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Safety representatives - going beyond the minimun

A guide to negotiating roving safety representatives and union improvement notices
Hugh Roberston
Former Senior policy officer (left post in 2019)
Report type
Research and reports
Issue date
Key findings

The most effective tool that we have in ensuring good health and safety at work is trade unions, because organised workplaces are safer workplaces.

In addition to using the law, we have to look at going beyond what the law says and make sure that we tap the true potential of union health and safety representatives to reduce injury and illness.

Where the employer is complying with the law, then health and safety representatives can also consider improving how they work over and above what the law allows.

There are two possibilities that you might want to consider seeking from your employer. These are roving safety representatives and Union Inspection Notices (UINs).

Negotiating roving health and safety representatives are of use where a branch has a lot of diverse employers, small workplaces, or a significant number of contractors on site.

UINs are most useful where there is an active, trained, and effective safety representative structure, but where management often ignores complaints.

This guide will help you decide whether these may be suitable for your workplace.

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