What will this do for my organisation?

Your representative should be looked upon as a ‘critical friend’. This is someone who asks questions about practice or developments in supportive yet challenging ways.

What do I need to do?

You need to;

  • provide your representative with enough information to allow full and effective participation;
  • consult them on potential hazards and dangerous occurrences;
  • include them when dealing with health and safety inspectors; and
  • attend health and safety committee meetings.

Union representatives will also be involved with investigating incidents and complaints and workplace inspections. For more information see link below.

It is good practice to give non-unionised representatives the same functions as union reps. For example, involve reps in investigating incidents and complaints and by undertaking workplace inspections.

How can you do it?

There are several ways of achieving this. You could:

  • try and consult regularly, even if it is informal and relate it to the actual tasks being carried out;
  • arrange specific meetings for key issues such as high risk areas;
  • propose changes to the workplace and health surveillance issues;
  • include health and safety as part of other scheduled meetings.
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