How Unions Make A Difference To Health & Safety

TUCWe read an interesting article on the TUC web site recently on how unions make a difference to health and safety, what they term as 'the union effect'.

They state that 150,000 trade union safety representatives make a difference because trade union involvement:

  • Helps reduce injuries at work
  • Leads to reductions in the levels of ill-health caused by work
  • Encourages greater reporting of injuries and near-misses
  • Makes workers more confident
  • Helps develop a more positive safety culture in the organisation
  • Saves the economy many millions of pounds

They also state that there is lots of evidence to support their claims. It is an interesting perspective and some of what they say is very valid. For instance it is a fact that consultation with the workforce can have a considerable effect in changing the safety culture in a workplace. Unions also make sure that their safety representatives are trained and therefore are knowledgeable enough to support the workers.

We know that most good employers work with the unions in the workplace; what we need to do is ensure that cutbacks don't damage all the hard work and good relations that have taken many years to build.

For more on this subject see TUC: How unions make a difference to health and safety.

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