I attended the CWU's North West Regional Safety Forum on behalf of Beverley Kenyon, our H&S Officer.
The forum gives opportunities for Health & Safety Reps, from different CWU branches, to discuss issues that are affecting each other in their various workplaces; to share ideas and find potential resolutions. It also gives us a chance to start to bring local problems to the attention of CWU Head Office and the wider CWU community with a view to gain greater support if needed.
I was able to voice what your Health & Safety Reps are up to, for example: Beverley is due to present on Manual Handling Issues to our CWU Branch and Santander UK; My main project currently is trying to increase the number of trained Health & Safety Reps for our branch with an end goal to increase our presence and be a louder voice for you when it comes to improving health & safety issues on-site.
On a wider scale, the new Deregulation Bill that has just been drafted, which the government are trying to pass through parliament currently, was also discussed. The bill is part of their attempts to reduce the 'red-tape' which is reportedly costing businesses millions and slowing down the economy as a result.
In actual fact what appears to be happening, at least from a health & safety point of view, is that current legislation that is in place to protect workers is being undermined by reducing the responsibility and liability of the employer. In other words: To take away the legal obligation of employers to invest in looking after their staff and increase profits instead.
This is already being seen in branches, within Royal Mail, where accidents are being downgraded by employers to avoid having to report them to the HSE.The next meeting is set for the 23rd October 2013 and I will be working hard to try and bring you more information on these subjects as they develop.
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