Health and Safety Issue Resolution Procedure

  1. Procedure
    1.1 Who can be involved in resolving a work health and safety issue?
    The following parties may be involved include:
    a) The person conducting the business or undertaking (i.e. UNSW) or the person’s
    b) Any other PCBU or their representative who is involved in the issue.
    c) If the worker or workers affected by the issue are in a work group, the health and
    safety representative for that work group, or his or her representative.
    d) If the worker or workers affected by the issue are not in a work group, the worker
    or workers or their representative
    A person conducting a business or undertaking (i.e. UNSW) must ensure that the
    person’s representative (if any):
    (a) Is not a health and safety representative, and
    (b) Has an appropriate level of seniority, and is sufficiently competent, to act as the
    person’s representative
    2.2 Timely resolution
    When a health and safety issue arises, the parties must make reasonable efforts to
    achieve a timely, final and effective resolution of the issue according to the relevant
    agreed procedure.
    3.3 Informal issue resolution process
    UNSW encourages all workers to communicate directly with their supervisor to raise
    any health and safety concerns. The worker’s supervisor should be the first contact
    person for reporting any health and safety incidents, hazards or concerns, and these
    should all be reported on UNSW’s online reporting system, as soon as possible.
    Step 1: Worker raises a health and safety concern with their direct Supervisor. This
    concern should be reported on UNSW’s online hazard & incident reporting system.
    At any time, the worker can also raise the concern with their workgroup’s HSR or their
    relevant HSC.

Step 2: If further assistance is needed to resolve the concern, the worker, their
supervisor, their HSR or relevant HSC can raise the concern with the work group’s
Head of School or Department Manager.
Step 3: If further assistance is needed to resolve the concern, any of the parties
outlined in Step 2, or the Head of School/Department, can contact the
Faculty/Divisional H&S Coordinator. See UNSW Health & Safety website for contact
Step 4: If the above steps have been already taken and the issue remains unresolved,
any of the parties outlined in Step 2, need to follow the steps outlined in the following
section called ‘Formal Issue Resolution Process”.
4.4 Formal Issue Resolution Process
This process is to be followed when the parties have previously discussed or
communicated with each other regarding the health and safety concern, and no
resolution has been found.
Note- the Formal Issue Resolution Process shall be used for dealing with external
complaints if the health and safety issue is unable to be addressed informally.
Step 1: Inform the other parties that there is an unresolved health and safety
Any party involved in the issue, may commence the procedure by ensuring the issue
has reported on UNSW’s online reporting system, and by informing the other parties in
writing using HS338a Unresolved Issue Notification:
(a) that there is an unresolved health and safety issue, and
(b) the nature and scope of the issue, and
(c) the Issue Number generated from reporting this issue online on UNSW’s online
incident reporting system
Step 2: All parties must meet or communicate with each other to try to resolve
As soon as the parties are informed of the issue, they will organise to either meet or
communicate with each other to attempt to resolve the issue. The receiving party will
acknowledge by email they have received the issue in writing, and they will conduct an
investigation into the issue raised.
Step 3: Investigation into the issue
The receiving party should contact their Faculty/Divisional Health & Safety Coordinator
for advice on how to conduct a formal investigation using UNSW’s HS003 Incident
Investigation Guide.
The receiving party needs time to investigate the details of the issue, how it is affecting
the health & safety of workers, and what actions have been taken so far to address the
During the investigation and attempts made to resolve the issue, all parties must have
regard for the following:
(a) The degree and immediacy of risk to workers or other persons affected by the
(b) The number and location of workers and other persons affected by the issue,
(c) The measures (both temporary and permanent) that must be implemented to
resolve this issue,
(d) Who will be responsible for implementing the resolution measures.
Step 4: At the end of the investigation, the receiving party will communicate the
findings of their investigation and possible measures to resolve the issue with the party
that raised the issue.
Step 5: Receiving party to confirm resolution of issue with party that raised the issue.
If required:
Step 6: If reasonable efforts have been made to resolve an issue and it remains
unresolved, any party to the issue can ask the Regulator (WorkCover or WorkSafe) to
appoint an inspector to assist at the workplace. The inspector’s role is to assist in
resolving the issue. An inspector could exercise any of their compliance powers under
the WHS Act, including providing advice, investigating contraventions or issuing an
improvement notice.
At any time during the process or if a request to the Regulator is made a worker is still
entitled to exercise their right to cease work, or a HSR who has completed the 5 day
HSR training can issue a provisional improvement notice or a direction to cease work.

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