Training is not mandatory, but health and safety representatives (HSRs) are entitled to it so they have the skills and knowledge needed to perform their role effectively.
Only trained HSRs and deputy HSRs can:
- issue provisional improvement notices (PINs)
- direct work to cease.
If a HSR or deputy HSR has asked for training, the PCBU must allow them to attend a training course within 3 months of the HSR’s request.
HSRs and deputy HSRs are entitled to:
- an initial training course, which could be up to 5 days. This a ‘one off’, so if the HSR is re-elected, they don’t need to do it again
- a 1-day refresher training course each year, with the first starting a year after the initial training.
The course must be:
- approved by WorkSafe Tasmania (see Training providers below)
- chosen by the HSR in consultation with the PCBU.
If the HSR and PCBU can’t agree (for example, on the course selected, allowing time off for training, or payment of the course and associated costs) within 3 months, then they can ask for a WorkSafe Tasmania inspector to decide the matter (if they don’t agree with the inspector’s decision, they can ask WorkSafe to review it).
The PCBU and HSR may also agree that the HSR can attend other training; for example, a conference or seminar on a relevant health and safety topic.
Obligations of the PCBU
The PCBU must:
- allow the HSR and deputy HSR paid time off to attend training, equivalent to what they would otherwise be entitled to receive for working during that period
- pay the course fees and any other reasonable associated costs (such as travel, accommodation and meals).
If the HSR has to attend training that is held outside their normal working hours (for example, the HSR normally works night shifts) then all time spent at the training course must be treated as time at work.
The PCBU should consider changing rosters or shifts to accommodate a HSR in this situation. However, if the HSR must work more hours than their normal weekly hours, these additional hours must be compensated in the same manner as other additional hours are treated.
The HSR should not be disadvantaged in any way as a result of accessing training.
Who pays if a HSR represents workers from more than one business?
If a HSR represents a work group with workers from more than one business or undertaking, the PCBUs must equally share the cost of training and associated costs.
The PCBUs can negotiate and agree on how to share costs (for example, where most of the work group carries out work for one business, they can agree for that PCBU to pay more HSR-related costs) and to change the arrangements at any time.
Training providers (in alphabetical order)
WorkSafe does not endorse any particular trainer.
Australia Working Safely - 0419 311 297
Go Green Consulting - 0411 874 556
IPM Consulting Services - (03) 6244 2199
SGC Safety - (03) 6227 2210
St Michaels Association Inc – (03) 6331 7651
TasTAFE - 1300 362 175
Unions Tasmania - (03) 6234 9553
WHSE Training & Consulting - 0411 555 378