What should I do if I see something unsafe in the workplace?

Since you have a duty of care to yourself and your work colleagues, you should bring the matter to the attention of your employer and your safety representative. Trade union safety representatives have the right to investigate potential hazards and dangerous occurrences at the workplace and to investigate complaints by any employee they represent. 

Employees have the right not to be dismissed, selected for redundancy (when others in similar circumstances are not selected), or subjected to any detrimental action short of dismissal for taking certain specified action on health and safety grounds. Asserting the right to complain about an unsafe situation at work would qualify for this type of protection. 

So would leaving or refusing to return to your workplace in circumstances of serious and imminent danger, or taking appropriate steps to protect yourself or others. 

The TUC is collecting information during the coronavirus pandemic across the UK to check what’s happening in different workplaces in relation to keeping workers safe. If you have any concerns about how your employer is responding to the pandemic where you work, please complete the TUC survey: Coronavirus – what’s happening where you work? The survey can be completed anonymously. 

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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