What will this do for my organisation?
Worker representatives for health and safety play a key role in getting people on board with new initiatives. They represent the interests and concerns of their fellow employees and provide valuable insight, skills and resources.
What do I need to do?
By law, employers must consult all their employees on health and safety matters. You can choose to consult all workers individually or through representatives. For example, a non-unionised, small organisation, located on one small, low-risk site, is more likely to consult directly with employees on a day-to-day basis. You should allow the workers to elect a representative to act as a point of contact.
You should ensure that any representatives receive paid time off during normal working hours so they can carry out their duties. They should also receive suitable training and access to any facilities they need to help them in their role.
How can you do it?
Give your representative your full support. Facilities they might need access to include:
- a telephone/quiet area;
- the internet;
- storage space; and
- a photocopier and notice board.
If the nature of the work is such that employees are constantly on the move, you should consider the best way for them to communicate with their colleagues, eg a centrally located point for contact could be agreed.
If you don’t have a representative arrange for someone to be chosen by your employees to go on the training course provided by HSE.
For more information on the election of non-unionised representatives of employee safety go to http://www.hse.gov.uk/involvement/workerelectedreps.htm
For more information on the appointment of unionised safety representatives go to http://www.hse.gov.uk/involvement/unionappointedreps.htm