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Health and safety rep....

chippyteaforme

Well-known Member
Hi all,

Just been voted in as the new health and safety representative at work, following a ballot (so, either my colleagues love me or hate me, not sure which :rotfl:) - However, fact is, as much as I 'think' I know about health and safety, my knowledge is pretty much all common sense based.

I haven't enough confidence in my employer to believe that I'll be given reasonable training, therefore I'm wondering - where do I start?

Is there anything which is, for example, essential reading - don't mind if it's condensed or in full :)

It's not announced to other staff until next Wednesday, so that leaves me with a few days to gain as much knowledge as I can, but I could do with people pointing me in the right direction :)

Ta :)
 

caiw123

Active Member
Hi all,

Just been voted in as the new health and safety representative at work, following a ballot (so, either my colleagues love me or hate me, not sure which :rotfl:) - However, fact is, as much as I 'think' I know about health and safety, my knowledge is pretty much all common sense based.

I haven't enough confidence in my employer to believe that I'll be given reasonable training, therefore I'm wondering - where do I start?

Is there anything which is, for example, essential reading - don't mind if it's condensed or in full :)

It's not announced to other staff until next Wednesday, so that leaves me with a few days to gain as much knowledge as I can, but I could do with people pointing me in the right direction :)

Ta :)

what kind of trade are you in? try looking up youre local government website for more info which will be more detailed in respect to youre specific trade, i myself am a chef and have been doing this for over 22 years and health and saftey is becoming more and more important at workplaces to protect the employee as much as the employer. it's also changing policy as much as daily these days, so as hard as it is you have to keep up with the times which sounds tedious and it is. hope this helps but if i can be any more help just drop me a pm
cheers
dave
 

chippyteaforme

Well-known Member
what kind of trade are you in? try looking up youre local government website for more info which will be more detailed in respect to youre specific trade, i myself am a chef and have been doing this for over 22 years and health and saftey is becoming more and more important at workplaces to protect the employee as much as the employer. it's also changing policy as much as daily these days, so as hard as it is you have to keep up with the times which sounds tedious and it is. hope this helps but if i can be any more help just drop me a pm
cheers
dave

Thanks for the advice :)

I work in a food testing laboratory (out here in the fens, it's either working in a factory at minimum wage through an agency, or testing the stuff the churn out!).

I'll have a look at the local Government stuff tomorrow before work :)

I guess, in some ways, our work is kinda similar - you chop food, cook it and plate it out - and I chop food, dilute it, plate it out and incubate it? :smashin:
 
F

fizzi

Guest
If you are a union rep then your union will usually provide training and your emplyer has to give you the time off to do it.

If not, then your employer may give you training. Getting a NEBOSH qualification is worth having too. Even if you have to pay for it yourself. Sadly my employer not only will not pay for it but will not let me have the time off to attend college even if I pay for it. It's not cheap so I could not afford to pay for it then miss days.

My interst in H&S has severely waned following the ridiculous press stories of heavy handedness over slight things whilst serious issues (hospital cleanliness eg.) persist.
 

jp_bl_68

Well-known Member
(so, either my colleagues love me or hate me, not sure which :rotfl:)
Definitely the latter ;)

Every h&s lecture I've had has basically been common sense; don't stand in front of or behind a moving lorry, don't stand on the tracks when a tram is approaching, don't touch those high voltage cables....

If you have any trainee employees then they might need some special attention but I would've thought common sense should be all you'll need.

Congrats on the promotion :D
 

PJTX100

Distinguished Member
I haven't enough confidence in my employer to believe that I'll be given reasonable training, therefore I'm wondering - where do I start?



Just set the fire alarm off once a week on the pretense you need to test it but knowing it annoys the hell out of everyone, especially on Monday mornings which therefore is when you choose to do it.

Send banal emails saying it's raining outside and the reception is slippy, even though everyone can see it's raining through the windows.

Send an email saying the lift, that no-one uses, is out of order for it's annual maintenance.
Send another 1 hr later saying the lift, that no-one uses, can be used again.
Send another 10 mins later saying the lift, that no-one uses, is broke (because someone, reminded that we had a lift, decided to use it instead of walking up 8 steps) and an engineer has been called.
Send an email 3 weeks later saying the lift, that no-one uses, is now working again but should only be used when needed (eg transporting heavy items)
Send an email the next day saying the lift is broke again, and advising on the weight limit.

Send condescending emails just before h&s inspections telling people to tidy their **** up.

