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How to ensure you involve employee unions in your company's health and safety issues

by , 23 April 2013
Unions are key stakeholders in any workplace. In fact, you and your management must involve them in working conditions and wage negotiations. But, have you thought about getting them involved in your company's health and safety issues? Read on to find out how you can involve unions to ensure you implement health and safety effectively with the cooperation of your employees.

You can't implement health and safety effectively without the cooperation of your employees. You can have as many rules, regulations and procedures as you like, if employees don't implement them, your workplace is unsafe.

But you can change this by making unions an important ally in your company's health and safety policy.

That's because unions exist to represent the workers. And this means representing them in all aspects of the workplace, including health and safety.

But how do you get unions involved?

Use these tips to get unions involved in your company's health and safety issues

  1. Don't operate the health and safety committee of your company in isolation from the union.
  2. Keep in touch with the union representatives to ensure their health and safety representatives inform union members about the activities of the health and safety committee.
  3. Consider what the union has to say before you make decisions about health and safety in your company.
  4. Inform the union if you plan a workplace inspection and ask them to get the co-operation of their members for this. The union can do this at their regular union meetings. Remember that 'unions are influential with your employees. If the union asks its members to cooperate with a health and safety inspection, there's an increased chance that you will get good cooperation,' says the Health and Safety Advisor.
  5. Get the union representatives to report back to the union after a workplace inspection.
  6. Inform the union as soon as there's an accident in the company.
  7. Involve the union directly in any accident investigations. This is in addition to the health and safety representatives. After an investigation is complete, ensure the union representative reports back

Remember, the health and safety role unions play in your company will depend largely on the information and training you'll give them. Your attitude towards the union also affects their attitude towards health and safety. A positive attitude from you will bring a positive response from the union.

Click here to get tips, tools and practical advice to easily implement health and safety in your workplace



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