All posts by Jawad

Hazards Campaign Thursday talk: Breast cancer awareness is not enough

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and every year thousands of people don pink outfits and collect money for a variety of breast cancer charities.  But this doesn’t get to the heart of the problem. This session will highlight some of the preventable occupational risks to breast cancer and what we should be doing in our workplaces and trade unions to challenge those risks.

Join the Hazards Campaign Thursday Talk on Thursday 29 October with speakers:

Jane McArthur – Work and Prevention SSHRC, University of Windsor, Canada

Helen Lynn – Alliance for Cancer prevention , Health and Environment Researcher

Jane Stewart – TUC General Council, Unite NEC and Chair Womens Committee, Unite Convener at Unilever Port sunlight

To book a place and receive the link to the meeting please go visit the Eventbrite page

Hazards Campaign

twitter @hazardscampaign

If you need more information please email:
or 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.

If you would like to get more involved or make a donation to our organisation please email:

Hazards Campaign Thursday talk – The challenges of long-covid

On Thursday 15 October 2020 the Hazards Campaign Thursday Talk concentrated on the challenges of Long-Covid from a health, occupational health, legal and trade union organising perspective.

We were joined by speakers:

– Clare Rayner – ex clinician and member of several Long-Covid support groups
– Professor Raymond Agius who until recently was the  Director of the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Manchester
Phillip Liptrot – Senior personal injury specialist and a national lead for Thompsons solicitors in the North West
– Paul Holleran – GMB Regional education and health and safety officer for North West and Ireland

The event was organised on the basis that workplaces are a major transmission source and that any workplaces open should be certified as safe.  The topic for the event was about the chronic conditions of Covid-19, how it will impact in our workplaces, what employers should be doing to support workers, and what are the implications of defining it as an occupational disease and the legalities involved in ensuring employers support workers properly and how trade unions can tackle the issues.

Please follow the links for  presentations by Clare Rayner and Raymond Agius.

You can view a recording of the event here.

For further information relevant to the speakers and subject:

twitter @hazardscampaign

If you need more information please email:
or 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.

If you would like to get more involved or make a donation to our organisation please email:

News Release – Grounding our grannies while white-washing workplace infections!

Hazards Campaign – News Release,

14th October 2020 (No embargo)

Grounding Grannies while white-washing workplace infections
The government’s new three tier system risks penalising the general public while leaving crammed schools, colleges and workplaces packed to the gills without the necessary support and oversight to maintain Covid safety, a campaign group has warned.

There is a recurring narrative by politicians and the media, that the transmissions of Covid-19,  is fuelled by misbehaving families and students shirking their responsibilities to our communities.  This ignores the evidence that workplaces are the major sites of infection and transmission, and this includes thousands of schools that have had to isolate children and staff.  Deaths and infections of workers  in working environments where the risks weren’t controlled are being ignored.

We are continually bombarded with images of students partying, families hugging and kissing but when there is an outbreak in a workplace it is said to be the workers fault because they shared cars or they celebrated together.  Individuals are scapegoated rather than the workplaces that are the cause.

The images of young people in bars, in restaurants, in clubs, in gyms weren’t intended to show the absurdity of opening up these venues or the transmission risks of being indoors without adequate ventilation or a lack of public awareness of aerosol risks, but to add to the narrative that out of control young people were spreading the virus.

All these places, including schools, colleges, universities, sandwich bars, fast food outlets, buses, trains are workplaces.  Workplaces with employers who have a legal responsibility to control the risks to their employees and anyone else who comes into their working environment. (1)

If people have contracted the virus on their premises or as part of their work activities then the employer has not carried out their duty of controlling the risks.  The legislation does say ‘as far as reasonably practicable’ which some say is a get out clause for employers, but they still have a legal duty to identify and assess those risks and put in place suitable and sufficient controls to prevent them and then to inform everyone of the controls that are in place and monitor them.

On the 15/10/20 the Hazards Campaign are organising a zoom on ‘the challenges of Long-Covid’. (2)  They will discuss the long-term ill health that is caused by Covid-19.  Janet Newsham Chair of the Hazards Campaign will say ‘everyone focuses on the deaths caused by Covid-19 but the long-term ill health is just as devastating for many people.  And if these infections were caused in workplaces where the risks of infection were not controlled, then employers are negligent in that duty, liable to compensate and support chronically sick workers and subject to reporting and investigation by the health and safety enforcement authorities.’(3)

‘The local authority and HSE enforcement teams have failed to ensure our workplaces are Covid-Safe (4) which means they have also failed to control the risks for workers and the public.  We need Covid-Safe workplaces.  We need Zero-Covid strategy (5) in place and we need ‘no return to workplaces until this happens’  No-one should be in workplaces where the risks aren’t controlled because Workers Health is Public Health and workplace infections will be transmitted back into our communities and other workplaces – spiralling infections out of control, as has happened.

