Hazards 76 cover





Selected news items on PINs and UINs

PINS and needle An HSE report shows a formal safety enforcement role for trade union safety reps would make workplaces safer, free up HSE inspectors and get workplace hazards sorted before the employer ended up in the dock. Hazards 80 Oct-Dec 2002 pdf format text version

Union inspection notices: Extending safety reps' rights
TUC has published an online guide to union inspection notices... more

TUC wants what Australian safety reps have got - the power to make workplaces safer
The TUC says UK workers should have the protection of PIN power. TUC general secretary John Monks said union safety reps "need more tools at their disposal to make workplaces as safe as they can possibly be... British safety reps look at their Australian counterparts and say 'we want some of that'!" TUC news releaseRisks 77, 26 October 2002

HSE PINs report - conclusions and recommendations from the "Worker participation in health and safety: A review of Australian provisions or worker health and safety representation", HSE 2002.
Worker participation in health and safety: A review of Australian provisions for worker health and safety representation (PINs). Report in full [pdf format]

ACTU survey of safety reps
A 2001 survey by Australian union federation ACTU found a PIN was effective in resolving health and safety issues in 95 per cent of cases. Only 16 per cent had stopped work for health and safety reasons but almost all - 98 per cent - said this move was effective in resolving the issue... more

• More on UINs and PINs below

Hazards workplace notices news and resources

This TUC/Hazards guide to Union Inspection Notices (UINs) includes information on new TUC resources for trade union safety reps. It also provides links to great resources produced by Australian unions, where their notices - PINs or Provisional Improvement Notices - have full, enforceable, legal status. Also see Union inspection Notices - Resources and News

UIN Resources
UIN stamp logo
Take notice! Union Inspection Notices, launched exclusively by the TUC in this issue of Hazards, are a serious new resource in the trade union safety rep's tool kit. TUC wants safety reps nationwide serving notice on hazards at work. TUC Senior Policy Officer Owen Tudor explains how and why...
Hazards 76, pages 4-5 [pdf format]

Union inspection notices

Public services union PCS has produced an online guide on Union Inspection Notices

Union inspection notices guide

Extending Safety Representatives’ Rights

UK union UCU (formerly NATFHE and AUT) has produced a sample Union Inspection Notice book for reps to use.

Sample union inspection notice for safety reps

ISTC/Community Union Inspection Notice book

UK union Community (formerly ISTC) has produced a Union Inspection Notice book.

Community, Swinton House,
324 Gray's Inn Road,
London, WC1X 8DD.
Tel: 020 7239 1200
Community safety pages
Further UIN info


UIN pullout page1 image

UIN notice image

A TUC guide to
Union Inspection Notices

• How to use a UIN [pdf format]
• UIN form to print off and use at work [pdf format]
More information here
Hazards 76, pages 17-20

Purchase details
Single copies of this 4 page TUC/ Hazards pullout guide are available free with a stamped addressed envelope from: TUC Publications, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WCIB 3LS.

Bulk orders (postage free)
10-100 copies, £0.25 each
100-500, £0.20 each
over 500, £0.15 each
Send an email to Hazards saying how many copies you require, and we will despatch immediately with an invoice.

Take Notice!

Take Notice! Workplace poster

Take Notice! Spot it, Notice it, Stop it

• Click here for a version suitable for your computer desktop wallpaper
• Click here for a PDF version to print off and pin up at work
• To obtain copies of Hazards 76 complete with poster and the free UIN guide, subscribe

Take notice! Hazards 76, centrepages

Safety Alert! Image

Workplace leaflets

Safety Alert! A Hazards leaflet. Tells the workforce a Union Inspection Notice has been issued, and a deadline has been set for safety problems to be remedied...
[pdf format]

Imminent Risk! image

Imminent Risk! A Hazards leaflet. Tells the workforce where a machine, process, substance, environment or system of work is indisputably so dangerous work should be discontinued until the risks are removed...
[pdf format]

UNISON notices resources
UNISON guide and print off and use Union Inspection Notice... here

UNISON Safety Inspection Letter
Standard letter to notify your employer that you are undertaking a health and safety inspection on your premises. [pdf format]

