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Worker engagement and participation

All businesses and undertakings must involve their workers in workplace health and safety. A safe workplace is more easily achieved when everyone involved in the work communicates with each other to identify hazards and risks, talks about any health and safety concerns and works together to find solutions.

Businesses have two related duties:

  • to engage with workers who carry out work for them on health and safety matters that may directly affect them
  • to have practices that give their workers reasonable opportunities to participate effectively in improving health and safety in the business or undertaking on an ongoing basis (these are known as worker participation practices).

These duties only extend to workers who carry out work for the business or undertaking.

Worker engagement and worker participation practices can be direct or through representation.

Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and Health and Safety Committees (HSCs) are two well established methods of representation.

Workers can also be represented by unions, community or church leaders, lawyers, respected members of ethnic communities, or people working on specific projects.

For detailed information on worker engagement, participation and representation including information about HSRs and HSCs, visit the Working Together section.

Last updated 2 April 2016

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[image] Introduction to HSWA - special guide

Introduction to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA): Special Guide

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of HSWA - New Zealand's key health work and safety law and its regulator - WorkSafe New Zealand.