Health and Safety Advisors

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This procedure provides the responsibilities for departmental workplaces to train, appoint, manage and support the Health and Safety Advisor (HSA) and set the functional responsibilities of staff fulfilling this role.


​Under the “Engaging trained safety advisors to meet due diligence requirements in government” policy, all Queensland Government departments, government owned corporations and statutory authorities are required to retain the function of a Health and Safety Advisor position in all departmental workplaces with 30 or more staff. 

Each workplace (with 30 or more workers) must train and appoint a Health and Safety Advisor (HSA) to provide advice and support to the Principal/Manager on matters relating to the status of health and safety issues in the workplace.  The role of the HSA includes attending health and safety committee meetings, undertaking incident investigations, coordinating the annual safety assessment and identifying health and safety training needs.


Principals and Managers

Health and Safety Advisor role


Principals and Managers
  • Allocate time and resources to the HSA to fulfil the functions of the role
  • Incorporate Annual Safety Assessment Action Plan, implementation strategies and budget requirements into the workplace’s operational planning
  • Identify and discuss priority activities for your workplace and areas of responsibility (if more than one HSA or if the role is shared across sites)
  • Consult regularly with the HSA about risks at the workplace and changes at the workplace that may affect the health and safety of staff and others
  • Display a notice identifying the HSA for the workplace
  • Record the details of the HSA in a way that can be collated by the department. For example, schools can use MyH​R WHS.

Health and Safety Advisor

  • ​Coordinate the completion of the Annual Safety Assessment. This process includes:
    • Interviews of staff about their knowledge and practice
    • Completion of the Safety Action Plan which summarises the ASA results and provides a planning document with issues, recommended strategies and budget requirements to rectify unsafe conditions and practices identified in the ASA
    • Forwarding a copy of the ASA and Safety Action Plan to the Principal/Manager within 30 days of completion
  • Inform the Principal/Manager of any serious work injuries, work caused illnesses, dangerous events or immediate risks to health and safety
  • Ensure staff are aware of the requirement and processes by which health and safety incidents are recorded, reported and investigated.

Online Resources

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Health and Safety Advisor (formerly known as Workplace Health and Safety Officer)
A person who is appointed as a Health and Safety Advisor (HSA) by the Principal/Manager and has completed approved training approved by the Department of Education, Training and Employment. A Principal/Manager may themselves be a HSA for the workplace.

The qualification for a Health and Safety Advisor is:

  • 10312NAT – Functioning as a Work Health and Safety Adviser Course OR
  • BSB41412 - Certificate IV - Work Health and Safety (WHS) OR
  • BSB41407 - Certificate IV – Occupational Health and Safety (with evidence of knowledge of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and associated legislation)

Staff with health and safety qualifications or experience may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or to undertake a bridging course to meet the minimum qualification. Assessments of eligibility will be determined by Registered Training Organisations.

Refresher training
Currency of skills and knowledge is to be maintained through the completion of refresher training every 5 years. For example;

  • Recertification / Refresher courses - established by Registered Training Organisations (RTO) or
  • Other courses or programs recognised by Office of Safe Work Queensland (Workplace Health and Safety Queensland)

Principal/Managers (Principals, Institute Directors, Regional Directors, Directors)
A person who has the authority for the management of a departmental workplace, e.g. school principals, TAFE institute directors and managers, and the responsibility for, and decision making authority at, a workplace for a range of issues, such as supervision of staff, budget expenditure, facilities management. 

Shared Health and Safety Advisor Agreement
The sharing of a Health and Safety Advisor between two or more DETE workplaces where all elements of the HSA role can be fulfilled at all participating sites. A written agreement between the participating workplaces must be put in place. 

30 or more staff
30 or more workers normally employed at the workplace means, during the current year, at least 30 workers are employed, or are likely to be employed, for a total of any 40 days during the year.

To calculate the ‘30 workers or more’:

  • ​30 workers do not have to be employed at the workplace every day
  • the workers do not have to work full days for the 40 days
  • itinerant workers and regular volunteers are included.

Workers for the purpose of this procedure are persons who carry out work for DETE including:

  • full time, part time, casual and temporary employees
  • apprentices, trainees and pre-service teachers
  • students gaining work experience
  • volunteers
  • paid or unpaid staff in tuckshops, canteens, uniform or book shops and security stations.