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Curtin University
Health, Safety and Emergency Management


Q. What is a Safety and Health Representative (SHR)?
A. Safety and health representatives are elected by their co-workers to represent them in safety and health matters. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (The Act), they have specific functions to carry out at the workplace, such as inspections and reporting of hazards.
Q. What do SHRs do?
A. SHRs have many functions under The Act.  A Safety and Health Representative at the University has a responsibility to:
  • Consult, co-operate and communicate with employers and employees on safety and health matters. Provide information and advice on safety and health issues to co-workers and management;
  • Report all hazards to the supervisor of the area;
  • Keep informed about and review all incident/hazard reports and injuries that occur in the area(s) that person represents;
  • In consultation with supervisors, investigate any reported incident or hazard;
  • Inspect the workplace for hazards at times as agreed with the employer;
  • Keep informed about current safety and health issues, policies and procedures in the organisation and safety and health matters in general;
  • Promote safe working procedures and safety and health to co-workers;
  • Participate in, and contribute to, safety and health training programs and initiatives;
  • Attend relevant and approved training courses and refresher courses on safety and health.
  • Q. Who can be a SHR?
    A. The Occupational Safety and Health Act states that to be eligible to be an SHR you must be a relevant employee. A relevant employee is anyone who works at the workplace for which they are elected to represent. Each faculty or area at Curtin define their work areas differently, please contact your relevant H&S committee or H&S Advisor for more information.
    Q. How does the University manage SHR vacancies?
    A.Vacancies generally occur when the Safety and Health Representative (SHR) resigns, they leave the University or the election period ends. Occasionally it is identified that another SHR position is required, perhaps due to a change in the work environment. When an SHR resigns, they need to complete the SHR resignation form and email it to for processing. When a vacancy occurs, the work area must seek nominees for the position. To begin this process, the manager of the work area must contact the SHR Co-ordinator and confirm the vacancy. The SHR Co-ordinator will email the manager the information and documentation required, to ensure that the nomination process is valid and complies with legislative requirements. An election can occur when there are more nominees than there are vacant positions. Should an election be required, the SHR Co-ordinator will assist you in this process, again to ensure compliance with legislative requirements.dd/
    Q. I am the manager of an SHR, what are my responsibilities?
    A. Employers’ duties outlined in the OSH Act and Regulations include:
  •  Providing necessary information which is relevant to hazards or potential hazards in the workplace to assist Safety and Health Representatives.
  • Allowing a Safety and Health Representative to be present at an interview/meeting with a worker on a matter of OSH, if the worker requests this.
  • Consulting with Safety and Health Representative on any proposed changes which may be reasonably expected to affect the safety or health of workers before implementation.
  • Giving Safety and Health Representatives paid time off their normal duties perform SHR functions.
  • Giving Safety and Health Representatives paid time off to training as per the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.
  • Notifying Safety and Health Representatives immediately after an accident or a dangerous occurrence.