On 28 April trade unions from around the world will commemorate Workers’ Memorial Day to remember those who died at work and to fight for improved Health & Safety to protect workers. To mark the occasion new health & safety reps toolkits are winging their way to Community’s branches.
The Workers’ Memorial Day theme this year is Union Workplaces are Safer Workplaces and there is a wealth of evidence of the benefits of trade unions to Health & Safety. Community, together with the HSE and TUC is celebrating the important role that union safety reps have in the workplace to mark the 40th anniversary since the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 came into force.
Rob Sneddon, Community’s Health, Safety and Environment Officer, said:
“Employers with trade union Health & Safety committees halve the injury rate of employers who manage safety without unions or joint arrangements. But it is not only injuries that trade unions help reduce: they also reduce ill-health and fatalities are lower in unionised workplaces.
“Government statistics in 2016 showed that the union role in the prevention of workplace injuries and work-related ill- health contributed to savings of £219m to £725m a year. So how does this happen? Because our reps are trained, they know their workplaces and they have a voice.
“I am pleased to mark the occasion of 40 years of the safety reps regulations by providing our reps with new materials, so we can continue to improve health & safety at work for our members. ”
“The regulations were a landmark step in consolidating the role of consultation with workers. It is the primary piece of regulation covering union Health & Safety representatives and is, along with the parent act, the Health & Safety at Work Act etc. 1974, one of the most important pieces of regulation for unions working on Health & Safety.
“It has also had a huge effect in saving lives and preventing injury and illness.
“Community will be marking Workers’ Memorial Day and continuing our campaigning efforts through our safety reps to make employers and government accountable and I certainly hope that members will join this campaign, get involved and fight for better Health & Safety for Community members.
Reps and members are encouraged to share photos of Workers’ Memorial Day activities on our Facebook page.