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What we want YOU to do now

Send a copy of this Hazards 2008 motion to your MP now, along with a letter explaining why you as a safety rep and/or your union branch support this motion and what you want your MP to do now.

You can use the proforma letter below or write your own.

If using the profoma letter:

Copy and paste it and then,
- Insert your address top right,
- Insert the date
- Insert the name of your MP after ‘Dear’
- Sign the letter
- Send it to the MP at House of Commons, London, SW1A 1AA

Or to the constituency office if you know the address

If you are sending it from your branch or other organisation, then change all the ‘I’s to ‘We’.

If you receive a response, please send us a copy, at :

Hazards Campaign
Windrush Millennium Centre
70 Alexandra Road
M16 7WD

Please feel free to send the Motion and variations of your letter to:
Rt Hon James Purnell MP

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Caxton House
Tothill Street

Lord Bill McKenzie
Under Sec of State for Work and Pensions,
Caxton House
Tothill Street

Dame Carol Black
National Director for Work and Health,
Health, Work and Well-being
2nd Floor
The Adelphi Building
1-11 John Adam Street

House of Commons


‘Rejection of Dame Carol Black’s report : ‘Working for a healthier tomorrow’

I am very concerned about the lack of action on workers’ health in this country and support the enclosed motion passed at the recent Hazards 2008 Conference. This motion rejects the ‘Working for a healthier tomorrow’ report as an ideological document with no reference to occupational diseases, bearing no resemblance to the realities of working life in Britain today, it is a tool for driving workers back to work taking no account of the causes of their ill health and will not deliver a healthier tomorrow for workers. Dame Carol was invited to speak at the Hazards 2008 Conference but was unable to attend.

The official Labour Force Survey (LFS) figures estimate that 5 per cent of adults in Great Britain are suffering work-related ill-health which is about 2.2 million workers, and there is an increasing epidemic of musculo-skeletal disorders and work-related stress. The costs to individual workers and their families of this work-related ill health are incalculable, but are massive and unacceptable, with less than one in ten receiving any civil compensation or state benefits see here Estimates of what this costs to the whole economy vary but Dame Carol Black, the national Director for Work and Health, who carried out a Review of the health of Britain’s working population and published the report ‘Working for a healthier tomorrow’ estimates:

‘The cost to the tax payer – benefit costs, additional health costs and foregone taxes - are estimated to be over £60 billion. The annual economic cost of sickness absence and worklessness associated with working age ill-health are estimated to be over £100 billion. This is greater than the current annual budget for the NHS and equivalent to the entire GDP of Portugal.’

This would be bad enough but the Hazards Campaign believes the official figures above are a gross underestimation of the harm that work is doing to workers health, see www.hazards.org/jobtodiefor and www.hazards.org/cancer. The LFS figures used by the HSE, and quoted widely by government departments, completely ignore many work-related conditions such as most cancers, Parkinsons, Neurotoxicity, Motor Neurone Disease, Scleroderma & Autoimmune illnesses , Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimers and even Vibration White Finger! The European Survey of Working Conditions estimates that 60 per cent of workers suffer from work-related health problems.

Therefore I welcomed the review of the health of the working population and hoped for some radical proposals to begin to stop workers being made ill in the first place, to address the causes of the unacceptably high level of ill-health by, for example, increasing the enforcement of existing health and safety law and introducing obligations on employers to rehabilitate workers they have made ill.

The report ‘Work for a Healthier Tomorrow’ is a costly and wasted opportunity, a great disappointment which totally fails to address any of these issues as the enclosed motion makes clear. I would like your support in campaigning for healthier workplaces and would like you to ask ministers to explain how they are planning urgently to reduce the unacceptable burden of ill-health on workers which employers are currently inflicting almost with impunity.

Specifically I would like to know what action you support, and what action ministers will take:

  • for the prevention of ill health, injuries and deaths at work,
  • on the need for stronger enforcement and better and stronger rights for Health and Safety Representatives;
  • on the competence of those charged with carrying out risk assessments and
    for clear strategies for the rehabilitation of injured workers.

I look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours sincerely



The Hazards Campaign, c/o Greater Manchester Hazards Centre, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road,
Manchester, M16 7WD . website www.hazardscampaign.org.uk