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PDA Health and Safety Reps

Find out how you can become a PDA Health and Safety Rep today!

What is the role of a health and safety representative?

Health and safety reps are appointed to represent members’ interests on health and safety issues from a trip hazard, to workplace stress, to something more serious such as a safer practice issue. Every year, far too many pharmacists are injured at work or suffer illness or ill health brought on by their work.

The health and safety rep role includes:

  • Investigating complaints by union members about health, safety and welfare issues
  • Communicating with members about health and safety issues which may affect them
  • Raising health and safety issues with the PDA and subsequently with your employer
  • Carrying out health and safety inspections in the workplace(s) you represent
  • Investigating potential hazards and dangerous occurrences and examining the causes of accidents
  • Undertaking or examining health and safety risk assessments
  • Conducting surveys of the membership in relation to health, welfare and safety matters
  • Briefing members on PDA Union health and safety policies, advice and guidance.

What are the rights of a health and safety representative?

As a PDA Workplace Rep, you have certain rights under employment law. If the PDA is recognised by your employer, you have more rights than if the PDA is not recognised. Trade union recognition is a formal agreement with an employer for a particular union to undertake collective bargaining on behalf of that employer’s staff. Collective bargaining typically covers terms and conditions of employment (pay, hours, and holidays), discipline and grievance matters, health and safety, allocation of work, and redundancy.  It often extends to cover professional development and change management.

The PDA has recognition agreements with a variety of employers, with Boots being the largest multiple in community pharmacy. The PDA also has recognition in other pharmacy sectors, including in some hospitals. If the PDA is recognised by your employer, you are entitled to reasonable paid time off as is necessary to carry out your role, to attend appropriate Health and Safety training with your union and to attend any Health and Safety meetings with your employer as well as PDA Union Health and Safety Committee meetings.  In addition, reps should be afforded reasonable paid time off to advise pharmacists on matters of Health and Safety which affect them, to make representations to your employer on behalf of pharmacists in relation to potential hazards, and to raise general and specific health and safety issues such as safer practice or work-life balance issues.

Your rights relate to the Health and Safety of pharmacists, not patients, although the PDA believes that unsafe practice for patients is likely to cause stress for pharmacists. Further details about the rights for health and safety reps in recognised workplaces can be found in the Health and Safety Executive guide to ‘consulting employees on health and safety’ (learn more).

Training support and networking

As a health and safety rep, we want you to feel confident and supported in your new PDA role.

We hope to provide opportunities for all our reps to develop skills and knowledge and to gain personal satisfaction through helping and supporting others and sharing your profession for the future.

The PDA provides many opportunities for our reps to develop their knowledge and skills:

  1. Induction activities
  2. Training opportunities through GFTU 
  3. Training and events for Reps with the PDA and external stakeholders (face-to-face and online)
  4. Linked with a PDA Regional Official in your region for support
  5. 1-2-1 mentoring support for your rep role with a member of the PDA Organising & Engagement Team
  6. Space for you to network, share and support each other
  7. Opportunities to join other PDA networks 
  8. Places for reps at the PDA National Conference

If you would like to become a PDA Rep or for more information, please complete the below form.


Register your interest

Please complete the following form to get in touch with us

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If you or any of your colleagues are not yet members of the PDA, you can join the PDA today.

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The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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