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Hazards 108,
Health and safety representative profile
Tricia Gleave, UCU

See the archive Get our health and safety headlines direct to your website


Britain Filled in the TUC safety reps’ survey yet?
CWU rep receives TUC’s top safety award
Scottish tourism reboot must include roving union reps
Warning - your accident book could be hazardous
Britain: So, you’re a safety rep? Tell us about it
Britain UNISON recognises top safety reps
The future of safety rep training
What would a super safety rep look like?
TUC celebrates 40 years of union safety reps
Let’s celebrate women safety reps
Britain Safety reps have it all to play for
TUC provides graphic proof of the safety rep effect
New route for reps to report to HSE


Image: Northland Posters


Top Hazards safety rep features

It's down to you The government is axing safety controls and a cut back and commercialised Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a stranger in most workplaces. Who’s picking up the slack? Trade union safety reps of course, who in October 2017 celebrate the 40th anniversary of their lifesaving role.
Hazards, number 139, 2017

You gotta fight for your right to safety You think we have got safety cracked? Well, injuries may have fallen but problems including work cancers, insecurity and mental health conditions are rocketing. Dave Smith says only informed collective action will really make work better. Hazards, number 139, 2017

Safety respect 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, issue 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, issue 102, May 2008

Cross words As workplace deaths rise dramatically and the Health and Safety Executive’s austerity programme leaves it haemorrhaging staff, mothballing work programmes and shutting offices, Hazards looks for clues on what unions – snubbed and so far refused any new rights by HSE after its worker involvement consultation - should do next. Hazards, issue 98, April-June 2007

Safety repressed The government admits the lifesaving work of safety reps saves society hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Now unions are asking why the Health and Safety Executive seems reluctant to expand their role. Hazards special online briefing in full, March 2007

Consultation consultation [Hazards 94, May 2006] The government is kicking off another “employee consultation” consultation. This time, says TUC’s Hugh Robertson, it should introduce meaningful changes to recognise the lifesaving role of union safety reps.

See the Hazards special online briefing in full, May 2006
TUC briefing on the consultation

In the firing line [Hazards 89, January-March 2005]
In the UK we have kinda, sorta rights. The sort of rights that mean you can refuse dangerous work, but you risk being fired for your trouble. Where you have a right to speak up but where your boss could still turf you out. And anti-union laws and union busting firms are now making life at work more dangerous still. Hazards outlines the law on victimisation of safety reps and on safery reps rights..

See the Hazards special online briefing in full,
February 2005.

Safety reps at work [Hazards 86, April-June, 2004]
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.

See the Hazards special online briefing in full,
May 2004.

Safety reps at work
Safety rep websites

Union safety news
Information exchange
Safety rep resources
Union safety training
Union safety effect
Topic based information
Safety rep profiles

Safety Rep images: Ned Jolliffe

Safety reps at work
The rights and roles of workplace safety reps around the world.

Roving reps What should unions do when a workplace hasn't got a workplace safety rep? Roving reps or Workplace Safety Advisers (WSAs) covering several workplaces could be the answer.

Notices Union inspection notices (UINs) and provisional improvement notices (PINs) are allowing union reps to take workplace safety enforcement into their own hands.

Union effect Hygienists might have a measure of it and doctors a diagnosis for it, but only workers with collective power have much chance of doing anything about workplace harm. Hazards shows how.

Safety rep websites

Hazards (Global)
TUC safety webpage (UK)
Union Ideas Network safety section (UK)
Scottish Hazards Campaign
Unionsafe (Australia)
OHS Reps (Australia)
Worksafe Reps (New Zealand)
Unionsafe network (Australia)
UK union safety sites
Get safe now! Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Australia)

International union/union related safety sources

Union health and safety news

Labourstart/Hazards health and safety newswire
OHS Reps, Australia
Trade Union Technical Bureau for Health and Safety (TUTB), Europe [English]
Bureau Technique Syndical Européen pour la Santé et la Sécurité (BTS), Europe [Français]
Worksafe Reps, New Zealand
Confined Space, USA
World Labour News - occupational health

Labour Union Digest, UK

Information exchange health and safety discussion board

Safety rep resources including:


Safety reps' rights

The 'Brown book' online

TUC New Unionism safety reps webpage

ESPARE European research project to analyse the role and effectiveness of safety reps at work. ESPARE

Roving reps

HSE workers' website

PCS Safety Reps' Toolbox

GMB safety reps' rights webpage, including "10 safety representative tasks"

UNISON safety reps' guide [pdf]

UNISON short guide to becoming a safety rep [pdf] • Poster [pdf] • Safety reps' briefing

ASLEF "Organising for health and safety reps" [pdf]

USDAW "Health and safety reps' handbook"

HandS for Safety Representatives

NW BT union health and safety

New Zealand: H&S Toolkit: The role of the health and safety representative

Union safety training

Links for latest updates on TUC health and safety training courses

Safety reps training factsheet, Hazards 86, April - June 2004

Background documents on TUC/union training, certificate Background articles by Pete Kirby and Graham Petersen:

TUC learning

Union safety effect

Topic based information eg

It's about time breaksworking hourshealth and safety


Genetic screening
Behavioural safety
Drink and drugs policy
Women and hazards

[complete list]

Safety Reps News

Britain: Filled in the TUC safety reps’ survey yet?
The TUC’s latest survey of union health and safety representatives is online, and waiting for you to spend just five minutes sharing your experiences. The TUC says responses from safety reps are “valuable to us, they let us know the issues safety reps are dealing with, and what work the TUC and our member unions should prioritise and campaign on in the years ahead.”
TUC alert. Take the survey - it should take approximately 5 minutes to complete.
Hazards news, 10 January 2023

Britain: CWU rep receives TUC’s top safety award
A Communication Workers’ Union safety rep has received the TUC’s top safety award. Jamie McGovern, who was announced as the winner of the 2022 Health and Safety Rep Award at TUC’s Congress, said trade unionism was now more relevant than ever, adding: “You are better supported when you are united.”
TUC Award Winners 2022.
Hazards news, 28 October 2022

Britain: Scottish tourism reboot must include roving union reps
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has sounded a serious note of caution at the Scottish government’s plan to re-open tourism and hospitality next month. STUC said any reopening of the largely non-union sector should occur only in full consultation with staff. They should be supported by union roving reps and union organisers provided access to their workplace, it added. The union body was commenting after the Scottish government’s tourism secretary Fergus Ewing said the tourism and hospitality businesses should prepare, within appropriate safety guidelines, for reopening on 15 July. He added that “absolutely nothing can be guaranteed” and this date may change if the evidence on Covid-19 requires it. STUC general secretary designate Rozanne Foyer said: “As things stand, we have a contact tracing system, which is at the very early stages of roll-out. Equally, there is no coherent transport plan and we continue to raise significant concern of the government guidance for its safe operation.” She added: “Given that levels of trade union membership in tourism and hospitality is low, along with prevalence of precarious work in the sector, we will need clear undertakings that employers wishing to re-open will fully consult their staff and admit union organisers and mobile union health and safety reps to support workers. We will need to see a special health and safety risk assessment for each and every establishment that re-opens including viable rostering to ensure travel safety.” Commenting on the 10 June announcement, she concluded: “Employers must commit to supporting contact tracing and not to penalise staff who obey public health guidance. We expect to play a full part on the taskforce announced today to guide the easing of lockdown in this sector.”
STUC webpage. BBC News Online. Risks 951.
Hazards news, 13 June 2020

Britain: Warning - your accident book could be hazardous
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced a new accident book – and it includes changes of crucial importance for the work of safety reps. The new version confirms safety representatives must have access to information on work injuries, regardless the requirements of the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
TUC blog. HSE Accident Book, 2018 edition, TSO – make sure your workplace has the ticked-boxed up-to-date version. Risks 872.
Hazards news, 27 October 2018

Britain: So, you’re a safety rep? Tell us about it
Do you know how the TUC informs its health and safety policies, priorities and campaigns? It listens to the feedback from unions and their safety reps.
Have your say in the TUC survey of health and safety representatives 2018. Risks 843
Hazards news, 7 April 2018

Britain: UNISON recognises top safety reps
UNISON health and safety reps “go beyond the call of duty,” general secretary Dave Prentis declared at the union’s Safety Rep of the Year awards. The public service union’s event also celebrated the positive difference 40 years of safety reps have made to ordinary people’s working lives.
UNISON news release. Risks 837.
Hazards news, 17 February 2018

Britain: The future of safety rep training
The TUC is developing exciting new ways to train its legions of union safety reps. Every health and safety representative recognises the benefit of good trade union training, says Jackie Williams of TUC Education, noting it is what gives reps the skills to do their lifesaving, life enhancing job and to keep a safe distance from the employer.
On course: The future of safety rep training, Jackie Williams, Hazards magazine, number 140, 2017. TUC Education website. Risks 831.
Hazards news, 6 January 2018

Britain: What would a super safety rep look like?
As part of the TUC’s work celebrating 40 years of union health and safety representatives, the union body is planning a resource on how to expand the existing legal role of these life-saving union reps. The TUC says it is pulling together examples of health and safety representatives reaching agreements that go beyond the requirements on employers under the 1977 Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations, such as the right to stop the job, roving reps or Union Improvement Notices.
Email your examples to the TUC health and safety department. Risks 826
Hazards news, 18 November 2017

Britain: TUC celebrates 40 years of union safety reps
The TUC marked the 40th anniversary of a landmark safety law on 25 October, celebrating four decades of lifesaving work by trade union safety reps. The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 gave union reps legal rights to act on health and safety concerns in workplaces.
TUC news release and Safetyreps@40 report, case histories and resources, leaflet and Union effect report.
It’s down to you: Safety reps@40 – four decades of making work safe and healthy, Hazards magazine, number 139, 2017. Morning Star. Risks 823
Hazards news, 28 October 2017

Britain: Let’s celebrate women safety reps
The TUC wants to hear from women safety reps, past and present, about their safety successes at work. He said make sure you include the name of the union, the employer, what was done and what was achieved, together with the who, why, where and when of how it happened.
You can send your case histories to Hugh by email or via an online form. Risks 818
Hazards news, 23 September 2017

Britain: Safety reps have it all to play for
The TUC has said it is crucial the government’s Trade Union Bill faces a robust challenge – not least because it could make work a far more dangerous place. Hugh Robertson, the union body’s head of safety, said the proposed measures would allow the government to restrict the time given to trade union health and safety representatives in the public sector, allow inexperienced and inadequately trained agency workers to substitute for skilled, safety savvy workers during strikes, and restrict the ability of workers to strike over safety issues.
TUC Stronger Unions blog. Risks 741
Hazards news, 5 March 2016

