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 […]

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) […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Day of the Africa Child

The 16th June is another historic day celebrated all over Africa, this is the day of the African Child. On the 16th June 1976, thousands of Black school children took to the street of Soweto, South Africa. In a march more than half a mile long, they protested the inferior quality of their education and […]

Black Members Representation at National Black Members Conference

Conference is concerned with the current Online Conference System (OCS) and the representation at the National Black Members Conference. Black members are a disadvantage group and self-organised groups should be able to self-organise as currently stated in UNISON rules to meet and share their concerns and aspirations. To work within a flexible structure to build […]

Discrimination in the Workplace

Conference notes the benefits that Learning and Development in UNISON provides to our members. It is also noted that the assistance, advice and guidance provided by Regions and Branches is counter to and in some cases in the absence of any learning and development opportunities provided by employers. Conference recognizes that the experience of many […]

Racism Isn’t Being Tackled

Conference notes, according to research carried out by Durham, Northumbria and Teesside universities, Police forces in the North East are failing in their duty to tackle racism in the region. The report explores issues relating to the increasing black and ethnic minority populations in the region and highlights racism in both urban and rural parts […]

Stop the Deportation of Overseas Students from the London Metropolitan University

Conference is appalled at the Coalition Government’s attack on international students with a move to deport more than 2,600 students currently studying at London Metropolitan University. The University’s licence to teach and recruit students from outside of the European Union was revoked on 29th August 2012, which means that these students most of which are […]