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Responsibilities of the Health and Safety Representative

In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (1993), the Health and Safety Representative serves as a 'watchdog' of the employer in terms of health and safety concerns. Health and safety is everyone's responsibility.

Read the guidelines:

RU Health and Safety Reps Responsibilities

  1. Representing fellow employee’s interests in terms of occupational health and safety.

  2. Reporting to your supervisor any health and safety issues that come to your attention.

  3. Doing quarterly health and safety inspections and reports of your designated workplace.

  4. Serving on your health and safety sub-committee and attending meetings;Visiting incident sites and attend inspections;

    • .....  and may also be responsible for:

  5. Attending investigations / formal inquiries
  6. Accompanying an inspector

  7. Participating in internal audits

  8. Being accompanied by a technical advisor if approved by your employer.

Their functions should be carried out during working hours only; the OHS Act does not provide for additional remuneration. The employer is responsible for providing support in the form of facilities, assistance and training, as required. For more information regarding the functions of the health and safety rep, see below:

RU health and safety reps functions

1. Monitor and report on health & safety concerns, including:

2. Attend health and safety committee meetings:

An extract from the Occupational Health and Safety Act (1993) - 18. Functions of Health and Safety Representatives:

1. A health & safety representative may perform the following functions in respect of the workplace or section of the workplace for which he has been designated, namely -

a. review the effectiveness of health and safety measures;

b. identify potential hazards and potential major incidents at the workplace;

c. in collaboration with his employer, examine the causes of incidents at the workplace;

d. investigate complaints by any employee relating to that employee's health or safety at work;

e. [report] make representations to the employer or a health and safety committee on matters arising from paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d), or where such representations are unsuccessful, to an inspector;

f. make representations to the employer on general matters affecting the health or safety of the employees at the workplace;

g. inspect the workplace, including any article, substance, plant, machinery or health and safety equipment at that workplace with a view to the health and safety of employees, at such intervals as may be agreed upon with the employer: Provided that the health and safety representative shall give reasonable notice of his intention to carry out such an inspection to the employer, who may be present during the inspection;

h. participate in consultations with inspectors at the workplace and accompany inspectors on inspections of the workplace;

i. receive information from inspectors as contemplated in section 36; and

j. in his capacity as a health and safety representative attend meetings of the health and safety committee of which he is a member, in connection with any of the above functions.

2. A health and safety representative shall, in respect of the workplace or section of the workplace for which he has been designated be entitled to--

a. visit the site of an incident at all reasonable times and attend any inspection in loco;

b. attend any investigation or formal inquiry held in terms of this Act;

c. in so far as is reasonably necessary for performing his functions, inspect any document which the employer is required to keep in terms of this Act;

d. accompany an inspector on any inspection;

e. with the approval of the employer (which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld) , be accompanied by a technical adviser, on any inspection; and

f. participate in any internal health or safety audit.

3. An employer shall provide such facilities, assistance and training as a health and safety representative may reasonably require and as have been agreed upon for the carrying out of his functions.

4. A health and safety representative shall not incur any civil liability by reason of the fact only that he failed to do anything which he may do or is required to do in terms of this Act.

Return to Rhodes University's Safety front page. Questions/Suggestions? Contact safety(at)ru.ac.za

Last Modified :Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:50:17 SAST