WORLD HEALTH & SAFETY DAY AT WORK- AN INSIGHT IN TO THE ROLE OF A H&S TRADE UNION REP AT EMC
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Steve Webb or as his friends call him- Webby, is a well-known face around the Engine Manufacturing Centre, not just because he’s been here from the very beginning as one of the plant’s very first 200 employees but he is the Plant’s Senior Trade Union Health and Safety Rep.
As part of World Health and Safety at Work Day (28th April) , we got an insight in to Webby’s role and how other employees can express their interest in becoming a rep too
Before starting his role on the line in Diesel seven years ago, Steve Webb was a carpenter / builder.
A job which took him all over the world, he’s worked everywhere from Russia to Europe but wanted to come ‘home’ to the West Midlands and his job at the EMC cemented that move.
So, why did he become a Health and Safety Trade Union rep? Webby said: “I’ve always cared about people and I wanted to be involved in contributing to making my colleagues safe at work.”
After getting elected by his members in the Trade Union, Steve underwent training to ensure that he could perform the role efficiently.
The role involves different day-to-day activities including:
Escalating any health and safety issues that colleagues approach him about.
Supporting with safety briefings.
Helping support colleagues to do their job safety, that can include: sourcing the correct PPE, workwear or equipment.
Helping employees with ensuring suitable and sufficient Risk Assessments are in place for their process.
Continually assessing and auditing our COVID-19 safety measures.
Attending level 1, 2 and 3 safety meetings.
Finding solutions to health and safety issues presented to him on the shop floor.
When a safety issue is raised, Steve (or your local TU Health and Safety Rep) will assess the issue raised and begin by reporting it in to the weekly, monthly and bi-monthly safety meetings with Process Leaders and local Management to find a solution.
In all of these layers of resolution, Steve is acting as the representative of his colleagues to find a resolution to provide the safest outcome possible.
Steve said: “Sometimes it can feel like we’re numbers-driven and the aim of the day is to reach the number on the board that we’re all working towards.
"My role is to ensure that we meet that target in the safest way possible.
"It’s not always easy and part of my role involves challenging to get the safest outcome for our employees.”
As well as this, Steve still works on the line, currently, on the AJ133 line producing our V8 engines but he is released in order to carry out his duties.
The father-of-two spoke extremely enthusiastically about the role and encouraged others who have a keen eye for hazards to think about becoming Health and Safety reps for their area.
If you care about your colleagues, you’ve got a keen eye for hazards and you want to be a part of keeping each other safe then I’d encourage you to think about become a TU Health and Safety Rep.
There are lots of development opportunities within the union and opportunities for qualifications and training including in First Aid, Accident / Investigation and others.
It really is an opportunity to develop your skills.
Stephen WebbEMC's Health & Safety Trade Union Representative
Are you interested in becoming a rep? If you work at the EMC then you can speak to Steve by contacting him on: firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in to the Union office in your area for more information.