The Role of the Safety Representative

Union safety representatives have wide-ranging rights and functions. These include rights to:

Representation and Consultation
a) Make representations on behalf of their members to their employer on any health and safety matter.
b) Represent their members in consultations with health and safety executive inspectors or other enforcing authorities.

Inspection
a) Inspect designated workplace areas, at least every three months
b) Make additional inspections, if work practices change or new information arises.

Investigation
a) Investigate potential hazards.
b) Investigate complaints by members.
c) Investigate the causes of accidents, dangerous occurrences and diseases.

Assistance, Information and Training
a) Receive help and facilities from the employer to enable them to carry out inspections.
b) Receive legal and technical information from inspectors.
c) Receive information from the employer to enable them to carry out their functions.
d) Receive time-off with pay to carry out their job as safety representatives and to undergo approved training.

The training of Safety Representatives is critical to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary information and skills to undertaket their role. As well as organising appropriate training, FSU fully supports Safety Representatives by providing advice and by pursuing health and safety matters – both in specific cases and in more generic issues. The Union has also devised a user-friendly checklist to assist Safety Representatives in carrying out a safety inspection. For further information, please contact the Union Head Office.