From the TUC

Organising using health and safety just got easier

17 Jan 2017, By

There is a brand new resource available from today for anyone who wants to consider how to make their workplace safer through building a strong union.

Last year the TUC published a guide to organising and health and safety. It gave simple, straightforward advice to help you use health and safety arguments to achieve an increase in members and a more active membership, with a greater number of health and safety representatives.  The guide was designed to make you more effective on the ground – where real gains can be made – and help create a greater culture of safety in your workplace, and could be used, not only in workplaces where unions are recognised, but also those where they are not yet recognised.

The guide was well received, especially the version for mobile phones, and I know that it has been downloaded several thousand times. In addition several unions are using it, or have adapted it for their purposes.

We know that union health and safety representatives make a difference in the workplace: those with union representatives and joint safety committees have half the major injury rate of those without.

It is pretty obvious that the health and safety protection that unions can achieve means that it is useful way to promote unions and recruit new members. After all health and safety is one of the main reasons that people join a trade union.

It is also urgently needed. There are over two million people who have an injury or illness that was caused or made worse from work and more than 28 million working days are lost every year as a result of work related injuries and ill health.   The HSE estimates the cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions to be £14.2bn, but of course the human cost is much greater.

That means that there is a lot that needs to be done, regardless of the type of workplace you have and the TUC wants to support you as much as we can. That is why there is now a new resource available for health and safety representatives, and anyone else who want to organise in their workplace. It is called an “eNote” and it covers the same areas as the organising guide. An eNote is a great resource to help representatives get a good grasp of an issue and this one is a self-contained module that contains a mixture of text, video and quizzes that you can work though. It lasts between 20 and 30 minutes and can be returned to as many times as you like. The different sections that can be used together, or individual ones may be of particular use to your needs and situation.

So why not give it a try. You can register for it here. It is a pretty simple process and will also give you access to all the other eNotes that TUC Education have produced, including ones on sick notes, musculoskeletal disorders and mental health in the workplace.