Napo’s one day seminar of Women’s Occupational Health was a great success. The seminar held at Napo HQ in London on 6 December was attended by over 30 women from all over the country. There was an excellent balance from all sections of probation and many new faces as well as some familiar ones.
Sarah Friday, Napo Health and Safety NO, who organised the event, reported that interest in the event had been heartening and showed how relevant this issue is to members. A lot of those attending had never been to a Napo event before and many were attending because they had a specific issue of personal concern that they wanted to find out more about. She said that attendees found the day both hugely enjoyable and useful.
Sadly, although the seminar was not probation specific there was no one from the Family Court Section. This is something that Napo will look to address in future events.
Wide range of speakers
Professor Myra Hunter and Doctor Claire Hard, from King’s College London, spoke about the results of Napo’s 2016 survey on women’s premenstrual experiences and the menopause at work.
Andrea Oates, a freelance journalist, spoke about her recent Labour Research article on ‘Keeping Women Safe and Healthy’ in the workplace, while Kathryn Mackridge, TUC Women’s Equality Policy Officer, reported on what the TUC is doing to address the issue of women’s health at work.
Back to Back
There was also the opportunity for some practical advice on how best to arrange the office environment and to use your laptop, PC, phones etc. from RSI specialist and ergonomist Bunny Martin. Bunny, who is Director of Back to Back, was very hands on as she demonstrated simple ways to arrange equipment etc. to provide a safer and healthier working environment.
Everyone at the seminar agreed that it would be good to roll out similar events on a regional basis across the union and Sarah Friday will be looking in to the possibility of this over the course of this year.
Women’s Occupational Health has been a priority of the national Health and Safety Committee for the past few years. This is an important area of focus given that women are 70% of Napo’s membership in probation and 80% in cafcass. However this area is not currently given the profile it should have by employers and this is something that the Committee is working hard to address.
Members of the Health and Safety Committee are normally serving Health and Safety Reps. There are currently vacancies on the Health and Safety Committee and if you are a rep (or interested in becoming one) and are interested in joining the Committee please contact Margaret Pearce at Napo Head Office for more information firstname.lastname@example.org.