Flintshire UNISON's Health and Safety Officer is Hayley Dawson.

 If you have any queries or concerns, please contact the branch admin office on 01352 704300.

UNISON is at the forefront of major campaigns on stress, repetitive strain injury, back pain and violence. We are campaigning for a new way of working, one that guarantees every worker a safe and healthy workplace.

Please tell us if you have any concerns regarding safety issues in your workplace or want to raise any general issues regarding health and safety in the council. 

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Health & Safety UPDATE - SAFETY IN NUMBERS

Dear Colleague,

The Cymru Wales Health and Safety Forum at its recent meeting agreed to a relaunch of the Safety in Numbers Campaign, which has now been scheduled for the 28th April 2015, this date, you may already know, is the same day as the International Workers Memorial Day.

The purpose of the “Safety in Numbers” campaign is to do exactly what it says, by using the opportunity to visit workplaces across Wales to highlight, to members and non-members, the importance of having good health and safety in the workplace.

We hope to use the workplace visits to recruit more members to become Health and Safety representatives, supporting the campaign and their colleagues in the workplace.

You will probably already know that the previous national launch of this campaign in 2013 was considered very successful across Wales. Our branch and organising teams had many one to one conversations with members about their concerns about those issues affecting them in the workplace, i.e. cuts in services, reduction in contracted hours etc, as well as Health and Safety issues.

The evidence that has been collated in the past demonstrates that most people will know someone who has been affected by poor health and safety and will resonate with the UNISON campaign and the message, and are likely be supportive of what UNISON are doing to promote Health and Safety in the workplace. With the Austerity measures imposed by this Government, is clearly impacting on the delivery of services and with the budget cuts across all services, we are concerned that this will lead to cutting corners, especially in health and safety in the workplace, and of course the risks that this brings to our members safety in the workplace are widely understood; this is another reason why we are re-launching the Safety in Numbers campaign in Cymru Wales.

The plans to relaunch the campaign with media coverage is currently being arranged, if your branch has issues they would like to me to include in the media launch please do let me know by the end of March 2015. The main thrust of the issues currently relates to a number of health and safety issues such as slips, trips ,falls, stress in the workplace and of course, the major campaign that UNISON is currently involved with, asbestos in schools and buildings.

We will use the day of the 28th April, International Workers Memorial Day, as outlined above to highlight this campaign, as well as campaign for the International Workers Memorial day, which remembers the people who have lost their lives, been injured, or made ill through their work. This is a very important campaign which campaigns for improvements to Health and Safety in the workplace

It is hoped, that during the following couple of months, of May and June, the branches will work with the organising teams from each of the regions 3 offices to prepare a plan of workplace visits.

H&S representatives may want to organise other workplace activities such as workplace inspections, and whilst in the workplace have those conversations with our members and non members alike. The “theme” of this is you are more likely to be in a “safer working environment” if it is an organised workplace with good steward and health and safety representatives.

Over, the next few weeks a number of promotional items will be sent to you for the launch, as well as highlighting International Workers Memorial Day. If your branch is planning any events around the day and would like support from the organising teams please do let me know,

It is very much hoped that the branches use the opportunity, to engage with our members on this very important issue of Health and Safety , as everyone will already know that the Coalition Government has over the past 5 years started to erode our Health and Safety rights and therefore we need to ensure that we use those rights before any further attempt is made to weaken the Health and Safety regulations that our forefathers fought so hard to achieve. Our young members are also concerned about the continuing erosion and watering down the Health and Safety Regulations, that is why we understand that our young members will be voting in the General Election and they are urging everyone to use their vote in May, to stop the erosion of the regulations by stealth by this Government.

Materials and merchandise will be ordered, and distributed to all branches, this will support the branch Health and Safety officers plan the activities in all branches over the May and June period.

A planning sheet will also be sent to the branch Health and Safety Officer by 17th April 2015.

For those branches who would like the support of the organising teams from the Regional Office teams, please do contact the Regional Manager or Organiser for your branch.

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Reportable incidents

If someone has died or has been injured because of a work-related accident this may have to be reported.

Deaths and injuries

Work-related accidents

The accident that caused the death or injury must be connected to the work activity.

Types of reportable injury

  • Deaths
  • Major injuries
  • Over-seven-day injuries
People not at work
  • Where a member of the public or person who is not at work has died, or
  • Injuries to members of the public or people not at work where they are taken from the scene of an accident to hospital for treatment.
Reportable major injuries are:
  • fracture, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes;
  • amputation;
  • dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine;
  • loss of sight (temporary or permanent);
  • chemical or hot metal burn to the eye or any penetrating injury to the eye;
  • injury resulting from an electric shock or electrical burn leading to unconsciousness, or requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours;
  • any other injury leading to hypothermia, heat-induced illness or unconsciousness, or requiring resuscitation, or requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours;
  • unconsciousness caused by asphyxia or exposure to a harmful substance or biological agent;
  • acute illness requiring medical treatment, or loss of consciousness arising from absorption of any substance by inhalation, ingestion or through the skin;
  • acute illness requiring medical treatment where there is reason to believe that this resulted from exposure to a biological agent or its toxins or infected material.
Over-seven-day injuries

As of 6 April 2012, the over-three-day reporting requirement for people injured at work changed to more than seven days.

Now you only have to report injuries that lead to an employee or self-employed person being away from work, or unable to perform their normal work duties, for more than seven consecutive days as the result of an occupational accident or injury (not counting the day of the accident but including weekends and rest days). The report must be made within 15 days of the accident.

Over-three-day injuries

You must still keep a record of the accident if the worker has been incapacitated for more than three consecutive days. If you are an employer, who must keep an accident book under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979, that record will be enough.

Occupational diseases

Employers and the self-employed must report listed occupational diseases 
when they receive a written diagnosis from a doctor that they or their employee is suffering from these conditions and the sufferer has been doing the work activities listed.

Dangerous occurrences

Dangerous occurrences are certain listed near-miss events. Not every near-miss event must be reported. Here is a list of those that are reportable:
  • collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;
  • explosion, collapse or bursting of any closed vessel or associated pipe work;
  • failure of any freight container in any of its load-bearing parts;
  • plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines;
  • electrical short circuit or overload causing fire or explosion;
  • any unintentional explosion, misfire, failure of demolition to cause the intended collapse, projection of material beyond a site boundary, injury caused by an explosion;
  • accidental release of a biological agent likely to cause severe human illness;
  • failure of industrial radiography or irradiation equipment to de-energise or return to its safe position after the intended exposure period;
  • malfunction of breathing apparatus while in use or during testing immediately before use;
  • failure or endangering of diving equipment, the trapping of a diver, an explosion near a diver, or an uncontrolled ascent;
  • collapse or partial collapse of a scaffold over five metres high, or erected near water where there could be a risk of drowning after a fall;
  • unintended collision of a train with any vehicle;
  • dangerous occurrence at a well (other than a water well);
  • dangerous occurrence at a pipeline;
  • failure of any load-bearing fairground equipment, or derailment or unintended collision of cars or trains;
  • a road tanker carrying a dangerous substance overturns, suffers serious damage, catches fire or the substance is released;
  • a dangerous substance being conveyed by road is involved in a fire or released.
The following dangerous occurrences are reportable except in relation to offshore workplaces:
  • unintended collapse of:
    • any building or structure under construction, alteration or demolition where over five tonnes of material falls;
    • a wall or floor in a place of work;
    • any false work;
  • explosion or fire causing suspension of normal work for over 24 hours;
  • sudden, uncontrolled release in a building of:
    • 100 kg or more of flammable liquid;
    • 10 kg of flammable liquid above its boiling point;
    • 10 kg or more of flammable gas; or
    • of 500 kg of these substances if the release is in the open air;
  • accidental release of any substance which may damage health.
Additional categories of dangerous occurrences apply to mines, quarries, relevant transport systems and offshore workplaces.

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Workers Memorial Day - Sunday 28th April 2013

The Branch will be holding an event on the Bridge Link, County Hall, to commemorate Workers Memorial Day on Wednesday 24th April from 12 noon.

Please come along and show your support for all the men and women who have died in their workplace or as a result of their work.

Come and pick up some information - learn how you can help to make your workplace a safer one!!

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Don't suffer in silence
Under health and safety laws, employers have a duty to assess risks to employees and to develop and introduce policies and procedure to control the risks.

If you are being bullied at work, UNISON can help. Contact your union rep, or call us in the branch office on 01352 704300 or if out of hours, on 0845 355 0845.

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UNISON believes health and safety in the workplace is an issue for everyone.

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Draft guidance unveiled on workplace first aid changes

Date: 21 February 2013

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new draft guidance to help employers get to grips with proposed changes to workplace first aid.

Two pieces of guidance have been published on the HSE website following a consultation on proposals to amend the First Aid Regulations (1981) and remove the requirement for HSE to approve first aid training providers.

The guidance documents are available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/proposed-changes-first-aid-regulations.htm

The changes are expected to take effect on 1 October, subject to final approval by the HSE Board and Ministers.

HSE policy advisor Peter Brown said:

“Removing the HSE approval process will give businesses greater flexibility to choose their own training providers and first aid training that is right for their work place, based on their needs assessment and their individual business needs.

“The draft guidance documents aim to provide practical support to help businesses assess and understand their first aid needs and find a provider best suited to them.

“HSE has used the feedback from the recent consultation exercise to shape the guidance, but would welcome any further feedback on the guidance before the regulations come into place.”

Until the regulations are changed businesses requiring first aid training will still have to use a HSE approved provider.

Employers will still have to ensure that they have adequate first aid provision, based on an assessment of their individual business needs.

HSE will retain a role in setting standards by controlling the syllabus content for the basic first aid at work qualifications.

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Managing for health and safety

Managing for health and safety is about:
Health and safety and successful business or organisation performance are complementary. Good leaders look after their businesses/organisations, and manage skilled workforces who have confidence in them.

As with all parts of your business/organisation practice, to manage health and safety you need to plan, deliver, check quality and take stock to see what you can improve.

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Eye test advice
April 1st 2011

Businesses facing the prospect of eyesight test charges should consider offsetting occupational health costs with cash plan provision according to healthcare and risk management specialist PMI Health Group.

The advice comes in the wake of an EU directive making regular eye tests mandatory for employees who drive while on company business.

"The responsibility to provide access to regular sight tests is likely to fall to the employer," according to PMI Health group compliance director Mike Blake. "This presents an opportunity to introduce an employee benefit to cover this cost and other healthcare risks faced by drivers such as back problems." Cash plans, which can cost from as little as 60p per employee per week, offer a wide range of benefits including physiotherapy and optical provisions to cover the additional cost of eye tests ushered in by the new legislation.

We are located at:

Flintshire County Unison Branch


Llwynegrin Hall

Mold

CH7 6NF

Contact us today!

If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:

 

+44 01352 704300 +44 01352 704300

admin@unison-flintshire.org.uk

 

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