DELEGATE OF THE MONTH - DONNA
Meet Donna, our Delegate of the Month!
Occupational Health and Safety is a major issue facing Australian workplaces and unions
Many decades of struggle by trade unions have produced healthier and safer working conditions but the level of occupational injury, disease and death is still too high, despite intense efforts to reform Australian occupational health and safety systems.
The SDA believes in a preventative OHS approach. A preventive Occupational Health and Safety strategy must be based on the following principles:
Requirements for employers have been expanded and duties imposed on a broader category called ‘Person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU).
The new laws also changed the names, role and functions of OHS Committees and Representatives to health and safety representatives (HSRs) and health and safety committees (HSCs). HSRs are able to issue PINs and to direct unsafe work to cease and Unions may act on behalf of workers as representatives and as WHS entry permit holders.
The new laws require employers to consult with their employees about all issues affecting health and safety and welfare in the workplace. Employers must take into account the views of employees. Consultation when determining how a risk is to be eliminated or minimised is important as workers can contribute their own knowledge and experience and help anticipate potential issues.
Consultation procedures are to be agreed between the PCBU and the workers, should be in writing and readily accessible to all workers.
Consultation can occur through HSRs, HSCs or other arrangements agreed between the PCBU and workers.
The HSC’s main focus is to provide a forum where workers and management can work together to improve health and safety in the workplace. They may consider and participate in a variety of activities e.g. formal training, conducting inspections, participation in incident investigations, workplace safety events. They can assist in the development of health and safety standards, rules and procedures to be used and complied with in the workplace.
Your union can assist you in establishing suitable OHS arrangements in your workplace.
A HSR represents workers in a workgroup.
All workplaces must have employee elected safety representatives (HSRs) who must be properly trained and, this is paid for by the employer.
The laws allow for the involvement of your union when defining and setting up workgroups. In setting up a workgroup the following things have to be considered:
Workgroups represented by OHS committees or OHS representatives
1. The relevant workgroups to be represented by OHS committees or OHS representatives are to be determined in a manner that ensures that they are able to represent effectively the employees in each workgroup and, in particular, in a manner that enables them to undertake regular meaningful communication with the employees in each workgroup.
2. The diversity of the employees and their work must be taken into account when determining the relevant workgroups. In particular, the following must be taken into account:
(a)the number of workers,
(b) the views of workers in relation to the determination and variation of work groups,
(c) the nature of each type of work carried out by the workers,
(d) the number and grouping of workers who carry out the same or similar types of work,
(e) the areas or places where each type of work is carried out,
(f) the extent to which any worker must move from place to place while at work,
(g) the diversity of workers and their work,
(h) the nature of any hazards at the workplace or workplaces,
(i) the nature of any risks to health and safety at the workplace or workplaces,
(j) the nature of the engagement of each worker, for example as an employee or as a contractor,
(k) the pattern of work carried out by workers, for example whether the work is full-time, part-time, casual or short-term,
(l) the times at which work is carried out,
(m) any arrangements at the workplace or workplaces relating to overtime or shift work.
For more information about your workplace health and safety, speak to your Union Delegate, your store HSR or HSC or call the Union office on 4961 4694.
Meet Donna, our Delegate of the Month!
Have you ever felt like you have been picked on by a colleague? Perhaps you’ve been repeatedly criticised, isolated, overworked, teased or insulted by a fellow worker or manager? You may be the victim of workplace bullying.
If you have been appointed as ‘in charge’, please check your payslips to ensure you are being compensated correctly.