UNISON Safety Inspection notice
Standard letter to notify UNISON members that you are undertaking a health and safety inspection.
[pdf format]

UNISON Inspection Report Form
Health and safety form to record inspections and actioned called for. [pdf format]

GMB pilots Union Inspection Notices
GMB gives a description and further information on their UIN pilot program... here

GMB West Midlands region Union Inspection Notice more

GMB West Midlands guide to using a UIN more [large file]


Safety and health complaints form, USWA
A United Steelworkers of America health and safety complaints form pocket book allows reps to make a safety complaint, record whether management accepts the complaint and provides three copies: white (for the originator); pink (for management); and yellow (for the safety committee).
USWA complaint form

CUPE enforcement log image
CUPE enforcement log, Canada
The Canadian Union of Public Employees produced a health and safety "enforcement log" as part of a campaign, "Health and safety enforcement - the weakest link". The form allows union reps to grade problems by degree of risk. A top copy is submitted to management. A carbon copy is for the union and joint health and safety committee.
CUPE enforcement log


CUPE violations sheet

Resources from Australia
Provisional Improvement Notices

CPSU image

PIN example

PIN guide from the Community and Public Service Union, Australia

A PIN is a Provisional Improvement Notice which is a formal notice from a Health and Safety Rep to a supervisor advising the supervisor that there is a breach of safety at work. It is used where consultation between the Health and Safety Rep and the supervisor does not resolve the safety.

To see a CPSU PIN, click here

PIN 'em down CPSU guide on Provisional Improvement Notices.



Health and safety reps' handbook Sections of the official Comcare health and safety handbook outlining the rights of health and safety reps in the Commonwealth (federal) sector, Australia. Excerpts here include detrails of the powers of safety reps, a model completed PIN, a blank PIN, and some background to the role and application of PINs.

OHS Reps
What is a PIN? How do I use one? More

Victorian Trades Hall Council
VTHC, the major union federation in the Australian state of Victoria has championed the use of PINs by union safety reps.
VTHC logo

Guide to PINs
This union guide explains the law on the use of PINs in Victoria, Australia. Also gives guidance for union reps on the use of PINs and has a series of case histories...

What is a PIN?
This document describes how reps can use PINs to resolve issues at the workplace, when to use them and how to ensure that your employer does the right thing.
Guidance from the VTHC OHS Rep webpage, Australia

Inspectors and PINs
The law in Victoria, Australia, gives health and safety reps the right to issue PINS if they believe there has been a contravention of safety laws. A PIN is usually issued to the employer, although it may also be issued to a manufacturer, supplier or any other person with duties under the Act. Before a PIN can be issued, the rep must consult with the person to whom the notice is to be issued.
Guidance from the VTHC OHS Rep webpage, Australia

Inspectors - Visits following non-compliance with a PIN
When an elected OHS rep issues a PIN to their employer, the employer cannot just ignore it. The two options are to comply with the PIN or to call an Inspector. But what happens if the employer does not comply with a PIN?
Guidance from the VTHC OHS Rep webpage, Australia

Also see the VTHC website

VTHC sample pin

For a sample PIN from VTHC click here

QCU image

Occupational health and
safety policy
Queensland Council of Unions

In Queensland and other Australian states, union reps can issue "Provisional Improvement Notices" and "Provisional Prohibition Notices". These are like UINs, but also have full, enforceable, legal status. Section 9.13 of this excellent general safety policy document very briefly outlines this right... [pdf format]

UIN News

Britain: Union notice urges EA to beef up safety measures
In the face of the increased transmission rates of the new Covid-19 variant, unions including UNISON, Prospect, GMB and Unite have issued a Union Improvement Notice calling on the Environment Agency to review its risk assessments. The notice calls for the Environment Agency to review measures, and calls for the introduction of compulsory face coverings in communal areas and consideration of flexible start and finish times to reduce social contact with colleagues.
UNISON news release. BBC News Online. Risks 982.
Hazards news, 28 January 2021

