Auckland Transport

Communication and consultation standard

STA-HS08-COM

  1. Background and purpose

Auckland Transport recognises that one of its greatest resources is the knowledge and experience of its people. This knowledge and experience extends to how we perceive and manage health and safety across the organisation.

Communication and consultation between management and employees regarding health and safety (H&S) issues is integral to effective H&S management, and in the development of our “culture of safety consciousness”.
This document sets minimum standards for Divisions to ensure effective communication and consultation processes are in place within their area of responsibility.

  1. Scope

This standard applies to all AT employees, members of the public, visitors, and contractors who may be affected by AT’s activities or who undertake activities on behalf of AT. This procedure has been completed to align with Auckland Transport’s health and safety framework.

This standard is to be read in conjunction with the relevant AT Health and Safety Incident Reporting, Recording, and Investigation procedure.

  1. Responsibilities

Chief Executive

  • Is accountable for the overall company’s compliance with AT Health and Safety policies/standard including allocation of resources and accountabilities across the business to meet this Standard.
  • Ensure health and safety performance is formally reviewed at least annually.
  • Ensure a Health and Safety Director is nominated to represent the organisation.

Divisional Managers

  • Are responsible for ensuring there is at least 1 Health and Safety Champion at senior management level appointed to support the H&S consultative structure.
  • Attend the Health and Safety Consultative Committee twice a year as a minimum.
  • Ensure there are sufficient H&S Reps within their areas of responsibility to support the H&S consultative structure.

Health and Safety Manager

  • Provide all H&S Forums and Committees with H&S performance reports on a regular basis.
  • Attend every H&S Consultative Committee and ensure minutes are developed and communicated to relevant parties.
  • Provide training and competency development for all H&S Reps and Champions.

Line Managers

  • Support the H&S Reps within their area of responsibility.
  • Attend H&S Forums where required.
  • Support the proactive management of H&S issues.
  • Communicate all H&S information and instructions to employees and contractors within their area of responsibility.

Health and Safety Champion

  • Promote excellent standards of health and safety management across all functions.
  • Foster and encourage a positive, proactive, safety culture across their area of responsibility.
  • Support the Divisional Heads with meeting their health and safety responsibilities and accountabilities.
  • Provide a central point for identification and resolution of health and safety issues identified in each division.
  • Support the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) in preparation of the Health and Safety Plan and oversee implementation, performance and monitoring of all objectives within the plan.
  • Act as custodian for the Divisional Health and Safety Plan.
  • Support and provide guidance to the Health and Safety Reps.
  • Attend the Health and Safety Consultative Committee.

Health and Safety Representative (Rep)

  • Provide a key role in supporting the Divisional Heads and Safety Champions in implementing AT’s Health and Safety Management System.
  • Work closely with the Health and Safety Team in fostering and promoting a positive safety culture throughout the organisation.
  • Represent the employees they were appointed to represent in all health and safety matters that affect them.
  • Support management with investigation of potential hazards, risks, and causes of incidents in their workplace.
  • Support management with investigation of employee complaints concerning health, safety, and wellbeing.
  • Report on any matters arising from the above and general matters affecting the health and safety of the employees in their workplace.
  • Carry out inspections of the workplace when required.
  • Support and participate in the Health and Safety Forums.
  • Communicate Safety Lessons Learnt, Safety Alerts and promote safety campaigns.
  1. Standard

In attempting to provide a safe and healthy working environment that is adaptive to employee safety needs, Auckland Transport (AT) shall:

  • Endorse and encourage a policy of open discussion between management and employees regarding potential H&S issues;
  • Establish employee H&S Champions and H&S Reps to represent the H&S interests of employees across all Divisions;
  • Establish other formal structures for consultation in accordance with H&S legislation in each division; and,
  • Ensure communication processes are in place for distribution of health and safety information and instructions.

All managers and supervisors are encouraged to liaise with Auckland Transport employees regarding H&S issues that affect their respective workplaces.

  1. Schedule

5.1 Consultative Structure

Auckland Transport shall establish and maintain structures to ensure that effective H&S consultation occurs between AT personnel, management, and partners/suppliers. To achieve this, AT shall:

  • ensure there is a Director nominated by the Board to represent H&S for the organisation;
  • establish a H&S Consultative Committee;
  • establish H&S Employee Forums;
  • have a permanent H&S Manager with H&S team representing AT’s health and safety interests;
  • elect H&S Champions across all Divisions;
  • elect H&S Reps to represent the health and safety interests of employee groups; and
  • establish clear communication processes for the dissemination of H&S information and instructions through appropriate means (i.e. intranet H&S portal, emails, noticeboards, newsletters, desk drops etc.).

The Consultative Committees, Forums and specific supporting safety roles will work collaboratively to support the delivery of AT’s health and safety framework and strategy.

The consultative structure will also consist of clearly defined communication processes and systems in order to disseminate health and safety information and instructions to AT’s employees, contractors and visitors.

