The aftermath of the BP Texas city refinery explosion in 2005 that killed 15 workers

 


DEADLY BUSINESS NEWS

USA: Frozen food plant cited over Covid-19 failures
The workplace safety regulator in Oregon, USA, has issued a citation to National Frozen Foods, accusing the company in Albany of “failing to implement physical distancing measures to protect workers from the spread of the coronavirus.” The citation, which carries a penalty of $2,000, “stems from an inspection launched April 20 in response to multiple complaints about the facility, which produces frozen fruits and vegetables.”
Oregon OSHA news release. NBC 16 News. CBS News. Risks 947.
Hazards news, 16 May 2020

Europe: Commission blasted on Covid-19 risk ranking
A European Commission decision not to put Covid-19 in the highest risk category of the Biological Agents Directive has been criticised by unions. The unions had earlier argued the virus, for which there is no vaccine, should be classified in the top risk group,“but we regret that the decision today, if confirmed by the Commission, would mean that it will be classified as an agent belonging only in the second highest risk group.”
ETUC news release and note on Biological Agents Directive. Risks 947.
Hazards news, 16 May 2020

Global: The deadly cost of unregulated and illegal fishing
Video evidence and media reports detailing gross abuses aboard a Chinese fishing vessel operating with migrant seafarers have again shone a spotlight on the violence and human trafficking proliferating in the global fishing industry. On 24 April, two Chinese-owned vessels entered Korean waters and 26 Indonesia seafarers were disembarked after spending more than a year at sea without interruption.
IUF news release. Risks 947.
Hazards news, 16 May 2020

Global: Chemical industry must step up on human rights
A deadly gas leak at a chemical plant in India last week is a grim wakeup call for the industry to recognise and meet its responsibility to respect human rights, a UN expert has said. Baskut Tuncak, the UN special rapporteur on hazardous substances and wastes, was commenting on a 7 May the LG Polymers leak in India in which at least 12 people died and more than 1,000 fell ill.
OHCHR news release. ANROEV statement. Hindustan Times. New York Times.
United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Risks 947.
Hazards news, 16 May 2020

Britain: Landmark fine after exhausted welders killed in van crash
Welding specialist Renown Consultants Limited has been fined £450,000 and ordered to pay £300,000 costs for failing to ensure that two of its workers were sufficiently rested to work and travel safely, and who subsequently died when their van crashed on the journey home. The sentence was passed virtually by His Honour Judge Godsmark sitting at Nottingham Crown Court after Renown were found guilty on 19 March 2020 in a prosecution by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
ORR news release. Construction Enquirer. BBC News Online. Risks 947.
Hazards news, 16 May 2020

Britain: Johnson accused of ‘criminal negligence’ and ‘social murder’
A top safety law academic has accused prime minister Boris Johnson of criminality and ‘social murder’ after he called for an early return to work. Steve Tombs, professor in social policy and criminality at the Open University, said “the government must know that construction workers are exposed to and unwitting carriers of coronavirus,” adding: “In my view this is criminal negligence, it’s manslaughter, it’s social murder.”
Reel News. Shut the Sites blog. Deaths in England and Wales related to Covid-19 by occupation, ONS, 11 May 2020.
The Guardian. Good Morning Britain. Construction Enquirer. Risks 947.
Hazards news, 16 May 2020

Britain: Minute’s silence for fallen firefighters
Fire stations across the UK and internationally fell silent at noon on 4 May, Firefighters’ Memorial Day. The event is organised jointly by the UK Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the Firefighters Memorial Trust (FMT). Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, placed a wreath at the National Firefighters’ Memorial at St Pauls, London, in lieu of any larger ceremony during the pandemic.
FBU news release. Risks 946.
Hazards news, 9 May 2020

Britain: Brutal cuts to fire services being rushed through
Firefighters have warned of a major threat to public safety as politicians and fire chiefs try to sneak through cuts to the fire and rescue services while firefighters respond to the coronavirus crisis. The firefighters’ union FBU made the comments after a consultation on sweeping fire and rescue cuts was launched mid-pandemic.
FBU news release. Risks 945.
Hazards news, 2 May 2020

Britain: UK’s failure to stockpile crucial PPE exposed
The government failed to buy crucial personal protective equipment (PPE) to cope with a pandemic, a BBC investigation has found. There were no gowns, visors, swabs or body bags in the government's pandemic stockpile when Covid-19 reached the UK, the BBC Panorama investigation found, with the government subsequently ignoring a warning from its own advisers to buy missing equipment and instead downgrading risk warnings and workplace protection guidelines.
BBC News Online. Has the Government Failed the NHS?, Panorama, BBC One, 27 April 2020. Evening Standard.
Evaluating the protection afforded by surgical masks against influenza bioaerosols: Gross protection of surgical masks compared to filtering facepiece respirators, HSE research report number 619, 2008. Risks 945.
Hazards news, 2 May 2020

Britain: Government must say no to work-related virus deaths
The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) has reiterated its call on the UK government to set a goal of ‘zero work caused fatalities’ from Covid-19 within the NHS, essential services and UK business. The organisation said its campaign is now being backed by the British Dental Association (BDA), the British Medical Association (BMA), the Doctors’ Association and many other organisations, stating “that work-related fatalities due to Covid-19 exposure is not a given.”
SOM news release. Risks 943
Hazards news, 18 April 2020

Britain: NHS workers’ Covid-19 deaths ‘beyond heartbreaking'
The union GMB has expressed its deep concern after health secretary Matt Hancock’s devastating disclosure that at least 19 NHS workers have died of Covid-19. Commenting on 11 April, GMB criticised the government for “broken promises” over protective equipment.
GMB news release and Get Me PPE Toolkit. The Independent. The Guardian. Risks 943.
Hazards news, 18 April 2020

Pakistan: Health workers beaten by police in pandemic protests
Health workers in Pakistan have warned of “deplorable” conditions on the frontlines of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, describing the pandemic as untreatable in one region and accusing police of brutally suppressing protests over working conditions. The country has reported 4,000 cases of Covid-19, but testing rates are low and doctors believe the real figure is much higher.
The Guardian. Risks 942.
Hazards news 11 April 2020

USA: The government safety inspectorate has gone missing
This year, a new crisis put workers in many US industries unexpectedly in harm’s way, but the official workplace safety watchdog has been conspicuously absent from the coronavirus response, a former top government safety official has charged. David Michaels, the Obama era head of the safety enforcer OSHA, said: “Instead of pressing employers on worker safety, Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and President Donald Trump’s political appointees at the Labor Department have decided to tell workers there is little OSHA can do because it has no standard covering airborne infectious diseases.”
Politico. US Covid-19 Strike Wave Interactive Map. Risks 942.
Hazards news 11 April 2020

Britain: Campaigners hit out at Covid-19 work safety failings
Millions of lives have been needlessly put at risk by the government’s inadequate response to the coronavirus pandemic, health and safety campaigners have warned. The Hazards Campaign’s analysis has identified a catalogue of government shortfalls, including its refusal to stop all non-essential work, an inability to supply health service staff with protective equipment and failure to introduce a comprehensive testing and tracking system to contain the virus.
Hazards Campaign news release, full analysis and infographic. Morning Star. CIEH news report. Risks 942.
Hazards news 11 April 2020

Britain: Stop work if not protected, union tells transport workers
Transport union RMT has told it members in the rail and bus sectors they should stop work if employers do not provide protection from coronavirus exposures. The union’s message to members follows escalating concerns that many employers are not taking steps to protect transport workers despite rail and bus staff playing a key role in keeping people and goods moving in the fight against Covid-19.
RMT news release. Risks 942.
Hazards news 11 April 2020

USA: NY transit workers in deadly virus peril
In New York, subway and bus employees have been particularly badly affected by the disease, with at least 33 deaths. New York governor Andrew Cuomo commented: “They’re doing heroic work, very high rate of illness - that’s a problem.”
The City. Risks 942
Hazards news 11 April 2020

Britain: HSE unions demand virus action as the watchdog goes missing
Unions representing staff at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have written to the regulator for the second time in a week asking management to intervene directly with the government on behalf of the public and their members. Prospect, the FDA and PCS have written a joint letter to HSE Gold Command asking them to fulfil their duty as the independent regulator in charge of enforcing health and safety at work.
Prospect news release and earlier release. Hazards Campaign letter to HSE.
Thompsons Solicitors’ updated briefing on coronavirus and the law. Risks 941.
Hazards news, 4 April 2020

Britain: Essential role of low paid workers deserves recognition
The critical role played by low paid workers in combating the coronavirus threat to public health deserves much greater recognition, the TUC has said. Commenting on the new national minimum wage rates which come into force on 1 April, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Britain is indebted to its army of minimum wage heroes. Many – including care workers and supermarket staff – are currently on the frontline of the battle against coronavirus.”
TUC news release and Coronavirus/COVID-19 Guidance to Unions, TUC, March 2020. Risks 941.
Hazards news, 4 April 2020

Brazil: Meat giant in ‘brutal’ attack on its workers
JBS, the world's largest meat company, has presented workers in Brazil with a stark choice: risk potentially fatal illness, or risk losing your job. On 23 March, workers from the JBS units in Forquilhinha and Nova Veneza in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina were brutally repressed for protesting the company's decision to keep the production lines running without adequate protection against the spread of the coronavirus.
IUF news release and video. Risk 940.
Hazards news, 28 March 2020

Global: ‘Havoc’ as half of countries placed on lockdown
Over half of all countries surveyed (53 per cent) are containing the spread of the coronavirus with national lockdown measures, the closure of schools and non-essential businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic survey by the global union confederation ITUC found six out of fifteen G20 countries which are the drivers of the global economy closed non-essential businesses between 17-23 March 2020 - but only 50 per cent of countries are providing free health care.
ITUC news release and Global Covid-19 survey key findings. ITF news release. IndustriALL news release. ILO blog.
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Covid-19 resource page. Risk 940.
Hazards news, 28 March 2020

Britain: RCM concern over PPE shortage for midwives
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has called on the government to ensure that midwives and maternity support workers receive appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure they remain safe and well so they can continue to care for people. The union call came as health care workers across the NHS said they were encountering difficulties obtaining the correct masks, aprons, goggles and gloves. 
RCM news release. Morning Star. BBC News Online.
RESOURCE: RCM guidance for pregnant health care workers. Risk 940. 28 March 2020

Myanmar: Growing union pushes for mine safety
A mining union is Myanmar is calling on the government and employers to improve health and safety in mines, demanding measures including emergency exits, clean drinking water and fire extinguishers at the worksites. The Mining Workers Federation of Myanmar (MWFM), which is affiliated to the global union IndustriALL, has said there can be no compromise when it comes to health and safety, stating that authorities and employers must put human lives before profit.
IndustriALL news release. Risks 939.
Hazards news, 21 March 2020

Britain: Government should be ‘ashamed’ of unsafe budget
The firefighters’ union FBU has condemned chancellor Rishi Sunak’s 11 March budget for “failing to recognise the role of firefighters in responding to flooding, for failing to provide building safety funding for buildings under 18m and for promising a ‘pittance’ to fund firefighters’ crucial fire safety work.” Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “This budget once again fails to end a decade of pay restraint for firefighters and the chronic underfunding of the fire and rescue service.”
FBU news release and related release. HM Treasury news release and Budget 2020. Risks 939.
Hazards news, 21 March 2020

Britain: Unions worldwide demand Amazon addresses virus safety
In the wake of coronavirus outbreaks in Amazon warehouses, a global alliance of unions is calling on the company to take urgent measures to protect workers and communities. The alliance, coordinated by the global UNI and which includes the UK union GMB, is making its demands as workers in Italy are striking and workers in Spain are filing complaints to make the company fulfil its legal obligations to provide a safe workplace.
UNI news release. BBC News Online. Morning Star. Risks 939. Hazards news, 21 March 2020

Turkey: Right to life ‘violated’ in Soma mine disaster
Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that workers’ right to life was violated in the 2014 mine explosion in Soma where 301 workers lost their lives and 162 were injured. Relatives of 11 killed workers made an individual application to the court on 12 August 2016.
Bianet.  Risks 938.
Hazards news, 14 March 2020

USA: Amazon’s disposable worker model exposed
Online retailer Amazon relies on an extreme high-churn model, continually replacing workers in order to sustain a dangerous and gruelling work pace, new research has concluded. The report from the US National Employment Law Project (NELP) cites data from the company’s own records which reveal ‘stunningly high injury rates’ and staff turnover in the retailer’s warehouses.
Amazon’s disposable workers: High injury and turnover rates at fulfillment centers in California, executive summary and full report, National Employment Law Project, March 2020.  Risks 938.
Hazards news, 14 March 2020

Britain: Company fined for ‘entirely avoidable’ death of dock worker
A shipping company has been fined £120,000 over the death of a ship’s cook at a Norfolk port more than two years ago. Marine accident investigators described the incident in which Alfred Ismaili was killed at Alexandra Dock in King’s Lynn as ‘entirely avoidable’.
Lynn News. Eastern Daily Press. Risks 938.
Hazards news, 14 March 2020

USA: White House doctored chemical warning
A common workplace solvent linked to fetal heart deformations, cancer and other serious health disorders has been given a healthier spin after a draft report from a US government agency was doctored by the White House prior to publication. A report from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) reveals the report was altered radically at the direction of the Trump White House, with several instances where wording on the risks to workers revised.
Center for Investigative Reporting report and The Weekly Reveal podcast. Risks 937.
Hazards news, 7 March 2020

Britain: FBU blasts ‘endless delays’ to the Grenfell inquiry
Firefighters’ union FBU has criticised the “endless delays” to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and said that the inquiry “must finally learn what led to Grenfell becoming such a death trap.” The inquiry was halted within minutes of its restart on 2 March when community activists stood up in the room and angrily shouted it was “a cover-up” after contributors were told evidence given would not be used in criminal prosecutions.
Morning Star. Construction Enquirer. The Guardian and related story. Risks 937.
Hazards news, 7 March 2020

Global: Dock unions warn about lashing dangers
International transport unions have called upon ship operators to ensure lashing work is undertaken by shore-based dock workers. The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) said that lashing – securing loads safely and securely – is expert work that should only be undertaken by trained dock workers rather than already over-stretched seafarers.
ITF news release. Risks 936.
Hazards news, 29 February 2020

Korea: Trade secrets law protects Samsung, not workers
Global electronics giant Samsung, which in 2018 made a public apology for the toxic workplace exposures that led to a spate of occupational diseases known to have killed over 100 workers in Korea (Risks 899), can keep its toxic secrets, the Seoul administrative court has ruled. Occupational disease victims’ advocacy group SHARPS, which has appealed the latest court decision, commented: “The latest ruling is in tune with a revised trade secret law that took effect on 21 February,” adding: “The amendment exempts companies from the disclosure of information on hazardous materials should they prove it as core national technology.”
SHARPS blog on trade secrets vs safety and related post. Risks 936.
Hazards news, 29 February 2020

Britain: Director dodges jail after ignoring HSE stop work orders
The former director of a construction company has received a suspended prison sentence after ignoring official stop work orders on a potentially deadly site. Imtiaz Hussain, then a director of Bradford Builders (UK) Ltd, failed to comply with legally binding Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prohibition notices relating to unsafe work at height during roofing work on a new build house.
HSE news release. Risks 936.
Hazards news, 29 February 2020

Britain: Discharge for boss who threatened HSE inspector
A waste site owner who abused and threatened a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector has received a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to a public order offence. The HSE inspector was conducting an inspection at a waste and recycling site belonging to Jacob Alexander Thompson in August 2019 Thompson, then crossed the yard towards the inspector, who was subjected to repeated verbal abuse and offensive language and was physically threatened when Thompson stepped towards him and raised his fist as he told him aggressively to leave.
HSE news release. Risks 936.
Hazards news, 29 February 2020

Britain: Inquiry call as Amazon UK warehouse injuries spike
Amazon warehouses have been hit by more than 600 serious injuries or near misses in the past three years, a GMB investigation has found. The shocking figures came to light in response to Freedom of Information Act requests submitted by GMB to local authorities across the UK.
GMB news release. BBC News Online. The Guardian. Morning Star. Risks 936.
Hazards news, 29 February 2020

Australia: Truck drivers in Aldi crash deaths protests
Hundreds of truck drivers took part in Australia-wide protests on 12 February demanding supermarket chain Aldi pay safe rates throughout its supply chain. The union TWU wants Aldi to raise its transport contract rates and standards to reduce the pressure on drivers and operators to cut corners in safety.
TWU news release. Fully Loaded. Risks 935.
Hazards news, 22 February 2020.

Canada: Union calls for crackdown on corporate safety crimes
Major corporations and their directors must be held accountable for deadly workplace crimes, a Canadian union has said. USW national director Ken Neumann said: “Killing workers should never be part of the cost of doing business.”
USW news release and related news release. Canadian Lawyer Magazine. CBC News. Risks 935.
Hazards news, 22 February 2020.

India: Fire deaths denim factory had no way out
Workers in an Indian denim factory struggled to claw their way up a ladder to a door, their only exit as a fire blazed through fabric and machinery. Seven people died in the 8 February blaze. The factory where the fire occurred, Nandan Denim, has ties to major international retailers, according to its website.
AP News. Washington Post. New York Times. InStyle. Nandan Denim. Risks 935.
Hazards news, 22 February 2020.

Britain: Fishing firm fined £50,000 over crewman’s death
Marine fishing company MB Aquarius Ltd has been fined £50,000 for criminal safety offences that led to a crewman’s death nearly five years ago. Annang Neurtey was lost at sea after he was struck by a wire on board the 20-metre trawler Aquarius.
COPFS news release. Aberdeen Evening Express. Press and Journal. Risks 935. Hazards news, 22 February 2020.

