Tories Out march, Sunday 1st October, Manchester: Hazards Campaign bloc and banner

Join the  Hazards Campaign in Manchester on Sunday 1st October where we will be marching behind our new banner at the Tories Out march at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester.

Join us to tell the Government : “We love red tape – it’s better than bloody bandages”

We  invite you to join us and to dress up in bloodied (fake blood or similar) bandages – there should be lots of Halloween costumes available in the shops if you don’t feel creative).

If you are lucky you may even get a  photo with Janet in her bandages… for the price of a postcard!

We are organising a table for the beginning of the march to encourage people to sign postcards – telling the Government : “We love red tape it’s better than bloody bandages” and “enough is enough.”

Meeting place  If possible we will our table up near to the Museum of Science and Industry end of Liverpool Road. If we can’t do that please ring one of the numbers below and keep an eye on @hazardscampaign and @jnewsham

Order of the day  We aim to set up our table  at about 10.00.  Speeches start at 11.30 at Castlefield Arena. The demo forms up on Liverpool Rd at 13.30  leaving at 14.00 with closing speeches at Piccadilly Gardens at 15.45 – 16.30.

Best wishes,

Janet Newsham – Hazards Campaign/GMHC

Janet Newsham 07734 317158
Hilda Palmer 07929 800240

ACTION : #TUC17 congress debate on regulation and safety this afternoon

Hazards Campaigners,

There is a  debate on Regulation and safety at #TUC17 this afternoon (Monday 11th) that supports  our message. It’s an excellent  opportunity to get more Enough is Enough ecards sent to PM and increase the pressure.

Please tweet and retweet this afternoon (Monday 11th) around 2pm onwards using the #tuc17 and retweet  @hazardscampaign   @jnewsham

Sample Tweets:

Paste and copy and tweet:

#TUC17 Regulation & Safety:  Hazards Campaign calls for an end to deregulation & undermining of health & safety http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/postcard

#TUC17 Support Regulation & Safety debate: Send a Hazards Campaign Enough is enough ecard http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/postcard

#TUC17 Deregulation is deadly, at Grenfell, at work, everywhere.  Enough is enough, stop deregulation http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/postcard

Or make up your own and add #tuc17 and the link http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/postcard 

THANK YOU

Hilda and Janet

 

Hazards 2017 closing plenary 2017 part 2

Hazards 2017 closing plenary part 1

Workshops and campaign meetings – selected Tweets

Hazards opening plenary session 28 July 2017 – selected Tweets

Background for Hazards conference 2017 Keele 28-30 July

#haz2017 More information here and here

‘Good work’ review, should be entitled ‘Damned Work’!

Responding to the ‘Taylor Review’ Employment Practices in the Modern Economy published today the Hazards Campaign says its conclusions are “deluded and misleading at best. “

Janet Newsham of the Hazards Campaign says that “Conclusions contained in the Taylor review of modern working practices published today, called ‘Good Work’(1), are deluded and misleading at best and are conspiring with the so called ‘gig’ employers at worst. The document continues to sanction unscrupulous employers, exploiting and harming their work force in whatever form they have chosen to employ them.”

The report suggests seven steps towards fair and decent work and talks about a national strategy for work explicitly directed toward the goal of good work for all. It says that this should include basic principles of a ‘fair balance of rights and responsibilities with a ‘baseline of protection’.

Janet Newsham observes: “Surely that is what employment law and contract law is all about? It would however have been more positive to provide employment rights from day one of employment and to make sure that all workers have decent employment rights as detailed for ‘employees’.

“The report suggests that ‘technological change’ can ‘offer new opportunities’, but this seems to be only in the interests of employers. It does not cover the way new technology is subjecting workers to ‘micromanagement’ and unfair scrutiny, surveillance and control and how it is being used to speed up processes to unacceptable levels of work and denying them basic welfare rights, such as toilet breaks and lunch breaks.

The Hazards Campaign asks what is stopping employers providing flexibility with workers now?

“We believe that these employers want a one sided flexibility. Employers already have the ability to employ people on permanent contracts, with negotiated hours with flexibility and self-management of their work. These so called gig employers, are devoid of employment decency and mutual respect. They want regimented control to maximise their profit at everyone’s expense other than their own.

“Ridiculously, the report says it is not ‘national regulation but responsible corporate governance’ that is needed. If this was the case, then this report would not have been produced. It is because workers are being exploited at every turn that regulation is vital.

“Finally, the Hazards Campaign would agree that the ‘shape and content of work and individual health and well-being are strongly related’. We need employers to stop killing, injuring and making workers ill. Workers are being ‘damned’ to bad working practices, low paid precarious work without any opportunity to progress or improve their pay, and conditions at work (including health, safety and welfare). Vulnerable workers cannot challenge bad safety, unhealthy, unfair or discriminatory working practices for fear of their work being terminated. They are powerless and treated with contempt.”

“Every year 50,000 plus workers die in the UK because of their work (2). We need employers to take their health and safety  responsibilities seriously by assessing the risks and eliminating and controlling them. We don’t need more words about proactive workplace health, we need all those in influential positions to reinforce the importance of health, safety and welfare excellence in our workplaces and for employers to act on it. ”

More Information: Janet Newsham Tel: 0161 636 7557 or mobile: 07734 317158

Note for Editors:
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-the-taylor-review-of-modern-working-practices
2. http://www.gmhazards.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Hazards-Campaign-challenging-the-HSE-statistics.pdf

FACK Statement International Workers’ Memorial Day 28 April 2017

FACK families spend International Workers’ Memorial Day remembering our dead and further reinforcing our commitment to fight like hell for the living: you and your loved ones.

