Consultation with employees

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Consultation with employees

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Although it is not a legal requirement, good businesses invariably consult their employees on matters of safety and health to achieve standards that everyone agrees with and follows.

Consulting with employees often results in:

  • A healthier and safer workplace - your employees can help you to identify hazards, assess risks and develop ways to control or remove risks
  • Better decisions about health and safety - they are based on the input and experience of a range of people, including employees who have extensive knowledge about their own job and the business
  • A stronger commitment to implementing decisions or actions - as employees have been actively involved in reaching these decisions
  • Greater co-operation and trust - employers and employees who talk to each other and listen to each other, gain a better understanding of each other's views
  • Joint problem-solving.

The law requires employers to consult with their employees or their representatives (trade union or otherwise) on:

  • The introduction of any measure which may substantially affect their health and safety at work, e.g. the introduction of new equipment or new systems of work
  • The arrangements for getting competent people to help them comply with health and safety laws (a competent person is someone who has the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to help an employer meet the requirements of health and safety law)
  • The information you must give your employees on the risks and dangers arising from their work, measures to reduce or get rid of these risks and what employees should do if they are exposed to a risk
  • The planning and organisation of health and safety training
  • The health and safety consequences of introducing new technology

The HSE have developed more detailed advice on Consulting Your Workers on Health and Safety

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