NTEU urges members to nominate for Health and Safety Representative roles at CSU
CSU management have today opened nominations for new Health and Safety Zone Representatives. This is despite negotiations continuing on new Work Health and Safety (WHS) representative structures at CSU, and a clear request from the NTEU to involve all stakeholders in these discussions. Outstanding matters include how Health and Safety Zone representatives will be elected, the number of representatives to receive training and whether Health and Safety Committee representatives will have the same powers under the new legislation as HSRs (Health and Safety Representatives.)
Functions of the Health and Safety Zone Representative
Health and Safety Zone Representatives represent workers in their zone on matters of health and safety. Zone representatives will sit on the campus-based Health and Safety Committee. Health and Safety Committees help facilitate co-operation between CSU and employees in developing and carrying out measures designed to ensure health and safety at work. The committee can assist in developing standards, rules and procedures relating to health and safety that are to be followed or complied with at the workplace. They also have a role in monitoring health and safety and resolving health and safety complaints or concerns raised by staff.
What are the health and safety concerns at CSU?
CSU has a diverse workforce that is exposed to a wide range of health and safety issues. Hazards include poor work environment (eg. air conditioning, ventilation, poorly designed workstations.) In the NTEU CSU Branch 2011 Annual Survey 43% of participants (97 staff) reported that they had been exposed to poor work environments or facilities over the last 2 years. Staff, students, volunteers or trades people can also be exposed to dangerous substances, faulty equipment, or the risk of trips or falls. In the 2011 Annual Survey 14 staff reported exposure to a dangerous substance.
High workloads and stress from work pressure, harassment and bullying are also a major concern. In the 2011 Annual Survey 47% reported excessive stress related to work, and almost 50% reported excessive fatigue. A 2003 survey of workers in tertiary education by Mayhew and McCarty found that in the previous 12 months 39% had been threatened, 50% had been abused & 65% had been bullied.
Rights and facilities for Health and Safety Zone Representatives
The nature of the training provided and other rights of Health and Safety Zone Representatives is still under negotiation. However the work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) includes the following rights for health and safety committee members and health and safety representatives.
Rights for Health and Safety Committee members include the following:
- Reasonable time to attend meetings/ and or carry out the functions of the committee [Section 79(1) & (2) WHS Act 2011]
- Access to information on hazards at the workplace (including associated risks), and the health and safety of workers at the workplace [Section 79 (3) WHS Act 2011]
Rights of Health and Safety Representatives include to:
- Represent workers in matters relating to health and safety
- be provided with resources, facilities and assistance reasonable necessary to exercise powers and functions.
- Monitor measures taken by CSU to comply with the WHS Act
- Investigate complaints relating to work health and saefty
- Inquire about anything that appears to be a risk to health and safety
- Inspect the workplace in the event of an incident
- Issue a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) requiring CSU to rectify a suspected breach of the WHS Act within a specified time frame.
How to nominate:
You must nominate in writting by using the form provided by CSU at \\fsww01.csumain.csu.edu.au\csushared\Common\ Temp Folder Less Than 60 Days\OHS Committee Elections
Nominations must be in by 11 June 2012 Notify the NTEU that you have nominated at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens if more than one employee nominates from my zone? In the case that there are multiple nominations from the one zone, the nominees will be notified. If after they have been notified there are still multiple nominees, elections will be held in that zone.
More Information: A copy of the latest letter from CSU Management on this matter received on 29 May 2012 can be found below. If you have any questions about Health and Safety or the nomination process please contact the NTEU CSU Branch at email@example.com