An introduction to Camden UNISON’s role in maintaining healthy and safe workplaces.
Camden UNISON believes a safe and healthy workplace is a right and not a privilege.
Camden UNISON put health and safety at the centre of all that we do and because of the importance we place on workplace safety we have one of the highest numbers of health and safety reps of any UNISON London region branch.
The role of the health and safety rep:
UNISON is the main Town Hall union and we have ensured all directorates have effective safety committees at which our reps raise members’ health and safety issues with managers.
Our safety reps represent UNISON members on issues such as stress, repetitive strain injury, violence at work and lone working. We hold regular training sessions on these and other safety topics to ensure that all representatives are confident in dealing with them, our reps also attend TUC health and safety training.
We take the safety and health of our women members seriously. For example, one year UNISON safety reps organised a Women’s Health and Safety fair to celebrate International Women’s Day. 150 women attended with over 20 stall holders, including a dietician, an ergonomist, an advisor on menopausal issues and information on sickle cell anemia, breast and cervical cancer screening (also for mesothelioma symptoms) and women’s sexual health.
Our safety representatives play an active role in the National Hazards Campaign http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/ and support their ‘We didn’t vote to die at work’ campaign.
Our UNISON safety representatives carry out regular safety inspections of Camden workplaces. We involve all staff in this and then take up workers issues with managers.
The role of the branch Health and Safety officer
The Camden UNISON branch H&S officer, Philip Lewis, coordinates and supports the work of workplace Health and Safety Representatives. Help Phil achieve the branch aim of a safety representative in every workplace; contact Phil for more information and a safety reps nomination form. Do this without delay to stop the ConDem coalition cuts jeopardising safety in your workplace. Safety reps have many legal rights – more so than shop stewards. This, combined with the training and support we give you, will make you a powerful voice in your workplace that can’t be ignored.