Queensland state government departments have retained trained safety advisors under the policy
engaging trained safety advisors to meet due diligence requirements in government (PDF, 68KB).
The Health and Safety Advisor procedure requires all schools/workplaces with 30 or more employees to appoint a Health and Safety Advisor (HSA).
The role of the HSA is to assist the Principal, Managers and/or management team by providing advice on health and safety at the workplace. The HSA can be a valuable member of the management team and it is important to choose the right person for the job.
Health and Safety Management and the role of the HSA
Appoint a HSA
All schools and workplaces are required to appoint a HSA. If you don’t have a HSA, a person with a designated responsibility for health and safety in your school or workplace is suitable to facilitate the Annual Safety Assessment (ASA).
- Record HSA details—collated numbers of trained safety staff may need to be reported annually by government agencies to the Regulator—Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
- Schools/workplaces are to record the HSA details in MyHR Work Health and Safety (WHS) within the 'Location Administration' screen. Record these against the 'WHS Role' descriptor.
- A competent, well-informed HSA can provide invaluable support to their Principal or Manager and make a significant contribution to the successful management of the school or workplace.
- Staff seeking a future leadership role will benefit from the knowledge attained; the emphasis on leadership and influencing skills developed performing the role. It is important to nominate the right person for the job.
- The ideal HSA will:
- be capable of coordinating and collating the school/workplace ASA and associated action plan
- have good interpersonal/communication skills
- be an asset on your management/finance committee
- be highly motivated
- have credibility with staff and students
- care about staff and student welfare.
Have active membership of the school/workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee
In small schools/workplaces where a committee cannot be formed, there may be another forum that is used to discuss health and safety issues e.g. a standing agenda item in the regular staff meeting.
Coordinate and collate the ASA
It's mandatory for all schools and workplaces with more than 30 employees to conduct an
ASA each year by the end of the calendar year. The aim of the ASA is to identify those health and safety processes and issues in your school or workplace that need improving and to develop a local Annual Safety Action Plan to address them.
- It’s recommended that an Annual Safety Assessment be conducted each year using the Annual Safety Assessment Tool.
- Your ASA is facilitated by your HSA. If you don’t have a HSA, a person with a designated responsibility for health and safety in your school or workplace is suitable to facilitate the ASA.
- A range of staff should be involved in the ASA process to gain an accurate picture of health and safety knowledge, current good practices and areas for improvement.
- Through the completion of the ASA, principals and managers identify areas of health and safety management that require further work at their site.
- The ASA process and monitoring of the Safety Action Plan should be conducted through your Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee.
- Outcomes of your completed ASA contribute to your annual operational planning activities and the prioritisation of resources in your school or workplace, which will ultimately contribute to improving HSW performance and reducing HSW risks.
Establish local arrangements to gain support and advice
Liaise with existing school cluster groups and neighbouring schools with expertise including HSAs.
Attend local health and safety network meetings
This can include other professional development opportunities hosted in the region.
Regional Senior Health and Safety Consultant coordinate many of these meetings.
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) provide Health and Safety Advisor Training.
The qualification for a Health and Safety Advisor is:
- Certificate IV—Work Health and Safety (WHS)
Staff with health and safety qualifications or experience may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or to undertake a bridging course to meet the minimum qualification. Assessments of eligibility will be determined by RTOs.