Health and Safety Representatives (HSR’s) MUST be trained within 6 months of election from 1 July 2018. Up until this date it was only a requirement if the HSR requested this training. Now it will be a mandatory requirement that they attend the government approved 5 Day HSR training course as part of a raft of changes passed by Queensland Parliament on 12 October 2017 in the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017.
HSR role changes
The Act has introduced a number of changes to the HSR role that businesses need to be aware of and plan for. These include:
the requirement to provide the regulator with a list of HSRs;
the introduction of mandatory training for HSRs; and
the requirement to forward to the regulator a copy of all PINs issued by HSRs.
Most significant of these amendments is the requirement to train all HSRs within 6 months of them being appointed. The training must be as prescribed in the regulations and the Act also contains the amendments to the regulations in respect of this training.
The training that must be undertaken is a five-day course (as approved by the regulator) with refresher training every three years. An employer must allow a HSR time off to attend this training and pay for the training and any reasonable costs associated with this. This change will impact businesses financially as even existing HSRs will need to be trained once the legislation is introduced. It is prudent to begin to plan how this training will be managed early.