Hazards 74

April - June 2001

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Asbestos * Great Britain's runaway killer * Workers' Memorial Day * 28 April 2001

SUMMARY A TUC analysis of asbestos death rates shows asbestos-related mesothelioma and lung cancer may soon be the main cause of male cancer deaths. Already, asbestos kills a quarter more people every year than road traffic accidents. TUC's Owen Tudor reports.

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NO MORE WORKING WEAK? Whose hands on your genes? TUC calls for a ban on unfair genetic screening

SUMMARY In February 2001, scientists announced they had mapped out the entire human genetic code. Medics were elated, predicting remedies for deadly diseases; the press latched onto every promise of "golden bullets" and "miracle cures". The news was less rosy for the workforce, though, as employers and insurers saw an opportunity to winnow out the weak or susceptible from the workplace.

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ORGANISE! So you know the job is dangerous. What now?

SUMMARY You slip, trip, fall. You are exposed to toxic chemicals. You lift, you carry, you get strains. You are stressed to the eyeballs. All of this and the law says you should be safe and healthy at work. Hazards looks at how safety reps can organise to close the reality gap on workplace safety. Union workplaces are safer workplaces. This isn't a matter of chance or because unions are only to be found in safer firms. It is because unions provide the voice, skills and the workplace muscle needed to secure improvements.

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HAZARDS 74, 2001

3 CONTENTS More information: PDF

4-5 GRAVE CONCERN TUC research shows more people die each year of asbestos cancers than die in road traffic accidents. Asbestos cancers are set to be the single largest cause of male cancer deaths.

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6-7 WORKERS' MEMORIAL DAY 28 April 2001 is Workers' Memorial Day. This year unions and campaigners nationwide will be highlighting Britain's growing asbestos scandal. PDFSubscribe

8-13 NEWS IN BRIEF Big business must come clean. Cigarettes smokescreen. Unethical business. Tories silly plan to axe HSE. Employer stress. Hardening arteries. Dead at the desk. Protecting pregnancies. What price on your life? Class struggles, child labour.

14-15 NO MORE WORKING WEAK? Genetic screening could be coming to a workplace near you. The TUC calls for a ban on this discriminatory, immoral and scientifically suspect alternative to safe workplaces.

CENTREPAGES. ORGANISE! You know the job's dangerous, but what can you do? Hazards looks at how unions can organise to ensure the workplace is safe.

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18-19 CHEMICALS CHARADE The US chemical industry is set to scupper a global "responsible care" programme for chemical safety. Unions take up the challenge. President Bush and his poisonous policies.

20-25 WHAT THE UNIONS SAY Extreme monitoring. Screeching headsets. End the construction carnage. What's a rep to do? Safety rep training win. Stop whingeing, CBI. Union training boost. The Hazards Questionnaire. Partner me. Bad partner. Collar Cape plc. Businessmen behaving badly.

26-31 RESOURCES Events, reviews, A-Z of recent HSE and HSC publications.