Unions help to protect workplace safety
Unions help to protect workplace safety
Join a trade union to protect yourself at work, say Labour councillors

Labour councillors in Stroud District are urging all workers to join a trade union and elect a health and safety representative in their workplace.

As the government releases new guidance for businesses and employers about returning to work, the Labour councillors want to ensure the district’s workplaces are safe.

Cllr Doina Cornell, Leader of Stroud District Council Labour Group, said: “We all want people to get back to work as soon as they can, but it must be safe. We welcome that government guidance has adopted some of the measures called for by the TUC and Labour, but it still falls far short of providing a clear plan for a safe return to work outside the home.

“Employers need to work with their workers and trade union health and safety reps to prepare Covid 19 risk assessments, and those assessments need to be published. Employers also need to ensure workers in the shielded category can follow the NHS advice to self-isolate for the period specified.Stroud District Labour Group’s advice to workers is :
•                Join a trade union
•                Elect health and safety reps in your workplace
•                Work with employers to get a comprehensive Covid 19 risk assessment in place
•                Be aware of your legal right to refuse to go to work if it is not safe

Unite the Union has published detailed guidance on how workplaces can get a Covid 19 risk assessment in placehttps://unitetheunion.org/media/3069/009-riskassessandprocedures-2020-05-07.pdf

Stroud District Council, through its Environmental Health team, shares a statutory duty with the Health and Safety Executive to keep workplaces safe. SDC officers are preparing guidance to advise employees and employers on this critical matter, and will provide advice and support.
Where the Health and Safety Executive or Environmental Health officers identify employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they will consider taking a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. These include advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices.
Government has set out five key points for businesses to be implemented as soon as it is practical:
1. Work from home, if you can
2. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
3. Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
4. Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
5. Reinforcing cleaning processes
The TUC’s latest advice on keeping safe is available here:
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