Common questions regarding training requirements for health and safety representatives
Do I need to have training?
If you want to be able to use the new functions and powers available to Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA), such as Provisional Improvement Notices (PINs) or cease unsafe work, you need to be trained.
Training is really useful to learn about the role of an HSR and teaches HSRs how to be effective in their workplaces.
If you do not attend training, you can still be an HSR but you cannot use these new functions and powers.
What’s my entitlement for paid HSR training leave?
HSWA requires a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to allow each Health and Safety Representative (HSR) up to two days’ paid leave a year to undertake health and safety training.
The total number of days’ leave that a PCBU is required to allow for health and safety training is capped by HSWA.
Who pays for training?
The PCBU must pay training fees and reasonable costs associated with attending training.
I am a new HSR – how do I become trained? Or, I am a HSR but I have never received training and want to be trained.
The Health and Safety at Work (Worker Engagement, Participation and Representation) Regulations 2016 say that to be considered as trained a new HSR will need to do initial training.
Initial training for a new HSR means achieving unit standard 29315: Describe the role and functions of the Health and Safety Representative or having attended and passed HSR transition training.
Training providers with approval from the New Zealand Qualification’s Authority (NZQA) can teach this unit standard. You need to choose this training in consultation with your business (about time, costs and the date of training for example).
Once you have achieved this unit standard, you will be considered trained and able to issue a PIN or cease unsafe work.
Once you have completed the unit standard or initial training, you can then undertake additional training, using your annual training entitlement as an HSR.
This annual entitlement allows you to do training about workplace health and safety, or an aspect of workplace health and safety, that comes under the occupational health and safety subfield of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), or other training that you agree to with the business and which is relevant to your role as an HSR.
I am already an HSR and was trained under the previous law – what do I need to do?
If you were trained under the previous Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and want to be considered trained under HSWA, you will need to update your training and achieve the new unit standard 29315 like all new HSRs.
Once you have met the initial training requirements (the unit standard) you are also eligible to undertake additional training, using your annual training entitlement as an HSR.
This entitlement allows you to do training about workplace health and safety, or an aspect of workplace health and safety that comes under the occupational health and safety subfield of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), or other training that you agree to with the business that is relevant to your role as an HSR.
Source: WORKSAFE NZ