Safety of UNISON members attending reservoir incidents

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2022 Water, Environment & Transport Conference
14 February 2022

This Water, Environment & Transport Conference notes that during the spring, summer and autumn UNISON members are regularly asked to attend anti-social incidents at reservoirs in their roles as Catchment Controllers.

Of particular concern are out of hours call outs to deal with drunken behaviour usually but not exclusively by youths who can be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

A large population of Catchment Controllers in United Utilities and presumably elsewhere in the Water Industry are Women bringing its own safety issues and despite policies being agreed on safety with the employer such as pairing up our members are still unnecessarily put at risk.

Often, nearby members of the public contact the police who won’t get involved so then contact the employer who try to get our members to respond despite the time of day to alleviate the concerns of the public.

UNISON calls on the WET SGE to work with UNISON’s Health & Safety section to devise a best practice do’s and don’ts template including the need for up to date risk assessments to prevent our members from being put at risk.