Health and safety representatives
Health and safety representatives (HSRs) are elected to represent workers in a 'work group' on health and safety matters.
The work groups are established first through consultation and agreement between the business or employer (or other PCBU) and the relevant workers, then nominees are called and an election is held.
Functions and powers of an HSR
HSRs facilitate the flow of information about health and safety between the business (or employer or other PCBU) and the workers.
They monitor the health and safety actions taken by the business (or other PCBU), investigate workers' complaints and look into anything that might be a risk to the health and safety of the workers they represent.
If a HSR has completed approved HSR training they can also direct unsafe work to stop when they have a reasonable concern that carrying out the work would expose a worker to a serious risk.
A direction to stop work can only be given if the issue has not been resolved by consultation (unless the risk is so serious that it's unreasonable to consult first).
HSRs can also issue a 'Provisional Improvement Notice' (PIN) when they reasonably believe there is a contravention of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
Employer (or other PCBU) obligations to HSRs
PCBUs should provide support for the HSR and must:
- allow the HSR adequate time at normal pay to carry out their role
- consult and confer with the HSR on work health and safety issues (eg when proposing measures to eliminate or minimise risks)
- allow the HSR access to information about hazards and risks at the workplace as well as information relating to the health and safety of workers at the workplace (excluding workers' personal or medical information without the workers' consent)
- allow the HSR to be present at an interview relating to work health and safety issues if a worker consents
- provide the resources, facilities and assistance that are reasonably necessary for them to perform their functions
- allow any person assisting the HSR, access to the workplace as necessary
- permit the HSR to accompany an inspector on an inspection
- grant five days initial training for the HSR, if requested, with a training provider approved by usand, grant a one day annual refresher training if requested
This is general information. For further information give us a call on 13 10 50.
If you're a business or employer (or other PCBU), you must notify us of your HSRs and any deputy HSRs.
You can do this online and also print a list of your current HSRs and deputy HSRs and their related work groups for display at your principal place of business and any other workplaces related to the work groups.
The links below have more detailed information about establishing work groups as well as electing and training a HSR, and provisional improvement notices.
A work group usually consists of workers who perform similar types of work and have similar health and safety concerns and conditions within the workplace.
Workers elect the health and safety representative (HSR) after agreement on the work groups has been reached.
Approved work health and safety training providers help health and safety representatives (HSRs) to understand and fulfil their role and functions.
Health and safety representatives (HSRs) can, under some circumstances, issue provisional improvement notices and direct unsafe work to stop.