Health and Safety news

With only a few months left until the National Health and Safety seminar, Pam Sian, chair of UNISON’s National Health and Safety Committee and a member of the National Black Members’ Committee, shares how the event can help make a difference to members in every branch.

UNISON hosts the event every two years, but due to the pandemic it had to be postponed from 2021, what better date than  8 March 2022,International Women’s Day, to bring together the two agendas of women’s equality and health and safety

Whilst the pandemic has brought many challenges, it has also presented the opportunity to reinforce the important role of health and safety reps within the workplace, and the legal need for employers to consult and engage with unions on health and safety.

When planning the event, the National Committee wanted to find a way to celebrate UNISON’s one million women members that make up more than two-thirds of our union, as well as recognise the difference impact and health and safety risks women face in the workplace.  As workplaces adapt to the challenge of COVID-19, we wanted the theme of ‘Building Safe and Healthy Workplaces for Women’ to help shape that future.

This event doesn’t just provide an opportunity for reps to network and learn more about the subject it should also be a catalyst for reps to go back to branches with ideas about organising around different health and safety issues and to develop branch action plans to seek improvements and greater protections for everybody’s health and safety especially that of women.

The committee are pulling together an engaging and interesting programme and here’s a sneak preview of the topics that will be covered.

Plenary sessions
  • Covid, Workplace Health and Safety and the disproportionate impact on women and Black workers – what have we learnt?
  • Gender in Occupational Health and Safety: Where Next?
Workshop sessions
  • Personal safety online and when working alone
  • Menopause: a workplace health and safety issue
  • Health and safety of home and hybrid workers
  • Tackling Domestic Abuse
  • Supporting members with Long Covid
  • Sexual harassment
  • Women’s mental health in the workplace

More information on the event and how branches can book their reps a place can be found here.

We are also keen to open up the event to those who are interested in becoming health and safety reps but haven’t yet made the decision.  And remember, this event falls under the right of health and safety representatives to time off with pay for training under Regulation 4 (2)(b) – Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977

We look forward to seeing lots of you in London on March 8th.