Consulting your employees
Workplaces where employees are involved in taking decisions about health and safety are safer and healthier. 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
- increasing the level of commitment to working in a safe and healthy way
- providing you with feedback on the effectiveness of your health and safety arrangements and control measures
You must consult all your employees, in good time, on health and safety matters. In workplaces where a trade union is recognised, this will be through union health and safety representatives. In non-unionised workplaces, you can consult either directly or through other elected representatives.
Representatives’ main role is to talk to their employer about issues affecting the health and safety of employees they represent in the workplace. You should ensure that any representatives receive paid time off during normal working hours so they can carry out their duties. They should also receive suitable training and access to any facilities needed to help them in their role.
Consultation involves employers not only giving information to employees but also listening to them and taking account of what they say before making decisions on health and safety. You have to give employees or their representatives information to allow full and effective participation in consultation. This should include:
- risks arising from their work
- proposals to manage and/or control these risks
- what to do if employees are exposed to a risk
- the best ways of providing information and training
Find out more
For more information on consulting with your employees, see our worker involvement website.
Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 (as amended) and Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996