The union’s National Health, Safety & Environment Department is an important department in CWU HQ with specialist responsibilities including national level negotiations with employers and with external organisations such as the TUC, HSE, and MPs etc.
The CWU places a high priority on Health, Safety and Environmental matters and has one central Health, Safety & Environmental Department with responsibility across the whole of the union. The Head of Department is National Officer Dave Joyce.
The Department aims to ensure that the CWU maintains a high profile on health, safety and environmental issues and pursues consistent policies and high standards of health and safety for the Union’s membership.
Key aims of the Department are to press for:
- The better prevention and avoidance of accidents and ill health by employers
- Employers to ensure that when ill health or injury arises, workers can access prompt care and advice
- Employers to support workers so as to minimise the impact of ill health on their capability to work
- Employers to provide safe and healthy work and workplaces, and ensure that when ill health or injury arises from work that they identify such, and avoid future recurrences.
The work of the Department is reported via the ten Regional Health and Safety Forums, LTB’s, Branch Officials Bulletins, Safety Rep Newsletter, Voice Magazine, Web Site and CWU Annual Report.
The National Executive has a Health, Safety & Environment Sub-Committee. Additionally there are T&FSE and PEC Health, Safety & Environment Sub Committees.
The union’s membership are supported locally in the workplace by trained Branch Union Safety Representatives who protect and promote their interests on Health and Safety issues, inspect the workplaces and make representations on their behalf.
Union Safety Representatives make the workplace a safer place, and it is recognised that workers are twice as safe in a workplace where there are USRs. The network of CWU Safety Representatives throughout the various employers have an important role to play and members who have health and safety concerns should raise them in the first instance with their local Branch/ USR. These concerns can be progressed by your local USR with Management directly or through the network of Health and Safety Committees and consultative arrangements established in the various Businesses through nationally recognised agreements.
At National level the Health, Safety & Environment Department deals with a wide range of policy issues and also initiates and co-ordinates a number of Health & Safety Campaigns on a wide range of issues. Branches, Safety Reps and Regional Health and Safety Forums, play an important role in promoting these issues and campaigns.