Health and Safety Representative (HSR)

DF SafetyHSE Compliance, Management and Leadership

Today we discuss Health and Safety Representatives, and the value they add to a company’s health and safety program. 

Does your business need one?

A Health and Safety Representative is a person who is employed within the company and is chosen by other workers.  

The purpose of an HSR is to connect supervisors and workers together, by addressing and communicating health and safety-related concerns at work. 

How do you become an HSR?

Not every organization needs a Health and Safety Representative.  

Legislation requires an HSR if the employer has 5-19 workers in total. This takes into account part-time employees. 

Additionally, an HSR is only required if the work is expected to last 90 days or more. Short-term projects that fall under the 90-day mark are not required to have a Health and Safety Representative. 

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Assist in health and safety orientations 
  • Investigate dangerous work and work refusal reports 
  • Show participation in inspections and investigations 
  • Help develop and promote education and training  
  • Help develop health and safety policies and safe work procedures 
  • Assist employers to help them better respond to the health and safety concerns of workers 

The goal is to assist, it is not to take on managerial responsibilities. 

Further, there are no minimum requirements as to how often meetings should take place, so the employer and the representative must determine the frequency and reporting of meetings. 

Training:

Training requirements for a Health and Safety Representative can include training programs, seminars, or courses. It is a requirement that the total amount of training should equal the number of hours the HSR works during two shifts or the greater of 16 hours. 

HSR training also includes a mandatory 6-8 hour course through a designated training industry.

DF Safety is a Designated Training Provider

Offering two online courses that cover the training requirements to become a Health and Safety Representative.  

These courses are approved by Alberta Labour and meet the Alberta OHS legislated training requirements.  

Course #1: Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC)

An introduction to an HSR’s roles and responsibilities. 

Course #2 expands on the concepts introduced in Course #1 and gives an understanding of the HSR’s legislated duties and responsibilities under Alberta OHS legislation. This course introduces new concepts related to hazard assessment and control, inspections, and incident investigations. 

Course #2: Health & Safety Committees and Representatives

Expand on the concepts introduced in Course #1. Understand the legislated duties and responsibilities of an HSR under Alberta OHS legislation. Introducing new concepts related to hazard assessment and control, inspections, and incident investigations.