TERMS OF REFERENCE
The Work Health & Safety (WHS) Committee operates as prescribed under the Work Health & Safety Act 2011.
The WHS Committee Members are responsible for raising specific health and safety issues that arise in relation to employees at Burwood Council. Employees should raise issues directly with their Reporting Line Manager or their WHS Committee Member. Where the WHS Committee Member cannot resolve a WHS issue, it has been agreed that they will refer it to the WHS Committee Members.
Council will ensure that WHS Committee Members have the appropriate support to be able to undertake responsibilities.
The WHS Committee will assist with the development of monitoring of safe work practices and systems and discuss issues that affect the health, safety and welfare of all employees at Burwood Council. The Council will consider and respond to the WHS Committee, recommendations within a time frame agreed by the Committee and Management set according to the particular issue and its complexity.
Burwood Council is committed to protecting the health and safety of all its employees, including volunteers and contractors. Injury and illness is costly and, in most cases, preventable. Council will consult with employees in implementing safety practices and systems that will ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees. Employee involvement at all levels is critical for ensuring a safe workplace.
The WHS Committee and its Members will support and encourage to promote safety, health and well being in the workplace.
WHS Committee Membership
The WHS Committee shall consist of six Employee Members and two Management Representatives.
The General Manager will appoint the Management Member for a two year term.
Employee WHS Committee Members will be elected for a three year term by employees in accordance with the procedures agreed to between Council and employees.
The Committee will elect a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson on an annual basis, at the first meeting of each year, and the Chairperson must be an Employee Member.
A position shall be declared vacant if a Member:
- Is removed by the Committee Members
- Does not attend three consecutive meetings without leave of absence
A resignation from the Committee should be in writing and forwarded to the Chairperson giving one week’s notice where possible.
Meetings will be held Quarterly, unless a special meeting is called or requested by at least half of the Committee Members.
The venue of each meeting will alternate between Council’s external offices.
A quorum of four Members shall be necessary to conduct a meeting and this shall include one Management and three Employee Members.
Only Committee Members may officiate at meetings, but the Committee may request or co-opt others with particular experience or knowledge for any of its meetings.
Committee Representatives may invite colleagues to attend meetings as observers. Otherwise, employees who wish to attend meetings as an observer, are required to submit a written request to the Committee Chairperson. This invitation will be added to the agenda.
The Chairperson will be elected by the Committee at the first meeting following establishment of a new formed Committee. The Chairperson is elected on an annual basis and must be an Employee Member, not a Management Member.
The Chairperson has the responsibilities of:
- Ensuring the meeting runs smoothly
- Attend Work, Health & Safety Committee Chairperson training
The WHS Coordinator will be the Minute Taker at meetings.
The WHS Committee Members will arrange for the minutes to be posted on Council noticeboards/Intranet within one week of the conclusion of the meeting.
Agenda / Minutes
Each meeting will have an agenda. Agendas for scheduled meetings shall be distributed to Members at least three working days before the date of the meeting and shall be placed on all relevant Staff Noticeboards and Council’s Intranet. The priority of the agenda items shall be based on complexity and urgency. There may be some cases where Members will be communicated with outside the meeting schedule and asked to provide comment within a certain timeframe.
Once the Chairperson approves the Draft Minutes they will be distributed to all Members after each meeting. All agenda and minute documents will be kept in accordance with record keeping guidelines.
When a WHS issue is raised either by Council, an employee or a WHS Committee Member, the WHS Committee Member will consult with members at their workplace. The WHS Committee Member will also feed back to their workplace the outcomes of the WHS meetings.
Employees should draw to the attention of their Reporting Line Manager or WHS Committee Member any work, health and safety concerns that they have about the workplace so the issue can be promptly addressed.
Council’s agreed approach to WHS management is a systematic approach, that is, a bottom up approach based on discussion and consultation with employees.
New Committee Member Training
All Committee Members will undertake appropriate training.
Terms of Reference & Consultation
It has been agreed by Burwood Council and its employees that these WHS arrangements will be monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that consultation with all employees is effective and that all safety issues are being addressed.