The world has changed a lot in the last 6 months. People are working in ways and under conditions we never thought possible.
Health and safety at work is more important than ever.
UNISON Cymru Wales is at the forefront of negotiations with Welsh Government about keeping public sector workers safe. We have been part of all discussion from risk assessments to PPE.
But this work isn’t over.
Members in schools, hospitals, offices, call centres and care homes continue to deliver essential services to the people of Wales.
No one understands those jobs better than those who do them. We need people like YOU to help keep your workplaces safe.
The words Health and Safety may conjure up visions of clipboards, regulations and paperwork, but it’s really not like that.
Being a Safety rep means you will be playing a crucial role in making sure your workplace is safe, secure and clean for all your colleagues and service users.
You’ll also gain new skills and meet others who are passionate about workplace safety.
What do Safety reps do?
- talk to members about their health and safety issues and work together with management to resolve these issues.
- investigate potential hazards
- raise concerns with your employer to improve safety in the workplace and deal with specific problems that arise at work
- promote better health and safety in the workplace and encourage everyone to get involved in the union – UNISON is the union that gets things done.
How do I become a Safety Rep?
We don’t expect you to be an expert from day one, we’ll train you in every aspect of the role. Ideally you should have reasonable experience of your workplace and how the work is done. However, you’ll be supported all the way by one of our union organisers from your regional office.
To learn more about becoming a rep, you can take part in some of our taster webinars.
Although there is legally no training required your branch may ask you to undertake some training. Safety reps are entitled to time off for training. Your branch will help in getting this agreed by your employer.
UNISON provide various online options including a short introductory course, or a course of six 90 minute classes, once a week. There’ll be a chance to chat with other new safety reps and get more one to one time with the tutor if you need it. There are also other specialist courses, including one on COVID-19.
We also have an online community, our Organising Space, where you can chat with other Health and Safety reps around the country.
Pregnancy can be an exciting time, but it can come with its fair share of worries and anxieties – probably never more so than whilst living through a global pandemic.
The NHS has issued guidance for women during pregnancy about the risks and the healthcare they can expect to receive which might be helpful.
UNISON can support you if you have any concerns relating to your safety at work whilst pregnant. We have developed a new pregnancy guidance note and you can always contact your local branch if you need support.