Health and safety advisors procedure

Version number 4.5 | Version effective 12 March 2021
Health and safety advisors procedure




This procedure outlines the responsibilities for training, appointing and supporting the Health and Safety Advisor (HSA) and outlines the functional responsibilities of this role. HSA requirements apply to workplaces with 30 or more staff.


Under the Engaging trained safety advisors to meet due diligence requirements in government (Work Health and Safety Act 2011) 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.


Principals and Managers

  • Appoint a Health and Safety Advisor (HSA) at workplaces with more than 30 workers or establish and maintain a shared HSA agreement.
  • Ensure the HSA receives appropriate training.
  • Provide appropriate resourcing to enable the HSA to fulfil the responsibilities and functions of the role.
  • Ensure the Annual safety assessment process is completed and priority issues are confirmed in the Annual Safety Assessment – Action Plan.

Health and Safety Advisor

  • Provide advice and support to the Principal/Manager on matters relating to the status of health and safety issues in the workplace.
  • Ensure that the training requirements required to fulfil the role are met, including refresher training.
  • Coordinate the completion of the Annual safety assessment.


Principals and Managers

  • Identify an appropriate person for the role and ensure the person completes and maintains training requirements.
  • Identify timing of Annual Safety Assessment process.
  • Incorporate Annual safety assessment action plan, implementation strategies and budget requirements into the workplace’s operational planning.
  • Identify and discuss priority activities for your HSA 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. E.g. MyHR Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) on the Administration – location page (DoE employees only).

Health and Safety Advisor

  • Coordinate the completion of the Annual Safety Assessment (ASA). 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.
  • Attend Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee meetings (or forums) to be held four times per year.
  • Inform the Principal/Manager of any hazard, unsafe or unsatisfactory work health and safety practices, serious work injuries, work caused illnesses, dangerous events or immediate risks to health and safety.
  • Investigate, or assist the investigation of, all work injuries and illnesses, including notifiable incidents (deaths, serious injury or illness and dangerous incidents).
  • Establish appropriate educational programs in work health and safety.
  • Help inspectors in the performance of the inspectors’ duties.
  • Support incident recording, notification and management.




Health and Safety Advisor

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


The qualification for a Health and Safety Advisor is:

  • Approved departmental Health and Safety Advisor course – three days in duration and maintain currency with approved departmental Health and Safety Adviser one day refresher every two years.
  • 10312NAT – Functioning as a Work Health and Safety Adviser Course OR
  • BSB41407 Certificate IV – Occupational Health and Safety (with evidence of knowledge of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and associated legislation) - now superseded by:
  • BSB41412 - Certificate IV - Work Health and Safety (WHS).

Staff holding the superseded qualification BSB41407 Certificate IV in Occupational Health and Safety do not need to be retrained.

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;

  • The approved departmental Health and Safety Adviser one day refresher every two years.
  • 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).

Shared Health and Safety Advisor Agreement

The sharing of a Health and Safety Advisor between two or more Department of Education workplaces where all elements of the HSA role can be fulfilled at all participating sites. A Shared Health and Safety Advisor 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.


For the purpose of this procedure are persons who carry out work for DoE 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.



  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

4.0 Health and Safety Advisors

Review date

06 January 2017
Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC