Health and Safety Committees FAQ

How do I establish a Health and Safety Committee in my workplace?
A Health and Safety Representative, a prescribed number of workers, or a PCBU of their own initiative can request for a Health and Safety committee to be established. After this request a PCBU then has 2 months to start the process.
The person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must establish a health and safety committee for the business or undertaking or part of the business or undertaking –

  • within 2 months after being requested to do so by –
    – a health and safety representative for a work group of workers carrying out work at that workplace; or
    – 5 or more workers at that workplace; or
  • if required by the regulations to do so, within the time prescribed by the regulations.

Maximum penalty:

  • in the case of an individual – $5 000;
  • in the case of a body corporate – $25 000.

A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace may establish a health and safety committee for the workplace or part of the workplace on the person’s own initiative.

How often must the Health and Safety Committee meet?
Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (Section 78), the Health and Safety Committee is required to meet at least once every three months.

What is the proportion of workers to management on the Committee?
It is recommended that at least half the members of the Committee be non-managerial workers. A committee will not operate effectively without equal representation from both sectors. The structure of the committee should reflect the composition of the workforce it represents.

Is there training available for H&S Committee members?
Yes, JobSafe SA runs Health and Safety Committee courses designed to assist Committee members to develop both the knowledge and the skills to ensure the Committee operates effectively. Content includes:

  • WHS Legislation
  • Strategic Planning Skills for Committees
  • The role and Function of an┬áH&S Committee
  • Negotiating in Committees
  • Committee Skills

For more information on courses click here