Britain: TUC provides graphic proof of the safety rep effect
A defence of the life-saving role of safety reps is an increasingly visible theme in the TUC’s campaign against the government’s rights-robbing Trade Union Bill. Announcing new infographics spelling out why the government should be addressing the damage to health caused by a neglect of safety rather than attacking employment and trade union rights, TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson notes: “One of the things that completely shows how the Bill is based on ideology rather than any desire to change things for the better is the focus the government is putting on the number of strikes we have.”
TUC safety poster to print off and use and related Twitter and Facebook versions for use online.
TUC Stronger Unions blog, The Union Effect report and Trade Union Bill briefing.
We’re here to stay! Unions challenge wrong-headed government attack that could cost lives, Frances O’Grady, Hazards online report, September 2015.
National rally and march on the Conservative conference, 4 October 2015. Risks 722. 3 October 2015

Britain: New route for reps to report to HSE
A new system for safety reps to report problems at work after formal processes have failed has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The TUC says the new HSE ‘Concerns and advice form for safety representatives’, which can be submitted by post or online, comes into use when other formal processes have been exhausted.
TUC briefingHSE health and safety representatives webpage and Concerns and Advice form for safety representativesRisks 670
Hazards news, 7 September 2014

Britain: TUC calls for safety reps to be “eyes and ears”
The HSE is depending more on complaints and “whistle-blowers” to compensate for the collapse in proactive inspections forced on it by the coalition government. The TUC’s head of Health and Safety, Hugh Robertson said “The fall in inspection numbers and the increased reliance on complaints shows that the only people who can expose what is going on it the workplace is union health and safety representatives.”
Pinsent MasonsTUC report on Government recordRisks 656
Hazards news, 31 May 2014

Britain: UNISON wants more safety reps and campaigning
The importance of health and safety reps is greater than ever given the government’s continued assault on the health and safety regulatory system, UNISON delegates have agreed. Delegates at the national conference called on the UNISON national executive to: Work with UNISON’s Learning and Organising Services to improve training for safety reps; encourage branches to participate in the union’s Safety in Numbers campaign; provide bargaining advice to assist safety reps to get the time off to which they are legally entitled;  and “work with the TUC, the Hazards campaign and other trade unions in the UK and Europe to combat the government’s reckless attacks on health and safety.”
UNISON news releaseRisks 611
Hazards news, 29 June 2013

Britain: Call for better rights for safety reps at sea
Members of the seafarers’ union Nautilus International in the UK are being urged to contact their MP and encourage them to sign an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling for improved rights for union safety reps onboard ships. Nautilus says under current laws, shore-based health and safety representatives have a legal right to attend a trade union-approved health and safety training course as soon as possible, whilst seafarers are only required to undertake onboard health and safety training at some stage.
Nautilus news releaseEarly Day Motion 201: status of seafarer health and safety representativesRisks 609
Hazards news, 15 June 2013   

Britain: Safety reps spread on Virgin territory
Health and safety is helping build union influence in parts of a communication giant which has demonstrated “residual resistance” to the union. CWU has more than doubled the number of union health and safety reps in Virgin Media to 17, with 10 new reps recently put through their paces in an intensive five-day union-run training course.
CWU news releaseRisks 534
Hazards news, 3 December 2011

Britain: Many offshore firms still fail to consult workers
Offshore workers’ union RMT has criticised oil companies for “fundamentally failing” to involve workers in health and safety matters on rigs and has demanded improvements. The union was commenting after the publication of a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) review of the effectiveness of the offshore safety representatives and safety committees regulations.
RMT news releaseHSE offshore worker involvement webpagesOffshore workforce involvement and consultation. Offshore Installations (Safety Representatives and Safety Committees) Regulations 1989: Compliance Inspection Project, HSE, 2011 [pdf]STV ScotlandRisks 525
Hazards news, 1 October 2011

Britain: Could union learning nurture safety reps?
Unions continue to play an effective role in representing workers, a report has concluded, with some non-traditional activities like ‘unionlearn’ sometimes acting an incubator for new union safety reps.
What role for unions in the future of workplace relations?, ACAS, September 2011 [pdf]TUC Stronger Unions blogUnionlearn guidance on ULRsThe Union Effect - How unions make a difference to health and safety, TUC, 2011 • Risks 523
Hazards news, 17 September 2011

Britain: Soaraway stress warning from TUC
Stress, bulling and harassment, back strains, slips, trips and falls, and overwork top the list of workers' safety concerns, according to new TUC research. The union body's 2010 survey of safety reps found nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of reps say that stress is in the top five problems faced by the workers they represent.
TUC news releaseMorning StarRisks 480
Hazards news, 30 October 2010

TUC resources for safety reps
The TUC has published an online resource pack for health and safety representatives. The lengthy list of resources includes three new publications - an introduction to being a health and safety representative, a guide to reporting, and information on what to expect if an inspector visits. The latter includes a link to the actions that official health and safety inspectors are recommended to take when they encounter breaches of the various regulations on consultation over health and safety issues.
TUC safety rep resourcesRisks 474
Hazards news, 18 September 2010

Britain: National inspection day, 27 October
Wednesday 27 October, the mid-point of this year’s European Health and Safety Week, is National Inspection Day, when union health and safety representatives are encouraged to inspect their workplace.
TUC National Inspection Day webpage, guide [pdf] and poster in colour [pdf] and black and white [pdf]
Maintenance in the workplace: A guide for health and safety representatives, TUC, August 2010 • Risks 470
Hazards news, 21 August 2010