Britain: Criminal charges possible over Grenfell - inquiry chair
Those involved in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower are facing possible charges of fraud and conspiracy to defraud, according to the chair of the public inquiry into the disaster that claimed 72 lives. Sir Martin Moore-Bick has told the attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, that during forthcoming hearings examining the marketing of the combustible cladding and insulation that spread the fire, witnesses are “very likely” to be asked to discuss issues involving potential fraud offences.
The Guardian. BBC News Online. Risks 934.
Hazards news, 15 February 2020

Britain: Government ‘red tape challenge’ risks another Grenfell
Sajid Javid’s “Brexit red-tape challenge” will fuel the deregulation agenda that led to the Grenfell tragedy, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warned. Javid, who resigned as chancellor in the days after the announcement, said he intended to use the Budget on 11 March to launch a public and business consultation to propose ways in which the British government could “improve or remove” EU laws.
Morning Star. Financial Times. The Telegraph. Risks 934.
Hazards news, 15 February 2020

Britain: Rare work death jail term exposes justice shortfall
A rare occasion where a negligent employer was jailed for manslaughter has highlighted a widespread failure to hold negligent directors to account for deaths at work, a trade union body has said. TWL director Han Rao was sentenced to four years for the manslaughter of employee Marian Iancu at The Old Bailey in February, prompting a  statement from Waltham Forest Trades Council that noted: “Mr Rao is going to jail because TLW is a small business and identifying him as responsible was far easier than in much larger businesses” adding: “We need a legal system which acts as a deterrent for all organisations.”
Waltham Forest UNISON news release. Environmental Health News. Risks 934.
Hazards news, 15 February 2020

Britain: Danger firms fined after worker dies in explosion
Materials Movement Ltd and PJ Labour Services Ltd have been fined after a 54-year-old worker was killed in an explosion at a London demolition site. Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 16 March 2017, Stephen Hampton was killed when an old fuel storage tank he was cutting up exploded and the end of the vessel struck him, causing fatal injuries.
HSE news release. Risks 934.
Hazards news, 15 February 2020

Britain: Defunct firm convicted after temporary worker death
A defunct London skip hire company has been fined £240,000 for criminal failures that led to a temporary worker being crushed to death. Stelian Florin Gavriliuc died while employed by Ace Waste Haulage in August 2017; the 24-year-old, who had only been with the firm for two weeks, was killed as he walked from his work station through the only exit open to employees and was crushed by a shovel loader vehicle that didn't see him.
Metropolitan Police news release. Kilburn Times. Risks 934.
Hazards news, 15 February 2020

Britain: Police convicted after employee gets heart breaking shock
A police force has been fined after an employee received an electric shock whilst installing computer data cables. Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard that on the 16 October 2015, at Bridgend Police Station, a 48-year-old civilian South Wales Police employee sustained damage to his heart muscles when he came into contact with an exposed end of a live 3-core electrical cable which had been left in a ceiling void.
HSE news release. Risks 934.
Hazards news, 15 February 2020

Britain: Global giant fined after worker loses arm
A company that designs, manufactures and distributes construction materials has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries, resulting in his left arm being amputated. The 48-year-old employee of Saint-Gobain Construction Products UK Limited, part of the global Saint-Gobain Group which has over 179,000 employees worldwide and had sales of 41.8 billion Euro in 2018 (£35.2bn), was seriously injured on 13 August 2017 when a rock handling belt failed at the company’s plant in Barrow-Upon-Soar, Leicestershire.
HSE news release. Risks 934.
Hazards news, 15 February 2020

Global: Growing hazard posed by illegal pesticide trade
Over the past two decades, the trafficking of highly toxic pesticides has quietly grown into one of the world’s most lucrative and least understood criminal enterprises, a report in Washington Post has revealed. Adulterated in labs and garages, hustled like narcotics, co-opted by gangs and mafias, counterfeit and contraband pesticides are flooding developed and developing countries alike, with environmental and social consequences that are “far from trivial,” the UN Environment Program reported last year.
Washington Post (subscription needed). Risks 934.
Hazards news, 15 February 2020

Korea: ‘Irresponsible’ Merck management led to worker suicide
After Merck Biopharma Korea shut down its general medicine (GM) division late last year, an employee who complained of being pressured to apply for an early retirement programme (ERP) took his own life, a union has reported. The worker was found dead on a playground near his home on 21 January this year.
Korea Biomedical Review.
RESOURCES: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists. More on work-related suicide.
UK ACTION! Use the Hazards e-postcard to tell the HSE to recognise, record and take action to prevent work-related suicides. www.hazards.org/hsesuicide Risks 933.
Hazards news, 8 February 2020

Pakistan: More deaths as mine safety crisis continues
The start of 2020 has seen increasing dangerous incidents and deaths in Pakistan’s coal mines, exposing the near non-existence of safety measures and continued negligence from the employers and the government, IndustriALL has warned. Glen Mpufane, IndustriALL mining director, commented: “According to published media reports, more than 430 coal mine workers have been killed since 2010, and this may even be an underestimation.”
IndustriALL news release. Risks 933.
Hazards news, 8 February 2020

Britain: Boss jailed for four years after employee’s death
A company boss has been jailed after employee Marian Iancu, 39, was crushed to death by nearly half a tonne of glass panels. Han Rao was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for manslaughter following trial at the Old Bailey, and further sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for criminal breaches of health and safety laws, to run concurrently.
Metropolitan Police news release. Walthamstow Guardian. Barking and Dagenham Post. Risks 933.
Hazards news, 8 February 2020

Britain: Amazon made £10bn profit, its workers paid the price
Online retailer Amazon made a ‘mammoth’ profit of over £10 billion last year off the back of its workers’ health, safety, pay and working conditions, the union GMB has charged. Figures released by the company show that the firm, which runs a string of giant ‘fulfilment centres’ across Britain, made £10.7 billion in global profits over the whole of 2019, with final the quarter profits hitting £3.1bn.
GMB news release. Amazon news release. Morning Star. CNBC News. BBC News Online. Risks 933.
Hazards news, 8 February 2020

Britain: ‘Lashings of despair’ over seafarer safety on docks
An international agreement that cargo handling should be carried out by trained dock workers rather than seafarers is being flouted in UK ports, the seafarers’ union Nautilus has warned. The union says reports from the port of Liverpool indicate that seafarers are being forced to undertake lashing work on some ships in unsafe conditions despite the introduction of agreement known as the 'Dockers Clause' on 1 January 2020.
Nautilus news release. Risks 933.
Hazards news, 8 February 2020

Britain: Grenfell suppliers request for immunity is ‘outrageous’
Unite has described as ‘absolutely outrageous’ the revelation that companies involved in supplying and installing the cladding blamed for the rapid and deadly spread of the Grenfell Tower fire are seeking immunity from prosecution before they give evidence. Representatives from organisations including cladding company Harley Facades, building contractor Rydon and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation made the application for the guarantee from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox that they will be protected.
Unite news release. BBC News Online. The Guardian. Risks 933.
Hazards news, 8 February 2020

Britain: Grenfell investigation must go right to the top
The Grenfell Tower Inquiry must look at the decades of deregulation that allowed fire safety at Grenfell to be undermined, the firefighters’ union FBU has demanded. It its opening submission to phase 2 of the inquiry, the union outlined three factors that rendered the UK’s regulatory regime as “unfit for purpose”, “facilitating the hazardous refurbishment” of Grenfell Tower, and impeding the London Fire Brigade’s ability to respond effectively to the fire.
FBU news release. The Guardian. Morning Star. Risks 933. 8 February 2020
Hazards news, 8 February 2020

Global: Bankruptcy ruse will hurt asbestos victims
DBMP LLC, an affiliate of US building materials maker CertainTeed LLC and part of the global Saint Gobain building products empire, has filed for bankruptcy in North Carolina, citing the ‘burden’ of tens of thousands of unresolved asbestos-related claims tied to products manufactured prior to 1993. Section 11 bankruptcy has been used by a number of US asbestos companies to reduce asbestos liabilities, often denying cancer victims the payouts they would otherwise receive.
Business Wire. Bloomberg.
Asbestos: Think Again. 'Business as Usual' Bankruptcies, EWG, 4 March 2004. Risks 932.
Hazards news, 1 February 2020

USA: Climate crisis puts workers at deadly heat risk
Though the climate crisis is creating conditions where workers in the US are facing hotter temperatures on a more frequent basis, there are no federal safety protections for workers in extreme temperatures, and only three states, California, Washington and Minnesota, have heat stress workplace protection standards. According to projections conducted by the not-for-profit organisation Climate Central, the number of dangerous heat days for 133 US cities, will increase from 20 a year on average in 2000 to 58 in 2050.
The Guardian. Risks 932.
Hazards news, 1 February 2020

Britain: Conflicted Grenfell adviser resigns from inquiry
A recently-appointed Grenfell Tower fire inquiry panel member has resigned after she was linked to the charitable arm of Arconic, the firm that supplied the block's deadly cladding. Last week Grenfell United, the survivors and bereaved group that first discovered Benit Mehra’s link to Arconic, had insisted her position represented a conflict of interest and called for her to stand down had said it would make sure she went.
Grenfell Tower Inquiry 23 December 2019 update on Benita Mehra’s appointment and 25 January 2020 update on Benita Mehra’s resignation. Unite news release. BBC News Online. Risks 932.
Hazards news, 1 February 2020

Britain: Grenfell Tower inquiry told firms 'deny responsibility'
None of the companies involved in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower have accepted responsibility for the deadly fire, an inquiry has heard. Firms expressed “no trace” of accountability despite previous findings that the work did not comply with building regulations, counsel to the inquiry Richard Millett QC said.
The Guardian and related story. BBC News Online. Construction Enquirer.
Grenfell United. Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Risks 932.
Hazards news, 1 February 2020

China: Officials punished for burying blast death toll
A total of 29 officials have been punished after the death toll in a factory blast in central China's Hunan Province was intentionally underreported, the state media agency Xinhua has reported. The number of fatalities in the 4 December 2019 explosion at a workshop of a fireworks company in the city of Liuyang was initially given as seven, but the provincial authorities later confirmed 13 people were killed.
Peoples’ Daily. Risks 931.
Hazards news, 25 January 2020

Ireland: Union demands access to sites as deaths spike
The Irish construction union SIPTU has called for its organisers to be granted a legal right of access to building sites across the country following a doubling in the number of construction workers who died in workplace incidents. SIPTU sector organiser John Regan said: “The government must act to ensure greater safety on building sites by amending the 2005 Health and Safety Act to give union organisers access to all building sites.”
SIPTU news release. HSA news release. Risks 931.
Hazards news, 25 January 2020

Britain: Boss faked dead worker’s signature after fatal fall
Contracts manager Mark Bray, 49, who forged a dead worker’s signature after he was killed in a fall through a broken roof at work, has been jailed for two years. Kenneth Drake, 54, suffered mortal head injuries when the roof he was working on collapsed and he fell to the floor below.
Greater Manchester Police news release. Liverpool Echo. Cheshire Live. Risks 931.
Hazards news, 25 January 2020

Britain: Dad killed in ‘tragic and wholly avoidable’ incident
Chesterfield Special Cylinders Ltd, a subsidiary of engineering firm Pressure Technologies, has been fined £700,000 after 64-year-old John Townsend was fatally wounded by shrapnel ejected from testing equipment. The father-of-two was due to retire the week after the incident.
Unite news release. HSE news release. Thompsons Solicitors news release. Sheffield Star. Yorkshire Post. Risks 931.
Hazards news, 25 January 2020

Britain: Site firm fined after worker crushed by concrete slab
A construction company has been fined half a million pounds after a father-of-two was killed when a re-enforced concrete slab collapsed underneath him during a demolition job. Southwark Crown Court heard that on 14 April 2014, 33-year-old labourer Dainius Rupsys from Lithuania was working with an excavator operator at the McGee Group Limited site in London’s Grosvenor Square, as part of the operation to demolish the existing multi-storey building before 31 residential flats could be built.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 931.
Hazards news, 25 January 2020

Britain: New building safety regulator to be run by HSE  
The Health and Safety Executive is to set up a new building safety team immediately, ahead of a new law requiring the formation of the Building Safety Regulator. The new regulator, which will operate from within HSE, will “be at the heart” of the government’s “biggest change in building safety for a generation.”
Ministry of Housing news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 931.
Hazards news, 25 January 2020

Britain: Buildings regulator ‘must be properly resourced’
The new Buildings Safety Regulator, to be based in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), must be given the resources to do its job properly, the TUC and HSE inspectors’ and specialists’ union Prospect have said. Prospect warned that “cuts in recent years have left the HSE struggling to fulfil its functions and to recruit and retain skilled staff.”
Prospect news release. Risks 931.
Hazards news, 25 January 2020

Britain: PM vows to look into his ‘scandalous’ Grenfell inquiry pick
Boris Johnson has told Grenfell survivors he will investigate the role of a key member of the public inquiry after it was revealed she had links to the company that made the tower’s deadly cladding. The prime minister met representatives of the Grenfell community at a pre-arranged visit to Downing Street on 16 January after it emerged that Benita Mehra was previously president of a charity that received a £71,000 donation from the philanthropic arm of Arconic, the US firm that made the panels found to be the main cause of fire spread.
The Guardian. Morning Star. Risks 931.
Hazards news, 25 January 2020

Cambodia: Concern as building collapse kills 36 workers
The collapse of a seven-storey building in the small coastal town of Kep in Southern Cambodia on 3 January has killed 36 workers, authorities have confirmed. Ambet Yuson, general secretary of the global construction union federation BWI, commented: “We strongly call on the government of Cambodia to work closely with the Building and Wood Workers’ Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC) to hold those responsible accountable and to increase and strengthen safety and health inspections to prevent further accidents across the country.”
BWI news release. Jakarta Post. Risks 930.
Hazards news, 18 January 2019

Britain: Killed within hours of starting new job
A vehicle recovery and repair company has been fined for a criminal safety breach after a new worker suffered fatal crush injuries during maintenance work, only hours after he had started his new job. Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard that on 24 November 2014, Albert Road Recovery and Repair Limited employee John Glenn, 56, was fatally injured when a rigid vehicle fell suddenly from an inadequate axle support prop at its premises in Coventry.
HSE news release. Fleet News. Risks 930.
Hazards news, 18 January 2019

Britain: Delivery drivers ‘less valuable than the food they carry'
Jeremy Corbyn has joined delivery drivers in demanding an end to the gig economy after a moped rider was stabbed to death in London. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited the scene of the knife attack in Finsbury Park where a 30-year-old man named locally as Taki Dine was killed on the evening of 3 January, noting delivery drivers are “often on zero hours contracts, yet the food they are carrying is insured… So the delivery driver is less valuable than the food they are carrying.”
Evening Standard. Daily Mail. Morning Star. BBC News Online.  ITV News. Risks 930.
Hazards news, 18 January 2019

Britain: Builder injured working on McAlpine director’s house
Construction giant Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd has been fined £260,000 for criminal safety breaches after a worker fell 4.8 metres through an unprotected opening while working on the house of a McAlpine’s director. Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 28 April 2016, Mark Smith, 36, was working at Stone Gappe Hall, Lothersdale, Keighley, owned by Richard McAlpine, a director of the McAlpine group of companies.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 930.
Hazards news, 18 January 2019

Britain: Baggage handler suffers brain injury in fall from plane
An airport ground support company has been fined for a criminal safety breach after a baggage handler suffered a brain injury when she fell from a height of more than two metres. Luton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 24 December 2016 Rebecca Smith, an employee of Menzies Aviation (UK) Limited, was injured as luggage was being loaded onto an aircraft at London Luton Airport.
HSE news release. Risks 930.
Hazards news, 18 January 2019

Britain: Fire emergency call mergers ‘unsafe and unsustainable’
The firefighters’ union FBU has issued a ‘safety critical notice’ after Surrey and West Sussex control rooms were merged, without an increase in staff. The union is concerned that emergency fire control staff cannot handle the current volume of 999 calls, and is calling on Surrey Fire and Rescue Service to address the “significant risk to both public and firefighter safety.”
FBU news release. Risks 930.
Hazards news, 18 January 2019

Peru: Teens electrocuted at McDonald's
The beverage machine which killed the two teenage workers in a McDonald’s restaurant in Peru was known to be faulty, the franchise’s general manager has admitted. Alexandra Porras, 18, and Carlos Gabriel Campo, 19, were electrocuted while cleaning the kitchen at the fast food outlet in Lima on 15 December 2019.
IUF news release. The Mirror. Risks 929.
Hazards news, 11 January 2020

USA: Boeing boss fired as plane crash crisis deepens
The head of aerospace giant Boeing has been fired after the company faced escalating criticism of its response to fatal crashes involving its 737 Max airliners. In a statement announcing the departure of its CEO Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing said the board had “decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders.”
Boeing statement. The Independent. Daily Mail. Risks 929.
Hazards news, 11 January 2020

Britain: Fedex UK Ltd fined £500k after forklift truck injury
Parcel carrier Fedex UK has been fined for criminal safety failings after an employee was seriously injured when he was struck by a forklift truck. Cannock Magistrates’ Court heard that in the early morning of 2 November 2017, an employee was walking across a depot when he was struck by a reversing forklift.
HSE news release. Risks 929.
Hazards news, 11 January 2020

Britain: Director sentenced after ignoring HSE notices
A construction company director has been ordered to undertake community service and has been given a suspended jail term for a criminal safety offence. Tahir Ahmed pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was sentenced to 18 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months, 180 hours of unpaid work, and was ordered to pay full costs of £5,060.69; All Type Electrical and Building Limited was fined £60,000 and full costs of £5,216.46.
HSE news release. Risks 929.
Hazards news, 11 January 2020

