The role of the Health and Safety Representative (HSR) is primarily to liaise with other staff to identify health and safety issues and convey these to management. HSRs are elected by fellow staff to represent the views of the staff group. The HSR role is important for consultation, Departmental workplaces are encouraged to elect a HSR.
The HSR fulfils a different role to the
Health and Safety Advisor (HSA) which is an appointed position. However, these two positions can work well together to gather information and expertise, and improve health and safety at your school or workplace. A HSR is of particular benefit at workplaces with fewer than 30 employees as a point of contact both for staff and the manager.
Departmental procedures and guidelines
Courses and links
Appropriate training can provide the HSR with tools and knowledge that allow the person to effectively participate and improve health and safety in their school or workplace. With these skills the HSR can be a valuable member of the health and safety team.
Information about HSRs is available from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
When nominating a HSR consider:
- that the HSR 'representative' role is compatible with the person's current role in the school/workplace. For example, some roles that are part of the 'management team' may conflict with the intent of the HSR role. It is important that the HSR feels, and is able to, accurately represent 'staff' opinions to 'management' without conflict with their role.
- It will be at each staff group's discretion to determine if people in roles such as supervisor/manager, deputy principal, business manager and other administrator roles are nominated and elected as HSRs.
- that the person will adequately and fairly represent the opinions of the whole staff group (or the group they have been elected to represent)
- that the person will assist with health and safety strategies and promotion in the school/workplace and actively participate in the health, safety and wellbeing committee.