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The VFFA received an email from a member, suggesting that the HSR program for volunteers has not been properly addressed by the NSW RFS.

The RFS has published the following key HSR election dates:

  • 12 September to 8 October 2018 – Notice of Election sent to members and HSR nominations open
  • 5 November 2018 – Ballot papers posted to members
  • 10 December 2018 – Voting closes at 12:00pm
  • 31 January 2019 – Results of HSR elections announced by this date
  • 1 March 2019 – Elected HSRs commence their three year term

The VFFA is concerned that the period (12 September to 8 October 2018) is insufficient time to properly advertise this important program to all volunteers across the state.

The RFS is seeking to fill 47 HRS positions for NSW.

The VFFA is concerned that 47 HSR’s across the state is simply a compliance exercise designed to appease the legislation and SafeWork NSW is allowing it.

FRNSW have over 100 HSR’s for their 22,000 membership.

The RFS claims to have over 70,000 volunteers. Even at a more realistic figure of 20,000 volunteers fighting fires, the number of HSR’s should be greater than 47.

The RFS claims to have 47 work places (Districts). The VFFA does not feel that 47 work places is an accurate representation of actual work places within this diverse organisation.

Time is Running Out

Do you want to help make your fire fighting workplace a safer, healthier and cohesive workplace?

Do you want to make a real change in your workplace in ensuring compliance to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act)?

Become a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) and help make your workplace a safer and healthier place to be.

If there is more than one nomination for one position an election needs to take place.

Below is a link to SafeWork NSW on the process for the nomination and election is required for a HSR.

SafeWork NSW

Information Published by the RFS

Click the pdf icons (below) to view the documentation.

1. Health and Safety Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides details for members about the Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) election process. The NSW RFS, in accordance with Work Health and Safety legislation, is assisting all 47 workgroups with the process of HSR elections. NSW RFS workgroups include 45 geographically bound districts, Headquarters, and Glendenning (incorporating Operational Mitigation Services, and Planning and Environment Services).

2. NSW Rural Fire Service, Election of 47 Health and Safety Representatives – Election Notice

Completed Nomination Forms must be received by the Returning Officer, NSW Electoral Commission by no later than 12.00 noon, Monday 8 October 2018.

3. NSW Rural Fire Service, 2018 Election of 47 Health and Safety Representatives – Candidate Nomination Form

A completed nomination form must be received by the Returning Officer, NSW Electoral Commission, not later than, 12.00noon, Monday 8 October 2018.

Training for HSRs

Approved work health and safety training providers help HSRs to understand and fulfil their role and functions.

HSRs are entitled to attend an approved five-day training course in work health and safety and a one-day refresher course each year during their term of office.

Click on the button (below) to read a SafeWork NSW fact on Conditions for approved training providers delivering health and safety representatives training.

SafeWork NSW

Powers of an HSR.

You as an HSR have some serious functions to perform in representing the workers in the workplace and the WHS Act legislation to give the HSR power to ensure compliance in the workplace. Click on the button (below) for more information.

SafeWork NSW

Volunteers have been overlooked

Here is some evidence that supports the claims made by the VFFA that volunteers have been overlooked by the RFS in this matter.

1. RFS staff were notified by their representative body on the 11 January 2018. Click on the image (below) to view the pdf document.

2. The My RFS web site (designed to assist volunteers and staff) advertised this program as late as September 2018. Click the image to view a lager image size.

3. A search of the RFSA web site (search term was HSR) revealed nothing.


Feel free to make a comment or provide feedback on this topic.

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