Britain: Demolition workers ‘pay with their lives’ for lax safety
Unite has said 2020 must bring safety improvements for demolition workers following a high number of fatalities and serious incidents this year. The construction union said it would be writing to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to demand that the incidents are investigated properly and lessons implemented.
Unite news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 929.
Hazards news, 11 January 2020

Britain: Curfew for coach firm boss after worker crushed
The boss of a Lancashire coach company has been given a suspended jail term and a curfew after a father-of-three was fatally crushed while working underneath a double decker bus. Brian Finch pleaded guilty of a criminal safety breach and was sentenced to six months custody, suspended for 18 months, and subject to a curfew between the hours of 7pm and 8am for 30 months, with full costs of £9,381.
HSE news release and webpages on vehicle and bus repair. Risks 928.
Hazards news, 21 December 2019

Britain: Dancers badly injured in Coyote Ugly wet bar falls
Two dancers were badly injured after falling off a wet bar while working at Coyote Ugly Saloon in Cardiff city centre, a court has heard. Karina Sparks suffered deep cuts to her shoulder and chest after landing on a wine glass, while Brittany Askew fractured her spine and had to wear a back brace.
Cardiff City Council news release. Wales Online. Risks 928.
Hazards news, 21 December 2019

Bangladesh: Second deadly factory fire in days
At least 10 workers died and several others were injured in a fire at a fan factory outside Dhaka after the compound was hit by a deadly blaze on 15 December 2019. The latest tragedy came only days after 17 people died in another factory fire.
DW News. Support Labour Behind the Label’s Bangladesh campaign. Risks 928.
Hazards news, 21 December 2019

India: Government inaction criticised after factory tragedy
A deadly factory fire in Delhi on 8 December 2019 exposes the vulnerability of India’s informal workforce as well as the government’s passive attitude towards workers’ safety, unions have said. At least 43 people died in the fire, 39 from asphyxiation; most of the victims were young migrant workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the poorest provincial states in India.
IndustriALL news release. Risks 928.
Hazards news, 21 December 2019

Global: Tech giants sued over child mining deaths
The world’s largest tech firms are being sued by Congolese families who say their children were killed or maimed while mining the cobalt used to power smartphones, laptops and electric cars. Apple, Google, Dell, Microsoft and Tesla have been named as defendants in a lawsuit filed in Washington DC by human rights firm International Rights Advocates on behalf of 14 parents and children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
IRA news release. The Guardian. Risks 928.
Hazards news, 21 December 2019

Korea: Truck drivers win safe rates of pay
Korean truck drivers are celebrating after securing a belated guarantee of safe rates of pay. The new measure is a major victory for the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union Cargo Truckers Solidarity Division (KPTU-TruckSol) that has campaigned hard for a minimum wage system for the road freight market for 18 years, to make the industry fairer for workers and the roads safer for everyone.
ITF news release. Risks 928. 21 December 2019
Hazards news, 21 December 2019

India: Factory fire tragedy exposes ‘pervasive’ violations
The deaths in Delhi of “at least 43” workers in an 8 December fire in a “manifestly unsafe factory” highlights the urgent need for enforcement of fire and building safety regulations and credible safety monitoring in India, the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) has said. According to the CCC, the deadly circumstances “raise the question as to why it is even possible that workers are trapped in a factory fire on a weekend night, while the factory was not operating.”
CCC news release. Democracy Now. BBC News Online. The Telegraph. NDTV. News24. Risks 927.
Hazards news, 14 December 2019

Global: Liverpool FC concern over Qatar migrant worker deaths
Liverpool Football Club has supported calls by human rights groups for thorough investigations into the deaths of migrant workers in Qatar, before the club flies to the Gulf country to play in Fifa’s Club World Cup. The Liverpool chief executive, Peter Moore, has also sought assurances from the Qatar “supreme committee”, which is organising the tournament and the 2022 World Cup, about the progress of investigations into the deaths of two men who had been working on the construction of football stadiums.
The Guardian. Risks 927.
Hazards news, 14 December 2019

Britain: Fine after three workers swept away down a sewer
A major water and wastewater company has been fined following an incident in which three workers were swept away along a sewer and narrowly avoided drowning in sewage. The workers were carrying out preparatory work in a sewer for the Thames Tideway Tunnel at East Greenwich when a 150-year-old cast iron penstock sewer gate failed, engulfing the workers and carrying them along the sewer.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 927.
Hazards news, 14 December 2019

USA: Site whistleblower injured in hotel collapse is deported
A construction worker who became a witness in a US federal workplace safety investigation after he was injured during a deadly building collapse has been deported by the immigration authorities. The worker, Delmer Joel Ramirez Palma, had to scramble to stay alive while metal and debris rained down and parts of the 18-storey Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans was pancaked around him and killed three of his colleagues on 12 October.
New York Times. Washington Post. The Guardian. Risks 926.
Hazards news, 7 December 2019

Australia: Industrial manslaughter law passed in Victoria
Industrial manslaughter is now a criminal offence in the Australian state of Victoria under new laws passed by the state’s parliament. The offence will fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and will apply to employers, self-employed people and ‘officers’ of a company or organisation.
Victorian government news release. Fully Loaded. Risks 926.
Hazards news, 7 December 2019

Britain: Firm fined for high hazard biological agents breach
A biosciences company has been fined after safety inspectors discovered it was in possession of potentially lethal biological agents without a licence. Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard that in September 2017, concerns were raised in connection with Thermo Electron Ltd, trading as Fisher BioServices, regarding the nature of biological agents that had arrived at its site in Bishop Stortford, in a shipment from overseas.
HSE news release. Risks 926.
Hazards news, 7 December 2019

Britain: Director sentenced after his brother’s fatal fall
A solar panel company director has been sentenced to 200 hours of community service after his brother’s fatal fall at work. Company director Michael John Webb pleaded guilty to a criminal breach of the same regulations and was handed a 12-month community order to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £15,000
HSE news release and roofwork webpage. Risks 926. 7 December 2019
Hazards news, 7 December 2019

Britain: 'Cruel and inhumane' treatment of journalists must stop
UK journalists’ union NUJ has called for an end to the harassment of UK-based journalists by the Iranian authorities. NUJ members working for UK-based broadcasters Iran International and the BBC Persian Service have been subjected to new threats, the union said.
NUJ news release. Risks 926.
Hazards news, 7 December 2019

China: Coal mine explosion leaves 15 dead
A gas explosion at a coal mine in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi on the afternoon of 18 November killed 15 miners and injured another nine, It was the twelfth coal mine accident this year in Shanxi, China’s traditional coal heartland, to be recorded on China Labour Bulletin’s (CLB) Work Accident Map.
CLB news report and Work Accident Map. New York Times. Risks 925.
Hazards news, 30 November 2019

Britain: Serial criminal who killed finally gets banned
The director of a waste transfer company has been given a suspended jail term, community service and has been banned from running a company after knowingly exposing employees to seriously unsafe working conditions. Preston Crown Court heard that in November 2018 Zarif Mohammed, despite a conviction for transport related health and safety offences following a fatal incident in 2013, and further enforcement action in 2017 for using a poorly maintained and damaged telehandler, allowed the continued use of the same seriously damaged machine on the waste transfer site in Blackburn.
HSE news release. Risks 925.
Hazards news, 30 November 2019

Britain: Site firm fined after ‘wholly avoidable’ dumper truck fatality
A leading construction company has been fined following a ‘wholly avoidable incident’ in which a worker was killed when a dumper truck overturned. Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard that on 3 October 2019, David Scott Green, a groundworker working for Rose Builders Ltd, was manoeuvring a front tipping dumper truck when he lost control of the vehicle which toppled forward and came to rest upside down at the base of the spoil heap.
HSE news release. Essex County Standard. Risks 925.
Hazards news, 30 November 2019

Australia: McDonald’s staff ordered to work despite bushfire warning
An Australian McDonald’s restaurant is under investigation by a workplace safety regulator following reports that staff were ordered to keep working despite being told by fire authorities to evacuate because of deadly bushfires. On Friday 8 November, when multiple suburbs in Port Macquarie in New South Wales came under threat, McDonald’s workers at the highway branch were instructed to keep working.
Yahoo News Australia. Nine News. Risks 925.
Hazards news, 30 November 2019

Britain: Record employment based on poor quality jobs
Record high UK employment is based on an explosion in the numbers working in poor quality jobs, researchers from LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) have found. While the UK has experienced record high employment rates since January 2015, wage growth over the past 11 years has been lower than in any other developed country except Greece, their study found
CEP news release and full report, The Labour Market - CEP Election Analysis. More on the hazards of low pay and insecure work. Risks 925.
Hazards news, 30 November 2019

Britain: Union warning on cuts as Surrey fire fatalities up
The number of fire fatalities is on the rise in Surrey, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has learned. Lee Belsten, Surrey FBU brigade secretary, said: “It’s no coincidence that the number of home fire deaths has risen at a time when response times have slowed due to staffing shortages.”
FBU news release. Risks 925.
Hazards news, 30 November 2019

Global: New coalition stresses safety is a ‘human right’
A new global workplace safety coalition has been launched and is “committed to accelerating the improvement of working conditions through closer cooperation.” Initial founding partners of the Global Coalition on Occupational Safety and Health, include the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), the European Commission, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), and a number of governments; steering group also includes representatives of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE). 
Finnish government news release. Video of the Global Coalition on Occupational Safety and Health launch. Risks 924.
Hazards news, 23 November 2019

USA: Tesla factory ‘plagued’ by worker injuries
Workers at a Tesla ‘Gigafactory’ in Nevada have been struggling with workplace safety issues, a local housing shortage, and a lack of bathrooms at work, according to a new report. Analysis of 911 calls and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection records by USA Today indicated injuries at Gigafactory near Reno are routine - “at least three a month” - but not all injuries are reported as required by law.
CNBC News. Forbes. Business Insider. Risks 924.
Hazards news, 23 November 2019

Britain: Contractor fined after worker horribly burned in cable strike
A groundworks contractor has been fined after an operative struck an underground electricity cable resulting in horrific burns over half of his body. Folkestone Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 15 October 2018, G&R Groundworks (South East) Ltd operatives were using an electric ground breaker to dig fence post holes for a car park perimeter fence at a Cummins Power Generation site in Ramsgate, Kent.
HSE news release. Risks 924.
Hazards news, 23 November 2019

Britain: Bolton blaze exposes ‘complete failure’ of UK fire safety
A devastating fire at a student accommodation block in Bolton exposes the need for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety and reveals the dangerous consequences of cuts to fire and rescue services, firefighters’ union FBU has said. The 15 November blaze quickly gutted the top floor of the cladded building and caused substantial damage through the following two stories of the student flat complex known as The Cube – leaving 220 students homeless.
FBU news release. The Independent. BBC News Online. Morning Star. Construction Enquirer. Risks 924.
Hazards news, 23 November 2019

USA: Chemical firm fined $1.59m after deadly explosion
A US silicone factory has been fined $1.59 million (£1.23m) for safety violations that were uncovered following a blast on 3 May 2019 that killed four workers. The deadly incident in Waukegan, around 50 miles north of Chicago, happened at AB Specialty Silicones where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identified 12 ‘wilful’ federal safety violations.
OSHA news release. Risks 923.
Hazards news, 16 November 2019

Brazil: Dam owner Vale failed to report deadly danger signs
The collapse of a dam that killed at least 250 people in Brazil in January could have been prevented if its owner had reported defects to authorities, the mining regulator has concluded. The National Mineral Agency (ANM) said in a statement that mining giant Vale had failed to report warning signs before a sea of waste from the Feijão dam engulfed a canteen, offices and farms in Brumadinho, in Minas Gerais state.
BBC News Online. Wall Street Journal. Voice of America. Risks 923.
Hazards news, 16 November 2019

Britain: Manslaughter charges over 2015 mill blast deaths
A company and its management are facing criminal charges over the deaths of four workers in an explosion at a wood flour mill. Owners Wood Treatment Ltd has now been charged with corporate manslaughter; director George Boden is accused of manslaughter by gross negligence and two managers also face charges.
CPS news release. BBC News Online. The Guardian. Risks 923.
Hazards news, 16 November 2019

Britain: Dairy farm fined after worker blinded by disinfectant
Beechdean Farm Limited has been fined for a criminal safety offence after an employee was permanently blinded by corrosive cleaning chemicals. High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court heard that in August 2017, an employee was cleaning the walls of the dairy at Old House Farm in North Dean, Buckinghamshire, using the corrosive disinfectant DM CiD, which contains potassium hydroxide.
HSE news release. Risks 923.
Hazards news, 16 November 2019

Britain: Union calls for safety assurances after theatre ceiling collapse
Theatre technicians’ union Bectu has said it will work with its sister unions and a theatre owner to ensure safety is prioritised after several audience members were injured when a London theatre’s ceiling collapsed. The incident occurred at the Piccadilly Theatre during a 6 November performance of Death of a Salesman starring US actor Wendell Pierce.
BECTU news release. BBC News Online. Variety. Risks 923.
Hazards news, 16 November 2019

Britain: Under-resourced fire crews left to tackle flood dangers
There must be a new statutory duty for firefighters in England to respond to flooding, the firefighters’ union FBU has said. The union said England lags behind other parts of the UK, where fire services have a legal duty to respond to funds and can obtain funds to cover the costs of this work. 
FBU news release. TUC news release. Environment Agency news release. BBC News Online. The Mirror. The Guardian.
Health and safety in flooded areas, TUC, 2014. When it pours: Flood preparation can save lives, Hazards magazine factsheet. Risks 923.
Hazards news, 16 November 2019

Australia: Deliveroo workers demand safety after deaths 
Food delivery riders in Australia have sent letters to Deliveroo demanding that the company comply with workplace health and safety laws. The union members believe this would help address the dangers they face, including collisions with cars, lethal falls from their bikes and heat stress.  
TWU news releaseDelivery Riders Alliance. Risks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 
 
Malawi: Tobacco farmers challenge multinational abuses 
Almost 2,000 tobacco tenant farmers from Malawi, including hundreds of children, are taking legal action against British American Tobacco (BAT) accusing the multinational of forced and child labour. The child farmers carry out much the same work as the adult farmers including building ridges for planting, harvesting tobacco leaves, applications of toxic pesticides and bundling tobacco leaves.  
Leigh Day news releaseUS Customs and Border Protection withhold release order on tobacco from MalawiThe Guardian and related story. Risks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019  

Australia: Bosses could face work suicide ‘manslaughter’ charges  
Negligent bosses in the Australian state of Victoria could face up to 20 years in jail and multi-million dollar fines over the suicide deaths of ‘brutalised’ workers under a proposed workplace manslaughter law. The Victorian state government says the proposed laws will cover deaths caused by mental injuries, including trauma from bullying or other forms of abuse sustained on the job, as well as accidents and illnesses caused by unsafe workplaces.  
Victorian government news releaseThe AgeYahoo 7 NewsThe AustralianRisks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 

Britain: University fined after researchers exposed to sensitisation risk 
The University of Edinburgh has been fined for failings which led to two animal research workers, who were already sensitised to laboratory animal allergens (LAA), being put at risk of adverse health effects as a result of further exposures. The University of Edinburgh pleaded guilty to two criminal safety offences and was fined £10,000.  
HSE news releaseRisks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 

Britain: RMT condemns ‘broken promises’ over excrement on tracks 
Rail union RMT has condemned train companies for reneging on a pledge to eliminate the dumping of excrement on the railway by the end of this year. The union said the failure “shows that profit is more important to them than the rail workers who will continue to have to work in disgusting unsanitary conditions amongst the raw sewage.”  
RMT news releaseThe ObserverRisks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 

Britain: Grenfell fire inquiry is yet to target the ‘true culprits’  
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) should not take the blame for the “impossible” circumstances that hindered the Grenfell Tower rescue operation, the firefighters’ union FBU has said. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The true culprits of the fire are those who wrapped the building in flammable cladding, who gutted the UK’s fire safety regime, who ignored the warnings from previous fires, and who did not hear the pleas of a community worried for their safety.” 
Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase One report. FBU news releaseUnite news releaseGMB news releaseMorning StarBBC News OnlineConstruction EnquirerThe IndependentEvening StandardRisks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 

Britain: New building safety watchdog will be able to levy big fines
The government has said it intends to create a powerful new Building Safety Regulator. The government indicated the new regulator will oversee the design and management of buildings, with a strong focus on policing the new regime for higher risk buildings and it will have the power to take quick and effective action, imposing heavy fines, when designers and contractors fail to comply.  
Government news releaseConstruction EnquirerRisks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 

Britain: Government contempt leads to more working wounded 
The outgoing Conservative government has overseen an increase in work fatalities, injuries, work-related ill-health and record work stress cases in Great Britain at the same time convictions and fines for criminal workplace safety offences have plummeted, new official statistics have revealed. The new figures for 2018/19 from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) expose government policies that have created a growing army of ‘working wounded’, too insecure and low paid to go sick.  
HSE news releaseHealth and safety at work: Summary statistics for Great Britain 2018, 30 October 2019. Risks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 

Britain: Record high stress shows bosses need to fix bad jobs  
The root causes of record high levels of stress-related ill-health at work must be tackled by employers, the TUC has said. The union call came as new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics revealed a shocking 602,000 workers in Great Britain are now suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety, with workload cited as the most common reason.  
Work-related stress, anxiety or depression statistics in Great Britain 2019, HSE, 2019. TUC blog and resources: TUC guide to responding to harmful work-related stressTackling workplace stress using the HSE Stress Management Standards, TUC and HSE guidance for health and safety representativesTUC workbook on mental health in the workplaceTUC mental health awareness trainingTUC health, safety and wellbeing guideRisks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 

