Thursday, July 04, 2013

Metropolitan Housing Shooting

This is an article that I wrote today for our branch newsletter. "The exact details of what happened yesterday over the shooting of a Metropolitan HA housing officer and a bailiff during an eviction are unknown.

The use of guns against housing staff is thankfully incredibly rare but don’t forget the recent survey by "Inside Housing" that found yet another year on increase in assaults on staff. In the meanwhile an incident such as this concentrates minds.

Local stewards and safety representatives should be thinking of asking management when did they last review staff risk assessments and safety procedures? Have staff and the union been properly consulted on these documents? Are staff reps invited and enabled to attend safety committees? Do you have a register of residents who may be violent? Is this register up to-date and most importantly is it being used? Is there adequate resources made available for health and safety in your organisation?

The branch is planning to hold a training workshop for all our reps. Details will be sent out soon.
Remember a unionised workplace is a safer work place. The more of us in the union the safer all of us will be in work. If you are interested in being a UNISON safely rep contact the branch. Check out the excellent safety resources on the UNISON website here.


Anonymous said...

I hope your fellow housing professionals a speedy recovery.

"Local stewards and safety representatives should be thinking of asking management when did they last review staff risk assessments and safety procedures"

Why should you be saying you need to carry out "risk assessment"????. There is something seriously wrong with your thought patterns.

I rather live in a society where people are instinctively well behaved, where it is unnecessary to carry out such risk assessments.

I have faced ASB and threats and abuse from the various tenants of housing association over the years, including Newham Council's own Local Space.

I don't think any housing professionals care much about who they dump into houses. You seem to be saying, so long as my union chums are okay, I don't care pretty much what they do...

My taxes paid for their homes and benefits... In return we get treated badly.

John Gray said...

Hi anon

It is not my "thought patterns" it is the law of the land that employers carry out risk assessments for their staff to try and reduce the chances of them getting hurt.

We might indeed get to live in a society where people are on the whole instinctively well behaved such as Nordic and Scandinavian societies.

But to do this we have deal with people who make hateful and ignorant remarks and demonise the poor.

If you paid more taxes, as they do in these other countries and we provided greater support and public services for the poor as they do in these countries you would indeed get a better quality of life.

I suggest you read "The Spirit Level".

Anonymous said...

You make it sound as if you are handling dangerous animals, which requires your employer to carry out "risk assessment". You have got to the root of the argument, some people you house are no different to dangerous animals.

You want employers to carry out a "risk assessments" but what about the harm to the local community?

"The Spirit Level" is just a load of non-sense written by academics, who have no clue. They should live in Newham and see things first hand. Let them send their kids to Newham schools.

I have at first hand seen how people who have got brand new housing association houses, free education, free health service, child benefit, school meals... still go out and cause trouble for neighboors (the very ones who paid for the things they enjoy).

It is stupid solution to throw money at the problem.

It is not income equality we need, it is equality in manners and how to treat other people....

John Gray said...

all jobs require risk assessment anon. Some are just more risky than others.

Not sure how you square describing people as animals with a call for manners?

The Spirit Level makes a compelling argument based on research not ignorance or prejudice that a more equal society is better for all - rich and poor.

If you actually want to improve our society don't just moan and carp. Support equality!