Health and Safety Consultation - Safety Representation
Last Updated 31 May 2023 in Health & Safety Statement and Arrangement
This policy recognises the value in good communication, Union representation and colleague involvement in meeting our health & safety standards and outlines the procedures to manage this risk.
The Board of Directors and the Chief Executive of the Society recognise the contribution that good communication and involving colleagues from all levels of the business can make towards meeting health & safety standards and future goals. To assist in achieving these goals, the business has in place several consultation strands and recognises union representatives / safety representatives as playing a key role in helping us implement our health & safety standards, all of which is described below.
We believe that by consulting with more than one specific group such as a health & safety committee we can involve a wider group of colleagues and management to formally consult and communicate with on health & safety matters. We will however still have formal procedures in place such as minutes of the meetings to record any such meetings.
The Health & Safety Manager will attend the Society’s USDAW regional representative meetings to discuss new / planned health & safety projects and also to ensure that points raised by the USDAW representatives can be discussed directly with the Health & Safety Team.
Attendance will also be made at the Corporate USDAW Meetings in order to discuss any points brought forward from the Regional meetings and also to consult and discuss on any up and coming health & safety projects / updates / legislative changes.
Where new Health & Safety Policies and Procedures (non-legislative) that impact colleagues are being devised and due to be implemented, the Colleague Council Reps will be consulted and updated and feedback from the council will be taken into account prior to the final version of any such policies or procedures being rolled out to the business groups.
Group Specific Consultation
Where new legislative policies and procedures are required that are group specific, the Health & Safety Manager will formally meet with the operations managers / GGM to discuss any financial impact that new legislation may have. Where consultation is required with colleagues that falls outside of the normal USDAW / Colleague Councils remit as mentioned above, then a formal plan to consult with colleagues will be agreed with the group on how this will be achieved.
Health &Safety Content for USDAW Meetings
The Regional and Corporate USDAW meetings may include (but not be restricted to) the following items.
Achievements regarding health & safety and expectations for the following quarter (e.g. Safety Campaigns).
Any accident trends that appear to be emerging.
Change of existing or introduction of new regulations that may impact the business or trading group.
Results of any external audits.
Risk assessment issues that may have been identified that the reps should be aware of either at a specific site or across a group of sites.
Communication with the Consultation Groups
Communication with the consultation groups is an important area; for these groups to be an effective tool in implementing the safety culture, two way communication is required at all times. Any relevant issues that are brought to the meetings will be addressed and included in the minutes of the meeting and any outstanding points will be monitored until resolved. Where the issue is outside the remit of the Health & Safety Manager, it will be noted to who or which area the issue has been passed.
Consultation with Colleagues
Any colleague who is not a member of a union or represented by a recognised trade union will have the right to consultation on matters of health & safety at work, in accordance with the Health & Safety Consultation with Colleagues Regulations 1996.
Minutes of Meetings
A full set of minutes of these meetings (where health & safety matters were discussed) will be available to both members and non-members of USDAW and may be requested in writing from the Health & Safety Team.
Minutes from the Health & Safety Steering Committee will be shared with the Union Representative.
Nominated Safety Representatives
The Society recognises the role of nominated union safety representatives and encourages positive communication between all parties. The nominated union safety representative may make health & safety checks at sites in accordance with the guidelines set by the unions. When such checks are planned, the safety representative will, where possible, liaise with the site manager to agree a suitable time to visit the site. Where health & safety issues are believed to exist, these will be put in writing and a copy will be passed to the site manager and the Health & Safety Team.
The Health & Safety Manager where required will then liaise with the Safety Rep / Senior Rep and area organiser to agree a plan to resolve any outstanding issues raised.
Formal Escalation of Outsatnding Issues
Where the Health & Safety Manager is unable to resolve matters that have arisen from consultation meetings then any such matters may be escalated to the Health & Safety Representative in writing. If the matter still cannot be resolved, then it may be decided to involve the Chief Executive.