A safety and health research project completed in the Western Australian mining industry has discovered that the most important factor that enabled or hindered Safety and Health Representatives work effectiveness was management support and communication.
Shibani Chakraborti, a 2018 PhD candidate at Curtin’s School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, thesis ‘The Influence of Safety & Health Representatives in the Western Australian Mining Industries’ has uncovered a range of issues associated with the effectiveness of health and safety representatives
The aim of Shibani’s research was to identify what influence and support Safety and Health Representatives (SH &R) had in the Western Australian mining industries to facilitate the achievement of a high standard of workplace safety. The study explored the Western Australian mining industries SHR experiences in their role using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach.
Shibani conducted an extensive literature review to identify the history of the role of Safety and Health Representatives; to determine the role of Safety and Health Representatives in Australia and other countries; to identify the factors that influence the role of Safety and Health Representatives and impact on their participation in workplace safety and health.
Shibani also made a number of important recommendations for further research to extend this study and to use and test the model developed.
The important body of knowledge will no doubt add value to the current debate on the role of representatives and assist the development of model legislation to ensure more effective support for the role of SHR and to promote management support for them across the mining industry.
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