On 12-13 June more than 70 Offshore Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) gathered in Perth for a HSR Forum that was jointly organised by NOPSEMA; APPEA; ACTU and DIIS. Safer Together assisted APPEA to prepare for the event. Participants were asked to use one word to describe the event. The resulting word cloud indicates that it was very well received.
The Australian offshore oil and gas industry relies on dedicated, trained, experienced and competent personnel to ensure continued safe operations and optimal performance of its offshore facilities. Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) are a key part of this workforce and play a crucial role in keeping the offshore workforce safe and healthy. HSRs are therefore part of an industry-wide team of dedicated individuals who make a difference in offshore safety.
The Australian government along with peak industry and union bodies APPEA and the ACTU, and Australia’s offshore regulator NOPSEMA, believe that ongoing development of HSR skills can contribute to improved offshore safety.
In recognition of this important contribution a two-day HSR Forum was held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on 12-13 June, 2019. The event included a pilot one day offering of formal HSR refresher training, complemented by a day of facilitated discussions.
More than 70 HSRs from Tier I, II and II organisations, representing a variety of facilities, experiences, skillsets and job types attended the event. Feedback from these attendees indicate that the event met its objectives to:
- Raise awareness of existing legislation and arrangements for HSRs and how these can be more effectively deployed.
- Improve understanding of the rights, powers and protections of HSRs, and about where they can find relevant information.
- Increase empowerment/confidence of HSRs to conduct their role and utilise their legislated powers.
Perhaps most importantly, feedback indicated that the event was interactive, voices were heard, and discussions were meaningful and valuable.
HSRs suggested that they would be receptive to attending future events and that they would encourage others to do so. As such, the Tri-partite stakeholders have agreed to continue a dialogue re: HSR Engagement.
The lessons learnt from this event will be valuable for Safer Together’s ongoing work to engage Health Safety and Environment Representatives (HSER). To find out more about the Frontline HSER Engagement Project click here.