Britain: GMB shames Boris as figures expose safety cuts and carnage 
The GMB has warned that Boris Johnson’s long-held contempt for workplace health and safety is reflected in the Conservative government’s cost-cutting attitude to workers’ lives. Citing a 2009 article by Boris Johnson in the Telegraph newspaper, GMB’s Jude Brimble said: “Boris Johnson may think health and safety campaigners are the 'Royal Society for the Extremely Stupid' - but these are people’s lives we are talking about.”  
GMB news releaseHSE 2018/2019 statistics tablesHealth and safety fears are making Britain a safe place for extremely stupid people, Boris Johnson, The Telegraph, 6 July 2009 and related 2017 article in the IndependentRisks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 

Britain: Unite concern as site injuries go up and prosecutions down 
New figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showing a rise in construction injuries and a fall in prosecutions show bad employers are being allowed to ignore safety law to “boost profits”, the union Unite has warned. The HSE’s figures show that the number of non-fatal injuries per 100,000 workers rose from 359 in 2017/18 to 366 in 2018/19; during the corresponding timeframe there was a 22 per cent decrease in the number of construction prosecutions undertaken by the HSE, which fell from 202 in 2017/18 to just 158 in 2018/19.  
Unite news releaseConstruction EnquirerRisks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 

Global: NUJ push to end impunity for crimes against journalists 
The journalists’ union NUJ has contacted ambassadors and other country representatives in the UK to press for an end to crimes against journalists and the impunity of those responsible. The union said it has picked a series of countries to focus on this year as part of the global campaign – the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malta, Yemen, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Palestine/Israel, Peru, Philippines and Ukraine.  
NUJ news release and IFJ campaign and toolkitRisks 922.
Hazards news, 9 November 2019 

USA: ‘Captive’ regulator linked to Boeing crashes
Boeing’s defective 737 Max jet design was able to get by regulators because the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was too reliant on the company to vouch for its safety, according to a multinational taskforce. John Samuelsen, president of the Transport Workers Union, which represents thousands of mechanics with American Airlines, said the international fact-finding report showed the consequences of the FAA becoming a captive of the industry it regulates.
Salon. FAA updates on the Boeing 737 Max. Seattle Times. New York Times. Risks 921.
Hazards news, 2 November 2019

Australia: Government union-busting bills criminalise safety protests
The Australian government’s determination to proceed with the ‘extreme’ union-busting Ensuring Integrity and Worker Benefits bills would leave unions less able to keep workers safe or fight for better pay and conditions, the national union federation ACTU has warned. It said by ignoring evidence to a senate inquiry of the inevitable damaging consequences of the changes, the government demonstrated that these bills are not about good policy but a ‘blind attack on the union movement’ which will hurt millions of working people.
ACTU news release. Financial Review. Risks 921.
Hazards news, 2 November 2019

Britain: DHL fined £2.6m after tyre centre death
Logistics company DHL has been fined £2.6 million for criminal health and safety breaches after an employee at its Coventry tyre distribution centre was killed in an avoidable accident. Robert Baynham, 50, was crushed when a stack of tyre stillages toppled and two of them fell through the roof of the office where he and three colleagues who were also injured were working.
Coventry City Council news release. Coventry Observer. Risks 921.
Hazards news, 2 November 2019

Britain: Brexit negotiators removed 'adequate' from worker rights plan
An internal UK government memo on the consequences of Boris Johnson's Brexit deal renegotiation singles out as a “win” the removal of the word “adequate” from the UK-EU Political Declaration to describe mechanisms for enforcing common social, environmental, and labour standards after Brexit. The note written for the government's cross-Whitehall Economic Partnership Steering Group indicates the word “adequate” has been replaced by the word “appropriate”, making it possible to argue it is “inappropriate for the future UK-EU relationship” that disputes about these commitments on employment, environment, tax, state aid and other standards should be subject to binding arbitration.
Financial Times. BBC News Online. The Guardian. Risks 921.
Hazards news, 2 November 2019

Britain: Academy chain’s plan to axe staff could risk school safety
The safety of pupils and staff could be at risk if Ormiston Academies Trust – which runs primary and secondary schools across England – follows through with plans to cut caretaking and maintenance jobs, schools union UNISON has warned. UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “Time and time again we’ve seen large organisations impose cost-cutting measures that sound good in the boardroom, but in the real world lead to poorer services, low morale, unemployment and, in this case, safety risks.”
UNISON news release. Risks 921.
Hazards news, 2 November 2019

USA: Report exposes Amazon warehouse ‘pressure and pain’
A study has exposed unhealthy workplace practices at a major Amazon warehouse in New York. The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) research report, ‘Time off task: Pressure, pain, and productivity at Amazon’, reveals that 80 per cent of workers at the year-old Staten Island facility were pressured to work harder or faster at their facility, 66 per cent expressed experiencing physical pain while performing work duties, and 42 per cent continued to experience pain even when they weren't at work.
NYCOSH news release and report, Time off task: Pressure, pain, and productivity at Amazon, NYCOSH, October 2019. The Guardian.
Amazon in the UK: GMB ‘Amazon workers are not robots’ campaign and petition. More on Amazon UK’s safety record and related That’s rich! poster. Risks 920.
Hazards news, 26 October 2019

Britain: Construction safety test cheats caught in police raids
Corrupt construction safety test centres have been caught selling answers to candidates seeking to obtain a safety qualification necessary to work on British construction sites. The illegal activities involving three centres was exposed during counter-fraud raids by the construction industry training board CITB, police and the Home Office.
CITB news release and health, safety and environment test. Construction Enquirer. Risks 920.
Hazards news, 26 October 2019

Britain: Director jailed after employee’s excavator death
Front Row Builders Ltd boss Robert Harvey has been jailed after an employee was crushed to death by an excavator bucket, which Harvey was operating. The employee, Nicholas Hall, 32, was pinned against the wall of an excavation pit for a vehicle wash bay that was under construction for Peter Lawless Road Planing Limited in Blantyre, Scotland.
HSE news release. BBC News Online. Risks 920.
Hazards news, 26 October 2019

Britain: Government ditches binding workers’ rights commitments
Unions and the Labour Party have warned that Boris Johnson's reworked Brexit deal would threaten workers' rights and protections in the future. While the prime minister has insisted the UK will “maintain the highest possible standards in social protections and the environment”, he has removed the commitment from the legally-binding Brexit deal he says he will push through by 31 October.
TUC news release and blog. Labour Party news release. Unite news release. GMB news release. Usdaw news release. BBC News Online. The Guardian. The Mirror. Risks 920.
Hazards news, 26 October 2019

Global: Lululemon leggings workers routinely abused
Upmarket athletic wear brand Lululemon, whose £88 yoga and running leggings are favoured by celebrities, is sourcing clothing from a factory where Bangladeshi female factory workers claim they are beaten and physically assaulted. The Canadian brand recently launched a partnership with the United Nations to reduce stress levels and promote the mental health of aid workers.
The Guardian. UN Foundation news release. Lululemon global impact assessment, responsible supply chain policies and news release. Risks 919.
Hazards news, 19 October 2019

Global: Oxfam uncovers abuse in UK supermarket supply chains
Poor pay and harsh working conditions are common on farms and plantations that supply tea or fruit to global supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons, according to new research from Oxfam. The research, including in-depth interviews with workers in India and Brazil and a survey of workers in five other countries, highlights how the supermarkets’ relentless drive to cut costs and maximise profits is fuelling poverty, abuse and gender discrimination in their supply chains.
Oxfam news release. BBC News Online. Risks 919.
Hazards news, 19 October 2019

Global: Union warning on Tokyo Olympics safety violations
Preparations for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 remain blighted by “recurring violations and poor working conditions” the global union BWI has warned. A delegation headed by Ambet Yuson, BWI’s general secretary, warned the remaining months before the games were ‘critical’.
BWI news release and report, The Dark Side of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, May 2019. CTV News. Risks 918.
Hazards news, 12 October 2019

Qatar: Migrant sudden deaths not investigated
Concerns have been raised about the deaths of hundreds of migrant labourers each year preparing facilities for the 2022 Qatar football World Cup, with the majority of the fatalities attributed to heart attacks or “natural causes” by the Qatari authorities. Many are young men who die in their sleep – a phenomenon known locally as “sudden death syndrome”.
The Guardian and related story on Qatar’s heat related migrant worker deaths. Risks 918.
Hazards news, 12 October 2019

USA: Call to ditch dangerous pork line speed-up
A US Department of Agriculture (USDA) rule lifting the maximum line speeds and reducing the number of government safety inspectors by 40 per cent at pork slaughter and processing plants should be set aside, a legal challenge has argued. The lawsuit filed by Public Citizen and the foodworkers’ union UFCW follows a rule-making process which saw thousands of individuals and organisations tell USDA its rule would endanger the lives and safety of both consumers and workers.
Public Citizen news release. Risks 918.
Hazards news, 12 October 2019

Britain: Steel mill fined £1.8m after double fatality
Steel mill owner Celsa has been fined £1.8m after an explosion at its Cardiff steelworks killed two workers and seriously injured another. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the explosion would have come without warning to engineers Peter O’Brien, a dad of six, and father-of-two Mark Sim, who died at the rod and bar mill.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Wales Online. Risks 918.
Hazards news, 12 October 2019

Britain: Building materials firm fined £1m after maintenance death
Cemex UK Operations Limited has been fined £1m after a worker suffered fatal injuries when he was struck on the body by a centring machine lifting mast. Livingston Sheriff Court heard that on 13 May 2017, James Brownlie was carrying out maintenance and repair work on a dry sided conveyor when his body interrupted the path of the light beam between the sensor’s emitter and reflector, which caused the machine’s lifting mast to activate and descend, striking the 64-year-old on the body and causing internal injuries from which he died a short time later.
HSE news release. Edinburgh Evening News. Risks 918.
Hazards news, 12 October 2019

Britain: Union evidence exposes rail safety risks
Britain’s railways remain dangerous, with track workers particularly at risk, as a result of fragmentation and other factors, the rail union TSSA has warned. Its ‘evidence paper’ to the government-commissioned Williams Rail Review highlights ‘concerns over trackworker safety’ and provides ‘additional evidence about safety concerns that we have in relation to staff working on or about the railway’.
TSSA news release. Williams Rail Review. BBC News Online. Risks 918.
Hazards news, 12 October 2019

Britain: Remembering tragedies, RMT calls for safe rail for all
Two decades after 31 lives were lost in the Ladbroke Grove rail disaster, rail union RMT has warned that government policy could create ‘the same poisonous cocktail of conditions’ that lead to the 5 October 1999 tragedy. RMT is warning “a return to casualisation, a myriad of contractors and sub-contractors, long hours and fatigue – all driven by a cuts and austerity environment on the railway – is in danger of turning the clock back.”
RMT news release. BBC News Online. Risks 918.
Hazards news, 12 October 2019

Europe: EU action after chemical firms flout the law
EU government delegates on the European Commission’s REACH committee have agreed to increase the minimum compliance check target for chemicals registration dossiers from 5 per cent to 20 per cent, the first concrete legislative step following reports of widespread flouting of EU rules by high volume users of industrial chemicals. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) came under pressure last year after German regulators found the majority of dossiers submitted by chemicals firms do not comply with the REACH regulation covering the majority of substances used in the EU, due to absent safety data or failures to update regularly.
ENDS Europe (subscription service). Risks 917.
Hazards news, 5 October 2019.

France: Major risk concentrated in the lower grades
Major workplace hazards like shiftwork and multiple exposures to chemicals are concentrated almost entirely in lower grade workers, with managers rarely exposed to the risks. The official SUMER 2017 survey, whose findings were released in September 2019, revealed shiftwork affects almost eight times more private sector unskilled staff (22 per cent) than managerial staff (2.8 per cent).
ETUI News. DARES report No 41 (in French)  Risks 917.
Hazards news, 5 October 2019.

New Zealand: Officers lied about seafarer’s near death
A New Zealand court has fined the captain and chief officer of the merchant ship Emilie Bulker for lying to port state control after one of their crew nearly died in the ship’s hold. The hold where he had been working was poorly ventilated and contained palm kernels, known to deplete oxygen in the air.
Maritime NZ news release. Safety at Sea. Risks 917.
Hazards news, 5 October 2019.

Britain: Worker dies at Tata Port Talbot steelworks
A worker has been killed at Tata's Port Talbot steelworks. Tata Steel Europe said the company's thoughts were with the family of contractor Justin Day, and a full investigation had been launched.
Wales Online. BBC News Online. The Guardian. Risks 917.
Hazards news, 5 October 2019.

Britain: Two workers killed on cut price demolition job
The company that won a tender for a steelworks demolition job where two workers died last week had agreed do the job for significantly less than the official valuation for the work. The deceased men are understood to have been working in a cherry picker when they were engulfed in flames following an explosion on 19 September.
The Gazette. Construction Enquirer. BBC News Online. Risks 916.
Hazards news, 28 September 2019

Britain: Director escapes jail after worker impaled on spike
The former director of a now-dissolved landscaping company has been sentenced for criminal safety breaches after a worker was impaled on a spike. RK United Ltd director Hafeez Ghafoor pleaded guilty and was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 916.
Hazards news, 28 September 2019

Britain: Waste firm director sentenced to unpaid work
The director of a waste management company has been ordered to carry out unpaid work after an employee was critically injured while using equipment the boss knew was unsafe. Poole Magistrates’ Court heard that on 18 April 2017 Justin Tinsley, then aged 33, had only been employed by Mike Toon Ltd for a few weeks when he was trapped between a telehandler and a gate post at the company yard in Poole.
HSE news release. Risks 916.
Hazards news, 28 September 2019

Britain: Two workers killed on cut price demolition job
The company that won a tender for a steelworks demolition job where two workers died last week had agreed do the job for significantly less than the official valuation for the work. The deceased men are understood to have been working in a cherry picker when they were engulfed in flames following an explosion on 19 September.
The Gazette. Construction Enquirer. BBC News Online. Risks 916.
Hazards news, 28 September 2019

Britain: Director escapes jail after worker impaled on spike
The former director of a now-dissolved landscaping company has been sentenced for criminal safety breaches after a worker was impaled on a spike. RK United Ltd director Hafeez Ghafoor pleaded guilty and was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 916.
Hazards news, 28 September 2019

Britain: Waste firm director sentenced to unpaid work
The director of a waste management company has been ordered to carry out unpaid work after an employee was critically injured while using equipment the boss knew was unsafe. Poole Magistrates’ Court heard that on 18 April 2017 Justin Tinsley, then aged 33, had only been employed by Mike Toon Ltd for a few weeks when he was trapped between a telehandler and a gate post at the company yard in Poole.
HSE news release. Risks 916.
Hazards news, 28 September 2019

Britain: TSSA warning on safety cuts after Tube death
A transport union has urged Transport for London (TfL) to ‘rethink’ further cuts to its workplace safety cover, warning the move would inevitably come with grave risks. The union TSSA was speaking out after engineer Christian Tuvi, 44, was killed while working on a travelator at London Waterloo underground Station in the early hours of 18 September.
TSSA news release. BBC News Online. Construction Enquirer. Risks 916.
Hazards news, 28 September 2019

Britain: Government deregulation ‘responsible for Grenfell’
The UK government bears ultimate responsibility for the Grenfell Tower fire which left 72 people dead and hundreds homeless, the firefighters’ union FBU has said. A new ‘meticulously researched’ report from the union argues decisions made by every government since Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative administration led to the ‘gutting’ of the UK’s fire safety regime and, ultimately, to Grenfell.
FBU news release and report, The Grenfell Tower Fire: A crime caused by profit and deregulation, FBU, September 2019. Risks 916.
Hazards news, 28 September 2019

Britain: Union action call to force bad ship operators out
The leader of the UK maritime union Nautilus has called on unions worldwide to work together to force out shipowners who flout rules governing decent working conditions. Speaking at the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) inspectors seminar in Sri Lanka, Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said: “With nearly 140 trained ITF inspectors worldwide, covering 119 ports in 56 countries, there really is nowhere to hide for bad shipowners,” adding: “Together, we will force bad operators out of business,” he said.
Nautilus news release. Risks 916.
Hazards news, 28 September 2019

Britain: RMT DOO dispute on West Midlands Trains
Rail union RMT has confirmed it is now in dispute on West Midlands Trains over plans by the company to ‘bulldoze through’ driver only operation (DOO), a move the union says will ‘rip apart the safety critical role of the guard at the platform/train interface.’ Preparations for a ballot of guards for both strike action and action short of a strike are now underway.
RMT news release. Risks 916.
Hazards news, 28 September 2019

Britain: BP fined after massive ‘extremely flammable’ crude release
Energy giant BP has been fined £400,000 for criminal safety failings after the release of more than three tonnes of ‘extremely flammable’ and ‘unstablised’ crude oil at the Sullom Voe terminal in Shetland. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which investigated the incident and prosecuted the company, said the leak “was not noticed for about 30-40 minutes.”
HSE news release. BP news release. BBC News Online. The Shetland Times. Risks 915.
Hazards news, 21 September 2019

Britain: Roofing contractor fined after fatal ladder fall
An Aberdeen-based roofing contractor has been fined after an employee fell to his death from an unsafe scaffold that had been erected by an unqualified worker on the orders of a company director. Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that on 21 September 2016, Joseph Kane, an employee of Henderson and Aitken Limited, fell from the top rungs of a ladder when it slipped sideways on the scaffold.
HSE news release. Risks 915.
Hazards news, 21 September 2019

Britain: Engineering firm fined after worker killed in fab shop
A Scottish engineering company has been fined following the death of an employee at IODS Pipe Clad Limited in who was struck on the head in the yard of a fabrication workshop. Hamilton Sheriff Court heard how, on 7 September 2017, James Longair, 62, was struck on the head by a wooden bearer, causing fatal injuries.
HSE news release. Risks 915
Hazards news, 21 September 2019

