Health and Safety

UNISON believes health and safety in the workplace is an issue for everyone. Every year, thousands of people suffer accidents and ill-health at work – most of which could be avoided.

Become a Safety rep

Workplace safety and wellbeing is so important. But we can’t make workplaces across the public sector safe without YOU.

The words Health and Safety may conjure up visions of clipboards, regulations and paperwork, but it’s really not like that. Health and Safety is for everyone.

Being a Safety rep means you will be playing a crucial role in making sure your workplace is safe, secure and clean for all your colleagues and service users.

You’ll also gain new skills and meet others who are passionate about workplace safety.


What do Safety reps do?

Safety reps: talk to members about their health and safety issues and work together with management to resolve these issues.

  • investigate potential hazards
  • raise concerns with your employer to improve safety in the workplace and deal with specific problems that arise at work
  • promote better health and safety in the workplace and encourage everyone to get involved in the union – UNISON is the union that gets things done.
  • improve wellbeing and overall health.


How do I become a Safety Rep?

We don’t expect you to be an expert from day one, we’ll train you in every aspect of the role. You’ll be supported all the way by one of our union organisers from your regional office.

To learn more about becoming a rep, you can take part in some of our taster webinars.

Although there is legally no training required your branch may ask you to undertake some training. Safety reps are entitled to time off for training. Your branch will help in getting this agreed by your employer.

UNISON provide various online options including a short introductory course, following through to other aspects of Health and Safety. We also have an online community, our Organising Space, where you can chat with other Health and Safety reps around the country.

Sign up


Online webinar training

We have a number of online webinars to support Health & Safety Reps.

To register, follow the links below and once approved you will have access to the webinar which allows you to view the webinar at any time.

Introduction to being a Health & Safety Representative

Risk Assessments and Returning to Work Safely

Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace


Health & Safety training – Stage 1

We are now in a position to offer our organising H&S reps training online via webinar based tutorial sessions. The tutorials are delivered by experienced UNISON reps and organisers, over a live web based platform (MS Teams). To support your progress you will be assigned a mentor from your region and your branch.

Find out more and register


Additional learning materials

You can access forms and resources including legislation and Health and Safety Resources which will help you in your role as a Branch Health and Safety Representative.

Need more information?

Contact: Fiona Tobin, Regional H&S Lead
Phone: 0191 245 0800