GMB Magazine GMB25 Fusion Summer 2016 - Page 18

HEALTH & SAFETY s ’ B M G Join T E F A S & H T L HEA m Keeping me tting GMB is getting into the ring and hi back at the government’s lax attitude to the health and safety of our members f you work, your health and safety – and the health and safety of everyone you know and love – is taking body blows from the Tories. Since the Conservatives came into power in May 2010, workers’ rights on health and safety have been pummelled from three sides: 1 2 3 POLITICALLY Through deregulation and cuts to the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities. LEGALLY By making access to justice more difficult, and cutting compensation. SOCIALLY Through the weakening of contracts and employee rights. This is why GMB is reviewing and renewing its health, safety and the environment activities. We want to give GMB health and safety reps the tools, training and support they need. We need to give them the confidence to take on the challenge of organising the workplace around health and safety and environment. So it’s time for GMB to pick up the gloves, step back in to the ring and face the challenge head-on once again. The first step is to make sure we’re getting it right. GMB needs to know what your health and safety concerns are, and we need to know how we can best reach GMB members. In the last issue of the magazine, we included the GMB Health & Safety and Environment Survey. To join the health and safety fightback, please dig it out, fill it in, and then return it to us by post to FREEPOST GMB – you don’t need a stamp or any other address details.. Or, go online and punch in your answers to our survey questions at www.surveymonkey. You can do it on your smartphone or tablet, or on a desktop or laptop. We’ve had a great response so far, but we want to get as many replies as possible. The more people who complete the survey, the better we can understand the needs of GMB members. It could be the most important two minutes of your day. FIGHTING FIT The benefits for GMB members, their families, and the whole economy are undeniable. The consequences of the failure to improve health and safety in the workplace are clear. Just have a look at the GMB H&S scorecard (right). We know the risks GMB members face are changing – the issues are now as much about mental health as physical safety. And we know the government wants to make it easier for negligent employers to exploit and ultimately harm workers with almost no comeback. The 2015 GMB Special Report on H&S, Your Health, Your Safety, available to download at gmb-congress/gmb-congress-2015, committed GMB to look again at its approach. Since 2010, the use of zero-hours contracts has exploded. GMB knows only too well how many employers base their business models on exploiting these contracts and agency labour, often using migrant workers, to avoid putting in place the most basic workplace safety protections. Add to this the huge numbers of bogusly self-employed workers, particularly in the construction sector, and it is obvious that large parts of the economy are not reporting incidents and injuries. There is little or no scrutiny of employers, and no pressure on them to raise standards. Workers have no representation, no voice and no exposure for their concerns. ! Take our online survey and Punch in your answers to our health, safety environment questions, and help GMB match the Tories and greedy employers blow for blow. 18 GMB National GMB25.national_18_19.indd 18 09/06/2016 14:57 © x 2 I bers safe