Protecting health and safety at work

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					Tr a i n i n g m a n u a l f o r t r a d e u n i o n r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

                                                                                                                                                             I n t e r n a t i o n a l Fe d e ra t i o n o f B u i l d i n g a n d Wo o d w o r ke r s
                                          health and
                                          safety at

                                      •The trade union approach to occupational health and safety
                                                      •Organising for a healthy and safe workplace
                                                     •Getting management to make improvements
                                                                                     Printed and published by the Building and Wood Workers’ International - BWI
                                                                                                                                Geneva, Switzerland. April 2006
                                                                                                                                              Design Eve Barker
Protecting health and safety at                     work


                       The real heroes behind improvements in
                       working conditions are trade union
                       representatitves in the workplace. They talk
                       with workers, inspect the workplace, find
                       information, carry out training, provide
                       advice and negotiate improvements with

                       This course book is a modest collection of
                       training activities and background notes
                       designed to help trade unions train their
                       workplace representatives to defend workers
                       rights and represent workers interests in the
                       area of safety, health and welfare at work.

                        We hope that trade union educators will
                       find it a useful resource, and that trade
                       union organisers and workplace
                       representatives can use the techniques to
                       recruit and organise potential members
                       everywhere. Educate! agitate! organise!

                                                                                                                                                       n   o   t   e   s   for trainers
             Information for trainers

                                                  Main aims :                                     Methodology
                                                   Identify the main health and safety problems   Trade union training on health and safety
                                                   in our workplaces                              should be:
                                                   Develop a trade union approach to                 Motivating
                                                   occupational health and safety                    Active
                                                   Investigating hazards at work                     Democratic
                                                   Build workers involvement, awareness, and      It should be action oriented so that it will:
                                                   support on occupational health and safety         Lead to practical action in the workplace
                                                   Develop trade union organisation to ensure        Improve health and safety conditions for
                                                   that employers eliminate or control risks         workers
                                                   Develop confidence, knowledge and skills
                                                                                                  Experience has shown us that trade union
                                                                                                  education should be based upon the principles
This manual is intended to provide flexible                                                       of co-operation and sharing. These are the basic
training materials for trade unions interested                                                    principles of trade union democracy. To encourage
in strengthening their activities on health and                                                   this process, each of the subjects covered in this
safety at work.                                                                                   manual are based around activities which:
                                                                                                    Are designed to be worked on by small groups
The activities in this manual can be used to                                                        of participants
train:                                                                                              Have aims describing what should result from
  Shop Stewards/union Health and Safety                                                             the work
  Representatives                                                                                   Have a task defining what the small group
  Branch officials and union organisers                                                             should do
  Discussion groups of union members                                                                Allow groups to report back, compare ideas,
                                                                                                    and reach conclusions
The manual is divided into three main sections:
  The Trade Union Approach to Occupational                                                        The Role of the Trainer is to:
  Health and Safety                                                                                 Ensure that participants develop confidence by
  Organising for a Healthy and Safe                                                                 creating a climate where they can speak freely
  Workplace                                                                                         Introduce and provide background
  Getting Management to Make                                                                        information for each activity. This will be key
  Improvements                                                                                      points, not lengthy lectures
                                                                                                    Clarify the aims for the activity
                                                                                                    Ensure that the task is understood
                                                                                                    Assist groups without imposing
                                                                                                    Structure reports and discussion
                                                                                                    Help participants to reach clear conclusions
                                                                                                    before moving on to the next activity
                                                                                                    Motivate participants to carry out practical
                                                                                                    activities in the workplace

Selecting the programme, the                        choose from the activities in this manual to run    Course Programmes
participants and organising groups:                 a four hour orientation module on health and        The materials in this manual are flexible, so
                                                    safety, or to include that on other trade union     that they can be used with different groups and
Numbers: A maximum of 24 participants is            courses. There is also a one day, or three day      with different timetables. There are enough
strongly advised. This will give us four groups     suggested programme. There are enough               activities herre to run a five day course. Trainers
of six people. If there are too many people we      activities in this manual to run a complete five    can select their priority areas for the group.
have two big problems: first that they are not      day course for those trade unionists who can        Four activities per day are quite manageable at
able to participate to the same degree and          make use of that opportunity.                       a fairly relaxed pace. Most of the activities will
second, the activities take longer, and so the                                                          take about one and a half hours, except for
timetable can easily get out of control.            Additional resources you will need                  activity 14, a negotiating role play, which takes
                                                    Basic resources and materials are contained in      two and a half to three hours.
Experience: We need to know a little bit            this manual. However, it is important that
about the experience of the participants.           participants carry out the pre-course activity so   On the following pages you have some
For example, are they all from the same union?      that they bring relevant information to the         suggested Programmes, once you have tried
The same sector ? Do they have difficulties in      course.                                             out the activities yourself, you can adapt and
getting time off work to attend training?             Participants should be encouraged to talk to      improve them, and decide which programmes
Do they have a little or a lot of trade union         workers, and gather information on health         suit you best.
experience? If possible, it is preferable to make     and safety in their workplace. They should
a selection of course participants with similar       then bring in relevant documents from their
experience and make an appropriate                    workplace and union eg; safety committee
programme for them. In any case, we make              minutes; union policies; collective bargaining
these kind of introductions at the start of the       agreements on health and safety.
course. This will help us decide how to split         Trainers should ensure that other essential
participants into groups for the different course     resources are provided, including
activities                                            occupational health and safety laws in your
                                                      country; and other occupational health and
Timetable: The timetable must be clear and            safety resources perhaps from government
agreed by everyone so that there are breaks           and industry .
between each activity, and that everyone is           IBW publications on health and safety at
punctual. Each activity should take about an          work -Ban Asbestos; Make Construction Work
hour and a half. There should be a break of 20 -      Safe; Solvent and Paint Hazards; Wood Dust-
30 minutes every one and a half hours. This           No Thanks; Manufactured Mineral Fibres in
will help the participants to concentrate on the      Construction; Safety, Health and Welfare on
course work, and gives more opportunities to          Construction Sites - A Training Manual.
get to know eachother.                                ILO Occupational Health and Safety
                                                      Conventions, Recommendations and Codes of
Programme: These materials are designed to be         Practice, particularly ILO Code of Practice on
as flexible as possible. On the following pages       Health and Safety in Forestry Work,
you will find suggested programmes. You can           Convention 155, 167, 162, 170.

                                                                                                                                                    SECTION  1
                                                                                                                                n   o   t   e   s   for trainers

Five day course programme                                     Three day course programme
Pre course activity

 DAY 1                                                        DAY 1
 The Trade Union Approach - Workers Know Best!                The Trade Union Approach - Workers Know Best!
 Health and safety surveys    Pre course activity   Page 9    Health and safety surveys     Pre course activity   Page 9
 Course Introductions:        Activity 1            Page 9    Course Introductions:         Activity 1            Page 9
 Hazards at Work              Activity 2            Page 9    Risk Mapping                  Activity 3            Page 14
 Risk Mapping                 Activity 3            Page 14   Body Mapping                  Activity 6            Page 15
 Health Surveys               Activity 4            Page 14   Tackling Risks                Activity 7            Page 15

 DAY 2                                                        DAY 2
 The Trade Union Approach - Workers Know Best!                Organise! Strong Unions = Safe Jobs
 Hazards tree                 Activity 5            Page 14   Organising in the Workplace     Activity    8       Page 17
 Body Mapping                 Activity 6            Page 15   Facilities for Reps             Activity   11       Page 19
 Tackling Risks:              Activity 7            Page 15   Health and Safety Committees Activity      12       Page 21
 Organising in the Workplace  Activity 8            Page 17   Taking up Problems              Activity   13       Page 22
 Building Support:            Activity 9            Page 19
                                                              DAY 3
 DAY 3                                                        Getting Management to Make Improvements
 Organise! Strong Unions = Safe Jobs                          Accidents – investigating        Activity 16        Page 26
 Role of the Union Safety Rep    Activity   10      Page 19   Getting Management to Act        Activity 17        Page 26
 Facilities for Reps             Activity    11     Page 19   Collective Bargaining agreements Activity 18        Page 27
 Health and Safety Committees Activity      12      Page 21   Managing Health and Safety       Activity 19        Page 28
 Taking up Problems              Activity   13      Page 22   Evaluation                       Activity 21        Page 29

 DAY 4
 Getting Management to Make Improvements
 Negotiating                 Activity 14            Page 23
 Accidents – what to do       Activity 15           Page 25
 Accidents – investigating   Activity 16            Page 26

 DAY 5
 Getting Management to Make Improvements
 Getting Management to Act        Activity 17       Page 26
 Collective Bargaining agreements Activity 18       Page 27
 Managing Health and Safety       Activity 19       Page 28
 Action Plan                      Activity 20       Page 29
 Evaluation                       Activity 21       Page 29

                                                         n   o   t   e   s

    One day course programme

    The Trade Union Approach - Workers Know Best!

    Brief Introductions:

    Risk Mapping           Activity 3          Page 14
    Body Mapping           Activity 6          Page 15
    Tackling Risks         Activity 7          Page 15

    Basic health and safety
    orientation module

    The Trade Union Approach - Workers Know Best!

