Disclosure hazards for safety reps

A safety representative nominated under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 who wishes to make complaints directly to outside agencies concerning environmental hazards at his workplace may well compromise his own position as an employee. In O'Connell v Tetrosyl Ltd (Industrial Relations Review & Report, 367, 6 May 1986), the Employment Appeal Tribunal considered whether such action amounts to misconduct, justifying dismissal by employers.

Section 2 of the 1974 Act provides for the appointment by trade unions of safety representatives from the workforce. Employers are under a general duty to consult with such representatives to ensure effective co-operation in promoting health and safety measures, and under 1977 regulations the functions of safety representatives include the investigation of potential hazards and dangerous occurrences at the place of work.

In the Tetrosyl c

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