Health and Safety Consultation Procedures


Background


The University encourages and supports worker participation, engagement and representation. Involving workers in health and safety matters is a key part of making the University community and workplaces safer and healthier. Workers are encouraged to actively participate in developing, implementing and monitoring the health and safety system in their workplace both informally and formally.

The provision of Health and Safety Committees (HSCs) of nominated management, and health and safety representatives, aims to enable effective consultation, engagement and participation on health, safety and wellbeing issues; by assisting the University in providing a safe and healthy workplace, and the promotion of health, safety and wellbeing.

The committee allows for consultation, as a primary form of engagement, and provides advice to the University through its members, to assist in the management of health, safety and wellbeing and the continuous improvement of occupational health and safety management systems.  

Application


All staff members, workers and students at the University

Purpose


To outline the procedures that support agreed health and safety consultation arrangements for the University

Procedures


1.    Any health and safety matter for consultation is to be initiated informally to begin with and then, if necessary, carried through the formal mechanism

Informal consultation

2.    The worker’s line manager is to be the first contact person for reporting any health and safety incidents, hazards or issues

3.    These must also be reported on the University’s online reporting system (the Vault) as soon as possible

4.    Line managers are to include opportunities for health and safety issues to be raised in their regular operational meetings with workers

Note - This ensures issues can be raised and resolved within the work group without having to wait for HSC meetings or other formal opportunities

Formal consultation

5.    The following formal consultation arrangements are to be available following informal consultation:

  • Health and Safety Committees (HSCs) and Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs)
  • The three different levels of committees:

o    School, department or unit consultation HSC

o    Faculty/Service Division HSC

o    University Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee

  • Other agreed arrangements
  • Consultation with other Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)

School, department or unit consultation HSC

6.     A local HSC, made up of management representatives and HSRs for workgroups in the area may be convened at the discretion of the head of an academic/administrative unit or senior equivalent.  A local HSC is optional, and not a required committee.  Note - Typically this is chaired by the head of academic/administrative unit or senior equivalent

7.    Representatives are to be drawn from the major activities and work groups in an area to achieve a balanced committee

8.    Where there is no local HSC, areas may be represented by an HSR

9.    Representatives from any other area of the University may be invited to attend the committee

10. Local committees are required to meet at least quarterly

11. Before each meeting, notice of the meeting must be circulated to the staff members and students in the area, requesting agenda items and/or issues for discussion

12. Items submitted must be included on the agenda of the meeting and the proposer invited to the meeting for the discussion of the item

13. Staff members and students of the area must be informed of the local committee, its purpose and membership

Faculty/Service Division HSC

14. There is to be an HSC for each faculty and service division

15. This is to be chaired by the dean or director of the faculty/service division or their direct delegate

16. In addition to consultation, the primary role of the faculty/divisional based committee is to:

  • oversee the implementation of the University’s occupational health and safety management system across the faculty/service division
  • ensure a consistent approach to implementing health and safety programmes/initiatives
  • overview local health and safety committees

17. Committee members must include evenly balanced representation from the following groups:

  • senior academic staff (i.e. deputy deans, academic heads)
  • senior professional management staff (i.e. Director of Faculty Operations, managers)
  • academic staff
  • professional staff
  • postgraduate and undergraduate student representatives, if available

18. As far as is reasonably practicable, committee membership must include equal numbers of management and HSRs, members and general representation from all campus and off-campus areas

19. A single alternate is to be nominated by each committee member if they are unable to attend any meetings

20. The Chair of the committee ensures minutes are recorded, stored and a copy sent to Health, Safety and Wellbeing service.

21. The Dean/Director is to escalate issues of importance to the University Health, Safety and Wellbeing committee if they cannot be resolved locally.

University Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee

22. The University Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee is to be the overarching health and Safety committee for the University

23. It is to be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, or their deputy, and attended by the faculty deans / service division directors and nominated HSRs

24. Committee members must include evenly balanced representation from the following groups:

  • senior academic staff (i.e. deputy vice-chancellors, deans)
  • senior professional management staff (i.e. service division directors, directors of service)
  • academic staff
  • professional staff
  • postgraduate and undergraduate student representatives
  • union health and safety representatives

25. As far as is reasonably practicable, committee membership must include:

  • equal numbers of management and employee members and
  • general representation from all campus and off-campus areas

26. A single alternate is to be nominated by each committee member in the instance that they are unable to attend any meetings

Other agreed arrangements

27. Where there are no established HSCs or where it is not practicable to have these committees, the work group or area may choose to have other agreed arrangements for formal consultation

Note - This arrangement may be suitable for small, remote or low risk work groups such as satellite buildings

28.  In addition to the above, the Health, Safety and Wellbeing service is also to undertake ‘open consultation’ with members of the University community, in particular with matters relating to health and safety policy, standards and procedures

Consultation with other Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)

29. The Senior Leadership team within their span of control is to ensure that other Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs) affected by the work of the University are to be included in the consultation mechanisms listed above

Definitions


The following definitions apply to this document:

Consultation means health and safety consultation involves the sharing of relevant information between the University, as a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), and workers, and the University and other PCBUs. Consultation includes giving workers the opportunity to express their views, valuing these views and allowing them to contribute to the resolution of health and safety issues

Health and safety committee (HSC) means a group including workers, Health and Safety Representatives (if they agree) and representatives of the PCBUs that is a forum for consultation on work, health and safety issues and assists in the development and review of health and safety policies and procedures for the workplace

Health and safety representative (HSR) means a worker who has been nominated or elected by a work group (of which they are a member) to represent them on health and safety issues for a term of three years

Informal consultation includes but is not restricted to standing agenda items for meetings, ‘tool box talks’, briefing sessions, project meetings, and notices

Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) means an individual or organisation that conducts a business or undertaking including body corporate, unincorporated bodies or associations, partnerships and business franchises. The PCBU arranges, directs or influences work to be done or contributes something towards the work being done. There may be multiple businesses or undertakings and therefore multiple PCBUs involved in the work at the same location

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis

Worker (as defined by the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015) means the person who carries out work in any capacity for a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), including work as:
• an employee, contractor or subcontractor
• employee of a subcontractor
• an employee of a labour hire company assigned to work for a PCBU
• an outworker
• an apprentice or trainee
• a student gaining work experience
• volunteer

Workplace means a place where work is carried out for a business or undertaking and includes any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be, while at work

Work group means a group of workers formed by negotiation and agreement that meets the legal representation criteria. A designated workgroup consists of all staff members in:
• a particular work area, department, school, centre, institute, or centre
• a building or series of buildings

A designated workgroup may cover staff members at one or more workplaces on a campus; and/or at one or more campuses

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

University community includes all staff members (whether permanent, temporary or part time), honorary staff, students (whether full-time or part-time), contractors, subcontractors, consultants, alumni, associates, business partners or official visitors or guests of members of the University or UniServices

Document management and control


Owner: Director, Human Resources

Content manager: Associate Director Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Approved by: Vice-Chancellor

Date approved: February 2015

Review date: February 2018