When you or an employee makes a request for health and safety representative HSR training, employers must comply.
An HSR training course provides HSRs with a thorough understanding of WHS codes of practice and legislation. It empowers employees to make safer decisions. If you want to increase workplace safety, here is what you should know about Work Health and Safety training for HSRs.
What Is Sydney Health and Safety Representative Training?
HSRs are elected workers that represent the health and safety of other workers in their workgroup. The primary role of the representative is to consult with the PCBU and workers to maintain a safe work environment. When elected, they must complete a 5-day initial training course, followed by a refresher course each year.
HSR training courses in Sydney provide essential information related to the roles of an HSR. It includes the skills needed to effectively use the powers granted under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act. The extensive course helps develop the knowledge necessary for carrying out their roles, including:
- Compliance with the WHS Act
- The process of consulting between workers and employers
- The purpose and role of a workgroup
- The process for electing representatives
- The roles and responsibilities of the representatives
- The roles and responsibilities of the employer
- Risk assessment and management control measures
Individuals receive a certificate upon completion of the training course. The training is offered on-site, in a classroom setting. However, workers may complete the refresher course online.
How Long Is the HSR Training in Sydney?
The training course lasts five days and must be completed at an approved training provider The five-day training includes the following components:
- Overview of WHS legislation
- Consultation requirements
- The role of health and safety committees and HSRs
- Identifying and minimising hazards
- Practical exercises
- How to use personal improvement notices (PINs)
The 5-day course meets the requirements for HSRs under the WHS Act. However, training centres also provide additional courses. These courses include HSR refresher training in Sydney for renewing the competency online.
Elected workers complete the one-day refresher course each year while they remain in office. If the worker leaves the workgroup and gets re-elected, they may complete the refresher course. These courses provide an overview of the components covered during the five-day initial training.
What Is the Role of a HSR in Sydney?
Health and safety representatives (HSRs) have powers and responsibilities defined under sections 68 and 69 of the WHS Act. However, the workers first need to elect a representative. Safework NSW outlines the steps needed for electing an HSR:
- Give all workers a notice calling for nominations
- Inform workers of the election date
- Give all workers an opportunity to nominate the HSR
- Inform all workers and employers of the outcome
The role of the representative is to act as an advocate for the safety of workers within his or her work group. Employers also have obligations to the HSR. To comply with WHS legislation, employers must provide the following support:
- Give time off at normal pay to fulfil their duties
- Discuss health and safety concerns with the HSR
- Give access to information related to hazards
- Allow representatives to attend interviews related to work health
- Allow representatives to accompany inspectors
- Provide necessary training
HSRs have roles provided under the WHS Act. Health and safety representatives HSRs can issue a provisional improvement notice (PIN) when they detect hazards, unsafe work conditions, or violations of the WHS Act. They may also direct work to stop.
If the elected worker has a reasonable health or safety concern, he or she can direct a worker to stop working. Typically, they reserve this power for situations where a health or safety risk puts a worker in immediate danger or exposure to a hazard. They should also consult the PCBU before directing work stoppage unless the risk is too immediate.
The HSR has many responsibilities but does not need to fix safety issues. They are not experts on health and safety matters. Their role is to monitor work conditions to ensure that everyone complies with health and safety standards.
If a representative identifies a health or safety issue, he or she needs to consult with the PCBU, team leader, or supervisor. Each organisation establishes its own legislative process or chain of command for resolving these issues through consultation between the HSR and the PCBU.
Is the Health and Safety Representative Course in Sydney Mandatory?
The Work Health and Safety WHS Act does not make training mandatory. However, when an employee makes a request, a PCBU must allow the employee to complete an approved training course. The government also encourages training as a tool for allowing employees to exercise their powers and understand their rights.
If you want to become a health and safety representative within your organisation, enrol in an approved 5-day HSR training course in Sydney today.
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