Asking questions, engaging your union, and stepping up as a dedicated HSR, can make positive changes in the workplace according to Health and Safety Representative and ASU delegate Karl Schaffarczyk.
Health and Safety Representatives are elected by their workmates to represent them on occupational health and safety issues and concerns. They have significant powers to make sure workplaces and work practices are safe and do not endanger workers.
ASU members at Tenants Victoria recently experienced major issues from construction works near their Fitzroy office.
The noise and vibration greatly disrupted and hampered worker’s ability to provide tenancy advice and information to consumers.
Concerned with the effect of the works on his workmates and on consumers, Karl contacted the ASU to find out what was involved in nominating as a workplace Health and Safety Representative. He also wanted to discuss options to remedy unsafe working conditions.
With support from his workmates, Karl soon became the Health and Safety Representative for Tenants Victoria. He quickly started communicating with management and WorkSafe to try and make sure the workplace was safe and provided the conditions for all staff to be able to perform their work.
With the assistance of the ASU and Work Safe, Tenants Victoria shut its doors for 2 weeks and started working to improve conditions for all Tenants Victoria workers.
Following this experience, and consistent with his commitment to worker’s rights, Karl has now been elected as an ASU delegate at Tenants Victoria.
Karl’s experience standing up at Tenants Victoria shows being an ASU trained and supported HSR puts workers in a strong position to have a real say about safety and conditions at their workplace.
If you are interested in becoming a Health and Safety Representative at your workplace, contact the ASU member Contact Centre on 1300 855 570 for more information.