Horstmanshof, L, Hassall, E, Hassall, S, O'Connor, C & Glendon, I 2002, 'Training for the role of workplace health and safety officers in Queensland', Journal of Occupational Health and Safety, Australia and New Zealand, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 35-44.
The original published version of the article is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher, CCH Australia Limited.
This article reports findings from a study of the effectiveness of workplace health and safety officer (WHSO) training in the Brisbane and Gold Coast region of Queensland, Australia. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with WHSO, management and employee respondents from organisations in the construction, manufacturing and service sectors. Qualitative, quantitative and self completion questions were combined with interviewers' subjective impressions to assess responents' attitudes towards the WHSO role and its perceived effectiveness, particularly with respect to their WHSO training. Findings revealed that WHSOs reported shortcomings in training effectiveness and problems in transferring health and safety knowledge to others within the workplace. From the qualitative interview data, a model of factors influencing the effectiveness of WHSO training identified a number of organisational and workforce factors as well as other important contributors that determine the effectiveness of WHSO training. Suggestions are made in respect of desirable features of WHSO training.