Health and Safety Representative
The purpose of this document is to assist departments and crown corporations in selecting and supporting their "Health & Safety Representative" (HSR).
Selection of a Health & Safety Representative
When less than 20 employees are regularly employed at a workplace (a place where an employee is engaged in work) for a period exceeding one month and meet one of the following criteria:
- A workplace having 5 or more employees, classified under the Minimum First Aid OHS Regulations as an "A" hazard.
- A workplace having 10 or more employees, classified under the Minimum First Aid OHS Regulations as a "B" hazard.
- A workplace having 15 or more employees, classified under the Minimum First Aid OHS Regulations as a "C" hazard.
the employer shall ensure the selection of one or more health and safety representatives, who do not exercise managerial or supervisory duties and will represent the health and safety of those in their immediate workplace, as per OHS Act, Section 13.
Training of HSR
HSR shall be provided with orientation training covering their roles and responsibilities, accountabilities and authority within 90 days of selection as per OHS Act, Section 14.
The HSR may recommend that the employer provide any specific training identified by the HSR as being useful to enable the HSR to fulfill his/her duties.
Roles and Responsibilities of HSR
The Employer has the ultimate responsibility for Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace, while the HSR is responsible for monitoring the safety performance of the organization. The HSR makes recommendations to management to correct safety hazards in the workplace, but has no authority to direct work.
The HSR shall:
A. Inspect, or ensure the inspection of, the workplace on a monthly basis in order to identify situations or hazards the may be dangerous to employees.
The employer is responsible to ensure that employees are made aware of any hazard in the workplace. Supervisors are responsible to advise employees of any hazards or potential hazards that exist in the workplace. Employees are responsible to report any hazards or potential hazards to their supervisor. The HSR may inspect the physical condition of the workplace in order to identify situations that may be a source of danger or hazard to employees as per Policy 3.48, Corporate Health and Safety and the OHS Act, Section 13.
It is therefore reasonable that all of these persons may be involved in inspecting the workplace. However, it is often the HSR along with another employee or management representative who will inspect the workplace and document their findings on a Hazard Identification Inspection template unique to their workplace, on a monthly basis. Upon completion of the workplace inspection, the inspection report should be immediately reviewed by the supervisor in charge of the work area to ensure he/she knows the safety concerns within his/her area and can begin to ensure that they are mitigated. Upon completion of mitigation, the supervisor should sign off on the inspection report and forward the inspection report to the HSR for review and sign off.
B. Ensure required testing is completed for noise, lighting and controlled products.
The HSR can perform the required testing if qualified and competent to do so, or consult with professionals who are technically qualified to advise on specific health and safety issues.
C. Identify situations that may be hazardous to employees and forward a written report - HSR Recommendations to Employer Template of these situations to the employer for mitigation.
D. Assist a Safety Officer in "SERIOUS" (as defined in the OHS Act, Section 30) Incident (accident) and Near Miss investigations. The term "accident" can be defined as an unplanned event that interrupts the completion of an activity, and that may (or may not) include injury or property damage. An incident usually refers to an unexpected event that did not cause injury or damage this time but had the potential. "Near miss" is also a term used for an event that could have caused harm but did not.
E. Keep records of all health and safety matters that they have dealt with and make those reports available to employer. Information may be documented on the HSR Hazard Documentation & Mitigation Report Template.
Co-Operation with Employer
- The Employer and Employees will co-operate fully with the HSR by:
- Providing the HSR with reasonable time to carry out his/her functions;
- Allowing the HSR access to all reports, plans, and records pertinent to his/her work as a HSR;
- Mitigating the health and safety hazards reported by the HSR in a timely manner.