Category Archives: Hazards conference

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

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 2017 conference booking form now available to download

Hazards 2017 Conference: Organising health, safety and welfare in an insecure world

28th – 30th July 2017, Keele University – Download the booking form

Hazards Conference is the UK’s biggest and best educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists.  As usual, we have invited a number of international and national trade union leaders, academics and campaigners who will share their knowledge and experience.  A comprehensive workshop programme to improve your skills and provide you with practical information to support your role as a rep/steward.

The opening plenary on Friday evening will feature inspiring speakers including Jessica Martinez from Hazards Campaign sister organisation, US National COSH to talk about the  joint threats  we face and how we can work together to fight them.  There will be great discussions in the plenaries  and in meetings.  One of the three meetings is about the therapy industry  being used to individualise mental ill health in the workplace, undermining employers’ responsibility to control the risks and ignoring the effect of government policies and spending  cuts causing growing poverty and inequality.  Another meeting will focus on how we eliminate hazardous substances such as carcinogens in the workplace and environment, and a third one on how we engage vulnerable and exploited workers in new organising methods.   In addition, there will be a number of campaign meetings, where activists will share information about their campaign successes and challenges.

Hazards 2017 takes place in the wonderful setting of Keele University and is attended by over 350 trade union reps from all unions, from different sectors and employers.  There will be plenty of trade union resources available at the exhibition stall for you to take away, along with developing your network of contacts, knowledge and organising skills to improve your workplace health and safety. So you can go home revitalised to educate, agitate and organise to make work safe!

Download the booking form

Hazards 2016 – conference report and documents

Hazards 2016 conference 29-31th July 2016, Keele University

Building Resistance to Support Safety Reps

The Hazards conference is the largest conference in the northern hemisphere solely for Trade Union health and safety reps.  This year’s was called ‘Building Resistance to Support Safety Reps. It was a packed weekend with 350 delegates, fantastic speakers, valuable workshops and inspiring meetings.

Hazards 2016 started with the Friday plenary session. Hilda Palmer of the Hazards Campaign welcomed delegates, explained what the Hazards Campaign is, listed useful website links, outlined #Haz2016 theme, the new format programme and arrangements, gave thanks to sponsors, and noted that a third to half of delegates are new to Hazards.

postcardrear

The Hazards Campaign’s blunt message to the new Prime Minister warns her not to neglect the effective regulation and strict enforcement of safety laws

Delegates were asked to sign a ‘Stop it you’re killing us’ postcard included in their delegate bag, to send one by e-mail , share it on Twitter and Facebook, and take it back to workplaces and branches. The introduction ended with a minute silence to remember all those workers – over 50,000 – who  have died at, and by, work over the last year and especially Linda Whelan a founder member of FACK, Families Against Corporate Killers, and those killed in multi-fatality incidents such as the five migrant workers killed at Hawkeswood Metals, in Birmingham, the four killed at Bosley Wood Flour Mill,  and the four killed at Didcot power station, of whom three were still buried under the rubble.

Hugh Robertson, TUC Health and Safety officer, spoke about ‘Protecting health and safety after Brexit’  describing the potential implications of leaving the EU on workers safety and health, threats from new trade deals, what regulations are specifically at risk and the TUC’s campaign on protecting workers rights.

Aida Ponce Del from the European Trade Union Institute brought solidarity greetings and the message that ‘Despite Brexit ‘Occupational health and safety should REMAIN’.

Dr. Anne Raynal, an ex-HSE senior medical inspector described ‘HSE’s failure to enforce the duty to prevent occupational diseases’. Anne spoke about the lack of reporting from employers on workplace illness and the subsequent lack of prosecutions and enforcement. She said “On average there are only 1,600 disease notifications under RIDDOR per annum for the 516,000 new cases of work-related ill health that HSE estimate occurs every year, a staggeringly low 0.03% reported.  Consequently there is little action, prosecution or active prevention taking place to stop workers being made ill by work.”

Professor Steve Tombs from the Open University and Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, spoke about his recent research: ‘Better regulation’ Better for whom?  Steve  talked about ‘dismantling a system of regulation – social protection – which was put into place from the 1830s onwards’,  the privatisation of enforcement  and the restrictive ‘Growth duty’ placed on enforcers.  He detailed the reduction in the number of HSE and Local Authority inspections (fell by 69%, preventive inspection fell by 96% for Local Authority Environmental Health Officers, EHOs), prosecutions (fell by 35% for HSE and 60% for  L.A.  EHOs). Steve also raised concern about the Primary Authority Scheme which enables businesses across different local authorities to elect one authority to regulate all of its sites across all LAs. A copy of Steve’s briefing was provided in delegates’ bags and can also be found here.

Under the new format, there was no Saturday plenary, so delegates went straight from a hearty breakfast into a full-on programme of workshops, seminars and meetings that were broken down into three themes: 1. Workplace organisation, 2. Dealing with risks and 3. Employers offensive/Workplace tyranny.

Workshop, Seminars and meetings

Theme 1 – Workplace organisation

Workshop 1 Safety Reps Functions and employers duties
Download the notes here

Workshop 3 Recruiting safety reps and improving workplace health and safety
Strengthening involvement / Recruiting Safety Reps/Activists
Building organisation Powerpoint
Key components of the trade union attitude to health and safety
Workplace safety flowchart

Seminar 1 Sharing experiences of workplace organisation and good practice

Meeting 1 Improving support for safety reps Chair: Dan Shears, GMB, Speakers: Julie Weeks & Michelle Marshall Seminar on Work Organisation – Notes from the seminar & Well-Being or Worse-Being?

Theme 2 – Dealing with risks

Workshop 6 Identifying Hazards/Risks, Hierarchy of control
• Download the notes here
• Identifying Hazards and Risks
• Looking for examples of the Hierarchy in Use

Workshop 9 Finding out what harms us
Download the notes here

Seminar 2 Sharing experiences and making the case for dealing with what harms us Dealing with what harms us 

Meeting  2 Death due to overwork Karoshi &-suicide Karojisatsu Chair: Susan Murray UNITE, Speaker: John Bamford

Theme 3 – Employers offensive / workplace tyranny

Workshop 13 Resisting Resilience
More details from Hazards magazine here

Workshop 14  Behavioural Safety
Download the notes here

Seminar 3 Sharing experiences of prioritising action against employers offensive

Meeting  3 UK and global threats to health and safety organisation

Ian Tasker of STUC spoke on Threats to health and safety in Scotland. He illustrated the higher rate of work harm than in England and Wales, the  need for devolution of enforcement and regulation of health and safety; the Smith Commission, the Action Plan for Scotland and he linked workplace deaths, injuries and illnesses with austerity and poverty.

Hugh Robertson made clear that trade deals such as CETA and post Brexit trade deals are the biggest threat to health and safety See Global threats

Hugh also made the excellent point that the HSE boasts of GB having the ‘best health and safety in the world’ with low fatality and injury figures is only because our manufacturing is outsourced to  Asia where making those same goods probably causes more deaths,  injuries and ill-health now than when they were made in this country.

Omana George, Director of Asia Monitor Resource Centre, AMRC,  spoke about the huge health and safety risk facing workers in almost all sectors  in Asia – now the workshop of the world – and especially affecting informal, unorganised workers. She described the work of AMRC and of ANROEV, the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims. She described how about ten years ago they began to focus more on occupational ill health thinking the worst  disasters of factory fires were over… But then they started happening all over again. Omana George AMRC

Campaign meetings

One of the six campaign meetings to end the day was run by Sarah Wiktorski from the ‘Better than Zero’ campaign. It was very inspiring describing  their work in Scotland with trade unions and the Scottish TUC. the actions were led by young people who used challenging and innovative activities against zero hours contracts and working practices which include having to pay multi millionaire restaurant owners a percentage of their earnings. (See YouTube clip below).

Another inspiring campaign meeting was run by Barry Faulkner of UNITE on the health and safety problems experienced by vulnerable workers at the Shirebrook depot of Sports Direct . He described how those workers fought back with the aid of union and community groups .

TTIP meeting Summary

Legal Update from Stephen Nye  and  Satinder Bains from Irwin Mitchell

Asbestos update: JUAC papers here https://www.teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/health-and-safety in our health and safety A to Z, under ‘A’.  The 2nd and 3rd are all about the impact of academisation or attached

Final plenary

The final plenary on Sunday started with Sarah Wiktorski on the  ‘Better than Zero’ campaign and was followed by David Hardman, UCU, who along with colleague Mark Campbell was victimised then sacked from London Metropolitan University. David for his activities on stress as a safety rep.

Sanjiv Pandita, ex Director of AMRC and now working with the Hazards Magazine and Campaign and activists round the world to set up a Global Occupational Safety and Health, GOSH, network to combat the global threats to our lives and health. Sanjiv talked about the huge manufacturing companies employing 50-80 thousand workers in enormous hangars who make our phones and trainers. He showed pictures of the slums they are forced to live in because of the poverty wages they are paid, reminiscent of the UK Victorian slums during the industrial revolution. Sanjiv reminded us of the way global capitalism pits us against each other,  and exports hazards and ill health to other workers to make the products we buy and use and why we must work together globally to fight back, hence the need for GOSH.  He talked about the lack of accurate reporting of deaths, injuries and illness caused by work in Asia, which means that India’s high work death rate appears, theoretically, comparable to that of Denmark! He showed a rough recalculation, using Hazards Magazine/Campaign estimates,  that pointed to the the death toll in Asia being at least 4 million workers per year! PowerPoint presentation

We also heard from Blacklisting Support Group campaigner Royston Bentham on their great achievements and what must be done next. Royston praised and thanked John McDonnell for all the support he and Jeremy Corbyn have given the blacklisted workers and how they have fought alongside them every step on the way through Scottish enquiries and court cases. See the Hazards magazine feature Victory!

Dave Smith’s updated book, Blacklisted: The secret war between big business and union activists, is now on sale from the New Internationalist.

The Hazards Campaign demands  were read out and  voted upon before John McDonnell, shadow chancellor got up to speak and told us we would  have all of those and  more.

John McDonnell met his promise to speak to the conference, made months ago in less hectic times, and came early and stayed late, talking time to talk knowledgeably to delegates about their specific issues. As John had been criticised for not doing anything for workers, the irony of his commitment was not lost on the delegates.  John’s speech promised that health and safety and trade union rights would be at the top of the agenda of the Labour opposition and any future government led by Jeremy Corbyn.  he accepted our demands, added to them and invited us to send him a paper which he promised to put to the shadow cabinet for debate.

There were many highlights from the conference, plenty of networking and sharing of information including: the reps that talked about the lack of welfare-toilet facilities available to them because they were drivers or weren’t being released to be able to take toilet breaks; the terrible slum conditions people are working in in Asia who make phones and trainers; the lack of protection and enforcement for UK workers, and finally the inspirational speech by John McDonnell who offered the support of the Labour Party to Health and Safety reps and the Hazards Campaign.

We were reminded again to send a postcard to Theresa May to put pressure on the new Prime Minister to support and not erode health and safety legislation. http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/postcard

 

 

Hard Labour: Shadow chancellor John McDonnell to act on workplace health and safety

John McDonnell says the Health and Safety Executive’s regulatory mission has been compromised by its new profit motive. Brexit threatens worse to come. But the shadow chancellor says your protection is a ‘red line’ issue for Labour – and that means delivering a strong safety regime underpinned by restored trade union rights.

Quoted in Hazards magazine, he said “the whole basis of health and safety protection in this country is bound up with the development of the trade unions and health and safety advances are bound up with the trade union movement and the organisation, representation and pressure they can bring to bear, on employers and government.

“Health and safety advances go hand in hand with trade union advances. We cannot establish an effective health and safety regime in this country unless we restore trade union rights as well.”

Read the full story in Hazards magazine.

Labour pledges to listen and act on workplace health and safety

CLEAR MESSAGE Labour would tackle Britain’s safety malaise and give unions the rights they need to secure good, safety work, John McDonnell said.

CLEAR MESSAGE  Labour would tackle Britain’s safety malaise and give unions the rights they need to secure good, safe work, John McDonnell said.

John McDonnell told  the Hazards 2016 conference the Health and Safety Executive’s regulatory mission has been compromised by its new profit motive. Brexit threatens worse to come.

But the shadow chancellor says your protection is a ‘red line’ issue for Labour – and that means delivering a strong safety regime underpinned by restored trade union rights.

Further details Workplace 2020 Consultation