GMB is recognised as the leading British trade union on health, safety and environmental issues. GMB’s health, safety and environmental policy states that the union will work:
‘To improve the quality of life of all GMB members....by encouraging best practise on health, safety and environmental systems and standards at work, to reduce risks and to continuously raise standards.’
GMB places the health, safety and welfare of its members at the very top of the agenda and is dedicated to providing a service that supports our members in their aims to achieve better working conditions.
Support and guidance on all aspects of health, safety and welfare is catered for by various means, ranging from provision of advice, conducting workplace inspections, sitting on health and safety committees and where necessary intervening and resolving inflammatory situations; which has proven to be an effective instrument in highlighting and gaining recognition of workplace issues.
GMB believes that health & safety need not be a complicated process understood only by 'experts'. Indeed we believe that people are most likely to understand the risks associated with a particular job are those who actually do the work.
The starting point for the GMB approach to reducing accidents and ill health caused by work, is to identify what can cause harm. This could be noise, asbestos, lifting heavy boxes, dangerous machinery etc. Once the hazards have been identified the next step is to eliminate (or reduce as much as possible) the risk of these things causing harm.
Health and safety isn't expensive… it's priceless!
GMB Safety Reps do an absolutely vital job. Although mainly volunteers, trade union appointed Safety Reps have prevented at least 500 000 accidents in the last 20 years and have saved countless lives that would have been lost without their intervention.
GMB Safety Reps are fully encouraged to take up the opportunity to attend health & safety training courses. Surveys prove that trained Safety Representatives are the most effective in influencing managers. Training helps Safety Reps to do the job more effectively and some courses may also lead to a qualification.
GMB approach to preventing injuries and ill health at work:
- Identify the hazard
- Look at things that can cause an accident or damage health
- Eliminate the hazard
- Stop using or doing whatever it is that could harm or cause ill health to GMB members