Consultation and collaboration with health and safety representatives
Good consultation with your workers improves health and safety.
One way you can consult with your workers on these issues is through health and safety representatives (HSRs). They represent the health and safety interests of a work group and can raise these issues with their employer.
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Good consultation with your workers, improves health and safety. Your workers are your eyes and ears on the frontline, and often know where your safety problems are. One way you can consult with your workers on health and safety issues is through health and safety representatives, otherwise known as HSR. What does a HSR do? HSR represent the health and safety interests of a work group and can raise health and safety issues with their employer. HSRs give workers a voice in the health and safety matters. Ensuring the workforce is involved through participation and consultation. Let's take a closer look. HSRs can improve two-way communication between you and the work group on matters relating to work health and safety. They are not professional safety officers do not manage health and safety and do not need health and safety expertise to be eligible for the role on behalf of the work group. HSRs can monitor how well safety measures are working, investigate health and safety complaints, and make inquiries about health and safety risks to the workers in the work group.
HSRs can participate constructively in incident investigations and help you work through what went wrong and how to stop it happening. Again, HSRs can accompany a workplace health and safety Queensland inspector or advisor during their visit and assist them to understand their health and safety issues and workplace activities. If required elected and trained HSRs can take immediate action to stop a task or activity. That's presenting a serious risk to health and safety HSRs will work in collaboration with you to do this. An elected and trained HSR can issue a provisional improvement. Notice otherwise known as a PIN, if a breach of the health and safety legislation or a serious health and safety issue has not been resolved through consultation. The use of a PIN should be the last resort to resolving the issue. What do you need to do? If your workers ask to be represented by a HSR first work groups need to be determined.
You are legally required to facilitate this process. This will require negotiation between you and the workers who will form the work group. These negotiations must commence within 14 days after the request to elect a HSR is made. Negotiations will determine the number and composition of the work group and the number of HSRs to be elected. The next step is to conduct an election, to determine a HSR for each work group. You will be legally required to facilitate this process too. Once the election is complete, you must keep and display an up to date list of elected HSRs at your workplace. You can do this via the HSR portal on the Worksafe Queensland website at worksafe.qld.gov.au What training do HSRs need? You must ensure HSRs complete the approved five day training course within three months after the day, the HSR is elected. If HSRs are reelected after their three year term, you must also ensure they complete the required one day refresher training.
You must allow HSRs to attend the training in paid work time and pay the training fees and any other reasonable costs. How can I support HSRs in the workplace? Work proactively with HSRs to resolve health and safety issues in the workplace. HSRs can offer invaluable insight from the frontline, make time to talk to HSRs and encourage their input on health and safety matters. Listen to any concerns raised and act promptly. Allow HSRs time to talk and consult with their work groups. Without fear of reprisal. Encouraging HSRs to consult with their work groups shows you trust them and gives them confidence to help improve health and safety at the workplace. Good consultation and collaboration is your legal duty as an employer, but it also shows you're committed to health and safety, you're interested in what workers think and feel about health and safety and you value their input. Workers will feel empowered and have a greater buy in and acceptance of health and safety practices. If they're actively involved. If elected HSRs have health and safety questions, they can call Workplace Health and Safety Queensland's HSR Direct on 1300 633 419, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Queensland Council of Unions provides a HSR support service which can be contacted through Facebook @HSRsupport, online through hsrsupport.org.au or email info@HSRsupport.org.au. For more information about consultation and HSRs refer to the Code of Practice and the Safety fundamentals toolkit at worksafe.qld.gov.au.