    Brief Introductions:

    Risk Mapping           Activity 3          Page 14
    Tackling Risks         Activity 7          Page 15

                                                                                                                                               n   o   t   e   s
Section            The trade union approach to
                   health and safety

                                                 one hundred thousand workers are killed       living conditions for millions of workers and
                                                 in accidents on site every year. That’s one   their families. To make matters worse,
                                                 person every five minutes. The construction   governments frequently have a permissive,
                                                 industry has a deservedly notorious           passive attitude towards employers who
                                                 reputation as being dirty, difficult and      ignore health and safety laws, even when
                                                 dangerous. Exposure to asbestos kills a       their negligence leads to the death of a                            SECTION   2
                                                 further one hundred thousand people each      worker.                                                             Trade union
                                                                                                                                                                   approach to
                                                 year, most of them worked in the building                                                                         health and
                                                 trades.                                       The IBW encourages and trains trade                                 safety
                                                                                               unionists to represent workers interests
                                                 Tropical loggers stand a one in ten chance    and to work with management to help
                                                 of being killed over a working lifetime.      prevent ill health, injuries and deaths.
                                                 Sawmills are increasingly subcontracted       Responsible employers understand the
                                                 and hazardous, whilst wood working            importance of managing health and safety,
                                                 continues to rely on the workers skills to    and the important contribution to be
                                                 avoid injuries, rather than on any            made by workers’ representatives.
                                                 prevention measures. Wood working
                                                 machinery causes more injuries than           However, not all employers are keen
                                                 machinery in any other sector.                to cooperate. They sometimes see the                                SECTION   3
                                                                                               management of health and safety as
                                                 Workers are killed, injured and made sick     taking too much time, trouble and money.                            for a healthy
                                                 whilst carrying out routine jobs. The         By far the greatest risk for our health and                         and safe
                                                 hazards are well known and so are the         safety, in practice, is the negligence of                           workplace
The IBWW believes that strong                    prevention measures. The overwhelming         employers who do not comply with even                               health and
unions = safe jobs                               majority of “accidents” are absolutely        basic legislation to protect people at work.
                                                 predictable and preventable. They are         Quite simply, they put profits before people.
Two million people die every year because        caused by failure to manage risks, or by
of bad, and very often illegal, working          straightforward negligence on the part of     We know there is a lot of legislation and
conditions. Every year 335,000 people are        the employer. The widespread use of           guidance on health and safety, although
killed in accidents at work. That horrifying     flexible employment practices seriously       trade unions would like to see much
death toll is shocking enough, but it’s only     undermines trade union capacity to            stronger laws. The big problem is that the
the tip of the iceberg. For every fatal injury   organise. Downsizing, outs-ourcing, labour-   laws we do have are so often ignored.
at work, some 2,000 non fatal injuries occur     only sub contracting and informal labour      Deregulation, subcontracting and informal
in hazardous sectors. The number of people       create bad working conditions. Planning       contractual conditions make this situation
around the world who die prematurely             and coordination of health and safety, and    even worse. Workers often have no choice –
from ill health caused by their work is far      compliance with laws is extremely poor.       either they take a dirty and dangerous job,
greater still. About 160 million people have     Greed and corruption is rife. The             or they will have no job at all.
work related diseases.                           consequence of bad management in our
In the construction sector alone, around         sectors is the deterioration of working and

The IBW Global Programme on Health              Organising for improvements in working            Principal lines of activity include:
and Safety                                      conditions in the building and timber trades        Institutional Participation – increase
                                                has always been a fundamental part of the           trade union contribution in tripartite and
The International Federation of Building and    IBW trade union activity all over the world.        bipartite structures on health and safety at
Wood Workers launched their Global Health       The Global Programme aims to help our               international, national, and local levels.
and Safety Programme in 2000. Today, more       affiliates to develop and strengthen their          Participation in the Workplace and
than one hundred trade unions in 65 countries   structure, policy and strategy on occupational      Collective Bargaining - establishment
are involved in the Programme’s activities      health and safety. The Programme organises          of trade union health and safety
to improve conditions for workers in            training for trade unionists to help them           representatives and health and safety
construction, forestry and timber trades        organise effectively on health and safety.          committees, negotiation of company
world wide.                                     This includes institutional participation to        health and safety policies.
                                                improve laws and policy, and participation in       Global Health and Safety Campaigns –
Trade Unions need to organise around            the work-place. We also run campaigns for           including a worldwide ban on all use of
improving working conditions. We need           strong health and safety laws that are properly     asbestos, and for better controls over
workplace representatives who can identify      promoted and enforced; and our affiliates           work with existing asbestos in buildings.
hazards to health and safety, who can get       around the world celebrate International            Education and Training for trade union
the support of workers, and who can take        Workers Memorial Day, a permanent                   representatives to help them organise
forward proposals to management.                organising campaign to highlight the                effectively on health and safety.
                                                preventable nature of workplace accidents
                                                and ill health and to demand social justice.      The Trade Union Approach –
                                                                                                  Workers Know Best!

                                                                                                  For us to develop a trade union approach
                                                                                                  to occupational health and safety, it is
                                                                                                  important for us to begin by talking to
                                                                                                  workers and especially our trade union

                                                                                                                                   n   o   t   e   s

PRE-COURSE ACTIVITY                          ACTIVITY 1                                 ACTIVITY 2

Health and Safety                             Course                                     Hazards at Work:
Survey                                        Introductions                              What workers
                                                                                         and trade union
AIMS:                                         AIMS                                       members think
To help us to                                 To help us to:
u Talk to workers and our trade union         u Find out who is on the course            AIMS
u Obtain their views and other
                                              u Establish broad aims for the course      To help us to:                                                SECTION   2
                                                                                         u Discuss views on health and safety in                       Trade union
  information                                 TASK                                                                                                     approach to
                                                                                           our workplaces                                              health and
u Make sure that the course is relevant to    Talk to another person and make notes      u Develop a trade union approach                              safety
  our situation                               so that you can introduce her or him to
                                              the other people on the course. Your       TASK
TASK                                          partner will introduce you. Use these      In your small group, discuss what
A. Before you come on the course, have a      headings for your discussion:              workers and union members said during
short discussion with a cross section of      u Your name                                the pre-course survey.
people at work. Make a note of their          u Your union position                      Prepare a short report on:
answers to the following questions, and       u How long you have been a union rep       u The main health, safety and welfare
bring your notes along to the course:         u Your workplace                             problems identified
u What are the main health, safety and        u The number of workers you represent      u What they think the employer is                             SECTION   3
  welfare concerns that they have at work?    u Your job                                   doing, and what the Union could do
u What is their employer doing to protect     u Have you attended any health and           on health and safety
                                                                                                                                                       for a healthy
  their health, safety and welfare?             safety courses before?                                                                                 and safe
u Can the Union do more on health, safety     u What would you like to do on this        Elect a spokesperson to report back                           workplace

  and welfare matters?                          course?                                                                                                health and

B. Try to obtain information that you
think will be helpful on the course.
For example:
u Union rulebook
u Union policies on Occupational Health
  and Safety
u Collective Bargaining Agreements relat-
  ing to Occupational Health and Safety
u Safety Committee Minutes
u Company health and safety policy
u Other information you think may be

The Trade Union Approach –                      the resources to effectively police every
Workers Know Best                               workplace. Better legislation, more inspectors,
                                                and stricter enforcement would be an
What causes injuries and ill health?            improvement. However, strong trade union
Some hazards are very well known. For           organisation is still essential to ensure that
example, unguarded machinery, or falls          employers prevent injuries, ill health, and
from heights. Other hazards are not so          deaths. No matter how strict the law is, or
obvious, but may also cause long term           how many inspectors there are, workers and
damage to your health. These include            unions have the direct interest. It is our
dust, chemicals and noise.                      lives, limbs and health that are at stake.

Trade unions believe that injuries and ill      It is the job of trade unions and their
health are caused because employers fail        members to make sure that the employer
to provide a safe and healthy working           keeps to her/his responsibilities. Some of
environment. The employer should provide:       they ways to achieve this are as follows:
  A working environment where hazards are
  identified, removed or properly controlled    Building a strong membership
  before problems occur                         Recruiting workers into the union and
  Safe systems of work                          organising our members around health and
  Full information for workers                  safety can help to build a strong union.
  Good health and safety training programmes    Members have a deep concern about the
  Opportunities for workers through their       health of themselves and their fellow
  unions, to negotiate health and safety        workers. But often health and safety is not a     We need to build on the interest of our
  clauses in collective agreements, and         priority for action. Many workers accept          members where it does exist, and awaken
  participate actively in health and safety     risks and bad conditions as part of the job;      interest where it does not exist. We have to
  at work                                       sometimes they are unaware of the hidden          convince workers that if we have solidarity
                                                hazards; or they are afraid that they will        then we can improve working conditions.
Unions and Health and Safety                    lose their job if they complain.
The best way to improve health and safety                                                         With an informed, interested and involved
standards in the workplace is through trade     Workers often face the direct choice between      membership, the union can be an effective
union organisation. Unions can raise aware-     doing a dirty and dangerous job, or having        vehicle for protecting their health and
ness, put pressure on employers, and            no job at all. When a person is put in that       safety. It is essential that we involve our
campaign for negotiated improvements.           situation, they sometimes choose to ignore        members from the beginning in identifying
                                                the danger of injuries or long term damage        hazards at work. We can do this in a variety
There are laws that say what employers          to health. Denying the existence of the risk      of ways: through surveys; talking to
should do to prevent injuries and ill health.   can give the sensation of dominating the          members and taking note of their
Government Inspectors are given the task of     situation, and allows the person to not           complaints; involving them when we
enforcing the laws. However there are not       show or feel fear. This is why we sometimes       inspect; discussing some of the hidden
enough inspectors, and they do not have         see this “macho culture” in dangerous jobs.       hazards with them and getting their views.

