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Risks is the TUC's weekly newsletter for safety reps and others, sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors.



MPs told to wear masks amid rising Covid cases

MPs and peers have been told to wear face masks in parliament following a rise in Covid cases in the building. The move comes after repeated criticism from unions, who have said a refusal by many MPs to wear masks was putting parliamentary workers at risk (Risks 1013). This week, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle urged MPs to follow the parliamentary authorities’ guidance, saying they should ‘pull together’ to stop the spread of infections. He added that the measures would be reviewed in two weeks' time. Most opposition MPs have opted to wear a mask, but many Conservatives have not. Last week, face coverings became mandatory for staff employed by the House of Commons, unless they have a legitimate exemption - but it was left up to individual MPs to decide whether to cover their faces or not. Last month, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said Conservative MPs did not need to wear masks because they knew each other well, and this meant they were complying with government guidance. Pictures of Mr Johnson not wearing a mask at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow have prompted criticism of his behaviour on social media. The Speaker said the parliamentary authorities had decided to take further action “to ensure case numbers do not continue to rise” and urged members not to “undermine the officials of the House.”
BBC News Online. The Guardian.

Deal struck in prison educators’ safety dispute

A long running dispute between prison educators at 49 prisons in England and Novus has ended after the employer agreed to UCU's demands to address health and safety concerns. Around 600 prison educators took four days of strike action between April and June 2021 after their Covid-19 safety concerns were not addressed (Risks 1002). UCU said the deal means its members will now be much safer at work. Investigations instigated by Novus against union members who raised health and safety concerns have also been dropped. The agreement, secured through talks at Acas, includes improved risk assessment processes and systems of work to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of prison education staff. UCU said regular meetings over safety concerns are now taking place with ‘meaningful engagement’ from Novus. Staff are already seeing practical benefits, it added, such as the roll-out of CO2 monitors to assess how well ventilation is working. Novus will meet with UCU in December to review progress. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “Our prison educators have been steadfast in their determination to ensure their working conditions are safe. Covid brutally exposed the many health and safety failings within the prison estate and through unprecedented strike action across 49 prisons our members have made prisons safer for both learners and teachers.”
UCU news release.

Workers taking disabled children to school in strike vote

Drivers and passenger assistants, who take disabled children to and from school in Hackney in what their union calls a ‘high risk environment’, are being balloted for strike action. The move by the 37 Unite members is in response to the ‘continuing failure of council bosses to recognise their efforts as key workers during the pandemic’, the union said. Unite said Hackney council in east London has ‘brushed off’ the union’s repeated attempts to gain recognition for its members’ role as key workers during the continuing Covid crisis, with a negative impact on working conditions and pay. The resulting strike ballot will close on 30 November. Grievances include a ‘failure to take the necessary health and safety measures, including the failure to provide proper toilet facilities’ and to recognise the affected staff as ‘key workers’, Unite said. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members taking disabled children to and from school have had long-running issues with this authority over its poor employment practices. Unite is determined to advance the jobs, pay and conditions of its members working for Hackney council. The council must recognise its failings and deal with them.” Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Covid cases are again rising to worrying levels and our members deserve recognition for working in this high risk environment. Any indictment of Hackney council’s employment practices would be a long one. The continual and insulting brush off from the management to union members has led to this strike ballot. Union members have had enough.”
Unite news release.


Night workers face low pay and high risks - TUC

The TUC is calling for better pay and conditions for the 3.2 million workers who regularly work nights. An analysis by the union body found many working overnight are on low pay and on insecure contracts, with 1-in-3 (33 per cent) night workers earning less than £10 an hour. It revealed key workers are twice as likely (16 per cent) to do night shifts than other workers (8 per cent). The TUC added that employers should consider health hazards of night working and take responsibility for workers safely travelling to and from the workplace. It said as well as being detrimental to family life, the health risks of regular night work include cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression. The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has said night work is also a ‘probable’ cause of breast cancer in women. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) study in 2012 concluded each year there are 555 deaths and 1,969 new cases of breast cancer in Great Britain attributable to shift work. The TUC adds that workers – particularly women - are at greater risk of harassment and attacks in their journey to and from work when it’s late at night. The TUC says employers should consider the health hazards of night working in risk assessments, and take responsibility for workers’ safety travelling to and from the workplace. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Working through the night is tough – with night workers at higher risk of health problems and disruption to their daily lives.” She added: “The government must ensure that all night workers are treated with dignity at work. That means levelling up working conditions and pay and ensuring people are given proper notice of their shifts. And it means an immediate increase in the minimum wage to £10 an hour - which would benefit over two million key workers, and fair pay agreements across sectors which can agree fair rewards for those who work at night.”
TUC news release. Wales TUC news release.

Workplace health promotion benefits ‘marginal’

Workplace interventions to address unhealthy worker ‘behaviours’ such as physical inactivity, an unhealthy diet, high alcohol intake and smoking show only ‘marginal gains’ and are ‘disappointing’, workplace health researchers have concluded. The editorial in the Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment and Health is critical of the wide adoption of health promotion programmes focusing only on lifestyle and not on work-related factors, despite significant ‘knowledge gaps’ on their effectiveness. They note: “Because of the persistent socioeconomic health inequalities and the low number of scientific studies conducted among workers with a lower socioeconomic position... interventions should use approaches that go beyond a single behavioural component, for example a systems approach that considers underlying issues that coincide among workers with a low socioeconomic position (eg. unhealthy behaviours, unfavourable working conditions, health problems, and underlying social and financial issues). The editorial, authored by researchers from public health institutes in the Netherlands, concludes “workplace health promotion programmes thus far show marginal gains, as the effectiveness and implementation of traditional universal preventative workplace health promotion interventions are still disappointing.”
Robroek SJW, Coenen P, Oude Hengel KM. Decades of workplace health promotion research: marginal gains or a bright future ahead, Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment and Health, volume 47, number 8, pages 561-564, 2021. doi:10.5271/sjweh.3995

Half of university staff show signs of depression

A new report that reveals a widespread workload and mental health crisis in universities should ‘shame every single vice chancellor in the UK’, lecturers’ union UCU has said. The report by Education Support paints a picture of staff being pushed to breaking point with unsafe workloads resulting in one in five academic staff working an extra 16 additional hours per week, the equivalent of an extra two days’ work on top of their contracted hours. It found over half (53 per cent) of those surveyed showed probable signs of depression. The report comes as UCU ballots staff at 146 universities over pay and working conditions. The union is demanding nationally agreed action to address excessive workloads and unpaid work; action to address the impact of excessive workloads on workforce stress and mental ill-health; and that workload models and planning take into account Covid related changes in working practices. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “Over half of those surveyed are showing signs of depression, whilst almost eight in ten report regularly intense workloads. These figures should shame every single vice-chancellor in the UK, who rather than criticising university staff balloting for strike action over these issues, should demonstrate they take the welfare of their workforce seriously.” She added: “Staff know full-well that industrial action will cause disruption, but these statistics are a timely reminder as to why staff have been left with no choice.” Reports this year linked high workloads to suicides in university lecturers (Risks 1015), and criticised the Health and Safety Executive’s inaction on the issue (Risk 1007).
UCU news release. Supporting staff wellbeing in Higher Education, Education Support, 2021.
Suicidal: HSE must recognise, record and investigate work-related suicides, Hazards, number 155, 2021.

Payout after suicide of unfairly dismissed dad

The widow of a dad who was unfairly dismissed by Glasgow City Council and later took his own life is to receive almost £19,000 in compensation. Kevin Clark, 49, was suspended from his job as a road sweeper after getting into a fight with colleague John McCoid which left him with a head injury and covered in blood. His bosses at the council accepted baseless claims that he had been under the influence of alcohol at work and had chased McCoid around the grounds of a depot at Polmadie. Clark was sacked and an appeal to overturn the decision was refused. The father of three, who went on benefits following his dismissal, took his own life nearly two years later. He had been battling mental health issues for several years. At an employment tribunal judge Amanda Jones was critical of managers’ “selective” use of evidence to get Clark sacked, and the ease with which they accepted McCoid's “quite incredible” and baseless claims Clark had been drinking on the job. The judge wrote: “It appeared that a view was taken as to who was at fault in the matter immediately and it was very surprising to the Tribunal that the claimant who had suffered an injury was suspended and Mr McCoid was not. It seemed to the Tribunal that the [council's] approach from the beginning was that the claimant had brought his injury on himself. The investigation was conducted with a closed mind and there was a lack of objectivity and fairness. In all these circumstances, the claimant was unfairly dismissed by the [council].” The tribunal awarded Clark a total of £18,936.26, made up of a basic award of £4,955.72 and £13,980.54 of lost wages from the date of his dismissal in October 2018 to the date of his death in May 2020. The award will be paid to his widow, June.
Daily Record. More on work-related suicide.
ACTION! Use the Hazards e-postcard to tell the HSE to recognise, record and take action to prevent work-related suicides.

IOSH urges businesses to look after their workers

The world’s businesses should ‘harness the wave of social change’ by putting the needs and welfare of people first, safety professionals’ organisation IOSH has urged. IOSH said it was making its call “as the Covid-19 pandemic, the rise of social justice movements and emerging global crises mean there is now more focus than ever on how businesses treat their workers, with investors and consumers paying close attention to how they make profit.” The safety organisation’s new global campaign on social sustainability, Catch the Wave, says business leaders at every level of the supply chain need to act now - not just to improve the social sustainability and long-term prosperity of their own businesses, but to help build stronger, more sustainable communities around the globe. “Those with a stake in business are no longer interested solely in how it makes profit,” said Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher, IOSH chief executive. “They want to understand how its profit-making affects people and the environment. They want to know how sustainable it is.” She added: “Before they invest in a business, investors want assurance that it has a long-term plan for managing the skills, knowledge and experience that are integral to a sustainable business model. This can’t be captured in financial metrics alone.” IOSH said it launched Catch the Wave because it sees the occupational safety and health profession it represents as being irrevocably linked to social sustainability. It says “by viewing everything through a health and safety lens, a business can not only manage the risks to its workforce but also secure its long-term prosperity.”
IOSH news release and Catch the wave campaign.

Refuse workers to walk out over rubbish site

More than 100 refuse workers are set to strike for 12 days across the Christmas period in a bid to get Serco Sandwell to undertake a clean-up and necessary maintenance at a public household recycling centre. Safety issues identified by the GMB members include pools of dirty water, dilapidated fencing and trip hazards. The workers at the nearby Serco site are also contending with a lack of handwashing facilities, overflowing toilets and poor protective equipment. GMB organiser Justine Jones said: “We must act before somebody gets seriously hurt, or worse, on that death trap site. Serco need to realise people come before profit – both the public and their own workers.” She told the company: “Clean up your sites and let us go back to serving the people of Sandwell this Christmas.”
GMB news release.

TSSA brands e-scooters a ‘significant threat’

Transport and travel union TSSA is calling on Transport for London (TfL) to urgently enforce its ban on electric scooters across the network. The move follows an incident on the evening of 1 November at Parsons Green Tube station in which an e-scooter lithium battery caught fire on an underground train and continued to blaze on the platform. Passengers were forced to abandon the train due to the fire and smoke inhalation. Some were seen coughing on the platform as smoke billowed from several rear carriages. It followed a 26 October incident at Stanmore where London Fire Brigade attended a station fire in staff accommodation, as a result of the ignition of an e-scooter lithium battery being held in lost property. TSSA organising director Lorraine Ward said: “Without doubt the incident at Parsons Green raises very serious concerns. It’s becoming all too clear that e-scooters pose a significant threat to the traveling public, our members and all workers at TfL.” She added: “There should be an immediate halt to transporting them on all TfL services until more research into these batteries has been carried out. I’m therefore urging TfL to fully enforce the already existing ban on the use of e-scooters. Indeed, a further ban across the wider travel network should be considered by the Secretary of State for Transport.” The TSSA officer said: “Safety on our transport network will always be our union’s number one priority, there can be no compromises on that.”
TSSA news release.

Injured train driver acted impeccably, says operator

The driver of a train involved in a serious crash acted in an “impeccable way in a valiant attempt to keep passengers safe,” the train operator has said. South Western Railway (SWR) said the 74-year-old driver, Robin Tandy, who was seriously injured in the collision in Salisbury, was a “deeply-respected colleague.” The SWR train ran 220 metres past a red stop signal before striking a Great Western Railway service on Sunday 31 October. Investigators said ‘wheel slide’ meant the train did not stop as it should. A preliminary investigation noted the Great Western Railway (GWR) service should have been protected by a red light at the junction before Fisherton Tunnel. But the SWR train went through the red after “low adhesion” caused it to slip through. The SWR driver, who has been driving services in the area for around 50 years, did apply the brakes, investigators said. Mr Tandy suffered “life-changing” injuries in the crash. A Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) preliminary analysis showed the driver initially applied service braking to slow the train before reaching the stop signal and that around 12 seconds after, he made an emergency brake demand. Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the rail union TSSA, commented: “We will have to await further details but this is a very sobering reminder about why safety on our railways is always paramount.” Of the 92 passengers on board the two trains, 14 required hospital treatment, with most suffering minor injuries.
SWR news release. TSSA news release. RAIB news release. BBC News Online. Union News.

Quarry firm fined after probe into worker’s death

A quarrying and construction company has been fined £130,000 over health and safety failings uncovered in the wake of a worker’s death. Machine operator Pawel Kocik was crushed to death at Leiths (Scotland) Ltd’s Kishorn Quarry in Wester Ross in 2017. The subsequent investigation into the 34-year-old’s death uncovered a number of health and safety breaches at the Highland quarry. Fiscal Depute Stella Swan told Inverness Sheriff Court: “The failings before the court came to light during the investigation of an incident involving the death of an employee involved in the set up of a Nordberg Lokotrack LT106 mobile primary crusher at Kishorn Quarry on May 17 2017.” She added: “It should be noted the Crown accept that the failings narrated in the charge did not cause the death of the employee and the plea comes before the court on a non-causal basis.” The court heard setting up the mobile crusher, used as part of the quarrying process to crush boulders into smaller rocks, required raising folding side panels and placing a cross beam for stability with the help of an excavator. The Fiscal Depute told the court that the process adopted by the mobile crushing team relied on someone entering the machine to perform tasks including placing pins and wedges to hold folding panels in place and attaching lifting hooks to the cross brace beam that had been stored for transport inside the crusher’s feed hopper as per the manufacturer’s instructions. “An arrangement was not put in place to ensure that the person remained suitably distanced from the main boom, dipper arm and quick hitch,” said Ms Swan. She said the lack of suitable safety instructions left employees “to rely solely on their initiative.” Handing down a £130,000 fine to the firm, which had admitted a criminal safety offence, Sheriff Gary Aitken said: “This case is a useful reminder that the requirements of health and safety legislation apply all the time. It is not just when someone has been hurt or killed that breaches occur.”
HSE news release. Press and Journal.

Director gets suspended jail sentence after death

The managing director of a scaffolding company has been fined after an employee died when he was struck from behind by a forklift truck. Leicester Magistrate’s Court heard how on 20 June 2016, Shaun Flynn had just finished loading a lorry in the yard of Boss Scaffolding (Northampton) Limited when he was struck from behind by the raised forks of a moving forklift truck. The 36-year-old subsequently died from his injuries. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Boss Scaffolding director Leon Gill and an employee of the company failed to take reasonable care of the health and safety of others who might be affected by the poor management of risks arising from the use of a counterbalance forklift truck in a state of disrepair. Company director Leon Gill pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months and was ordered to pay a £7,000 fine and £45,000 costs. HSE inspector Jenna McDade said: “This case highlights the importance of regular pro-active maintenance and inspection of work equipment, to ensure equipment does not deteriorate to the extent that it puts people at risk. Sadly the tragic death of Mr Flynn could have been prevented.” She added: “Companies and individuals should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
HSE news release.

Galvanizing firm fined after worker fatally injured

Hereford Galvanizers Limited, a company that undertakes hot dip galvanizing for the corrosion protection of steelwork, has been fined after an employee was fatally injured. Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court heard that on 2 February 2019 Jamie Allen was operating an overhead crane adjacent to a molten zinc bath, when a tubular steel brace exploded during galvanizing. This caused it to ‘rocket’ across the workshop floor, striking the 28-year-old and causing fatal injuries. The steel brace failed due to the absence of vent holes to prevent the build-up of pressure inside the hollow steel brace during the galvanizing process. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to adequately assess the risk and devise and implement suitable safe systems and methods of work for venting checks. In addition, employees were not adequately trained or supervised when completing venting checks. Hereford Galvanizers Limited, which operates under the trading umbrella name ‘Hereford and Shropshire Galvanizers’, pleaded guilty to a criminal health and safety offence and was fined £266,000 plus £14,635.29 costs. HSE inspector Sian Donne commented: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. His death could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, put a safe system of work in place and ensured that employees were appropriately trained and supervised.”
HSE news release.

Concrete supplier fined after tyre explosion fatality

A concrete supplier has been fined after an agency worker suffered fatal injuries following a tyre explosion. Dudley Magistrates’ Court heard how contract worker Nigel Schofield, 60, was using a compressed air hose to inflate the tyre of an articulated wheel loader. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, on 28 March 2019, found that the company failed to have in place a safe system of work for inflation of the multi-piece split rim assembly wheels on the articulated wheel loader. The compressed air system had not been subject to regular and thorough examination and testing by a competent person. Anytime Concrete (GB) of West Bromwich, pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was fined £6,666 and ordered to pay costs of £4,522.40. HSE inspector Karen Sweeney commented: “This tragic incident led to the death of a worker. This could easily have been prevented if the company had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place.”
HSE news release.

Manufacturing firm fined over vibration disease

A company that manufactures and sells medical devices for the healthcare industry has been fined after two workers developed an occupational disease caused by vibrating tools. Newport Magistrates’ Court heard that employees of Frontier Plastics Ltd worked at the company’s Blackwood site in Gwent using vibrating tools including strimmers, hedge cutters, grinders, drills and linishers, without suitable controls to reduce the risks. As a result, two employees, the earliest of whom had started at the company using vibrating tools in 1991, developed severe Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that before August 2019 the company failed to: adequately assess the risks of using vibrating tools; put in place measures to control the risk; provide suitable information, instruction and training on the risks to employees; and place the employees under the legally required health surveillance to monitor their condition. Frontier Plastics Limited, a subsidiary of Verna Group International Limited, pleaded guilty to a criminal health and safety offence and was fined £246,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,788. HSE inspector Sian Donne commented: “This was a case of the company completely failing to grasp the importance of managing exposure to vibration. HAVS is a serious, disabling and permanent condition. If the company had put in place suitable controls to reduce exposure and health surveillance to monitor workers’ health, then the employees’ condition would not have developed to a severe and life altering stage.”
HSE news release.


‘What about the Workers?, COP26 people’s summit, 8 November

Climate change is already having a major impact on the hazards many face at work – from flooding, to temperature extremes to the spread of disease. A people’s summit online event at the COP26 meeting on 8 November will examine ‘What about the workers? Making workplaces safe for workers and the environment.’ The round table discussion will consider “connected issues of toxics use reduction, air pollution inside and outside of the workplace, workplace adaption to address climate change and just transition for working people.” The event, organised by Scottish Hazards and the UK Hazards Campaign, includes among a stellar speakers’ list the International Trade Union Confederation’s Alison Tate on ‘Just Transition from a global perspective’. Other speakers include Björn Claeson of Electronics Watch on ensuring workers’ rights and safety alongside clean production in electronics, Prof Andrew Watterson on toxics use reduction, Ram Charitra Sah of the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV) on the toxic legacy of bad work inside workplaces and in communities, Hilda Palmer of the UK Trade Union Clean Air Network on workers as the canaries in the system and Eurig Scandrett of Just and Green Recovery.
What about the workers? Making workplaces safe for workers and the environment, Hazards Campaign/Scottis Hazards, free and online, 6.30-8.00pm, 8 November. Register.


Australia: Work deaths toll increases again

Workplace fatalities in Australia have increased for a second year running according to latest official figures. In a year that saw the conservative Morrison Government reject the inclusion of industrial manslaughter in model occupational health and safety (OHS) laws to be implemented by states, 194 workers lost their lives due to injuries at work. Data from the report released by Safe Work Australia reveals 41 per cent of deaths followed injuries caused by vehicle collisions. National trade union body ACTU said the increase in fatalities for the past two years has reversed the trend of the preceding ten years, which saw a steady reduction in workplace fatalities. ACTU assistant secretary Liam O’Brien commented: “It is appalling that workplace fatalities have gone up two years in a row. The Morrison government has stood by and watched, instead of working with the states to include industrial manslaughter in model OHS laws. To go backwards in the standards of workplace health and safety over the last couple of years, instead of continuing a trend of a reduction in deaths, is deeply concerning. The Morrison government needs to take workers’ safety seriously.” He added: “Every worker deserves to go to work in a safe environment and go home healthy at the end of the day. No worker should have to be fearful of losing their life when they leave for work. Bosses who cut corners that kill workers should face serious penalties and we must introduce industrial manslaughter laws.”
ACTU news release. Safe Work Australia news release.

Bangladesh: Workplace rights abuses on increase

Thirty-five thousand Bangladeshis die at work every year, and eight million are injured, but promises of action from the government to have come to nothing, the global union confederation ITUC has said. The union body adds that sexual violence is rife, millions of workplaces are barely monitored by government labour inspectors, and people are trapped in jobs with poverty wages. It says labour rights are instead deteriorating in Bangladesh, despite government promises to commit to an International Labour Organisation (ILO) road map for reform. “Repressive laws, obstacles to union formation, and brutal repression of strikes make Bangladesh one of the worst countries in the world for working people,” commented ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow. As the government of Bangladesh prepares to update the ILO Governing Body on progress on the reforms on 6 November, anti-union discrimination, wage discrimination and unsafe working conditions continue to be reported in three of the country’s largest employment sectors – ready-made garments, shipbreaking and the leather (tannery) sector. “The government of Bangladesh must immediately set up a transparent and effective monitoring mechanism for the implementation of the ILO roadmap and meaningfully consult with tripartite constituents on all the action points,” Burrow said. “Workers want a better Bangladesh, fair pay, to be safe at work, and a voice.”
ITUC news release. Watch and share the ITUC video ‘A better Bangladesh’ on Facebook and Twitter. #ABetterBangladesh

Global: End ‘impunity’ for journalist deaths

More than 35 journalists around the world have been killed this year in the course of their work, some hit by bomb blasts, others personally sought out and killed in cold blood, figures from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have revealed. Commenting on 2 November - the United Nations International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists – UK journalists’ union NUJ joined the IFJ and its affiliates worldwide to demand that governments stop turning a blind eye to attacks on media workers and bring those who threaten journalists to justice. The unions say “death threats, rape threats, doxxing, racist abuse, impersonation have led journalists to silence themselves, and many have been psychologically damaged.” Across the globe journalists are regularly attacked while reporting in the field, their equipment is destroyed, their families are threatened, they add. Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “Another year goes by, and another set of deadly statistics are collected by the IFJ – these deaths are not just a tragedy for the families affected, they are an indication of the many places in the world where brutal governments stifle democracy, kill journalists and where corruption and organised crime reign.” She said world leaders must call out the “evil regimes and speaking out for press freedom. The NUJ, IFJ and journalists’ trade unions will never cease from shining a light on these attacks on their members.”
NUJ news release. IFJ news release and end impunity campaign.

Global: Road transport workers in major safety campaign

A ‘Week of action for decent work and safety in road transport’ organised by the global transport workers’ union federation ITF has seen workers from the sector take to the streets to press their demands for ‘safe rates’ of pay and decent work. The event, which ran from 21 to 28 October, culminated with a major rally in Seoul. More than five thousand Korean truck drivers rallied in front of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Seoul demanding the preservation and expansion of the Korean ‘Safe Rates’ system. ITF said many road transport unions also used the action week to make demands of their own governments, employers, and client companies. In Australia, it saw the climax of a month of rolling strikes with 24-hour work stoppages by StarTrack and FedEx workers. The Transport Workers’ Union of Australia (TWU) is calling for job security guarantees and federal action on safe and fair minimum standards. “The week of action has been successful in making governments and corporations around the world know that we have a solution to the crisis in road transport,” said ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton. “It is called decent work and safe rates and it starts with accountability from the companies at the top of supply chains. This solution has already been endorsed by the ILO. It’s time for governments, employers and clients to come to the table with unions and put this solution into practice.”
ITF news release and Safe rates webpages.


TUC Hazards at Work 6th Edition

Stock Code: HS111
Price £22 RRP £52
Also now available as an eBook
This is the Sixth edition of the TUC's best-selling guide to health and safety at work.
Used by reps, officers, employers, professionals in the field and even enforcement officers. This incredibly popular book is now even more informative at over 400 pages, an invaluable resource, which incorporates common hazards and cause of ill health at work, and how to assess and prevent them.
The book also contains HSE and other guidance, extensive checklists, case studies and web resources.
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