Global: Report exposes multi-billion social auditing con
A new report has revealed how the multi-billion social auditing industry is using ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) to protect brand reputation and profits while aggravating the risks to garment workers. The report, ‘Fig Leaf for fashion: How social auditing protects brands and fails workers’, published by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), examines the practices of major ‘corporate controlled’ social compliance initiatives, including Social Accountability International, WRAP, the FLA, and amfori BSCI, and the auditing firms, including Bureau Veritas, TÜV Rheinland, UL, RINA, and ELEVATE.
CCC news release, full report, Fig Leaf for fashion. How social auditing protects brands and fails workers, and report summary. Risks 915.
Hazards news, 21 September 2019

Pakistan: Unions pledge to continue fight for factory safety
Unions and workers, remembering the victims of a deadly fire seven years ago at the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan, have pledged to continue their fight for safety and justice. NTUF union leader Nasir Mansoor said: “Workers continue to suffer hazardous working conditions, adding: “The government has diluted the labour inspection regime when it should to be strengthened to improve safety.”
IndustriALL news release. Risks 915.
Hazards news, 21 September 2019

Britain: Maritime minister snubs safety funding request
Maritime minister Nusrat Ghani has rejected a call backed by all sides of the industry for the government to reinstate funding for the UK's Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP). The snub forces the vital offshore safety system to continue to operate on charitable grants only.
Nautilus news release. Risks 915.
Hazards news, 21 September 2019

Britain: Asda cashes in, staff threatened with the sack
Asda profits have rocketed more than £92 million with a healthy chunk paid to directors – but at the same time the supermarket giant is threatening staff with no sick pay and the sack if they don’t sign a controversial new contract. Asda’s latest accounts show pre-tax profits have shot up almost 13 per cent to almost £805 million. Asda directors trousered a whopping £12 million, the union GMB said, up 25 per cent from £9.4 million the year before.
Asda news release. GMB news release. Risks 915.
Hazards news, 21 September 2019

Australia: South Australian (SA) construction workers are being put at risk by a toxic safety culture and a regulator that fails to seriously investigate safety breaches and “literally phones it in” rather than inspect unsafe sites, the construction union CFMEU has warned. “It is only a matter of time before there is another avoidable fatality at a construction site in SA,” said CFMEU national construction assistant secretary, Andrew Sutherland.
Mirage News. Risks 914.
Hazards news, 14 September 2019

Global: Supply chain safety and rights abuses exposed
The business model and sourcing practices of the international brands that sell us our clothing, electronics, sports shoes and other products are the root cause of the unhealthy and illegal conditions in global supply chains, a top independent labour inspector has warned. Garrett Brown, who has worked worldwide on labour standards initiatives, reviewed a plethora of recent papers, concluding “it is the deliberate policies and practices of the major apparel, electronics, toys and other consumer goods that cause and enforce abusive working conditions for millions of workers in supply chain factories around the world.”
The Pump Handle. Worker-Driven Social Responsibility Network. Risks 914.
Hazards news, 14 September 2019

USA: Deadly meat industry could soon get deadlier
Trump administration policies threaten to worsen the already dangerous conditions for meatpacking workers in the United States, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned. The 100-page HRW report, “‘When we’re dead and buried, our bones will keep hurting’: Workers’ rights under threat in US meat and poultry plants”, describes alarmingly high rates of serious injury and chronic illness among workers at chicken, pig, and cattle slaughtering and processing plants.
HRW news release and video. ‘When we’re dead and buried, our bones will keep hurting’: Workers’ rights under threat in US meat and poultry plants, HRW, September 2019. Risks 914.
Hazards news, 14 September 2019

Britain: Employee seriously injured in fall from lorry
A manufacturer of steel water storage tanks and supporting towers has been fined after a worker suffered multiple fractures following a fall from height. Cwmbran Magistrates Court heard how, on 25 October 2017, a Braithwaite Engineers Limited employee was injured when he fell from a lorry bed whilst unloading the vehicle at their site in Risca, resulting in multiple fractures of his head, ribs, shoulder blade and fingers, causing him to miss over five months of work.
HSE news release. Risks 914.
Hazards news, 14 September 2019

Britain: School uniform supplier challenged over sweatshop concerns
One of the UK’s largest school uniform manufacturers has been challenged by unions to show its clothing isn’t being made using sweatshop labour. Trutex has so far refused to release information about the factories it uses, according to labour rights campaigning organisation Labour Behind the Label.
UNISON news release. Labour Behind the Label. Campaign video.
Sign the online petition calling for Trutex to release its supplier list. Risks 913.
Hazards news, 7 September 2019

Britain: Dangerous Devonport dockyard under enhanced scrutiny
A company that ignored warnings about dangerously low staffing has been prosecuted for criminal safety offences that saw a worker narrowly escape death. Jane Bowie of the Office for Nuclear Regulation, which brought the prosecution, said: “Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd continues to be under enhanced regulatory attention and we will continue to monitor its progress through regular inspections.”
ONR news release. Plymouth Herald. Risks 913.
Hazards news, 7 September 2019

Britain: Company fined after worker suffers crush injuries
A manufacturing company has been fined for criminal safety breaches after a worker suffered severe crush injuries while fault-finding on a mesh welding machine. Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how on 26 January 2016 the employee at Siddall and Hilton Products Ltd was injured when the machine restarted, suffering compound fractures of his tibia and fibula that has led to long term problems.
HSE news release. Risks 913.
Hazards news, 7 September 2019

Britain: Vehicle servicing firmed fined over crushed employee
Volvo Group UK Limited has been fined after an employee was crushed by a truck, leading to serious injury. Volvo Group UK Limited pleaded guilty to two criminal safety offences and was fined £13,333.33.
HSE news release. Risks 912.
Hazards news, 31 August 2019

Britain: Relaxing driving time limits could end in deaths warns Unite
A no deal Brexit could result in lorry driving time limits being relaxed, leading to exhausted drivers posing a danger to other road users, Unite has warned. The transport union is calling on the government to rule out explicitly any relaxation or suspension of EU regulations which govern driving time for lorry driver.
Unite news release. Unite Live. Risks 912.
Hazards news, 31 August 2019

Britain: New Unite call for culpable homicide legislation in Scotland
Unite has repeated its call on the Scottish parliament to pass a proposed culpable homicide law. The construction union’s statement came after the death of a worker on a Sir Robert McAlpine site in Glasgow. The 43-year-old worker died in a 22 August incident at the £40 million revamp of the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow city centre.
Unite news release. GlasgowLive. Evening Times. Falkirk Herald. STV News. BBC News Online. Construction Enquirer. Risks 912.
Hazards news, 31 August 2019

Ireland: Spate of dock deaths sparks calls for urgent action
Irish dock workers’ union SIPTU has made an urgent call for better protection for all workers in the country’s ports, through better regulations and enforcement, after a 50-year-old truck driver was killed on a Dublin dock on 14 August. The death of Nicholas 'Nick' Collier at North Docks at Dublin Port marks the seventh death of a worker in an Irish port in the past two years.
SIPTU news release. ITF news release. Irish Times. Irish Independent. Risks 911.
Hazards news, 24 August 2019

Japan: Third fatality on Tokyo 2020 construction jobs
The death on 8 August of a 50-year-old construction worker from suspected heatstroke has again highlighted the deadly risks facing workers preparing facilities for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, the global building union federation BWI has said. Toiling in soaring temperatures, the worker was laying cable to a building which will serve as a media centre for the event when he was found unconscious, dying later in hospital.
BWI news release and report, The dark side of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, May 2019.
NRDC video on the impact of extreme heat on workers and others. Risks 911.
Hazards news, 24 August 2019

Global: New to the job workers face higher risks
It is not your age, but how long you have been in the job that determines your risks, a major review has confirmed. The paper concludes there should be renewed efforts to raise awareness of the issue, introduce protective policies and to ensure “worker empowerment.”
At Work, issue 97, Institute for Work & Health, Summer 2019.
FC Breslin and others. Are new workers at elevated risk for work injury? A systematic review, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, volume 76, issue 9, pages 694-701, 2019. doi:10.1136/oemed-2018-105639
HSE new to the job webpages. Risks 911.
Hazards news, 24 August 2019

Britain: Tory centre would work you to death
A think tank headed by former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has been condemned for suggesting that the state pension age (SPA) should be raised to 75. Latest official figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show in the UK in 2015 to 2017, “healthy life expectancy (HLE) at birth was 63.1 years for males and for females was 63.6 years,” but this masks a wide disparity between the richest and poorest areas, with ONS noting: “HLE at birth across local authority areas of the UK varies by 21.5 years for females and 15.8 years for males in 2015 to 2017.”
Morning Star. The Independent.
Ageing confidently – Supporting an ageing workforce, CSJ, August 2019. ONS figures on healthy life expectancy. Risks 911. Hazards news, 24 August 2019

Britain: Two years on, Grenfell inquiry has still to deliver justice
Firefighters’ union FBU has said there has been a denial of justice for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, as two years after the start of the inquiry into the tragedy no findings have so far been published and its second phase has been delayed until 2020. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “From the start, we have warned that the shape of this inquiry puts the firefighters who risked their lives on the stand, and allows politicians and business interests, who did nothing to stop Grenfell becoming a death trap, to avoid scrutiny.”
FBU news release. Risks 911.
Hazards news, 24 August 2019

Global: Monsanto's 'intelligence fusion center' targeted activists
Monsanto operated a “fusion center” to monitor and discredit its critics, internal company documents have revealed. The agrochemical giant, now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, also monitored a not-for-profit food research organisation through its “intelligence fusion center”, a term that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use for operations focused on surveillance and terrorism.
USRTK news release, The Monsanto Papers and Monsanto Roundup trial tracker. TUC glyphosate guide. The Guardian. Risks 910.
Hazards news, 17 August 2019

Britain: Director gets curfew over vibration disease cases
The director of a company providing specialist services in rock drilling, cliff stabilisation and rock anchors has been handed a curfew and a suspended jail sentence after three workers were diagnosed with hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). Plymouth Magistrates’ Court heard how the employees of Celtic Rock Services Limited had developed and reported symptoms of HAVS but no action was taken.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 909.
Hazards news, 10 August 2019

Britain: Roofing director blown off school site in storm
Construction firm Bowmer and Kirkland and two contractors have been fined after the director of one of the firms received serious injuries when a gust of wind blew him off a roof. Principal contractor Bowmer and Kirkland, Advance Roofing Ltd and JKW Roofing were working on the roof of the new three storey teaching block of Abbotsfield School for Boys in Hillingdon, London.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 909.
Hazards news, 10 August 2019

Britain: Trauma for agency shift worker injured by unguarded machinery
A company that manufactures absorbent products has been fined after an agency worker suffered a life-changing injury to her hand when it was caught in a rotating fan blade as she worked the night shift. Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 18 October 2017, the 34-year-old agency worker had been working her second shift at the NPS Worldwide UK Limited site in Oldham.
HSE news release. Risks 909.
Hazards news, 10 August 2019

Britain: Unite demands action after three injured in scaffold collapse
There must be an urgent inquiry into a scaffolding collapse that left three people in hospital, the construction union Unite has said. The union said an official probe was “essential” to ensure lessons are learned from the 1 August incident in Reading town centre.
Unite news release. London Evening Standard. Construction Enquirer. Risks 909.
Hazards news, 10 August 2019

Britain: Seafarers get right to refuse Strait of Hormuz work
UK seafarers have now got the right to refuse work in the Strait of Hormuz, under a deal agreed by unions and the shipping industry. The Warlike Operations Area Committee (WOAC) agreed to temporarily designate the Strait of Hormuz as a ‘High-Risk Area’ from 2 August, following government advice that vessels should avoid the area unless accompanied by UK naval support.
Nautilus news release and related release. Cabinet Office news release. Bloomberg News. Risks 909.
Hazards news, 10 August 2019

Australia: Union warns of outsourcing dangers after port incident
A maritime union has said outsourced maintenance work on the docks was behind a potentially ‘catastrophic’ incident where wire ropes slipped on a crane used to load and unload shipping containers at DP World’s Port Botany terminal. The MUA said it was pure luck that no one was injured in the “major safety incident.”
MUA news release. Risks 908.
Hazards news, 3 August 2019

Britain: Firm fined £1m after two burnt in explosion
A car and commercial vehicle component manufacturer has been fined £1 million after two employees suffered burns when chemicals used to clean a distillation tank ignited. Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard how on 11 July 2017 two employees of Delphi Diesel Systems Limited were burnt when the vapour of a flammable chemical, which was being used to clean the distillation tank of a component washer, ignited and caused an explosion.
HSE news release. GloucestershireLive. Risks 908.
Hazards news, 3 August 2019

Britain: KJ Pickering fined over 6,350-volt shock death
“Shortcuts were taken” by a building firm fined £102,400 after a 6,350-volt shock killed one of its workers. Mark White, 47, was electrocuted when a metal rake he was holding came into contact with overhead power lines in Ashton, Northamptonshire, in 2016 while working for KJ Pickering.
BBC News Online. Risks 908.
Hazards news, 3 August 2019

Britain: Concrete giant fined £400,000 after worker loses four fingers
Concrete multinational Hanson has been fined £400,000 after a welder lost four fingers during an unsafe lifting operation on a London site. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Hanson Quarry Products Europe Limited did not properly plan and supervise this lifting operation to ensure it was carried out in a safe manner.”
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 908.
Hazards news, 3 August 2019

Britain: Chemical company fined after worker killed by forklift
Minteq UK Ltd, a Birmingham manufacturer of calcium carbonate products, has been fined £200,000 after a worker suffered fatal injuries when struck by a forklift truck. Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 24 July 2017, Christine Workman struck by a forklift truck whilst walking in the designated pedestrian area of the site’s roadway, suffering severe crush injuries which led to her death on 8 August 2017.
HSE news release. Risks 907.
Hazards news, 27 July 2019

Britain: Director fined following worker’s fatal fall from tree
A property investment company and its director have been fined after a worker fell from a tree, suffering fatal injuries. Nottingham Crown Court heard how on 27 September 2017 untrained workers were tasked with taking down a large, dead sycamore tree on a Nottingham road using a chain saw, when Dennis Parker was knocked out of the tree, dying two weeks later.
HSE news release. Nottingham Post. Risks 907.
Hazards news, 27 July 2019

Britain: Director escapes jail for window cleaner fall injuries
A Cardiff-based health board has been fined and the director of a maintenance company given a suspended jail sentence after a worker fell from height, suffering life-changing injuries. Cardiff Crown Court heard how, on 22 September 2016, Christopher Rees, employed by WD Rees Maintenance Ltd, was window cleaning at the Women’s Services Unit of the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff when he fell from the end of the beam supporting him as there was no end stop fitted, suffering significant and life-changing injuries including a broken back.
HSE news release. BBC News Online. Risks 907.
Hazards news, 27 July 2019

Australia: Reprisals fear for raising safety in mines
Contract and casual mineworkers in the Australian state of Queensland are fearful of “retribution” if they complain about questionable safety practices, their union has warned. Safety experts and the mineworkers’ union CFMEU have raised concerns about the “reporting culture” at mine sites, where most workers are now employed on a casual basis by labour-hire companies, rather than working directly for the multinational mine operators
The Guardian Australia. Risks 906.
Hazards news, 20 July 2019

Britain: Port Talbot rail deaths prompt £70m safety taskforce
The deaths of two track workers this month has prompted the introduction of a £70m taskforce to improve the safety of railway workers. Network Rail said the taskforce would be a partnership of industry organisations including rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), trade unions and contractors.
Network Rail news release. RMT news release. TSSA news release. BBC News Online. Morning Star. Risks 906.
Hazards news, 20 July 2019

Global: Serious safety concerns at UK university’s Dubai campus
A safety evacuation at the University of Birmingham’s Dubai campus has heightened union concerns about conditions at the controversial site. A spokesperson for Birmingham UCU said: “Last week’s campus evacuation and the failure to notify designated health and safety representatives once again raises serious concerns over the university’s dealings in Dubai.”
Birmingham UCU news release. Risks 906.
Hazards news, 20 July 2019

Britain: RMT calls for an absolute ban on rail contracting out
The union RMT is demanding an “absolute ban” on contracting out‎ and an independent system of safety scrutiny in the rail industry after a “shocking” report into the death of a fatigued casual worker on the tracks. The 37-year-old, whose name has not been released, was hit from behind by a train at Stoats Nest Junction near Purley sometime after midnight on 6 November 2018.
RAIB report. RMT news release. BBC News Online. Romford Recorder. Morning Star. Risks 906.
Hazards news, 20 July 2019

Australia: Union wins inquiries into spate of mine deaths
The government in the Australian state of Queensland has announced two reviews of mining health and safety after a union called for a full inquiry into recent workplace deaths in the sector. The mining union CFMEU called for an inquiry into deaths over the past two decades, as the industry reels from its sixth fatality in 12 months.
CFMEU news release. ABC News. Sydney Morning Herald. Risks 905.
Hazards news, 13 July 2019

Global: Samsung facing charges over ethics failures
Samsung Electronics could find itself in court in France for not abiding by its own ethics pledges, such as a ban on under-age labour and dangerous working conditions at its factories. The prospect of legal action against the tech giant comes as a result of a complaint filed against the company’s French subsidiary by activist groups Sherpa and ActionAid France.
Sherpa news release. Phys.org. France 24. Arab News. The Independent. Hankyoreh and related story. Risks 905.
Hazards news, 13 July 2019

Britain: Director fined after agency worker is scalped
The director of St Helens wood product manufacturer has been fined after a worker was dragged into a rotating drive shaft, suffering horrendous physical and psychological injuries. Liverpool Magistrates Court heard how, on the 30 June 2016, the agency worker had been working on a production line at Cheshire Mouldings and Woodturning Limited, making parts for staircases. Her hair caught on a rotating drive shaft, resulting in the loss of her full scalp, ears and one of her thumbs.
HSE news release. Risks 905.
Hazards news, 13 July 2019