                                                                                                                                                   n   o   t   e   s

Electing Union Health and Safety Reps.            A Trade Union Approach                              Ensure that health and welfare are dealt
Trained reps can make a positive contri-          First and most important, remember that             with as well as the more obvious risks to
bution to the prevention of injuries and ill      it is the employer’s responsibility to make         safety
health. They are aware of the risks in the        the workplace healthy and safe. People              Consider the environmental impact of
workplace, and can work closely with workers      will always try to blame the workers when           work activity, and the hazards created for
to identify risks; investigate complaints,        something goes wrong, but it is the employer        local communities                                                SECTION 2
                                                                                                                                                                       Trade union
injuries and ill health; inspect the work-        who has both the legal respons-ibilities and                                                                         approach to
place; and take action to ensure that the         the authority to take decisions. Since it is the   Unions must                                                       health and
employer eliminates or controls the risks.        employer who is in control, it is the role of       Involve, inform, and educate members to                          safety
                                                  the trade union to insist that the employer         support the union’s drive for healthy and
Organising on Health and Safety                   behaves responsibly. Other key elements of a        safe working conditions
Many trade unions ensure that health              trade union approach to health and safety are:      Work as a united body at all levels in the
and safety is a fundamental part of their                                                             union. Health and safety is no different
activities, and linked to other union activity.   Employers must                                      from any other trade union issue
Many of the issues that trade unions tackle        Eliminate or reduce hazards to workers,            Pressurise the employer to eliminate or
have implications for health and safety.           rather than expecting workers to adapt             control risks. Legal standards may help
Work organisation; contractual arrange-            to the hazards around them                         but we cannot rely on them.
ments; productivity and time pressure;
shift systems and working hours all have
a direct impact on our health and safety.

That is why IBW affiliated unions are
now including health and safety as an
integral part of Collective Bargaining
Agreements that they negotiate with
employers. Many IBW affiliates are
becoming actively involved in our Global
Health and Safety Programme. Activities
include, establishing union health and
safety committees at work; developing union
health and safety policies; training and
supporting the development of strong local
union reps, who are committed to
improving the working conditions for their

The activities in this training course will
help you to use health and safety as your
best organising tool for the workplace.

Workplace Trade Union Representatives            Safety Reps in Action
on Health and Safety                             An important part of the Safety Rep’s job is
Your Union may have a policy about               to carry out regular inspections. It enables
whether there should be specific union reps      the Safety Rep to systematically monitor
for health and safety. Whether you have          the health, safety and welfare of workers.
safety reps, or union reps dealing with          The inspection will allow the safety rep to
health and safety in addition to their other     look at the workplace; work organisation;
functions, the job that they do will be the      talk to workers to get their views; collect
same. In most countries there is some            information; and then make proposals to
legislation about workers representatives,       the employer. The Rep should point out the
although it may not say that they should be      deficiencies in the employer’s systems for
trade union representatives. Check the law       health and safety, and make proposals for       conditions at work – passive research, where
and collective agreements to see what            improvements.                                   we find existing relevant information on
rights exist.                                                                                    health and safety in our workplace, and
                                                 The Safety Rep should inspect the               active research where we generate new
The functions of Safety Representative           workplace on a regular basis. For example,      information through inspections and
include:                                         every month, if it is a hazardous workplace;    surveys at work.
  Talking to members, and taking up their        and perhaps every three months for a lower
  complaints with management                     risk workplace. If there are frequent changes   Passive research includes:
  Involving, informing, and consulting           to the workplace, as in construction and          Publications - from leaflets and magazines
  members on their priorities, and agreeing      forestry, then you may need to inspect daily,     to encyclopaedias as well as web sites and
  strategies for tackling risks                  or weekly.                                        data bases. An important source is
  Systematically inspecting the workplace                                                          manufacturers safety data sheets for
  on a regular basis                             If legal rights for safety representatives        materials, chemical products and
  Investigating accidents, ill health and near   are weak (or do not exist), we should seek        machinery
  misses                                         an agreement with management to carry             Experts in governmental and non
  Consulting with management                     out inspections during working hours.             governmental organisations-especially
  Monitoring the employer’s performance          Remember that it is the employer’s job to         trade unions. Experts should be
  on health and safety                           manage health and safety. Inspections are         independent.
  Making representations, and negotiating        one of the ways that we can check whether         Statistics: national, industry or workplace.
  with the employer to ensure the safety         they are managing it properly. If they are        These include lists of occupational
  and health of workers                          not, then we can bring it to their attention      diseases, accident books, compensation
  Talking to Government health and safety        in writing, and make sure that they then          records, sick leave patterns. There are
  inspectors                                     remedy the problems.                              many important sources of information
  Participating in joint management -                                                              on health and safety which already exist.
  union safety committees in the workplace       Do-it-yourself Research                           We need to tap into these resources to
                                                 in the workplace                                  back us up in negotiating improvements.
                                                 There are two main types of research we           Getting informed by consulting these is
                                                 can use for investigating and improving           passive research.

                                                                                                                                                 n   o   t   e   s

Active research                                                                                Physical Hazards
Means we generate new, independent                                                              Falls from heights, scaffolds, roofs, ladders,
information, specific to our workplace. We                                                      trips and slips
can then use this information to negotiate                                                      Excavation hazards and confined spaces
improvements in our working conditions.                                                         Machinery, entrapment, cuts
There is a variety of DIY techniques we can                                                     Transport (forklifts, hoists, cranes)                                SECTION 2
use in order to do this. They all involve                                                       Electricity                                                          Trade union
                                                                                                                                                                     approach to
looking at the workplace and listening to                                                       Noise and vibration                                                  health and
the workers, and placing value on their                                                         Manual handling and lifting, physically                              safety
opinions.                                                                                       demanding, repetitive work
Active research is Trade Union organising on
health and safety.                                                                             Chemical Hazards
                                                                                                Solvents (paints, laquers, varnishes,
Active research includes:                        Inspection of documents                        strippers, glues)
 Risk mapping of the workplace                   Special Inspections, to concentrate in more    Pesticides (e.g. timber treatments)
 Carrying out inspections                        detail on a particular aspect of the           Dust (wood, cement, MMF, silica, gypsum)
 Surveys and interviews on symptoms and          workplace or working conditions. For           Cement dust and wet mortar (burns and
 hazards                                         example, risk of falls, machinery hazards,     dermatitis)
 Body mapping                                    or chemicals.                                  Asbestos dust
 Meetings                                        Using inspection checklists. Some people       Welding fumes
 Information exchange and training               find it helpful to use a checklist when
                                                 carrying out an inspection, as it gives       Biological Hazards
Inspections                                      them more confidence. Checklists can be         Contaminated water supply
Communication with workers is the key to         particularly useful for special inspections     Malaria
finding out the information we need and to       on specific hazards, and there are some         Dengue
negotiating improvements. It is important        good ones available (see the Construction       Weil’s disease (rats)
that we involve workers at all stages of the     Safety Checklist in the IBW publication         Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis
inspection and make sure we have their           Safety, Health and Welfare on Construction      Increased risk of HIV AIDS when working
support:                                         Sites Pages 91-100 )                            away from home
  finding out their problems and complaints
  before we inspect                             However, not everything can be included in     Psychosocial hazards
  talking to them during the inspection         a checklist. Remember: the most important        Poor work organisation
  reporting back to them after the              thing in an inspection is to observe what is     Stress, being exposed to risks
  inspection                                    really going on and how people are actually      Bullying
There are a number of different types of        working. As we go we need to make notes          Work overload: long hours, shift work, fast
inspection which include:                       and drawings to help us make a report. We        pace, lack of breaks, productivity pressure,
  General Inspection, to check all aspects of   can then organise the investigation and          monotonous work
  working conditions                            information about risks more or less as          Lack of information and training
  Inspection after an accident                  follows:                                         No, or poor, participation and consultation

                                                                                                                                                                    h                                                                 gd


                                                                                                                                                                     ach d

ACTIVITY 3                                ACTIVITY 4                                 ACTIVITY 5                                                                                                                                                 dust



                                                                                                                                                                                                                 is e
 Risk mapping                              Health Surveys                             H a z a r d s Tr e e                                   du

 AIMS                                      AIMS:                                      AIMS:                                                                             dust                      g
 To help us to:                            Help us to find information on health                                                                                                          hazard                                            m
                                                                                      Help us to find the root causes of hazards                              ine
                                                                                                                                                          ach d                                                         n                  hazach
 u Identify priority risks                 at work                                                                                                       mazar

                                                                                      at work


 u Develop plans to deal with the risks                                                                                                                                                             ng
                                           Design a Survey                                                                                                                                     haz
                                                                                      TASK:                                                     oi

 TASK                                                                                                                                             se
                                           TASK: In small groups:                     We have a drawing of a tree, with leaves,
 u In small groups, draw a typical work
                                           u Choose a health hazard – perhaps         branches, a trunk and roots.
   activity/ workplace with which you
   are all familiar (your trainer may        paint, varnish, or dust
                                           u Where do you find existing               1. Choose any hazard from your workplace.
   give you a photo or drawing to work

                                                                                      It could be dust or noise or machinery or


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            no ma


                                           u What are the main health problems        falls, whatever you think is important.


