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ARC - ‘Bring back safety committees’

Conference was unanimous in calling on the CSP to work with other unions in lobbying for the re-establishment of safety committees.

Reorganisation of health services had led to the dismantling of safety committees and the downgrading of health and safety issues, delegates heard. Richard O’Connell, for West Midlands stewards, said it was difficult to set up safety committees because of problems identifying the safety representatives in other unions. ‘CSP reps are finding HR [human resources] less than forthcoming about who the other safety reps are,’ he said.  Samantha Russell, also of West Midlands stewards, said the need for a safe environment was essential, as highlighted in the recent NHS constitution. Also backing the motion Sue Rees, of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Management, said that for a manager the issue was about how to meet patient care while releasing staff for ‘this vital role’. Health and safety was a priority for everyone, she added. The conference also backed a motion calling for managers to be made aware of their legal responsibilities to carry out risk assessments.  Lindsay Willis, of the national group of regional safety representatives, said the NHS had a poor record on risk assessments and members’ safety was at stake. Feedback from safety reps showed some employers were not providing training in risk assessment. ‘We are asking the CSP to work with other unions to identify and challenge employers not fulfilling their legal obligations,’ she said. Motions 18 and 19 were carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP) 

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