VTHC Health and Safety Reps Conference 2015

 Tuesday October 27 - Wrap up

The VTHC Health and Safety Reps Conference, held on October 27, was a huge success.

1200 HSRs registered and heard from a range of academics in the area of health and safety, WorkSafe representatives including Executive Director of Health and Safety Marnie Williams and inspectors, union officials and HSRs. Those attending also filled in a number of surveys: for the VTHC to assist in identifying priorities for 2016; for Monash University on what their workplaces are like in terms of 'OHS lead indicators'; and finally for asbestoswise on asbestos exposure and registers.


Current Concerns and Issues in Occupational Health and Safety


HSRs had the opportunity to listen and to and learn from some of Australia's leading experts as well as Union OHS specialists, HSRs and WorkSafe.  HSRs were given the opportunity to apply the lead indicators for OHS to their own workplace, explored how to raise issues and resolve them, given some time to ask questions and a unique chance to network with other HSRs from around the state. 

We have linked the presentations available in the appropriate section of the program.







Welcome to Country

Unions, Occupational Health and Safety and HSRs

Importance of HSRs
Government commitments

WorkSafe - 'report card'; program for 2015/2016; Commitment to HSRs

Questions from the floor

Representative from the Boon Warrung Tribe

Luke Hilakari,
VTHC Secretary

Minister Robin Scott

Claire Amies,
Chief Executive, WorkSafe Victoria

VTHC Facilitator:
Wil Stracke, Industrial Campaigns Officer

110amKeynote Speaker
Leading Indicators in Occupational Health and Safety: What happens in your workplace?
Professor Helen De Cieri
Faculty of Business and Economics
Monash University
 11am Morning Tea (provided) 

Resolving Issues at the Workplace

Framework questions:

  • Relationship between WorkSafe/HSRs
  • What WorkSafe is doing help/assist HSRs
  • What to expect from Inspectors
  • Experiences of unions and HSRs with WorkSafe and/or Inspectors
  • How to get issues addressed
  • How to achieve outcomes through working with others

This session will take place in two locations concurrently. The two groups are the public sector and the private sector

Public Sector Panel (in Plenary)

VTHC Facilitators: Professor Lisa Heap, Women's Lead Organiser
Trevor Shewan, Training Officer

Private Sector Panel (in Rm 105/106)

  • Shane Gillard
    Head of Operations and Emergency Management, WorkSafe
  • Claytone Larkin
    WorkSafe  Inspector
  • Dr Gerry Ayers, CFMEU OH&S Manager: Stand up. Speak out. Come home
  • David Tuddenham & Kris Gretgrix, ETU OHS Officers: "The ETU and safer workplaces"

VTHC Facilitators: Dr Paul Sutton,  
OHS Lead Organiser

Garry Cameron, Training Officer

 12.40pmLunch (provided) 
31.40pmRisks to Psychological Health - a risk management approach

Keynote Speakers

Professor Maureen Dollard
Director, Centre for Applied Psychological Research
The broad context of psychosocial risks at work

Dr Carlo Caponecchia
Senior Lecturer, University of NSW
Workplace Bullying


Risks to Psychological Health - a risk management approach

Panel Discussion

Framework questions:

  • How serious is the issue?
  • Not just bullying
  • What are the risk factors?
  • How can these be tackled in workplaces?
  • What is the role of HSRs?
    What can they do?
  • What can the Regulator do?

What does the research tell us and how do we respond?

Professor Dollard and Dr Caponecchia will also participate in the panel discussion.

Facilitator: Matthew Wilson
VTHC Young Workers Legal Service Co-ordinator

53.40pmConference wrap up
What next?
Luke Hilakari


Next Year

It is anticipated that the VTHC will again run a Conference for HSRs during Health and Safety Week 2016. We intend to apply for approval under S69 of the OHS Act, meaning that HSRs will have the right to attend on paid leave.


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