Union safety representatives prove invaluable

Union safety representatives make a real difference when it comes to improving an organisation’s health and safety, a study has suggested.

The research by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and ‘super union’ Unite found that, after leaving training, nearly six out of 10 safety representatives reported an increased frequency in raising back-related safety issues with their colleagues.

And nearly three in 10 increased the number of times they raised back-related safety issues with senior management.

Of just under a quarter of reps who had suggested buying new handling aids to their safety committee or senior management just three months after their training course, all had seen such aids purchased. And of the 29% who had put forward new or updated training programmes on manual handling techniques, 93% had seen them implemented.

Geoffery Podger, HSE chief executive, said: “Training and exposing safety representatives to new ideas on how to manage various health and safety issues is a valuable way of enabling the workforce to take action and educate those around them.”

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