Health and safety committees

66 Health and safety committees

(1)

The following persons may request that the PCBU at a workplace establish a health and safety committee for the business or undertaking or part of the business or undertaking:

(a)

a health and safety representative for a work group of workers carrying out work at that workplace; or

(b)

5 or more workers at that workplace.

(2)

Subject to subsection (3), the PCBU must, within 2 months of receiving a request under subsection (1), decide whether to establish a health and safety committee for the business or undertaking or part of the business or undertaking.

(3)

A PCBU is not required to decide whether to establish a health and safety committee if the work of the business or undertaking—

(a)

is carried out by fewer than 20 workers; and

(b)

is not within the scope of any high-risk sector or industry prescribed by regulations for the purposes of this section.

(4)

A PCBU who considers subsection (3) applies in relation to a request under subsection (1) must give written notice to that effect within a reasonable time to the person (or persons) who made the request.

(5)

The PCBU may refuse a request made under subsection (1) if the PCBU is satisfied that existing worker participation practices at the workplace sufficiently meet the requirements of section 61.

(6)

The PCBU must give written notice of its decision under subsection (2)—

(a)

as soon as practicable to workers who the PCBU considers have an interest in the decision; and

(b)

no later than any prescribed time.

(7)

If the PCBU decides to refuse a request made under subsection (1), the notice under subsection (6) must include—

(a)

the reasons for the decision; and

(b)

a statement that workers may raise the refusal as an issue under subpart 6 of this Part.

(8)

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

(9)

A person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on conviction,—

(a)

for an individual, to a fine not exceeding $5,000:

(b)

for any other person, to a fine not exceeding $25,000.

Compare: Model Work Health and Safety Act (Aust) s 75