Health and Safety Representatives Q&A



The role of the Deputy Health and Safety Representative is to support and assist the appointed HSR. The Deputy also has the same rights and functions as the appointed Health and Safety Representative whenever the HSR is absent from the worksite.

PDF copies of all South Australian Legislation (Acts, Rules and Regulations, Policies, Proclamations and Notices and Bills) are located at or they can be accessed directly from this website in the acknowledgements below.

Determination of workgroups

  • Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 any group or workers can elect a fellow worker to represent them on a health and safety issue.
  • The group of workers is called a workgroup and the person they elect to represent them is called a Health and Safety Representative (HSR).
  • It only takes one worker to approach the PCBU to request them formation of a workgroup and the PCBU MUST respond within 14 days. The AWU is able to provide a pro-forma letter to any member of a workgroup for this process to commence.
  • The number of workgroups at a particular worksite will depend on the overall staff/worker numbers and the type of work performed by different groups of workers.
  • The AWU can be involved with negotiations with the PCBU on the size and types of workgroups if any union member requests.

Election of Health and Safety Representatives

  • Once formed, the workgroup then elects a HSR and can also elect a Deputy.
  • The election is conducted by a person who has been approved by at least half of the members of the work group and if the work group can not decide, officers from SafeWork SA can conduct the election.
  • Nominations for a HSR are called from all staff in each workgroup and if there are more than two nominations and an election is needed then the most appropriate election method is decided.
  • The AWU can provide an election kit to the nominated officer.