Health & Safety

Your UNITE Health and Safety Reps are here to help, advise and investigate any issues or incidents you may have at work.

Everyone has the right to work in a healthy, safe environment.

It is a well established fact that unionised workplaces with active Safety Reps are safer workplaces.

What to do if you have a Health & Safety problem at work

In the first instance please speak to your line manager or a senior manager in your department.

If the issue remains unresolved or if there are any difficulties then please contact a Safety Rep.

Unite Safety Reps deal with issues locally, supported by other members of your local branch committee. Your local Unite Safety Reps  are also supported by East Midlands Region and Unite National Health & Safety staff.

Stress management courses are available from the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. A self-referral form and course leaflet are here or you can call Open Mind on 0116 295 2151 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Functions of your union appointed Health and Safety Representatives

The law makes it clear that we:

  • represent employees generally and when consulted about specific matters that will affect their health, safety and wellbeing
  • represent employees when Health and Safety Inspectors from HSE or local authorities consult or interview them
  • investigate accidents, near misses, and other potential hazards and dangerous occurrences in the workplace
  • investigate complaints made by an employee about their health, safety or wellbeing in the workplace; including bullying and stress related issues
  • present the findings of investigations to management
  • inspect the workplace
  • attend UoL Health and Safety Committees meetings as your representative

Health and Safety News

By virtue of section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (the 2013 Act), section 47 of the Health and safety at Work etc Act 1974 (the 1974 Act) is amended. The amendment demonstrates that the Government has, in the teeth of significant opposition from claimants' representatives and the House of Lords, finally introduced legislation to remove "strict liability" for breaches of certain health and safety regulations. In fact, it has gone further than that, effectively removing the civil liability on the part of employers for breach of health and safety regulations contained within the 1974 Act.

This revolutionary change came into force on 1 October 2013 and will only apply to breaches that occur after the commencement date. Going forward, no civil claim can be brought for breach of a health and safety statutory duty unless the regulation expressly provides for it - thereby reversing the current position. It will, in almost all cases, require the claimant to prove that the employer was negligent and his injury and losses were caused by the employer's negligence.

This means that now more than ever things need to be documented and RIDDOR used.

  • Near miss/dangerous occurrence forms filled in and sent to safety services
  • If you are injured at work and off sick OR unable to do your normal job fully for more than 7 days, ensure Safety Services are informed by your line manager and accident reporting forms are filled in
  • Keep copies for your records with date/time/when/where/who involved and informed and talk to a rep if you have any questions or problems
  • Contact a Health and Safety Rep immediately following an incident so that we can investigate fully
  • Make Safety Reps aware of any problems as soon as possible. We can always raise issues on your behalf.

There is a wealth of information on the Unite the Unions website

and on the University of Leicester Safety Services website

Stress management courses

are available from the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. A self-referral form and course leaflet are here or you can call Open Mind on 0116 295 2151 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

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