Why are health and safety reps important?
UNISON members believe health
and safety is the most important issue at work.
Health and safety can be a matter of life and
Many of our members know what
it's like to experience stress, violence or
accidents and injuries at work.
Tackling health and safety is
also a very good way of organising in the workplace.
What do health and safety reps
Everybody who works has basic
rights, which include things like sufficient
space to work in, clean and well-lit workplaces
and safe working practices. Health and safety
reps work to make the workplace as safe as possible.
Make representations to the employer
on behalf of members on any health, safety and
Represent members in consultation
with Health and Safety Executive inspectors
or other enforcing authorities
Inspect designated workplace areas
at least every three months
Investigate any potential hazards,
complaints by members and causes of accidents,
dangerous occurrences and diseases
Employers are obliged by law to
carry out risk assessments which identify dangers
in the workplace and look at how likely they
are to cause harm. Health and safety reps can
help make sure this happens.
What rights do health and safety
Health and safety reps have important
legal rights, including the right to: Paid time
off to carry out the role and undergo either
TUC or union-approved training Raise issues
with the employers that affect the health and
safety of members Facilities and support from
the employer to carry out inspections To receive
legal and technical information from the employer
How do I become a health and
Like stewards, safety reps are
chosen by union members. They are not appointed
by the employer. Please contact the Branch Health
and Safety Officer if you are interested.
Once a safety rep is appointed,
the employer must be notified in writing of
that appointment. Click here for a
Health and Safety Rep Nomination Form (pdf)
Where do I go for advice and
The Branch Office is always the
first place to go. Health and safety reps will
give prompt advice and guidance.
Do I get any training?
UNISON provides special introductory
and follow up courses for health and safety
reps. Contact the Branch Office to find out
when and where the next training course will
Where can I find useful information
Go to Health
and Safety Resources on the UNISON national
UNISON's employment advice website
offers useful health and safety information
for ordinary members.
How many health and safety reps
UNISON aims to have at least one
health and safety rep in every workplace where
we have members. In some cases the safety rep
and steward are the same person but they have
two separate roles.
How can I get more involved in
UNISON health and safety?
Contact the Branch Office on 558
7488 or email@example.com
if you are interested in becoming a workplace
health and safety rep.