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Hazards 165, January-March 2024


Limitless They are there to protect you from everything from drop dead poisons to delayed death carcinogens. But, warns Hazards editor Rory O’Neill, while Europe’s workers have benefited from a succession of tighter chemical standards since Brexit took effect in 2020, not a single more protective workplace exposure limit has been introduced in Britain. more

Dust to dust They’re everywhere. Engineered stone kitchen countertops look good and cost less. But there’s a catch, says Hazards editor Rory O’Neill. The workers making them are being struck at frightening speed by lung-destroying silicosis. In parliament, the UK government insisted “nobody” has been harmed. But down the road, hospital lung specialists are telling a different story. more

Hospital cases A suicide in a hospital. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecutes a health board on criminal charges under health and safety law. So, asks Rory O’Neill, why does the workplace safety regulator see a crime by the employer when a patient dies, but not when the same safety mismanagement leads to a hospital worker taking her own life? more

Rep prep At some point every safety rep is likely to find themselves sitting opposite a manager to discuss a health and safety issue. Whether it’s a safety committee meeting with someone from HR taking minutes or an informal chat, this can be daunting for a new rep. So, it’s useful to have a bit of a checklist for when we meet management. more


Bad climate Hot, cold, wet and wild. The weather is getting more unpredictable and more extreme. Rory O'Neill looks at the new risks emerging as a result of the climate crisis which have seen emergency preparedness become an essential part of a workplace safety policy. more


Weathering work Working through the climate crisis A Hazards pin-up-at-work poster. more


Hazardous substances 14-15. News in brief 16-19. Harassment 20-21. Violence 22-23. Mental health 30-31. Work and health 34-35. Deadly business 36-37. International news 42-45.


Send an e-postcard to HSE demanding it introduce a more protective silica standard no higher than 0.05mg/m³ and with a phased move to 0.025mg/m³.