We do it because this year the TUC focus for the day is on good health and safety for all workers whoever they are.  Because, whoever they are, they are someone’s parent, spouse, sibling, child…they are someone’s loved one.

Until it touches your life, you can’t fully appreciate the impact it has.  Seeing a fiancé going from choosing wedding cars to sitting in a funeral cortege.  Having to visit a cemetery, once a month or more to lay flowers for a son and brother, who didn’t get the opportunity to become an uncle, a husband or a dad.  Knowing you’ll never answer the phone again to hear the words “how you doin’ sis?”  Having to send happy Easter, Christmas, anniversary, or birthday wishes “up there”.  Or wishing you’d been able to say goodbye that morning before they left.

You see, the HSE figure of 144 people killed at work last year is heartbreaking enough in itself: that so many should leave home, never to return.  And so is knowing that the last text you sent your husband read: “Hey sexy husband, hope your day’s got more exciting.  Love you.”  Mark was that sexy husband.  He was dead before he got the chance to read it, all down to lack of health and safety protections which he, his wife Tracey and their now 4-yr-old daughter should have expected to be a given.

It should also be a given that each and every work-related death is recognised, counted and therefore made to count!  We must remember all of the dead.  Because the HSE figure doesn’t include those who die at sea, or as a result of air incidents, or who die on our roads while working (or who are driving home dog tired after having to work excessively long hours of work), members of the public killed by work-related activities, or the huge numbers killed by occupational illnesses such as asbestos cancers.

It also doesn’t count those who die by suicide due to work.  Hazards estimates this at around 300 every year across the UK.  Almost one person every day driven to suicide because of work-related stress, fears over job security and low pay, work overload, bullying, or indeed as a result of injury or illness suffered at work, or the death of colleagues.

We daren’t begin to contemplate the horror of knowing your loved one, a police officer, took his own life after two of his colleagues were killed in the line of duty.  Having written out his own death tag, he hanged himself from a tree at a spot where he’d previously found a suicide victim.

Or the feeling of helplessness felt by the wife of the popular firefighter on hearing he had been found dead at his station having taken his own life.  She had reassured him “it was just a job and it didn’t matter”, that it was her “and the kids who were important”.  He was a man who “had never been the same” after the preventable death of a fellow firefighter two years previous and who a coroner was to find had had “pressure upon pressure piled upon him” at work.

Just as a young teacher had.  Her family state she was “worked to death” after a job promotion, only sleeping for 3 hours a night as her “mind was in overdrive”.  How would you ever being to come to terms with a loved one’s decision to jump to their death from a motorway bridge.

If we’re to effectively fight for the living, we must recognise work-related suicide – just as they do in Japan, Australia and France – and work to eliminate the causes.  We must resist the move to resilience as a means of tackling stress, and instead focus on removing or fixing the hazards, rather than fixating on fixing the worker.

A report in Hazards magazine states that: “when people feel they no longer have a voice in the workforce, they protest in other ways including, in the most extreme cases, by killing themselves.”

The most powerful voice is a collective one.  And we know that a union workplace is a far safer workplace!  Fewer injuries and occupational illnesses.  Less sickness absence.  And better reporting of health and safety problems, so they can be fixed before a worker suffers life-changing, life-limiting or life-ending consequences.

A union workplace is also a fairer, more equal one.

The international theme for today centres on inequality at work.  Because the work a person does often results from inequality and results in health inequality.  The lower your pay grade, the higher your health and safety risks, whether from overwork, exposure to substances which cause cancer, the inability to turn down overtime and shift work, or the worry about speaking up on health and safety for fear you lose your job and your family’s livelihood as a result.

As the “gig economy” and precarious work becomes increasingly prevalent, we see workers expected to survive on contracts that are temporary or casual in nature, with no guarantee as to hours, which are low paid, and which lack access to employment benefits and important legal protections.  These work arrangements negatively impact on the health and safety of individuals, whether in the form of increased incidence of workplace injury, work intensification and stress levels, or decreased collective organisation and trade union membership.  We must counter this and get political priorities properly focused, reiterating that we didn’t – and we won’t – vote to die at work!

We will continue the work of getting to a point where never again does a loved one leave home in a work’s van, only to return in one belonging to an undertaker.

So on this International Workers’ Memorial Day, we urge you to remember not only our dead, but all of the dead…and let’s ensure we fight like hell to ensure all others are able to keep on with the most important job of all, that of living life to the fullest each and every day.

FACK was established in July 2006, by and for families of people killed by the gross negligence of business employers, see www.fack.org.uk

Founder Members of FACK:

Dawn and Paul Adams son Samuel Adams aged 6 killed at Trafford Centre,10th October 1998

Linzi Herbertson – husband Andrew Herbertson 29, killed at work in January 1998

Mike and Lynne Hutin son Andrew Hutin 20, killed at work on 8th Nov 2001

Mick & Bet Murphyson Lewis Murphy 18, killed at work on 21st February 2004

Louise Taggart brother Michael Adamson 26, killed at work on 4th August 2005

Linda Whelanson Craig Whelan 23, (and Paul Wakefield) killed at work on 23rd May 2004

Dorothy & Douglas Wrightson Mark Wright 37, killed at work on 13th April 2005

For more information and to support  FACK, contact Hilda Palmer, Facilitator for FACK: Tel 0161 636 7557

Hazards Campaign 28 April video

Associates of Greater Manchester Hazards Centre explain why International Workers’ Memorial Day is important in remembering those killed or injured at work, and those who continue to be vulnerable in the workplace.