                                                                                                                                                                                                 faulty wiring
 u Put in as much detail as possible:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 chi n
                                                                                      2. On the drawing of the tree, mark the

   people, tools, materials etc.             workers might have?

                                                                                      hazard where the leaves are.

 u When the map is complete, mark          u Write a short list of questions you

                                             will ask workers about their             (The leaves are the main part of the tree
   the Risk Factors on the drawings
                                             experience of working with these         that we see. At work we see the hazards
 u We will then look at the drawings
                                                                                      and the health problems.)

                                                                                                                                                                                               no p n
   and discuss the risks you have            substances.


                                                                                      3.WHY do we have this problem? Write up                                                                       r        o
   identified ?                            u How will you collect the                                                                                                                             ag ess ure
                                                                                      the causes on the branches.                                                                                   ementt
                                           u How can you use this information to      (Perhaps equipment is old, or we don’t
                                             improve working conditions?              have information or training)

                                                                                                                                                                                    no t o a
                                                                                      4. WHY has it not been fixed? What is the

                                                                                      real problem? Write up the causes on the                                                          fi x ney

                                                                                      trunk or roots. Maybe management                                                                    ine
                                                                                      doesn’t want to spend money. Perhaps
                                          Health Surveys                              they don’t care.
                                                                                      5. WHY do we have this problem – what

                                                                                                                                                                        ma a l
                                          If one person has a bad back or             are really the root causes of our problems?


                                          constant headaches then it’s probably       Write them on the roots.                                                             o wne care
                                          an individual health problem.                                                                                                         priority
                                                                                      Lack of respect for workers. Government
                                                                                      doesn´t enforce laws. Workers don’t stick
                                          If everyone or several people doing the
                                                                                      together to demand their rights.                                                       un
                                          same job have similar health problems                                                                    re   people                 ion
                                                                                      Nobody really asked management to fix                   befo                                       not
                                          it’s almost certainly occupational                                                              its                                                pus
                                                                                                                                      rof                                                       hin

                                                                                                                                                                          laws no
                                                                                      the problem, lack of organisation, low        p                                                              go
                                                                                      membership, no management                                                                                                                 eal
                                          Follow your instincts and follow up with                                                                                                                                                     th
                                                                                                                                                                                 en                                                       a   nd

                                          some detective work                         accountability (roots)                                                                       fo rced                                                       saf

                                                                                          n   o   t   e   s
ACTIVITY 6                                   ACTIVITY 7

 Body Mapping                                 Ta c k l i n g R i s k s
 AIMS:                                        AIMS
 Help us to find information at work          To help us to:
                                              • Identify priority risks
 TASK:                                        • Develop plans to deal with the risks
 We have some coloured stickers

 u We need volunteers who have aches
                                              In your small group choose a
                                                                                                              SECTION 2
                                                                                                              Trade union
   and pains they think are caused by         priority health and safety risk from                            approach to
                                              one of your workplaces.                                         health and
   their job - especially from lifting, or
   from repetitive tasks                      Then use the Action Plan which
 u Volunteers will mime this task for         follows to decide what needs to be
   some minutes at their normal pace of
                                              Elect a spokesperson to report back.
 u The rest of us can ask them questions
   about the job, and we place the
   stickers on their bodies where we
   think they have pains
 u The volunteers tell us if we’re right
 u What are the main things, or risk
   factors, that are causing these

Ta c k l i n g R i s k s
Action Plan
 What are the facts
 Which of your members are
 What are the apparent causes
 What are the real causes
 Is it a short term or a long-term

 what information do we need
 what do workers and members
 what does our union say
 what do our agreements say
 will national law or international
 standards help?

Plan for Action
 How can we involve workers and
 our members
 What are our short and long term
 How should we take up the issue
 with management
 What pressure and arguments can
 we use to win improvements?

                                                                                                            n   o   t   e   s

          Organising for a Healthy

          and Safe Workplace

                                                               ACTIVITY 8
                 Good Organisation
                 We have given some initial thought to how      Organising in
                 we can tackle priority risks, and we have      the workplace
                 begun to look at the trade union approach
                 to health and safety. If we want to achieve    AIMS
                 successes and improve health and safety        To help us to:
                 standards, we must be effectively organised    u Share experience of trade union
                 as a trade union. This section is all about      organisation in the workplace
                 getting organised.
                                                                u Provide ideas for improvement
                 Some of the key factors necessary for good     TASK
                 union organisation for health and safety       In your small workplace group discuss and
                 include:                                       provide a summary report on the points
                 Getting workers’ and members’ support
                                                                u The number of people working at your                          SECTION  3
                 Without the support of workers and trade                                                                       Organising
                                                                  workplace, and the percentage in the
                 union members, union reps can become                                                                           for a healthy
                 isolated, and it is difficult to get things      union                                                         and safe
                 done. Employers are more likely to act if      u The way the union keeps workers and                           workplace
                                                                  members informed and involved on                              health and
                 they know that workers are well informed,                                                                      safety
                                                                  occupational health and safety issues
                                                                u Do trade union representatives have a
                                                                  special responsibility for health and
                                                                u The way union representatives co-
                                                                  ordinate their approach to health and
                                                                  safety matters
                                                                u Is your employer organised for health
                                                                  and safety and preventing injuries/ill
                                                                u How do you think you can convince more
                                                                  workers to join the union?
                                                                Elect a spokesperson to report back.

                                                     Make sure that members know what you
                                                     have done about health and safety
                                                     problems, and what the employer’s
                                                     response is
                                                     Always report back after meetings, and
                                                     decide on the next steps with your

                                                    Role of Union Health and Safety
                                                    Your Union will normally have a policy
                                                    about whether there should be specific
                                                    union reps for health and safety. Whether
                                                    you have safety reps, or union reps dealing
                                                    with health and safety in addition to their
                                                    other functions, the job that they do will be
                                                    the same.
                                                    The job of safety representatives includes:
                                                     Talking to members, and taking up their
                                                      complaints with management
     Support                                         Involving, informing, and consulting
     We have discussed a number of ways we try        members on their priorities, and agreeing
     to ensure that we have the full support of       strategies for tackling risks
     workers and our members. You may have           Systematically inspecting the workplace
     mentioned some of these below. Add other         on a regular basis
     ideas that you have to the list:                Investigating accidents, ill health and near
       Involve members in identifying risks           misses
        through your workplace inspections           Consulting with management
       Ask workers about health effects and risks    Monitoring the employer’s performance on
        that they think are important                 health and safety
       Decide on priorities and strategies in        Making representations, and negotiating
        consultation with members                     with the employer to ensure the safety
       Take the time to talk to members,              and health of workers
        particularly if they are not convinced       Talking to Government health and safety
        about the trade union approach to health      inspectors
        and safety                                   Participating in joint management -union
       Hold regular meetings with members to          safety committees in the workplace
        keep them informed

                                                                                                                                           n   o   t   e   s

 ACTIVITY 9                                       ACTIVITY 10                                   ACTIVITY 11

  Building support                                 The role of the                               Facilities for the
  with workers and                                 union rep on health                           Health and Safety
  members                                          and safety                                    Representative
  AIMS                                             AIMS                                          AIMS
  To help us to:                                   To help us to:                                To help us to:
  u Consider the ways we involve workers           u Share experiences of dealing with           u Identify facilities needed by the
    and our members                                  health and safety                             Safety Rep
  u Share new ideas for getting support            u Identify the role of the union rep on       u Draw up an action plan to improve
                                                     health and safety                             our facilities
                                                   TASK                                          TASK
  In your small group:
                                                   In your small group, discuss:                 In your small group:
  u List the ways that you currently
                                                   u Whether you have specific union reps        Discuss the facilities that you have in
    consult, involve and inform workers                                                          the workplace, to help you to do your
                                                     for health and safety, or do existing
    and trade union members, on                                                                  job as a safety representative, and the
                                                     union reps take on this responsibility
    occupational health and safety                                                               extra facilities that you need. This
                                                     as well as their other duties?
  u Identify ways you could improve                                                              should include facilities from your
                                                   u What role you and other union
    communications.                                                                              employer and your union.
                                                     representatives play in the
  Elect a spokesperson to report back.                                                           u List the facilities you have                                         3
                                                     workplace on occupational health                                                                          SECTION
                                                                                                 u List the facilities you need                                Organising
                                                     and safety matters.
                                                                                                 u Prepare a short action plan of how                          for a healthy
                                                   u Draw up a list of the most                                                                                and safe
                                                                                                   you intend to obtain the better
                                                     important functions of the safety                                                                         workplace
Facilities for Union Health and Safety                                                             facilities. Include the arguments                           health and
Representatives                                                                                    that you would use in discussions                           safety
                                                   Elect a spokesperson to report back
The safety representative plays a crucial role
in helping ensure the health and safety of
his/her colleagues. To do their job
effectively, it is really important for the
safety rep to have the proper facilities. The    Manufacturer’s and supplier’s information
legislation is often very general and may not    Secure filing cabinets for storing
place a legal duty on employers to provide       correspondence, inspection records, and
union reps with facilities for health and        confidential information
safety. It is important that trade unions        Access to internal and external telephones
negotiate for these facilities in a Collective   A room and desk at the workplace
Bargaining Agreement. In addition, we need       A camera
to be campaigning for improved laws.             Access to a photocopier
                                                 Time off with pay to carry out the functions
Some of the facilities that we could             Time off with pay for training
negotiate for include:

