Your workplace needs a safety rep. CSP safety representatives improve and protect their members' health, safety and wellbeing at work.
On this page:
What it's like to be a safety rep
Katrina Humphreys talks about being a health, safety and wellbeing rep, and (from 2 min 30) why you should do it to.
Being a safety rep is a key role as they:
- Advocate for members at health and safety committee meetings
- Get consulted on managers' risk assessments and plans tat affect members' health and wellbeing
- Feedback members' concerns to their employer
- Carry out vital health and safety workplace inspections
- Survey to identify pressures and hazards confronting our members
- Investigate incidents to improve procedures, training and to keep members safe
- Share health and safety information with members and managers
- Network with your steward, other safety reps and the CSP
- Recruit new members
What it's like to be a safety rep
Watch Ben King talk about being a CSP health and safety rep, his recent projects, using legislation and (from 5 min 45) why you do the role, too.
There are trade union safety reps in all kinds of organisations, and they have legal backing.
As more decisions are made locally, CSP members want to take more control of workloads, reduce stress, and make our work healthier and safer.
CSP safety reps are key to this aim and can help prevent members from getting injured and ill from work.
As a CSP-accredited safety rep you would have a legal right to:
- inspect your workplace
- tell your employer about any hazards you find
- ask your employer to conduct a risk assessment and come up with a solution
- be involved yourself in risk assessments
- be advised and consulted in advance about any changes at work that could affect members’ health and safety
- represent CSP members at joint health and safety committee meetings.
There is training and support available from the union. There is also a CSP online learning tool: Getting Started - First Steps for Safety Reps
CSP safety reps are a key part of the society as a trade union. Safety reps and CSP stewards are supported by staff from Employment Relations & Union Services (ERUS) to improve working conditions for all CSP members, both locally and nationally.
As a new safety rep you first need to be accredited by the CSP.
Accreditation means you receive formal recognition and authorisation from the society to act in the capacity as a CSP safety representative. It is vital that you are accredited as soon as possible after your election:
All CSP safety reps should ensure they enrol for one of our induction courses as soon as possible after their election. You should also ensure you attend further training courses and regional training days so you are continually building up your skills and knowledge.
If you are a newly-elected CSP safety rep you will need to complete your accreditation and make certain other arrangements. Here is a checklist to help you:
- complete your CSP accreditation by following the link in the box above
- check with your personnel or human resources (HR) department that they have been informed of your accreditation
- arrange a handover of any relevant documents from the previous safety rep. The previous safety rep will also be the best source of information on any local issues, so don't be afraid to ask for advice/information on any current issues
- check that you have the dates of any meetings you'll be attending
- check the dates of the safety reps' induction course and book a place immediately
- make sure you have received dates for regional training days
- make sure you have the contact details for your regional safety rep/s and CSP senior negotiating officer. Make contact with them to introduce yourself as well as the local stewards
- register with the safety reps network on iCSP
- map your workplace: find out which colleagues are CSP members and which are not. As a CSP safety rep you can only represent paid-up members. If there are physios or assistants in your workplace who aren't yet members of the society (or members of another union), try and recruit them
- make sure you tell all your members that you are now their safety rep.
Once accredited as a safety rep you have a legal right to time off from work to carry out your role and to attend training.. Please make sure you check that ERUS has received and actioned your form, and that your management has been informed of your new status as a rep.
A word of caution: your manager may record your attendance on safety reps courses as study leave. Technically it's not, and this shouldn't affect your rights to take study leave for clinical courses in the future. If this happens, contact your senior negotiating officer immediately