Election of HSRs and Committee Members - 26 July 2015
Has your HSR’s term of office expired?
HSRs are elected for a period of 3 years at which time another election for the position of HSR for that workgroup has to be held (Section 64 WHS Act 2011)
Most HSRs would have been elected as HSR for their workgroup about 3 years ago - because the NSW WHS Act 2011 came into force on 1/1/2012. So their term of office has already expired or will expire soon.
Can an election be delayed?
No. A PCBU must not unreasonably delay the election of a HSR (clause 19 WHS Regulations 2011- Maximum penalty – an individual $3,600, a corporation $18,000)
Who is eligible for election?
- a worker is eligible for election if they are a member of the work group (Section 60 WHS Act 2011)
- the existing HSR can be re-elected (Section 64 WHS Act 2011)
- a worker is not eligible if they have been disqualified from being a HSR under section 65 of the WHS Act 2011 (Section 60 WHS Act 2011)
Who can vote?
Only the members of a workgroup can vote for a HSR candidate for their workgroup (Section 62 WHS Act 2011)
What is the procedure for electing an HSR?
- the workers in a work group can decide how an election should be conducted (Section 61 WHS Act 2011)
- the election may be conducted with the assistance of a union or other person or organisation if a majority of the workers require it (Section 61 WHS Act 2011)
- the PCBU must provide any resources, facilities and assistance that are reasonably necessary to conduct the election and comply with the regulations about procedure (Section 61 WHS Act 2011)
- the PCBU must take reasonable steps to ensure (clause 18 WHS Regulation 2011);
(a) each person in the workgroup is informed of the date of the election as soon as practicable
(b) all workers in the workgroup are given an opportunity to nominate for the HSR position and vote
(c) all workers are informed of the outcome of the election
When is an election not needed?
You don’t need an election if the number of candidates for election as a health and safety representative for a work group equals the number of vacancies in that workgroup. (Section 63 WHS Act 2011)
Health & Safety Committee Member Elections
The WHS Act 2011 and the WHS Regulations 2011 have very little to say on the subject of the election of H&S Committee members. These matters have been left to the PCBU and the workers to decide and their arrangements should have been recorded in the Constitution of the H&S Committee when it was established.
Training for HSRs and H&S Committee Members
Courtenell is a WorkCover Approved Training Provider for WorkCover HSR training. Click HERE for details of HSR Courses and H&S Committee member courses.
You are welcome to download and distribute the article in your workplace if you feel it may be useful