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Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation allows workers to elect a representative to look out for their best interests when dealing with safety issues. The elected worker is called a health and safety representative (HSR).


The HSR helps keep the workplace safer by addressing safety concerns and acting as a line of communication between the workgroup and the PCBU. If you are a business owner, health and safety representative, or deputy HSR, you should learn more about the required training.


What Is the Role of an HSR?


The health and safety representative is elected to represent a designated work group, helping to handle consultation with their employer when safety issues arise. WHS legislation also grants the health and safety representative specific powers and rights, including the power and right to:


  • Inspect worksites
  • Examine safety records
  • Submit inspection requests
  • Accompany inspectors
  • Investigate safety concerns
  • Direct work stoppage
  • Issue a provisional improvement notice (PIN)


Issuing a PIN and directing work to stop are important powers. However, in most cases, the health and safety representative needs to notify a supervisor or the PCBU before issuing a PIN or directing a work stoppage. The HSR also needs to complete the required training course to receive these powers.


Along with representing the work group, the HSR may work with a health and safety committee (HSC) to oversee and address health and safety concerns.


Who Should Attend HSR Courses?


HSR Initial WHS Training Course in Canberra ACT is intended for elected HSRs and deputy HSRs. Designated work group members have the right to nominate workers and hold an election for health and safety representatives. PCBUs must provide workers with the resources to hold these elections. The standard process includes the following steps:


  • Workers ask the employer to facilitate an election
  • The PCBU and the workers define a designated work group
  • The work group nominates workers from within the group
  • The election is held and an HSR is announced


If you are elected as a health and safety representative, notify your PCBU to arrange a suitable time to complete the training. You hold office for a total of three years. After completing the initial training, you then complete a refresher course every year.


Is HSR Training Mandatory in Canberra?


According to the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011, HSR training is not mandatory. However, every workgroup has the right to elect a representative. After electing an HSR, PCBUs are obligated to provide access to training.


Typically, the HSR and elected deputy complete training within three months. However, there is no requirement for the deputy HSR to attend the course.


Health and safety representatives and deputy HSRs that do not complete the training course cannot use their powers, such as directing work to stop or issuing a PIN.


What Is the Cost of the HSR Initial OHS Training Course in ACT?


You may find different prices at various training organisations. AlertForce offers face to face HSR training at competitive rates. To discover the current cost of the training in Canberra, contact the staff at AlertForce today.


PCBUs are required to accommodate elected HSRs and cover the cost of the initial OHS training course. You may complete the course on paid time off. However, deputy HSRs may need to cover the costs on their own.


The online course is only intended as a refresher. It does not give representatives the right to issue PINs or direct work to stop. It typically costs about $147 per person and takes four hours to complete.


What Are the Learning Outcomes for HSR Training Canberra?


The learning outcomes should match the set standards for HSR initial OHS training. According to Work Health and Safety requirements, it needs to include 35 hours of instruction.


The course lasts five days, with each day of training typically lasting seven hours. It is a comprehensive training program that covers a wide variety of topics, including:


  • The framework of WHS legislation and regulations
  • Obligations and duties of all parties according to WHS laws
  • The role and function of safety representatives
  • The powers granted to health and safety representatives


The refresher courses are completed each year. While some organisations offer online refreshers, you may also find three-day and two-day face-to-face courses. Representatives may choose the course they want to complete during the second and third years.


No matter the course, the PCBU must allow the HSR to attend within three months of receiving a request from the representative. The training time is to be covered at the worker’s normal pay rate.


Along with training courses, HSRs may enrol in other seminars or relevant workshops. However, additional training requires negotiation with the PCBU and is not guaranteed.


In the end, health and safety representatives need to complete the initial course to receive the power to direct work to stop and issue PINs. The course does not have a formal assessment. You receive a certificate of attendance after the successful completion of the program. Enquire today to learn more about HSR training programs available at AlertForce.

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