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If your Health and Safety representative doesn't do these nine things, he's not doing his job!

by , 30 May 2014
You have 92 employees so, you've appointed a Health and Safety Representative just as the OHS Act instructs. You've trained him and you think you're on the fast track to complying with all your OHS regulations.

But wait! Just because you've appointed and trained your safety representative, doesn't mean he's actually doing his job. He could be standing in your way of compliance.

That's why you need to ensure he's doing these nine things...

Do you want to be fined, jailed or have a criminal record for life?
If an accident occurs in your workplace, and the person dies, you could be charged with culpable homicide, charged penalties of R100 000 or 2 years in jail! The CEO or Owner of a company is personally accountable for health and safety at work. 

The nine jobs your health and safety representative must do

Your health and safety representative doesn't have a difficult job. He does, however, have certain things he must do, otherwise he may as well not be the representative. 
Your safety representative must:
1. Review your health and safety measures and see how effective they are;
2. Identify any potential hazards in your workplace;
3. Examine the cause of any accidents employees have;
4. Investigate complaints your employees have about health and safety;
5. Make records and show you the information relating to health and safety;
6. Inspect your workplace for possible hazards;
7. Consult with inspectors about any health and safety issues he's identified in your workplace;
8. Receive information from inspectors; and 
9. Attend meetings with the health and safety committee to discuss his findings.
These nine jobs are crucial to your health and safety programme. After all, your representative is your eyes and ears on the ground. He should be there to alert you to any workplace hazards you need to take care of.
So how do you ensure he's doing his job?

This is the best way to ensure your health and safety representative does his job right

The Health and Safety Advisor says you should keep all of your records relating to your health and safety representative in writing. 
This way you can prove he's not doing his job if you discipline him. Remind him of this fact and tell him he can resign from the position if he'd rather do so.
Either way, this will help you ensure you have a safety representative who's as committed to health and safety as you are.

PS: We strongly recommend you check out the HSE Representative Toolkit. It has 67 checklists, tools and letters to free up 1 340 minutes of your time.

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