To help Health and Safety Representatives efficiently carry out their role they are governed by legal rights.
HSRs have the right to:
- inspect the workplace
- accompany an inspector during a workplace inspection
- listen to, and investigate, any worker concerns about safety issues
- be present at interviews concerning a work health and safety investigation
- discuss health and safety matters with PCBU/Officer/management representative
- be consulted on policies, procedures and any proposed workplace changes in the working environment
- access workplace information about hazards, policies and procedures
- issue a provisional improvement notice if a matter has not been satisfactorily resolved in reasonable time
- direct work to stop if there is an immediate threat to the health and safety of a worker/s
- request for an establishment of a Health and Safety Committee
- attend necessary training without the loss of any remuneration
- be notified of any work related injuries
HSRs must have done their approved training prior to using these options.
It is not the role of a HSR to:
- train other staff
- develop health and safety policies and procedures
- fix safety problems in the workplace
Term of Office for a Health and Safety Representative
HSRs are elected for a three year term and are entitled to attend, during the first year of the HSRs term of office – 5 days; and during the second year of the term – 3 days; and during the third year of the term – 2 days, at an approved Work Health and Safety Training provider of their choice.
A person ceases to be a health and safety representative for a work group if that person:
- the person resigns as a health and safety representative for the work group by written notice given to the person conducting the relevant business or undertaking; or
- the person ceases to be a worker in the work group for which he or she was elected as a health and safety representative; or
- the person is disqualified under section 65 from acting as a health and safety representative; or
- the person is removed from that position by a majority of the members of the work group in accordance with the regulations.
When a Health and Safety Representative has been elected it is the duty of their PCBU to inform SafeWork SA of the HSR’s Election. SafeWork SA will then issue the HSR with an ID number and password which the HSR can use for SafeWork SA’s online portal registration. This online portal will keep track of all the HSR’s information regarding training during their 3 years of term. After their 3 years of term the HSR will be removed from SafeWork SA’s online portal unless they are re-elected for another three years of term amd SafeWork SA are also notifed by the PCBU.
Electing a Health and Safety Representative
There are certain protocols that must be adhered to when electing a new Health and Safety Representative. They can be followed by looking through the Handbook available from the Safework SA website
Notification of Election
The PCBU MUST advise Safework SA when a new HSR has been appointed.
There are specific procedures as outlined in the Act that you need to follow.
Read about Effective Consultation
Establishing a Committee
Information flyer for Establishing a Committee
Learn all about WHS Committee’s from SafeWork SA
Helpful tips when negotiating with Management
Can be found following this link.