Employee representation: A comprehensive guide to part 7 of the OHS Act 2004

The Employee Representation Guide is a comprehensive reference for health and safety representatives (HSRs), employers and others involved in OHS representation in the workplace.
Last updated

Sep 2021

Reading level


File type and size

PDF, 842.28 kB

Document length

92 pages

Occupational Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021

On 22 September 2021 the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 was amended to:

  • enable HSRs to take photographs or measurements or make sketches or recordings in certain circumstances
  • state that a HSR has effectively consulted with a body corporate before issuing a provisional improvement notice (PIN) if they have consulted with an employee, officer or agent of that body corporate
  • enable HSRs to issue a PIN electronically (ie via email) to an employee, agent or officer of the body corporate if the notice is being issued to a body corporate
  • enable inspectors to issue notices electronically (ie via email) to an employee, agent or officer of a body corporate

This guide has not yet been updated to reflect these changes.

What it contains

The Employee Representation Guide enables employees and employers to understand the role, powers and entitlements of HSRs. It includes an overview of other representative mechanisms, including health and safety committees and designated work groups established under the OHS Act and a range of related information and tools.

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • A note on consultation and HSRs


  1. Abbreviations and glossary of terms
  2. Designated work groups (DWGs)
  3. Establishing and negotiating DWGs in workplaces operated by a single employer
  4. Establishing and negotiating DWGs in a multiple employer situation
  5. Prohibition on coercion
  6. Election of HSRs
  7. Powers of HSRs
  8. Obligations of an employer to HSRs
  9. Health and safety committees
  10. Resolution of health and safety issues
  11. Discrimination
  12. Appendices
    • Appendix A – case studies
    • Appendix B – Issue resolution procedure flow chart
    • Appendix C - Provisional improvement notices
  13. Further information

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