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Meet WorkSafe Tasmania Work Health and Safety Representatives

pic of three HSRs

RECENTLY we caught up with WorkSafe staff who play an important role in their workplaces.

Kristie Clements, Mark Smith and Craig Sault all work at WorkSafe Tasmania, which helps improve safety across workplaces in our community that our friends and family work in.

They also help to maintain and improve safety for their colleagues as Health and Safety Representatives.

Read more about these CPSU WorkSafe Members, their jobs and their HSR roles below.

 

Craig Sault

Craig SMy work is:

My job is a Mines Inspector but I also work with Major Hazard Facilities.

Major Hazard Facilities are basically areas that have very large quantities of chemicals that pose a risk if there’s ever a major incident. That job is mainly about the ‘what ifs’ and what would you do if it did happen’ scenarios. There are very remote chances of these scenarios happening but we still have to be prepared. Often major disasters happen when things are neglected over a period of time.

The job looks at safety management systems, controls to prevent an incident and what’s in place if something does go wrong – do they understand what they need to do to stop something from escalating? Sometimes major incidents happen when there’s a small incident that’s not controlled properly. So basically, I look at unlikely events with major consequences. There are nine of these sites around the state at the moment.

The mines side of it is auditing their safety management systems and looking their emergency response set up. This response is shared around all the mines in Tasmania, so if there’s a disaster teams from all mines with their captains get together to help each other, which is unique to our state. So we look at training, and putting captains through their paces on training days. You’re looking at the safety of workers above and below ground for quarries and mines. Then we also investigate if there has been an incident.

How my job helps the Tasmanian community:

If things are going along well and there are no injuries then the community’s happy. When people do get injured, we find out what’s happened so it can be prevented and there are no further losses or injuries in the workplace. So we make sure that all the right systems are in place and people are invested in the safety of their workplace.

I joined the union because:  

I joined the union when I started at the police garage a long time ago. I was there for nine years and became a Delegate. We had an issue where it was decided that it wasn’t core business to have a police garage; we fought pretty hard and that resulted in the garage continuing – to this day it still runs.

I moved to weights and measures in Consumer Affairs, and it was decided we weren’t required and we were effectively sacked. I left the union at that stage.

After moving across to WorkSafe for about two years, I realised the benefit of re-joining the union. I thought it was important that staff had a strong union membership and representation.

Why I think it’s important to have a health and safety representative in my workplace:

If I was to sum it up, it’s to help people make workplaces safer, so they feel safe as they carry out their work. HSRs also have a focus on the mental health side of things; people do take problems at work home with them. So it’s also making sure that people are supported. If there is an issue, now with a Health and Safety Committee we can drive a number of changes, so we get policies and procedures that fix it for everyone, not just whoever is experiencing it at the time.

 

Kristie Clements

KristieMy work is

I am a Workplace Health and Safety Inspector.  As an Inspector I:

  • conduct workplace inspections;
  • provide information and advice about compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations;
  • assist in the resolution of work health and safety issues at workplaces;
  • issue infringement, improvement, prohibition and non-disturbance notices to ensure legislative compliance;
  • review disputed provisional improvement notices; and
  • investigate contraventions of the work health and safety legislation.    

How my job helps the Tasmanian community

Work Health and Safety Inspectors make Tasmanian workplaces safer by:

  • Informing, educating and enabling;
  • securing compliance and enforcing work health and safety legislation; and
  • improving workplace health and safety outcomes.

I joined the union for: 

  • collective bargaining (i.e. better wages, working conditions, leave entitlements, job security and training);
  • support; and
  • equality and fairness.

Why I think it’s important to have a health and safety representative in my workplace:

Health and Safety Representatives play a vital role in keeping workplaces safe by providing an effective means for workers to raise safety issues.

 

Mark Smith

Mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My work is:

I am a Senior Inspector of Mines dealing with Health and Safety matters in the mines, quarries and mineral processing industries in Tasmania.  My work includes undertaking inspections, audits and investigations to ensure compliance and I specialise in emergency response management and mine rescue teams.

How my job helps the Tasmanian community:

A safe mining sector is critical to ensure a buoyant economy for Tasmania while having a significant impact on regional communities when safe operations in a high risk industry do not occur.

I joined the union because:  

I see the need for a strong united stance to ensure everyone has a voice to raise matters of concern, which are sometimes not seen as significant by employers.  I had been a long time member of the United Fire Fighters Union in a previous existence and understood the effectiveness of the united approach to achieve effective results for workplace improvement

Why I think it’s important to have a health and safety representative in my workplace:

Health and safety representatives play a vital role in raising the concerns of the workers to the management level so they can be resolved effectively.  Not everyone is in the position to put these matters to the appropriate levels and properly trained HSRs can facilitate that process to ensure everyone’s concerns are heard.

WorkSafe also has a strong team of CPSU Delegates, who are also working to maintain the rights and conditions of their colleagues.

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