Britain: Worker gets brain damage, director gets community service
A company director has received a community service order after a worker suffered life changing injuries in a fall from a scaffold tower during the refurbishment of a Reading pub. Reading Magistrates’ Court heard how on 2 December 2016, Cedar Ridge Construction Limited employee Samuel Goemans, 36, suffered a serious head injury after falling from a tower scaffold onto the street below.
HSE news release and scaffolding webpages. Risks 905.
Hazards news, 13 July 2019

Britain: Firm fined after teen apprentice overcome by solvent fumes
An alloy wheel refurbishment company has been fined after a 16-year-old apprentice was overcome by vapours from a chemical used in the stripping and cleaning of alloy wheels. South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 12 December 2017, the employee of Wheelnut Ltd, entered an area known as the “acid room” to retrieve alloy wheels from one of three barrels of a chemical cocktail containing dichloromethane (DCM), methanol and hydrofluoric acid used in the stripping process.
HSE news release and guide on DCM risks during furniture stripping. Risks 905.
Hazards news, 13 July 2019

Britain: Site firm fined after worker poisoned by carbon monoxide
Construction 360 Ltd has been sentenced for criminal safety breaches after a worker exposed to carbon monoxide collapsed and lost consciousness while working at the site of King Asia Foods Ltd in Sheffield. Sheffield Magistrates Court heard how, on 11 January 2018, the worker was using a petrol driven floor saw within an enclosed space when he was overcome.
HSE news release. Risks 905.
Hazards news, 13 July 2019

Britain: Slavery network 'had 400 victims'
Members of a gang behind the biggest modern-day slavery network ever exposed in the UK have been jailed. Police believe more than 400 victims were put to work in the West Midlands by the organised crime gang, with one person injured while working forced back to the factory without hospital treatment, suffering long-term health problems as a result.
Hope for Justice news release. BBC News Online. Express and Star. Risks 905.
Hazards news, 13 July 2019

Britain: Rail safety body warned of track risks before deaths
A rail safety body had warned this year of the deadly risks facing track workers, just weeks before two were killed on a south Wales line. Gareth Delbridge, 64, from Kenfig Hill and Michael "Spike" Lewis, 58, from North Cornelly, were hit by the Swansea to Paddington train near Margam mid-morning on 3 July, just three months after the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) there were “too many near misses in which railway workers have had to jump for their lives”.
RMT news release. TSSA news release. BBC News Online, related story and story on the independent investigation. Risks 905.
Hazards news, 13 July 2019

Workplace deaths up again
Workplace fatalities have increased again, latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures have shown. Provisional figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2018/19 released on 3 July show 147 workers were killed, six higher than 2017/18 and 12 deaths up on the 135 figure for 2016/17.
HSE news release and 2018/19 fatalities statistics. Risks 905.
Hazards news, 13 July 2019

Britain: HSE calls on council enforcers to step up on safety
Britain’s workplace health and safety regulator is urging local authorities (LAs) across the country to make a ‘statement of commitment’ to work with others to improve health and safety standards in the sectors they regulate. HSE, which is the lead government regulator on workplace safety, says it is promoting the new commitment because “many local authorities in Great Britain face a challenging environment that impact on the way they deliver a wide range of regulatory services and statutory duties.”
HSE news release. Statement of commitment between: Local Authority and HSE Regulatory Services, HSE, 2019. Risks 904.
Hazards news, 6 July 2019

Global: Arrests after deaths in Cambodian building collapse
Seven people including five Chinese nationals have been charged with criminal offences over the collapse of a building in Cambodia that left 28 construction workers dead. The Chinese owner of the site, Chen Kun, and construction supervisor Deng Xing Gui, were charged at Preah Sihanouk provincial court with involuntary manslaughter, causing unintentional injuries and damage.
The Guardian. DW News. Washington Post. Risks 903.
Hazards news, 29 June 2019

Britain: Grain firm fined after worker killed by lorry
A grain store company has been fined following the death of a worker at its site in Linton, Cambridgeshire. Peterborough Crown Court heard how on 27 July 2016 Edward Orlopp, a 45-year-old employee of Camgrain Stores Ltd, suffered fatal injuries after being struck by a lorry at the site.
HSE news release. Haverhill Echo. BBC News Online. Risks 903
Hazards news, 29 June 2019

Britain: Figures confirm dangerous fire service fragmentation
New official assessments have confirmed the ‘dangerous’ fragmentation of the fire service, firefighters’ union FBU has said. Commenting on the latest reports from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “These reports confirm what we have been saying for years. HMICFRS is absolutely right, a decade and a half of localism and austerity has led to fragmented services and a postcode lottery of response times and crewing levels, leaving the public dangerously unsafe in some areas.”
FBU news release. HMICFRS news release. Risks 903.
Hazards news, 29 June 2019

Global: UN experts urge ILO to back 'fundamental' safety
United Nations human rights experts have urged the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to immediately recognise and adopt safe and healthy working conditions as one of its fundamental principles and rights at work. The UN special rapporteurs on human rights said: “It is long overdue that the ILO recognises the right to safe and healthy working conditions as one of its fundamental principles and rights at work,” adding: “The ILO’s recognition is essential to help end the exploitation of workers who are forced to choose between a pay cheque and their health.”
OHCHR news release. IUF news release. ILO fundamental principles and rights at work. Risks 902.
Hazards news, 22 June 2019

Britain: Suspended sentence after son’s fatal factory fall
Scaffolding firm owner Stephen John Brennan, 57, has received a suspended sentence and community service after his son suffered fatal injuries in a fall through a fragile roof. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how on 19 September 2015, at the Norton Aluminium foundry site in Norton Canes, Staffordshire, scaffolder Stephen Brennan, 26, was fatally injured after falling approximately 11.5 metres through the roof.
HSE news release. Express and Star. Construction Enquirer. Risks 902.
Hazards news, 22 June 2019

Britain: National Grid fined after worker killed
A power utility company has been fined for criminal safety offences after a worker was killed. Aylesbury Crown Court heard how, on 18 November 2016, Paul Marsden, a substation crafts person for National Grid Electricity Transmission plc was tasked with moving a delivery crate containing a compressor using a remote-controlled lorry loader crane when the crane struck Mr Marsden causing fatal injuries.
HSE news release and work at height webpages. Risks 902.
Hazards news, 22 June 2019

Global: ‘Grave concerns’ for seafarers in the Gulf of Oman
UK seafarers’ union Nautilus has voiced concern about the safety of Merchant Navy crew who transit the Gulf of Oman, after two further tanker attacks. “Any risk to seafarers’ safety is of grave concern,” Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said.
Nautilus news release. ITF news release. Risks 902.
Hazards news, 22 June 2019

Britain: Firefighters launch Grenfell ‘never again’ campaign
The firefighters’ union FBU has called for urgent action on a range of fire and building safety issues to prevent ‘another Grenfell’. Commenting on the 14 June second anniversary of the tragedy, the union said action to prevent a similar fire has been wholly insufficient, “with little to nothing being done to tackle the structural issues that led to the tragedy.”
FBU news release and petition. TUC blog. The Mirror. Risks 902.
Hazards news, 22 June 2019

Britain: Name and shame corporate killers, says GMB
There should be a new naming and shaming regime and stronger penalties where people are killed or seriously injured at work, the union GMB has said. GMB’s annual conference heard that the official Health and Safety Executive (HSE) fatalities figure, which last year was 144 deaths, is “the tip of the iceberg” because it ignores whole categories of work-related deaths, including occupational disease deaths, workplace suicides, deaths in work-time road traffic accidents and deaths at sea, in the air and on railways.
GMB news release. GMB London news release. Risks 902.
Hazards news, 22 June 2019

Japan: Call for safety probe at Tokyo Olympics sites
A former Olympian and head of a human rights group is asking the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo Olympics organisers to investigate worker safety at venues being built for next year’s games. Mary Harvey, the CEO of the Geneva-based Centre for Sport and Human Rights, raised her concerns in the wake of the publication last month of ‘The dark side of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics’ by the global construction union federation BWI,which describes “dangerous” patterns of overwork, some workers without employment contracts, and a “culture of fear” that discourages workers from reporting poor employment conditions.
Japan Today. The Olympians.
BWI news release and report, The dark side of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, May 2019. Centre for Sports and Human Rights. Risks 901.
Hazards news, 15 June 2019

Britain: Valero fined £5 million after explosion kills four
Valero Energy UK Ltd and B&A Contracts Ltd have been fined on charges stemming from a 2011 explosion that killed four workers and seriously injured another at an oil refinery in Pembrokeshire. Dennis Riley, 52, Robert Broome, 48, Andrew Jenkins, 33, and Julie Jones, 54, died after a storage tank exploded at the site.
HSE news release. WalesOnline. BBC News Online. Risks 901. Hazards news, 15 June 2019

Britain: Firm fined after worker killed by gantry crane
Superconducting electromagnet company Tesla Engineering Ltd has been sentenced after a worker was fatally hit and crushed by an overhead gantry crane. Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard how on 23 March 2018 Dr Craig McEwan, 34, a unit manager of Tesla Engineering Ltd, died while making of a superconducting magnet coil at the firm’s Storrington premises.
HSE news release. Midhurst and Petworth Observer. Risks 901.
Hazards news, 15 June 2019

Britain: ‘Toxic’ organisation pays off leaders, then slashes staff
Members of Unite employed by Amnesty International have pledged to consider ‘all options’ after the human rights charity announced that 93 workers face losing their jobs. Unite regional co-ordinating officer Alan Scott said: “The organisation’s senior management has a made a dangerous habit of irresponsible overspending and over-scoping, leaving staff to suffer the costs, first with their wellbeing and now with their jobs.”
Unite news release.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, updated February 2019. Work and suicide prevention checklist. More on work-related suicide. Risks 901. 15 June 2019

Bangladesh: Safety crisis in shipbreaking yards continues
At least eight workers have been killed and 35 injured this year in incidents in Bangladeshi shipbreaking yards, IndustriALL has said. The global unions said the number of fatalities since 2017 is ‘around 47’, adding: “The series of recent accidents point to a massive safety crisis in the Bangladeshi shipbreaking industry.”
IndustriALL news release. Risks 900.
Hazards news, 8 June 2019

Britain: Site firm and director fined for unsafe removal of asbestos
A construction company and its director have been fined after failing to ensure the safe removal of asbestos during demolition work. Sherwood Homes Limited was convicted of a criminal safety offence and fined £170,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,406; company director Peter Kiely pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was fined £6,500 plus costs of £7,000.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Northwich Guardian. Risks 900.
Hazards news, 8 June 2019

Britain: Suspended sentences after electrician suffers life changing injuries
Two company directors have received suspended jail terms after an electrician fell two storeys through an unprotected stairwell. Green Generation Renewable Services Ltd pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,548.28; company director Karl Grice pleaded guilty to a criminal breach and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000, and fellow director Steven Paul Dixon also pleaded guilty and was given the same sentence.
HSE news release. Risks 900.
Hazards news, 8 June 2019

Britain: Engineering firm fined after worker crushed by metal frame
A Warrington fabrication company has been fined after a worker suffered severe crush injuries when a metal frame he was moving toppled from a forklift truck. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 11 October 2017, the employee of JL Engineering (Rixton) Ltd, together with another worker, was moving a trestle frame using the forklift.
HSE news release. Risks 900.
Hazards news, 8 June 2019

Britain: Amnesty dissolves ‘toxic’ leadership team slammed by union
Amnesty International has ‘dissolved’ its senior leadership team after an internal review said it had a “toxic” workplace and a union said it was not feasible for the top tier of managers to remain. The human rights organisation's secretary-general, Kumi Naidoo, ordered the independent review after two employees killed themselves last year.
BBC News Online. The Times.
Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, updated February 2019. Work and suicide prevention checklist. More on work-related suicide. Risks 900.
Hazards news, 8 June 2019

Britain: Non-league club fined £1k after volunteer killed in roof fall
A football club has been fined after a volunteer died when he fell through a fragile roof. Clive Churchhouse, 71, sustained fatal injuries after he fell through roof sheeting onto the terrace steps below at St Albans City FC's Clarence Park ground.
HSE news release. St Albans Review. Risks 899. 1
Hazards news, 1 June 2019

Britain: £15k fine after worker killed on dock concrete pumping job
Main contractor RW Hill (Felixstowe) Limited has been fined £15,000 on criminal safety charges following the death of a concrete worker at the Port of Felixstowe. Garry Louis, a 58-year-old employee of a concrete laying sub-contractor, was killed and another worker suffered cuts and bruising when a concrete delivery hose whipped violently out of control and struck them.
HSE news release. BBC News Online. Risks 899.
Hazards news, 1 June 2019

Global: Unions warn FIFA on Qatar ‘rogue’ neighbours move
UK construction union Unite has given its strong backing to an open letter opposing any FIFA move to expand the 2022 World Cup beyond Qatar to neighbouring ‘rogue’ states. The letter was sent by BWI, the global federation of construction unions, to Gianni Infantino, the president of football’s global governing body.
BWI news report. Unite news release. Risks 898.
Hazards news, 25 May 2019

Britain: Skip hire boss jailed after employee suffocates
The owner of a skip hire firm has been jailed for a year after one of his employees suffocated when his clothes became caught in defective machine that had been bought on E-bay. Father-of-one James Criddle, 29, was operating a screening machine at Baldwin Skip Hire in Besthorpe, Norfolk, in May 2017 when he became entangled.
Norfolk Constabulary news release. BBC News Online. ITV News. Eastern Daily Press. Risks 898.
Hazards news, 25 May 2019

Britain: Waste firm fined after employee was killed by reversing JCB
Sanders Plant and Waste Management Limited has been fined after an employee was fatally injured when he was struck by a reversing JCB loading shovel. George Richardson, a site operative, was fatally injured and died at the scene.
HSE news release. Risks 898.
Hazards news, 25 May 2019

Britain: Farmer fined after casual worker suffers fatal fall
A farmer has been fined following a worker’s fatal fall through a milking shed skylight. Mold Magistrates’ Court heard how on 19 July 2018 self-employed contractor David Alan Rees, 56, was fatally injured whilst he was clearing out the valley gutter from a ladder at Knolton Farm, Overton.
HSE news release. Daily Post. Risks 898.
Hazards news, 25 May 2019

Britain: Director convicted after ignoring safety watchdog
Glamping Cocoon Ltd and its director Nicholas Oaten have been convicted on criminal safety charges after ignoring legal notices from the safety regulator to remedy workplace health hazards. Company director Nicholas Oaten was convicted on two criminal safety charges and fined £2,640 and ordered to pay £5,506 costs.
HSE news release. Risks 898.
Hazards news, 25 May 2019

Britain: Government complacency risks another Grenfell
Nearly two years since the Grenfell tragedy in which 72 people lost their lives, the government has done nothing to adequately prepare fire and rescue services for a similar incident, the firefighters’ union FBU has said. The union says there is a “postcode lottery of preparedness across the country, with some fire services planning to send as few as two fire engines to a high rise fire.”
FBU news release. Morning Star. Risks 898.
Hazards news, 25 May 2019

Global: Vested interests again protect deadly substances
Exports of deadly substances including chrysotile asbestos and a slew of pesticides will not require a health warning after a handful of governments defended them at a United Nations conference. The substances were being considered for inclusion on the UN Rotterdam Convention’s ‘prior informed consent’ (PIC) list, which would require exporters to inform importers of the potential risks.
CIEL news release. IBAS news report. PANAP news release. Report of the outcome of the Conference of the Parties. Risks 897.
Hazards news, 18 May 2019

Britain: Dad-of-two crushed to death by plastic bales
A Liverpool recycling company has been fined after an employee was crushed to death by falling plastic bales. Paul Andrews was sweeping up and picking litter at his workplace at Centriforce Products Ltd when the bales fell on him from an unstable stack, leaving him fatally injured.
HSE news release. Liverpool Echo. Risks 897.
Hazards news, 18 May 2019

France: Telecom bosses on trial over staff suicides
A long-awaited trial in Paris has heard telecom giant Orange and seven former or current managers accused of moral harassment and related charges related to a spate of suicides at the company between 2007 and 2010. The defendants include the former president of France Telecom, Didier Lombard, former human resources director Olivier Barberot and former deputy executive director Louis-Pierre Wenes, who are accused of having “degraded work conditions of personnel that risked hurting their rights and dignity, altering the physical or mental health (of personnel), or compromising their professional future.”
CFE-CGC Orange, CFTC, CGT and SUD union statement and trial protest note (in French). Fortune Magazine. The Independent. BBC News Online.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, updated February 2019. Work and suicide prevention checklist. More on work-related suicide. Risks 897.
Hazards news, 18 May 2019

Britain: Unite to campaign for Heathrow safety inquiry
A campaign to persuade Heathrow to commission an independent inquiry to improve airport safety has been launched by Unite. The union’s concerns were amplified by the death at the airport of Unite member John Coles in February 2018.
Unite news release. Risks 897.
Hazards news, 18 May 2019

Britain: Arriva tops London’s bus crash deaths and injuries table
Transport company Arriva has topped a table of deaths and injuries linked to London bus operators, the union GMB has said. Figures obtained by the union show that since January 2014, an average of about 3 people per day have been injured — of which over 4 people per week have been killed or seriously injured — as the result of a collision involving a Transport for London (TfL)-contracted bus.
GMB news release. Risks 897.
Hazards news, 18 May 2019

Britain: Safety watchdog too cash strapped to deliver justice
The government’s safety regulator is so starved of resources it can’t cope with the workload required to make sure workplace safety crimes don’t pay. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) union Prospect said stiffer penalties for health and safety and corporate manslaughter offences have led to extra pressures on the watchdog, which is now pursuing far fewer safety prosecutions.
Prospect blog. Risks 897.
Hazards news, 18 May 2019

