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Health and safety representative (HSR)

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As a health and safety representative (HSR), you have been elected by members of your work group to represent them in health and safety matters. Your role is not to fix problems in your workplace, nor are you expected to be an expert on work health and safety issues

In your role, you often represent workers and monitor the actions of the person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU) in adhering to health and safety standards. You will find that effective consultation is one of the most important skills you need in your role.

The Office Safety tool can help you identify hazards and risks associated with the work you and your colleagues do so you can take positive action to keep yourself and others safe in the office.

Potential harm

  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Top risks

  1. Interpersonal conflict.
  2. Bullying.

What you can do for yourself

  • Be mindful of your own health and safety and be alert to risks.
  • Seek to communicate your needs to perform the HSR role to your employer, for example you may need a certain amount of time to speak with a worker about a safety issue.
  • Be reasonable in the amount of time you spend in the role. It should not consume all your workday and time to fulfill the role is usually agreed with your employer.
  • Access training that is available for health and safety representatives.

What you can do for your work group

  • Ensure you are familiar with the type of work undertaken in your work group and the risks that workers could be exposed to.
  • Consult with your work group members on health and safety matters.
  • Bring issues to the attention of the employer as soon as possible, so they have an opportunity to rectify the problem.

What employers can do for HSRs

  • Set the standard of expected safety behaviour.
  • Consult with workers and HSRs on health and safety matters or changes which may impact health and safety of workers.
  • Make policies and procedures on work health and safety matters available to workers.

More information

For more information, see:

Page last reviewed: 20 May 2021

Comcare (Office Safety tool)
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 |

Date printed 19 May 2024