HEALTH AND SAFETY MOTION

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Conference
2014 National Women's Conference
Date
9 October 2013
Decision
Carried as Amended

Conference remains alarmed at the continuing attacks by the Coalition Government on Health and Safety legislation by claiming that these important regulations amount to a burden on business without any credible evidence base.

The 33% budget cut to the Health and Safety executive (HSE), and additional cuts to local authorities pose serious risk to enforcement bodies to deliver on the three key areas – enforcement, inspection and advice – and will result in increased workplace incidents, injuries and fatalities.

The Government’s decision to amend Section 47 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974, which removes civil liability will deny our members – and others – access to justice for workplace injury claims and is a shocking attempt to take workplace safety back to the dark ages.

A substantial number of our women members work in jobs which contain all the factors of hazardous working, including risks from chemicals, manual handling, fatigue, infection risks, violence and stress.

As a result of the Government’s amendments to the regulations, UNISON members will be at greater risk of injury from now on.

Conference, therefore, calls on the National Women’s Committee to work with the NEC to:-

1)Campaign for the reinstatement of Section 47 of the HSAW Act;

2)To ensure that gender factoring is taken into account in all future workplace risk assessments.

Conference further calls on the National Women’s Committee to raise the profile of the relevance to women of Health and Safety legislation.

Submitted by Scottish Region