker; Safework Australia explains this: 'A
worker’s representative may be a union delegate or official, or any other person the worker
authorises to represent them in negotiations. If workers have chosen a person to negotiate
on their behalf, the PCBU must negotiate with that person'. This is usually used when the
proposed workgroup is very large, and members can't be present to represent themselves.
The addition of this information is to provide the marker with evidence of how far I
researched this topic. Damien is simply attending as my peer, with no Union thoughts
whatsoever. I do feel the inclusion of Damien sends a message to Management of the level
of support I am collecting and unless they ask, they won't know if Damien is attending as a
Union influence or not and we're happy to keep it that way. If asked, we will declare he is
there simply as a member of our proposed work group. Damien possesses much better
negotiation skills than me which I can learn from plus he has the respect of Management
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through his official Union dealings with them. Appendix H outlines my request to Damien to
attend work new and his eager response.
Appendix I outlines my ongoing communication to what will hopefully be our workgroup
where I have created a group email and explained why. For the information of the marker, all
group emails for our workspace have at least one Manager higher than the lowest role
attached. With knowledge of most organisations I did research if this was allowed within
TMR. This is not acceptable if we are to communicate freely. There is no procedure to
comply with however I did find a process that outlined seeking a request through IT which I
have not followed at this point. In a bid to build confidence within the members I am
attempting to gather I felt I would take the liberty now in creating the BSO specific group. If
asked later, I will consider the process by negotiation. Within Appendix I, I mention holding
Management to their own plus other legislation. I am referring to the following TMR
TMR WHS Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination Procedure
Transport and Main Roads Safety Charter
TMR Managing Safety Hazards and Risks Procedure
TMR WHS Issue Resolution
TMR Managing Legal Obligations for WHS
TMR Work Health and Safety Policy Statement
Safe Work Australia guide to Worker Representation and Participation Guide
WHS QLD Issue Resolution Office of Industrial Relations
References: Work Health & Safety Act 2011:
Safework Australia – Who is an Officer Information Sheet https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1901/who-is-an-officerinformation-sheet.pdf
Worksafe Qld - https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/laws-and-compliance/work-health-andsafety-laws
The Queensland Public Services and Other Employees Award – State 2015 https://www.qirc.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/qld_public_service_010918.pdf
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