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.
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 an 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.