Health and Safety Representatives

Within the University, the primary mechanism for consultation on health & safety matters is direct dialog between supervisors and the workers acting under their instruction. A network of health & safety representatives (HSR) supports this by providing a secondary mechanism for consultation on health & safety issues.

Many work groups across the University have elected to have a health and safety representative (HSR) to represent the health and safety interests of their work group.

View the list of Health and Safety Representatives.

Elections for University Health & Safety Representatives


Every three years the University holds elections for HSRs. The current term of office for HSRs ends on 31 December 2014 and workers from each work group are entitled to elect a HSR for their area. Existing HSRs are eligible for re-election.

Safety Health and Wellbeing will call for HSR nominations for the next three year term (1 January 2015 to 31 December 2017) between 3 and 14 November 2014. This will be followed by an online election in work groups where nominations exceed the number of positions available.

What is the role of a HSR?

HSRs may assist in reviewing, investigating and resolving more complex WHS matters for their work group, including WHS complaints from members of the work group.

The HSR are invited to attend management meetings for their work group to discuss health and safety matters and monitor WHS management and compliance.

Two HSRs, one from the faculties and one from the administrative portfolios, are elected by their peers to attend the Senior Executive Group (SEG) Work Health & Safety Committee meetings to represent the collective views of HSRs and the workers they represent.

What is a work group?

A work group is a group of workers with similar health & safety concerns and conditions. Work groups have been determined with reference to organisational structure, work group size, locations and work health & safety risk profiles.

The work groups have been adjusted slightly to account for some recent changes in our organisational structure. Review the proposed list of work groups and have your say via the WHS Consultation SharePoint Site before COB 28 October 2014.

What is the definition of a worker?

A worker at the University includes all staff, affiliates, research students, volunteers, contractors, labour hire employees, apprentices and trainees, and students gaining work experience.

Who can be a HSR?

Any staff member is eligible to be elected as an HSR for their work group.

A departmental safety officer (DSO) cannot be elected as HSR. A DSO is appointed by a senior manager to promote and coordinate health and safety on behalf of management. Conversely, the HSR is elected by their fellow workers to act independently of management. Although their roles are different, it is expected that DSOs and HSRs from the same work group will meet regularly to discuss WHS issues in common, along with other relevant parties.

Term of office

HSRs are elected for three years.

HSRs are eligible for re-election at the end of their term.

What if I don't have a HSR?

The election of a HSR by workers in a work group is optional. If workers consider that their work health and safety concerns are adequately addressed via other means eg. through their usual line of management, then there is no requirement to elect a HSR.

If you think that your work group would benefit from having a HSR, think about nominating yourself or talking to other staff who you think might be appropriate for the role.