Preventing Accidents
Clearly a major way to prevent accidents before they occur is for the trade union safety representative to carry out regular and effective inspections of the workplace. Recognised safety representatives have the following legal rights:


*To carry out a formal inspection every three months.

*To carry out an immediate additional inspection

– when an accident has occurred,

– when a disease has been contracted,

– when there has been a change in working conditions,

– when new information becomes available concerning hazards.

* To investigate members’ complaints.

Near Misses
All union members should be encouraged to report ‘near misses’ that happen to themselves or others. Near misses are events such as slipping on wet floors, items falling off shelves and just missing people, loose guards on machinery, and fires that are quickly put out, that could have injured people but which, by luck, did not.

Reporting such events to the safety representative may prevent a serious accident in the future.

Safer Work Place
Safer Work Environment

When An Accident Happens

Union safety representatives should have an agreement with management on being informed as soon as possible of all accidents. Only under that condition will it be possible to reach the scene of the accident immediately to follow these procedures:

* Make sure it is safe to approach.

* Make sure anyone injured is receiving attention.

* Insist that nothing is removed or altered until inquiries are complete.

* Check the accident is recorded in the accident book and that the record is not concerned with blaming the victim, but is an accurate description.

* Take statements from the injured person(s), if possible, and other witnesses. Remind witnesses they do not have to give statements to the management by law.

* Check that the factory inspector has been informed, if required by law.

* Sketch accident area, take photographs, if possible, and samples of defective equipment or chemicals. Only if these procedures are carried out properly will it be possible for safety representatives to find out the real cause of the accident.

Safety is provided by people for people
Safety comes first


Mark the best choice.

1. The text is mainly about ,.

a) the type of accidents in a workplace

b) the precautions to be taken before and after an accident occurs in a workplace

c) the description of a safe workplace

d) the procedures to choose a safety representative in a workplace

2. If an accident has occurred, the safety representative has the right to .

a) carry out an inspection every three months

b) change working conditions

c) consult management

d) carry out an inspection immediately


3. If you saw something fall off a shelf and just miss another worker, you should

a) call a meeting to investigate it

b) report it to the management immediately

c) report it to the safety representative

d) leave the worker to report it himself

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