Health and safety representative training
From 1 February 2019, all HSRs must undertake the relevant approved training course within three months of their election unless a training course is not reasonably available within this period. Existing HSRs, who have not already completed the training, must complete the training within the required period. If a worker chooses not to undertake the training within the time period, they will no longer be eligible to fulfill the role of HSR and will need to be replaced
HSRs and deputy HSRs can ask a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to attend approved courses.
The PCBU must give HSRs paid time off to attend a course and pay the course costs and reasonable expenses, within three months of the request.
A HSR can only issue a provisional improvement notice (PIN) if they have attended an approved training course.
Training courses approved under section 21 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, are:
- an initial five day training course
- a one day refresher course at least every three years. The entitlement to refresher training begins three years after the initial training.
As the term of office for an elected HSR is 3 years (section 64 Work Health and Safety Act 2011); an election process by the workgroup must be conducted to either re-elect the current HSR or elect a new HSR if the workgroup has requested a HSR.
If a new HSR is elected, they must conduct an initial 5-day HSR training course within 3 months from the day after the HSR is elected by their workgroup (section 21 (2)(a) Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011).
If the current HSR is re-elected, they are required to undertake a 1 day refresher training course with an approved RTO within 3 months of the election (section 21(1)(b) Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011).
If the re-elected HSR has not undertaken the refresher training within the 3 month period and the PCBU has a valid reason why, the PCBU can make a request for an exemption to undertake the refresher training outside the 3 month period by emailing WHStraining@oir.qld.gov.au. The request for an exemption must include the following:
- details of the HSR,
- date of last training, and
- reason why training has not been conducted within the 3 months after re-election.
If there is no valid reason/s why the HSR has not received refresher training within the specified time, the HSR will need to attend the 5-day training course again.
The health and safety representatives and health and safety committees page has further information on HSRs.