Send even more condescending emails telling people to tidy up plates and cups from the kitchen because they can attract vermin.

Send hypocritical emails telling people not to park in the disabled spaces even though you do regularly.

**** like that. :)

(And no I'm not the H&S rep). :D
 
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Tempest

Distinguished Member
Every health and safety officer I have met seems to of had their brain removed and are guided round by management and given ******** all the time about how great everthing is, and just lap it up, believeing anything they are told.

I pray for the day a health and safety officer actually stops and askes people on the shop floor for their concerns and takes them seriously and follows it through.

Management will lie through their teeth to try and cover up anything.

I hope you will remember that you are there to look after the wellbeing of the workforce
 

PJTX100

Distinguished Member
Sounds like someone's been reading the h&s guide book.

I've never understood the need for a H&S rep's guide book because by definition you need a brain to read.
 

lynx

Senior Moderator
Chippyteaforme, pm me at anytime. What union has appointed you? First thing to do is have your union contact your employer and notify them of your appointment.
Secondly get booked on a TUC safety reps stage one, get some experience under your belt then do stage two then either NEBOSH general or TUC diploma in occupational health.
unionlearn - Courses
Qualifications | Nebosh

As for books - SRSC regs, known by reps as the brown book http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/brownbook.pdf

An introduction to health and safety by Hughes and Ferret.
 

kBm

Distinguished Member
Hi all,

Just been voted in as the new health and safety representative at work, following a ballot (so, either my colleagues love me or hate me, not sure which :rotfl:) - However, fact is, as much as I 'think' I know about health and safety, my knowledge is pretty much all common sense based.

I haven't enough confidence in my employer to believe that I'll be given reasonable training, therefore I'm wondering - where do I start?

Is there anything which is, for example, essential reading - don't mind if it's condensed or in full :)

It's not announced to other staff until next Wednesday, so that leaves me with a few days to gain as much knowledge as I can, but I could do with people pointing me in the right direction :)

Ta :)

Try;
HSE website
TUC website

I'm sure the first thing to learn is your rights as a safety rep under the safety reps regs....:smashin:
 

signs

Banned
I haven't enough confidence in my employer to believe that I'll be given reasonable training, therefore I'm wondering - where do I start?

It's a good job your employer had the confidence to employ you ,or you wouldn't be in the position you are now :rolleyes:

And we wonder why British industry has gone to the dogs:facepalm:
 
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lynx

Senior Moderator
It's a good job your employer had the confidence to employ you ,or you wouldn't be in the position you are now :rolleyes:

And we wonder why British industry has gone to the dogs:facepalm:


You do realise employers neither employ or appoint health and safety reps, they are appointed only by recognised trade unions.
 

signs

Banned
You do realise employers neither employ or appoint health and safety reps, they are appointed only by recognised trade unions.

No never new that , just gets my goat every time i go on site and have to sit through a half hour induction then some pleb telling me I need somebody to hold my step ladder if I'm considering going above three rungs high.
 

lynx

Senior Moderator
It's a common misunderstanding. Where there are no trade union the employer still has a duty placed on them in law to consult on matters of H&S, in this instance the employer can appoint ROES - representative of employee safety. In law they are not the same nor do they have the same powers or protection of trade union health and safety reps who provide an invaluable function.
 

Vitalija

Well-known Member
Unless you are getting a good wedge for the responsibilty I wouldn't do it. Risk Assesments etc and the constant worry that you haven't spotted something that could be dangerous is a major downside for me (yep, i'm the H&S rep).

The local fire officer used to do our annual fire inspection. For obvious reasons he's the best man to do it you'd think? Nope, I have to do it now, how sensible is that?
The council used to do an annual H&S visit and send us a report. Guess who has to do it now?
In both cases I can be prosecuted if I do it wrong though. Nice eh?
H&S is about covering derrieres, but if you miss something, and there's an accident who's going to cover yours?
Don't get me wrong, you may enjoy it and relish the challenge, i'm sure you are very capable. The above is only my personal opinion, no doubt people will shoot me down, as they have every right to do!:)
 
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lynx

Senior Moderator
Risk Assesments etc and the constant worry that you haven't spotted something that could be dangerous is a major downside for me (yep, i'm the H&S rep).

RA's are the responsibility of the employer, period. Yes, they can and should be encouraged to consult with others, however the responsibility is theirs to ensure they are fit for purpose ie suitable and sufficient.