Health & Safety Committees                     Many unions also have collective agreements    Functions of Committee
                                               which establish the Health and Safety          There are many functions that may be
Local Union H&S Committees                     Committees (composition, authority and         carried out by the safety committee, either
Establishing a local union health and safety   functions) as well as the functions of the     specified in legislation or in collective
committee is the first step in a union’s       Trade Union Safety Reps, Safety Policies and   bargaining agreements. Typically, their
health and safety programme. Doing this        Prevention Programmes                          functions are to:
does not require either government action                                                       Conduct regular inspections and surveys
or the the involvement of the employer         A joint union/management safety                  on safety and health
                                               committee can be a good way of acting in         Respond to workers concerns on OHS
The role of the local committee                partnership with the employer, and solving       Make reports and recommendations to
  Respond to worker concerns on h&s            outstanding problems. However, it is most        improve compliance with law and
  Initiate action on hazards                   important that health and safety activity is     standards
  Educate rank and file members on h&s         not just restricted to the health and safety     Propose policies, work plans, projects and
  Represent workers in negotiations with       committee. Union representatives will need       activities to reduce accidents and illness
 management, and accompany inspectors          to decide whether they want a safety             Propose and organise training
  If a joint management-union committee        committee and how it should function,            programmes for the workforce
 exists, safety representatives should be      before any approach is made to the               Promote and support activities on OHS
 assigned to it from the local committee.      employer.                                        Follow up progress of proposals
                                                                                                Report on results achieved, point out
Members and Meetings                           Composition                                      obstacles and problems
 All work areas should be represented          Laws vary, size depends on number of             Investigate, record and report on all
 Members should be interested, concerned       workers, shifts, activities and locations        accidents, ill health and near misses
 and willing to learn more about h&s             Committees must be balanced                    Propose regulations on health and safety
 Willing to meet once a month and to             There should never be less than two            Organise occupational health services
 communicate with workers                        elected worker reps, and management
 Meetings discuss workers’ concerns              reps must have authority to represent        Union reps’ role on the Committee
 Possible solutions                              the company                                   Represent the interests and concerns of
 Approaches to management negotiations           Chair should rotate                           workers and promote the union policies
 Ongoing concerns and progress reports to        Meet once a month and after accidents         Conduct inspections, interviews, surveys
 union                                                                                         and meetings with workers, inform,
                                               Authority                                       communicate.
Joint labour-management health                  Executive decision making and budget           Identify hazards, make proposals and
and safetys committees                          Advisory / can make recommendations,           negotiate improvements
Most countries have legislation on              but no guarantee the company will              Push for high standards, ensure
committees for big firms [50 + employees]       comply                                         compliance with legal duties
with legal composition, authority and           Company should consider and give               Make formal complaints
functions. Worker Safety Reps have strong       reasons if they do not accept proposals        Assist with representation and
legal rights.                                   Procedure to resolve differences               compensation
                                                Collective bargaining demands

                                                                                                                                              n   o   t   e   s

                                                                                                    ACTIVITY 12

                                                                                                     Joint Health &
                                                                                                     Safety Committee

                                                                                                     To help us to:
                                                                                                     u Think about the benefits of a joint
                                                                                                       health & safety committee
                                                                                                     u Decide who should sit on it, and
                                                                                                       what is should do
What makes a committee work?                       Do they really make improvements?
 Have a plan and objectives and actively           Is the committee just a talking shop?
 pursue them with the broadest support           Worker confidence in the committee
 possible                                          Do workers believe it’s useful?                   A. If you don’t have a committee.
 Communicate and educate to get that               Do workers see results?                           In your small group, discuss the
 support                                         Availability of records.                            formation of a joint safety committee.
 Need facilities, time off, info and training      Is there transparency about decisions?            Include in your discussions:                                 SECTION  3
 Agendas in advance, proper minutes,             Limitations                                         u What does the law and collective                           Organising
                                                                                                                                                                  for a healthy
 decisions                                         Low union density, weak position of unions          agreement say about safety                                 and safe
 Prepare to negotiate. It’s not a discussion       Lack of recognition of TU from employer             committees                                                 workplace
 it’s a collective bargaining session between      Informal sectors, subcontracted labour and        u The advantages and disadvantages                           health and
 workers and management.                           so called self employed, hard to recruit and                                                                   safety
                                                                                                       of forming a committee
 Prepare the case, information, facts, support     organise
                                                                                                     u Who should sit on it?
 Anticipate management arguments                   Non compliance with law and hostility
                                                                                                     u What it should do?
 List the arguments you will use and stick         from employers
 to the strong points                              Passivity and permissiveness from                 u How often it should meet?
 Aim high and have your minimum                    government authorities
 demands                                         Possibilities                                       OR TASK
                                                   Pick winners. Select workplaces where we          B. If you already have a committee
Does the committee work?                           have the best chance of organising.               u Do you think it is effective?
Try this checklist:                                Recruit workers into the trade union              u How do think it could be improved?
  Level of management support.                     Be positive about the contribution that           Elect a spokesperson to report back,
  Do they provide information promptly?            trade unions can make to prevention of            with the main points from your group
  Do they give facilities, time off training?      accidents and ill health - solutions, training    discussions.
  Are they responsive to worker proposals?         Use the legal framework
Responding to problems.                            Use moral arguments
  Do they prioritise?                              Use argument of economic benefits

4         Getting Management                           to

          Make improvements

          Union Health and Safety
          Representatives’ Role

          As we have already seen, the most
          important job of the health and
          safety representative is to take up
          workplace health, safety and welfare
          problems, on behalf of the members.
          Each problem that the safety
          representative tackles will be
          different. However, the method of
          approach will be similar.

          ACTIVITY 13

           Ta k i n g u p H e a l t h
           and Safety
           To help us to:                                   The following section outlines a systematic
                                                            approach to tackling health and safety
           u Identify key steps to take when
                                                            problems. As in Activity 7 when we looked
             taking up problems on safety
                                                            at Tackling Risks, we use the Problem-
           u Develop a systematic approach                  Information-Plan
           TASK:                                            Problem
           In your small group discuss a health             What are the Facts?
           and safety problem. Make a                       Talk to people, check the workplace, equip-
           checklist of all the steps that you              ment, and the systems of working for the
           would take to try to resolve the                 presence of risk factors. Find out as much as
           problem.                                         you can:
                                                              Talk to workers to find out if anyone else
                                                              has a similar problem
                                                              Obtain information from management.

                                                                                                                                               n   o   t   e   s

 Does the employer recognise the problem?        developed policies on safety issues.         response is not favourable
 If so, have they done enough? If not, what      Check what your union’s policies say         Put the matter in writing
 will happen when the union raises it            What does the employer’s safety policy       Use the grievance procedure if necessary
 Obtain information from maintenance             say? It may say for example that, vehicles   Make sure that agreed improvements are
 workers, and maintenance records                should be maintained on a regular basis,     made
 Use information from suppliers                  and should not be used if they are not       Keep members informed of progress on
 Study accident records                          roadworthy                                   the problem, win their support, and use it
 Use official information, and legal             What does the agreement (CBA) say?           to put pressure on the employer
 standards                                       There may be agreements about safe working   Keep other union officials informed and
                                                 practices; management responsibilities;      involved
What are the causes?                             procedures for handling safety problems.
Management often put problems down to            Union representatives should ensure that
workers’ carelessness and apathy, when the       management stick to agreements               ACTIVITY 14
real problem is one of defective equipment;      What does the law say? There are National
poor systems of work; inadequate training;       laws, ILO Conventions and Standards laid      Negotiating in a
poor supervision; or the employer wanting        down for safe working.
the job done quickly, irrespective of the        Check what they say
                                                                                               Safety Committee
health and safety consequences.
One-off or broader problems?                    Union aims                                     To help us to:
Does the problem raise broader issues?          Before you raise an issue with management      • Practise negotiating skills
For example:                                    you must work out what you and your            • Use a safety committee productively
  Is just one vehicle faulty, or is the whole   members want. This will depend upon:
  system of maintenance inadequate?               What results you and your members want
  Is a single chemical a problem, or do           to achieve                                   The main group will be divided into
  we need to look at the whole procedure          Trade Union strength                         two. Role-play safety committees will
  for introducing new chemicals, getting                                                       be formed comprising of
  information, training, storage and use?       Take stock                                     management and union reps. The
                                                From the information that you have             union side will decide on priority risks
Investigation                                   gathered draw conclusions about:               they would like to discuss with
In dealing with problems it is the safety         the degree of risk                           management. When they have
representative’s role to look in detail at a      the location of risk                         notified management, adequate time
whole range of matters. The different ways        what has been done so far?                   will be given to prepare, and then a                                SECTION  4
of investigating include asking:                                                                                                                                   Improving
                                                                                               negotiation will take place. The                                    the union
  What do my trade union members want?          Deciding on action
                                                                                               Chairperson from each union side, will                              health and
  They may have ideas about what should         What needs to be done next?                                                                                        safety reps
  be done and their support will be vital if     Check on what is already being done           report back to the other half of the
  management does not respond                    Raise the issue with the employer             group after the negotiation.
  What does my union say? Unions have            Meet a more senior manager, if the initial

