Derek Maylor, Chairperson:
On stress and mental ill-health, the Coord have for many years contested the idea that making the worker more resilient is the solution or even the starting point of the solution.
The stressors that are the causational factors should be removed; like the use of PPE, the resilience of the worker should be the last consideration not the first.
Therefore, is was pleasing to see in the recent HSE Annual Science Review 2019 (p40) that they note senior leadership across industry are not fully considering organisational factors and that they too quickly look towards individual fixes. It is not the workers fault that he/she is being made ill by work, sort out the delivery, the control and the management style of the work first. Don’t concentrate on being reactive, put preventative measures in place.
Union membership does not stop at five o’clock or when the member leaves the workplace, they are members on their way home, when at home, over the weekend or on holiday and any way the union can support them or increase the quality of life is important.
Away from work the personal benefits to members of involvement in their community are enormous for them, their families and their communities. They can develop friendships, and connect with the community, learn new skills, combat depression, keep mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. It doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time, but it does take trade union values into our communities.
The concept of “working hours” is becoming less strict and unions should be there 24/7, expanded with support for members outside the defined workplace, close to their home, connecting with their community, (full sourced report available).
Lat year the Coord tried, unsuccessfully, to get a proposition through CWU conference to see how we could participate with the Thomas Ashton Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research which was launched whilst we were at conference. It is a partnership between HSE and the University of Manchester and acts as a hub for risk and regulatory excellence, using its educational activities and acting as an authoritative source of health and safety knowledge and expertise.
It will be interesting to see the results of the Lloyds Register Foundation programme of work ‘Discovering Safety’ which will deal with data science, H & S analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
As always, and in conclusion; we aim to provide the best advice and representation for our members and to:
*Ensure a safe working environment
*Promote occupational health
*Help members raise safety concerns
*Advance industry best practice
*Provide representation at national meetings
*Raise issues with other safety or government bodies
Our greatest assets are our Union Safety Representatives and we fully support them in their work.