Britain: Get your TUC safety diploma online
You’ve done the courses, got the experience and you’ve still got a hankering to learn more. If so, you might want to consider the TUC Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety.
Course and application details for the online course for the TUC Diploma in Occupational Health and SafetyRisks 367
Hazards news, 31 July 2010

Britain: Tribunal fails to protect safety rep
Penny Gower, a safety rep with the Scottish teaching union EIS, has criticised the flimsy protection provided by employment tribunals to those who stand up for safety. “The ET ruled that I had been unfairly dismissed due to the College summarily sacking me without an appeal, but concluded that they had been right to dismiss me anyway,” said the sacked Carnegie College tutor.
Defend health and safety reps’ rights blog and Penny Gower’s safety rep inspection report
[pdf]Risks 465
Hazards news, 17 July 2010

Britain: Calling all safety reps!
The TUC wants to hear from trade union safety reps – what you are doing, what concerns you, and what problems and successes you are encountering while wearing your union safety hat. The eighth TUC survey of safety reps is designed to provide the TUC and individual unions with information about their safety reps and their experiences and needs.
TUC survey of safety reps • Deadline for responses, 1 July 2010 • Risks 456
Hazards news, 15 May 2010

Britain: GMB’s not-that-accident-book accident book
A regular thumb-through the workplace accident book is a technique used by lots of union safety reps to determine any worrying trends. But the union GMB has now gone a step further, with the introduction of its own “unofficial” purpose-designed safety reps’ accident book.
GMB unofficial accident and near-miss report book [pdf] Risks 434
Hazards news, 28 November 2009

Britain: Usdaw guide to safety in a recession
Usdaw has sent each of its 4,600 health and safety reps a leaflet reminding them of the importance of using their legal functions to defend health and safety standards in the current down-turn. ‘Hard times - protecting health and safety standards in a recession’ points out why health and safety standards can slip when the money is tight.
Usdaw news release • Hard times - protecting health and safety standards in a recession [pdf]Risks 428
Hazards news, 17 October 2009

Britain: Firefighters put out new safety strategy
Firefighters’ union FBU is using its nationwide network of safety reps to investigate work-related health problems across the service. A new strategy, spelled out in a video clip on ‘fbutube’, is looking to use bodymapping establish the extent and causes of harm caused by work and to use this information to identify measures to improve work practices.

FBU YouTube clipRisks 423
Hazards news, 12 September 2009


Britain: Safety reps make work happy and healthy
Is it possible to take a dysfunctional workplace battered by assaults, sickness and poor morale and in less than a year make it a haven of safety and worker contentment, with managers valuing the union role? UNISON rep Mark White, writing in the new edition of the trade union magazine Hazards, describes how they achieved just that in his workplace.
Safety respectHazards magazine, number 107, Summer 2009 • Risks 419
Hazards news, 15 August 2009

Europe: Safety reps are a ‘powerful force’
Trade union safety reps have a “huge potential” for improving workers’ health, a Europe-wide investigation has concluded. The ESPARE project – full name ‘The Impact of Safety Representatives on Occupational Health: A European Perspective’ – was launched in 2006 by the European TUC’s health and safety research arm, REHS.
ESPARE project • The impact of safety representatives on occupational health: A European perspective (the EPSARE project), Report 107, European Trade Union Institute, 2009. Order detailsRisks 416
Hazards news, 25 July 2009

Britain: Better worker involvement on site
A new guide will help reduce accidents and improve worker involvement on construction sites, construction union UCATT has said. Working with Unite, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the employer-led ConstructionSkills organisation, UCATT has compiled a ‘Short guide to improving health and safety on construction sites through effective worker involvement.’
UCATT news release and Short guide to improving health and safety on construction sites through effective worker involvement, Strategic Forum for Construction [pdf]Risks 417
Hazards news, 1 August 2009

Britain: Brown praises union safety reps
In a message released to mark Workers’ Memorial Day the Prime Minister praised the role that trade unions and safety representatives play in promoting health and safety. Gordon Brown said: “Their dedication has protected countless workers and their families from the consequences of deaths and injuries at work and I pay tribute to their tireless efforts on behalf of us all.”
Statement by PMTUC news releaseRisks 404
Hazards news, 2 May 2009

New Zealand: Mines need worker inspectors
A New Zealand union has called for the reintroduction of elected worker safety inspectors in mining, to improve the industry’s safety record. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) was commenting after a government announcement that it will develop further measures to improve mine safety and expects that to include legislation for “health and safety check inspectors.”
EPMU news releaseRisks 381
Hazards news, 8 November 2008

Britain: Safety reps – your rights, official
A copy of the newly revised 1977 Safety Representatives and Consultation Regulations, the related Approved Code of Practice and associated guidance can now be downloaded from the TUC website. The new, improved resource replaces the ‘Brown Book’ and is the key resource on safety reps’ legal rights at work.
New ‘Brown Book’ of safety reps’ rights
[pdf]Risks 382 Hazards news, 15 November 2008

Britain: TUC health and safety diploma online
Experienced safety reps who want to take the TUC Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety can now apply for next year’s intake of the online course. The course gives reps the opportunity to question the development and function of health and safety law, discover how to build trade union organisation for health and safety and tackle health, safety, welfare and environmental problems.
TUC course details and online application formRisks 382
Hazards news, 15 November 2008

Britain: Safety reps get Hazards
Hazards magazine’s latest edition includes the usual mix of news, features and resources. There’s also ‘Souped-up safety reps’, a centrepage special feature highlighting TUC’s plans for new, improved safety reps.
Hazards magazineSouped-up safety repsContents page, issue 104Risks 383
Hazards news 22 November 2008

