The latest in a series of Napo introductory safety reps training courses took place in July. This course for Northern based safety reps was held at the Mechanics Institute in Manchester.
It was a privilege to hold the training in such an auspicious venue – the birthplace of the TUC in 1868. We were surrounded by wonderful labour movement artefacts. It was interesting to see on display a framed document that set out the founding principles of the TUC in 1868 – and to learn that some h&s issues have still to be resolved. One of the aims of the charter was to ‘regulate the hours of labour’, for although we have the Working Time Directive curtesy of the European Union it is a very weak piece of legislation and many workers in the UK are still working very long hours.
We were bathed in the light from the fantastic stained glass windows donated by TUC affiliated trade unions depicting their trade union history. The course as it took place on 2 two of the hottest days for years. We battled through and covered issues such as safety reps rights and duties and the basics of safety legislation. Local CRC and NPS safety managers gave presentations on their organisations safety structures.
For the activity looking on risk assessment and safety reps role I gave the reps a practical example to work on asking them to look at an NPS assessment of drug testing – something members in Cumbria and Lancs (and members in other branches) were very concerned about having recently been asked to undertake for the first time. The reps were able to feed in their members concerns to the activity – which in turn I sent to the NOMS H&S manager for his consideration.
These training courses for safety reps have been very productive in brining through new safety reps needed to cover the NPS/CRC divide – so far Napo has 20 new reps as a result of the training.
Napo National Official (health and safety)