items on PINs and UINs
PINS and needle
An HSE report shows a formal safety enforcement role for trade
union safety reps would make workplaces safer, free up HSE inspectors
and get workplace hazards sorted before the employer ended up
in the dock. Hazards 80 Oct-Dec
2002 pdf format text
Union inspection notices:
Extending safety reps' rights
TUC has published an online guide to
union inspection notices... more
what Australian safety reps have got - the power to make workplaces
The TUC says UK workers should have the protection of PIN power.
TUC general secretary John Monks said union safety reps "need
more tools at their disposal to make workplaces as safe as they
can possibly be... British safety reps look at their Australian
counterparts and say 'we want some of that'!"
TUC news release Risks
77, 26 October 2002
HSE PINs report - conclusions
and recommendations from the "Worker
participation in health and safety: A review of Australian provisions
or worker health and safety representation", HSE 2002.
Worker participation in health and safety:
A review of Australian provisions for worker health and safety
representation (PINs). Report
in full [pdf format]
ACTU survey of safety reps
A 2001 survey by Australian union federation
ACTU found a PIN was effective in resolving health and safety
issues in 95 per cent of cases. Only 16 per cent had stopped work
for health and safety reasons but almost all - 98 per cent - said
this move was effective in resolving the issue... more
More on UINs
and PINs below
Hazards workplace notices news
guide to Union Inspection Notices (UINs) includes information on new
TUC resources for trade union safety reps. It also provides links to
great resources produced by Australian unions, where their notices -
PINs or Provisional Improvement Notices
- have full, enforceable, legal status. Also
see Union inspection Notices - Resources
Union Inspection Notices, launched
exclusively by the TUC in this issue of Hazards, are a
serious new resource in the trade union safety rep's tool kit.
TUC wants safety reps nationwide serving notice on hazards at
work. TUC Senior Policy Officer Owen Tudor explains how and why...
pages 4-5 [pdf format]
ISTC/Community Union Inspection
UK union Community (formerly
ISTC) has produced a Union Inspection Notice book.
Community, Swinton House,
324 Gray's Inn Road,
London, WC1X 8DD.
Tel: 020 7239 1200
safety pages Further
A TUC guide to
Union Inspection Notices
use a UIN [pdf format]
to print off and use at work [pdf
Single copies of this 4 page TUC/ Hazards pullout
guide are available free with a stamped addressed envelope from:
TUC Publications, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London
10-100 copies, £0.25 each
100-500, £0.20 each
over 500, £0.15 each
Send an email to Hazards
saying how many copies you require, and we will despatch immediately
with an invoice.
Take Notice! Workplace
Spot it, Notice it, Stop it
Click here for a version
suitable for your computer desktop wallpaper
here for a PDF version to print
off and pin up at work
copies of Hazards 76 complete with poster and the free
UIN guide, subscribe
Hazards 76, centrepages
Alert! A Hazards leaflet. Tells the
workforce a Union Inspection Notice has been issued, and a deadline
has been set for safety problems to be remedied...
Risk! A Hazards leaflet.
Tells the workforce where a machine, process, substance, environment
or system of work is indisputably so dangerous work should be
discontinued until the risks are removed...
UNISON guide and print off and
use Union Inspection Notice... here
Safety Inspection Letter
Standard letter to notify your employer that you are undertaking
a health and safety inspection on your premises. [pdf
Safety Inspection notice
Standard letter to notify UNISON members that you are undertaking
a health and safety inspection.
UNISON Inspection Report Form
Health and safety form to record inspections and actioned called
Union Inspection Notices
GMB gives a description and further
information on their UIN pilot program... here
Midlands region Union Inspection Notice more
West Midlands guide to using a UIN more
Safety and health complaints
A United Steelworkers of America health
and safety complaints form pocket book allows reps to make a safety
complaint, record whether management accepts the complaint and
provides three copies: white (for the originator); pink (for management);
and yellow (for the safety committee).
CUPE enforcement log, Canada
The Canadian Union of Public Employees produced a health and safety
"enforcement log" as part of a campaign, "Health
and safety enforcement - the weakest link". The form allows
union reps to grade problems by degree of risk. A top copy is
submitted to management. A carbon copy is for the union and joint
health and safety committee.
Resources from Australia
Provisional Improvement Notices
from the Community and Public Service Union, Australia
A PIN is a Provisional Improvement Notice
which is a formal notice from a Health and Safety Rep to a supervisor
advising the supervisor that there is a breach of safety at work.
It is used where consultation between the Health and Safety Rep
and the supervisor does not resolve the safety.
To see a CPSU
guide on Provisional Improvement Notices.
and safety reps' handbook Sections of the official Comcare
health and safety handbook outlining the rights of health and
safety reps in the Commonwealth (federal) sector, Australia. Excerpts
here include detrails of the powers of safety reps, a model completed
PIN, a blank PIN, and some background to the role and application
What is a PIN? How do I use one? More
Trades Hall Council
VTHC, the major union federation in the Australian state
of Victoria has championed the use of PINs by union safety
This union guide explains the
law on the use of PINs in Victoria, Australia. Also gives guidance
for union reps on the use of PINs and has a series of case histories...
What is a PIN?
