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TUC is one of the UK’s most high profile campaigning organisations – and health and safety is one of its top campaigning priorities. Trade union campaigns aim to raise awareness of issues in the workplace and put pressure on decision makers to address these concerns.
Typical campaigns focus on individual safety issues, defending existing rights and calling for new rights, or national and international days of action.
There are many different forms of trade union campaigning, for example:
- Hazards. Examples would include: Campaigns for legal asbestos controls and for justice for asbestos victims; a successful campaign for an Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) on asthma and an awareness raising campaign on the causes and prevention of occupational asthma; awareness raising and hazards spotting tools for workplace Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI); campaigns on workplace stress emphasising the organisational causes that can be remedied by good union safety interventions; and gender perspectives on health and safety, making sure women’s health and hazards are taken into full account in the workplace and in official health and safety policy and practice.
- Rights. Some TUC campaigns set out to defend health and safety rights and others to extend them. For example the TUC/Hazards loo breaks campaign called for a right for workers not only to have access to a toilet at work but also to have the opportunity to use it. TUC introduced Union Inspection Notices (UINs) as part of its ongoing campaign for greater safety reps’ rights – including Provisional Improvement Notices (PINs), roving safety reps and greater rights to consultation and participation.
- Events and Days of action. The largest single union day of action is International Workers’ Memorial Day, where trade unions worldwide commemorate those killed, injured or made ill by their work and campaign for the right to a safe and healthy working environment. The day is marked annually on 28 April. Other noteworthy events are the annual European week for health and safety at work and the TUC Work Your Proper Hours Day.
- Time for Change - health and safety manifesto
- TUC Workers' Memorial Day web pages
- TUC Work Your Proper Hours Day
- TUC Risks – latest news and campaign updates
- Workers' Memorial Day
- Hazards union campaigns web page
- TUC European week for health and safety at work web page