Thursday talk: Precaution, prevention and controlling the risks -resources and recording

Hazards Campaign Thursday Talk – 4 February 2021
Precaution, prevention and controlling the risks

Please find below  the recording of the Thursday Talk on YouTube, plus two links to the presentation notes. Thank you for your contributions and interest.

Please let the Hazards Campaign know if you have any comments or suggestions for future events.

Presentation 1, Janet Newsham:
Precaution, Prevention and Controlling the Risks

Presentation 2, Hilda Palmer:
Ventilation, vaccine and variants

Greater Manchester Hazards Centre
70 Alexandra Road,
Manchester
M16 7WD
Tel: 07734 317 158
Email janet@gmhazards.org.uk
Web: www.hazardscampaign.org.uk 

Hazards Campaign Thursday Talk: Precaution, prevention and controlling the risks – 4 February 6.00pm

Hazards Campaign Thursday Talk – Precaution, Prevention and Controlling the Risks

Thursday 4th February 6-7pm
Register here to get your link to the event

Join our discussion and listen to presentations about the precautionary approach to occupational health and safety and what employers should be doing to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in our workplaces.

Background resources

Thursday Talk: Picking up the Threads! Recording and resources

Employers and Government have signally failed to deal with Covid 19 transmission risks with the disease running rampant through UK workplaces. The Hazards Campaign Thursday talk on 21 January 2021 Picking up the Threads! explored and discussed measures safety reps, unions and activists can take to protect workers. Below can view a recording of the event and see a selection of the supporting resources posted to the Zoom chat.

Resources listed in the Talk’s Zoom Chat

90% of retail workers suffered abuse at work last year, union finds   https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/90-of-retail-workers-suffered-abuse-at-work-last-year-union-finds

Phil Taylor Homeworking survey: https://wfh-survey.uk/

For 28 April, ITUC has named the campaign for health and safety to be recognised by ILO as a ‘fundamental right at work’. Our related briefing uses Covid-19 to illustrate the reasons why. https://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/ituc_campaign_brief_osh_en.pdf

VENTING | Coronavirus risks are mostly up in the air – Hazards magazine https://www.hazards.org/infections/venting.htm 

Reel News Coronavirus Killer Workplaces  https://reelnews.co.uk/2020/11/04/coronavirus/covid-transmission-and-killer-workplaces/

Hazards Campaign Thursday talk. Where are the sirens? Can the tsunami of work clusters be stopped? Hazards Campaign http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/blog/hazards-campaign-thursday-talk-where-are-the-sirens-can-the-tsunami-of-work-clusters-be-stopped

Teacher Covid rates up to 333% above average https://www.tes.com/news/exclusive-coronavirus-schools-teacher-covid-rates-333-above-average

Comment: “I’m extrapolating from the post infection immunity to vaccine immunity, which may not be reliable. However it is not a naspharyngeal vaccine, so it isn’t too big a reach. Here is the related paper/ Do antibody positive healthcare workers have lower SARS-CoV-2 infection rates than antibody negative healthcare workers? Large multi-centre prospective cohort study (the SIREN study), England: June to November 2020

TUC Risks story on the BFAWU award – Union wins ‘unsung hero’ award for Covid fight

BSI Standards for Face Coverings 

Further details and support

Supporting our work
If you would like to get involved in the work of the Hazards Campaign and/or would like to donate. Then please send an email and/or any donations to Hazards Campaign c/o:
info@hazardscampaign.org.uk

Account Greater Manchester Hazards Centre Ltd
Sort Code 60 83 01
Account Number 20090443
Ref Name/organisation
Or by cheque to Hazards Campaign c/o Janet Newsham
177 Watling Street Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 8AE

For more information
janet@gmhazards.org.uk
07734 317 158

Managing ventilation as a Covid safety measure webinar – recording and resources

The TUC webinar ‘Managing ventilation as a Covid safety measure’, 27 January 2021, attracted over a thousand attendees.  The Hazards Campaign’s Hilda Palmer addressed the seminar. You can find HIlda’s updated explanatory notes here, jump to the beginning of her presentation here.

Below you can view the YouTube recording of the whole seminar.

Resources from the seminar

Hilda’s presentation can be viewed here:

Hazards Campaign Thursday Talk – Picking up the threads!

Thursday Talk: Picking up the Threads!
21st January, 6-7.30pm

Register for the online event here

Across the UK, transmission of the virus is out of control and workers are dying or being left with Long-Covid because their employers haven’t controlled the transmission risks. What can we do to ensure all our workplaces are Covid-Safe and what does this mean?

We will be joined by experts from different trade unions, sectors and industries, who will lead a discussion in how to keep workers safe and prevent infection risks.

If you have any specific questions you would like to put to the panel, email them in advance or post in the chat on the night.

Links to Information
View a film about workplace Covid-19 transmission in the Hazards magazine Venting article

Register for the online event here

Supporting our work
If you would like to get involved in the work of the Hazards Campaign and/or would like to donate. Then please send an email and/or any donations to Hazards Campaign c/o:
info@hazardscampaign.org.uk

Account Greater Manchester Hazards Centre Ltd
Sort Code 60 83 01
Account Number 20090443
Ref Name/organisation
Or by cheque to Hazards Campaign c/o Janet Newsham
177 Watling Street Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 8AE

For more information
janet@gmhazards.org.uk
07734 317 158

16 January 2021 – Online conference: Organising for Zero Covid

Please circulate details of this event to members and networks. The Hazards Campaign is part of the Zero Covid organising group  has provided speakers and chairs for sessions in this event. 

2021 must be the year of #ZeroCovid

England’s four-tier system is a failure. Test and Trace is not doing its job. The Westminster government is battling to keep schools open against educators and medical experts’ advice. There is no plan to get us out of this cycle of restrictions. In Scotland too, despite Holyrood steering a different course at times, infection rates are rising rapidly.

What’s the alternative?

Zero Covid is the alternative. It’s a strategy to eliminate the virus, which means a working Test and Trace system, financial and material support for people to enable them to isolate, and ensuring all workplaces which are open are certified Covid-Safe. Restrictions on our lives can be lifted once these elements are in place and as new cases drop off to a level which can be managed by public health teams.

Find out more at the Organising for Zero Covid conference! Register for the online conference

Morning plenary:

  • Professor Michael Baker (New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Pandemic Influenza Technical Advisory Group, pc)
  • Professor Susan Michie (Independent SAGE, pc)
  • Hector Wesley (Black Activists Rising Against Cuts)
  • Janet Newsham (Hazards Campaign for workplace safety)
  • Diane Abbott MP

Breakout groups

Afternoon plenary

  • Richard Burgon MP
  • Disability rights campaigner TBC
  • Workplace activist TBC
  • Helen McFarlane (NHS worker, Scotland)
  • Kevin Courtney (Joint General Secretary, National Education Union)

Workshops

  • Schools (staff, parents and students)
  • Campuses (staff and students)
  • Workplace organising around safety
  • Building a local Zero Covid group
  • Defend Our NHS
  • Poverty, benefit and cuts
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Zero Covid in the Labour Party
A full timetable is available here

Hazards Campaign 2021 – 10 Organising Priorities

Healthy and Safe Work centred on Precaution, Prevention and Participation

Too many people work in unsafe, unhealthy, precarious working environments.  This has to change.  We will collectively campaign for:

  1. The fundamental human right to safe and healthy work, a safe and healthy working environment for all workers regardless of employment status, that is enforced and protected in law.
  2. A society that prioritises health, safety and dignity of its workers and provides just treatment for the victims of health and safety crime and ensures fair treatment for all workers harmed by work, including compensation and job protection.
  3. The right to safe, decent and secure work with preventive and not purely reactive enforcement including: the entitlement of all workers to minimum living wage, regular and contracted hours, paid holidays, and sick pay regardless of employment status.
  4. Protection from all public health risks, including biohazards which can lead to work-related infections, outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics.
  5. Protection from global risks to workers health and safety including trade deals and a ‘due diligence’ requirement on companies with a  responsibility for safety and working conditions throughout their supply chains.
  6. Continuous assessment and improvement of health, safety and employment legislation, to ensure that prevention of harm from all risks, are increased to the highest practicable standards.
  7. A precautionary approach to be taken to health and safety risks in all employment settings.  All workplaces to be covered by Trade Union Safety reps regardless of recognition agreements, through Roving Reps and the full enforcement of upgraded Safety Reps and Safety Committees Regulations, to cover all workers.
  8. Independence from political and commercial interference in the authorities enforcing health and safety at work and in those enforcing public health and environment protection; with ring fenced funding and resources to ensure these bodies can function independently to ensure the highest preventative and protective standards for workers and public/environmental health.
  9. Full participation and equity for employee representatives, on all health and safety regulator, industrial health and safety and workplace health and compensation bodies/agencies.
  10. Development of a Toxic Use Reduction programme including legislation, financial resources, scientific research and support to enable the elimination of toxic substances used at work and their substitution with safer alternatives to improve workers health, reduce toxic substances in form of plastic and other waste, air pollution and contribution to climate change.

Links:
https://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/manifesto
https://www.hazards.org/deadlybusiness/manifesto.htm

TUCAN comment following the conclusion of the inquest into the tragic death of Ella Kissi-Debrah

New release – 16 December 2020 – No Embargo

TRADE UNION CLEAN AIR NETWORK (TUCAN)

TUCAN comment following the conclusion of the inquest into the tragic death of Ella Kissi-Debra

Our thoughts are with Ella’s family and friends at the conclusion of this inquest’s ground breaking verdict and our congratulations go to Ella’s mother, Rosamund, for her determination with her prolonged campaign for the truth to be heard.

Commenting on the verdict, Graham Petersen, TUCAN, said: “The result of the inquest shows in an all too tragic way what we and many others have been saying for far too many years – the polluted air we have to breathe can and does kill and government must act to ensure the pollutants are reduced and removed.

“TUCAN says the Government must also focus on those employers and industries whose operations contribute to the polluted air of local communities and their own workforce.  Key to all this are our trade unions and their representatives who are in an informed position to discuss and help implement positive actions at work.

“However, we feel the government must take the lead in this firstly by acknowledging the extent of the problem and then taking steps to ensure employers and the authorities act quickly and decisively to reduce the potential for ill health and further deaths.”

The ways in which air pollution can be an issue at your job have not been well discussed and part of TUCAN’s mission is to broaden that understanding. Whether someone is just commuting, working in an office or shop, working on a construction project, driving to and from work or on the road all day they are all going to be exposed to harmful emissions, notably nitrogen oxide and fine particulate matter, and that exposure does not have to be very high for it to affect our health.

Notes

The Hazards Campaign is a founder member of the Trade Union Clean Air Network TUCAN

Contact: Hilda Palmer:  07929800240

Trade Union Clean Air Network:

https://www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk/air-pollution/

TUCAN Charter:

http://www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/GJA-TU-Clean-Air-Charter-EMAIL.pdf

Hazards magazine on clearing the air:

https://www.hazards.org/chemicals/diediesel.htm

Air pollution—a wicked problem: Professor Stephen Holgate, Royal College of Physicians Special Advisor on air quality and UKRI Clean Air Champion, University of Southampton.

https://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j2814

The Working Dead! Hazards Campaign demands the Government take tougher action on preventing transmission of the virus

News release – 16 December 2020 – No embargo

The Working Dead! Hazards Campaign demands the Government take tougher action on preventing transmission of the virus

The 16 December 2020 Manchester TUC meeting  (1) on Zero-Covid to save lives and livelihoods heard from Janet Newsham on why the Hazards Campaign is demanding the Government take tougher action on preventing transmission of the virus. She said:

“The number of workers who have died because of Covid-19 is in the thousands. (2)  They are infected in their homes by those they live with who have become infected in schools or in their workplaces , in their communities when they do their weekly shop, on their way to and from work when they use public transport but they are also infected in their workplaces or doing their work activities.  Among the thousands who have died, just 189 Covid deaths were reported in six months to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  (3)

“These were reported to the HSE despite them discouraging employers from reporting through their RIDDOR system. (4)  However, 189 workers deaths were reported through RIDDOR in six months, compared to 111 fatalities in the previous year.  This is a huge increase and highlights the risks that workers are facing in the pandemic and the lack of controls on their health and safety.

“Occupational risks of becoming infected with Covid-19 highlights the lack of information available about how transmission risks can be controlled in all working environments, and that only Covid-safe workplaces should be open, it highlights the lack of enforcement in ensuring employers are controlling the risks, it highlights the failure of Government to take a precautionary approach to transmission especially of airborne aerosol risks in our workplaces (5) and availability of a preventative standard of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it highlights the lack of priority in all our Nations to the health of their citizens over opening non-essential businesses and it highlights a lack of Zero-Covid strategy by Nation Governments to removing the virus transmission from our society.

“Occupational risks could and should have been controlled.  Infection control is a standard risk control in many workplaces.  If other workplaces had needed educating in how this could be done, the expertise is out there and available.

“The UK Government from early in the pandemic misrepresented the risks to health and the controls needed to protect people.  They didn’t put in place strict infection control procedures in workplaces or broadcast the risks people were facing.  They did not make available financial support to workplaces to ensure they are Covid-safe (6) but rather put in place short term solutions like some lock-downs which only partially impacted on the spread of the virus and as a result we are on a roller-coaster of partial lock-down based on how many dead bodies are piling up!

“Our loved ones have become collateral damage in the pursuit of profit and privatisation by our incompetent and inept Government.

“The HSE has been like a secret society, operating in the shadows. (7) They have based most of their assumptions of how safe our workplaces are, on telephone conversations with the people that are supposed to be ensuring the safe workplaces!  In normal times HSE / Local Authority (LA) inspectors would also have conversations with Trade Union Safety reps which checks that the information provided by employers is accurate but during one of the most dangerous times for many workers, the HSE thought it fit to believe and talk only to the people who have caused the deaths of hundreds of workers by not controlling the risks.

“We know where the risks to workers health are.  We know how these risks should be controlled.  The controls needed are just the same in care homes, hospitals, buses, work vans, offices, restaurants, pubs, shops, schools, universities, factories etc.  All these working environments are transmitting the virus to our families, communities and other workplaces.

“This isn’t rocket science it is simple message to control the transmission risks and if you cant, shut down until you can. And for the Government to provide additional funding and resources to ensure there is more space, fewer people, greater ventilation, precautionary level PPE, more cleaning, improved hygiene and welfare and greater education of transmission risks.

“On top of this, the Government has a UK wide remit to work with other Nations in the UK to stop transmission from those entering the countries, to ensure test, track, trace and isolate is working to a high level of contact and isolation and that payments are made to workers unable to work because of lock-downs, workers who are sick and workers who need to isolate.

“To achieve it we need a circuit break at Christmas to ensure these Government actions are in place and are working effectively.  A Zero-Covid strategy (8) (9) to end transmission of the virus is the only solution that will save lives and livelihoods, will stop deaths, stop infections and disabilities caused by the infection and lead us on a path back to a healthy future until the vaccine is established in our communities.”

1. Manchester Trades Council Event
2. Covid deaths by occupation – ONS
3. Covid Fatalities reported to HSE
4. RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19 – HSE
5. Aerosol transmission – Hazards Campaign and Reel News video
6.Hazards Campaign and Independent SAGE call for no workers to return to workplaces unless Covid safety plans are in place, 1 September 2020
7. Laid Bare: The scandal of expendable workers before, during and after Covid, Hazards Magazine,
8.Hazards Campaign calls for Zero-Covid strategy by all the Governments in the UK, 27 November 2020
9. Zero Covid campaign webpages

Hazards Campaign details
website www.hazardscampaign.org.uk
twitter @hazardscampaign
facebook www.facebook.com/groups/123746101003963
If you need more information please email: janet@gmhazards.org.uk
or call Janet 07734 317 158
The Hazards Campaign is a UK-wide network of resource centres and campaigners. The Hazards Campaign supports those organising and campaigning for justice and safety at work

Hazards Campaign Thursday talk report and video – Racism and worker safety

Hazards Campaign Thursday Talk – 1 December 2020

Racism and the disproportionate impact on health and safety:  Organising to protect workers

The talk featured:
– Wilf Sullivan, TUC Race Equality Officer,
– Moe Manir, Unite Union London bus worker and
– Ameen Hadi, Chair of NW Unison black members committee and Salford Unison branch officer

The speakers discussed:
1. Why is health and safety an equality issue?
2. Why have black workers been impacted more (infected and died) by Covid-19 and were they disproportionately at risk from injuries, ill health and work related deaths before Covid-19?
3. What has managements response been to the increased risks faced by black workers?
4. How can workers respond to the workplace risks?

View the meeting on YouTube here or below:

In addition we shared information about two NEU safety reps who have been dismissed and need support to be reinstated.  There are links below:

Louise Lewis Louise was carrying out her role as a NEU H&S Rep,  please sign this petition and share widely. We cannot let her employer get away with this!

Action Network petition • Model motion for branches  • change.org petition

Please send message of support for Louise to: hazel.danson@neu.org.uk or melanie.griffiths@neu.org.uk

Sharon Morgan Another NEU rep who is in East London, Sharon Morgan, has also been dismissed, without a hearing or an investigation for raising health and safety issues about Covid.  Members at her school, London Design Engineering UTC, have been on strike today.

A petition has been launched calling on Sharon to be reinstated and the link is: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/sharon

Finally, Wilf Sullivan shared information from the TUC: Dying on the job – Racism and risk at work