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Conference 2019 Health, Safety, Welfare and Environment Debates

These pages bring you the debates and policy making on Health, Safety Welfare and Environmental issues and those with a 'cross-over element within the subject matter of the motion; from the CWU's General Conference, being held Sunday 28th April to Thursday 2nd May at the Bournemouth International Conference Centre in, of course; Bournemouth.

In the event Conference 2019 was very disappointing for those concerned about health, safety and environment, with only two motions actually being debated due to them being timed out by previous motions overrunning.

Motion 62 in particular was very important for the health & safety community in that it aimed to preserve the Health and Safety Department and ensure that fears many have that the expertise will be lost to a new 'central services' organisation leading possibly to the introduction of a 'call centre' type service where Branches don't get to speak direct to specific officers responsible for Health, Safety and the Environment. Interestingly, the National Executive were to oppose the motion, leading some to suspecting the motion was deliberately timed out by the length and number of speakers debating the previous section motions!

General Conference - Sunday 28th April

Policy Section

Motion 1: The NEC is instructed to work with the H & S Department, the TUC and any other interested party/group to formulate a strategy and campaign that seeks to ensure that workplace suicide is recognised in legislation. If any employee takes his or her own life in the workplace, or indicators exist to suggest it may be work related, it should be immediately investigated as a potential work-related suicide with the burden of proof being imposed on the employer to demonstrate that the suicide was not work-related.

The NEC is instructed accordingly.

Greater Mersey and South West Lancs


The motion was carried

Health & Safety Section

Only one motion from this section was debated due to the previous debates late running:

Motion 34: Conference instructs the NEC to work in conjunction with the Health and Safety Dept. & the TUC to highlight the need for the introduction of a Stress Risk Assessment to be used in every workplace in the UK.

North East Health and Safety Forum


Motion 35: Conference recognise that when you get cancer treatment it can cause other side effects when the cancer has gone or in remission . Like Menopause , early menopause for younger women and mental health issues . Cancer has no age limit . Younger women are being affected more now and women of all ages are being treated unfairly in the workplace because of the after effects like increase sickness and need for more rest breaks which leads to missing the target levels. Companies should understand what the effects can be . After treatment this is not the end of the story it is the beginning and can change life and work balance and the cwu should show support .
Conference instructs the NEC to work with the Health and Safety Dept to create awareness of this issue in the workplace.

North West Regional Health and Safety Forum

Not heard

Motion 36: Conference instructs the NEC to work with the Health & Safety Dept to facilitate the following

 To work with organisations such as the TUC , other Unions and the Hazards Campaign to maintain the importance emphasis on improving occupational health standards and the treatment of Ill health at work both physical and mental and to develop effective strategies working with Unions to ensure employers compliance

North East Health and Safety Forum

Not heard

Organising and Strategy Section


This conference agrees that the NEC must recognise the important role played by the Health & Safety Department in supporting the industrial departments in the Health & Safety policies determined at the relevant industrial conferences; and the setting of non-industrial Health and Safety policy at General Conference.

In order to maintain or enhance the current industrial support provided by the Health & Safety Department the NEC is instructed that any new central services section of the Union must ensure a clearly defined and stand-alone role for Health & Safety in the national CWU structure. This role will engage, as currently, with both industrial departments of the Union, with a continued national, elected, lead accountable for all Health & Safety matters.
The NEC Is Instructed accordingly.

Eastern No.3
Eastern No.4
Eastern Regional Committee

Not heard - Timed Out

Motion 72:

This Conference instructs the NEC ………

Conference recognises the problem of disposable one use plastics.
Over 8 million metric tons of plastic are ending up in our oceans every year and there are already 150 million metric tons of plastic there. To put this in perspective it is the equivalent of one garbage truck full of plastic ending up in the ocean every minute of the day. This conference instructs the NEC to work with the TUC and Labour Party to investigate ways of drastically reducing the use of these single use plastics.
The NEC is instructed accordingly.

South West Wales Amal

Not heard - Timed Out


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