Health, Safety and Environment

The CWU places a high priority on Health, Safety, Welfare and Environmental matters.  This department is one of the most important in CWU HQ with specialist responsibilities across the whole of the Union.

The Head of Department is National Officer Dave Joyce.


The Department maintains a high profile on health, safety and environmental issues and will press all employers to:-

  • make the workplace safe
  •  prevent risks to health and safety
  • ensure that plant and machinery is safe to use
  • ensure safe working practices are set up and followed
  • make sure that all materials are handled, stored and used safely
  • provide adequate first aid facilities
  • give you information, instructions, training and supervision as needed
  • set up emergency plans
  • make sure that ventilation, temperature, lighting, and toilet, washing and rest facilities all meet health, safety and welfare requirements
  • check that the right work equipment is provided and is properly used and regularly maintained
  • prevent or control exposure to substances that may damage your healthtake precautions against the risks caused by flammable or explosive hazards, electrical equipment, noise and radiation
  • avoid potentially dangerous work involving manual handling and if it can't be avoided, take precautions to reduce the risk of injury
  • provide health supervision as needed
  • provide protective clothing or equipment free of charge if risks can't be removed or adequately controlled by any other means
  • ensure that the right warning signs are provided and looked after
  • report accidents, injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences - investigate and avoid future recurrences

Ensure good Occupational Health and Wellbeing Standards are in place and issues addressed
The work of the Department is reported via the Regional Health and Safety Forums, LTB’s, Branch Officials Bulletins, Safety Rep Newsletter, Voice Magazine, Web Site, CWU TV and CWU Annual Report.

The National Executive has a Health, Safety and Environment Sub-Committee.

The union’s membership is supported locally in the workplace by trained CWU Branch Health and Safety Representatives who protect and promote their interests on a daily basis, carrying out safety inspections of the workplaces, making representations to management about your concerns and
attending local Safety Committees.

The HSE states that workers are twice as safe in a workplace where there are Trade Union Safety Representatives and the CWU has a Branch Safety Representative network throughout the various employers looking after your interests, established through nationally recognised agreements. 

The Health, Safety and Environment Department deals with a wide range of policy issues and also initiates and co-ordinates a number of Health and Safety Campaigns on a wide range of issues. Branches, Safety Representatives and Regional Health and Safety Forums, play an important role in promoting these issues and campaigns

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