Motion 3. Cost saving versus Risk

In these times of high energy costs water companies are embarking on initiatives to save money. This includes turning off sections of plant at times of the day when energy costs are highest. Because this at present tends to be for short periods after normal working hours the focus may be concentrated on how much […]

Motion 2. Hidden killers.

Having had a tanker driver repeatedly exposed to high levels of hydrogen sulphide whilst tankering sludge off at sewage treatment works, this has served to remind us of the risks posed to our members from dangerous gases. This member had his HGV and all other driving licences taken away by the DVLA as a result […]

Lone Working Incident

Conference is aware of an incident that occurred in Scottish Water in 2012 which could have had very serious consequences. A Worker was lone working and left his mobile phone in his van while accessing a building which subsequently trapped him through a faulty door. It was several hours before this worker could be rescued […]

Near Fatality Following Confined Space Entry

This Conference is aware of an incident that took place on a water meter chamber in Slovakia which ultimately resulted in 1 of 2 water meter readers suffering brain damage which will likely prevent him from working ever again. Whilst most of the water industry in Great Britain follows the correct procedures in regards to […]

Personal Protective Equipment Checklist for Safety Representatives

Water, Environment and Transport Conference 2013 calls upon the WET Executive to devise a checklist to ensure that any PPE is compliant with the law. As a minimum, the checklist should include: • Check with employers that PPE was purchased from reputable suppliers i.e. from Companies displaying the logo of the Registered Safety Suppliers (RSS) […]

Presenteeism

Recent statistics prove that workers are taking less time off sick than ever before but this can well be a false economy situation particularly for members we represent in the WET Service Group. Workplaces now face a bigger problem of presenteeism not absenteeism whereby workers are struggling into workplaces with ill health symptoms and end […]

Health and Safety event for Safety Representatives of Branches in the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group

Following on from the success of the 2012 WET Health & Safety event, this Conference calls on a similar event to be staged in the spring of 2014 as Health and Safety remains one of the key areas for our members. Positive feedback was received from all attendees last time and experience gained from others […]

Ensuring Adequate Maintenance of Manhole Covers

This 2013 WET Conference is aware of a serious safety incident in Severn Trent Water which resulted in a sewerage operator losing the tips of his fingers on one hand. The individual concerned was gaining access to a confined space but suffered the injury as the stay on the manhole cover collapsed. Such assets particularly […]

Direct to Site Working

Issues are being experienced in some Branches including Scottish Water whereby the Working Time Regulations appear to be being misinterpreted in particular when working time begins. Instances that have come to the fore include employees being required to do basic vehicle checks in their own time before commencing work. In addition, employees are being told […]

Ensuring Appropriate Site Signage Whilst Work is being undertaken

Whilst this Conference welcomes improvements to sites including making welfare facilities of an acceptable standard basic site Health and Safety issues shouldn’t be forgotten about during the duration of such work. It came to light on some but not all sites that were being improved in United Utilities that lighting and signage on emergency routes […]

Defending public health services

UNISON members in Northern Ireland are on the frontline of defence of the National Health Service. The Tory-led coalition’s strategy in Great Britain to weaken the provision of good health care by extracting billions of pounds in cuts has set the template for the Northern Ireland Assembly’s response to the cut in the block grant […]

Stonewall health equality champions

Conference believes Stonewall is the largest LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) charity in the UK. Stonewall has been instrumental in LGB campaigns over the last two decades on issues such as section 28, civil partnerships, adoption rights for LGB parents and campaigns for workplace protection based on sexual orientation. Stonewall has good communication with all […]

Equality, cuts and lip service

Conference believes that the Equality Delivery System is a national programme designed by the NHS Equality and Diversity Council (Now the NHS Personal, Fair and Diverse Council) to ensure NHS compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and to help reduce inequalities in health and the workplace. The Equality Delivery System aims to move responsibility for […]

Transgender data – protect confidentiality and protect staff

Conference believes transgender people have an extra level of legal protection when it comes to data in regards to their identity. It can be a criminal offence to not secure a transgender person’s identity data that you have obtained in a professional capacity. A breach of duty in regards to transgender staff or patient’s data […]

Supporting the training needs of all health care staff

Conference notes with concern the many negative effects of the fragmentation of the NHS in England brought about by the NHS & Social Care Act 2012. Two aspects which have had less attention than some are the impact on NHS workforce planning and on training for NHS staff. Conference believes that if the NHS is […]