‘Stop grounding our grannies, demonising our children, and white-washing the infections in our workplaces.’

As the mixed messaging from Government increases, we now know that the Government failed to follow their own scientific committee advice that SAGE gave weeks ago about the need for a National Lock-down and even the Labour Party have now joined the call for clearer rules and a Covid-circuit break to get track and trace in place and functioning.  Workers and others have been repeatedly promised rapid testing and tracing. In the last week or so further failings in this system have been graphically revealed and workers and their families remain at high risk because of these failings.

The Hazards Campaign are clear about the steps necessary to halt the exponential spread of the virus. There should be no return to workplaces, no opening up of workplaces, no workplaces operating where the risks aren’t being controlled and this should be certified by our enforcement authorities who have the regulatory powers to inspect and serve enforcement notices on employers who aren’t carrying out their duties. But this will take more resources, (6) and it needs a Government who are determined to stop the transmission of the virus.

3.   Prof Aigius report Covid-19: statutory means of scrutinizing workers’ deaths and disease
Further Information

For further information contact:
Janet Newsham

Hazards Campaign Thursday Talk – The Challenges of Long-Covid

Thursday Zoom Talk – 15th October,  6.00-7.30pm

The Challenges of Long-Covid – How we recognise it, public health and occupational health consequences, legal and workplace challenges.

Join the latest Hazards Campaign Thursday Zoom Talk with speakers including: …..

  • Clare Rayner – retired Clinician and involved with many long-covid groups
  • Professor Raymond Agius – Covid as an Occupational Illness
  • Phil Liptrott – Thompsons Solicitors
  • Paul Holleran –  NW GMB Health and Safety Officer

We have plenty to discuss and lots to campaign about  – especially on what we need to be doing in the workplace to support workers.

To book a place and receive the link to the meeting please go to  Eventbrite

For further information relevant to the speakers and subject:

twitter @hazardscampaign

If you need more information please email:
or 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.

If you would like to get more involved or make a donation to our organisation please email:

[Meeting resources and video] Where are the sirens? Can the tsunami of work clusters be stopped?

The Hazards Campaign’s Thursday Zoom talk Where are the sirens? Can the tsunami of work clusters be stopped to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers and our communities, when the Government is still waging a class war? was held on 24 September with a host of excellent speakers and discussion:

  • Professor Stephen Reicher – Independent Sage
  • Shelly Asquith – TUC, National Health and Safety Policy Officer
  • Rob Miguel – Unite National Health and Safety Officer
  • Rebecca Long Bailey Labour Party MP for Salford and Eccles and former Shadow Minister for Education

Please find below a YouTube video of the meeting.

The useful links, comments and other resources that were posted in the live chatbox can be viewed here: PDF.

Best wishes

Janet Newsham, Chair, Hazards Campaign

‘We’ll be policed all the way to the factory gates’

Hazards Campaign news release, 30 September 2020

The Government has introduced new Covid-19 penalties aimed at individuals, which it blames for the increased transmission rates.

The National Hazards Campaign Chair Janet Newsham said “At a time when money should be spent preventing the spread of infections in schools, care homes, hospitals, meat processing plants, offices etc. the Government has chosen to set aside £60m for police and local authorities to enforce the new laws.  However, when workers are inside their factories, offices and other premises, there is little money being spent on enforcing safe control of the transmission risks and ensuring their health, safety and welfare.  Again, it seems like workers health is being regarded as different to public health. ”

At the 29 September 2020 zoom conference ‘Who is regulating the Regulators?’ Janet said that “Workplaces are not being inspected and many reports made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are being dealt with by phone calls to employers and with no physical inspection taking place.”

Employers are also failing in their legal duty to report work-related cases as a new report issued by Pirc found in the food sector (1).  There were just 47 notifications of Covid-19 workplace infections and no deaths were reported when the real number is at least 1,461 infections and 6 deaths in the food manufacturing sector.  But there are other sectors that are also suffering from spiralling infection rates including the health and social care sector, education and other high-risk employment.

