Health and Safety

Conn Gillespie UNISON Fife Health Branch Health and Safety Officer 

Promoting health and safety at work is one of the functions of the branch.

Even though employers have clear legal duties to make sure that employment does not cause death, injury or ill-health, health and safety is a trade union issue and not something which can be left to management.

The branch health and safety officer’s role includes:

  • making sure members, safety reps and branch officers are aware of health and safety issues;
  • co-ordinating the activity of safety reps, including making sure that there are enough reps in the workplaces organised by the branch, and convening regular meetings of safety reps;
  • organising the information held by the branch on health and safety;
  • acting as a link between safety reps and other branch reps to make sure that health and safety issues are treated as an integral part of the work of the branch;
  • reporting on health and safety issues at branch meetings, committee meetings and annual meetings;
  • liaising with relevant branch officers about priorities for health and safety training, campaigns and publicity materials;
  • keeping contact with the region and regional service groups, for example via the regional health and safety committee and the national health and safety structures;
  • liaising with the equalities officer(s) to make sure that equal opportunities aspects of health and safety issues are taken into account and vice versa.