Health and Safety - Reps' Handbook

This Handbook is one of the ways in which the Union is trying to provide our Health and Safety Reps with the back-up they need. We hope that you find it useful as you go about your task as a Health and Safety Rep.



Download: Health and Safety - Reps' Handbook

Date Posted: 1 November 2013

 

 

 

Health and safety remains a major issue for Usdaw members and the Union needs active Health and Safety Reps now, more than ever.

As a Health and Safety Rep you have legal rights to investigate accidents and potential hazards; to inspect the workplace; to consult with members; and to take up issues on their behalf with management. You are also a vital part of the Usdaw team in your workplace. The things you do as a Health and Safety Rep help to promote the Union and to build union organisation where you work.

However, you do not have to do it all on your own. Usdaw recognises the importance of its Health and Safety Reps and provides support to help you develop the skills you need for the job and to keep you well informed. This Handbook is one of the ways in which the Union is trying to provide the back-up you need. We hope that you find it useful as you go about your task as a Health and Safety Rep.

The Union also provides training for Health and Safety Reps through the Education Department. Information, advice and assistance are available from the Health and Safety Section at Central Office and from Area Organisers and experienced lay officials. Make the most of the facilities the Union provides and together we can make things safer and healthier for all Usdaw members.

How to Use this Handbook

This Handbook is a basic guide to the Health and Safety Rep's job. It has been written for use by all Health and Safety Reps in Usdaw and in Sata, the specialised section of the Union for white-collar workers.

It does not give detailed information on particular hazards or workplaces because the variety of places where Usdaw members work and the range of hazards they face are too large. More details on hazards are available on the Health and Safety website and in Network - the bi-monthly activists' magazine. If you have any specific enquiries, contact your Area Organiser or the Health and Safety Section in the Legal Department at Central Office.

There are four main parts to this Handbook:

  • Personal Contact List (see pages 4-5)
    Use these pages to build up a list of the people you need to keep in touch with as a Health and Safety Rep.
  • Trade Unions, Health and Safety and the Law (see pages 6-15)
    This is a short introduction to the trade union approach to health and safety, the law and your rights as a Health and Safety Rep. New reps, in particular, should read it through when they take the job on.
  • Your Job as a Health and Safety Rep (see pages 16-39)
    The main part of this Handbook is a series of short guides which give practical advice about the job. Don't try to plough your way through them all at once. Refer to each section as and when you need it. New reps should read the first two sections ('How to Get Started' and 'How to Get Some Training') when they start the job.
  • Additional Information (see pages 40-42)
    A list of useful addresses and recommended further reading is included at the back of this Handbook.

Improving workers' lives - Winning for members

Health and Safety - Reps' Handbook was correct at date of publication November 2013.