Gav, HSR in Meat Industry

What is the best tip you can give another HSR?

Always call for the support of another person.

Why is this tip effective?

This is to ensure you have a witness for a consultation process. Also, that other workers agree that there is an issue.


Can you describe a time when this tip helped you resolve a health and safety issue at work?

Our lockers were insecure and getting broken into. The deputy HSR and I organised a meeting with management to troubleshoot ideas to resolve the issue. After bringing up the issue of theft from our lockers on a few occasions through our Union consultative committee meetings and the company not addressing the issue to satisfaction and theft still continuing, the DHSR and I had increasing pressure from co-workers to get something done. 

I decided to take a different approach using the amenities compliance codes and the Act. After consulting in our OH&S meeting and waiting 2 more weeks, we had a series of thefts out of our lockers. Issuing a PIN was my last resort. As stated in the compliance codes P17 S80-81 (from memory) "the company must supply secure lockers for workers" and as stated in the act S 21, 2 (d) "provide adequate facilities for the welfare of employees".

Although the lockers are lockable, they're easily broken into due to poor design. When I issued the PIN, that very same day the deputy and I had a meeting with the plant manager. The conversation involved a resolution of locking the locker room during working hours and unlocking during break times and finish of shift, putting a door and lock on the inside entry/exit of the locker room and a one way locking door on the outside exit.  The plant manager requested we withdraw the PIN and he would have the latches on the lockers changed within two weeks. Since then theft has not been an issue.


In terms of how you resolve OHS issues, what advice would you give a newly elected HSR? Or, what do you wish you had known when you first got elected as an HSR?

Never back down on getting any issue resolved. Gain support from fellow workers.


Can you describe how you resolved one OHS issue in your workplace?

Using powers as an HSR and knowing the act helped resolving manual handling issues. Management have been stopping belts causing build up. When this occurs, I use Section 74 and stop the belts to eliminate build-up of product.


Can you tell us about any clever strategies you have used to resolve health and safety issues at work?

Educating workers of the powers HSRs have. This is to give them confidence in getting issues resolved.

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