If an HSR or deputy HSR has made a request, the PCBU must, within three months of the request, allow them to attend a training course in work health and safety up to the prescribed training allowance.
HSRs and deputy HSRs are entitled to attend an initial training course of five days, three days for the second year of the term of office and two days for the third year of office.
The course of training must be approved by SafeWork SA and be chosen by the HSR in consultation with the PCBU. It is desirable for HSRs and the PCBU to agree on which course the HSR should attend.
Issues that may be considered include:
- timing of attendance
- costs of courses
- costs of attendance including travel and accommodation expenses
- the relevance of the any hazard-specific course to the work group
- the total number of workers requiring training.
A PCBU must allow each HSR and deputy HSR paid time off to attend training with wages, equivalent to what they would otherwise be entitled to receive for working during that period. HSRs should not be disadvantaged in any way as a result of accessing the training that the WHS Act entitles them to. The PCBU must also pay the course fees and any other reasonable costs associated with the HSR attendance at the training.
HSR training is part of normal work-related activity. HSRs are entitled to receive their normal/expected earnings during course attendance. Normal/expected earnings include pay entitlements relating to shift work, regular overtime, higher duties, allowances or penalty rates that would have applied had the HSR been at work.
An HSR who has completed a course of training approved under the Occupational Health Safety and Welfare Act 1986 will be taken to have completed the five day training course required under the WHS Act (Schedule 6, section 19).
For one year HSRs elected under the occupational health, safety and welfare laws can exercise all the powers under the WHS Act. During the first year HSRs will need to attend a one-day bridging course to continue to issue Provisional Improvement Notices or direct cease unsafe work in the second year. They will also be entitled to their prescribed training days. For example, an HSR in their second year is entitled to the one day bridging course and three days training, and an HSR in their third year is entitled to the one day bridging course and two days training. HSRs can also attend any other training agreed between them and the PCBU.
If you work in a high risk industry or are from a small business with less than 100 workers your PBCU may be eligible for a subsidy. Subsidies are available to a maximum of $100 per day per HSR for attending approved HSR training.
Contact the Workplace Consultation Program on 1300 365 255 for more information about the subsidies, or to find out if you are eligible.
SafeWork SA does not sponsor or endorse, nor can it recommend, any particular training provider, however training providers do need to be approved by the SafeWork SA Advisory Council.