Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
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Qld Rail Safety Communications

10 August 2012

Members may not be aware of this Procedure it is called ‘Workplace Safety and Environment Communications’ (MD-12-144).

It sounds innocent enough and is if used properly by both the employer and employee. If not it has a potential nasty sting in the tail.

The purpose of this procedure is to detail how workplace health and safety, rail safety and environment information is to be provided as part of workplace level workgroup communications.

It is crucial that all safety and environment information relevant to a particular work process is conveyed to workers that may be involved in that work, “with verification of understanding confirmed".

Those last few words are the interesting ones. You may well wonder what this means?

I’m sure your Supervisor or Manager has told you to sign the Toolbox Talk form to acknowledge your attendance.

Under this Procedure it means this: “The toolbox talk or team meeting record form is used to record workers’ attendance at a toolbox talk or team meeting and then may be recorded against workers’ training records.”

“Copies of the toolbox talk or team meeting record forms recording the details of who is present for this training are to be forwarded to the Workplace Development Coordinators or LMS Administrators if required for their workgroup”.

Under this procedure by signing Toolbox or Team meeting record you are confirming that you understand the safety information and the requirements.

The RTBU is concerned that members have on a few instances reported that they have been bullied, without fully understanding the implications and on occasion had this form signed for them in their absence.

Members should not sign this form unless they fully understand the changes. If members are not happy with the level or clarity of the training, they should record this on the form to indicate they do not consider themselves as yet competent on the subject matter.

The importance of this can be gauged from the fact Management has used this process in disciplinary situations which has contributed to an employee’s dismissal.

Shayne Kummerfeld
Branch/WH&S Organiser (Qld Branch)