Contributing to the implementation of the ohs consultation process
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Contributing to the Implementation of the OHS Consultation Process. Penny Shields. Why consult using the consultative process?. Consultation should be viewed not just as a legal requirement, but as a valuable means of improving the employer’s decision making about health and safety matters.¹

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Why consult using the consultative process
Why consult using the consultative process? Process

  • Consultation should be viewed not just as a legal requirement, but as a valuable means of improving the employer’s decision making about health and safety matters.¹

  • For consultation to be effective, the people actually doing the work that may be affected by an OHS issue must have an opportunity to express their views.¹

  • Systematic procedures for consultation enable employees to contribute to the decisions that affect their health, safety and welfare. They will help employers and employees work together to seek solutions that lead to healthier, happier, safer, and often more productive workplaces.¹


What are some barriers to the ohs consultative process
What are some barriers to the OHS consultative process? Process

  • Language

  • Shift work and rostering arrangements

  • Availability of time

  • Culture of workplace

  • Hierarchical structure of workplace

  • Training resources

  • Space

  • Funding

  • Industry

  • Literacy and numeracy skills

  • Culture/Religious requirements of workers

  • Stakeholders such as the public, customers, other businesses

  • Building management


What are some strategies to overcome the barriers
What are some strategies to overcome the barriers? Process

  • Language: Cards with instructions in multiple languages; interpreters

  • Shift Work/Rostering: Multiple meetings taking place over shifts; suggestion box; WSR in each shift

  • Time: Make regular meeting time; Conduct via teleconference; communicate discussion issues prior to meeting

  • Hierarchical Structure: Ensure management are aware of legislative requirements; Use data to show management why OHS is important

  • Training resources: Use data to show management why OHS is important

  • Space: Allocate room for regular meetings; conduct meetings via teleconference


More strategies
More Strategies..... Process

  • Industry: Become the exception to the rule; use data to show why OHS is so important; Use comparative data to assist in outlining why and where the industry requires work in OHS

  • Literacy/Numeracy skills: Use diagrams and graphs to explain reasoning and results; Use basic language; Take the time to ensure all employees understand

  • Culture/Religion: Ensure all cultural/religious requirements are met; Take these into account when undertaking OHS reviews/recommendations

  • Building management: Ensure they are aware of their legislative requirements; involve them in the consultative process

  • Funding: Plan ahead; prioritise effectively; stick to timeframes



How do we locate and present ohs information
How do we locate and present OHS information? Process

  • If key personnel are unable to seek out OHS information, this may stop them from raising OHS concerns

  • If OHS information is not available to management, then they are not able to act appropriately to ensure the health and safety of their employees

  • Locating the appropriate data and communicating this effectively will enable all internal stakeholders to access the OHS information easily


How do we locate and present ohs information cont d
How do we locate and present OHS information cont’d... Process

  • Identify data required

    • What do you want to show?

    • What do you want them to learn?


How do we locate and present ohs information cont d1
How do we locate and present OHS information cont’d.... Process

  • Collect data:

    • Surveys

    • Results

    • Incident reports/other reports

    • Industry websites

    • Other related websites e.g. ABS, WorkCover



How do we locate and present ohs information cont d2
How do we locate and present OHS information cont’d.... Process

  • Arrange data so that it can be understood and interpreted:

  • Use graphs such as line graphs, pie graphs or bar graphs depending on the data and point to be made

  • Use diagrams, pictures or photos to elaborate



How do we locate and present ohs information cont d4
How do we locate and present OHS information cont’d.... Process

  • Create some commentary to explain your findings/what you have extracted from the data:

    • Create a short written report

    • Create a power point presentation

    • Create a booklet or leaflet to accompany your data and visual representation


How do we locate and present ohs information cont d5
How do we locate and present OHS information cont’d.... Process

Median Time Lost per Serious Injury vs. Median Payment per Serious Injury in the Health & Community Services Industry

The purpose of this graph is to compare the Median Time Lost per Serious Injury and the Median Payment per Serious Injury in the Health and Community Services Industry. It is expected that time lost on an injury would incur a cost. However it is important to note the correlation of these when managing Workers Compensation claims as there are ways for the company or business to reduce the number of days/time lost per claim which in turn will impact the amount spent.

