The guidance below has been provided by WorkSafe Victoria to assist in determining competency of managers to manage health and safety. See how your managers stack up against the dot points below.
If the employer appoints its own representative for the purpose of issue resolution, the employer must ensure the person is not a Health and Safety Representative. The employer representative must also have an appropriate level of seniority and must be sufficiently competent to act as the employer's representative.
For effective issue resolution to occur, an employer representative should have the necessary authority to resolve any OHS issues on behalf of the employer. This should be reflected in the employer representative's position in the organisational hierarchy and position description so as to avoid any confusion. 'Sufficiently competent' for the purpose of health and safety issue resolution means that the employer representative has an understanding of how the OHS Act and regulations apply to their workplace and is knowledgeable in relation to the operations of the workplace for which the employer representative has responsibility. These elements are explained in more detail below. WorkSafe Victoria considers the following range of competencies is required of an employer representative in order to carry out their role under the OHS Act:
a general knowledge of the OHS Act;
Ways in which employer representatives can attain these competencies include OHS training, general management training, work experience and mentoring programs. It is the employer's responsibility to determine the competence of the employer representative prior to the appointment of that person. It is advisable that the employer representative's OHS performance be incorporated into performance appraisal systems.
Further details on training that may assist with this matter (including dates and locations) can be found here https://www.hazcon.com.au/ohs-training-for-managers---supervisors.html
Note: Next scheduled course OHS for managers and supervisors is Melbourne CBD 10th & 11th September 2019