union for life

Health and safety

Health & safety  

Man in workplace wearning hard hat and protective goggles

Promoting health, safety & well-being is a Prospect priority delivered through organised workplace rep activity, campaigns and policy influence. Our guidance includes:

Health & safety in the workplace 

6 health & safety reasons our members give for joining:

  1. Easy to understand - nobody wants to be hurt
  2. Everyone cares about life and death, don't they
  3. Community support is generated and can be inspirational
  4. health and safety reps reduce accidents & ill health by 50% 
  5. Winnable - the union swiftly makes a difference: good news for you and your employer
  6. the expertise we gain from the health & safety practitioners we represent.

Local activity

For success, health and safety must be integral to our workplace activity. Many bargaining matters have health and safety risks.

For instance:

  • organisational change and restructuring
  • staffing levels
  • shifts
  • absence management
  • harassment and bullying.

Coherence between H&S reps and other lay reps within branches and Prospect officers is vital. Make sure you know and engage your H&S reps. H&S reps make sure you are known to your constituents and within your branch.

The TUC has developed helpful guidance on organising for health and safety in pdf and tablet/smart phone format. 

Hot topics

Maximum temperature - the TUC's campaign for a maximum legal temperature has been supported in the Commons by an early day motion.

Relax dress codes - the TUC issued a press release urging employers to help staff cope with the heatwave

Sun Safety - 90% of all skin cancer deaths could be prevented by controlling exposure to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight. A tan is a sign that the skin has been damaged. If you work outside:

  • cover up! including your head
  • use sunscreen (provided by your employer)
  • take breaks in the shade
  • be skin safe

For more information, including your employer's duties to you, go to:

Health and safety campaigns


Influencing health & safety policy

Prospect's health & safety research officer seeks to:

  • engage with others, locally and nationally
  • offer your voice to shaping policy, research, campaigns and compliance
  • gather and disseminate information to support organising and negotiating teams, Branches, reps and members
  • respond to requests for specialist support made via your full-time officer. 

The NEC Health & Safety Advisory Committee provides a strategic link with our members.