Every year four million people are injured at work. Every year over 2000,000 work accidents are reported to the Health and Safety
Executive including almost 20,000 serious accidents. Every year an average of 400 people are killed whilst at work.
The saddest part about these figures is that most of these deaths and injuries could have been avoided if simple precautions had been taken. Apart from accidental fatalities and injuries, some employees suffer ill health as a result of the conditions they are required to work in or the equipment they are required to work with. Some do not realise that they need not endure injurious conditions, dangerous or inadequate equipment.
Employees in the U.K. have health and safety rights enshrined in law. The principle piece of legislation is The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Many regulations have been made under this Act to improve safety in certain workplaces or in certain kinds of jobs.. U.K. legislation has been bolstered by and , in parts superseded by European legislation, so much so, that the European Union (E.U.) is now the most important source of U.K. legislation on health and safety.
We do not intend to give you an exhaustive account of all the pieces of health and safety legislation that may be relevant to the tasks
performed by N.A.C. employees. That has been done elsewhere by people more expert than ourselves. What we will do is give brief
details of common health and safety problems and their solutions and point those who want more information in the right direction.
If you are a N.A.C. employee and have a particular health and safety problem in your workplace which you want resolved, speak to your health and safety representative.
Don't know who he or she is? Then contact the UNISON office. They'll give you the help you need. You can contact the office by
e-mail or through the other contact points listed on the home page.
If you haven't got a health and safety representative in your workplace why not become one? Click here to find out how to become one.
We would like to acknowledge the use of UNISON health and safety source material in the preparation of this section.