Britain: HSE chair wants more reps
The benefits of trade union safety reps are beyond all doubt, the chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said. Judith Hackitt told SERTUC’s worker involvement conference: “Throughout my working life it has always been the case that the workforce has been fully involved in health and safety and the importance of safety representatives has never been questioned - because it’s never been in any doubt.”
HSE news release and worker involvement webpages
Risks 383
Hazards news 22 November 2008

Britain: Work’s stresses and strains are top concerns
Stress or overwork, injuries and illnesses caused by the poor use of display screen equipment and repetitive strain injuries (RSI) top the list of workers' safety concerns, according to the TUC's biennial survey of safety reps.
TUC news releaseWales TUC news releaseNorthern TUC news releaseTUC biennial survey of safety reps 2008Risks 380
Hazards news, 1 November 2008

Britain: Minister praises union safety role
The trade union safety role has been praised by health and safety minister Lord McKenzie. Speaking at a North West TUC conference in Manchester, the minister said: “Organisations that have good worker involvement deliver better performance on health and safety.”
HSE news releaseVideo of HSE chair launching HSE’s new worker involvement guideHSE worker involvement webpagesRisks 379
Hazards news, 25 October 2008

Britain: TUC launches safety reps charter
The TUC has launched a new charter to enhance the role of safety representatives in the workplace. TUC also wants employers breaking consultation rules or denying safety reps training to face prosecution. And it is calling for measures to create more safety reps covering many more workers.
TUC news releaseSafety representatives - A charter for changeRisks 379
Hazards news, 25 October 2008

Britain: Minister backs union safety reps
Trade union safety reps have been crucial to securing improvements in Britain’s safety record, the government’s health and safety minister has said. Lord McKenzie of Luton, speaking at the October launch of new guidance on worker involvement in health and safety, said: “I see it as one of my tasks to take every opportunity to go out and meet with employers, workers and their health and safety representatives to understand the health and safety issues facing people at work and to promote worker involvement as widely as possible.”
Lord McKenzie’s speech at the launch of the new guideHSE news releaseHSE worker involvement webpagesUsdaw news releaseRisks 378
Hazards news, 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 reportThe Chronicle HeraldGlobe and Mail • CAW Right to refuseRisks 377
Hazards news, 11 October 2009

Britain: TUC guide to risk assessment
The TUC has produced a guide to risk assessment. It says the new resource provides safety reps with the tools to ensure their employer has done a suitable risk assessment and taken appropriate measures to implement the measures required, and adds the guide “should also help safety reps to challenge the employer if they do not do a suitable assessment or do not act to remove the hazards identified in the risk assessment.”
TUC publication alert and TUC guide to risk assessment [pdf]TUC guide to inspections [pdf]Risks 375
Hazards news, 27 September 2008

Britain: Seasoned safety reps get online training
Safety reps who already have basic training under their belt, now have the option to take the next stage of their union safety education online. From October, TUC’s ‘Next steps for safety reps’ course will be available web- as well as college-based.
Further informationTUC’s full range of safety rep courses, explained in the latest issue of Hazards magazine • Risks 362
Hazards news, 28 June 2008

USA: Unions win in Las Vegas strike deal
A construction safety strike that started on the Las Vegas strip on Monday 2 June, ended on Tuesday after unions secured major safety commitments. Construction workers had marched in circles outside the locked gates of the massive $9.2 million CityCenter development, picket signs raised above their heads reading “Unsafe job site.”
Las Vegas Sun feature and coverage of company statementRisks 359
Hazards news, 7 June 2008

Global: Worldwide safety pact with steel giant
The world's largest steel company and trade unions representing its employees worldwide have signed a groundbreaking agreement to improve health and standards throughout the company. The global union federation for the metalworking sector, IMF, said the agreement with ArcelorMittal recognises the vital role played by trade unions in improving health and safety.
IMF news release and global agreement [pdf]Risks 359
Hazards news, 7 June 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 magazineBWI websiteRisks 357
Hazards news, 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
Hazards news, 24 May 2008

Britain: Workforce involvement is ‘essential’ offshore
Everyone working in the offshore oil industry has a part to play in driving up safety standards in the sector, the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) top offshore official has said. HSE’s Ian Whewell said: “I hope companies will take the opportunity afforded by this conference to commit to real improvements in the way the workforce can be involved and demonstrate that commitment by agreeing to work with HSE and the trades unions to do so.”
HSE news releaseRisks 356
Hazards news, 17 May 2008

Britain: Union heat improve school ventilation
A long-running union campaign has won a multi-million pound improvement programme in Glasgow schools. Scottish teachers’ union EIS had warned that schools across the city had inadequate ventilation systems, causing overheating, low humidity and uncomfortable, unhealthy teaching and learning conditions.
Too hot to handle? Scottish Educational Journal, volume 92, number 2, pages 18-21, EIS, 2008 [pdf]Risks 356
Hazards news, 17 May 2008

Britain: Superhub safety rep sorts out chutes
Parcelforce Worldwide has agreed to a £1.4m package of improvements to Coventry’s ‘superhub’ distribution centres after a union report highlighted major health and safety problems. A briefing from CWU national health and safety officer Dave Joyce noted: “This can be regarded as a hard fought and well won victory for the CWU which I take pride in and so should the Coventry engineers who stuck by their insistence that action needed to be taken.”
CWU briefing [word]Risks 353
Hazards news, 26 April 2008

