Trade Union Safety reps have a dramatic, positive impact on health and safety at work
Safety reps’ rights and functions include a legal right to: Represent employees in discussions with the employer on health, safety or welfare and in discussions with HSE or other enforcing authorities; investigate hazards and dangerous occurrences; investigate complaints; carry out inspections of the workplace and inspect relevant documents; attend safety committees; be paid for time spent on carrying out their functions, and to undergo training.
Network Rail works closely with its recognised trade unions (in alphabetical order) RMT, TSSA and Unite. To collaboratively investigate health, safety and welfare issues as well as helping to promoting culture change and leading on fair culture across Network Rail.
The Trade Unions have an Procedural Agreement with which brings together both the legal obligations of the business and the legal rights of trade union health and safety representatives under the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 (“The Brown Book”). An illustrative version can be found in the attachment section.
The Trade Union health and safety reps in Network Rail currently number in the hundreds and participate in the investigation to bring their expertise and perspective to help improve safety on the railway and help make sure the process of investigation is fair and transparent; they are not participating to represent staff.
What do Our Safety Reps do?
Our safety representatives are colleagues who are elected by their respective trade unions, independent of management, to represent colleagues within their sphere of influence on any health, safety and welfare issues. Under the Procedural Agreement we have:
Local Health and Safety Representatives: who represent colleagues from a specific role or function within their workplace – whether track, signal box/ROC or office. Part of their role/function is to carry out workplace inspections and attend local safety meetings with responsible managers to discuss issues or to consider health and safety issues from the business.
Area Health and Safety Representatives: elected by their Local Representative peers, and who represent specific constituencies within their Routes/ Functions.
Lead Health and Safety Representatives: are elected are represent members at National Health and Safety Council.
Your Lead Health and Safety reps and upcoming events can be found in the attachment section.