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Health & Safety
Stuart Cowan, is the Federation's lead on Health and Safety. He explains the importance of adhering to the Health and Safety Act, the responsibility we (as individuals) and the Force have, and what to do if you see something you're concerned about: The British Transport Police Federation is recognised as having the same status as a trade union for the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) and any regulation made under the Act.
Every Division has at least one appointed Federation safety rep. All appointed safety reps have received training in health and safety so that they can best represent the members in matters that affect their safety while they're at work. Federation Safety Reps meet regularly with those appointed by TSSA to discuss matters of mutual interest with the Divisional and Force management.
Under the health and safety banner our safety reps work closely with management to identify and eradicate risks to the health and wellbeing of our members, and they have the power to conduct investigations into accidents, incidents and dangerous occurrences. In normal circumstances, these investigations will be carried out jointly with a member of management, as the purpose of the investigation is to identify the problem and to put it right for the future.
Safety reps also have the power to carry out workplace inspections and these inspections take place on a planned basis all around the force. This is often in conjunction with Divisional Safety Advisors and Station Commanders. This combined approach helps to swiftly resolve any issues that are identified.
Taking personal responsibility
It is important to remember, though, any organisation's greatest asset in making the working environment as healthy and safe as possible is its workforce. Employees are often in the best position to spot issues and bring about real improvements. They can also influence health and safety through their own actions and by accepting personal responsibility for both theirs, and their colleagues, safety.
All workers have a right to work in places where all risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. If you spot a health and safety risk and you're able to do so, you should deal with it immediately (for example mopping up a spill of water on a floor or removing a chair that is defective). If you are unable to deal with the problem immediately it should be reported to a supervisor or line manager who will ensure it is dealt with as soon as possible.
Workers who are encouraged to raise concerns, and are given the ability to influence health and safety, are safer and healthier than those who do not. You have that option and we encourage you to make good use of it.
What to do if your concerns aren't acted on
If you raise a concern about something you believe is a health and safety issue and nothing appears to be done to clear it, please contact any one of your Federation Representatives who will pass it on to a safety rep to pursue.
We would also ask that you ensure that you comply with the Force's accident and near miss reporting procedure if you have an accident, incident or even a 'near miss'. If you do not report the accident it cannot be investigated and appropriate action to rectify it or stop a further occurrence cannot be taken.
The Force has an effective health and safety incident reporting system, use it. Your report may save a colleague's career or even their life.
Contact Stuart Cowan
Stuart Cowan can be reached on email: email@example.com
- ACAS Health, Work and Wellbeing Booklet
- Advice on Needlestick Injuries
- A Guide to Health and Safety Regulations
- Agreement for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations 1998
- Blood borne viruses in the Workplace
- Body Armour - Police Treatment Centres Leaflet
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
- Driving at Work - Managing Safety
- Guide to Health and Safety Law
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- Lone Working Leaflet
- Striking The Balance Between Operational & Health & Safety Duties
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Working with Visual Display Units