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We spend a lot of our lives at work. When we’re healthy, happy and safe there, our lives are better overall. But problems at work can have serious consequences for our mental and physical health.

At worst, working people are seriously injured or killed in avoidable workplace accidents. Thankfully, incidents like these are relatively rare.

But work-related health problems can affect anyone and some are very common, such as headaches, back problems or stress.

There are steps you can take to keep well at work, but your employer also has certain legal obligations. If they’re putting you at risk of illness or injury, you can take action.

Very often, the best way to solve problems is to join with co-workers and try to reach agreement with your employers on how to make the workplace safer and healthier for everyone. 

Unions are experts on workplace health and safety and have campaigned for many years in this area. The evidence shows that workplaces where unions are recognised are safer workplaces.

This section offers basic information on health, safety and wellbeing at work. But it shouldn't be taken as legal advice. If you’re having specific problems in one of these areas, you should seek individual advice from your union or a qualified adviser.

Support for health and safety reps 

You can find more practical advice on a range of workplace issues in our support for reps section

Disability Equality Adviser Carl has over 200 active cases
credit: Steve Allen
Since I became a Disability Advisor six years ago, the company hasn’t been to an employment tribunal on the grounds of disability discrimination.
Carl, GMB, Prospect and UNITE
Is there a maximum temperature in workplaces?
The  Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations  1992  say that your employer must maintain a reasonable temperature where you work, but it does not specify a maximum temperature. The TUC has called for the introduction of an upper limit on workplace temperature so that employers would be forced to act when the temperature inside reaches 24°C.
What are my employer's duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act?
It is your employers duty to provide you with a safe and healthy workplace, including offering a safe system of work, safe equipment, carrying out a risk assessment and keeping staff informed about all potential hazards.
Celebrating 40 years of union safety reps making a difference. Safety reps @ 40
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