Health and safety in the workplace
A UNISON case study

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Page 4: UNISON and safety representatives

Employer/UNISON viewsUNISON aims to have at least one safety spokesperson to cover every workplace where it has members.  While employers think mainly about preventing accidents, union safety representatives are also concerned about longer-term health and wellbeing.

Union members elect UNISON safety representatives, and the appointment must be given to the employer in writing. Regulations state that a representative needs to be engaged in his or her workplace. They should also have worked with their current (or similar) employer for at least two years. Their tasks are set out in The Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations of 1977.

Functions include inspecting certain workplace areas at least every three months. They can also investigate likely hazards, complaints, the causes of accidents, dangerous incidents and diseases.

UNISON | Health and safety in the workplace