Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) are employees elected by members of a Designated Work Group (DWG) to represent and safeguard their health and safety interests.
A HSR elected for a DWG may, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic), do any of the following:
- Inspect any part of a workplace in which a member of the DWG works after giving reasonable notice, or without delay in the event of an incident or immediate risk to health or safety.
- Accompany an inspector during a workplace inspection involving their DWG.
- Require the establishment of a health and safety committee.
- If the member of the DWG consents, attend interviews on health or safety matters between that person and an inspector or employer.
- If the HSR is authorised to represent an independent contractor and that person consents, attend interviews on health or safety matters between that person and an inspector or employer.
HSRs at the University are granted invitation to the quarterly HSR Forum meetings.
Health & Safety representatives
University HSR list
The University Health & Safety Services team maintains the University's register of elected Health and Safety Representatives and Designated Working Groups:
The maintenance of this list is legislatively mandated. Local areas are asked to provide prompt and complete advice of any changes. For newly elected HSRs, the returning officer for the election should advise Health & Safety Services by filling in the Notify HSR Outcome form in ServiceNow.
Electing a new HSR
Health & Safety: Health and safety representative election guidelines provides information on how to elect a HSR including elections procedures, nominations and the voting system. It also includes the following support templates for HSR elections:
- Call for nominations
- Nomination form
- Voting paper
- Voter signature labels
- Voting paper envelope labels
- Confirmation of election letter
Approved HSR training
How to enrol
Enrol into a WorkSafe approved HSR training session.
Please note, it is important to:
- select your training dates in consultation with your supervisor
- notify the Health & Safety Services team upon completion of your training so that the University HSR list can be updated accordingly.
Fees and Conditions
Central funding for this training is available only to elected employee Health & Safety Representatives in the meaning of the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2004 (Vic).
The University has a central fund, administered by Health & Safety Services, which will pay training costs for eligible trainees. Please note that if you do not appear on the University's list of elected employee Health & Safety Representatives, and are seeking Health & Safety Services assistance with enrolment in this training or payment of costs, you may need to provide evidence of your election before we can assist you.
Once the invoice is received, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Health & Safety Services team will process the payment.
Approved training for elected employee Health & Safety Representatives comprises the following courses:
Initial Training - 5 day course
- Description: Introductory training on the role and function of an elected Health and Safety Representative, for newly elected Health and Safety Representatives.
- Provider: WorkSafe-approved external provider.
- Audience: Elected Health and Safety Representatives who have not undertaken approved Health and Safety Representative training previously.
Refresher Training - 1 day course
- Description: Refresher training on the role and function of an elected Health and Safety Representative. Some providers may offer a selection of customised content within this training, based on different workplace hazard profiles.
- Provider: WorkSafe-approved external provider.
- Audience: Elected employee Health and Safety Representatives who have undertaken the 5 day training previously. Refresher training may be undertaken once per year.
- HSR forum
Renegotiating designated work groups
A designated work group is a grouping of employees represented by an elected employee HSR.
Please note that details of Designated Work Groups (including group name, extent of membership, number of HSRs, etc) have been determined by formal negotiation. If you wish to vary the DWG details for your area, you will need to engage in formal renegotiation.
From time to time, workplace or organisational changes may make it more difficult for HSRs to represent staff while a previously agreed DWG structure persists. Therefore, local areas may wish to adjust the grouping of staff into DWGs. The following guidance material advises what factors to consider, and gives a recommended protocol for renegotiating DWGs in a manner that is compliant with legislative and procedural requirements. A template for the letter to all staff recommended in the protocol is also provided.
To commence a renegotiation, you will need to contact the Director, Health & Safety. The Director, Health & Safety or nominee is the only management representative authorised to represent the University in DWG negotiations.
- How to renegotiate designated work groups
- Template: Proposal to renegotiate designated work groups - to use this template, remove the background "TEMPLATE" watermark and edit or remove all text highlighted in yellow.