Work Health and Safety (WHS)
A new Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act was implemented on 1 January 2013 and it’s important that Reps and members are familiar with changes.
Under the new WHS Act, all work groups should have an elected Health & Safety Rep (HSR) — large sites may have more than one.
Training for HSRs needs to be requested and the employer must then allow the HSR to undertake approved training within three months. The employer is also required to pay for the course and allow time to attend. Unions Tasmania runs WHS training in all parts of the state for union members.
Electing Health and Safety Reps (HSRs)
The process for electing HSRs has changed and now only requires a worker to seek to have an election by asking the employer.
Consultation and negotiation must occur between the workers and the employer, within 14 days, to determine work groups, the number and composition of work groups and the number of HSRs to be elected for each work group.
Notification of nomination and elections for HSRs should be made available to all employees in the work group. An election does not need to be held if the number of HSR nominees equals the amount of HSRs agreed to for the work group. Deputy HSRs can also be elected.
If you don’t have an HSR, we recommend an election be held early in the year.