Last year, we contacted branches to gather information on PCS’s local arrangements for safety reps and safety committees. This was to be the foundation of a project which looked to build our provision across the country. Although some responses remain outstanding, several new safety reps have already been recruited and booked onto training and the second phase of the project has begun. we will shortly be writing to participating safety reps and branch officers.
In this second phase, we are generating a new national newsletter for safety reps. This will support new reps, providing information about training and advice on the basic role. It will involve setting up a mentoring scheme and have a Q&A section which will link up reps of varying experience to help out one another with advice and ideas.
The safety rep role is often thought to be limited to issues of safety. However, it actually covers three areas: health, safety and welfare. Although not directive, the newsletter is designed to provide lots of ideas which reps can pick-and-choose to adapt to their local area. There will be brief articles explaining the law; problem-solving ideas; and sharing resources for reps or cascading down to members.
Together, the three strands provide excellent opportunities for organising. Who doesn’t like a freebie? So why not tell your members about a great free app or organise a local health event to get staff talking and recruit new members. This project will share ideas, contacts and sources of materials which might be of interest to you.
If your branch has not yet responded, it’s not too late to reply and you will find it useful to be involved in the project. For reps who have already done so, please watch out for the first edition of the HS&W newsletter and feel free to get involved, posing questions or putting forward ideas of your own. This is an excellent opportunity for reps in this specialist role to learn from one another and do some really great work over the coming year.