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Industrial Health and Safety

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of trade union safety representatives on workplace safety; and if he will assess the merits of confirming the role and rights of trade union safety representatives in law. (132938)

Several studies have looked at the effect of trade union safety representatives on workplace safety, including one commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive. Overall, the evidence suggests that trade union safety representatives make a positive contribution to improving health and safety standards in the workplace.

Ministers look to the Health and Safety Commission for advice on these matters. I understand it is currently looking at measures to support consultation and involvement of workers in health and safety, including better guidance. It will make recommendations to Ministers if appropriate.

The Government strongly support the efforts and dedication of all health and safety representatives in helping to make their workplaces healthier and safer.