The union health and safety                        some of the typical managerial failures
representative and accidents                       that cause injuries and ill health:
                                                     failure to provide information and training
All accidents have causes, they do not just          for workers and supervisors
happen. The causes are many, but if risks are        failure to properly maintain plant and
not removed or controlled, then injuries and ill
                                                     inadequate or inappropriate safety devices
health will happen. Management often blames
                                                     allowing unsafe practices
workers, for accidents that occur at the work-       unsafe or no systems of work
place. But accidents are more often caused by        failure to coordinate activities and (sub)
a failure of management to take the action           contractors
necessary to protect workers’ health and safety.     encouraging excessive working hours
                                                     lack of safety policies, safe systems, and
They are not genuinely accidents, because they       safe work procedures.
are foreseeable, known risks which can be            failure to comply with legal standards
prevented. Often there is even legislation           reluctance to spend money on health and
which obliges the employer to prevent these          safety or improving conditions
                                                     bullying and pressure to increase
risks, but they do not take the preventive
                                                     Technical equipment: Lack of appropriate
                                                     equipment, or poorly designed equipment.
It is important for union representatives to         For example, improvised scaffolding with
know how to investigate accidents, so that the       no edge protection. Machinery that is
actual cause can be established, and the             not guarded so that production is speeded
appropriate corrective action taken. We can          up.
also represent the person concerned and their        Human error: The employer’s favourite
family to protect their job and income, and to       excuse and propaganda weapon. Some
make sure they have help with treatment and          accidents may be partly caused by human
compensation.                                        error, often due to lack of information and
                                                     training about risks and how to prevent
What are the causes of accidents?                    them. Often due also to productivity
There are a number of factors that lead to           pressure and fatigue. But if the employer
accidents in the workplace. These are all to         manages health and safety in a proper
do with managerial failure. Employers have           manner, and puts preventive measures in
legal duties to protect the Health, Safety           place, then there is much less scope for
and Welfare of workers.. In practice they            human error. Humans are not machines,
often do not take the time and trouble to            we get tired and we lose our concentration,
do this, and they put more value on profits          and we make mistakes. Proper prevention
than on people. The following list represents        measures take that into account.

                                                                                                  n   o   t   e   s


 Accidents at work –
 what to do

 To help us to:
 u Take the appropriate steps when an
   accident occurs

 In your small group, make a list of
 the steps that a safety representative
 would need to take in the event of an
 accident occurring at the workplace.
 Look at the list below, and add your
 extra ideas to it.
 Elect a spokesperson to report back.

A union representative has a lot to do in the
event of an accident. She or he should:
  Encourage members to tell health and          Ensure that the victim is attended to and
  safety representatives that an accident       if necessary convey him/her to the nearest
  has occurred                                  Medical Centre for attention
  Get an agreement that health and safety       Inform the union without delay.
  representatives are notified, and are able    If the potential for a further accident is
  to leave their place of work to investigate   clear, then the job should be suspended
  Get to the scene of the accident as soon      until it is put right.
  as you can, making sure that it is safe to    In the event of a very serious or fatal
  approach                                      accident, if possible the union should
  Ensure that nothing is moves or altered       organise some form of stoppage as a mark                                       4
  until the accident is properly investigated   of respect to the victim, and as an                                   Improving
  Make sure that the following is recorded:     indication that this is not acceptable.                               the union
  - date                                                                                                              health and
  - time                                                                                                              safety reps
  - name of victim
  - details of the accident

ACTIVITY 16                                                                                                                                      ACTIVITY 17
                                                                                               Specific information to obtain
 Investigating                                                                                  Occupation-what work was the injured              Getting
 Accidents                                                                                       person doing?                                    Management to Act
                                                                                                Sex – state whether male or female
 AIMS                                                                                           Age – exact if possible, otherwise approximate    AIMS
 To help us to:                                                                                 Date – show date of occurrence                    To help us to:
                                                                                                Place – give specific location                    • Share ideas on how we can get
 u Agree why accidents should be
                                                                                                Type – state type of accident                     management to act
                                                                                                Equipment – indicate materials, machines
 u nvestigate accidents thoroughly                                                                                                                • Decide on the most effective ones
                                                                                                Names and addresses of witnesses
 TASK:                                                                                                                                            TASK
 In your small group:                                                                          Other information needed                           In your small group:
 u List the reasons why we should                                                               Take photographs, if possible                     • Share experiences about the ways that
   investigate accidents                                                                         Make sketches, and take measurements, if         you have used to get management to
 u Identify the information that we need                                                         possible                                         resolve health and safety problems
   to gather following the accident                                                             Interview witnesses and other workers             • List the ways and explain which you
 Elect a spokesperson to report back                                                            Interview the injured worker                      think is the most effective.
                                                                                                Find out if there have been previous              Elect a spokesperson to report back
                                                                                                 accidents or complaints, from the Accident
                                                                                                 Report Book, or grievances handled, or
                                           We have all seen that “accidents” often               safety rep’s inspection reports
                                           have almost exactly the same cause time              Check legal standards and agreements
                                                                                                Collate all the information obtained; analyse    Getting Management to Make
                                           after time. It is very important that
                                                                                                 it; and prepare a report for union and          Improvements
                                           management takes steps to avoid the
                                                                                                 management, with your recommendations           As trade unionists, we try to ensure that
                                           recurrence of accidents at workplaces. In
                                                                                                                                                 employers effectively manage occupational
                                           order to achieve this, it is necessary to carry
                                                                                               Investigating accidents is one of the             health and safety. As we have seen, some-
                                           out a thorough investigation into the causes
                                                                                               essential jobs for a safety representative.       times managers are reluctant; unwilling; or
                                           of accidents, to prevent future ones.
                                                                                               It provides informed opinion on why               unable to do this. Often management says
                                                                                               preventive and control measures failed.           that there is no serious problem, or they say
                                           In carrying out an investigation of an
                                                                                               We can then ensure that the employer takes        it would take too much money, time and
                                           accident, the following checklist will assist us.
                                                                                               the appropriate steps to stop such an             trouble to prevent risks.
                                           Important information about the accident            accident occurring again.
                                                                                                                                                 In this section, we will look at some ways the
                                            Who is involved?
                                                                                               The rep should also contact the union             Union can put pressure on management, to
                                            When did it happen?
                                                                                               straight away to inform them of the               do what they should. Then we will look at
                                            Where did it happen?
                                                                                               accident, and to seek help with the victim’s      some aspects of health and safety
                                            What happened?
                                                                                               legal rights.                                     management.
                                            Why did it happen?

                                                                                                                                             n   o   t   e   s

                                            We will now look at collective bargaining
C      H E C K L I S T                      agreements and safety committees in a
    for getting management to act.          little more depth.

You will have discussed several ways of                                                     ACTIVITY 18
getting management to act, in the above     Collective Bargaining Agreements
activity. Add your ideas to the checklist   on Health and Safety                             Collective
below.                                      Legal standards on occupational health           Bargaining
                                            and safety are often very weak. Even where
I Raise issues in writing with                                                               Agreements
                                            there is good legislation on paper, it can be
  management, make sure that you
                                            a big problem to get it applied in practice.
  have your members support, and a          We can, and do, campaign for improved            AIMS
  clear time limit agreed                   health and safety laws. But we still need        To help us to:
I If a manager will not resolve a           good union organisation and agreements           u Decide what should be in a CBA
  problem, speak to a more senior           at the workplace. Currently, occupational        u Select priorities for a CBA
  manager                                   health and safety is given very little
                                            prominence in collective bargaining              TASK
I Prepare your case well and negotiate
                                            agreements. Where we do have clauses on          In your small group:
  firmly with management
                                            health and safety in CBA’s, emphasis has         u “Brainstorm” all the things that you feel
I Use special safety procedures, that       been placed upon personal protective               ought to be included in a collective
  resolve safety problems quickly           equipment and compensation. A much
                                                                                               bargaining agreement on health and
I Ensure that time limits are adhered to    wider and detailed Collective Bargaining
I Use the grievance or disputes             Agreement can help us to achieve a lot in
                                            the workplace.                                   u In co-operation with all the other
                                                                                               groups, select one priority from your list
I Consider calling in Government
                                            A collective bargaining agreement on OHS           and agree the content of that aspect of
  Health and Safety Inspectors, where                                                          the agreement
                                            could include the following:
  there is a clear breach of the law, or     Formation of safety committees (including       Pass the content to the group next to you
  there is an obvious and serious risk.       their composition, authority and functions)    for their comments, while you comment
I Use joint health and safety                The rights and functions of a Health and        on their work. Make any necessary
  committees to highlight sections of         Safety Representative, including the           amendments. We will then copy each
  the workplace where it is difficult to      facilities to which they are entitled          group’s work for each participant.
  get health and safety problems             The rights to specified information and
                                              training for workers
                                             Rights to inspect the workplace and
I Negotiate Collective Bargaining
                                              consult with workers
  Agreements, on occupational health                                                        Safety Policy
                                             Right of all workers to refuse to undertake
                                                                                            Safe Systems of Work
  and safety                                  dangerous work
                                                                                            Prior agreement on work changes and                                  SECTION  4
I Ensure other union officials are kept      Safety Rep’s right to stop an activity in                                                                           Improving
                                                                                            the introduction of new substances and
  informed, and will give you their           case of imminent danger                                                                                            the union
                                                                                            equipment                                                            health and
  support if it is necessary                 Consulting Government factory inspectors
                                                                                            Occupational health services;                                        safety reps
                                              and union full time officers                                                                                       role
                                                                                            Special safety procedures for resolving
                                             Time-off for reps to participate in training
                                              and other union functions

