Health and Safety Representatives (HSR)
Health and Safety Representatives hold an important role within a business. They are the voice for the workers who may not speak up and ensures a healthy and safe environment is kept.
What does a HSR do?
HSRs are a way for workers to have a say about health and safety at work.
While the responsibility for providing a healthy and safe workplace rests with the business, HSRs play an important role in keeping workplaces healthy and safe.
By representing workers, HSRs provide a link between workers and management.
The duties of HSRs include:
• representing workers (or individual workers, on request) on health and safety matters
• investigating health and safety complaints and risks
• monitoring health and safety measures
• making health and safety recommendations
• giving feedback to the business about whether health and safety requirements are being complied with.
HSRs are eligible to be members of any Health and Safety Committee at their workplace to HSR represents their work group.
*By default, a work group includes all the workers of a business. However, the business could also group workers by task, risk, location, or shift (after taking workers’ views into account)
Any worker can ask for an HSR and any business can choose to have an HSR.
There are some businesses that must arrange an election for an HSR if asked. These are businesses with 20 or more workers, or those in a high-risk sector or industry specified in regulations.
Powers of HSRs
HSRs’ functions and powers enable them to effectively represent the interests of the members of the work group.
It is up to each HSR to decide when and whether they perform or exercise their functions or powers.
For the members of their work group and their workplaces, HSR powers include being able to:
• enter and inspect workplaces
• request any information from the business needed to perform their HSR role
• accompany an inspector during an inspection
• consult with WorkSafe or an inspector about any health and safety issue
• with worker consent, attend interviews about health and safety matters between worker(s) and the business or inspectors.