This structure will ensure all AT employees have the opportunity to participate in health and safety and the organisation follows a consistent approach to consultation.

5.2 Consultative Teams (H&S Consultative Committee and H&S Forums)

The Consultative teams (refer to Committee and Forums below) will be established to support the consultative structure with the responsibility to:

  • promote an active interest in employees towards health and safety in the workplace;
  • adopt a cooperative and collaborative approach to the management of H&S issues, instructions, training and supervision;
  • disseminate incident, inspection and audit results, standards and other H&S performance data for review;
  • make recommendations regarding potential changes to the workplace resulting from reviews; and
  • provide an avenue for the resolution of H&S issues.

Health and Safety Consultative Committee

The primary function of the H&S Committee is to ensure the health and safety of AT’s employees by allowing an open forum for issues to be raised, assessed and communicated to senior management.
The H&S Committee will be directed by the AT’s Chief People Officer supported by the Health and Safety Manager. They will comply with the Charter for Health and Safety Consultative Committee and meet on a quarterly basis.
Health and Safety Forums
Divisional Health and Safety Forums will be established in accordance with the Charter for Health and Safety Forums. The primary function of the forums is to allow all employees to participate in more formal health and safety consultation and to have the opportunity to raise and communicate issues to management.
The H&S Forums will sit within each Division of the organisation and report up to the Health and Safety Committee. They will be led by a local Department Leader with membership consisting mainly of employees.
The formation of forums shall consider:

  • different business units;
  • the workplace (i.e. size, location) where personnel perform work activities;
  • the number of AT personnel at the workplace;
  • the nature of work activities performed by persons in the group (including shift arrangements).

 

Each Forum shall be informed of their respective H&S Rep through the H&S Intranet, noticeboards within relevant workplaces, and other means (i.e. email) as appropriate.

5.3 Health and Safety Roles

Health and Safety Champions

H&S Champions will be appointed for each Division within AT and hold a senior management position with authority to instruct their division on health and. The main role of a Safety Champion is to support the nominated H&S Director with their responsibilities and act as a key conduit between their division and the Executive Leadership Team with regards to all health and safety matters. The Champions will work closely with the Health and Safety Team and a full description of their duties and role is outlined in their Role Profile.

Appropriate training and resources shall be provided to the Safety Champion to facilitate the performance of their role.

A H&S Champion shall hold their position until disqualified or until resignation.

Application for the disqualification of a H&S Champion shall be initiated by the H&S Team and presented to the AT H&S Consultative Committee.

There will be at least one H&S Champion per Division and they will support the Divisional Head with planning and managing health and safety for their respective work areas.

Health and Safety Representatives (Reps)

AT employees will nominate and appoint Health and Safety Reps at points throughout the organisation to raise H&S issues. Their main role will be to assist management with H&S issues and provide an avenue for dissemination of H&S information and reporting. All other duties for this role will be clearly defined in Section 3: Responsibilities of this Standard.

Management should consult with the relevant H&S Rep regarding any potential changes to the workplace that may impact on the health, safety and/or welfare of AT personnel.

H&S Reps will be nominated through the Health and Safety Forums and nomination process. All H&S Reps must undergo competency based training in order to be sure they can facilitate their duties as per their role (refer to Section 3: Responsibilities). The H&S Rep training course and providers must be approved by the Health and Safety Team Manager to ensure all training meets the competency requirements set out by AT and are aligned with the health and safety framework and management system.

A H&S Rep shall hold position until disqualified or until resignation.

Application for the disqualification of a H&S Rep shall be initiated by the relevant Manager, and presented to the AT H&S Consultative Committee.

The H&S Rep may no longer be eligible to act as a H&S Rep for a given workgroup or work area if:

  • disqualified;
  • no longer a member of the work group by whom they were elected;
  • they fail to perform their duties as per their role and responsibilities;
  • no longer employed in the work area; or
  • they formally resign.

 

As soon as practicable after the appointment of a H&S Rep, the Responsible Manager for the respective forum shall:

  • inform all persons in the group; and
  • update all relevant contact information in the workplace.

 

A register of H&S Reps shall be maintained and located on AT H&S Engine Room site.

More than one H&S Rep may be selected for each forum/work area in consultation with personnel and agreement by the H&S Consultative Committee.

5.4 Communication of Information

Communication of health and safety information and instructions processes shall be established, reviewing and monitored as part of the overall health and safety performance management.
General health and safety information including all policies, procedures, processes and tools can be accessed via AT’s Health and Safety SharePoint site and the internal Intranet.
Proactive health and safety information and need to know instructions will be communicated monthly via the “Need2Know” internal communication system and available on AT’s internal Intranet.
All H&S instructions, critical safety messages or call to actions will be communicated through the issue of Safety Alerts. The Safety Alerts will be emailed to all employees, disseminated through the Consultative Teams and distributed to contractors via AT Project Managers.
The Safety Alerts templates and all previously issued Alerts can be found on the internal Intranet under Health and Safety Team.

  1. Definitions

Related policy