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
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
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
- Personal Contact List (see pages
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
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
- Your Job as a Health and Safety Rep (see pages
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
- Additional Information (see pages
A list of useful addresses and recommended further reading is
included at the back of this Handbook.
Improving workers' lives - Winning
Health and Safety - Reps'
Handbook was correct at date of publication November