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North West Regional Health And Safety Report Details Work Of NW Health And Safety Forum

Derek Maylor, Chair of the North West H&S Forum

With the CWU's North West Regional Conference and Health & Safety AGM taking place today in Manchester, the opportunity to review the work of the last twelve months undertaken by the Health & Safety community in the North West is of importance to all CWU members working in the region.

Here Derek Maylor presents his report as Chair of the Forum, providing insight into the hard work done by the Region's Health and Safety officers and reps.

Whilst you can download the full document by clicking on the cover pic below, here are a few salient points from the report:

Environment – we now meet regularly with BT‟s national lead Mel Grime and he agreed to support USRs getting more time if (those who volunteer) they pick up and chase environmental issues such as waste contamination.

Engineering waste - The Lloyds Registered Quality Audit will revisit some of our top waste disposing sites and buildings in January for several weeks in to February. In order to retain BT‟s ISO14001 certificate it needs to be demonstrated that they are compliant on all their environmental obligations and are continually improving the management of waste.

ISIS RAL/ENV/B011 [BT’s Waste Guide for reuse, recycle and disposal] has yet again been updated [now up to issue 29].

Also, a daily Red and Green (RAG) Status Report (based on Property & Facilities Services (P & FS) data and Yard Marshall updates) is looked at and discussed on a conference call to put pressure on the managers of the worst sties and to make it look to the auditor like everything is under control. Locally Neston, Aintree ATE, Hunts Cross PASS [red], Simonswood, Newton, Cressington Park have all been
named and shamed.

Slightly amusingly Rusholme ATE is on the list. However, the worst site in Merseyside was brought to our attention by Sue – Childwall. Fibre work has lots of BT engineers, managers, coaches and contractors all descended on the site which is totally unsuitable for the footfall. Cleaning, both domestic and engineering issues use of female facilities by males, stores piled up on stairs, continuous smoking at gate and rubbish littering pavement the road is like a van park which is annoying the neighbours. We raised suitability if the Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) and the likelihood of asbestos disturbance etc.

Re-Design and H&S structures in the CWU - the NW were instrumental in the creation of a document looking at a better way forward for H & S within, and influencing outside, the CWU. Re-Design is a positive thing for this Union and as USRs we are all behind it because of the opportunity it gives us to create a health & safety department and structures below national level; that are second to none.

Sustainability and money talk, especially at the moment, and rationalisation of available resources is necessary but safety is not merely working at height, unsuitable female facilities or vicious dog bites but it is highly political, lobbying, engaging within the trade union movement and outside it; it is educational to prevent the same mistakes being repeated by those young people who will follow us into the workplace.

Health, safety and environmental issues cross every trade union area and they should construct their organisation around it and not lump it into the bottom draw of another department.

The reorganisation of the CWU is as an opportunity to fully utilise Safety Reps in their whole role as Health, Safety and Environment Representatives - in the community and not just in the workplace. ...there to help you look after your family……the environment you live in……the trip to school and welfare within the school itself….... the streets you live in and the roads you drive on have all been affected by CWU campaigns over the years.

Changes to Dangerous Dogs legislation that affect every community [not just Post men/women] came about purely because of the CWU H and S Department and backed by campaigning SRs around the country.

Campaigning on issues such as implementation new and revised Workplace Exposure Limits; eco-design requirements for standby, networked standby and off mode electric power consumption; DeFRA animal welfare; consultations on local, national and European environment issues; consultation with the Directorate General of Environment for European Community (EC) on Ivory Trade; affected European Union (EU) legislation on plant protection products and pesticide residues and so on. We are not just there for holes and poles or for dogs and bogs.

Source: Derek Maylor

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