New Zealand: Worker participation key to improvements
“Involving workers in managing health and safety at work is a key to improving our record in this area,” NZCTU secretary Carol Beaumont has said. Her comments followed the release of the New Zealand government’s Workplace Health and Safety Strategy second progress report.
NZCTU news releaseNZ Department of Labour news release
Hazards news, 24 November 2007

Britain: Get TUC certified online!
Experienced union health and safety reps can sign up online for TUC’s premier safety qualification, the TUC occupational health certificate. TUC says the certificate course “will help health and safety reps become better reps by building health and safety organisation in the workplace; tackling welfare and environmental issues; deepening and extending the capacities of learners enabling them to access union health and safety posts or higher education opportunities and by developing personal/study skills, the ability to work collectively and generally improve the confidence of learners to study at a higher level.”
Check out the TUC website for further details
Hazards news, 3 November 2007

Britain: Rail union blast after detonator discovery
Four detonators in an open metal box labelled “explosives” were housed in a Tube station storage room normally used for keeping liquids, rail union TSSA has said. The detonators were discovered during a safety inspection by TSSA safety reps. TSSA news releaseBBC News Online
Hazards news, 20 October 2007

Britain: New move to resurrect roving safety reps
Construction unions and contractors are calling for roving safety reps to be brought back in a bid to cut death and accident rates on sites. They claim the reps – which operated on sites in a now defunct government backed worker safety adviser (WSA) scheme - are the best way to spread the safety message among small contractors.
Contract JournalHazards roving reps news updates
Hazards news, 6 October 2007

Britain: Recognition of union role welcomed
Unions and safety campaigners have welcomed a commitment at the construction safety forum to greater worker involvement. GMB national health and safety officer, John McClean, said: “The DWP are again to look at the role of worker safety advisers, effectively roving safety reps, to evaluate how they can help in delivering peer to peer safety information and improving health and safety culture across the UK's building sites.”
BBC News OnlineUCATT news release
Hazards news, 22 September 2007

Britain: Obstructed safety rep gets payout
A union safety rep on London’s Tube system who was prevented from fulfilling his health and safety role by London Underground has won thousands of pounds in compensation at an employment tribunal. London Underground was found to have “wilfully and deliberately” flouted health and safety law by refusing to allow Paul McCarthy, 47, to inspect four tube lines.
ASLEF news release
Hazards news, 15 September 2007

Britain: Safety reps mean action at work
Union safety reps make workplace safety campaigns effective, research for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has found. The study looked at the involvement of safety reps in HSE’s better backs campaign, examining the impact of the training and support provided by Unite’s Amicus section.
Hazards news report, 1 September 2007
Hazards safety reps’ webpageHazards union effect webpage
Hazards news, 1 September 2007

Britain: Official guide says “stop if hazardous”
A new HSE construction “task card” advises site staff to “Think First, Act Safe, Stop if Hazardous and Keep Safe.” It is rare for HSE to be so explicit on the stop work issue, although section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act places a clear legal duty on workers to take care not to put themselves at risk, and the Employment Rights Act makes in an offence for an employer to victimise a worker for leaving or refusing to return to the job where there is a serious and imminent danger.
HSE webpage on Achieving Behavioural Change (ABC) and the Task Card [pdf]Hazards magazine victimisation webpages
Hazards news, 11 August 2007

Australia: New charter to protect workers
A new charter of workplace rights that sets out baseline health and safety and compensation standards has been launched by Australian national union federation ACTU. ACTU president Sharan Burrow said: “The health and safety of Australian workers is of paramount importance to the ACTU and the union movement and this charter spells out a decent set of minimum standards for workplace rights that can work in all workplaces across Australia.”
ACTU news release • ACTU occupational health and safety workplace rights charter [pdf]ABC News
Hazards news, 9 June 2007

Britain: Union anger at snub for safety reps
The TUC has expressed anger and bewilderment after the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) this week decided there will be no new rights for union safety reps. Commenting on the decision, which was opposed by union commissioners on HSC, a TUC spokesperson said: “We fail to understand how this decision could be made in the face of overwhelming support for change expressed by respondents to the recent consultation exercise, but whatever the decision, this issue will not go away.”
Worker Involvement - Outcome of discussions with Social Partners - HSC/07/47, paper to HSC meeting, 5 June 2007 [pdf]. Has failure by your employer to consult on risk assessments or to respond to a safety rep let to injury, ill-health, near miss or other problem in your workplace? Tell TUC, in confidence
Are you worth new rights? Hazards magazine found reps save lives and cashHazards safety reps’ webpages
Hazards news, 9 June 2007

Britain: Bosses and HSE must do better
Employers and the government's own safety watchdog should do more to support health and safety representatives, unions in the south west of England have warned. The alert comes after a survey of unions conducted by Hazards magazine concluded the top problem facing union safety reps is getting employers to act on safety concerns.
Bath ChronicleSafety repressed: Safety reps save lives and cash, so why doesn't HSE give them more time?, Hazards magazine, issue 97, 2007 • Hazards safety reps webpages
Hazards news, 19 May 2007

Britain: Outrage at “embarrassing” HSE slap in the face for reps
Unions and campaigners have expressed outrage at what they see as a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) attempt to ignore the findings of last year’s consultation on worker involvement. Amicus is calling for complaints about the HSE recommendations to be made directly to HSE chief executive Geoffrey Podger, and adds: “What is most insulting is the slap in the face to safety reps, who each day make it their life to improve the working environment, helping work colleagues and their employers to ensure people go home safe.”
Risks 299, 24 March 2007

