When a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) or the deputy is first elected, HSRs must attend WHSQ approved Initial five days HSR training course in Queensland within six months of their election. Starting from the 1st of July 2018, existing HSRs, who did not attend the training, will have six months to attend this training. If an elected HSR chooses not to attend the training, will no longer be eligible to fulfil their role as an HSR, required to be replaced.
HSR training entitlements are:
• an initial five days Health and safety representatives training; and
• one day HSR refresher course every three years.
Even though it is a legislative obligation to train HSRs in Queensland, this blog we will discuss the benefits of training HSRs to their newly elected role.
1. Provide information Health and Safety Representatives about their new role
Knowledge is power, as knowledge will give HSRs ability to understand their role, analyse, make better decisions. Initial five days Health and safety representatives training, will give HSRs knowledge about their powers and functions, assist them in their role and provides them the ability to make informed decisions.
Initial five days Health and safety representatives training, provide HSRs information on:
• understanding the work health and safety statutory framework;
• identifying the relevant stakeholders within the workplace and their roles and responsibilities;
• starting an effective consultation and issue resolution within the workplace;
• understanding when to direct workers to stop work;
• understanding when to issue provisional improvement notice and when to issue.
Knowledge will increase their understanding of the Work Health and Safety legislation will affect health and safety outcomes within the workplace. This in fact, will enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to continue to apply principles of workplace consultation on health and safety matters.
2. Health and Safety Representatives are the voice of employees
Consultation is a key element in any effective WHS management system. The aim of the consultation is to achieve an agreement between the employers and employees, which will ensure safe and healthy work environment, effective work practices, policies and procedures.
Consultation is a two-way process between the employee and the employer, where all parties in the process talk to each other about health and safety matters, listen to each other’s concerns, allows both parties seek and share their views, consider what the other party says before making decisions.
Consultation encourages, workers to ask questions about health and safety, raise their concerns, inform the employer about the health and safety issues, assist in health and safety controls, and be part of the issue resolution process.
3. Health and Safety Representatives will help you find out what you don’t know
Risk management is an effective program that helps the employers, to eliminate or manage risks in the workplace. Employers respond to the health and safety risks, improves the WHS performance. It is a process to identify potential risk before they happen. Risk management activities are planned, systematic and covers all hazards and associated risks.
Under the WHS Act, employers are required to consult with their employees, when:
• Identifying hazards and assessing the risks;
• Finding ways control the hazards;
• Implementing risk controls;
• Developing WHS policies and procedures;
• Identifying the training requirements; and
• Monitoring the risk controls.
Effective risk management includes initial risk identification through the teamwork and participation of relevant stakeholders. Employers are needed to establish an environment for the free and open disclosure and discussion of risk. HSRs role and functions are to represent the workers within their workgroup, and monitor the risk controls taken by the employer.
If the Health and Safety representatives are trained for their initial five days health and safety representatives training, they will actively participate in risk identification processes, in which this assists the workplace to manage the health and safety risks effectively. This will help the business to prevent potential injuries, incidents and accidents within the workplace.
4. Health and Safety Representatives will help your business improve financial standing
Health and Safety Representatives who are trained for their initial five days health and safety representatives training, will be proactive within their role, that will allow workers to communicate openly and honestly about health and safety. This will help an organisation to address health and safety needs of the employees effectively.
At the same time, will:
• improve the work environment;
• reduce work related injuries, accidents and incidents;
• reduce the compensation claims;
• reduce employee turnover; and
• improve efficiency in operations.
Consultation with the HSRs will improve the financial standing of the business by reducing the:
• injury and illness rates;
• workers’ compensation costs;
• lost workdays, and
• equipment damage and product losses.
5. Health and Safety Representatives will help your business improve WHS performance
WHSQ approved health and safety representatives will assist HSRs to understand and fulfil their powers and functions. They will proactively get involved with health and safety issues, will encourage other employees to participate with the health and safety matters. This increase the consultation, communication, cooperation within the workplace. Open communication will increase the participation. Your business will identify, assess, control and monitor the hazard with the employees. This will result, HSRS contribute to improving the health and safety of your business.
Want to know the best part? A small investment on Health and safety representatives training, will help your business to improve WHS performance.
If you would like to read powers and functions of an Health and safety representatives , continue to read Health and safety representatives role within the workplace. Check out our 2020 training calendar.
We can provide information on initial five days Health and safety representatives and health and safety representatives refresher training. Do you need more information?
We are here to help, contact our team. We can assist you with WHS training at Brisbane, Toowoomba, and Brisbane Metro North.