A new report (2) by Professor Agius showed ‘many thousands’ of UK work-related cases and hundreds of deaths were being missed by the RIDDOR occupational accident and disease reporting system, backed up by a June warning from Hazards Magazine (3) of an ‘intelligence failure’ at the HSE, with the regulator ‘having little idea what was going on’.

Janet Newsham Hazards Campaign said “The Covid-safe charter that Independent Sage and Hazards Campaign produced (4) weeks ago, to ensure the safety and health of workers in all workplace settings has been ignored.   Rushing people back to unsafe workplaces at a time when transmission rates don’t even match the Governments own measurements for reopening society, never mind not following the science!  Instead they are blaming individuals rather than targeting the real culprits which are employers not controlling the risks.”

Within hours of opening schools, many were sending children back home to isolate.  Children were simply shooed back home and the stop, start education we feared began to happen.  Two weeks later, thousands of children and young people are back at home, staff infected, children infected, family members infected and the spiralling upwards of transmission rates, has hit our communities.  Their risks never controlled in their schools and education environments, which are of course also workplaces. (5)

The Governments demonising of young people at Universities is shameful.  Young people sent to live in shared flats with strangers from different communities (with different transmission rates) across the UK, where social distancing is impossible.  And the subsequent return of workers into non-essential workplaces was always going to be problematic on top of the workers who have continually worked throughout the pandemic.

The Hazards Campaign criticisms of the lack of enforcement and inadequate investigations into the cause of workplace clusters are public record. (6)   Public Health England (PHE), HSE and others have failed to ensure employers are controlling the risks for workers.  Leaving many infected, with long term ill health and some have sadly died. They have failed to investigate transmission risks, failed to enforce health and safety law and failed to hold employers to account for their negligence.  The TUC has recently polled workers (7) and have said that ‘many workplaces are still not taking adequate measures to protect employees from coronavirus’.

And this on the back of the chronic underfunding of the HSE and Local Authority (LA) enforcement bodies over decades, they are now facing the further threat and humiliation of privatisation of part of their roles.  A role that would place enforcement authority with compromised independence, and firmly in the hands of private sector.

Campaign Chair Janet Newsham continued: “If the transmission rates are to be reduced then we need health and safety law enforced and a Covid-19 safe workplace strategy in place, alongside a zero-Covid19 strategy that includes a high functioning and supportive test, track, trace, and isolate. If workplaces aren’t recognised as a source for transmission, then the UK transmission rates will continue to rise.  Policing of Covid-19 prevention, must not stop at the factory gates.”

  1. Unreported deaths – A PIRC sector briefing: Food preparation, September 2020, Alice Martin, Pensions & Investment Research Consultants.
  2. Covid-19: statutory means of scrutinizing workers’ deaths and disease, 21 September 2020, Occupational Medicine, R.M. Agius.
  3. Abdication:  HSE has been missing in action throughout the Covid-19 crisis, Hazards 150, 2020.
  4. The COVID-19 Safe Workplace Charter and briefing document on ending work lockdowns in GB, The Independent SAGE Report 10, 27 August 2020, The Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
  5. Studies undermine Williamson’s ‘little evidence’ claim on school risks, 10 August 2020, Hazards Campaign.
  6. We predicted an explosion in workplace Covid-19 outbreaks – two weeks later that’s exactly what we’ve got, 20 August 2020, Hazards Campaign
  7. Many UK workplaces still not ‘Covid-Secure’, 16 September 2020, Risks 965, TUC.

Notes for Editors:
For more information, press only: W
Contact: Janet Newsham

Tel: 07734317158

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.

The Hazards Campaign
c/o Greater Manchester Hazards Centre
Windrush Millennium Centre
70 Alexandra Road
M16 7WD

twitter @hazardscampaign

The UK Government response is like a car skidding uncontrollably towards a brick wall

Hazards Campaign – News Release,

22nd September 2020 (No embargo)

At this week’s Hazards Campaign Thursday zoom ‘Where are the sirens?’, Janet Newsham chair of the Hazards Campaign will say “‘Applying the brakes?’ This is like the horrific images of the tsunami relentlessly and effortlessly swamping the beach town properties engulfing everything and anyone in their way . Or a car skidding uncontrollably towards the brick wall with the inevitable deadly consequences.  Brakes applied too little too late.  Warning sirens were not pressed before the wave of death swamps the population.” (1)

Early in May the Hazards Campaign said ‘there is no conflict between economic recovery and health because a healthy economic recovery requires healthy workers and people’, but to achieve it then we warned there should be no easing of the lock-down until seven preconditions were met.(2)  These preconditions remain just as valid today.  This Government has learnt no lessons from the deaths, disabilities, and ill health it has failed to control.