The graph shows that in 2003/04, despite the fact that the amount of time lost per Serious Injury was at its highest rate within the sample period (5yrs), the Median Payment to those injuries was in fact lower. Both median time lost and medial payment per serious injury steadily increase from the 2003/04 year, though it is obvious that each serious claim costs more even though time lost continues to increase.

There are a few factors that may contribute to this. The first is that since 2003/04, wage rates have continued to increase in line with inflation; therefore cost per claim in wages will continue to increase. Also of note is that time lost decreased from 2002/03-2004/05, however then increased considerably from 2004/05-2006/07. It is difficult to determine why this may be. It may be due to the nature of the injuries sustained or the nature of the occupation of those injured.

Another important factor to consider is the cost of medical care. It would be expected that the cost of medical treatment has increased each year. Therefore, this would impact the total cost of each claim/injury. i.e. it may have cost less to treat an injury in 2002 than it would to treat the same injury in 2007.

This graph is particularly important when one considers that it is widely suggested that the more time taken off work during an injury equates to a higher expense per injury. Whilst this certainly appears to be the case in the later years of this graph, in the 2002/03 year, it was the opposite. So it begs the question – why is this the case? Some considerations are the salary level of the injured party, the length of absence from work, the type of injury, the occupation and the related medical expenses.

It is also important to note the trend that can be seen in this graph. The gap between time lost and payment per injury is continuing to increase each year. That is, that the Health & Community Services Industry are having to pay more for each injury. Whilst the time lost per injury is also increasing, it does not appear to be at the same rate as the expense. Again, this could be attributed to salary, occupation and types of injury.

It is therefore reasonable to deduce that supporting injured employees from the time of injury and assisting them to return to work as soon as possible will assist in reducing the cost and expense for each serious injury that occurs. An important way to do this is to ensure the provision of suitable duties for the injured party and also to ensure that these duties are meaningful to assist the worker in their rehabilitation and desire to return to full-time duties.


How to we use our data and findings to influence decision making
How to we use our data and findings to influence decision making?

  • Make recommendations based on the information and data you have used. This ensures that the recommendations are based on fact and carry weight in convincing management to implement new strategies or procedures.


What is an ohs consultation statement and why have one
What is an OHS Consultation Statement and why have one? making?

  • An OHS Consultation statement is a business-wide document that is prepared in consultation with employees.

  • “Documents how employers will meet their duty to consult with employees and identifies how their consultation arrangements comply with the relevant legislation and provide a healthy and safe environment for staff, contractors, visitors and others”.¹

  • This document details the OHS consultative arrangements within the business and creates a record.

  • An OHS consultation statement should detail the consultative arrangements, how the arrangements were arrived at and how the employees will be consulted about OHS in the future.

  • It may also include a commitment to health and safety of stakeholders, the roles and responsibilities of the OHS committee and Work Safety Representatives, how Health and Safety issues are to be resolved and how and when OHS arrangements are to be reviewed.¹


Example of an ohs consultation statement
Example of an OHS Consultation Statement making?

Shields: The Shield Makers

Health and Safety Committee

CONSULTATION STATEMENT


In summary
In Summary.... making?

  • Both the employee and employer have a duty to actively participate in the consultation process

  • Effective consultation ensures the health and safety of all stakeholders

  • There are legislative requirements (specific to each state and territory) that must be met in relation to OHS Consultation and the processes involved


References
References...... making?

  • ¹ Carney, E (ed.), 2010, OHS Management, Pearson Australia, New South Wales.

  • Safe Work Australia, viewed April 2010, <http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/>


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