• Jo Moar
    I have been pushing for training for our 4 new HSRs, however my manager is pushing back on the cost to have this training completed externally. He has "suggested" that I complete the training in house utilising my skills and the assistance of our Regional H&S Advisor.

    Is there anything concrete that says Stage 1 HSR training has to be completed by a qualified training facility.
  • Jane
    Check out this link https://worksafe.govt.nz/managing-health-and-safety/health-and-safety-representatives/hsr-training/
    "Completing initial training means achieving New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) unit standard 29315: Describe the role and functions of the Health and Safety Representative in a New Zealand workplace.

    Only training that leads to the achievement of NZQA unit standard 29315 meets the requirements for initial training. Only training providers with approval from NZQA can teach this unit standard.

    When you are choosing a training opportunity, consult with your PCBU about the timing, location and cost of training.

    Once you have achieved this unit standard, you will be considered trained and able to issue a PIN or order unsafe work to cease.

    Your PCBU must comply with legal requirements relating to your rights to request and attend health and safety training."
  • Jo Moar
    Thanks Jane - thats exactly what I need. Now to get him past that last sentence.
  • Gordon
    Hi Jo
    We have embedded the unit standard 29315 in the Course PUBH4008 - part of our offering of the NZ Certificate in Health & Safety Practice L4 60 credit programme (Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua). There are a few Polytechs that offer the Level 4 Programme - NorthTec offer an online version so may be able to help you. Contact Stephanie Morgan at NorthTec. You may find PTEs that offer the US as a short course...
  • Dianne Campton
    You might like to remind him this is legislated in the Health and Safety at Work Act and ask him to confirm in writing he is willing to breach the legislation. I'm sure he will change his mind quite quickly
  • Don Ramsay
    Dianne has nailed it, the training is legislated and there is an entitlement to allow each HSR 2 days training per year, below is an extract from the worksafe site.

    "HSWA requires the PCBU to allow each HSR up to two days' paid leave a year to attend health and safety training.

    The total number of days' paid leave that a PCBU is required to allow for health and safety training is capped by HSWA. It is based on the number of workers in the business at a specified date in the year".
  • Tony Walton
    Jo Moar: Many of the so called 'HSR's' I see in companies are actually health & safety committee volunteers. Suggest reviewing if they have been formally elected by their peers to act in a legal capacity as their health & safety representative to Management. If not, you can access the unit standard and pass on anything relevant to assist their contribution and effectiveness as a committee rep for their teams.
  • robyn moses
    Is an HSR the same as a health and safety committee volunteer? We put 6 HSRs (including managers, supervisors, staff liaison and union rep) thru NZQA when it first came in. All 6 are still with us and attend committee meetings. We don't have a health and safety committee as such, we encourage everyone on site to be a health and safety advocate. We have employee of the month award a $50 paknsav voucher, one of the criteria for nomination is health and safety advocacy. I run 3 monthly health and safety meetings anyone is welcome to attend,do not get much uptake on volunteers but what I tend to do is bring workers in who have identified a new hazard or one that we are not managing well and have them tell us about what prompted there concerns and we can address what corrective actions were put in place, this seems to go down well with staff being mentioned in the meeting minutes and having others read about what they did. Staff turnover amongst our process workers is also high using health and safety resources to fund NZQA for volunteers work is better utilised elsewhere. Like getting maintenance or machine setters NZQA health and safety training.
  • Tania Curtin

    Hi Robyn,

    No, a H&S Representative (HSR) is not the same as an H&S Committee (HSC) member.

    An HSR needs to be nominated and elected by workers in their work group (they can self-nominate). This is because the key function of the HSR is to represent them [workers within their work group] on H&S matters. It needs to be someone they choose, who they trust and feel comfortable talking to. Having said that, the things you are doing sound like they are working and are a great start!

    I think the best explanation of participation etc. can be found in these guides from Worksafe (especially the first 3 pamphlets - they are clear and succinct):
    If you like reading, these two documents are excellent (though long):
  • PaulReyneke
    I do not agree that training Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) is per se a PCBU-duty under the HSWA. The Act, in Section 58, poses a duty on PCBU’s to engage with workers (“If the PCBU and the workers have agreed to procedures for engagement, the engagement must be in accordance with those procedures”, but the format of engagement is not prescribed. Section 59 makes it clear that the nature of the engagement must be determined in consultation with the people.

    Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) are an example of worker participation, but H&S Committees are also an acceptable form of worker participation

    As to training, Sections 70(a) and 85(a) of the Act require training before the HSR holds the authority to issue a provisional improvement notice or a direction to cease work. However, this training is requested by the HSR, not the duty of the PCBU. Section 12(1)(a)(i) of Schedule 2 of the Act states: “if a health and safety representative has been elected to represent workers who carry out work for a business or undertaking, the PCBU must allow the health and safety representative, for the purpose of attending health and safety training, 2 days’ paid leave each year …”

    The key words are “must allow”. This means the PCBU cannot refuse, but the request comes from the HSR; it is not a PCBU duty.

    In actual fact, I personally think internal training is far more advantageous than the external NZQA Unit Standard training. The Unit Standards allow the HSR the functions under sections 70(a) and 85(a) of the Act, something I do not oppose. However, I hope we as employers can work with our own people to ensure effective consultation that will make the use of provisional improvement notices or directions to cease work superfluous. It is a sad day when an employer (PCBU) and employees (HRS) have to use blunt legal instruments to solve their problems.
  • Brendon Ward
    Sell it. Show the benefits. Don't lead with "the law says..."
  • Mark Taylor
    I've been told that if there isn't a formal process for electing health and safety reps, or if they are merely volunteers on a committee, then reps are not covered under the immunity from prosecution under schedule 2, part 1 (16) page 142

    Does anyone know if that is correct?
  • Andrew
    I have Safety Advocates.

    Thus avoiding the whole HSR palava.
  • Tony Walton
    Yep - good stuff Paul.
  • Steve Setterfield
    We have sufficient total numbers of staff to warrant HSR's but they are distributed across much smaller branch offices making the costs unrealistic. To overcome this all our staff are required to attend a documented team meeting once a month where H&S is an agenda item. The expectation is that staff will attend a minimum 10 out of the possible 12 meetings. Everyone has their say and can take on board any changes or instructions.
  • Joe Boyle
    I agree with Jane, Jo. If your organisation has over 20 employees then they must elect Reps and the PCBU has a responsibility under the Act to them. Try to frame your request so you are shown to be investing in improving the culture of H&S throughout the workplace and well educated Reps would be the conduit for this so the Manager/Owner does not bear the full weight of trying to foster a good H&S culture on their on shoulders. Maybe that will work.
  • PaulReyneke
    It is not a legal requirement to elect Reps. Refer my message above
  • Cathy Faulkner
    It is a legal requirement to elect H&S Reps if a worker requests it, regardless of what engagement and participation practices are in place (Clause 62).
  • Mark Taylor
    What happens if a worker request representation, but no one gets elected because of a lack of interest?
    Also, do you have to have a minimum quorum of members to have a committee and run a meeting?
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