Some individuals and workplaces have taken precautions over and above what has been announced by Government.  Whilst others following Government mixed messaging, have carried on their business and put lives at risk without any caution.  It has led to workplace, school and community clusters.  Clusters that have led to the deaths of workers and increased the infection rate in local communities.

Our Government has been the sheep dragged kicking and screaming towards measures that will save some lives, but their sights have been firmly and continue to be firmly on the target of keeping the economy going and the result will be devastating financially for many businesses who will see extended economic disruption as our communities are awash with the virus.

In June, the Hazards Campaign challenged the Government’s easing of conditions that workers would be safe to return to workplaces under.  When the Government reduced the 2m distance to 1m or hardly any physical distancing between workers, we challenged this based on the scientific evidence available.  It was clear that there needed to be a precautionary approach to physical distancing, as aerosols were a far greater transmission risk of spreading the virus, especially inside buildings. (3)  We also called on the Government to adopt a zero Covid-19 policy. (4)

‘Staying Alert! what a nonsense.  Our Government hasn’t been alert to any of the advice until much of it is too late.  They locked down too late, they didn’t lock down all non-essential businesses.  Too preoccupied with the economy they went on to release the lock down again too early, they forced children back to unsafe schools and then workers back to unsafe workplaces.  They have blamed young people and families for spreading the virus, when their messages of go back to the pub, eat out and return to public transport and unsafe workplaces should have been the real focus of concern and stringent action.’

At the beginning of August the Hazards Campaign warned about the risks in schools and that it would drive up Covid-19 cases if the Government ignored the outbreak risks. (5) Then at the end of August we again challenged the Governments failure to acknowledge and act on workplace cluster warnings by forcing children back to school so that parents could return to work and as a consequence workplace cluster outbreaks were increasing. (6)

The Hazards Campaign followed that up with a joint report with the scientist group Independent Sage and called for ‘No workers to return to workplaces unless Covid safety plans are in place’. (7)
All these warnings and predictions about what would happen if they were ignored are unfortunately being proved right.  The Government has chosen to carry on regardless.

As the science has firmly moved from better hygiene to aerosol risks, the Government has been silent, even complicit in their lack of instruction to workplaces to ensure that the transmission of the virus in aerosols is controlled via low occupation, better ventilation and face mask/PPE wearing.  While Independent Sage and Hazards Campaign document of three weeks ago said that workplaces (which include schools, pubs, cafes etc) all workplaces needed to be Covid-safe and certified before opening, the Government ignored such advice.

Throughout the pandemic the Hazards Campaign have argued that a precautionary approach was needed to ensure the control of the transmission of the virus, that the Government had to break the cycle of transmission with full lock down of non-essential business and that they needed to follow a Zero-Covid strategy.

‘We have proof now that we need that Zero-Covid strategy,  we need Covid-safe workplaces and we need a fresh Government with their eyes wide open to proper defence of the population and away from a knee jerked, back of the fag packet after a pint down the local pub analysis and inaction.’

Notes to editors:

Hazards Campaign Thursday talk. Where are the sirens? Can the tsunami of work clusters be stopped?

Join our Hazards Campaign Thursday Talk

Featuring  speakers from the labour and trade union community
Thursday 24th September – 18.00-19.30pm

Can the tsunami of work clusters be stopped to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers and our communities, when  the Government is still waging a class war?

We will be discussing how we prioritise workers’ health and safety in an unfair society.

To book a place and receive the link to the meeting please go to  eventbrite at:


For further information relevant to the speakers and subject:
* Hazards Campaign News Release:
Hazards Campaign and Independent SAGE call for no workers to return to workplaces unless Covid safety plans are in place

* Joint Independent Sage and Hazards Charter and document

twitter @hazardscampaign


VIDEO AND RESOURCES: Is two metre physical distancing enough? Aerosol transmission and other emerging issues

On 11 September 2020 the Hazards Campaign held a Thursday Talk Zoom event titled: “Is two metre physical distancing enough? Aerosol transmission and other emerging issues.”

Speakers were Professor Andrew Watterson – Stirling Unversity, Hilda Palmer – Hazards Campaign and Retired GP Jonathan Fluxman – Doctors in Unite.

