What is the best tip you can give another HSR?
Think outside the box! Bullying and harassment, family violence and safe travel home are all health and safety issues.
Why is this tip effective?
By framing workplace issues as health and safety issues, the employer is more likely to take swift action to rectify them.
Can you describe a time when this tip helped you resolve a health and safety issue at work?
When my fellow HSRs raised bullying and harassment in the workplace at a Health and Safety Committee meeting, we were able to convince management that this was an issue in the workplace and secure commitments to include information about the bullying and harassment policy in the staff e-bulletin, a training module on bullying and harassment as part of our learning management system and a statement from management that the workplace "takes bullying and harassment very seriously and team members should have confidence that any complaint will be thoroughly addressed and actioned."
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?
Read WorkSafe's compliance codes! There is a wealth of information in these documents.
What is your proudest moment as an HSR?
My proudest moment is what we have been able to achieve together as a team of HSRs. We work in outdoor events and in just one event alone, we were able to work together to provide staff standing for long periods of time with stools, greater shift rotation, better access to bathroom and kitchen facilities, longer breaks to compensate for hot weather.
Can you describe how you resolved one OHS issue in your workplace?
A number of staff that spend their shift at set locations reported that their stools had been removed, meaning they would have to stand for the duration of their shift. When we found out about this, we raised it at a Health and Safety meeting and were able to convince management of the need to relocate stools to these positions and then communicated this win back to workers.
Can you tell us about any clever strategies you have used to resolve health and safety issues at work?We work together as a group of union members that are HSRs to ensure that we have each other's backs when raising issues with management. It gives us all confidence and a strong front against resistance from managers.