TUC/CWU National Health & Safety Inspection Day – Wednesday of European Health and Safety Week – 24 October 2018 – TUC/CWU Guidance and Royal Mail Support:
To: All Branches
The TUC National Inspection Day traditionally falls on the Wednesday of each European Health and Safety Week and the CWU with Royal Mail Group endorsement will be supporting the initiative again in 2018 and the Health, Safety and Environment Department want all CWU Safety Reps carrying out Safety Inspections that day, engaging Safety Managers and Operational Managers and of course CWU Members, in the process. Remember – The law empowers Safety Reps with the legal right to carry out inspections and the law defines a ‘Workplace as any place or places where a worker works or is likely to work or frequent during the course of their duties’ – this can be a building, yard, customer’s premises or out on the street where outdoor workers visit, perform work or go on their delivery/collection rounds.
The Key Dates Are:
• European Health and Safety Week 22-28 October 2018.
• National Inspection Day Wednesday 24 October 2018.
This year, the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department is once again encouraging CWU Safety Reps to specifically consider Health and Safety Inspections at higher risk workplaces, areas or functions or specific jobs and consider whether the workplace is healthy and safe for all.
This year’s European Health and Safety Week theme and focus is ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances’.
The TUC/CWU National Inspection Day is also an ideal time to discuss key health and safety issues with members.
Safety Rep workplace health and safety inspections don’t just have to focus on the tangible hard hazards such as slip and trip risks, fire risks, and work stations. They can also focus on intangible hazards and solutions that don’t have a physical presence, including shift work, job rotation, specific tasks, working environment and flexible working.
So during this European Health and Safety Week and National Inspection Day, CWU Headquarters is encouraging branches and their Safety Reps to ask members about their experiences at work and how these might be improved. So please carry out an inspection this forthcoming National Inspection Day!
The TUC designated National Inspection Day aims to encourage Safety Reps to conduct a workplace health and safety inspection. Remember, workplaces with active Safety Reps are twice as safe as those without.
Carrying Out An Inspection Will Enable Safety Reps To:
• Raise awareness of the issues;
• Identify issues that need to be raised with the employer;
• Raise the profile of their role;
• Meet members, hear their concerns, and ask if they would like to get more involved, maybe by becoming a safety rep; and
• Meet non-members, as issues they have or raise may present opportunities for recruitment.
• Offer members the opportunity to speak to a Union Safety Rep in private for a confidential chat.
Some Suggested Focus Points For The Week:
• Check cleaners’ cupboards are being locked, and materials such as oil and anti-freeze are locked away in offices. Fleet and Engineering ASRs will check controls, safe use methods and security of all toxic and flammable substances etc.
• Ask staff if they have received the WTLL/Briefings for the week and check understanding by asking questions around what to do with substances.
• Check the “Stay Calm” folders and Log Books are completed and in place.
• Check to see if the Asbestos and Legionnaires reports are filed correctly and are easily retrievable.
• Check knowledge of “Be Aware” processes.
TUC & CWU Guides Will Be Of Assistance To Safety Reps. See Attached:
• TUC’s Workplace Safety Rep Inspection guide
• CWU Health & Safety Inspections Guide For Safety Reps
• SRSC Regulations 1977 Brown Book TUC 2015 Version
• RMG/CWU Joint Statement
The guides are also useful tools for Safety Reps.
Health And Safety – Why Inspect?
The CWU believes that health and safety in the workplace is an issue for everyone. Every year, thousands of people suffer accidents and ill-health at work – most of which could be avoided. Look at the statistics below. Inspections are a way of identifying dangers, hazards and risks in order to control or eliminate them and so avoid accidents and injuries.
Key Annual Figures 2017/18
137 workers killed at work.
12,000 lung disease deaths estimated to be linked to past work exposures
2,515 Mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures.
70,116 other injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR.
621,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey.
1.3 million working people were suffering from a work-related illness.
0.5 million workers suffering work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
0.5 million workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
30.4 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
11,403 Prohibition & Improvement Notices issued by all enforcing bodies.
554 cases prosecuted with fines from convictions totalling £69.9 million.
£14.1 billion is the estimated cost to UK society of workplace injuries and ill health (excluding cancer) from current working conditions.
Royal Mail has endorsed the TUC/CWU National Health and Safety Inspection Day on Wednesday 24 October 2017.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer