Risks is the TUC's weekly newsletter for safety reps and others, sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors.
The TUC has produced the guide Coronavirus/ COVID-19 Guidance to Unions for union reps. It is designed to give reps an understanding of the workplace issues in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide support in being effective at negotiating with employers steps that can be taken to best protect the health and safety of the workforce.
The TUC will also be running a Webinar: Coronavirus at work for union reps on Monday 16th March at 2pm – 3pm. Open to all union members to register in advance.
As more than 100 hospital workers remained in self-imposed quarantine in California, a proposed regulation designed to protect them from infectious diseases such as the coronavirus languished inside a US federal agency. The draft regulation would require employers to provide protective gear for health care workers and to create infection-control plans, which could include building isolation rooms. The Obama administration was working to adopt the regulation, but the Trump administration in 2017 moved it to a less urgent, long-term agenda and work on it stopped. Now, members of Congress, unions representing health care workers, and the former head of the US government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are calling for the proposal to be expedited. They are petitioning the Labor Department, which oversees OSHA, to turn to a little-used federal law that allows the agency to issue a temporary emergency standard when a “grave danger” or “new hazards” emerge in the workplace. Several unions are asking that any emergency regulations also include people working for airlines, mass transit systems, prisons or in other workplaces where labourers may be exposed to the coronavirus. The former head of OSHA in the Obama administration said years of work have gone into the draft regulation, which included seeking and including advice from the health care industry. That could allow OSHA to move quickly. “The framework is there. If OSHA wanted to modify the standard, it could put it out tomorrow,” said David Michaels, who now works as an environmental and occupational health professor at George Washington University. National union federation AFL-CIO and several unions have backed the call for an emergency standard. The petition to labour secretary Eugene Scalia identifies 14 public and private “high-risk” industries - including firefighters and cruise ship workers — and asks that the standard apply to all 42 million workers employed by those industries.
Washington Post. The Atlantic.
Find the latest courses at www.tuceducation.org.uk/findacourse/
Want to hear about our latest news and blogs?
Sign up now to get it straight to your inbox
To access the admin area, you will need to setup two-factor authentication (TFA).