What is Health & Safety?
Everyone should be able to go to work without having their health damaged or made worse. Yet every year, around two and a half million people are made ill because of work.
This is a huge number. Around half of these people are in pain because of injuries such as back pain, neck pain and RSI. A further half a million people have to take time off work because of stress. Yet it is not work that makes people ill. Bad working practices and poor safety precautions are the cause.
Almost all work-related illness is avoidable, most of it through forward planning and good safety practices.
UNISON takes health and safety very seriously which is why we aim to have at least one UNISON safety representative to cover every workplace where we have members. Sometimes safety reps will also be stewards.
Workplaces with trade union recognition have 50 per cent fewer accidents than those without.
What do Health and Safety Representatives do?
As a Health & Safety Representative you will have a wide range of rights and functions:
- making representations on behalf of members individually and on health & safety committees.
- inspecting workplace areas
- investigating potential hazards, complaints, causes of accidents and dangerous occurrences
- facilities and support in your role as safety representatives from your employer
How to become a Health and Safety Representative
Safety representatives are appointed by UNISON, not the employer. If you would like to become a Health and Safety representative, please contact the branch and we can ensure that your employer is notified and you receive the appropriate training.