Issue resolution process
1. Employee raises issue with health and safety representative (H&S Rep).
2. The H&S Rep (or employee) meets with the manager responsible to try and resolve the issue.
3. The H&S Rep (or employee) and the manager agree on resolution of the issue.
4. Yes: Issue resolved; No: Continue…
5. H&S Rep and/or manager consults People and Culture to seek advice on resolution of issue.
6. H&S Rep and manager again discuss resolution of the issue following expert advice and agree on action to be taken.
7. Yes: Issue resolved; No: Continue…
8. H&S Rep issues a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN). Note: should a H&S Rep be unable or unwilling to issue a PIN, the School/Group OHS committee may consider issuing a PIN on the H&S Rep’s behalf.
9. H&S Rep and manager discuss resolution of the issue and agree on action to be taken.
10. Yes: Issue resolved; No: Continue…
11. The manager, within seven days of being issued a PIN, may require an inspector to attend the workplace to discuss resolution of the issue.
12. A Victorian WorkCover Authority inspector will attend the workplace to discuss resolution of the issue.
13. An inspector will inquire into the circumstances relating to the PIN and may: affirm the PIN, affirm the PIN with modifications, or cancel the PIN.
14. Manager complies with the requirements of the Improvement Notice or the inspector’s decision to cancel the PIN.
15. Yes: Issue resolved; No: Continue…
16. Failure to comply is an indictable offence and may be brought before the Magistrate’s Court.
Notes about issue resolution process
If there is no health and safety representative in the particular workplace, an employee must raise the issue directly with the manager responsible for the work area. A manager who identifies a health and safety issue may report it to the health and safety representative, or if there is no health and safety representative, to the employees in that workplace.
Resolution of the issue must take into account:
- whether the hazard or risk can be isolated
- the number and location of employees affected by it
- whether appropriate temporary measures are possible or desirable
- whether environmental monitoring is desirable
- the time that may elapse before the hazard or risk is permanently corrected, and
- who is responsible for performing, or overseeing, the removal of the hazard or risk.
Discussion should be with the manager who can make a decision to resolute the issue, on behalf of the employer.
As soon as possible after resolution of the issue details of the arrangement, in a form, manner and language that is agreed by all parties to be appropriate, must be brought to the attention of the employees, must be reported to the health and safety committee, and must be forwarded by the parties to any relevant organisation of employees or employers.
Note: Where there is an immediate threat to the health and safety of any person at the workplace, the manager and the health and safety representative may jointly direct, or if there is no agreement, either may direct that work will cease. The manager may assign employees so affected to alternative duties until the issue is resolved.
The manager may also consult with Property Services to seek information and advice in consideration of resolution of the issue.
A Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) will state that there is a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 2004 or regulations and provide details and reasons for that contravention, and specify the day (more than seven days) by which the manager is required to remedy the contravention.
A person to whom a PIN is issued, who does not comply with the requirements of that PIN, will be guilty of an offence under the OHS Act 2004, if a Victorian WorkCover Authority inspector has not been required to be involved.
Where an inspector affirms a PIN, the PIN will be deemed to be an Inspector’s Improvement Note under the OHS Act 2004. A person who does not comply with an Improvement Notice will be guilty of an offence under the OHS Act 2004.[Next: Supporting documents and information ]