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Here are the duties you, the employer, share with your company's Health and Safety Representatives

by , 02 April 2015
Although your Health and Safety Representatives (or HSE Reps as they're commonly referred to) carry out most of the responsibilities when it comes to your company's health and safety duties, employers should know that many of the duties when it comes to health and safety at the workplace also belong to them.

Let's take a look at them.

You and your HSE Rep share these safety responsibilities

First of all, as an employer, you must provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that's safe and without risk to the health of your employees

Moreover, you must do this without derogating from any specific duty imposed on an employer by the Occupational Health And Safety Act.

It states that every employer shall:

a. As far as is reasonably practicle, cause every employee to be made conversant with the hazards to his health and safety attached to any work which he has to perform, any article or substance which he has to produce, process, use, handle, store or transport and any plant or machinery which he is required or permitted to use, as well as with the precautionary measures which should be taken and observed with respect to those hazards;

b. Inform the health & safety representatives concerned beforehand of inspections, investigations or formal inquiries of which he has been notified; and

c. Inform a health and safety representative as soon as reasonably practicable of the occurrence of an incident in the workplace or section of the workplace for which such representative has been designated.


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It also says that a health and safety representative may perform the following functions in respect of the workplace or section of the workplace for which he has been designated, namely:

-  Investigate complaints by any employee relating to that employee's health or safety at work;
-  Make representations to the employer or a health and safety committee on matters arising from paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d), or where such representations are unsuccessful, to an inspector; and
- Make representations to the employer on general matters affecting the health or safety of the employees at the workplace

In other words, if you have any complaints about health and safety you must report it to your health and safety representative. Your health and safety representative has the authority to discuss and solve issues with the supervisor/manager and/or the health and safety committee.

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