60% of employees in Great Britain are not consulted by their employers over health and safety issues. That means many employers are in breach breach laws requiring them to consult with the workforce.
By law employers are required to consult with their workers over a large range of defined health and safety issues. Surveys by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) indicate that many employers do not adequately consult their workers. It is illegal not to consult employees over health and safety issues.
In unionised workplaces, employers must consult with trade union appointed Safety Representatives. This is required through the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977, as amended.
In non-union organisations the employer must either consult with employees directly or through ‘Representatives of Employee Safety’, who must be elected by the employees. This is required through the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996.
To address this illegal activity of many employers the HSE have made worker consultation and involvement a key priority in their health and safety strategy for Great Britain – ‘Be part of the solution’. Part of this approach will be enforcing current laws.
Note: In sectors such as offshore installations, quarries, mines, construction and railways there are other consultation requirements.