Health & Safety laws give Health & Safety Representatives and deputy Health & Safety Representatives [HSRs] the right to choose the course they wish to attend for their Health and Safety Representative training. This includes the right to choose an approved course run by a union.
In an amazing win for 4 HSRs who work for Sydney Trains, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission has decided that HSRs have a right to choose their HSR training provided that consultation occurs first and despite their employer having a panel of "their" preferred providers dressed up as procurement.
This is the first matter of its kind which has been decided by a court and sets the framework for all jurisdictions which have adopted the 'model WHS laws'.
The decision holds:
a) That Sydney Trains cannot veto HOSTA training on the basis of a panel, but can suggest specific providers as alternatives (the Inspector to pick between them in case of a dispute);
b) That wanting to attend union-run training is a legitimate reason to prefer HOSTA; and
c) That where the PCBU does not suggest a specific course, the HSR’s choice will have to prevail.
The approach required by HSRs requests into the future to attend training and meet their consultation obligations. HSRs should:
a) Inform their employer that they wish to attend training;
b) NOT claim that they have a right to attend a course of their choice;
c) Inform the employer of their preferred course, and invite them to suggest alternatives;
d) Consider the alternatives and (if relevant) give reasons for the refusal.
Each State has different training arrangements -- all these courses are approved by the relevant government agency:
News South Wales: to enroll Phone/Fax: 1300 046 782. Contact HOSTA
Queensland --- contact the Queensland branch office --- (07) 3236 2550
Northern Territory -- training is conducted by Future Skills -- (07) 3848 2298 or 1300 817 545
South Australia -- training is through SA Unions. Click here for 2017 schedule. Further information-- (08) 8366 5800
Tasmania training is through Unions Tas. Click here for 2017 Training schedule
Western Australia enrol in courses at Unity Training