Are You a New Heath and Safety Rep?

At the recent UNISON Special Delegates Conference, the outgoing President, Josie Bird, announced that over the last year we have recruited record numbers of UNISON health and safety reps.  The pandemic has shown the importance of workplace health and safety and the devastating consequences for members when employers and the Government get things wrong.

Have you become a UNISON health and safety rep in the past 18 months?  If so, we’d like to hear from you.  As part of our Be On the Safe Side campaign we want to recruit more reps and you can help us by sharing your stories. 

What made you become a health and safety rep in the first place? How are you finding the role? Tips for members who are thinking about becoming reps. 

If you want to support our Be On the Safe Side campaign and help grow our health and safety rep community and make workplaces healthier and safer please contact the health and safety unit on

Long Covid – Return to work risk assessments

at workers with long covid who are able to  return to work have return to work risk assessments.

The TUC recently launched a report on long covid, calling for it to be recognised as a disability.  Amongst other issues the report highlights the need to ensure that workers with long covid who are able to  return to work have return to work risk assessments.
UNISON’s updated bargaining guidance contains information on long covid and again highlights the need for risk assessments to support members returning to work.  Safety reps should be involved in discussions around the safety of members returning to work with long covid. 

Ventilation Matters – Updated Coronavirus Guidance

With growing evidence of the airborne nature of coronavirus and concerns that the Delta variant is more easily spread, we have updated both our coronavirus webpage and our  ‘How to Work Safely’ guide to include more information on ventilation and what employers should be doing as part of their risk assessments.  

The Health and Safety Executive has additional guidance on ventilation including updated advice on using carbon dioxide meters which can be found on the link below. 

UNISON Risk Assessment Tool  

Employers should be reviewing their health and safety risk assessments following any changes to government advice on coronavirus or following any incidents in the workplace such as outbreaks of coronavirus. 

You can use the UNISON risk assessment review tool to examine whether your employer is taking the correct steps to protect workers and to identify any concerns.  The tool can be accessed via the branch service portal following the link below.  Branches and safety reps can find out more by registering for the webinar on 3 August 2-3pm using the link below.  

Hazard Conference

Registration for the annual Hazards conference is now open.  The conference, which takes place over the weekend of July 31st to August 1st will be virtual and has a varied programme to interest all safety representatives. 

To register go to the link below. The conference is FREE of charge but branches/organisations, are invited to donate to the Hazards Campaign via the link on the registration page.