Greater Manchester Hazards Centre (GMHC) has published a new guide for union safety reps: Supporting our elected trade union safety representatives
GMHC worker Janet Newsham said: “It is about providing trade unions with information about taking a more proactive approach to supporting safety reps. ”
GMHC has taken examples of good practice from organisations at national, regional, branch and workplace level and responded to some of the concerns raised by reps at the Hazards Campaign Thursday talk drop ins.
Janet continued: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, trade union safety reps have been fighting an ongoing challenge in workplaces to ensure their employers are putting in place mitigations against the infection risks by Covid-19.
“This has been especially challenging with the new highly transmissible variant Omicron. To add to the pressures suffered by workers, thousands of workers are off work sick with the virus and hundreds of thousands suffering from long-Covid.”
The guide aims to encourage trade unions to put in place additional support for safety reps, whose own health is suffering from the continued pressures caused by the virus.
Janet said “Safety reps have been on the frontline supporting workers working from home and preventing Covid transmission in workplaces. At this time, when Government are all but abandoning workers and employers from preventing widespread infections across the country, safety reps must be supported by their trade unions. Most trade unions have put in place online training, many have held online safety reps meetings but there is more that can and should be done.
“Safety reps have suffered from continual pressure from confusing Government guidance, inadequate mitigation or enforcement of mitigation and many suffering from bereavements and mental and physical exhaustion. Trade unions must do all they can to provide additional support for safety reps. This booklet provides information and ideas to help trade unions support safety reps.”