Britain: Unions demand rethink on safety reps’ rights
Proposals from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that safety reps should have no new consultation rights despite such measures being supporting overwhelmingly in a national consultation have led to union consternation and the deferral of a final decision. A TUC spokesperson said: “We urge the HSC to respect the views of those employers, safety representatives and safety professionals who responded to the consultation exercise and implement the proposed changes as soon as possible.”
Risks 299, 24 March 2007

Britain: Give safety reps more time to make work safer
A union safety role that saves society millions each year and prevents thousands from being injured or made sick is being undermined by a lack of support from employers and the government's official safety watchdog.
Risks 297, 10 March 2007 Safety repressed: Safety reps save lives and cash, so why doesn’t HSE give them more time?, Hazards magazine, issue 97, 2007

Britain: Safety reps the key to improving safety
More rights and more time for trade union safety reps is the best way to improve workplace health and safety, a major conference has been told. Keynote speaker Hugh Robertson, the TUC’s head of safety, told the sell-out 8 February event organised jointly by the Health and Safety Executive and North West TUC: “The key to improving safety is supporting that band of volunteers in the workplace - union safety reps.”
Risks 293, 10 February 2007Hazards union effect

Britain: New HSE inspection pack on worker involvement
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a new “topic pack” to advise HSE and local authority inspectors on worker consultation and involvement issues. HSE says: “This topic inspection pack is designed to help staff in HSE and local authorities to: understand what is meant by ‘worker involvement’; understand the legal requirements to inform and consult workers, along with the policy position on enforcing those requirements; determine when discussion of worker involvement is appropriate; and promote the benefits of involving workers.”
Risks 291, 27 January 2007 • HSE publication alert and full inspection pack [pdf]

Britain: CWU rams home workplace rights message
Communication workers’ union CWU has repeated its call for new rights for union safety reps and for them to be given better official support. CWU national health and safety officer Dave Joyce said: “Trained safety reps are at the cutting edge when it comes to addressing the new health and safety hazards of the 21st century.”
Risks 285, 2 December 2006

Britain: Checkout this checkout workers
Checkout workers should checkout their checkouts or risk back pain, retail union Usdaw has warned. It says its simple 10 point ‘Checkout Checklist’ will help stamp out back pain for till operators who are shifting several metric tonnes of goods during an average shift.
Risks 280, 28 October 2006More tools for checking out your workplace

Britain: National Inspection Day, 25 October
National Inspection day this year is on 25 October, the Wednesday of European Health and Safety Week. The TUC, ever keen on getting safety reps inspecting, has produced a poster for the day, and there is a page on the TUC website publicising the event. workers - a guide for safety representatives.
Risks 278, 14 October 2006

Britain: Safety rep exposes Romec safety failures
A trade union safety rep has exposed “blatant” safety failures at cleaning company Romec. Postal union CWU said a “determined investigation” by CWU area safety rep Andy McArthur has “uncovered a number of unacceptable health and safety shortcomings in Romec Cleaning Services”, a contractor providing cleaning services to Royal Mail and a range of blue chip companies.
Risks 273, 9 September 2006

Britain: What did HSE ever do for trade unions?
Unions and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) might have occasional differences – OK, really big bust-ups – but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of good stuff going on too. A new briefing from HSE lists over 20 positive recent developments, from the creation of a “worker involvement programme” with dedicated staff and its own impressive six-figure budget, to joint working on campaigns and publications.
Risks 267, 29 July 2006

Britain: What’s it like out there?
The TUC wants to find out what safety reps are up to. TUC’s sixth survey of safety reps is designed to provide the TUC and individual unions with information about where their safety reps can be found, and about their experiences and needs.
About the TUC Safety Reps Survey 2006Online survey form – fill it out now!

Britain: New rights – now it doesn’t hurt to ask!
The TUC has produced a handy guide to help safety reps respond to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) consultative document on how to encourage, improve and increase worker involvement in health and safety.
Risks 260, 10 June 2006

Britain: 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

Britain: Speak up for better safety reps’ rights!
The Health and Safety Executive has now published the dates of its regional “discussion meetings”, to road test opinion on new workers’ consultation rights. HSE last month issued a consultative document, after lengthy pressure from the TUC, and now wants “to seek views on how to encourage, improve and increase worker involvement in health and safety risk management.”
Meeting dates and locations 24 May, Cardiff, 17.30-19.30; 25 May, Cardiff, 08.30-10.30; 31 May, Scotland (location to be finalised), 17.30-19.30; 1 June, Scotland (location to be finalised), 08.30-10.30; 6 June, Manchester, 17.30-19.30; 7 June, Manchester, 08.30-10.30; 13 June, London, 17.30-19.30; 16 June, London, 09.30-11.30. Improving worker involvement – Improving health and safetyRisks 255, 6 May 2006

Britain: Rail union wins safety staffing stand-off
Strike action by more than 750 RMT platform station staff and guards at newly re-privatised South Eastern Trains was averted this week after the company withdrew cuts in platform staff and agreed to honour a pledge to staff certain “high risk” stations.
Risks 254, 29 April 2006

Britain: Speak up for better safety reps’ rights!
Want better rights for trade union safety reps? Then you better speak up now. After lengthy pressure from the TUC, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this week issued a Consultative Document “to seek views on how to encourage, improve and increase worker involvement in health and safety risk management.
Improving worker involvement – Improving health and safety, Consultative Document CD207, full consultative document, summary document, print-off-and-use feedback form and online feedback form. Single printed copies of the Consultative Document and summary can be obtained from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, Tel: 01787 881165, Fax: 01787 313 995.
Risks 254, 29 April 2006