This document describes how reps
can use PINs to resolve issues at the workplace, when to use them
and how to ensure that your employer does the right thing.
from the VTHC OHS Rep webpage, Australia
Inspectors and PINs
The law in Victoria, Australia,
gives health and safety reps the right to issue PINS if they believe
there has been a contravention of safety laws. A PIN is usually
issued to the employer, although it may also be issued to a manufacturer,
supplier or any other person with duties under the Act. Before
a PIN can be issued, the rep must consult with the person to whom
the notice is to be issued.
Guidance from the VTHC OHS Rep webpage, Australia
Inspectors - Visits following
non-compliance with a PIN
When an elected OHS rep issues
a PIN to their employer, the employer cannot just ignore it. The
two options are to comply with the PIN or to call an Inspector.
But what happens if the employer does not comply with a PIN?
from the VTHC OHS Rep webpage, Australia
Also see the
sample PIN from VTHC click
Queensland Council of Unions
and other Australian states, union reps can issue "Provisional
Improvement Notices" and "Provisional Prohibition Notices".
These are like UINs, but also have full, enforceable, legal status.
Section 9.13 of this excellent general safety policy document
very briefly outlines this right... [pdf
Britain: Union notice urges EA to beef up safety measures
In the face of the increased transmission rates of the new Covid-19 variant, unions including UNISON, Prospect, GMB and Unite have issued a Union Improvement Notice calling on the Environment Agency to review its risk assessments. The notice calls for the Environment Agency to review measures, and calls for the introduction of compulsory face coverings in communal areas and consideration of flexible start and finish times to reduce social contact with colleagues.
UNISON news release. BBC News Online. Risks 982.
28 January 2021
Britain: ‘Union Improvement Notice’ served on British Museum
The British Museum must take action to remedy Covid-19 safety breaches – but it is a union and not a safety regulator that is laying down the law. Because of overcrowding and difficulties with social distancing, civil service union PCS said it “has been left with no alternative but to issue a Union Improvement Notice (UIN) on 30 October.”
PCS news release and webpage on Union Improvement Notices. TUC guide to union health and safety inspections and safety reps’ tools including UINs. UIN form. Risks 973.
14 November 2020
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
VTHC news release • Hazards safety
Hazards news, 11 August 2007
Usdaw safety reps want to PIN down dangers
Retail union Usdaw is to call for extended rights for union safety reps,
including the right to issue Provisional Improvement Notices (PINs).
A proposition backing the call for safety reps to have the power to
issue the legally-binding notices to stop illegally dangerous work was
passed at the union’s Blackpool conference.
Risks 255, 6 May 2006
Safety reps should get noticed!
TUC is urging union safety reps to make sure employers take notice of
their safety concerns. A new online guide to union inspection notices
says each one “is a formal notice issued to a manager by an accredited
trade union safety representative.
Risks 226, 1 October 2005
Racetrack union refuses deadly track hurdles
Melbourne's jumping season fell at the first hurdle when Sandown racecourse
workers scratched the steeplechase from the card on safety grounds.
Australian Workers' Union (AWU) members slapped a Provisional Improvement
Notice (PIN) on heavy, outdated steeples that have led to cuts, bruises
and back injuries.
Risks 199, 19 March 2005
UK: UINs in PCS
PCS reps have been
using UINs to negotiate safety improvements - and sometimes just the
threat of a notice was enough.
RSI still causing pain and suffering
Victorian Trades Hall Council has called for more prosecutions of unhealthy
employers. The union body also urged safety reps to issue "Provisional
Improvement Notices" where they see breaches of manual handling regulations.
28 February 2002
PCS immigration officers serve UINs
After a week of increasingly violent incidents
culminating in a threat to take a member of staff hostage, PCS members
employed as immigration officers have removed the threat to their safety
by refusing to have face to face contact with detainees, as is their
right under the Employment Rights Act in the face of serious and imminent
danger. PCS last week served a Union Inspection Notice on Kevin Brewer,
director of the Dungavel detention centre, "after a shameful five
months of management inactivity, demanding that the appropriate risk
assessments be done and a safe system of work be put in place."
41, 16 February 2002
Official backing for Union Inspection Notices
Companies and their directors and managers
are to face closer legal scrutiny when they breach safety laws, says
a new official policy. The Health and Safety Commission's new enforcement
policy statement also recognises the role that warnings from safety
reps should play in deciding whether to prosecute - giving official
backing to the Union Inspection Notice process. Paragraph 40 of the
statement says: "HSC also expects that, in the public interest,
enforcing authorities will consider prosecution ... where following
an investigation or other regulatory contact ... a breach which gives
rise to significant risk has continued despite relevant warnings from
employees or their representatives."
39, 2 February 2002
Enforcement Policy Statement (HSC15) [pdf format]
Train company recognises Union Inspection Notices
Union reps in the rail union TSSA on Merseyside
can now use Union Inspection Notices (UINs) as part of agreed workplace
inspection procedures. Arriva Trains Merseyside accepted the TSSA's
argument that the use of UINs by health and safety reps will complement
existing company procedures. TSSA negotiations officer Steve Coe commented:
'This agreement not only demonstrates the invaluable work of union
health and safety reps but that their expertise and contribution is
being more widely recognised'. He added: 'All employers should be
seeking to incorporate the UIN scheme into their existing health and
safety procedures and supporting reps who want to enhance their existing
skills and knowledge through extra training in UIN application.' TUC's
Union Inspection Notice scheme was launched in November 2001.
39, 9 November 2001
Safety reps urged to give bad bosses
a final warning
Union workplace safety reps in the UK will
be able to serve a final warning on employers who endanger
the health and safety of people at work
press release, 9 November 2001