Health and Safety Representatives

The primary mechanism for consultation on health & safety matters is direct dialogue between supervisors and the workers acting under their instruction.

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

View the current list of Health and Safety Representatives

What is the role of a HSR?

HSRs are invited to attend management meetings so that they can participate in discussions about health and safety matters and monitor the management of WHS within their work group. They may also assist in reviewing, investigating and resolving the more complex WHS matters for their work group, including WHS complaints from members of the work group.

Two HSRs, one from the faculties and one from the administrative portfolios, are elected by their peers to attend the University Executive (UE) 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 original list of University work groups was established with reference to the University’s organisational structure, the number of workers, work locations and the work health & safety risk profile of specific work groups. We have adjusted the list slightly to account for some recent changes in our organisational structure.

View the current list of work groups.

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.

Nominations for University Health & Safety Representatives

Every three years the University holds nominations for HSRs. The current term of office for HSRs ends on 31 December 2017. Safety Health and Wellbeing will call for HSR nominations for the next three year term (1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020).

Workers from each work group are entitled to elect a HSR for their area. Existing HSRs are eligible for re-election.

The Nomination Period will be between 1 and 15 November 2017 (no later than 5pm). This will be followed by an online election in work groups where nominations exceed the number of positions available.

Access the HSR Nomination Form here.

Who can be a HSR?

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

A departmental safety officer (DSO) cannot be elected as a 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.

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.