All posts by Jawad

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

ePostcard campaign: Tell Theresa May “Enough is enough”

To coincide with  the national Hazards Conference 2017 (28-30 July) the Hazards Campaign has launched an ePostcard Campaign to tell the Prime Minister that “Enough is enough.”

As the nation watched in horror as fire ripped through Grenfell Tower, questions about government culpability were being asked. The Conservatives have discarded critical fire, building, product, environmental and workplace safety protections and shackled and starved regulators. A government with a criminal disregard for human life has now been left with blood on its hands.

The Hazards Campaign warned the government repeatedly that its ideological obsession with cutting red tape is a deadly mistake. After the Grenfell disaster the Hazards Campaign says: “Enough is enough. Stop undermining the laws that protect us.”

Click here to send the Prime Minister the Enough is enough epostcard 

Printed copies of the postcard will be also made available at the 28-30 July Hazards 2017 conference – alternatively you can write to the Hazards Campaign

Background  Tower block inferno must mean an end to the Tory deregulation fetish, Hazards magazine, 138 July 2017

Hazards opening plenary session 28 July 2017 – selected Tweets

Hazards conference 2017 programme

Hazards 2017 Programme – Organising health, safety and welfare in an insecure world

Friday 28th July

13.00 – 19.30                      Delegates arrival and Registration

Choose and sign-up for ONE Saturday Campaign meeting at Registration  Listed here.

17.00 – 19.30                       Evening Meal

19.30 – 21.00                       Opening Plenary in Westminster Theatre

Chair:  Doug Russell, USDAW; opening remarks  Speakers: Janet Newsham, Hazards Campaign: Welcome and Conference arrangements; Jessica Martinez, Director National COSH, USA; Dan Shears, GMB; Tracey Seward, FACK;   Mick Lancaster GMB/FACK

Saturday 29th July

07.30 – 9.00                            Registration for later arrivals/non-residential delegates

07.00 – 08.45                          Breakfast

09.00 – 10.30                          First Workshop Session

10.30– 11.00                           Tea/Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.30                          Second Workshop Session

12.30 – 14.00                           Lunch

14.00 – 15.45                          Three Meetings

  1. Challenging the individual therapy view versus collective action to prevent work causing mental ill-health
    Chair:  Hugh Robertson, TUC; Speaker: Paul Maloney,  Psychologist,  author of ‘The Therapy Industry’
  2. Towards zero work-related cancer Chair: Kathy Jenkins, Scottish Hazards; Speakers:  Helen Lynn Alliance for Cancer Prevention;  Susan Murray UNITE
  3. Using new methods of organising on health and safety Chair: Janet Newsham, GM Hazards Centre; Speakers: Barry Faulkner, UNITE; Gareth Lane BFAWU;  Michael Newman, Leigh Day;  Bryan Simpson,  Better than Zero.

15.45 – 16.00                           Tea/Coffee Break

16.00 – 17.30                           Campaign Meetings   – Room allocation signs are displayed at Registration

19.00 – 20.30                             Dinner          

Sunday 30th July

07.30 – 09.15                          Breakfast

Clear rooms- bring cases to secure room in registration area

10.00 – 12.00                           Closing Plenary in Westminster theatre

Chair: Hazards Campaign:  ‘Enough is Enough: End deregulation now !

Speakers: Matt Wrack, General Secretary, FBU, Hazards Campaign; Others tbc;

12.00 – 13.30                          Packed Lunch – eat with us or take away & depart

Don’t forget to complete an evaluation form and leave it at registration.

27th to 29th July Hazards 2018 at Keele University

Leave a self-addressed envelope at registration to be kept informed.

And check on Hazards Campaign website: http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk   #Haz2017


29 July Campaign Meetings 16.00 – 17.30

Choose ONE and then Sign up at Registration

  1. Internnal solidarity to combat attacks on workers; lives and health

Main health and safety  problems facing workers worldwide including Brexit, CETA and the alphabet soup of other toxic ‘free trade;’ treaties Developing Global Occupational Safety and Health Networks GOSH to fight back.

Chair: Kathy Jenkins, Scottish Hazards; Speakers: Jessica Martinez, USA National COSH

  1. Campaigning against Asbestos in schools, in all workplaces, in UK and globally

Update on campaigning locally, nationally and globally to get asbestos banned globally, to get asbestos removed from schools and other workplaces and for better treatment and compensation for sufferers.

Chair:  Philip Lewis LASAG and LHC; Speakers Sarah Lyons, Joint Union Asbestos Committee   (JUAC)/NUT; Harminder Bains, Leigh Day Solicitors; Graham Dring, Chair of Asbestos Victims            Support             Groups

  1. Update on the legal state of health and safety

Recent legal changes to legal aid, tribunals, personal injury/ work-death, stress cases, TU Bill, and their implications for workers and union safety reps.

Chair: tbc; Speakers: Satinder Bains and Keith Cundall, Irwin Mitchell

  1. Dogs can be dangerous

Raising awareness of  the hazards of dogs to workers who call or enter a premises, the preventative measures developed jointly CWU and Royal Mail to reduce the risk – prevent serious injuries or death. What union safety reps can do in discussions with their employers to improve policies or improve them to protect workers.

Chair: Lynsey Mann, GMB:  Speakers Andrew Hickerman and Tony Pedal, CWU

  1. Work-Related Death, supporting families and fighting back

What FACK does in supporting families after a work-death and advocating for them through the      investigation, inquest and any prosecutions.  Using our stories in campaigning and how supporting solicitors        provide essential legal representation to ensure equality of arms at Inquests.  Issues arising from Grenfell.

