What should I be doing?

HSE places great importance on worker involvement and consultation. Your employees influence health and safety through their own actions. They are often the best people to understand the risks in their workplace.

Talking, listening and co-operating can help to achieve benefits. Health and safety representatives can help you with workforce consultation arrangements.

Benefit from better worker involvement

We know that workplaces where employees play an active part in health and safety have lower accident rates. Collaboration with your employees helps you to manage health and safety in a practical way by:

  • helping you spot workplace risks;
  • making sure health and safety controls are practical; and
  • increasing the level of commitment to working in a safe and healthy way.

In many cases this also leads to increased productivity, efficiency and quality.

What the law says

There are two principal sets of regulations concerning your duty to consult your workforce on health and safety:

  • The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996; and
  • The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977.

These regulations will apply to most workplaces. They contain a flow chart that shows the relationship between the two sets of regulations and how they affect yourself and your workforce.

You may only have to consult under one set of regulations, or it may be both depending on circumstances.

A workplace employee who can represent the views of their colleagues is a great way of involving your entire workforce in matters concerning their health and safety.