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Health and Safety Advisor

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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 Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) has re-instated the provision to appoint a Workplace Health and Safety Officer (WHSO). This is a voluntary option for workplaces. Department workplaces have retained this position through the Health and Safety Advisor (HSA) role. The appointment of a WHSO is one method of demonstrating that an employer ('persons conducting a business or undertaking' [PCBU]) has taken action to mitigate health and safety risks.

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 Health and Safety Advisor (HSA)

This is recommended for all schools/workplaces and is a requirement for all workplaces with 30 or more employees.

  • 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 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 Annual Safety Assessment (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 Annual Safety Assessment (ASA)

This is recommended for all schools/workplaces and is a requirement for all workplaces with 30 or more employees.

  • The Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee can coordinate 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.

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.

Departmental procedures and guidelines

Health and Safety Advisors

Resources

Information for principals/managers and health and safety advisors (PDF, 206KB)

Shared Health and Safety Advisor agreement (DOCX, 338KB)

Courses

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.

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Last updated 12 October 2018