The recording of the event can be viewed below:

PDFs of the speakers’ presentations are below:

Control of all routes of the SARS CoV-2 Virus, Hilda Palmer.

Airborne spread of Covid-19 and implications for the workplace, Jonathan Fluxman.

Keep your distance, Andrew Watterson

News release: Hazards Campaign and Independent SAGE call for no workers to return to workplaces unless Covid safety plans are in place

Hazards Campaign and Independent Sage call for no workers to return to workplaces unless Covid Safety Plans are in place and enforcement bodies have agreed them.

Press statement for immediate release

1st September 2020
Hazards campaign news release,1st September 2020 (No embargo)

The Hazards Campaign accurately predicted that the forced return to unsafe workplaces would fuel an explosion in workplace COVID19 outbreaks1. These continue to grow, now affecting hundreds more workers and their families in existing outbreaks with more new workplace clusters across the UK.

Another tranche of workplaces, schools, are due to open in England and Wales starting this week and the experience of Scotland with several serious school outbreaks highlights the dangers. The existing health and safety system is failing to protect workers communities and the economy.

The Hazards Campaign jointly presented a paper with Independent SAGE on how workers can safely return to workplaces on 28th August 2.  The paper calls for government investment in a tougher regulatory system to check up on employers, with more inspections and control by  the HSE and LA enforcement authorities to certify Covid-Safe workplaces before they open to ensure workers and communities are safe.

The Chair of the Hazards Campaign Janet Newsham said “Thousands of workers have become ill and hundreds have died because risks of Covid-19 infection and transmission haven’t been controlled in the workplace. As hundreds of thousands of workers are urged to travel and return to indoor workplaces with colleagues, after a period of working alone from home, unless there is external verification that employers have properly assessed and controlled all the risk of infection and transmission, including from aerosols 3, there will be more outbreaks and  start local restrictions.

“The joint report includes a Covid-19 safe workplace charter which concentrates on three main areas: Employers responsibilities, Regulators responsibilities and Central Government responsibilities.  In addition to certification of workplaces, the charter calls on Government to legislate for ‘Roving Safety Reps’, increased funding and resources for enforcement, and sufficient financial support for workers to be able to self-isolate or take sick leave without loss of earnings.

“For weeks now we have been recording clusters of workers who have tested positive, become ill or died from Covid-19 and the numbers involved clearly indicate they have become infected in workplaces.  The reasons are because workplaces have failed to provide the necessary control of transmission risks -physical distancing, increased cleaning and control of aerosol transmission by increased and improved ventilation with fewer workers in confined indoor spaces.  They are also because workers have no safe travel to work or they are unable to isolate or take sick leave when they are unwell or have been in contact with an infected person because they do not get full pay either having to rely on Statutory Sick Pay or not entitled to even that pittance. Rapid spread of workplace infections is also caused by the ineffective national privatised  Find, Track, Trace and Isolate system in place, and the local much more effective systems are starved of cash and resources.

“If these incidents are not recorded, investigated and acted on then improvements to working conditions that spread the disease will not be implemented fast enough to stop the spread and more workplaces will have to lock-down.  This isn’t good for the health of workers or the economy.

“Many employers have worked hard to ensure the mental and physical health of their workers during this pandemic, many working closely with their union safety reps but unless all employers control the risks then the virus will spread into the community and into other workplaces.

“The charter has the support of trade unions, the Society of Occupational Medicine and the Collegium Ramazzini and has been welcomed by the TUC.

“This is an important report and it is welcomed by the TUC.  Health and Safety is a paramount concern and employers, government and its agencies all need to take the right and necessary actions to minimise risk and prevent further coronavirus infections, support the economy and rebuild confidence.”

For more information, press only:
Contact: Janet Newsham
Tel: 0773 431 7158

Notes for Editors:
1. We predicted an explosion in workplace Covid-19 outbreaks- 2 weeks later that’s exactly what we’ve got
2 .Youtube recording of the presentation:
Joint Independent Sage and Hazards Campaign Report:
3. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE: Is two metres too far or not far enough to protect from COVID-19 and who benefits and who loses if it is reduced ? Hazards Campaign, 22nd June 2020

For more information:

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.

Contact details:

The Hazards Campaign
c/o Greater Manchester Hazards Centre
Windrush Millennium Centre
70 Alexandra Road
Manchester, M16 7WD
twitter @hazardscampaign