The difference between a Health and Safety Rep and a Health and Safety Officer
We use the terms 'Health and Safety Representative' and a 'Health and Safety Officer' loosely, but do you know there's a distinct difference between the two? You need to know what the difference is as they perform different functions and who you actually don't have to pay.
The difference between a Health and Safety Representative and a Health and Safety Officer?
A Health and Safety Representative is a person your employees choose and elect. Your employees choose this person to represent them for all health and safety matters. Although Section 18 of the OHS Act lists his responsibilities, you can't force him to do his duties as a safety representative. You can however motivate your Health and Safety Representative by reminding them they formally accepted their health and safety responsibilities. Remember, you don't pay this person to perform these duties.
So, what's a Health and Safety officer?
A Health and Safety officer is someone your company appoints to perform health and safety duties. You can force this person to do his duties, because it forms part of his job description. You pay him to do this function. The number of Health and Safety officers you need to employ depends on the size of your business.
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