Today, hundreds of UNISON members are meeting in Edinburgh to discuss one of the most vital issues for any union – health and safety. It’s work that’s often reviled and misunderstood, but as a union we’ve always been passionate about keeping people well, and fighting for healthier, safer workplaces.
Thanks to the work of UNISON’s health and safety reps, public sector employees are less likely to suffer injury in the workplace. Tens of thousands of UK workers die every year because of their work and many more are injured.
But thanks to the efforts of more than 6,000 safety reps and branch officers, UNISON members are safer. That’s an impact that should never be understated.
Of course, as with all things, we are living in dangerous and changing times. There is a great deal of uncertainty about how current safety legislation enshrined in EU law might change once we exit the EU.
Yet at the same time we can also be proud that we’re doing more each year on health and safety. UNISON is increasing its support and advice for members – not just reps – with new suites of leaflets and guidance.
And we’re doing more on stress in the workplace – an issue that touches a huge number of public servants but is often overlooked by employers.
This work matters because it has a direct and significant impact on our public employees and the services they provide. UNISON is at its strongest when we work together for the benefit of everyone – and our health and safety work is a perfect example of that.