Britain: Two dead, two seriously injured after farm wall collapse
Two workers have been killed and two seriously injured after a wall collapsed at a Scottish farm. Peter Walker, 53, from Blackburn and 48-year-old James Henderson, who was known as Paul, from Grangemouth were working on the wall at Myrehead Farm when it collapsed.
Police Scotland news release. Daily Record. BBC News Online. Risks 896.
Hazards news, 11 May 2019

Britain: Authority fined after wall collapses on man in front of family
The land and property arm of the Greater London Authority (GLA) has been fined for serious criminal failings in safety management after a wall and advertising hoarding collapsed onto a man in front of his wife and two children. GLA Land and Property Ltd pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was fined £250,000 and ordered to pay £14,653 in costs.
HSE news release and safety management webpages. Risks 896.
Hazards news, 11 May 2019

Britain: Recycling worker injured after firm ignored warnings
A recycling company has been fined after it ignored safety warnings before a worker suffered a back injury when moving gantry steps. Preston Crown Court heard how on 10 September 2016 the employee of Suez Recycling and Recovery Limited was injured as he helped to manually move steps weighting in excess of 950kg at a site in Haslingden, after repair works had taken place.
HSE news release and waste and recycling webpages. Risks 896.
Hazards news, 11 May 2019

Britain: Union to renew pressure for offshore helicopter inquiry
Offshore union Unite is to continue its campaign for an independent probe into helicopter safety in the oil and gas industry. Unite north-east regional officer Tommy Campbell said: “In the UK and Norwegian oil and gas industry 212 workers have lost their lives due to helicopter accidents and it’s important that we all support the campaign for a UK full public enquiry as this part of remembering those who died as well as fighting for those still working in the industry.”
Energy Voice. Risks 896.
Hazards news, 11 May 2019

Global: New safety campaign in paper and packaging
Workers in the pulp, paper, graphical and packaging sectors, represented worldwide by the global unions IndustriALL and UNI, have kicked off a year-long campaign around the three fundamental worker rights needed to make work safe. These ‘3Rs’ are: The Right to Know – workers must know the hazards and risks in their workplace; The Right to Act, or the right to refuse unsafe work without punishment; and The Right to Participate in the safety programmes and structures that manage safety in the workplace.
IndustriALL news release. Unite live. Risks 895.
Hazards news, 4 May 2019

Myanmar: Over 50 jade miners believed dead in landslide
At least 54 jade miners in Myanmar are feared to have died after they were engulfed by a landslide “mud lake” as they slept. In one of the worst disasters to hit Myanmar’s notoriously treacherous jade mining industry, a mud filter collapsed at a mine in Hpakant in Myanmar’s Kachin State late on the night of 22 April, causing a landslide that hit the miners’ sleeping quarters.
New York Times. The Guardian. Radio Free Asia. The Straits Times.
Global Witness film: Jade and the Generals. Risks 895.
Hazards news, 4 May 2019

Australia: Unions welcome Labor pledge on work fatalities
Australia’s opposition Labor Party (ALP) has said if successful in May’s general election it will include a country-wide industrial manslaughter offence in workplace health and safety legislation. The move has been welcomed by unions, which said it marks a ‘systemic shift’ in how the country will view the responsibility of employers for the safety of workers, and how courts will address the loss of life in Australian workplaces.
ACTU news release. Sydney Morning Herald. Risks 895.
Hazards news, 4 May 2019

Britain: Two hurt in massive Port Talbot steelworks explosion
Two people have been hurt in an early hours explosion at Tata's biggest steelworks plant in the UK. Residents living near the Port Talbot plant in south Wales spoke of hearing a "massive" blast shortly after 03:30 BST on 26 April.
Community news release. BBC News Online and related story. Risks 895.
Hazards news, 4 May 2019

Britain: Site firms fined after employee receives electrical burns
Two companies have been fined after a worker received serious electrical burns during demolition work. Chelmsford Magistrates Court heard how on the 12 April 2017, two demolition workers employed by sub-contractor RB Haigh & Sons were removing electrical distribution equipment from a switchgear room; Alan Banks, who had been told by the principal contractor that the electrical equipment had been isolated, suffered serious burn injuries and was immediately hospitalised.
HSE news release and electricity hazards guide. Risks 895.
Hazards news, 4 May 2019

Britain: Two injured falling through uncovered floor hatch
Aberdeen electrical company RB Wilson (Electrical) Limited, contracted to rewire and install new heating systems in Aberdeenshire Council properties, has been fined for failing to put in place adequate barriers and physical warning signs around open floor hatches. The prosecution came after the resident of a property and her brother-in-law fell into one of the uncovered floor hatches and both sustained injuries.
HSE news release. Risks 895
Hazards news, 4 May 2019

Britain: ‘Commercial interests’ ruse in Sea King asbestos scandal
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is hiding behind ‘commercial interests’ in refusing to provide information about the asbestos scandal involving the maintenance of its Sea King helicopter fleet, Unite has said. In what Unite described as ‘a shocking security failure’, the MoD has been forced to admit that it does not have a central record of the workers who had undertaken the maintenance work.
Unite news release. Risks 895
Hazards news, 4 May 2019

Britain: Work cancer risk warning after government safety cuts
New evidence confirming a cancer risk to tyre and rubber workers may go ignored because of government safety deregulation and cuts, the union Unite has warned. The union was commented after research published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine revealed that workers in the tyre and rubber industry remain at significant risk of developing cancers caused by exposure to N-nitrosamines and rubber dust.
Unite news release. ITUC/Hazards cancerhazards blog.
Mira Hidajat and others. Lifetime exposure to rubber dusts, fumes and N-nitrosamines and cancer mortality in a cohort of British rubber workers with 49 years follow-up, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, volume 76, number 4, pages 250-258, April 2019. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2018-105181 
International: ITUC/Hazards 28 April dedicated events and resources website.
All out! Global union confederation ITUC wants to show killer chemicals the door, ITUC briefing. Also in French and Spanish. 28 April ITUC ‘Chemical reaction’ poster in English, French and SpanishCancers and their work causes: An ITUC/Hazards at-a-glance guide to cancer hazards. Also in French and Spanish. Risks 894.
Hazards news, 27 April 2019

Britain: Unions call for independent inquiry into helicopter safety
Offshore unions have again called for a full independent public inquiry into energy industry helicopter safety. Unite and RMT both backed a motion at the STUC conference that noted “such an inquiry is essential, due to the ongoing decline in offshore workers’ confidence in the safety of offshore helicopter operations.”
RMT news release. Risks 894.
Hazards news, 27 April 2019

Britain: HSE ends Brunei project after union ethics and safety pressure
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has suspended planned staff secondments to Brunei after the UK union Prospect raised concerns about the ethical and safety implications following the kingdom’s decision to punish gay sex by stoning to death. The UK workplace safety regulator was seeking a team of three people to go to Brunei to help the country’s equivalent agency with regulatory work, but has now said all links with the country would be “paused” pending a review.
Prospect news release. ITUC news release. ITF news release. The Guardian. Pink News. Risks 893.
Hazards news, 13 April 2019

Britain: High Court catches up with exploitative chicken catcher
The High Court has ruled in favour of a group of Lithuanian men who were put to work in terrible conditions by a British company, catching chickens at farms all over the country. The court ruled that the workers who brought the case were subject to a gruelling and exploitative work regime by their employer, DJ Houghton Catching Services, and by its sole director, Darrell Houghton, and the company secretary, Jackie Judge.
Leigh Day news release. BBC News Online. Kent Messenger. Risks 893.
Hazards news, 13 April 2019

Turkey: Refusal to respect labour standards is costing lives
A new report has revealed wide-scale abuse of labour standards in the construction of the Istanbul New Airport, resulting in the death of at least 52 people. An investigation by the global union confederation ITUC found the Turkish government has ignored multiple warning signs, allowing the lead consortium in the construction project to systematically undermine labour standards.
ITUC news release. Risks 893.
Hazards news, 13 April 2019

Britain: TUC sounds warning over new fatalities statistics
The TUC has said that new quarterly fatality figures released by the HSE reinforce earlier concerns that injuries are increasing as enforcement and inspection activity falls. Data for the first 9 months of 2018/19 shows an increase in fatalities in the HSE enforced sector compared with the same period in 2017/18 and is the highest since 2011/12.
HSE statistics. Risks 892.
Hazards news, 6 April 2019

Britain: Grenfell was “ticking time bomb”
The Shadow fire minister, Karen Lee, has claimed that Grenfell Tower was a 'ticking time bomb' after government fire inspector cuts. A total of 72 people died as a result of the 2017 fire.
The Independent. Risks 892.
Hazards news, 6 April 2019

Britain: Hotel fined after ignoring asbestos concerns
The owners of a North Devon hotel have been fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,999.60 after materials containing asbestos were disturbed during a major refurbishment. Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court heard that between October 2016 and May 2017 construction work was undertaken to refit and refurbish the Park Hotel on Taw Vale, Barnstaple. The Health and Safety Executive found that, at an early stage of the work, an employee raised concerns about the potential presence of asbestos containing materials (ACM) within the rooms under refurbishment but no testing of materials being disturbed took place.
HSE news release. Risks 892.
Hazards news, 6 April 2019

Britain: Suspended sentence after dodgy practices
A whole list of criminal health and safety failings have landed a Salford builder with a suspended prison sentence. Kenneth Morris was sentenced to 30 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for two years, and handed 180 hours of unpaid work and fined £2,615.
Manchester Evening News. Risks 892.
Hazards news, 6 April 2019

Britain: Sheffield firm fined after worker seriously burned.
A Sheffield Sign-fitting contractor, AR Signs Limited, was fined £35,000 and ordered to pay £2,475 in costs for safety breaches after a worker suffered multiple serious burn injuries. In September 2017, a 22-year-old employee of AR Signs Limited was using a breaker tool to dig a hole for the posts of a new sign at the Hellaby Hall Hotel in Bramley, when he struck a mains electricity cable, causing a large flash
HSE news release. Risks 892.
Hazards news, 6 April 2019

Australia: Jail plan for importers of asbestos products
The Australian government has introduced increased penalties against importers who knowingly or recklessly import goods containing asbestos, banned in the country since 2003. The new regulations mean that importers could now face up to five years jail.
Government statement.  Risks 892.
Hazards news, 6 April 2019

China: Firefighters die in forest blaze
At least 30 firefighters have died while tackling a huge forest fire in south-western China. According to the government, fire crews had been fighting the blaze in the mountains of Sichuan province on Sunday when a change in wind direction caused "a huge fireball", trapping them.
BBC News Online. Risks 892.
Hazards news, 6 April 2019

China: Death toll rises to 78 in chemical plant explosion
The death toll from an explosion in a chemical plant in east China's Jiangsu Province has risen to 78. The explosion on an industrial estate happened mid-afternoon on 21 March following a fire that broke out in the plant owned by Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co Ltd.
Xinhuanet. China.org.cn news and update. Risks 891.
Hazards news, 30 March 2019

Italy: Stop the exploitation of migrant farm workers
A group of Italian doctors is calling for urgent action to stop the exploitation of thousands of migrants working in agriculture across Italy. Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Dr Claudia Marotta and colleagues said more than 1,500 migrant agricultural workers have died did in the country as a result of their work over the past six years, while others have been killed by the so-called “Caporali” who are modern slave masters.
Claudia Marotta and others. Opinion: Stop the exploitation of migrant agricultural workers in Italy, British Medical Journal, 28 March 2019. Risks 891.
Hazards news, 30 March 2019

Global: Backing for UN convention on safety of journalists
Representatives from governments in every continent have joined journalists’ unions, editors groups, public broadcasters and media organisations in a united call for the United Nations to adopt a Convention on the safety and protection of journalists. The joint call came during the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
IFJ news release. Press Gazette. Risks 891.
Hazards news, 30 March 2019

Britain: Rail safety warning over runaway machine on tracks
A rail safety watchdog has issued new safety recommendations after a mobile elevating work platform ran out of control on tracks for 340 metres. The incident happened in June 2018 when the road-rail machine was being placed on the tracks near Bradford Interchange station.
RAIB news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 890.
Hazards news, 23 March 2019

Britain: Defunct firm convicted after bricklayer dies in wall collapse
A company that is in administration has been convicted of two criminal safety offences after an employee was killed when a wall collapsed on a construction site. Bournemouth Crown Court heard how, on 2 June 2015, Thomas Telfer was working as a bricklayer employed by Capstone Building Ltd, when he was struck by falling masonry after a retaining wall failed as it was being back-filled with concrete.
HSE news release. BBC News Online. Dorset Echo. Risks 890.
Hazards news, 23 March 2019

Britain: Firm fined after worker injured by machinery
A manufacturing company has been fined after a worker’s hand was caught in poorly guarded machinery. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, on the 5 July 2017, an employee of Contour Showers Ltd, Winsford, was trying to clear a blockage from a metal cutting saw, when the blade cut through the knuckle of his left index finger damaging the tendon and ligament, preventing him from returning to work for eight months.
HSE news release. Risks 890.
Hazards news, 23 March 2019

Britain: Waste firm fined after worker’s arm was trashed
A Preston waste recycling company has been fined for a criminal safety offence after an employee was injured whilst operating a machine from which the guards has been removed. Blackburn Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 13 April 2017, the hand of a KT Recycling Ltd employee became trapped between a conveyor belt and drive roller of a magnetic separator as he attempted to remove waste material.
HSE news release. Risks 890.
Hazards news, 23 March 2019

Britain: Firm fined after fall damages roofer’s hearing
Norwich maintenance company RFT Repairs Limited has been fined after an employee fell two metres while working on a roof, suffering a head injury which resulted in hearing damage. RFT Repairs Limited pleaded guilty to a criminal breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,391.76.
HSE news release and roof work webpages. Norwich Evening News. Risks 890.
Hazards news, 23 March 2019

Britain: Firefighters slam ‘incomprehensible’ cuts in Surrey
The firefighters’ union FBU has branded proposed further cuts to Surrey fire and rescue service as “incomprehensible”, just months after a government inspection voiced “serious concerns” about the county’s fire and rescue service. Lee Belsten, FBU Surrey brigade secretary, said: “The council’s claim that these cuts are ‘risk based’ is ludicrous”.
FBU news release. Risks 890.
Hazards news, 23 March 2019

Bangladesh: Government intervention needed for garment safety
Global unions have criticised the Bangladesh government for its continued instance that an effective independent garment factory safety watchdog gets out of Bangladesh by a fixed date, regardless of whether there is a competent safety authority to replace it. UNI and IndustriALL say the Bangladesh government must end the uncertainty and come to the table with a real commitment to a credible and responsible transfer of Accord functions “based on a genuine readiness of the government to take over.”
UNI news release. IndustriALL news release. Risks 889.
Hazards news, 16 March 2019

Britain: Worker killed by overhead power line strike
A company that knew about a risk from overhead power lines but didn’t act to protect workers has been fined after a 38-year-old worker was electrocuted in a ‘wholly avoidable’ tragedy. Luton Crown Court heard how Darren Waterman, a driver employed by Just Grab Services to unload material at Fillets Farm, Hunsdon, Hertfordshire, was using the grab arm on his vehicle when it came into contact with an 11kV overhead power line (OHPL) and he was electrocuted.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 889.
Hazards news, 16 March 2019

Britain: Firm fined after workers sensitised to chemicals
Teesside chemical manufacturing company Fine Organics Ltd has been fined after failing to manage the risks posed by hazardous substances, resulting in workers being exposed to chemicals that caused long term damage to their skin. Some lost their jobs as a result.
HSE news release. Risks 888.
Hazards news, 9 March 2019

Britain: Agency worker seriously injured on first day of work
A distribution company has been fined after an agency worker sustained serious, life-changing injuries whilst working as a delivery driver in Cheltenham. Cheltenham Magistrate’s Court heard how, on 18 May 2017, a 27-year-old agency worker working out of H&M Distribution Limited’s Gloucester depot fell backwards from his lorry’s raised tail lift onto the road and several kegs of beer fell and struck him.
HSE news release. Risks 888.
Hazards news, 9 March 2019

Britain: Firms fined after paper mill death
The owner and the operator of a paper mill where a worker was run over by a lorry have each been fined £350,000. Austin Thomas was hit by a vehicle at UPM Shotton in Flintshire on 6 February 2017.
HSE news release. Daily Post. BBC News Online. Risks 887.
Hazards news, 2 March 2019

Australia: Public wants an industrial manslaughter law
A significant majority of the Australian population support the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws and an expanded role for unions in ensuring workplace safety, according to a new poll for the national union federation ACTU. Almost six out of ten (58.8 per cent) Australians want new laws which would see employers who are responsible for workplace deaths held accountable and ultimately sent to jail.
ACTU news release and related release. Sydney Morning Herald. Risks 887.
Hazards news, 2 March 2019

Zimbabwe: Flood tragedy spurs safety call in artisanal mining
The deaths last month of 28 artisanal miners when the Cricket and Silver Moon gold mines flooded after heavy rains has spurred union calls for new safety standards. Glen Mpufane, director for mining at the global union federation IndustriALL, said such tragedies are avoidable if key stakeholders prioritise health and safety in artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) operations.
IndustriALL news release. Risks 887.
Hazards news, 2 March 2019

Britain: Long working hours linked to depression risk
Working very long hours – 55 plus a week - is linked to a heightened risk of depression in women, a study has found. The observational study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health also found working weekends is associated with an increased risk in both sexes.
Gillian Weston and others. Long work hours, weekend working and depressive symptoms in men and women: findings from a UK population-based study, Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, published Online First, 25 February 2019. Risks 887.
Hazards news, 2 March 2019

