The role of the Health & Safety Representative in the workplace involves the use of powers and functions not available to workers. If they are to represent their workgroup effectively, it is important that Health & Safety Representatives are fully aware of how, where and when to use these powers and functions. To help develop this awareness, representatives should attend an approved elected Health & Safety Representatives training course as soon as possible after being elected.
University Health & Safety Representatives are entitled to five days leave per year, without loss of income, to attend approved training courses. This makes a total of 15 days training over a three year term of office. Where there is a choice of courses available, a Health & Safety Representative must consult with their employer to ensure the training does not affect business operations, rostering, schedules etc.
Deputy Health & Safety Representatives
Deputy Representatives do not have an automatic entitlement to paid training leave and should therefore negotiate with the employer to arrange attendance at a training course. A Deputy Representative will obviously be able to carry out their role more effectively if they have been trained. Therefore, five days training per year, at an approved course, is recommended for Deputy Representatives.
To correspond with the three periods of training leave; there are three levels of approved Health & Safety Representative training.
The Level 1 course is a five day introductory course on WHS. It is the first year component of a three-year package and is aimed at empowering elected Health & Safety Representatives to effectively represent their workgroup on WHS matters. The course aims to provide Health & Safety Representatives with a working knowledge of the Act, the Regulations and approved codes of practice. It also aims to assist Health & Safety Representatives to understand the principles of hazard management and the consultation process for resolving work, health and safety issues, and thereby develop positive attitudes to WHS.
The Level 2 course is a five-day course which aims to develop, reinforce, extend and add to the range of skills and knowledge acquired in the Level 1 course. The course also aims to provide more information on the Act and to further assist Health & Safety Representatives’ understanding of the risk assessment approach to hazard management. A major component of the course is the development of skills necessary to research, prepare and present a case using practical exercises relevant to the needs of the participants.
The Level 1 and 2 courses can be held on five consecutive days or split into three plus two-day or two plus three-day format. The split format presentation must be completed within a four-week period.
Level 3 (Review, Revision and Update)
This level of training is intended for Health & Safety Representatives in their third year of office and is also designed to facilitate training beyond the three years for those Health & Safety Representatives who have been re-elected. The joint training of Health & Safety Representatives and managers/supervisors is an acceptable training approach at this stage.
The course is structured to allow a significant amount of flexibility to enable Representatives to choose topics that are most relevant to them, their workgroup and their workplace.
The Representative may participate in approved workshops, seminars and/or specialist conferences held either on consecutive days or throughout the year.
Health & Safety Representatives may make direct arrangements with training providers to attend a course. However, in some situations someone else may arrange a Representative’s attendance at a training course. Where there are enough Representatives at one workplace, arrangements may be made with an approved course provider to conduct the training on-site.
However, Health & Safety Representatives are ultimately responsible for organising their own training and while they are required to consult with the employer, Representatives make the final decision about which course they will attend.
There are several approved Health & Safety Representative training providers used by the University ie,
- Business SA
Phone 8300 0104
- SA Unions
Phone 82792222 or 1300 364 536
- Adelaide Training and Employment Centre
Phone 8444 1608
- Access Training Centre
7 La Salle Street Dudley Park, SA 5008
Phone 8169 9800