Health & Safety Representative
Health and Safety Representatives have a key role to play in workplace health and safety. They work with employers on health and safety by representing their colleagues’ health and safety interests. The function of the Health and Safety Representative is set out in the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 and there are Codes of Practice and Guidance covering all four home countries.
Health and Safety Representatives are elected by their colleagues. A Health and Safety Representative is not appointed by the employer or in a school by the head teacher or governing body. It is a different role from the employer’s Health and Safety Officer who will have health and safety duties in his/her job description.
A Voice Health and Safety Representative has the right to:
- investigate potential and actual hazards and dangerous occurrences;
- investigate colleagues’ complaints;
- present colleagues’ concerns to management;
- carry out workplace inspections;
- as much time off with pay as is necessary to carry out those functions and reasonable facilities and assistance;
- paid time off for training as long as the training is necessary and reasonable;
- receive information relevant to any matter that might impact upon health, safety and welfare of the people that s/he represents.
As a Voice Health and Safety Representative you will be well placed to help develop and encourage a positive health and safety culture at the workplace. This might include setting up a safety committee to give advice to management in respect of health and safety matters.
We give support to our Health and Safety Representatives by:
- arranging training sessions at Derby head office to keep representatives up to date with health and safety developments;
- disseminating health and safety information, legislative developments and other relevant issues in the education sector through our dedicated newsletter;
- responding to enquiries and providing appropriate advice and assistance to representatives on matters of concern;
- encouraging joint working with other unions and employers to improve health and safety performance at their workplace.