Educational Independent Study: Role of Safety Representatives at Work.

Essay by Richard.AUniversity, Ph.D.A+, June 2004

download word file, 8 pages 5.0


The aim of the assignment is to set out to show the role of safety representatives and safety committees in a warehouse/distribution organisation with 50 national centres and 3000 employees.

I will look at local, regional and national warehouses/distribution centres within the company, incorporating various regulations that enforce best practices. I will also discuss the appointment of safety representatives and committees, their roles, responsibilities to employers and employees and training required throughout the organisation, and draw from this, my conclusions.

Introduction to Safety Representatives

A safety representative is an employee appointed by his trade union to represent the workforce in consultations with the employer on all matters concerning health and safety at work, and to carry out periodic inspections of the workplace for hazards (for unionised and non-unionised workforces). Every employer has a duty to consult with such union-appointed safety representatives on health and safety arrangements (and, if they so request him, to establish a safety committee to review the arrangements, [Health and Safety at Work Act 2 (HSWA 2)]).

The duty of the employer is to consult with union-appointed safety representatives, which was first brought to light with the 'Robens Report 1970-72', and emphasised joint consultation. Both making and maintaining arrangements that will enable the employer and his workforce to co-operate in promoting and developing health and safety at work and monitoring its effectiveness.

The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977, made under the HSWA 2 (6), regulate matters relating to safety representatives.

The Role of the Safety Representative

The safety representatives regulations give a number of detailed functions to safety representatives but basically, safety representatives exist in order to:

a) Represent their fellow employees.

b) Carry out investigations and inspections.

c) Deal with information.

These functions are inter-related with the consequence that safety representatives should...