How to become a Health and Safety Representative
With Health and Safety Representatives being a requirement at many companies these days you might be wondering – What does a Health and Safety Representative do? How do they become qualified and how do they get elected?
What do Health and Safety Representatives do?
A Health and Safety representative or HSR is responsible for representing the health and safety concerns of the employees at a workplace and to liaise with management to make sure the concerns of the staff are addressed.
What are the required qualifications?
In Queensland, a Health and Safety Representative can take the Queensland Health and Safety Representative course.
This course can be completed in a five day face to face workshop and the course is accredited through Work Cover Queensland.
The course covers Health and Safety regulation and provides participants with an understanding of their responsibilities and powers under the WHS regulations to issue PINs (Provisional Improvement Notices) and direct unsafe work to cease orders.
They also gain an understanding of work health and safety frameworks, Inspections, reporting issues and inspecting issues, as well as issue resolution, supporting staff and managing risks.
How do you get elected as a HSR?
The company will be required to provide a HSR if the employees request it with in two months of the request and the employer can not elect the candidate. This election must come from the staff.
To be able to run for the office of HSR you must be a DWG (Designated Work Group) member and must not be disqualified by a Magistrate’s Court from acting as HSR.
DWG members can nominate themselves or another DWG member can nominate a candidate who meets the requirements.
Terms of Office
Once successfully elected and appointed, a HSR can hold office for 3 years then they will need to be re-elected to the role.
In Queensland, acting Health and Safety Representatives are entitled to attend the five day Queensland Health and Safety Representative course within three months of making this request to their PCBU. And the employer is required to allow the Health and Safety Representative to take this time off to attend the training.
Why is the Training Important
There are particular abilities and responsibilities that a Health and Safety Representative will not be able to perform until they have completed this training.
The HSR can not issue PINs (Provision Improvement Notices) without completing this course. The course also trains the HSR in Work Health and Safety legislation and general duties involved in the role.
Why become a Health and Safety Representative
Becoming a HSR is a valuable service you can offer to any workplace.
It showcases your commitment to safe work practices and provides you with valuable insights into the rules and regulations in Work Health and Safety legislation.
Taking on this role will also demonstrate your commitment to professional development and support for your colleagues and workplace.
It can also open other doors for you in this field and perhaps even a career change to the Work Health and Safety sector.
There are additional Work Health and Safety courses you can take if you’re interested in growing your skills in this area.
If you’re thinking about becoming a Queensland Health and Safety Representative, you can attend the course at our Gold Coast or North Lakes locations, or have a chat with one our friendly course advisors today.