                                           Management’s Responsibilities                                                                      Management Policy
 Managing health
 and safety                                Management responsibilities are covered by                                                         A safety policy should be:
                                           International Conventions and National Laws                                                           in writing
 AIMS                                      on Occupational Health and Safety.                                                                    regularly revised
                                                                                                                                                 properly communicated to workers
 To help us to:
                                           These responsibilities include to:                                                                    describe arrangements for putting it into
 u Share experiences of the way that
                                             comply with national laws                                                                           effect
   management organise OHS                   promote and maintain safe working                                                                It must:
 u Explain the advantages of safe            conditions and processes                                                                            identify hazards
   working conditions                        provide adequate facilities                   create a culture and climate that promotes            assess risks
                                             provide training, education and instruction   employee involvement and commitment at all            set standards
 TASK                                        provide information on work, systems and      levels.                                               show management commitment to
 In your small group discuss:                processes                                                                                           actively putting it into effect
 u The role that your management has         encourage and co-operate with union           Planning and implementing                             outline the structures set up to achieve
   played in controlling risks to health     representatives; safety committees; and       Planning is essential for the effective               the objectives.
                                             Government Inspectors                         implementation of any policy. It involves:            establish clear procedures for serious and
   and safety in your workplaces
                                             provide protective clothing and materials,      setting clear objectives                            imminent danger at work.
 u The advantages of safe and healthy
                                             where risks cannot be removed                   developing and maintaining performance              provide comprehensive and relevant
   working conditions to the employer,                                                       standards and systems control
                                             install safety devices                                                                              health and safety information to workers.
   and to the worker.                        act promptly on imminent dangers reported       defining, developing and maintaining policies
 Elect a spokesperson to report back         encourage participation and involvement of      putting health and safety as a factor in all     Management can improve its performance
                                             all employees and managers.                     business decisions.                              on OHS by:
                                                                                           As part of planning and implementing,               Carrying out regular inspections
                                           The key elements of successful heath and        employers should identify risks; evaluate risks;    Establishing procedures
                                           safety management are set out as follows:       identify the steps that are necessary to            Carrying out regular monitoring and
                                                                                           effectively remove or reduce the risks; and         evaluation
                                           Policy development                              monitor performance.                                Promoting health and safety training
                                           Effective health and safety management                                                              activities
                                           demands a comprehensive Health and Safety       Measuring performance                               Prompt investigation of risks and
                                           Policy that conveys the general intentions,     Maintaining and improving performance               accidents
                                           approach and objectives of an organisation.     against pre-determined plans and standards,         Active control/prevention, and sanctions
                                                                                           leads management to continually improve.            for breaches
                                           Organising                                                                                          Advertising and campaigning on health
                                           Organising is the process of designing and      Auditing and reviewing performance                  and safety at work
                                           establishing the responsibilities of managers   These activities enable management to               Making adequate budgetary allocation
                                           and individuals, thus creating the necessary    evaluate performance, and take appropriate          Early payments of compensation
                                           structures to manage health and safety          measures to further develop their health and        Consulting safety representatives
                                           effectively. Management should be able to       safety policies.                                    regularly.

                                                                                                                                     n   o   t   e   s

                                               ACTIVITY 20                                 ACTIVITY 21
Action Plan
Here is an activity to help you use what you    Yo u r s h o r t t e r m                    Evaluation
have learned on this course.                    action plan
                                                AIMS                                        To help us to:
                                                To help us to:                              u Find out to what extent the aims of
                                                u Work out a plan for future activity         the workshop have been achieved
                                                  on health and safety                      u Decide how the effectiveness of this
                                                u Identify the steps that we can take to      workshop could be increased.
                                                  involve, educate and inform our
                                                  members                                   TASK
                                                u Think about the support we will need      Discuss the following questions and
                                                                                            summarise your group’s view on a
                                                TASK                                        chart:
                                                Draw up in outline:                         u Taking the workshop as a whole, did
                                                u Your own personal action plan for           the different sessions meet your
                                                  the next six months. Be realistic but       needs and interests?
                                                  try to achieve some real changes.         u Which sessions or parts of the
                                                  Keep the plan in writing so you can         workshop were most valuable to you
                                                  refer back to it after the course.          and why?
                                                u A report back for your members            u Which sessions or parts of the
                                                  identifying: the way that this              workshop were of less or no interest
                                                  workshop dealt with their responses         to you and why?
                                                  to the pre-workshop members’              u What suggestions would you want to
                                                  survey; what you have learned from          make for future workshops?
                                                  the workshop; and how it will help to     u Is there any other comment you
                                                  tackle risks at work.                       would like to make?
                                                u A report back to your local union         Elect a spokesperson to report back.
                                                  committee, with suggestions for
                                                  future action on health and safety.
                                                                                                                                                         SECTION  4
                                                Prepare a report back to the rest of the                                                                 Improving
                                                course with your main points.                                                                            the union
                                                                                                                                                         health and
                                                                                                                                                         safety reps

BWI                                                                                                                  Resources
Building and Wood Workers International   Latin America                              Europe                                   Three really good worker friendly              The Baltic Sea Network on Occupational
54, rte des Acacias,                                                                                                          resources are:                                 Health and Safety
CH -1227 Carouge (GE), Switzerland        ICM                                        European Building and Wood Workers                                                      Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Tel: +41 22 827 37 77 -                   Vía Fernández de Córdoba,                  International                            Hazards and Workers Health International       Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A
Fax: +41 22 827 37 70                     Vista Hermosa, local # 25, Planta Alta,    Rue Royale 45                            Newsletter (WHIN)                              FIN-00250 Helsinki, Finland
E-mail:                    Apartado 4518,                             1000 Brussels                            PO Box 199, Sheffield, S1 4YL, United          Tel: + 1 358 (0) 9 47 471
Website:                    Panama 5, Republic of Panama               Belgium                                  Kingdom                                        Fax: + 1 358 (0) 9 4747
                                          Phone: +507 260 23 92 / 3681               Tel. +322 227 10 40                      Tel: + 1 44 1142678936                         Internet:
                                          Fax: +507 260 63 54                        Fax +322 219 82 28                       E-mail:           
                                          E-mail:                      E-mail:                     Internet:
Africa                                                                               Web:                       Internet:      Canadian Centre for Occupational
                                          Middle East                                                                                                                        Health and Safety (CCOHS)
BWI Southern Africa Project Office                                                   BWI South East Europe Project Office     The Center to Protect Workers Rights           250 Main Street East
P.O. Box 30772                            BWI Middle East Project Office             "Uzundjovska" str. 12                    8484 Georgia Avenue, suite 1000                Hamilton, Ontario L8N 1H6, Canada
Braamfontein 2017                         Colombia Center, Bloc B, 4th Floor         Sofia 1000                               Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, USA             Tel: + 1 800 668 4284 (inside Canada) or
South Africa                              Mazraa - Ahmed Takieddine Street           Bulgaria                                 Tel: + 1 301 578 8500                           + 1 905 570 8094 (outside Canada)
Tel: +27 11 339 4417                      2048-1305                                  Phone: +359 2 986 32 56                  Fax: + 1 301 578 8572                          Fax: + 1 905 572 2206
Fax: +27 11 339 3910                      Beirut, Lebanon                            Fax: +359 2 986 32 56                    E-mail:                          E-mail:
E-mail:                    Phone: +961 1 70 07 57                     Mobile: +359 8 88 90 11 88               Internet:                         Internet:
                                          Mobile: +961 361 63 85                     E-mail:
BWI West Africa Education Office          Fax: +961 1 70 07 57                                                                European Trade Union Technical Bureau          Canadian Union of Public Employees
01 Boîte Postale 1519                     E-mail:            Nordic Federation of Building and Wood   for Health and Safety                          21 Florence Street
Ouagadougou 01                                                                       Workers                                  ITUH Building                                  Ottawa, K2P 0W6, Canada
Burkina Faso                                                                         S-106 32 Stockholm                       Bd du Roi Albert II, 5 bte 5                   Tel: + 1 613 237 1590
Phone: +226 50 30 32 53                   Asia & Pacific                             Sweden                                   B - 1210 Brussels, Belgium                     Fax: + 1 613 237 5508
Mobile: +226 70 25 30 16                                                             Phone: +46 (0)8 728 48 14 or 728 48 16   Tel: + 1 32 2 224 0560                         Email:
Fax: +226 50 30 32 53                     BWI Regional Office                        Fax: +46 (0)8 728 48 97                  Fax: + 1 32 2 2240561                          Internet:
E-mail:         Nº 7, 1st Floor, USJ 10/1G                 E-mail:                 E-mail:
                                          47620 Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan,                                                                                           Centers for Disease Control and
BWI Ghana Project Office                  Malaysia                                                                                                                           Prevention (CDC)
P.O. Box 0S 2883                          Phone: +60 3 56 38 33 67                                                            The following organisations provide            1600 Clifton Road,
OSU, Accra                                Fax: +60 3 56 38 77 21                                                              information, support and opportunities         Atlanta, GA. 30333, USA
Ghana                                     E-mail:                                                              for networking:                                Tel: + 1 404 639 3311
Tel: +233 21 78 46 91                                                                                                                                                        Internet:
Fax: +233 21 78 46 90                     BWI Pacfific Sub-Regional Office                                                    The African Newsletter on Occupational
E-mail:                1st Floor, 500 Swanston Street                                                      Health and Safety                              Occupational and Environmental Medicine
                                          Carlton, Victoria 3053                                                            Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA
BWI Forestry Project Office               Melbourne, Australia                                                                Guest Editor in Chief: S. Lehtinen             Tel: + 1 919 684 8111
c/o Elangata Wuas Ecosystem               Phone: +61 3 93 47 10 29                                                            E-mail:           Internet: http://dmi-
Management Programme                      Fax: +61 3 93 49 25 80                                                              Guest Editor: Marianne Joronen       
Herbarium Building, National Museums of   Mobile: +61 409 25 22 46                                                            E-mail:
Kenya                                     E-mail:                                                                                                Environmental Health and Safety
P.O. Box 40658                                                                                  The Asian-Pacific Regional Network on          Division of the Organization for Economic
Nairobi, Kenya                                                                                                                Occupational Safety and Health (ASIA-OSH)      Co-Operation and Development, OECD
Mobile: + 254 722 72 66 90                BWI South Asia Project Office                                                       ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific   2 Rue André-Pascal
Tel: + 254 20 375 13 19                   A-364, 1st Floor, Defence Colony                                                    United Nations Building, 11th Floor            75 775 Paris, France
Fax: + 254 20 375 13 19                   New Delhi 110 024                                                                   Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, P.O. Box 2-349          Tel: + 1 33 1 45 24 93 15
E-mail:             India                                                                               Bangkok 10200, Thailand                        Fax: + 1 33 1 45 24 16 75
                                          Phone: +91 11 41 55 06 70 / 41 55 06 80                                             Tel: + 1 66 2 288 2485                         Mr. Rob Visser, Head
                                          Fax: +91 11 243 31 811                                                              Fax: + 1 66 2 2883064                          E-mail:
                                          E-mail:                                                          E-mail:                        Internet :
                                                                                                                              Internet :

