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Safety rep toolkit: introduction

This guidance is especially for you if you are a Prospect H&S rep. It will also assist branch reps and negotiators.

hard hat and clipboardToolkit chapters are listed on the left. Each chapter contains links to key resources intended to empower you. We cover:

  • your rights - legal entitlements and union expectations
  • getting started - your appointment, notifying your employer, how many H&S reps can we have?
  • getting organised - knowing your union, managing your time, facilities you are allowed
  • getting trained - Prospect courses, TUC learning, skills and qualities
  • getting the job done - consultation, inspection, investigation and committee work
  • getting results - your approach, visibility, campaigns and initiatives
  • worker involvement - employer duties, business benefits, representing non-members?!

The toolkit is intended to be a key resource for H&S reps. But your bible is the Brown Book containing the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 which set out your legal functions and rights.

Why health and safety?

Although ‘safety rep' is the legal name for this vital trade union role, it dates back to the 1970s when safety was the priority. Nowadays, we talk about Prospect health and safety reps to embrace the significance of the health agenda.

TUC H&S Rep Award

The TUC wants to acknowledge and demonstrate the range of work undertaken by H&S Reps on behalf of their members and the community.

An annual award is made to the trade unionist who represents the best aspects of being an H&S Rep. Prospect can submit nominations. These require details of the nominee's achievements, the difference the nominee has made as a result of being a rep (so if you are a H&S manager this may exclude what you have done in that role) and why you became a rep. The nomination must be signed off by Prospect's general secretary. The trawl for nominees generally takes place in early summer.