unionlearn issues occupational health workbook for union reps
The TUC has urged British employers to dole out better occupational health assistance to two million employees who believe they have become ill due to their jobs.
To train 15,000 work-place safety representatives by 2009, the TUC and unionlearn, its learning and skills organization, are publishing a workbook on Workers’ Memorial Day that will focus on good occupational health.
The educational workbook, Occupational Health: Dealing with the Issues is an innovative guide to occupational health for union safety reps. They can use it to assess the extent of ill health in their workplaces and work together with their employers to make businesses safer and healthier.
According to the TUC workbook, when an employee falls ill due to work, it costs huge money to the employer. Apart from that, in 2006, 175 million working days were lost as a result of sickness absence, costing firms £650 per unhealthy employee.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “Workplaces where there are union safety reps tend to be both safer and healthier places. But the UK is currently facing an epidemic of occupational ill health. Many people are ill and in pain as a result of lifting injuries, slips and trips, stress and noise-induced hearing loss suffered either at, or caused by, their work.
“Using this workbook, union reps can learn about all the aspects of occupational health. Then they can use it to encourage their employers to do much more to make employees feel they are getting a decent level of support from work when they are ill and again when they are on the road towards a full recovery.”