USA: Car wash study shows workers untrained and at risk
A new study has exposed the exploitation of migrant workers in New York City’s car wash industry. The authors note: “Car washes are urban assembly lines that employ toxic chemicals handled by untrained and unprotected immigrant workers who perform highly repetitive movements to produce clean vehicles.”
The Pump Handle blog. Brittany Dickens and others. Occupational health of New York City car wash workers, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, volume 61, number 2, e77-e79, February 2019. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001520. Risks 886.
Hazards news, 23 February 2019

Britain: Director given suspended sentence after worker’s crush death
Alan Hurst , the managing director of vehicle repair firm AD Hurst and Son Commercial Limited, has been given a suspended jail term after an employee was crushed by a bus. Cambridge Crown Court heard how, on 4 July 2017, David Nelson was working in a vehicle inspection pit beneath a single decker bus when it fell from jacks onto the 46-year-old, killing him instantly.
HSE news release. Wisbech Standard. Cambridge Times. Risks 886.
Hazards news, 23 February 2019

Britain: Construction firms fined after worker suffers fatal fall
Specialist contractor Oliver Connell and Son Ltd and Rydon Construction Ltd have been fined after a worker fell to his death when a temporary platform collapsed. Southwark Crown Court heard how, on 24 July 2015, Vasile Nichitut was working on the fifth floor of building, when he walked onto a temporary platform covering a vertical shaft, which collapsed beneath him.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 886.
Hazards news, 23 February 2019

Britain: Grenfell fire disaster exposes wider fire safety failings
The firefighters’ union FBU has said a TV documentary on the failings that contributed to the Grenfell tower block tragedy should throw the focus onto a wider malaise that has seen fire safety nationwide undermined. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The building owners, the local authority, the politicians, their advisers, the very people who have allowed public safety to be undermined over decades, need to be held accountable.”
FBU news release. Grenfell: Did the Fire Brigade Fail?, Channel 4 Dispatches, 18 February 2019. Risks 886.
Hazards news, 23 February 2019

Britain: Construction industry should guarantee worker benefits
A campaign to ensure that all workers in the construction industry are provided with death benefits has been launched by the union Unite, following a workplace fatality in Scotland. Unite is demanding all workers in the construction industry are covered by the B&CE scheme or an equivalent scheme regardless of their employment status.
Unite news release. Construction Enquirer. Dunfermline Press. Risks 886.
Hazards news, 23 February 2019

Britain: GMB cards Amazon on its 'brutal' working conditions
The union GMB delivered a giant Valentine’s card to the Amazon’s Rugeley warehouse on 14 February to highlight the ‘brutal’ working conditions facing the retail giant’s workers. GMB senior organiser Amanda Gearing said the workforce “didn’t get much love” from Amazon, adding: “The conditions are brutal; workers suffer convulsions, electric shocks, major traumas, get knocked unconscious and are taken away in ambulances.”
GMB news release. Risks 886.
Hazards news, 23 February 2019

Britain: RMT calls for inquiry into offshore copter safety
Offshore union RMT has repeated its call for an independent public inquiry into the safety of offshore helicopter transport in the North Sea. The union says 33 offshore workers and crew died and 65 were rescued as a result of helicopter accidents across the North Sea in the decade from February 2009.
RMT news release. Westminster Hall debate on helicopter safety, Risks 885
Hazards news, 16 February 2019

USA: Plane mechanics feel pressured to overlook problems
Airline mechanics in the US have revealed they feel pressured by management to look the other way when they see potential safety problems on airplanes. An eight-month-long CBS News investigation found several FAA whistleblower complaints have identified inappropriate pressure and retaliation since 2015 – and there have been at least 32 other anonymous industry-wide reports between 2015 to 2018.
CBS News. Work Week Radio. Risks 885.
Hazards news, 16 February 2019

Brazil: Unions mobilise for victims of dam disaster
Unions are stepping in to support the victims and bereaved families of last month’s Brazilian mine disaster, thought to have claimed over 300 lives. Global union federations BWI and IndustriALL are also calling wide-ranging safety improvements.
BWI news release. IndustriALL news release. The Guardian. BBC News Online. Risks 885.
Hazards news, 16 February 2019

Britain: Firms fined after worker killed during lifting operation
Two companies have been fined following the death of a worker after just a week on the job. Preston Crown Court heard how, on 12 March 2012, metal fabricator Andrew Bowes died while working at the Larkin Eng Services Ltd premises in Barrow in Furness. The firm had contracted Cumbria Design Scaffold Ltd to collect two large metal walkways and deliver them to a customer using a flatbed lorry fitted with a mounted crane.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 885.
Hazards news, 16 February 2019

Britain: Director gets community service after worker killed
The director of a London roofing company has been given community service in a criminal health and safety prosecution following the death of an employee. HSE said Ray Strank Roofing Limited’s failings were due to the neglect of Ray Strank, the sole director, who was sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £5,500.
HSE news release. Risks 885.
Hazards news, 16 February 2019

Korea: Campaign highlights ‘the outsourcing of death’
A few days before his death, Kim Yong-kyun joined a “selfie campaign,” posting on social media a photo of himself holding a sign reading: “Mr President, please meet with temporary workers to repeal unfair labour laws, to punish illegal outsourcers, and to replace temporary jobs with regular ones.” The 24-year-old temporary worker was killed on 11 December 2018 at a thermal power plant in Taean, South Korea, after being sucked into a coal conveyor belt that decapitated him.
KCTU/Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union news release. Labor Notes. Risks 884.
Hazards news, 9 February 2019

Australia: Deadly mining wants to escape manslaughter rap
Australia’s mining industry, which is enmeshed in scandals about work-related suicides and the reemergence of deadly black lung disease, has expressed alarm at the prospect of a new workplace manslaughter law under discussion in the state of Victoria. The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has told the Victorian government that new workplace safety laws should not leave top managers facing the threat of jail.
Victorian government news release. MCA news release. Mining Technology. Mining Weekly. Risks 884.
Hazards news, 9 February 2019

Britain: Firm fined after dumper truck death on site
A construction company has been fined £600,000 after admitting its role in the horrific death of a father-of-four on an Edinburgh building site. Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard Vince Ramsay, an agency labourer on the student flats project, suffered massive injuries when he was crushed by a dumper truck in December 2016.
HSE news release. Edinburgh Evening News. Risks 884.
Hazards news, 9 February 2019

Britain: Sports Direct worker ‘gave birth in toilet’ at work
A Sports Direct worker gave birth in a warehouse toilet ‘because she was afraid of missing her shift’, a witness has claimed. The story first came to light in 2016 in union reports to MPs that claimed Sports Direct employees worked in ‘gulag’ conditions in the company's warehouses, and which the company then disputed.
Daily Mail. The Mirror Online. Risks 884.
Hazards news, 9 February 2019

Brazil: Mining giant Vale faces dam deaths anger
Senior Brazilian politicians have called for mining giant Vale SA to be held to account for a 25 January dam collapse in which over 300 people are now believed to have died. Brazil's vice-president Hamilton Mourão said those to blame for the collapse of the mine tailings dam which devastated the town of Brumadinho should be punished, and a top prosecutor said executives could be held personally responsible.
Vale news release. ILO news release. BBC News Online. ABC News. Financial Times. Risks 883.
Hazards news, 2 February 2019

Britain: Construction company fined after fatal fall
A London-based construction company has been fined £300,0000 for criminal safety breaches after a worker was killed in a fall. Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 4 November 2015, Formation Construction Limited employee Adrian Nicolae Persu was using a concrete breaker at a site in Acton, London when he fell 7.5 metres, sustaining fatal head injuries.
HSE news release. Construction Enquirer. Risks 883.
Hazards news, 2 February 2019

Britain: Serial offender Veolia convicted over worker death
A refuse collection company has been convicted of a criminal safety offence and fined £1m after a worker was run over and killed. Canterbury Crown Court heard how, on 18 October 2013, Veolia ES (UK) Limited employee John Head suffered fatal injuries when he was run over by a reversing refuse collection vehicle (RCV) as he was walking across the Ross Depot Waste Transfer Station yard in Folkestone.
HSE news release. Kent Live. Risks 883.
Hazards news, 2 February 2019

Britain: Joiner crushed to death by caravan
A joiner received fatal crush injuries while changing a tyre on a four-tonne caravan, a court has heard. Christopher Richards died from injuries sustained when the caravan collapsed on top of him at Blackhills Caravan Sales in Swansea in 2014. The firm pleaded guilty to criminal safety breaches and was fined £120,000 and £14,000 in costs at Swansea Crown Court.
Wales Online. BBC News Online. Risks 883.
Hazards news, 2 February 2019

Britain: Ex-ministers ‘culpable’ for Grenfell deaths
A ‘string’ of government ministers sat on safety reports that could have prevented the Grenfell disaster, a Labour MP has charged. Steve Reed told the Commons that had the ministers been employees of a private company they would “potentially be in the dock for corporate manslaughter”.
24 Housing. Risks 883.
Hazards news, 2 February 2019

Global: UK high street garment maker abused workers
A Bangladeshi factory that produces Stanley/Stella clothes for Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Mothercare was forced to compensate an “outspoken” female worker after she was beaten up on the orders of management and threatened with being murdered. A report from the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), whose membership is comprised of garment companies, follows revelations by the Guardian that workers at another factory used by Stanley/Stella, making Spice Girls T-shirts designed to raise money for Comic Relief’s “gender justice” campaign, were paid just 35p an hour.
The Guardian. Risks 882.
Hazards news, 26 January 2018

Britain: Road safety worry as lorry inspections plummet
Huge cuts in independent roadside inspections of lorries could be leaving all road users at greater danger, the transport union Unite has warned. The union alert came after a series of freedom of information requests it submitted revealed the number of road side inspections or checks involving heavy goods vehicles (HGV) by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has fallen by 37 per cent in eight years, from 234,296 in 2010/11 to 147,533 in 2017/18, despite an increase in lorry journeys.
Unite news release. Risks 882.
Hazards news, 26 January 2018

Britain: FBU says report exposes Grenfell ‘complacency’
A new report has exposed the “complacent attitude towards resident safety shown by the council, the Westminster government, and the businesses involved in Grenfell,” FBU general secretary Matt Wrack has said. The firefighters’ union leader was commenting on an Inside Housing report that found no fire safety report was commissioned for the final Grenfell cladding refurbishment plans.
FBU news release. Inside Housing. Risks 882.
Hazards news, 26 January 2018

Europe: Glyphosate reprieve based on ‘plagiarised’ report
European regulators based a decision to relicense the controversial weedkiller glyphosate on an assessment large sections of which were lifted directly from industry documents, according to a report for the European parliament. A crossparty group of MEPs commissioned an investigation into claims that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) copy-and-pasted tracts from studies by the pesticide manufacturer Monsanto.
Stefan Weber and Helmut Burtscher-Schaden. Detailed Expert Report on Plagiarism and superordinated Copy Paste in the Renewal Assessment Report (RAR) on Glyphosate, 2019.
Socialists and Democrats of the European Parliament news release and related video report. BfR statement.
Charles M Benbrook. How did the US EPA and IARC reach diametrically opposed conclusions on the genotoxicity of glyphosate-based herbicides?, Environmental Sciences Europe, volume 31, number 2, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12302-018-0184-7 The Guardian. Risks 881.
Hazards news, 19 January 2019

Canada: Job-related deaths ‘dramatically’ under-reported
Close to 1,000 Canadians die each year because of their jobs, according to official numbers from Canada's workers' compensation agencies. But a new study says that figure ‘dramatically underestimates’ the true extent of work-related deaths across the country.
Steven Bittle, Ashley Chen and Jasmine Hébert. Work-related deaths in Canada, Labour/Le Travail, volume 82, pages 159-187, Fall 2018. CBC News. Risks 881.
Hazards news, 19 January 2019

China: Over 20 dead after coal mine roof collapses
At least 21 miners have been killed after a roof collapsed at a coal mine in northern China. Sixty-six other workers were rescued after the incident on 12 January at the Lijiagou mine near the city of Shenmu in Shaanxi province.
The Independent. Risks 881.
Hazards news, 19 January 2019

Britain: New manifesto for a ‘safety system fit for workers’
The national Hazards Campaign says three factors could make the country’s workplaces safer and healthier at a stroke - strong laws, strict enforcement and a workplace safety push by strong, active trade unions. Launching a new ‘manifesto’ for health and safety, the campaign’s Janet Newsham said: “The right framework of strong laws, strict enforcement and support for active worker and union participation will have massive payback for workers, employers and whole economy.”
Hazards Campaign news release. Manifesto webpage and full document, Manifesto for a health and safety system fit for workers: Decent jobs and decent lives, January 2019. EHN Online. Risks 881.
Hazards news, 19 January 2019

Britain: Network Rail fined after employee left with brain injury
Network Rail has been fined £200,000 following a prosecution by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) after an employee was left with a critical brain injury following a road traffic accident. The ORR prosecuted Network Rail at Maidstone Crown Court for contravening the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. The firm was fined £200,000 plus costs of £86,389.21.
ORR news release. Thompsons Solicitors news release. Risks 880
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

Britain: Diesel industry and regulators condemn thousands to die
A warning over 30 years ago that workplace diesel fume exposures were deadly went ignored, a ‘criminal’ move that condemned thousands of workers each year to an early grave, a report in Hazards magazine has revealed. The Hazards report says “the UK’s prevention strategy – or absence of one – is based on a fatal mixture of a lack of the right intelligence and lack of give-a-damn. All topped up with a dose of industry foul play.”
Fuming feature, Diesel out prevention factsheet and Die diesel die pin-up-at-work poster. Hazards 144, October-December 2018.
Diesel exhaust in the workplace: A TUC guide for trade union activists, October 2018. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

Britain: Health trust fined over nurse stabbings
A health trust has been fined £300,000 after two nurses were repeatedly stabbed by a patient at a mental health centre in Kent. Sentencing the trust, Mr Justice Edis QC criticised procedures that were meant to ensure all knives were locked up and out of reach of patients as “ad hoc and inadequate.”
HSE news release. Gravesend Reporter. BBC News Online. Health Service Journal. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

Britain: Care company fines workers £50 for calling in sick
One of Britain’s biggest providers of agency care workers has been fining staff who phone in sick £50, raising concerns that frontline employees are being forced to turn up for shifts when they are not fit for work and risk spreading illnesses to vulnerable patients. An investigation by the Guardian found Newcross Healthcare Solutions has failed to pay its employees if they cancel shifts because of illness without 24 hours’ notice, and has also docked money from their pay.
The Guardian and follow-up story. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

Britain: New farming attitudes needed, says safety watchdog
Farmers are being told they must pay closer attention to how they manage workplace risks or face serious penalties. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said its forthcoming inspection blitz will review health and safety standards on farms across the country.
HSE news release. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

Britain: Company director jailed for illegal chemicals sales
Company director Nicholas Corbett has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for the online sale of products containing prohibited substances. The company was selling paint stripper containing dichloromethane (DCM), which is restricted under the REACH regulations as well as was selling a prohibited plant protection product containing sodium chlorate.
HSE news release. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

Australia: Call for killer bosses to be jailed  
“Kill a worker: go to jail.” That was the cry led by Christy Cain, the Western Australian branch secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, as the opposition Labor Party passed a resolution calling for industrial manslaughter laws on the final day of its national conference.
MUA news release and video of Christy Cain’s conference speech. The Guardian. Risks 880. 12 January 2019
Global: Deaths on docks spur urgent union safety plan
A global union has launched a major campaign to address the ‘appalling’ fatality record in the dock industry. The Dockers’ Section Occupational Safety and Health Working Group of the international transport unions’ federation ITF launched its new work programme in December 2018.
ITF news release and related release. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

Global: IFJ records 94 media worker killings in 2018
The International Federation of Journalists’ annual list of media workers killed doing their job shows that 84 journalists, camera operators, fixers and technicians died in targeted killings, bomb attacks and cross-fire incidents. Ten other media staff members who worked as drivers, protection officers and a sales assistant also lost their lives.
IFJ news release and Killed List 2018. NUJ news release. Courthouse News.
IFJ Safety Fund. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

USA: Miners’ lung epidemic could have been stopped
A multiyear investigation by US national radio station NPR and the PBS documentary TV programme Frontline has confirmed a widespread outbreak of the advanced stage of black lung disease, known as complicated black lung or progressive massive fibrosis. Their analysis of federal regulatory data — decades of information recorded by dust-collection monitors placed where coal miners work — has revealed “a tragic failure to recognise and respond to clear signs of danger,” where regulators were urged to take specific and direct action to stop it, but they didn't.
All things considered, NPR. Confined Space. The Guardian. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

Britain: Action call after sharp rise in ‘hidden’ lorry driver deaths
Transport union Unite has called for urgent changes to how the deaths of workers and members of the public killed and injured in road accidents involving lorries are recorded, after research found a 50 per cent increase in lorry driver deaths. Following a freedom of information request the union, which represents thousands of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers, discovered that the number of lorry drivers killed in road accidents increased by 50 per cent in 12 months, from 14 in 2016 to 21 in 2017.
Unite news release. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

Britain: Call for action over the London bus ‘killing machine’
The union GMB has called for ‘decisive action’ to address chilling new evidence of the devastating toll of serious injuries involving London buses. The union says eight people were killed and 719 very seriously injured in incidents involving the capital’s fleet of buses in the 12 months from July 2017 to June 2018.
GMB news release. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

Britain: Incidents up, firefighter numbers down
Firefighters are expected to do more with less, putting public safety at risk, the firefighters’ union FBU has said. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The need for firefighters in all their roles is increasing, and yet year on year we are seeing appalling cuts to the service. Fire and rescue services in England are expected to do more with less, putting public safety at risk.”
FBU news release. Morning Star. Risks 880.
Hazards news, 12 January 2019

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