Britain: ‘Union Improvement Notice’ served on British Museum
The British Museum must take action to remedy Covid-19 safety breaches – but it is a union and not a safety regulator that is laying down the law. Because of overcrowding and difficulties with social distancing, civil service union PCS said it “has been left with no alternative but to issue a Union Improvement Notice (UIN) on 30 October.”
PCS news release and webpage on Union Improvement Notices. TUC guide to union health and safety inspections and safety reps’ tools including UINs.  UIN form. Risks 973.
Hazards news, 14 November 2020

Australia: Court backs union safety notice
A state government department in Victoria, Australia, that ignored an improvement notice issued by a union safety rep has been successfully prosecuted. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development had ignored a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) issued by the safety rep.
More VTHC news releaseHazards safety reps webpages

Hazards news, 11 August 2007

Britain: Usdaw safety reps want to PIN down dangers
Retail union Usdaw is to call for extended rights for union safety reps, including the right to issue Provisional Improvement Notices (PINs). A proposition backing the call for safety reps to have the power to issue the legally-binding notices to stop illegally dangerous work was passed at the union’s Blackpool conference.
Risks 255, 6 May 2006

Britain: Safety reps should get noticed!
TUC is urging union safety reps to make sure employers take notice of their safety concerns. A new online guide to union inspection notices says each one “is a formal notice issued to a manager by an accredited trade union safety representative.
Risks 226, 1 October 2005

Australia: Racetrack union refuses deadly track hurdles
Melbourne's jumping season fell at the first hurdle when Sandown racecourse workers scratched the steeplechase from the card on safety grounds. Australian Workers' Union (AWU) members slapped a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) on heavy, outdated steeples that have led to cuts, bruises and back injuries.
Risks 199, 19 March 2005

PCS reps have been using UINs to negotiate safety improvements - and sometimes just the threat of a notice was enough.
PCS Assessment, April 2002 Risks 52

RSI still causing pain and suffering
Australia's Victorian Trades Hall Council has called for more prosecutions of unhealthy employers. The union body also urged safety reps to issue "Provisional Improvement Notices" where they see breaches of manual handling regulations.
Risks 43
, 28 February 2002VTHC news release

PCS immigration officers serve UINs
After a week of increasingly violent incidents culminating in a threat to take a member of staff hostage, PCS members employed as immigration officers have removed the threat to their safety by refusing to have face to face contact with detainees, as is their right under the Employment Rights Act in the face of serious and imminent danger. PCS last week served a Union Inspection Notice on Kevin Brewer, director of the Dungavel detention centre, "after a shameful five months of management inactivity, demanding that the appropriate risk assessments be done and a safe system of work be put in place."
Risks 41, 16 February 2002

Official backing for Union Inspection Notices
Companies and their directors and managers are to face closer legal scrutiny when they breach safety laws, says a new official policy. The Health and Safety Commission's new enforcement policy statement also recognises the role that warnings from safety reps should play in deciding whether to prosecute - giving official backing to the Union Inspection Notice process. Paragraph 40 of the statement says: "HSC also expects that, in the public interest, enforcing authorities will consider prosecution ... where following an investigation or other regulatory contact ... a breach which gives rise to significant risk has continued despite relevant warnings from employees or their representatives."
Risks 39, 2 February 2002 HSC Enforcement Policy Statement (HSC15) [pdf format]

Train company recognises Union Inspection Notices
Union reps in the rail union TSSA on Merseyside can now use Union Inspection Notices (UINs) as part of agreed workplace inspection procedures. Arriva Trains Merseyside accepted the TSSA's argument that the use of UINs by health and safety reps will complement existing company procedures. TSSA negotiations officer Steve Coe commented: 'This agreement not only demonstrates the invaluable work of union health and safety reps but that their expertise and contribution is being more widely recognised'. He added: 'All employers should be seeking to incorporate the UIN scheme into their existing health and safety procedures and supporting reps who want to enhance their existing skills and knowledge through extra training in UIN application.' TUC's Union Inspection Notice scheme was launched in November 2001.
Risks 39, 9 November 2001 TSSA circular

Safety reps urged to give bad bosses a final warning
Union workplace safety reps in the UK will be able to serve a “final warning” on employers who endanger the health and safety of people at work
TUC press release, 9 November 2001