Don't die waiting
The law is being undermined. The law enforcer has been gutted. The only guarantee you have of health and safety at work is union protection – and latest evidence confirms organised workplaces are substantially safer.
Hazards 115, July-September 2011
Is it possible to take a dysfunctional workplace with high levels of assaults, sickness and poor morale and in less than a year make it a haven of safety and worker contentment, with managers respecting and valuing the union role? Union rep Mark White explains how they achieved just that in his workplace.
Hazards 107, July-September 2009
Don’t be a safety nerd
Workers join unions because they are concerned about safety, and stay in unions for the same reason. That’s why training trade union safety reps in the links between safety and organisation is a top priority for TUC.
Hazards 102, May 2008
Organise! Organised workplaces may be safer workplaces, but good organisation doesn’t happen by chance. A new Hazards pin-up-at-work poster give safety reps an at-a-glance guide to a giving the workplace a union safety organisation health check.
Hazards 94, May 2006 • [pdf]
Get safe, get organised
Union workplaces are safer, healthier places for a reason – because union organisation keeps them that way. If unions are going to effectively fight hazards, then they should first know both the arguments and know their strength.
Hazards 92, November 2005
Work is not what it used to be. You are more likely to be serving in shops than serving up ships, tapping out keystrokes than tipping out coal. TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson says changing union safety strategies are needed for a changing working world.
Hazards 92, October-December 2005 Buy Hazards
TUC health and safety organising webpages
TUC says health and safety is a top reason people join unions and people stay in unions. Health and safety is a particularly effective organising tool.
TUC organising webpages
Organising for health and safety
This TUC resource is designed to help reps achieve more active membership, with more safety representatives. who can make real real gains and help create a greater culture of safety in the workplace. Organising for health and safety: A TUC guide for use in the workplace [pdf]
You slip, trip, fall you are exposed to toxic chemicals. You lift, carry, you get strains. You are stressed to the eyeballs. All this and the law says you should be safe and healthy at work. Hazards looks at how safety reps can organise to close the reality gap on workplace safety.
Hazards 74, April-June 2001 [pdf]
Safety reps at work
Union safety reps have a dramatic, positive impact on safety at work - and the more training they get, the more marked the "union safety effect." Hazards reports how the union training on your doorstep and now in cyberspace can be a workplace lifesaver.
Safety reps at work
Not what we bargained for
The economy is buoyant, but we work harder for less pay. We know more about hazards and their control, but work-related stress, strains, depression and violence are soaring. We have never been more productive, and we are rewarded with temporary contracts, long hours and back breaking workloads. Hazards lists the top 20 questions union reps should ask on workplace change and gives pointers on a better way to work.
Hazards 69, January-March 2000
Hazards mapping links
The "Hazards detective" online guide helps you make the links the doctors and the safety officers miss. From fatigue to depression, drug use to violence, the Hazards "worked over" online guide helps you examine the 24/7/365 hazards that can come with the job.
Hazards mapping links
Hazards shows why safety is better organised. Here it presents the evidence and details of innovative union safety rep initiatives including "roving" and regional reps and new style global agreements including health, safety and environmental clauses. Union effect
Hazards safety reps webpage
The one-stop-shop for union health and safety reps with resources, rights, news, training, links and features. safety reps webpage
Safety reps' news Latest safety news for health and safety reps
Britain: Unite organises for good, safe work
Improving health and safety at work requires organisation, solidarity and political awareness, the union Unite has said. General secretary Len McCluskey said these “three pillars” apply to all of Unite’s activities.
Unite health and safety guide [pdf] • Risks 520 • 27 August 2011
Britain: UNISON pushes organisation on safety
Public sector union UNISON is putting health and safety at the centre of a recruitment and organising drive. General secretary Dave Prentis says the union’s new ‘Organising for health and safety’ guide is part of a strategy “to turn UNISON into a genuinely organising union.”
Organising for health and safety: a UNISON guide [pdf] • TUC health and safety organising pages • Risks 515 • 11 June 2011
Britain: Organising for health and safety
The difference between knowing something is bad for your health, and getting something done about amounts to a big ‘O’ – Organisation. That’s why TUC’s safety strategy has union organisation at the centre. With four new guides, available in print and online, set out “to show how union organisers, at both national and local level, can use health and safety as a tool in a campaigsn for union recognition as well as to develop activists and grow the union in already organised workplaces.”
TUC publication alert • TUC health and safety organisation webpages
Organising for health and safety: A workplace resource [pdf]
Organising for health and safety: Safety reps course [pdf]
Organising for health and safety: Union officers course [pdf].
Organising for health and safety: What makes health and safety a good organising issue? [pdf]
Risks 378 • 18 October 2009
Canada: Work refusals win safety assurances
Workers who refused to work at Canadian firm IMP Aerospace because of concerns over safety returned to the job this week after receiving a commitment their complaints would be addressed. The workers, members of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), had refused to start work at the IMP facility at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
CAW news report • The Chronicle Herald • Globe and Mail • CAW Right to refuse • Risks 377 • 11 October 2009
Britain: TUC Organising at Work guide
It’s unions that brought you the weekend, safer workplaces, shorter hours, better wages and leave entitlements and greater equality at work. But winning and maintaining better working conditions is only a possibility if people are organised – and that means unions recruiting new members and increasing the effectiveness of organised workplaces.
Organising at work - Building stronger unions in the workplace [pdf] • Risks 371 • 30 August 2008
Global: Around the world in a training daze
Fiona Murie has trained thousands of safety reps and has got – literally - a world of experience. As director of health and safety for the Building Workers’ International, an umbrella group of unions in the sector with over 12 million members in 135 countries, she has worked with affliates worldwide and concludes: “It is not so much about the technical knowledge, it’s about organising.”
Hazards magazine • BWI website • Risks 357 • 24 May 2008
Britain: Get trained, get organised, get safe!
Training trade union safety reps in the links between workplace safety and union organisation is a top priority for TUC. Liz Rees, head of TUC’s education service, made this plain in a new interview with the trade union safety magazine Hazards.
Don’t be a safety nerd, Hazards, Number 102, pages 20-21, 2008 • Risks 357 • 24 May 2008
Australia: Court backs union safety notice
A state government department in Victoria, Australia, that ignored an improvement notice issued by a union safety rep has been successfully prosecuted. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development had ignored a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) issued by the safety rep.
More • VTHC news release • Hazards safety reps webpages • 11 August 2007
Britain: Unions think of new ways to work
The TUC is appealing to academics from the UK and across the world to sign up to a new, free information sharing network. The Union Ideas Network, launched on 24 April, plans to bring together researchers, policy makers and trade unions with the aim of breathing fresh ideas into the union movement, and has an explicit health and safety section.
Union Ideas Network • UIN health and safety section
Australia: Fifteen things you should know safety
If you thought knowing about risks and laws was the key to making your workplace safe, think again. The first thing you need to know is how as a union you can get the organisation and influence to put things right, according to a 15 point checklist for union reps.
Risks 244 • 18 February 2006
Britain: Health and safety is better organised
TUC’s new organising strategy for health and safety has won backing from top union leaders.
Risks 235 • 3 December 2005
Organised workplaces may be safer workplaces, but good organisation doesn’t happen by chance.