Health and Safety Reps

If you have recently been elected as a UNISON Health and Safety rep, you are probably feeling slightly anxious about what you have let yourself in for. Don’t panic!

UNISON South East have put together a 14-day programme of training which we recommend for all new Health and Safety reps, and for which your employer should give you paid time off work to attend.

You do not have to commit to doing all 14 days now- there are 5 modular courses that can be spread throughout the year, or longer according to your needs.

Module 1 should be completed first, but you can fit Modules 2-5 in any order that suits you.


Health and Safety Representative (5 days)

The course is aimed at newly elected and less experience Health and Safety reps, organising at a local level and including Risk Assessment training.

  • The role of a UNISON Health and Safety rep
  • Practice the skills you’ll need
  • Develop your confidence to represent members
  • Understand your employer’s key responsibilities
  • Understanding the law
  • Understand key legal requirements
  • Understand how risk assessment can be used as part of a workplace strategy
  • Develop a risk assessment resource pack

Dealing with Bullying and Harassment (2 days)

The course is aimed at active members who want to find out more about identifying problems of bullying and harassment in their workplace and look at ways of raising these issues with the employer and within the branch.

  • How to identify potential cases
  • How to deal with them in the workplace
  • How to negotiate with the employer around these issues

Negotiating Skills (3 days)

This course is aimed at UNISON representatives who are involved in negotiations or who are likely to become involved in negotiations with management on pay adn conditions of service.

  • Understanding the process of negotiating
  • Different style of negotiating
  • Working effectively as a negotiating team
  • Understanding how to prepare, presnet and negotiate on an issue
  • Developing and practising negotiating skills

Equality in your Branch (2 days)

This course is aimed at all members and activists and will help you understand how discrimination affects our members, what the union can do to tackle discrimination at work and how we can encorage under-represented members to get involved in union activity.

  • What is expected of branches and practical steps branches can take to promote equality
  • The range of issues relating to the equality agenda in the union and workplace
  • Main pieces of equality legislation

Breaking the Silence on Domestic Abuse (2 days)

This course is aimed at Stewards and senior reps and raises awareness of domestic abuse and its impact on members in the workplace. This course is not for training reps to counsel members but will provide you with the information of those who can.

  • Develop an understanding of domestic abuse
  • Consider how it can affect members at work
  • Identifying your role and the role of others in supporting members
  • Plan workplace and union action on domestic abuse