Chair: Hilda Palmer, FACK, Speakers: Tracey Seward, Michael Lancaster FACK members; Helen Clifford, McMillan Williams Solicitors. Families Against Corporate Killers , FACK, is supported by TU donations and sponsorship from Irwin Mitchell and McMillan Williams solicitors.

  1. Whatever happened to welfare ?

Welfare at work – it’s the poor relation to Health and Safety these days.  What happened to the lunch hour?  Has your tea-break been sold?  Do you eat lunch at your desk these days – where did staff common rooms or canteens go? Share our experience of reduced welfare facilities at work.  What else should we demand from employers? Let’s make improved welfare provision a workplace campaign this year.

Chair Janet Newsham; Speaker John Bamford, GM Hazards Centre

  1. Air pollution as a Workplace issue

Air pollution is a public health emergency and is linked to at least 40,000 deaths on the UK each year.  It is a workplace issue taken up by the Greener Jobs Alliance, UCU and Hazards Campaign. What can we do about it as union safety reps?

Chair Caroline Bedale; Speaker Adam Lincoln, UCU Health, Safety and Sustainability Advisor

 

Background for Hazards conference 2017 Keele 28-30 July

#haz2017 More information here and here

Hazards Campaign open letter to Commander Stuart Cundy in charge of the Grenfell fire investigation

Metropolitan Police Headquarters, New Scotland Yard,  8-10 Broadway, London, SW1H 0BG.

Hazards Campaign open letter to Commander Stuart Cundy in charge of the Grenfell fire investigation

Dear Commander Cundy,

The police investigation must investigate the Prime Ministers and ministers whose behaviour, actions and wilful disregard of warnings about the deadly consequences of their deregulation fetish that lead to decisions which caused the Grenfell fire.

We are pleased to hear you confirm that the starting point for your investigation into the Grenfell Tower investigation is ‘80 deaths by manslaughter.’  It is clear now that the overall model of regulation and enforcement of fire safety in buildings lies within a wider political context of government deregulatory initiatives that have undermined criminal health and safety law over a long period, and specifically accelerated since 2010.  Therefore we seek assurance that your investigation will look not only at all those individuals, companies and organisations directly involved in Grenfell Tower, but will examine the wider and crucial role of the ministers and their advisers on the deregulation of all types of health and safety law, enforcement and scrutiny, which form the environment in which the decisions that led to the Grenfell disaster took place.  This is a disaster which was foretold, that should never have happened and would not have done if the regulation and enforcement framework had been properly functioning to protect lives rather than serve business interests first.

Your investigation must seek to establish responsibility and culpability for this terrible tragedy that has taken many lives and damaged many more.  It seems clear that Prime Ministers’ setting deregulatory agendas in their manifestos, their speeches and their government programmes, plus Ministers carrying out those programmes, plus those specifically responsible for Housing and Fire Safety must be interviewed under caution.  Ministers who promised but failed to review the Building Regulations after the Laknal fire and failed to act after repeated warnings of potential disaster from fire experts and many letters from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fire Safety and Rescue,  about the use of materials in high rise buildings without adequate safe guards in all aspects of their use, from specification, to installation to subsequent building, fire approvals and inspections, must be investigated.

We specifically seek assurance that this would include interviewing under caution ex Prime Minster David Cameron who repeatedly and vociferously ‘waged war’ on health and safety as ‘a monster’, ‘an albatross’, a ‘burden on business’ and which he vowed in his new year’s resolution of 2012 to ‘Kill off health and safety culture for good’   David Cameron set the ‘lite-touch’ political context in which regulations were viewed and policed.  Slashing the Health and Safety Executive, HSE, budget by a massive 33% in 2011 set the tone for the neutering of official policing of safety standards by the coalition government  . He established a programme of biased health and safety reviews, ‘Red Tape’ cuts, scrapping laws and dumbing down of guidance, plus slashing the budgets,  and restricting the enforcement activities of the HSE and the Local Authorities, while establishing business-oriented committees, advisory groups and programmes under the ‘Better Regulation’ agenda.

Others who must be interviewed under caution should include Prime Minister Theresa May who reaffirmed this deregulatory policy in 2016 and 2017, as ‘Cutting Red Tape’. and all ministers responsible for decisions on cutting health and safety in favour of reducing burdens on business, including, but not exclusively, ministers at the DWP, the DCLG, and those responsible for the Red Tape Challenge since 2010, those in charge of negotiating Brexit, plus any others who have made government sanctioned attacks on health and safety regulation and enforcement.  Of particular note is Oliver Letwin chairing a meeting under Brexit and the Red Tape Challenge on the deregulation of health and safety law for construction materials on the very day of the Grenfell Fire.

You are reported as stating that the criminal investigation would bring whoever is to blame to justice: “You can’t listen to the accounts of the survivors, the families, and those that lost loved ones, and listen to the 999 calls, like our investigation has done, and not want to hold people to account for a fire that should not have happened.”  We are pleased to hear this and insist that to honour this commitment, and to prevent other disasters, requires investigating and holding to account all those responsible for creating the deregulated health and safety environment including David Cameron and Theresa May and their ministers that have championed this model of corporate and governmental institutional neglect.

We will be pleased to provide more information on health and safety deregulation to your investigation team

Yours sincerely

Hilda Palmer, Acting Chair Hazards Campaign

‘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