What is a health and safety representative (HSR)? A representative looks out for the safety of those in his work group. When requested, employers must provide HSRs with the necessary occupational health and safety (OHS) training.
HSR training courses provide representatives with the skills and knowledge needed to help make the workplace safer. These representatives become advocates for other workers, looking out for their safety and ensuring that the organisation complies with OHS laws and regulations.
If you are an elected HSR or an employer, you should understand the role of the HSR and what training is needed.
What Is the Definition of Melbourne Health and Safety Representative Training?
With an HSR training course, workers learn a variety of information for identifying the safety duties of each person within an organisation and workgroup.
The training sessions mostly cover the rights and responsibilities of the HSR. The program includes the following objectives and areas of work safety:
- Issuing professional improvement notices (PINs)
- Directing work stoppage
- Understanding OHS legislation
- Understanding the obligations of key parties
- Represent designated work group and their safety concerns
- Establishing worker safety representation
- Participating in the resolution of safety issues
Through this course, participants learn the safety legislative framework for the OHS Act. This includes understanding how to comply with the OHS Act. While it is not the role of the representative to follow OHS procedures, they should know how to determine whether these procedures are being followed on a work site.
The primary role of the representative is to represent his or her work group. By addressing common safety concerns through consultation with their employer, they can help make the workplace safer.
HSR initial OHS training includes five days of in-person sessions. Each session typically lasts eight hours and must be completed face-to-face. The programs do not have any prerequisites.
The course does not include a formal assessment or license. Participants receive a certificate of attendance after the five days of training. While the initial course is completed face-to-face, the refresher course is offered online or face-to-face.
Is HSR Training in Melbourne Mandatory?
HSR training isn’t mandatory unless an elected worker requests the training. If an HSR makes the request, the duty holder must comply with the request and enrol the worker in a WorkSafe approved HSR initial training program.
Section 67 of the OHS Act 2004 states that employers must allow elected employees to attend the initial OHS training course. The employer must then allow the HSR to complete a refresher course at least once per year if the HSR remains elected within his work group. In both cases, the employer covers the cost of the course.
The employer must also provide the time off to attend the course. Workers can enrol in approved programs. The program must come from an approved facility and be relevant to the work of the designated work group.
Additionally, workers may request further training from WorkSafe-approved training organisations. The elected employee needs to give the employer notice at least two weeks before. The OHS Act does not require employers to cover these costs.
What Is the Role of an HSR in Melbourne?
An HSR represents workers in health and safety matters. They also monitor the implemented control measures and investigate complaints about potential risks in the workplace. The representative essentially acts as an advocate for those in the same workgroup.
Before a worker can request training, he or she needs to be elected. One or more workers may call for an election. The steps for electing representatives include:
- Giving all workers the chance to nominate individuals
- Providing all workers with the chance to nominate someone
- Informing all workers of the election date
- Allowing all workers to vote on the nominees
- Informing all workers of the outcome of the election
After the election, the elected worker can then consult with the employer to arrange the necessary training program.
The program covers the roles of the HSR. The representative monitors work conditions and ensures that workers and supervisors are following OHS regulations.
They do not need to devise methods for improving worker health and safety. Their role is to act as a bridge between workers and upper management to protect the safety of the work group.
When the elected worker detects a safety hazard, he or she can issue provisional improvement notices (PINs). The reasons for issuing PINs include violations of the OHS Act, noticeable hazards, and unsafe work conditions. When issuing a PIN, the elected representative can order work to stop.
Who Should Attend HSR Training in Melbourne?
HSR training is recommended for anyone elected as a health and safety representative (HSR). As mentioned, employers are required to allow elected workers to attend the initial course and the refresher course each year. Deputy HSRs also have the right to attend these courses.
If you are an elected representative or an employee has requested training, enrol in the initial program today.
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