Health and safety representatives and their deputies represent staff within a designated work group. The Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 gives them a range of rights when the health and safety of staff in their area may be affected.
They have the right to be consulted on:
- proposed changes in the workplace or to materials, equipment or procedures
- risk assessment of materials, equipment or procedures
- development of OHS policy and procedures
- investigation of OHS hazards and incidents
- training, instruction and information on OHS.
They also have the right to:
- direct work to stop when there is an immediate threat to health and safety
- inspect any part of the workplace after giving reasonable notice to the head of the unit or controlled entity
- attend workplace audits and inspections
- access information on workplace hazards and health and safety of staff in their area, except for medically confidential information
- use facilities and resources needed to perform their role
- issue a Professional Improvement Notice (PIN) after other issue resolution procedures have failed
- take paid leave for health and safety training.
Health and safety representatives:
- must use OHS issue resolution procedures
- should arrange for their deputy or delegate to cover his or her area when they are away.
Election of health and safety representatives
Staff within a designated work group elects a representative for a 3 year term. Any staff member can stand for election. If there is more than one nomination, the University prepares an electoral roll and sends out ballot papers. Nominees can include a statement to support their nomination.