UNISON Northern Ireland

Health and Safety Week 2017 – Healthy workplaces for all ages

23 – 29 October 2017

UNISON supports the campaign for safer and healthier work, so promotes the European Health and Safety Week and the UK National Inspection Day on the Wednesday of the Week.

This year’s theme remains  “Healthy workplaces for all ages” and good workplace design and well managed health and safety benefit all of those at work; whether young, old, or in-between.

Changes in life expectancy and pension provision means that more workers will stay at work as they age.  Apprenticeship schemes as an alternative to schooling may see more young people at work.

Employers must look after the health and safety of all employees; but particularly consider vulnerable groups such as older or younger workers, or women of child-bearing age.  Working for longer, and the fact that children now grow up with computers, may also result in longer exposure to risks (musculoskeletal or otherwise).

Older workers are more likely to suffer disabilities and long term health problems so measures such as rehabilitation and return to work will become more important.

So UNISON encourages employers and branches to work together.

Why Get Involved?

  • Achieve on health and safety – make the workplace safer and healthier for you and others.
  • Safety reps – meet and speak with your members and potential members.
  • Members and potential members – raise your concerns about workplace health and safety hazards.


  • Inspect the workplace or assist a new safety rep to do so.
  • Hold a union meeting to raise awareness.
  • Carry out a body or risk mapping exercise.
  • Survey your workers and members to identify concerns.
  • Work with the employer to implement or develop policies and procedures on work concerns.
  • Jointly review relevant risk assessments, policies, and procedures – are they diversity-sensitive and is prevention the key focus?
  • Hold a “spot the hazards” competition and award a prize.
  • Cover the theme of healthy workplaces for all ages in a local newsletter.

And let us know what you have planned!

Whether big or small, we want to know about any event or activity you are planning for, during, or around European Health and Safety Week or the TUC National Inspection Day.  May be something you already have underway or a current concern that fits within this year’s theme of “healthy work for all ages”?  Email brief details to: healthandsafety@unison.co.uk and you may even get a Health and Safety High 5!