Greater Mersey Amal Branch Area Safety Rep, Jamie McGovern reports from this year's Health & Safety Fringe meeting held at lunch time on Monday of this week on the final Day of CWU's Annual General Conference.
With numbers attending almost eclipsing the number of Branch delegates attending the T&FS Conference Health & Safety section debates held later in the week, once again the H&S Fringe was top of the tables for attendees at fringe meetings held during Conference week.
As Jamie Reports below, the work of Trade Union Safety Reps is one of the reasons why 50% less accidents at work and sickness days taken in Companies were USRs are active.
Dave Joyce welcomed new and old faces to the fringe meeting and mentioned the TUC rightfully recently celebrating 40 years of trade union safety reps and recognising the outstanding work done in the workplaces across the UK.
He directly referenced post Brexit Britain and the importance of the challenges that lie ahead but also the successes that have been achieved by organised safety dedicated unions.
IWMD 2018 was mentioned with all reps and CWU members being encouraged to attend events in local areas.
Dave then introduced Guest speaker Andrew Kingscroft (HSE Head of public administration & education )
He addressed the meeting by first referencing the 40 years of safety reps tee shirts and how true the statement on them is (a volunteer army of lifesavers)
He talked about strategy going forward for the HSE and that on their agenda was
1. Working with stakeholders and setting benchmarks for standards and what front line HSE inspectors will prosecute against.
2. HSE helping Britain to work well by working with unions & Safety reps by looking at pockets of best practice.
3. Sharing the examples of best practice so that the HSE becomes a 'catch net' on ideas and initiatives.
He also spoke about 2 more main concerns.
The recent MSD (musculo skeletal disorder) Summit focused in on how the HSE are looking at the significant challenges of moving parcels and warehousing.
Work related stress is a major concern and will remain a main priority because the facts and figures show 82% of self reported illness is down to stress and MSD
The Increased sentencing guidelines are making a difference and will continue to do so.
He also wants safety reps to access the HSE website utility sector plan which shows 21 key areas detailing their priorities and outcomes.
He identified that the HSE is increasing its engagement on work related road risk and that there will be a possible review of INDG382 in the very near future because we urgently need prevention strategies to stop the companies that operate unsafely by ignoring the 'million miles an hour' culture that is spreading across the UK and creating huge risks to all.
100 -120 attendees make this the best attended fringe meeting at conference so far in 2018.
Safety matters let's keep it that way!