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Applying the HOP lens for Worker Advocacy

Promoting good practices in health and safety with HSRs (Health and Safety Representatives) and HSCs (Health and Safety Committees) which we call Worker Advocates is part of the organization’s participation in the Health and Safety Management process. We believe there is a genuine willingness from the senior management of these businesses to engage with health and safety and to have real (not just compliance-based) worker engagement, participation, and representation in this process. 

Worker Advocates play an important role in keeping workplaces healthy and safe. They can help a workplace achieve good health and safety outcomes with “BetterWork” by being the worker's voice and can help bridge the gap between how a organization imagines work is done (WAI-Black Line) versus how workers actually do the work (WAD-Blue Line). 

Being an effective H&S Representative or Committee member takes more than training.

Worker Advocates need more than knowledge; we have identified six (6) capabilities that can support HSRs and HSCs in putting their role into everyday work practice. They are:


Being able to work with workers, unions and the organization together to find solutions that create "BetterWork" that is both sustainable, rewarding and safe.

Listening/Being Curious

Being a good listener is a key skill and allows you to work across the business by listening to the different views of workers, unions and managers.


You may need to influence people from all across the business, including workers, unions, and managers.


Understanding the wider context of people and their safety concerns.


Being able to share stories, ideas and concerns in a way that is clear, realistic and without judgement.


Being able to talk, explain, describe, and negotiate the interests, needs, concerns, and rights of workers. Speaking on behalf of others.

We have created a 12-month program to support, coach and mentor Worker Advocates to gain, apply, and sustain the six key capabilities using a capacity compass that applies 1) Storytelling and Curiosity, 2) Consolidating and Recognizing Knowledge, 3) Prioritizing Workloads and Setting Boundaries and 4) Integrating Worker Advocacy Practice into Everyday Work.

Storytelling and Curiosity

One important capapcity is the ability to share one's story and experiences with others. By connecting with people through real-life events and personal anecdotes, you can better understand why you do the work you do. Sharing the stories behind decision-making processes can be a powerful way to help others understand the importance of health and safety.

Consolidating and Recognising Knowledge (Reflection)

It's essential to recognize the knowledge you already have. We help you identify the subjects you are confident in and the areas where you need to learn more. By reflecting on your experiences and continually improving, you can enhance your knowledge and effectiveness as an advocate.

Prioritising Workloads and Setting Boundaries

Learning how to prioritize work is crucial, especially when you have a lot on your plate. Start by identifying what's urgent and important and focus on those tasks first. Additionally, setting personal boundaries is essential for self-care. Ensure you have clear boundaries and communicate them effectively to ensure you have the energy, capacity, and resilience to fulfill your advocacy role.

Integrating Worker Advocacy Practice into Everyday Work

Health and safety advocacy should be integrated into every aspect of your work. Even when performing your normal role, look to see how your capabilities can be applied in your workgroup.

Program Delivery - Blended and Hybrid Learning

We apply blended and hybrid learning approaches to this program delivery.

Hybrid learning is when traditional face-to-face instruction is replaced with distance learning methods. Blended learning is a combination of online and offline learning. Blended learning is not like hybrid learning. It uses online instruction to complement rather than replace traditional face-to-face education. Our blended learning allows Worker Advocates to interact online, ask questions, complete assignments, and connect with others. and communicate remotely with their coaches and mentors.

This blended learning styles are vital because they allow Worker Advocates as adult learners to tailor instruction to their needs, whilst working and be part of a community of other Worker Advocates.