Safety complaints are important in preventing workplace incidents and injuries. Unfortunately, many workers feel that they will be punished or fear they may lose their job for making a complaint.
By law, a PCBU can't adversely treat or reprimand a worker for raising a WHS issue in the workplace, nor can a worker be fired, simply because they were injured in the workplace.
For PCBU’s, it is important to prevent any safety issues or injuries developing in the workplace. The prevention of such issues and injuries is far easier to manage, compared to dealing with the consequences of an incident or injury occurring. These consequences may include, but not be limited to a significant amount of monetary loss, in dealing with legal fees and fines from the regulator, increases in insurance and workers compensation premiums, not to mention the effect it may have on the company’s reputation both internally and externally.
Reporting safety complaints help create a positive culture in the workplace. It creates a culture where workers feel safe, where workers identify the PCBU as a safety conscious employer and creates an environment where workers, supervisors and management can talk about safety issues in the workplace openly and without fear of reprisal.
Before raising a workplace health or safety issue with SafeWork NSW, constructive steps should be taken to have a safety issue resolved in the workplace.
These steps may include:
Reporting the issue verbally to your supervisor or manager
Reporting the issue through the workplace's hazard reporting procedures
Raising the issue with the health and safety representative
Raising the issue with management through your union representative
If none of these courses of action are appropriate or successful, you can contact us for assistance on 13 10 50 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When a concern is raised in the workplace, the PCBU should investigate the issues and stop work immediately if there is an immediate threat, then, take steps to minimise the risk of injury and amend any relevant policies that may have contributed to it.
For further information of Safety Complaints, you should visit the SafeWork NSW website. http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/health-and-safety/consultation-@-work/safety-complaints
For further information on workplace bullying, including a guide for preventing and responding to workplace bullying, and how to make a complaint about workplace bullying, visit the SafeWork NSW website – Workplace Bullying.