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Health and Safety


The presence of union safety reps prevents thousands of major injuries at work every year (Hazards 78). And there's an army of them out there. TUC Education has trained over 320,000 trade union safety reps; with 10,000 more trained each year. The more trade union training the reps get, the more marked the "union safety effect."

The TUC training programme provides technical and legal information; the health, safety and welfare courses also aim to help safety reps understand general procedures for coping with the wide range of hazards that may come their way.

Trained reps are at the cutting edge when it comes to addressing the new hazards of the 21st century. According to an HSE evaluation, trade union safety training is "an important stimulus for taking up 'new issues' in health and safety." It found, for example, gender sensitive strategies, stress surveys, representing workers offsite, participatory risk assessment and work organisation.

The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations give union reps the right to attend in paid work time union-approved safety courses, although employers are sometimes reluctant to approve requests. Where reps are denied access to union safety training, they can take the case to an employment tribunal.
All workers must be provided the training they require to do other jobs safely.


Hazards at work - TUC guide to health and safety. Also know as "The Safety Reps' Bible" with over 30 chapters covering types of hazards, summaries of the law, dealing with accidents, and checklists for action. ISBN: 1 85006 368 0. Member price: £20.00; educational price: £30.00; non-member price: £45.00. Yearly update: £5.00. From TUC Publications. The TUC has also produced a workbook for representatives on occupational health issues. It can be accessed below. TUC Workbook: Occupational Health

Hazards union rep safety training briefing


Time off for learning, TUC briefing

The most recent documents available on this subject are:

Get trained, get organised, get safe!
Training trade union safety reps in the links between workplace safety and union organisation is a top priority for TUC.
23 May 2008

TUC Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety Online
This course will help health and safety reps become better reps by building health and safety organisation in the workplace; tackling welfare and environmental issues; deepening and extending the capacities of learners enabling them to access union health and safety posts or Higher Education opportunities and by developing personal/study skills, the ability to work collectively and generally improve the confidence of learners to study at a higher level.
25 October 2007

Trained union reps make work work
Better trained, more effective union reps are good for workplaces, the TUC has said.
PDF version available for download
7 September 2007

New safety qualification for young people
A new qualification has been designed to improve young people's understanding of safe working when taking part in work experience.
PDF version available for download
10 November 2006

Top safety qualification heads for cyberspace
TUC's top level safety reps' training course will soon be available online.
PDF version available for download
2 September 2005

4.9 million lost work days is a pain in the back
British businesses lose an estimated 4.9 million days to employee absenteeism through work related back pain – with the North East suffering more than most, with 2 people in every hundred having to cope with the condition. With each affected employee taking an average of 19 days off work this is clearly a problem that needs to be addressed.
28 June 2005

Older documents - 3   >

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Northern TUC / HSE Training Day

Related reps and officer training courses from unionlearn.