Europe: New research project on safety reps
A new European research project is to analyse the role and effectiveness of safety reps at work. EPSARE, the brainchild of safety experts in the European trade union ETUI-REHS research thinktank, was launched because “research on the effectiveness of safety reps interventions both in the fields of health and safety and industrial relations is scarce.”
Risks 252, 15 April 2006

Britain: Non-union workplaces clueless on consultation
An investigation by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) boffins into workforce participation in non-union workplaces has found most are clueless when it comes to consultation rules and there is very limited participation from the workforce as a whole.
Risks 237, 17 December 2005

Britain: Worker Safety Adviser funds up for grabs
A £1 million fund to encourage greater worker involvement in health and safety in small businesses is accepting applications. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) operates the Worker Safety Adviser (WSA) Challenge Fund - worker Safety Advisers are a watered-down and extremely rare version of the national system of roving union safety reps unions have been seeking for over a decade.
Risks 234, 26 November 2005

Britain: The complete TUC guide to everything
The TUC has published ‘Hazards at work: Organising for safe and healthy workplaces’, the epic, must-have, one-stop guide for safety reps and anyone else who knows the difference between seeing a safety problem and solving it.
Risks 227, 8 October 2005

Britain: If you want to get safe, get organised
Union workplaces are safer, healthier places for a reason – because union organisation keeps them that way. It’s not that we know more – although we usually do – it is because we have the numbers, the support and the skills to get our safety message across.
Risks 226, 1 October 2005

Britain: Amicus calls for better safety rules offshore
Oil industry workers need better health and safety protection and rights, the offshore union Amicus has told the government. At a meeting in Aberdeen this week, union leaders told health and safety minister Lord Hunt there should be a complete revision of the “fundamentally failing” health and safety representative regulations for offshore workers.
Risks 223, 10 September 2005

Britain: Making the boss hand over the info
Safety reps can use employment law to force employers to hand over crucial safety information, a workers’ health and safety watchdog has said. Employment advisers from the London Hazards Centre (LHC) say some employers are using the Data Protection Act as a legal smokescreen to deny safety reps access to information to which they are clearly entitled under the safety reps’ regulations.
Risks 220, 20 August 2005

Britain: Safety reps' rights - the law online
The legal rights of union safety representatives are spelled out in the 'Brown Book' - the one-stop source for the regulations, code of practice and guidance on safety representatives. The TUC has produced a version of this essential reference guide for training purposes, available online for the first time.
Risks 201, 9 April 2005

Britain: Union project body maps the route to glory
A trade union college has won a prestigious national health and safety award. The Association of Colleges (AoC) "College Champion" health and safety award for 2005 went to the Trade Union Studies Centre at Lewisham College, which took top honours for its collaborative "body mapping" project with construction union UCATT.
Risks 200, 2 April 2005

Britain: TGWU membership pays off
The Transport and General Workers' Union secured over £72 million in accident and injury compensation last year for individual members. It says this takes the total compensation settlements won since the union was founded to over £1.65 billion.
Risks 200, 2 April 2005

Britain: Prospect sows the seeds of safety
An apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away, but scientific and specialists' union Prospect has added a banana and an orange to the recipe in a bid to improve workplace health and safety. Three new fruity health and safety posters from the union stress the importance of workplace health and safety inspections and health and safety representatives.
Risks 195, 19 February 2005

Britain: HandS up for safety reps
The safety rep colonisation of cyberspace is continuing at warp speed. A new and extremely impressive addition to the galaxy of safety reps' websites is "HandS", the brainchild of an Amicus health and safety rep, is among the most comprehensive sources of well-targeted information you are ever likely to find.
Risks 190, 15 January 2005HandS website

Britain: London roadmap for a safety rep in every workplace
London's unions have prepared an ambitious roadmap for a health and safety rep in every workplace and a "positive and meaningful partnership between that rep, the employer, unions and the Health and Safety Executive."
Risks 184, 27 November 2004

Australia: Survey finds unlawful intimidation safety reps
One in three health and safety reps has been intimidated into not raising health and safety concerns, a survey in the Australian state of Victoria has found. The same number reported being bullied after raising a health and safety issue in the workplace.
Risks 180, 30 October 2004

Britain: Future of safety reps conference, London, 7 October 2004
An October 2004 participatory seminar on the future of safety reps will discuss the work of trade union safety representatives. Further information online or telephone 020 7794 5999.
Risks 170, 21 August 2004

Australia: Unions want to get it right
Union organisations in the Australian state of Victoria have launched a campaign for sweeping new workplace health and safety rights. Victorian Trades Hall Council's "Getting it right" campaign aims to press the state government to honour its commitment to revise health and safety laws.
Risks 163, 3 July 2004

Britain: Roving reps scheme "limited" but welcome, says TUC
Union schemes will dominate the first round of Worker Safety Adviser (WSA) Challenge Fund projects. TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson welcomed the recognition of the positive union role, but warned: "This initiative is very limited and we still need changes to the safety reps' regulations to ensure that we have roving safety reps and better rights to extend the benefits of the union safety effect nationwide."
Risks 163, 3 July 2004

New Zealand: Unions train 6,000 safety reps
Six thousand trade union health and safety reps have been trained in just one year in a bid to drive down New Zealand's alarming toll of workplace death and injury.
Risks 155, 8 May 2004