The local fire officer used to do our annual fire inspection. For obvious reasons he's the best man to do it you'd think? Nope, I have to do it now, how sensible is that?
The council used to do an annual H&S visit and send us a report. Guess who has to do it now?
In both cases I can be prosecuted if I do it wrong though.

Have a read through the regulations, for simplicity read guidance note 44 from the SRSC regs
Functions of health and safety representatives 44
The Regulations state that no function given to a health and safety representative shall be construed as imposing any duty on them
you are not in the firing line over any of the issues you've raised, your employer is...unless your employed as a health and safety officer rather than appointed a health and safety rep.
 

Vitalija

Well-known Member
RA's are the responsibility of the employer, period. Yes, they can and should be encouraged to consult with others, however the responsibility is theirs to ensure they are fit for purpose ie suitable and sufficient.



Have a read through the regulations, for simplicity read guidance note 44 from the SRSC regs you are not in the firing line over any of the issues you've raised, your employer is...unless your employed as a health and safety officer rather than appointed a health and safety rep.

Sorry, should have pointed out, not only am I the H&S rep, i'm also the employer. Non union, we have a small business with 10 employees.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Ok, I'm confused here.

My experience (working in a small company) is that anyone from H&S is considered the enemy.

Never in a million years would the company want anyone from within the company to be REALLY related to any serious H&S issue as that person (assuming he was doing his job well and not just a yes boss man) was going to to be a thorn in the side of the business.

With an outside H&S inspector, they warn they are coming, then the firm has a day to put things in place, close the fire doors, clear up the slippery floor, fit safty guards back in place etc etc, then CAREFULLY guide the H&S person round, trying to steer them away from any iffy areas, and giving them a load of lies about how things are done, then the moment they are out the door, they don't give a toss anymore.

Anyone who has come from within the company is going to know what's wrong and what needs doing and going to cost the company money.

Or course, it depends I guess on what side the H&S person is.

Is he someone who cares for the workforce and their safety and if that means having to be pain in the companies backside, then tough, they want to do the right thing.

Or other H&S people who really don't give a toss and more interested in their own job and keeping in close with the boss to the detriment of the workforce.
 

lynx

Senior Moderator
Sorry, should have pointed out, not only am I the H&S rep, i'm also the employer.

Have a read through the management of health and safety at work regulations (referred to as the management regs), in particular reg 7: Management Regs - reg 7. The employer (you) has a duty imposed to appoint one or more persons (competent) to assist with your health and safety arrangements.

not only am I the H&S rep, i'm also the employer.


Don't you see a conflict here? ;)

indianwells, please don't take this the wrong way. I don't know what training you've had but a basic starter would be IOSH managing safely, perhaps this would benefit you and your business and give you some points to consider for future development http://www.iosh.co.uk/training/training_for_employees/managing_safely.aspx
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Sorry, should have pointed out, not only am I the H&S rep, i'm also the employer. Non union, we have a small business with 10 employees.

Apologies if I appear to suggest a slur against your character.

But why would anyone trust their boss to put their health and safety issues 1st ?

Are you going to suggest things need changing that will cost you money to implement?

I guess I can onyl see a dramtic conflict of interests here.

I know we don't trust our boss. To be honest, he does not give much of a toss about worker safety really. It's all about getting the work out the door.
 

Vitalija

Well-known Member
Have a read through the management of health and safety at work regulations (referred to as the management regs), in particular reg 7: Management Regs - reg 7. The employer (you) has a duty imposed to appoint one or more persons (competent) to assist with your health and safety arrangements.




Don't you see a conflict here? ;)

Didn't know that. Mmmm, the hardest bit is going to be finding someone competent!:rolleyes:
 

Vitalija

Well-known Member
Apologies if I appear to suggest a slur against your character.

But why would anyone trust their boss to put their health and safety issues 1st ?

Are you going to suggest things need changing that will cost you money to implement?

I guess I can onyl see a dramtic conflict of interests here.

I know we don't trust our boss. To be honest, he does not give much of a toss about worker safety really. It's all about getting the work out the door.

Well I do care, that's why it's costing me a fortune to subscribe to Croners, send them on a host of safety equipment courses, safe handling etc.

I don't begrudge one penny I spend on H&S but it certainly is a lucrative industry. Companies know we have to implement this so charge what they want. £20 for a cheap laminated poster is extracting the proverbial, and don't get me started on courses at £150 per person per day (not including accommodation, meals etc.

Like I said, it's necessary to keep my workers safe, and in doing so i've spent almost £10,000 over the last couple of years. I have no doubt there are many bosses out there who don't give a toss though!
 

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