Inderscience Publishers

The role of the trade unions in fostering safety culture

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Trade unions can play a relevant role in managing active policies on safety at work, above all in nuclear activities. Italian experience in safety at work is in the vanguard and has produced noteworthy outcomes. A significant figure is the Safety Workers’ Representative (SWR), directly elected by workers. The SWR has four basic rights: to be informed, to be trained, to be involved and to control. The SWR is an outstanding tool to build and promote safety culture as part of the individual professional background of workers. The SWR can play a main role to build and foster a safety culture, shared among governments, company and unions. The action of the unions cannot be limited to safety at works managed by SWRs, but must develop on the basis of a more elaborate policy, which aims to educate workers to safety culture, that must become a daily habit.

Keywords: trade unions, safety at work, safety culture, safety workers’ representative, electrical sector, nuclear safety

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