July - September 1999
AT A GLANCE
1- 3: ASBESTOS: A DYING INDUSTRY Asbestos bans are imminent
in the UK and across the European Union. But will Canada's campaign
for global free trade in toxins overturn these bans?
SAFETY RESPECT New look safety reps - with qualifications. TUC's
plans for the future, including safety rep qualifications and partnerships
on safety. UNISON branch negotiates a Provisional Improvement Notice
(PINs) system. TUC launches a health and safety website. Employers'
organisation CBI fears union partnerships.
IS PARTNERSHIP GOOD FOR YOU? Top US union adviser Charley Richardson
argues that union reps should be wary of partnership pitfalls. As
industrial strife reaches a record low in the UK, safety remains
a top reason for industrial action.
NEWS IN BRIEF The business of bullying. Spot the insecticide
- UNISON campaign. Scotland's double jeopardy - workplaces are twice
as deadly. Breast cancer at work. Hi-tech offices can be high risk.
CANCER EPIDEMICS AT WORK Twenty years ago two Italian workers
spotted a cancer epidemic in their workplace. Over a hundred workers
died in a bladder cancer outbreak missed by scientists, medics,
the company doctor, the factory's owners and managers. Detective
work by the two workers led to massive compensation payouts, fines
and jail sentences for the factory owners, managers and the company
doctor. Today in the UK more hidden workplace cancer epidemics are
DEAR BILL... LETTER FROM HAZARDS TO THE NEW HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMISSION
CHAIR Hazards welcomes the new HSC chair Bill Callaghan to the
job - and points out some of the challenges ahead, including reducing
industry's heavy influence on the decision making process.
FACTSHEET No.67: WOMEN HURT AT WORK Women are at greater risk
from many common workplace hazards - because their jobs place them
at greater risk. Hazards promotes the TUC "gender agenda" on workplace
health and safety. (html version)
UNHEALTHY STANDARDS Hazards calls for some level thinking on
workplace chemical exposure standards. ICEM launches new occupational
health and safety website. HSE's new chemical safety guidance is
"essentially better". Laws on chemicals at work. New chemicals handbook
from the London Hazards Centre.
SAFETY REPS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE WORKPLACE Environment Agency
board member Alan Dalton - until recently national health and safety
co-ordinator for a major UK trade union - calls for safety reps
to become environment reps too.
WHAT THE UNIONS SAY... ON STRAINS Europe's unions are to launch
the first continent-wide trade union health and safety campaign
- on strain injury prevention. A detailed new guide, Europe Under
Strain, has been produced. A series of union compensation victories
in the courts reinforce the message that strains are a costly problem
at work. UNISON backed research shows cleaners are suffering more
than their share of strain injuries.
19: WHAT THE UNIONS SAY UNISON calls for safer needles and is
calling for a new law. A new UNISON RiskWise CD provides on-screen
training for safety reps. GMB issues new guides on retail hazards
and risk assessment. Unions press for action on workplace violence.
HARD LABOUR You work the longest hours in Europe - but the government
is worried about business. Amendments to the working hours regulations
will leave over a million white collar workers without proper protection
from long hours - a move unions plan to challenge in the European
Court. T&G announces 5 October will be a day of action on drivers'
hours and fatigue.
21: STRESS Official safety body backs union calls for a
legally enforceable work stress code of practice. HSE study shows
one in five workers are now very stressed or worse. New study says
work is now less secure and more intense than at any time since
the war. A rash of large union-won compensation payouts for stress
could be the first of hundreds.
HAZNEWS Deaths in the power trade. Reduce lead, improve sperm.
Vanadium pentoxide may cause cancer, does damage lungs.
A-Z of recent HSC and HSE publications.
order issue 67 click here