The rights of safety reps

Please note: the ATL website is no longer being updated and will be taken down soon.

Visit the new NEU website

Health and safety
02 November 2016
ATL's safety representatives are elected by their colleagues to represent them in health and safety matters.

Safety representatives have legal rights, which are to:

  • represent employees in discussions with the employer on health, safety or welfare issues, and in discussions with the Health and Safety Executive or other enforcing authorities
  • investigate hazards and dangerous occurrences (see investigating accidents for more)
  • investigate complaints
  • carry out inspections of the workplace and inspect relevant documents
  • attend safety committees
  • have reasonable time off with pay, during normal working hours, to carry out their functions and to undergo training.

Safety representatives have no legal duties other than those of an employee.

An employer's legal duties towards safety representatives include:

  • consulting safety representatives on arrangements for cooperating on health and safety measures
  • permitting time for safety representatives to carry out their functions and to undergo training
  • making necessary information available
  • providing facilities and assistance
  • setting up a safety committee, if requested by two or more safety representatives.

See also