Workplaces have a legal entitlement to nominate and elect Health and Safety Representatives to provide a number of functions to assist in the provision of safe workplaces and safe work practices.
These are for the benefit and wellbeing of employees and other persons in the workplace.
There are about 80 nominated UWA workplaces which have been allocated according to administrative and geographical criteria. Most of these workplaces have elected Health and Safety Representatives who are available to assist with health and safety related matters.
- Being a representative
- Nominations - annual call
- Submitting a nomination
- Nomination at other times
- Notifying WorkSafe of your election as a Health and Safety Representative
- While serving as a representative
To become a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) you must be an employee who works at the workplace and has:
- had a total of at least two years experience in work of a similar nature to the work at the workplace
- had such training and approval by the WorkSafe Commissioner as required.
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Being a representative
Health and Safety Representatives have legal entitlements under health and safety legislation:
- inspect workplaces at such times as agreed with the employer.
- immediately, in the event of an accident, a dangerous occurrence or a risk of imminent and serious injury to, or imminent and serious harm to the health of, any person, carry out an appropriate investigation in respect of the matter.
- keep informed as to health and safety information provided by their employer.
- refer relevent matters to the Health and Safety Committee for consideration.
- consult and co-operate with their employer on all matters relating to the health and safety of persons in the workplace.
- liaise with the employees regarding matters concerning the safety or health of persons in the workplace.
Further information is available at roles and responsibilities.
Other considerations of being a Health and Safety Representative are that they:
- are required to be registered (Form 3) with WorkSafe WA within 14 days of being elected.
- complete the introductory five-day Health and Safety Representative course within one year of being elected. The course fee is paid by the workplace / employer and you will be provided time off with pay to attend.
- are elected for a two year period, after which time another election is required should they wish to continue being a HSR.
- do not receive payment for being a HSR.
- incur no civil liability arising from their performance of, or failure to perform any function as a HSR.
- have the same duties and responsibilities as other employees in respect to their general duties of care.
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Three processes are involved in the election of a Health and Safety Representative: notice or invitation for election, consultation, and finally the election process. If after due consultation there is only one nominee, then this person may be appointed. Otherwise a secret ballot is required within the relevant workplace, which is arranged by UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing and the Unions.
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Nominations - annual call
Calls for nominations at the University are made in March each year for all workplaces which at the time do not have a current Health and Safety Representative (HSR) or for which the current HSRs two year term is about to expire. The call for nominations is via an All-staff communication. The aim is to have all Health and Safety Representatives declared by the end of April.
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Submitting a nomination
- before seeking nomination you should first discuss your intentions with your supervisor and area manager
- fill in the nomination form
- Mail the completed form to “Safety, Health and Wellbeing” M478 or email to [email protected] . If only one nomination is received, that nominee automatically becomes the HSR. If more than one nomination is received an election may be held. UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing will facilitate this process.
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Nomination at other times
At other times of the year you should:
- check that your work area does not already have a HSR. If it does not, then proceed to the next step. If your work area already has a HSR, then you may have to wait for the next election round when the current Health and Safety Representative's 2 year term expires. This call for nominations commences in February/March of each year
- advise your supervisor, area manager and UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing (6488 3938) of your intentions
- arrange for all staff in your workplace to be advised of your nomination and provide others with an opportunity to also nominate by a suitable date. If no other nominations are received then a ballot is not necessary and you are duly elected.
Once elected you will be advised by UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing (for annual call for nominations) or you should contact UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing (for nominations at other times) to confirm your election. UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing will provide written notification to the management of your workplace of your election.
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Notifying WorkSafe of your election as a Health and Safety Representative
Within 14 days of being elected you need to complete a notification form and then send it to UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing (step 7 below).
The form is available at notification of election and registration of a health and safety representative form.
Completing the form
1. Click File; Save As and save it to your PC as YourName-HSR.
2. Open your saved copy of the form.
3. Click on Highlight Existing Fields in the top right to make the shaded boxes for entering text appear.
4. Complete PART ONE using the University address
- 35, Stirling Highway, Crawley,WA 6009
- The ABN, which MUST be included, is 37-882-817-280
5. Complete PART TWO.
6. Complete PART THREE using your full University address which must include your UWA mail bag number:
- Address..................................M???, 35, Stirling Highway, Crawley,WA 6009
- Telephone...............................6488 3938 (UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing)
- Site Address and postcode.......(as above)
- Email......................................[email protected]
- Employers industry..................Education
7. Send the completed form to UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing. We will record the details then send your form to WorkSafe WA.
After UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing have sent your form to WorkSafe WA, they will issue you directly with a Health and Safety Representative starter kit and WorkSafe number, which should be prefaced with the year of issue and which is only valid for two years or upon resignation, whichever occurs first. WorkSafe WA will ensure you receive relevant safety related information whilst you continue to have a current Health and Safety Representative number.
Please advise UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing of your HSR number so that the List of Health and Safety Representatives on our webpage can be updated, see: Health and Safety Personnel. We will also ensure that you are included in the Health and Safety Representative email group and able to participate in the annual call for Health and Safety Representative nominations on the University Safety Committee.
You are required to complete an introductory 5-day Health and Safety Representative course within one year of becoming elected. If you have not already completed such a course refer to Health and Safety Representative course service providers
- Your workplace is required to release you on pay to attend the 5-day Health and Safety Representative course and to also pay the course fee.
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Serving as a representative
As a Health and Safety Representative you should:
- actively fulfill your Health and Safety Representative functions and responsibilities
- provide safety leadership and support within your workplace
- keep updated with health and safety developments through following up information provided by the University email groups and arising from Safety Committee meetings
- participate in safety related training as necessary.
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