Branch Secretary :

Trade Union bill threatens health & safety

Government threat to safety reps – get the message out there!


Cross posted from the TUC 'Stronger Unions' blog by Hugh Robertson


The TUC is running a major campaign against the Trade Union Bill. I have written on it previously on this site, and there is an excellent article from the TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady in the current Hazards Magazine on what it means for health and safety in the workplace.


One of the things that completely shows how the Bill is based on ideology rather than any desire to change things for the better  is that the focus the Government is putting on the number of strikes we have. The right to strike is of course a basic right and is also an important last resort for unions on health and safety when all else fails. It is also at one of the lowest levels for decades.


What the Government is completely ignoring is the real problem at work, which is not the 0.8 million days lost through strike action but  the 28.2 million days lost every year through injuries and injuries that are caused by work. These are all preventable, and the best way to prevent them? Having trade union health and safety representatives in the workplace. Union health and safety representation halves the number of serious injuries. It is therefore mindboggling that the Government are trying to restrict the ability of union health and safety representatives to do their work by telling employers in the public sector that they must cut back on the time that representatives are given to undertake inspections, meet with employers, and help protect everyone in the workplace (whether they are a union member or not).


The TUC has produced a simple infographic that illustrates the government approach. It comes in various forms for use in social media or tmply printed off and put on a notice board. It highlights the number of days lost, taken from HSE statistics, the number of days lost through strike action from the Government’s ONS, and finally the effect that unions have in the workplace in reducing serious injuries, which you can find in the TUC report “The Union Effect”.


Why is the governement trying to stop union health and safety reps doing their job?


28.2m days lost through illness or injury caused by work


0.8m days lost through strike action


50% - amount by which union health & safety reps reduce serious injury


Join branch members on the TUC march on 4th October. For details click here


More about Health & Safety on our website here




Before Posting

We welcome debate and discussion on our website, but we also want an open, respectful, inclusive space in which forms of abuse or personal attack will not be tolerated. Comments will be moderated and will be removed if they are found to be unduly offensive. You should also be very careful in posting information about your employer. Employers do visit the website and if you think a comment could get you into trouble for releasing confidential or sensitive information, or for bringing the employer into disrepute, please do not post it. It remains your individual responsibility to ensure that what you post is appropriate. Please therefore just give a moment's thought to what you are saying. The types of comments that are likely to be moderated are:

  • Personal abuse or attacks on an individual.
  • Information which breaches another person's right to confidentiality.
  • The use of offensive language, including swear words, or language which is racist, sexist, or otherwise breaches equalities standards.
  • Anything that might place the Branch or the wider union in legal jeopardy.
  • Adverts or information which is posted for commercial gain.

* Name
* Email (will not be published)
* field is required