The requirement of a health and safety representative (HSR) to undertake a course of training is outlined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). The WHS Act provides the HSR training must be provided through a course of training that is approved by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ).
From 1 February 2019, all HSRs must undertake the relevant approved training course within three months of their election unless a training course is not reasonably available within this period. Existing HSRs, who have not already completed the training, must complete the training within the required period. If a worker chooses not to undertake the training within the time period, they will no longer be eligible to fulfill the role of HSR and will need to be replaced
HSRs and deputy HSRs can ask a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to attend approved courses.
The PCBU must give HSRs paid time off to attend a course and pay the course costs and reasonable expenses, within three months of the request.
The course provide HSRs and deputy HSRs, elected under the new WHS legislation, with information and skills relating to:
- Interpreting the WH&S legislative framework and its relationship to the HSR
- Identifying key parties and their legislative obligations and duties
- Establishing representation in the workplace
- Participating in consultation and issue resolution
- Representing members in the WHS risk management process undertaken by the PCBU
- Issuing a Provisional Notice (PIN) and directing the Cessation of Work.
This 5 day course covers training required of a student in their role as an elected HSR. Training consists of written answers and practical exercises in the following:
- undertake workplace inspections
- review the circumstances of workplace incidents
- accompany a WHSQ inspector during an inspection
- represent the workgroup in health and safety matters
- attend an interview about health and safety matters with a worker from the workgroup (with the consent of the worker)
- request that a health and safety committee be established
- participate in a health and safety committee
- monitor compliance measures
- investigate work health and safety complaints from workgroup members
- inquire into any risk to the health and safety of workers in the workgroup
- issue provisional improvement notices and direct a worker to cease unsafe work (where the HSR has completed the approved training).