• Sandra Nieuwoudt
    26
    Hi all

    We have an H&S Committee and each workgroup of our laboratory is represented by an H&S Rep who is formally trained to manage engagement, participation and representation.

    We now have a different group made up of casual workers cutting fruit that vary between 150-200, during the kiwi fruit season (3 months). This group is managed by 5 permanent staff who are Supervisors with 3 of them trained as H&S Reps.

    The HSWA (Worker Engagement, Participation, & Representation) Regulation 2016 states that the ratio is 1 representative for every 19 workers. This does not seem practical to me as we then need up to 10 H&S Reps and we don't have 10 permanent staff for that group of people.

    With the latest training for an H&S Rep, the Service Provider trainer was adamant that the above is the rule and our team is non-compliant.

    Can you please comments/advise on this or what you do.
  • Steve H
    202
    We have an H&S Committee and each workgroup of our laboratory is represented by an H&S Rep who is formally trained to manage engagement, participation and representation.

    We now have a different group made up of casual workers cutting fruit that vary between 150-200, during the kiwi fruit season (3 months). This group is managed by 5 permanent staff who are Supervisors with 3 of them trained as H&S Reps.
    Sandra Nieuwoudt

    So far, has your present system worked Sandra? Are the temps able to engage with it, have input into it?


    Worker participation in health and safety can be done in a number of ways, it all depends on what works best for your business and the workers.
    WorkSafe

    The 1-19 ratio is what the legislation states,but it isn't so chiseled in stone on WorkSafe's advisory page https://www.worksafe.govt.nz/managing-health-and-safety/businesses/worker-engagement-and-participation/
  • Sandra Nieuwoudt
    26
    Our H&S System is working really well and all are introduced to their H&S Rep, with an open invitation to attend the meeting at any one time and they we have good feedback/communication to and from the meeting.
  • Peter Scanlan
    11
    Hi Sandra, my reading of the regulations (Worker Engagement, Participation and Representation) clause 7 (2) "Duty in relation to determination of work groups and the number of HSRs if the work group does not comprise all workers in BU" if s64(3) of the Act applies (setting more than 1 work group for the BU...would be inappropriate to the nature of the PCBU), the PCBU must have regard to: (i) the pattern of work, FT, PT, casual or fixed term etc. It appears to me from your info., that this clause would apply which gives the PCBU some wiggle room regarding the 1:19 ratio. s64(4) states that if (3) applies then the PCBU must ensure that workers are grouped in a way that most effectively enables the H&S interests of the workers to be represented, and takes account of the need for HSRs to be accessible to the workers they represent. Main point is that the ratio is not set in stone if there are circumstances where a PCBU has more than 1 work group, as per clause 7. I hope this is helpful.
  • Chrissy Hansen
    16
    I too have managed a large food processing company with seasonal workers. We had an established Health and Safety Committee (Mainly site/department leaders) and a H&S Reps committee (elected by the permanent workers for the workers) both meetings were conducted separately, which worked very well as the workers were very pro-active without management present at their meetings. A HSR spokes person would come forward to the Committee meetings. As long as workers have access to a HSR rep at any given time then this would be acceptable. Companies investing in expensive H&S Reps training for seasonal staff would not be very practical.
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