If you are a PCBU, you must establish an HSC if you are asked to do so by either a health and safety representative (HSR) or by five or more workers.
You might also choose to establish an HSC by your own initiative (i.e. not wait for workers to make a request). Depending on your workplace, it might help you to meet your duty to consult under the WHS laws and better support your workers to be involved in making health and safety decisions.
An HSC provides the PCBU and workers with dedicated time to have regular and structured discussions about health and safety matters.
An HSC can be a particularly effective way to consult:
- if you need to consult with workers on the same matters across different work groups or workplaces
- where there are several PCBUs with responsibilities for the same health and safety matters
- if workers are reluctant to take on the role of an HSR, but some would be willing to participate on a committee.
The membership of an HSC is agreed between you and your workers. At least half of the members of the HSC must be workers who have not been nominated by the PCBU. Any HSRs are automatically members of an HSC, unless they do not wish to participate.
The functions of an HSC include:
- cooperation between the PCBU and workers in identifying, developing and implementing health and safety measures
- assisting to develop health and safety standards, rules and procedures that will be followed at the workplace, and
- any other functions as agreed by the PCBU and the HSC.
The agreed functions of the HSC will likely depend on the size and complexity of the workplace.
Please see our example templates for an HSC constitution, agendas and minutes to help get you started.
For detailed information on the establishment, membership and functions of an HSC refer to the Worker representation and participation guide.
- Model Code of Practice: Work health and safety consultation, cooperation and coordination
- Worker representation and participation guide
- Health and safety committee templates