Safety and Health Representatives play an important part in our mining community. Elected by the worker body, they promote, teach and provide a way for workers to communicate about safe workplace practices.
Safety and Health should always be the foremost thing in a mining workplace, and the improvement of these standards is something our Safety and Health Representatives strive toward. In WA, a Representative is required to do training on the matter within 12 months of being elected (if they have not already done so). They have the same duty of care as every other employee, only they are required to ensure the workplace is safe and weigh in on any changes to be made by mine management, to ensure they are in the best health and safety interests of all employees. A Safety and Health Representative usually holds their position for 2 years after being elected.
Representatives can be present for an interview or meeting with an employee regarding any occupational health and safety issues, and they can also inspect a mine site at a predetermined time made with the mine manager.
If there is any issue regarding safety, eg. hazardous situations, injury, dangerous occurrence or an accident, the Safety and Health Representative is required to carry out an appropriate investigation. They are required to report all hazards that come to their attention immediately, and confer with mine managers on all safety matters, with some being referred to the mine health and safety committee as required.