How to improve safety at your workplace
There are strong reasons for NSWNMA members to become HSRs:
- to represent members of your work group when it comes to health and safety matters in your workplace and have those views considered
- to help keep your employer compliant with their WHS obligations under the WHS Act
- to improve staff safety, which is directly linked to patient safety in the workplace.
Form a work group
A work group consists of workers who share similar workplace health and safety interests and conditions, for example, nurses on a unit. Work groups are established through negotiations with the employer.
NSW workers have a legal right to seek the establishment of a work group and to negotiate an agreed number of HSR positions to represent those work groups.
The NSWNMA can help you with this process.
Elect a health and safety representative
It is up to the members of the work group how they will elect HSRs or Deputy HSRs. The process may be informal (a show of hands) or follow a more formal process (ballot papers and ballot box).
If more than one employee is nominated for a vacant HSR or Deputy HSR position, an election needs to take place within the workplace.
All employees in the work group are eligible to vote in this election.
Get HSR training
An elected HSR is entitled to attend SafeWork NSW-approved training of their choice, including a five-day HSR training course and a one-day refresher training course once a year.
HSRs are entitled to time off work with pay and the costs associated to attend the course to be paid by the employer, in accordance with the WHS Act.
The NSWNMA runs SafeWork NSW-approved and HSR training to help you learn to become an effective HSR.
How the Association can help
The NSWNMA has a team of dedicated WHS professionals and experienced industrial officers and organisers, who can provide you with support and guidance. You can contact them here.
If you want to find out more about becoming a Health and Safety Representative, download our guide.