Health and safety is a top reason people join unions and people stay in unions. Health and safety is a particularly effective organising tool.
A TUC has found, 70 per cent of new trade union members considered health and safety a 'very important' union issue - more than even for pay.
And union workplaces are safer workplaces. Unions have on the ground knowledge that can lead to quick and easy solutions to workplace health and safety. Where employers won’t negotiate in good faith, unions cans use their collective strength to demand improvements.
It is only when a union safety rep has the support of an informed and involved membership that they can effectively secure improvements and be a part of the process of organising their workplace. By encouraging members to participate, much more can be achieved than if members expect the union to “sort things out”.
· Involving members in identifying issues, finding solutions and dealing with problems;
· increasing the number of confident, trained health and safety representatives;
· working together rather than leaving it to the union;
· improving negotiating strength; and
· dealing with problems early, when they are manageable, rather than leaving them to get worse.
A good example of involving workers is by conducting risk or body mapping exercises. These exercises enable members to discover for themselves what is hurting them or what is dangerous at work and involves them in the process of remedying the problem.
Workplaces must be organised, for safety’s sake.
The most recent documents available on this subject are:TUC says it is time for 'unionreps ACTION!'
The TUC has launched a new set of online resources for union reps to help them organise, campaign and build stronger unions - 'unionreps ACTION!'PDF version available for download
This is the updated version of 'The Union Effect - How unions make a difference to health and safety'
A TUC report showing the difference that unions make to the health and safety culture within the workplace.
Public sector union UNISON is putting health and safety at the centre of a recruitment and organising drive.PDF version available for download
Back to Workplace Issues.
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/index.cfm
printed 19 June 2013 at 11:58 hrs by 126.96.36.199