Power station pilots joint safety training
A major energy firm is working with Unite to encourage union safety reps to take a bigger workplace health and safety role. Drax Power Ltd is implementing a programme of joint manager and safety rep training, with the full backing of the union. Unite shop steward and safety representative John Blagden said the union's safety representatives 'are always trying to improve the safety performance' at the firm, adding: 'An important part of this is the relationship between safety reps and managers. To this end the joint training can only be a benefit. It will help people to understand, or remind, both reps and managers, of the various roles each can play and indeed the legal position.' He said the Unite safety reps at Drax 'think it is important to have a good working relationship with managers whilst maintaining their independence. It is hoped the pilot course will develop into part of the normal training regime at Drax Power Ltd.' Chris Emsen, the power company's safety adviser, said: 'Drax Power are trying to encourage elected Unite safety representatives to take a proactive role within the workplace and become actively involved in elements of safety training with their peers and work colleagues. This is viewed as a key step change in safety management on the site.' He added: 'From my experience there are huge benefits when reps and managers are able to sit down and discuss safety issues in a joint forum. The desire is to create an environment where safety reps can influence their peer group in safety performance at the sharp end and managers to understand the role that safety reps fulfil within that environment.'
Issued: 13 January, 2012