Health and Safety Representatives FAQ

What is the Role of a Deputy HSR?
The role of the Deputy Health and Safety Rep is to support and assist the appointed HSR. The Deputy also has the same rights and functions as the appointed Health and Safety Rep whenever the HSR is absent from the worksite. (Refer to Section 67 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012).


What processes must I go through before issuing a Provisional Improvement Notice (P.I.N).

You issue a PIN delivering to the person you believe has or is contravening the Act by;

Giving it personally to the person it is issued to, another person at the workplace that appears to have management or control over the workplace to which the notice relates to, or a person who appears to be a worker and over 16 years to pass it on to the relevant person.

Send a copy by post, fax or email a PDF copy to the person’s usual or last known place of business.

Personally deliver it to the person’s last known residential address and leave it with either the person or a person who appears over 16 and a resident of the address to pass on to them, or

Send a copy by post, fax or email a PDF copy to the person’s usual or last known place of business [Sections 95 and 209].

NB: A PIN notice is not invalid only because of a formal defect or irregularity in the notice unless the defect or irregularity causes or is likely to cause substantial injustice i.e. names the wrong person or something that is not a contravention under the Act, or

A failure to use the correct name of the person to whom the notice is issued if the notice sufficiently identifies the person i.e. uses a trading name like Pete’s Plumbing rather than Peter J Johns Pty Ltd which is the legal name of the business [Section 98].



  • At all stages in this process you should report to the members of your workgroup.
  • Provisional Improvement Notices can not be issued where there is a Prohibition Notice/Improvement Notice already served by the Regulator (SafeWork SA) and a HSR must comply with Section 90 (4) of the WHS Act 2012 before considering a PIN. (Refer to Section 90 – 102 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012


What facilities does a HSR need?
Health and Safety Reps would generally need :

  • a lockable facility e.g. a filing cabinet or locker to keep all documents and records confidential
  • access to a computer, photocopier, fax machine and telephone if required


What is the official election process for electing a new Health and Safety Representative?
Determination of workgroups – WHS Act 2012 Sections 51-54 & WHS Regulations 2012 Sections 16-17

  • Under the Act, any group of workers can elect a fellow worker to represent them on a work health and safety issue/s
  • The group of workers is called a work group (WG) and the person they elect to represent them is called a health and safety representative (HSR).
  • It only takes one worker to approach the PCBU to request the formation of a WG and the PCBU MUST respond within 14 days.
  • The number of WGs at a particular worksite will depend on the overall staff numbers, the type of work performed by different groups of workers and the time and facilities needed for the HSR to carry out their role.


Election of Health and Safety Representatives

  • Once formed the WG then elects a HSR and can also elect a Deputy.
  • The election is conducted by a person who has been approved by at least half of the members of the work group and if the work group can not decide, officers from the Regulator (SafeWork SA) can assist in election protocols and procedures.
  • Nominations for a HSR are called from all staff in each WG and if there are more than two nominations and an election is needed then the most appropriate election method is decided.


Where can I get a copy of the Work Health and Safety Act, Regulations and Codes of Practice?
PDF copies of all South Australian Legislation (Acts, Rules and Regulations, Policies, Proclamations and Notices and Bills) are located at