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Send the PM a message

To mark the start of the Hazards Conference 2016 the Hazards Campaign is inviting you to join the postcard campaign to remind the new Prime Minister Theresa May that the effective regulation and strict enforcement of safety laws saves lives.

postcardrearThousands of postcards have been produced and will be freely available at the conference. Additionally an electronic postcard mailing tool has been developed so you can lobby the PM electronically.

The text of the card is as follows:

Dear Prime Minister,

We warmly welcome your determination to tackle inequalities across society.

One of the most damaging inequalities is in occupational health and safety, which contributes greatly to the mortality and morbidity gulf between rich and poor.

Effective regulation and strict enforcement of safety laws saves lives. Please do not neglect them.

Use Brexit to improve not erode health and safety protection for all workers.

Yours sincerely

Hazards conference 2016: Building the resistance and defending our lives

News release [Immediate]

John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, will address Hazards 2016 Conference on 31st July

The Hazards Campaign annual conference, Hazards 2016, runs from Friday 29th to 31st July at Keele University. 350 safety reps from all unions from all over the UK, and from all types of workplace, will gather to listen to informed and inspirational speakers and to participate in workshops and meetings under the theme ‘Building the Hazards Resistance to support Safety Reps to defend our health and safety in post Brexit world’. 

Hilda Palmer, acting chair of the Hazards Campaign and one of the organisers says:

“We are especially delighted this year to welcome John McDonnell to speak to our final plenary on Sunday 31st July.  John has been an active and steadfast supporter of workers, trade unions, the Hazards Campaign and Hazards Magazine in campaigning for better health and safety for many, many years. Through the Trade Union Coordinating Group John has run successful parliamentary lobbies and hosted International Workers Memorial Day meetings in the House of Commons.

“He is a regular and popular speaker at trade union conferences as he understand the issues workers are facing far more clearly than many,  and was one of the first to speak out against zero hours contracts, blacklisting, other abusive work practices, the need for  a maximum temperature,  and the effects of austerity and neoliberalism on workers terms and conditions, especially on our lives and health. 

“John McDonnell was instrumental in the campaign against Blacklisting, helped to set up the Blacklist Support Group and has supported it through thick and thin. John is a great supporter of workers’ struggles and frequently visits picket lines to show solidarity with workers fighting for decent workIn Parliament he has been a great advocate for workers health and safety and rights generally.” 

John McDonnell will speak at the final plenary of Hazards 2016, which is  the largest health and safety conference for safety reps in UK, run by Hazards Campaign and Hazards Magazine. Speaking ahead of the conference John McDonnell said:

“After a long term decline I am very worried that workplace deaths and diseases are on the rise again. Workers deserve the protection of strong employment rights, trade union rights and a safety watchdog that is up to the job.

“Six years of Conservative-led government have allowed rogue bosses to exploit an increasingly insecure and abused workforce. Labour will protect people at work, rather than create a world where the likes of Sir Philip Green and Mike Ashley can get away with whatever they want.

“Working people earn this country’s wealth and run our public services; these are essential tasks for which no-one should pay with their life.”

Hilda Palmer adds:

“The Tories’ fanatical obsession with deregulation is bad for your health. After a long term decline workplace deaths are rising and workplace diseases are rising. Workers need a regulatory with sharp teeth but the HSE and Local Authority enforcement have been captured by business to the detriment of workers.  Hazards 2016 will discuss the state we are in due to 6 years of Tory/Coalition deregulation and the threats from Brexit and new trade deals. 

“Safety Reps will gain updated information, learn new organising and campaigning tools and set actions to defend workers lives and health in the coming year.  Hazards 2016 will discuss the state we are in due to 6 years of Tory/Coalition deregulation and the threats from Brexit and new trade deals.” 

More information: Hilda Palmer Tel 0161 636 7557  0079298 00240

For notifications of Hazards Campaign news and activities visit our sign-up page

Hazards 2016

Hazards 2016 Programme:

Buy me: HSE pimps out its services as regulating takes a back seat

HSE is all talk: How it became unsafe to leave policy to the safety regulator

John McDonnell supporting Blacklisted workers at High Court:

Confirmed: Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will speak at the Hazards 2016 conference

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP will speak at the final plenary session of the Hazards conference 2016 ,  the largest health and safety conference for safety reps in UK, run by Hazards Campaign, 29-31 July. He says:

“After a long term decline I am very worried that workplace deaths and diseases are on the rise again. Workers deserve the protection of strong employment rights, trade union rights and a safety watchdog that is up to the job.

“Six years of Conservative-led government have allowed rogue bosses to exploit an increasingly insecure and abused workforce. Labour will protect people at work, rather than create a world where the likes of Sir Philip Green and Mike Ashley can get away with whatever they want.

“Working people earn this country’s wealth and run our public services; these are essential tasks for which no-one should pay with their life.”

More details on the Hazards 2016 conference

Alarm bells as work tragedies strike

In the last three years, the long term downward trend in UK work fatalities has reversed and is plateauing.  HSE’s latest fatality statistics released on 7 July 2016 show a provisional total of 144 workers killed in work-related incidents which is slightly upon last year’s final total of 142 last year and 136 the year before. (1). There has been an increase in deaths in construction, up from 35 to 43.

Also, on 7 July 2016, five men were killed at a recycling plant in Birmingham: Saibo Sillahhe; Alimamo Jammeh; Ousman Jabbie; Bangaly Dukureh; Mohammed Jagana, all Spanish nationals from Gambia.  This was the third work-related multiple fatality in less than a year in England.  Derek Moore, Dorothy Bailey, Derek Barks and Jason Shingler were killed and many injured at Bosley Wood flour miIl explosion on 17th July 2015. Christopher Huxtable, Ken Cresswell, John Shaw and Michael Collings were killed in the collapse of a boiler house while being prepared for demolition at Didcot Power Station on 23rd February 2016. The body of Michael Collings was recovered but the other three workers still lie under the rubble nearly 20 weeks later to the horror and grief of their families.

A Hazards Campaign spokesperson said:

“The past 6 years of Coalition and Tory government have seen huge cuts to the enforcement of laws intended to protect workers, and a constant stream of lies about good health and safety being a ‘burden on business’ (2).  There are of course unforeseeable, unpreventable accidents at work, however almost all deaths and injuries at work are due to the poor management of health and safety by employers.   We will not know the cause of this latest multiple worker fatality incident until the result of the full investigation. But we would be concerned if there has been a fall in proactive, preventive inspections even in the few high risk industries such as waste and recycling where such inspections are currently still permitted.

“We believe that the stalling in the decline in deaths at work and an increase in ill-health due to work, is a direct result of government policies and the attack on HSE and Local Authorities as regulators and enforcers (3)

 “We know, and the families of those killed at work know, that red tape is far better than bloody bandages. No-one died from too much regulation and enforcement but from quite the opposite.  (4). We completely oppose any post-Brexit further slashing of workers’ health and safety.  We demand that the  government put an end to the constant denigration of health and safety regulations and enforcement, and reverse the attacks on budgets and policies at the HSE and Local Authorities, so that workers can be protected properly at work. The HSE’s latest strategy is little more than a business advice brochure and their hashtag,  #helpgbworkwell, no more than wishful thinking (5).

“We also urge ministers to meet with us, with Families Against Corporate Killers (6),  and the families of those killed at work in Birmingham, at Didcot and Bosley, and all across the country in much less noticed single worker incidents, to explain why their lives have less priority than the freedom of employers to make profits.”


  2. Hazards Magazine: ‘Will we survive another Tory term?’
  3. Hazards Magazine: ‘Cuts to HSE hurts workers’:
    Steve Tombs: ‘Better Regulation- Better for Whom?’ Briefing on cuts to Local Authority enforcement of health and safety, pollution control  and food safety:
  4. Hazards Magazine:  ‘It’s your choice red tape or bloody bandages’;; ‘We Love red tape it’s better than bloody bandages’:
  5. Hazards Magazine ‘HSE all talk’:
  6.  Families Against Corporate Killers, FACK, founded in July 2006

Founder Members:

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

Linzi Herbertsonhusband 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 2002

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

Parliamentary group calls for asbestos eradication

Hazards Campaign news release  
Parliamentary group calls for asbestos eradication

The Hazards Campaign supports the report published today, Friday 16th October, by the all-party parliamentary group on occupational safety and health calling for the safe removal of all asbestos in Britain as an answer to the asbestos crisis.

Hilda Palmer, acting chair of the Hazards Campaign said:

 “Asbestos is not a problem of the past, but a very real and present risk to many workers.  There are still millions of tonnes in about half a million workplaces and public buildings – schools, hospitals- across the UK.  Some of it in a poor state, poorly managed and shedding microscopic asbestos fibres into the air that people then breathe.  All types of asbestos are carcinogenic and exposure to asbestos at work continues to cause over 5,000 deaths every year from mesothelioma and lung cancer.  Over 15 years after the use of asbestos was banned, hundreds of thousands of workers, and children in schools and other public buildings, are still at risk of exposure every day.

“The Hazards Campaign wholeheartedly supports and endorses the proposal from the all-party group for the safe removal and disposal of asbestos from all workplaces and public buildings.  Beginning the removal of the carcinogenic hazard of asbestos from our buildings now, is the only way of ensuring the protection of future generations from the risk of a known and preventable cause of death.

“Failure of government to act now will be knowingly condemning future generations to death.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:  Hilda Palmer Tel 0161 636 7557

  1. The report – The asbestos crisis: Why Britain needs an eradication law – is available at


Workers die when government says work safety isn’t important

Hazards Campaign News release
Workers die when government says work safety isn’t important

It’s dead wrong. Kill TU Bill not the Workers.

The Hazards Campaign is marching on Sunday 4th October because of fears we will not survive another 5 years of Tory attacks on workers lives and health. Hilda Palmer, Hazards Campaign says: “Workers die when government says work safety isn’t important. It’s dead wrong. We won’t take work deaths lying down. None of us voted to die at work,so stop your wrong headed attack on workers safety. (1) We are sending a postcard to David Cameron at the Tory Party Conference:


‘Dear PM, Your policies on health and safety, trade union and employment rights are dangerous for workers and damaging to our economy. We urge you to abandon this vindictive and potentially deadly assault on basic human rights, yours faithfully, Hazards Campaign.’”

Hilda Palmer explains: “We are worried because in just one term the Conservatives have; abandoned routine safety inspections; slashed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) budget by nearly 44 per cent; pimped out HSE to commercial interests; killed off the HSE medical division; stacked the HSE board with industry stooges; pulled the teeth of gangmasters’ watchdog; priced sick and injured workers out of compensation claims; made employment tribunals pay per go; removed key legal protections; told business that health and safety is a burden that shouldn’t concern them.

“What more harm will they cause in another 5 years? Immediately on re-election they introduced the TU Bill which will harm workers’ ability to protect their health and safety at work, will also cost employers and the economy, and may lead to more worker deaths and ill health.Marching with us today are families of those killed by employers’negligence, which is likely to get worse if the TU Bill is passed.” (2)

Joanne Hill, mother of 16 year old Cameron Minshull, killed by grossly negligent employer in Bury while on a government funded apprenticeship in 2013 says:

“Cameron should have been safe at work, the government should have been checking the employer was fit to have an apprentice like Cameron, but he wasn’t, it was a death trap. We will never see Cameron again and I hold his employer and the government to blame. Only days before Cameron was killed, David Cameron was telling business leaders that health and safety regulations to protect young people were silly and unnecessary and should be scrapped. I am very worried that other young people are at risk on apprenticeships and will die or be injured. I want David Cameron to meet me and discuss what needs to be done to keep our sons and daughters safe at work. He has children too, surely he will understand and not want to make it easier for people like Cameron’s employer to hurt and kill our children?” (3)

Tracey Seward says:“Our 4 year old daughter Daisy can’t see her dad anymore, she can only water the flowers on his grave as he was killed at work earlier this year. That shouldn’t happen to anyone’s child, to be left without their dad just because he went to work to earn a living to look after us. We are devastated at his death.”

Hilda Palmer added:“Will we survive another 5 years of Tory attacks on the laws and enforcement meant to keep workers safe and healthy at work? 28.2 million working days are lost to injuries and illness caused by work. Union safety reps make workplaces twice as safe by working with employers to prevent injuries and illness, but the TU Bill threatens to stop them having time and resources to carry out their life-saving work. Safety reps not only save workers lives and health they also save employers’ money and the economy too! Less than 0.8 million days are lost to strikes which this Bill aims to make harder, compared to 28.2 million days lost due to injuries and illness caused by poorly managed health and safety. That shows that the TU Bill is wrong-headed, vindictive and potentially deadly and it must be stopped. No-one should die simply for going to work to earn a living.” (1)

Hazards Campaign says to David Cameron “Workers die when government says work safety isn’t important. It’s dead wrong. We won’t take work deaths lying down. None of us voted to die at work, so stop deregulating, stop slashing enforcement and adopt a positive programme for good workplace safety that is good for workers and their families, good for business, good for the economy, good for all! Kill the Bill not the Workers.”(4).

For more information: Hilda Palmer Tel: 0161 636 7557 Mobile: 079298 00240

Note to editors

  1. Hazards magazine Unions challenge wrong-headed government attack that could cost lives
    TUC Government threat to safety reps – get the message out there!
  2. Hazards magazine Will we survive another 5 years?
  3. Hazards magazine Workers die when government says work safety isn’t important. It’s dead wrong
    Hazards magazine Cameron Killed
  4. Hazards Campaign plan Step up and act up for health and safety

Hazards Campaign
c/o Greater Manchester Hazards Centre
Windrush Millennium Centre
70 Alexandra Road
M16 7WD
Tel 0161 636 7557
Fax 0161 6367556

FACK criticises HSE on Glasgow bin tragedy

FACK news release  
FACK questions the HSE’s decision not to investigate Glasgow bin lorry crash as work-related – given the Judicial Review quashing of a similar wrong HSE decision in 2000.

The Health and Safety Executive’s decision not to investigate the Glasgow bin lorry crash as a work–related incident, and to treat it as just a ‘road traffic accident’ was severely questioned in the FAI yesterday:  ‘A safety inspector has denied that a decision to treat the Glasgow bin lorry crash as a road traffic accident was “hasty and ill advised”’ (1)

Continue reading FACK criticises HSE on Glasgow bin tragedy

Some justice won for Cameron Minshull, 16

FACK news release  
Some justice won for  Cameron Minshull, 16 year old apprentice, killed at work 8 January 2013

Today, Tuesday 14th July, the companies and individuals responsible for the death on 8th January 2013 of 16 year old Cameron Minshull,  on a government approved apprenticeship, were sentenced by Judge Stockdale at Manchester Crown Court..

On the day he died at Huntley Mount Engineering, Cameron was killed doing an extremely dangerous  procedure – deburring and polishing by hand – that was unnecessary but exposed him to work on a CNC lathe with the safety mechanisms overridden, with his hands close to parts revolving at 700+ revolutions per minute, with the obvious risk of catastrophic injury or death. The judge made it clear that in no way at all was Cameron responsible for his death but that this responsibility lay at the door of Huntley Mount Engineering and the Hussains plus Lime People Training Solutions.  Continue reading Some justice won for Cameron Minshull, 16

Our alternative to Tories’ deadly safety plan

The Hazards Campaign has published a plan for the first 100 days of the new government  It’s time to step up and act up for health and safety.

Hilda Palmer, Hazards Campaign spokesperson said: “Work is getting more unhealthy and workers and the country are paying a very heavy price for work-related illness, injury and death. Workers won’t vote to die at work so the Hazards Campaign wants to know from all political parties:  ‘Hey! Whotcha gonna do?’  On May 8th the new government could immediately start to make workplaces healthier, safer and better for all if it adopted our plan. So who is going to adopt it? Workers  won’t vote to die at work.

“Business as usual for the next 5 years is not an option for workers lives and health. Work shouldn’t hurt and it certainly shouldn’t kill, but in 2015 it still does (2). Over the last five years some have seen work become hell, for most it has become more unhealthy, and for many it is deadly due to the great deregulation lie causing a retreat from the law, enforcement, prevention and protection.  Damaging workers’ health and lives is an unacceptable price to pay and it also costs taxpayers and the economy between £30 and 60 billion a year.  Employers’ criminal non-compliance with health and safety law is a tax on us all.

“On day one the new government could begin preventing this harm and start the move to making work better by implementing our plan and returning to evidence-based policies.  We set out ten steps for government and three for workers and unions safety reps.

“First of all the new government must bury the ‘burdens on business’ lie, be explicit that the mismanagement that hurts the workforce also hurts the economy. It must put a stop to the erosion of health and safety laws, and instigate a programme of inspections to protect workers from unscrupulous employers and keep workers healthy.

“The HSE needs to get real and step up and act up as it currently fails to act on almost all of the ill-health issues caused by modern work. HSE has taken no prosecutions on stress, the single biggest cause of work-related ill-health, and is not clamping down on cancer risks or removing toxins from work.   Our plan says the main aim of the HSE should be the protection of workers not the profits or the interests of those who would harm them. The HSE’s aim should be to make work better and to stand up to government when it’s wrong.

“HSE must get the count right by counting all workers killed at, and by, work, including suicides, road, air and sea deaths; all work-cancers, heart attacks, strokes and fatal lung disease deaths. Acting to protect workers and safety reps in badly managed workplaces means giving them more enforceable rights, and then enforcing them.

“Government policies over the past 5 years based on ideology not evidence have thrown workers to the wolves of a deregulated, unenforced marketplace. Vulnerable migrant, temporary and low paid workers have suffered the most, are at most risk and least protected (3) so the new government must reinstate the powers of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and extend its remit to all sectors where temporary workers are exploited.

“The iceberg of workplace harm is work-related ill-health.  Our plan calls for sorting this out by creating worker-oriented occupational health services within the NHS focusing on prevention, support for sick and injured workers, treatment and rehabilitation. This will replace punitive sickness absence management and government hounding by outsourced ‘Welfare’ and  ‘Fit for Work’ agencies which focus only on forcing the sick and injured back to work, recovered or not.

“Our plan also calls for fair, just compensation not the dysfunctional Industrial Injuries Disability Benefits scheme (4) or slashed legal aid for personal injury cases. Whistleblowers, such as workers on the Crossrail project who have been sacked for raising health and safety issues, should be protected, and fees for Employment tribunals removed.

“We also call on workers not to sit around waiting but to get involved, become safety reps, for existing safety reps and workers to be more active at work, to build union organisation which makes work safer and healthier. Join your union and the Hazards Campaign in campaigning for a government and policies which will protect our lives and health and those of our children and grandchildren.
Work shouldn’t kill or hurt, it’s time to reject the deregulation lie,  we won’t vote to die at work.”

More information: Hilda Palmer Acting Chair of National Hazards Campaign tel: 0161 636 7557, cell phone: 079298 00240

Notes for editors

1.Hazards Campaign 13 – step election guide : “It’s time to step up and act up for workers health and safety: Hey! Whatcha gonna do?”

2. Hazards Magazine and ITUC International Workers Memorial Day Poster ‘Hell No!’ and TUC and Hazards Magazine Poster ‘Stand up for safety and stop the tears’

3. Hazards Magazine 128 ‘Low Blow:  Badly paid work guarantees more than hardship. Because low pay goes hand in hand with low health and safety standards, occupational injuries and diseases like diabetes and cancer frequently come with the job.’

4. Hazards Magazine 129:  ‘Mean Test:  For 7 of top 10 entries on official UK occupational cancer priorities ranking, you can forget about government payouts.’
and ‘Robbed, Bloody bandages but no bloody compensation’

Fatalities at work down, work-related deaths up

The number of workplace fatalities in Britain last year fell to the lowest annual rate on record, but the Hazards Campaign is warning that work-related deaths overall increased markedly as asbestos cancer deaths soared. Continue reading Fatalities at work down, work-related deaths up