Is one Health and Safety Representative enough?

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 30 May. 2014

Tags: health and safety representative, ohs act, ohs regulations, workplace regulations, safety management

You know the OHS Act says you must have a health and safety representative if you have more than 20 employees.

So you’ve done exactly that. You’ve held a vote and appointed a health and safety representative.

But is one enough?

Read on to discover the rules you need to follow to ensure you have enough health and safety representatives in your company.

The bigger your company is, the more representatives you’ll need

If you’re a small company with, let’s say, 27 employees, one health and safety representative is all you need as part of your safety management plan. 
But as your company grows, you may need another one. But there are different rules here too. Shops and offices have different workplace regulations when it comes to their safety representative.
Here’s the difference...
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Safety representatives in shops and offices vs. all other companies

The Health and Safety Advisor says, if you run a shop or office based business, you need one safety representative for every 100 employees. 
But if your run any other kind of company, you’re required to have a safety representative for every 50 employees. 
That’s the standard rule. But if a DoL inspector pays you a visit and feels you need another representative, he can and will notify you of this in writing.
You’ll have to comply immediately and appoint another representative or face a fine from the DoL. 

One more rule applies to all companies: You can’t have the same representative for more than two years!

So don’t assume now that you’ve appointed your one health and safety representative, that’s you done for the next ten years.  As your business grows and changes, so too must your health and safety representatives or you won’t be complying with OHS regulations. 

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