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Health and safety representatives

Is there a need for a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) in my company?
Under Section 61 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (accessible here) the answer is yes: “A PCBU must have practices that provide reasonable opportunities for workers… to participate effectively in improving work health and safety… on an ongoing basis”.  Having reps and a health and safety committee in place is a practical way of meeting this requirement.
The rules around this are explained further in Section 62 (here) and rep functions are set out here. WorkSafe’s advice on all this is here: https://bit.ly/2FdMHIz.
So — if you already have a system in place how do you ensure it is compliant with the new law (which came into full effect on 4/4/16)? One important thing is to avoid any confusion over whether people are ‘officers’ or ‘representatives’ under the Act.  Companies with over 20 employees must hold elections to vote in a HSR.  Those under 20 may opt to directly appoint a HSR.
A good tool which describes the role of a Health and Safety Representative can be found here https://bit.ly/2VBPscD. Please feel welcome to contact us on 04 499-0710 if you need assistance with the new rules.

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