Workgroups elect health and safety representatives (HSRs) to represent health and safety concerns. The HSR has specific duties and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) Act.
The HSR has the right to issue a provisional improvement notice (PIN) and to direct work to stop when he or she encounters safety issues in the workplace. The HSR essentially acts as an intermediary, discussing concerns of the workgroup with management.
After electing an HSR, the representative needs to complete the required elected safety and health representatives’ course. Here is everything that you should know about HSR training in Perth.
What Is the Role of an HSR?
HSRs complete inspections and report hazards and risks to the employer. However, the specific role of HSR involves many rights and responsibilities. As an elected representative, you have the right to:
- Issue provisional improvement notices (PINs)
- Direct work to stop
- Complete necessary training
- Receive information related to work hazards
You also have the right to help establish a health and safety committee (HSC). The HSC works with the safety and health representative to address safety issues.
As an HSR, you have several responsibilities. You need to complete inspections and review workplace incidents. You also need to monitor the measures used to ensure compliance with WHS laws and regulations.
As part of the OHS codes of practice, PCBUs have responsibilities. This includes taking the necessary steps to reduce the risk of injury and address hazards. PCBUs also have responsibilities when it comes to the HSR, such as:
- Paying for all relevant costs for the training programs
- Maintaining a list of all elected representatives
- Providing copies of the list to regulators
The employer also needs to provide the representative with the resources needed to complete his or her duties. This may include providing copies of incident reports or giving the worker time off to complete the HSR program.
Who Should Attend a Health and Safety Representative Course Perth?
Elected representatives and deputy representatives should complete an HSR training program.
According to the OHS Act, an employer or employee can begin the process for electing a representative. Worksafe WA specifies that the representative has three months to enrol in the required training after the election.
The election process requires employees and one or more delegates to decide on the number of safety representatives to elect. Employers need to ensure that everyone in the workgroup is aware of the election and has the chance to vote.
After the election, the representatives need to enrol in the safety program. Employers have the responsibility to ensure that elected workers have the time off needed to complete the training. The employer also covers the cost.
Elected workers hold their positions for three years. When the three years end, the workgroup can hold another election. The workgroup also has the right to vote to remove an HSR and hold a new election.
Is the Safety Representative Course Mandatory in Perth?
HSR training is now mandatory after a workgroup elects an HSR. According to OHS codes of practice, PCBUs have a responsibility to manage risks and hazards. An HSR helps ensure that the PCBU takes the necessary steps to reduce risks.
When you successfully complete the training, you receive a certificate of completion. OHS regulations do not require representatives to receive a license or statement of attainment.
What Is the Cost of HSR Training in Perth?
The cost of the training services varies depending on the type of program and the training organisation. Many Western Australian organisations offer several programs. For example, AlertForce has four separate HSR programs, including:
- Face-to-face course
- Comcare face-to-face initial course
- Comcare face-to-face refresher program
- HSR online training program
We also are soon to be offering face to face courses for several states such as Queensland, ACT and Victoria.
The employer is required to cover the cost of the program. However, workers may choose to complete the refresher training on their own. The employer may not cover the cost of the refresher program.
What Are the Learning Outcomes for HSR Training?
The introductory course lasts for five days. The content may vary depending on the registered training organisation. OHS laws require the program to provide five seven-hour sessions of training for a total of 35 hours of training.
The course is designed to give you the knowledge and skills needed to complete the following tasks:
- Carry out inspections of the work site
- Carry out investigations of accidents or dangerous occurrences
- Consult with the employer about health and safety issues
- Report to the employer when a work site has a hazard
Participants gain a practical understanding of the roles, rights, and responsibilities of elected representatives. You learn your legal requirements and boundaries. You also learn the responsibilities of the employer to ensure that they provide a reasonably safe work environment.
The course lasts five days and covers a lot of different material. When you complete the course, you receive a certificate of completion. Training organisations also offer a one-day refresher course, which is only available for those who have already completed the initial program.
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