date: Thursday 11 February 2016
The UK’s network of 100,000 trade union health and safety reps not only help reduce injuries and ill-health at work, but save the economy many millions of pounds, according to a new TUC report published today (Friday).
The report is published during the TUC’s Heartunions week which started on Monday (8 February) and runs until Sunday to showcase the contribution unions make to workplaces and communities.
The Union Effect: How unions make a difference on health and safety reveals that health and safety reps:
Each year the TUC trains around 10,000 safety reps, and many more are trained through their unions. These reps focus on finding hazards in the workplace as well as taking concerns from individuals. Union reps first highlighted risks such as the dangers of asbestos, violence at work, RSI, the effects of passive smoking and stress.
Despite the difference that union health and safety reps make in the workplace the government’s trade union bill will cap the time that all union reps in the public sector – including health and safety reps – are allowed to help protect and support members. The bill will also make it harder for unions to strike on health and safety issues, and will allow employers to use agency workers to break strikes, which the TUC fears will put other workers but the wider general public at risk.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Union health and safety reps play a huge role in protecting people at work and save the economy millions.
“Good employers recognise the importance of working with unions to ensure their shops, offices and factories are safe. It’s a shame the government is putting this good work at risk with its ill-conceived trade union bill.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The report is available at www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/Unioneffect2015.pdf
- To follow what is happening during Heartunions week visit heartunions.org
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews
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