Describe the functions of the workplace health and safety representative
Unit Standard: 259622
NQF Level: 2
Credits : 3
PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD
The person credited with this unit standard is able to understand the objectives and statutory requirements pertaining to health and safety in the workplace. The learners will be able to explain the rights, powers, functions and duties of the workplace health and safety representative and how any errant health, safety and environmental issues may be handled. Learners will also be able to participate in the safety, health and environmental structures and measure these activities according to health, safety and environmental requirements.
The qualifying learner is capable of:
Describing the framework of workplace health and safety legislation pertaining to health and safety representatives.
Explaining the specified requirements to conduct safety, health and environmental representation activities at a working place.
Addressing safety, health and environment related issues within their scope of authority.
Complying with the activities within safety, health and environmental structures.
LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING
Communication at NQF Level 1 or equivalent.
Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 1 or equivalent.
UNIT STANDARD RANGE
Upon completion of the course, the learner will have a better understanding of the functions and responsibility of an HSE Representative. The learner will be able to carry out basic inspections and participate in HSE committee procedures.
By the end of the course, the learner will be able to:
The SHE rep is a representative that covers Safety, Health, and Environmental hazards. Charged with ensuring safety in the workplace, SHE rep duties include proactive employee training; protection for workers from potential hazards; and communication about hazardous accidents, should they occur.
When an accident happens in the workplace, a specific representative, known as a SHE rep, is usually the first official person on the scene. The SHE rep is a representative that covers Safety, Health, and Environmental hazards. Charged with ensuring safety in the workplace, SHE rep duties include proactive employee training; protection for workers from potential hazards; and communication about hazardous accidents, should they occur. An undergraduate degree in occupational health and safety, along with special safety officer certification is the usual preparation for this profession.
SHE rep duties vary, based upon the type of workplace. On a construction site, a safety rep ensures that all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines are explicitly followed. For example, if a construction worker is welding without goggles, a safety rep will intervene and require the worker to wear goggles, or require that the worker stops working. In a factory, if a machine is missing a barrier guard, a safety rep is responsible for prohibiting the use of the machine, until it is fixed. SHE rep duties include employee training. All employees must understand the proper use of equipment and how to report an accident. Often, a safety rep will engage managers in simulation training that teaches them how to respond to a workplace safety incident. SHE rep duties may even include running a live drill to practice emergency response skills. When an accident does happen, a safety rep is responsible for investigating the matter, documenting the details and implementing solutions to prohibit a recurrence. SHE rep duties include working with Federal agencies like OSHA and senior, organizational leaders to develop policies that will create a safe, working environment.
Earning an undergraduate degree in occupational health and safety will provide the most effective foundation for a safety rep. You will take classes like fire prevention, environmental technology, safety management, code enforcement, construction safety, and legal aspects of safety and health. If possible, secure an internship with a safety rep, to gain insight about SHE rep duties. Certification guidelines vary by state. You can become certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals