The Hazards Campaign
is a network of
HAZARDS CAMPAIGN CONFERENCE
24th National Hazards Conference
Hazards Conference is the UK’s biggest educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists. A mixture of plenary sessions, debates, meetings, and a comprehensive workshop programme, give opportunities to learn, exchange experience and information with delegates from a wide range of sectors and jobs.
Some regulations already revoked, others under threat, and the review of Approved Codes of Practice threatens to downgrade them to mere guidance. RIDDOR changes have already removed 30,000 reports of work-related injury and illness, and other proposals would make almost all work-related illness vanish, by removing the employers’ duty to report them. Government acceptance of Dame Carol Black’s sickness absence recommendations continues the punitive approach and includes state funded assessment for employees who are off sick for more than 4 week, increasing insecurity and stress for sick workers. Attacks on union reps facility time, on access to justice via tribunals & legal aid, and proposals to remove civil liability for health and safety breaches, further reduce the right to compensation for work-related injury and illness.
Workers have not been consulted on how work injuries, death and sickness can be reduced, nor has any assessment been conducted of the full human and economic costs of cutting laws and enforcement intended to prevent this work-related harm. The real burden is on us, not on employers. As the benefits system declares the sick, disabled and terminally ill ‘fit for work’, forcing them to seek jobs that don’t exist, as pension age rises, and as work becomes more dangerous and unhealthy, paradoxically the need for union safety reps and good H&S at work increases. Come and learn more, discuss how we can defend safe workplaces, and build a campaign to stop them killing, maiming and making us sick to death.
Countering the attack on the safe workplace
CONFERENCE 2012 DOCUMENTS
Presentations and info from Hazards 2012, more to come
Key note meetings
All YouTube films by Philip Lewis of Camden UNISON)
Hazards Conference is the UK’s biggest educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists. A mixture of plenary sessions, debates, meetings and a comprehensive workshop programme. Exchange experience and information with delegates from a wide range of sectors and jobs.
The attack on health & safety regulation has continued into 2012. Lord
Young was reinstated in 2011, his deregulatory brief re-confirmed. In
November, Professor Lofstedt clearly upset his political masters by not quite
being the hatchet-man they expected. He didn’t bow to their prejudices, and
said that, by and large, the system of health & safety regulation is about
right. He also made a positive reference to trade union safety reps, but no
recommendation about their activities. The Government then announced
their intention to extend the ‘Local Better Regulation Office’ (LBRO)
scheme as part of a package of plans to transform front-line enforcement for
Meanwhile, Dame Carol Black, appointed to review sickness absence, proposed removing GPs from the process of authorising long-term sickness absence after 4 weeks, and giving that function to a new ‘Independent Assessment Service’. She said that workers exploit the sick pay system, implying they are skivers, and that public sector workers are the worst, and encouraged the government to review public sector sick pay schemes. Such reviews invariably lead to worsening conditions of service.
In January Cameron described health and safety as "an albatross around the neck of British businesses" and pledged to make 2012 not just the year of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee, but also "the year we get a lot of this pointless time-wasting out of the British economy and British life once and for all". He supported the anti-trade union group the (so-called) Trade Union Reform Campaign, and told parliament that paid time-off for union reps in the public sector was a disgraceful waste of public money and would be stopped.
So there’s a lot to find out, discuss and debate, and a lot to do to defend safe
Struggle for OSH Rights in Asia, Sanjiv Pandita, AMRC [pdf]
Health and Safety - Fighting for our rights – and our lives, Hugh Robertson, TUC [pdf]
Is the Government destroying enforcement?, Hugh Robertson, TUC [pdf]
Background and booking
The 22nd National Hazards Conference: Hazards 2011 Hazards Conference is the UK‟s biggest educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists. The conference is a mixture of speakers, plenary sessions, debates & meetings and a comprehensive workshop programme. You can network and exchange experience and information with delegates from a wide range of occupations.
Now we know the dreadful hand that the 2010 election dealt us. The ConDem government is now intent on making ordinary people pay the price of resolving the economic crisis caused by the greed of banks and financial institutions. They falsely present the crisis as being caused by the sick and injured, those on disability and other benefits, public sector workers, and the regulation and enforcement of health and safety that they say imposes unfair burdens on business. Enforcement officers and public sector workers are now being described as “the enemies of enterprise.” Workers pay the price; there is precious little evidence of shared “we are all in this together” misery.
The HSE face 35 per cent cuts to their budget, and 201 staff left HSE in February. That means less information, education, research and enforcement for
occupational health and safety as inspectors and others lose their jobs. Local
authority EHO departments also face similar levels of cuts. Meanwhile Lord
Young‟s daft and dangerous ideas like combining food safety with
We must organise more effectively in the workplace. Last year‟s TUC safety reps survey found that most reps still don‟t fully undertake all their statutory functions. A majority of reps don‟t conduct the 4 workplace inspections a year the SRSC Regulations prescribe; over half spend just an hour or less a week on safety rep work; only a quarter of reps say they are automatically consulted by the employer, while 14 per cent of reps reported they were refused time-off for training. The statutory framework must be defended, best done by extending and improving our workplace organisation and activity against unsafe and unhealthy conditions. If we don‟t, it‟s clear no-one else will.
Join us to debate these crucial health and safety issues, think about what we all need to do and develop some fresh ideas, and help to build the campaign for better workplace organisation, more inspections and effective trade union action for decent workplaces and against the cuts.
How to apply for Hazards 2011 Booking form [pdf]
Booking form [pdf]
Sponsorship appeal [pdf]
The Alan award nomination form [pdf]
Our thanks to the 282 sponsors of Hazards 2009. Ever reliable support came from unions from branch to national levels, trades councils, Hazards campaigners and union-linked personal injury solicitors. Delegate numbers held up remarkably well given the economic climate.
Hazards 2009 opened with a meeting addressed by Sarangi Satinath, from the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, the Indian city that was devastated by the world’s worst industrial incident in 1984. 42 tons of methyl isocyanate gas were released, which killed an estimated 10,000 people immediately, and has been responsible for some 25,000 deaths since. US company Union Carbide that owned the plant, whose disregard of safe working practices caused the incident, has never paid adequate compensation for their crime.
Hazards 2009 focused on supporting safety reps activities, and the need to ensure that employers are not using the recession as an excuse to relax workplace standards on health, safety & welfare. The conference also picked-up a strand from Dame Carol Black’s report; the need for workers to have good jobs that are safe and without risks to health.
Hank Roberts was awarded the 2009 ‘Alan’ for his campaigning work in schools and the community, and Solihull UCU Branch presented a cheque for £5,000 to the Hazards Campaign.
Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson from workers’ education centres in the USA, and Hugh Robertson, HSE Board member, were keynote speakers in the opening plenary. They also contributed to debates on bullying; the creation of “good jobs”; and the importance of health & safety in the recession, supported by David Beale, employment studies lecturer at Manchester University and Hazards campaigners Simon Pickvance and Ian Draper.
Sunday morning meetings topics grouped together issues from the workshop programme, and reports from these meetings fed into the final plenary, where delegates discussed campaigning aims for the next year. A final report of the conference is on the Hazards Campaign website at www.hazardscampaign.org.uk .
Hazards 2010 is going back to Keele University in Staffordshire, the highly praised venue for the 2008 conference. We hope you will continue to be able to support Hazards. Please ask your organisation to consider this appeal positively.
Unions and researchers work together to lift a ton of feathers:
Gaining recognition for women’s OHS problems in Québec
Karen Messing, UQAM - Powerpoint presentation
Advice centres, victim support groups, local and national campaigns, other sources of information and support The Hazards Campaign is a national network established in 1988, financed by donations from supporting groups and individuals. It draws together Hazards Centres, Occupational Health Projects, health and safety groups and Trades Union Councils' Safety Committees, specific campaigns and individual health and safety activists. Specific campaign groups include the Construction Safety Campaign, bereaved relatives groups, asbestos support groups, RSI support groups, pesticide sufferers groups, campaigns against hazards affecting black and ethnic minority groups and toxic waste groups.
The campaign works
by: sharing information and skills; campaigning on specific issues; acting
as a national voice; issuing press releases; holding conferences; establishing
national initiatives, including Workers Memorial Day; lobbying MPs, MEPs
and statutory bodies. The Campaign organises the annual Hazards Conference
and holds meetings about five times a year which are open to anyone sharing
the aims of the campaign.
The Hazards Campaign,
c/o Greater Manchester Hazards Centre, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70
|Corrections, problems, additions, suggestions - email the editor|
May 2, 2013
site last updated August 8 2002