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Work Health and Safety, Is Management Serious About it?

May 27, 2014RTBU News

To: RTBU Sydney and NSW TrainLink Members

Work Health and Safety, is Management Serious About it?

For some time now, RTBU members have been raising issues in regards to work health and safety (WH&S) to management. These issues specifically relate to the way Sydney Trains conducted workplace risk assessments and the processes used to determine Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs), Health and Safety Committees and work groups. A work group is a group of workers who share a similar WHS concerns and conditions. Members have sought the assistance of NSW WorkCover to investigate Sydney Trains’ processes.

The RTBU are currently waiting for a decision by WorkCover into a review of a report that supported processes and risk assessments carried out by Sydney Trains. This review into the report is due to the RTBU’s application to WorkCover for a “stay order”. The  Order was to stop the implementation of proposed workplace and staff changes at the Stations affected by the Salesperson reforms. As a consequence the “STAY” Order was initiated. However, Sydney Trains management went ahead with the implementation of the changes and ignored the Order. Therein lies the question:

“Work Health and Safety, is Management Serious About it?”

Sydney Trains are now conducting road shows conveying their interpretation and application of the requirements of the WHS Act. These road shows are in relation to the processes for consultation, determining work groups, the number of HSRs and Deputy HSRs, election of health and safety representatives and their roles.

At a meeting last week management provided a briefing on this road show to Delegates. The Delegates raised concerns as to the content of the road show presentation. It contained misleading information and was a very one-sided view of the WHS Act. The Delegates requested that management release nominated Union Representatives to attend the road show sessions to ensure that the message and information conveyed was accurate, WHS compliant and transparent.  This request was refused.

Sydney Trains as the PCBU, (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking), the employer, has the primary duty of care and they are required to consult, negotiate and agree with the workers in regards to Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs), Health and Safety Committees and work groups. Safety and the requirement to comply with the WHS Act is EVERYONE’S responsibility. It is not open to interpretation or selective application.

We have attached a “petition” and require members to complete and forward to the RTBU Head Office in support of the Union negotiating on their behalf for WHS workplace work groups, Representatives and structures.

The Union will keep members advised as to the progress of this issue.

To download the petition, click the link below.


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