European Agency for Safety and             Listed below are relevant departments        International Trade Secretariats           International Textile, Garment &             International Programme for Chemical
Health at Work                             at the above Geneva, Switzerland             affiliated to ICFTU                        Leather Workers Federation                   Safety
Gran Via 33                                address:                                     International Federation of Building and   Address Rue Joseph Stevens 8 Bte 4           World Health Organisation
E-48009 Bilbao, Spain                                                                   Wood Workers                               B - 1000 Brussels                            CH-1211, Geneva 27, Switzerland
Tel: + 34 94 479 43 60                                                                  54, Route des Acacias                      Belgium                                      Tel: + 1 41 22 791 3588
Fax: + 34 94 479 43 83                     ILO InFocus Programme on Socio-              CH - 1227 Carouge GE                       Tel: + 1 32 2 512 2606                       Fax: + 1 41 22 7914848
E-mail:            Economic Security (IFP/SES)                  Switzerland                                Fax: + 1 32 2 5110904                        E-mail:
Internet:        Tel: + 1 41 22 799 8893                      Tel: + 1 41 22 827 3777                    E-mail:                    Internet:
                                           Fax: + 1 41 22 7997123                       Fax: + 1 41 22 8273770                     Internet:
European Foundation for the                E-mail:                          E-mail:                                                                  National Institute for Occupational
Improvement of Living and Working          Internet:                    Internet:                    International Transport Workers              Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Conditions                                                                                                                         Federation                                   Training and Educational Systems
Wyattville Road                            ILO International Occupational Safety        Education International                    Address 49 - 60 Borough Road                 4676 Colombia Parkway
Co. Dublin, Ireland                        and Health Information Centre (CIS)          Boulevard du Roi Albert II, 5              GB - London SE1 1DS                          MS-C10 Cincinnati
Tel: + 1 353 1 2043100                     Tel: + 1 41 22 799 6740                      B - 1210 Brussels, Belgium                 United Kingdom                               OHIO 45226, USA
Fax: + 1 353 1 2826456, + 353 1 2824209    Fax: + 1 41 22 7998516                       Tel: + 1 32 2 224 0611                     Tel: + 1 44 20 7403 2733                     Tel: + 1 800 365 4674 (inside USA) or + 1
E-mail:            E-mail:                          Fax: + 1 32 2 2240606                      Fax: + 1 44 207357 7871                      513 533 8328 (outside USA)
Internet:                 Internet:                                    E-mail:               E-mail:                      Fax: + 1 513 533 8573
                                        Internet:                    Internet:                     E-mail:
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health   safework/cis/about/contact.htm               International Federation of Chemical,                                                   Internet:
Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A                     ILO InFocus Programme on Safework            Energy, Mine & General Workers Unions      International Union of Food,       
FIN-00250 Helsinki, Finland                Tel: + 1 41 22 799 6715                      Avenue Emile de Beco 109                   Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering,
Tel: + 1 358 (0) 9 47 471                  Fax: + 1 41 22 7996878                       B - 1050 Brussels                          Tobacco &                                    PubMed/MEDLINE
Fax: + 1 358 (0) 9 47 47                   E-mail:                     Belgium                                    Allied Workers Association                   Internet:
Internet:               Internet:                                    Tel: + 1 32 2 648 2020                     Address Rampe du Pont-Rouge 8      
                                        Fax: + 1 32 2 6264316                      CH - 1201 Petit-Lancy, Geneva
International Agency for Research on       safework/health/index.htm                    E-mail:                      Switzerland                                  TOXNet
Cancer                                                                                  Internet:                     Tel: + 1 41 22 793 2233                      Internet:
150 cours Albert Thomas                    ILO Bureau for Workers Activities                                                       Fax: + 1 41 22 7932238
F-69372 Lyon cedex 08, France              Tel: + 1 41 22 799 7021                      International Federation of Journalists    E-mail:                          Trade Union Congress (TUC)
Tel: + 1 33 (0) 4 72 73 84 85              Fax: + 1 41 22 7996570                       International Press Centre, Rés. Palace    Internet:                        Congress House
Fax: + 1 33 (0) 4 72 73 85 75              E-mail:                       Rue de la Loi 155                                                                       Great Russell St.
Internet:                     Internet:                                    B - 1040 Brussels                          Public Service International                 London, United Kingdom
                                    Belgium                                    Centre dAumard, BP 9                         WC1B 3LS
International Association of Industrial                                                 Tel: + 1 32 2 235 2200                     45 Avenue Voltaire                           Tel: + 1 44 20 7636 4030
Accident Boards and Commissions            90                                           Fax: + 1 32 2 2352219                      F - 01211 Ferney-Voltaire Cedex              Fax: + 1 44 207636 0632
(IAIABC)                                   Inter-Organisation Programme for the         E-mail:                        France                                       E-mail:
1201 Wakarusa Drive C-3 Lawrence           Sound Management of Chemicals                Internet:                      Tel: + 1 33 450 406 464                      Internet:
Kansas 66049, USA                          (IOMC)                                                                                  Fax: + 1 33 450407320                        World Health Organization (WHO)
Tel: + 1 785 840 9103                      Internet:          International Metalworkers Federation      E-mail:                    Avenue Appia 20
Fax: + 1 785 840 9107                      International Confederation of Free          Route des Acacias 54 bis                   Internet:                  1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
E-mail:                   Trade Unions (ICFTU)                         Case Postale 1516                                                                       Tel: + 1 41 22 791 2111
Internet:                   5 Boulevard du Roi Albert II, Bte 1          CH - 1227 Geneva                           Union Network International                  Fax: + 1 41 22 7913111
                                           1210 Brussels, Belgium                       Switzerland                                Avenue Reverdil 8-10               
International Labour Office                Tel: + 1 32 02 224 0211                      Tel: + 1 41 22 308 5050                    Case postale
4, route des Morillons                     Fax: + 1 32 02 2015815                       Fax: + 1 41 22 3085055                     CH - 1260 Nyon 2                             Health and Safety Executive Contact
CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland             E-mail:                 E-mail:                  Switzerland                                  Tel 08701 545500
Tel: + 1 41 22 799 6111                    Internet:                      Internet:                 Tel: + 1 41 22 365 2100                      Fax 02920 859260
Fax: + 1 41 22 7988685                                                                                                             Fax: + 1 41 22 3652121                       E-mail
E-mail:                                                                                                                E-mail:            Post
Internet:                                                                                                              Internet:              HSE Infoline
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