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Britain: Adhesive firm comes unstuck as worker loses thumb
An adhesive tape manufacturer has been prosecuted after a 19-year-old agency worker severed his thumb in machinery at a factory in Wellingborough. Joe Reynolds had only been working at Latrave Ltd for three weeks when the incident happened on 25 August 2010.
HSE news releaseNorthamptonshire Evening TelegraphRisks 55726 May 2012

Britain: Waste giant Veolia burned agency worker
Serial safety offending waste management firm Veolia Environmental Services has been fined after an agency worker was seriously burned by hot ash at an incineration depot in Deptford, London. The Eastern European employee sustained 17 per cent burns to his body whilst cleaning ash from a filtration hopper at the Veolia plant on 29 December 2009.
HSE news releaseRisks 5545 May 2012

Britain: Contractor fined after demolition tragedy
A building contractor has been fined after a worker was killed by a falling piece of masonry dislodged by his own son during a poorly planned demolition job. Agency workers Jamie Ford, 24, and his father, Stephen Ford, 50, were working under the control of contractor Do It Al to demolish a barn at Dunbury Farmhouse in Winterbourne Houghton near Blandford in November 2008.
HSE news release and demolition webpagesConstruction EnquirerRisks 5545 May 2012

Britain: Deadly docks anger of bereaved mum
A grieving mum whose young son was killed in a horrific dockwork incident has said she is “appalled” at the government’s ‘low risk’ designation for the industry and plans to remove docks-specific safety laws.
LabournetSimon Jones Memorial Campaign and facebook news releaseRisks 54717 March 2012

Britain: Campaigners to remember dead dock worker
Agency worker Tim Elton, who died aged 28 at Immingham Dock on 27 January 2012 and who is one of the deaths listed in research by Hazards magazine that uncovered five dock work deaths since 23 October 2011, will be commemorated in 28 April Workers’ Memorial Day events in Immingham, Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
Grimsby TelegraphSafety in the dock, Hazards magazine, number 117, 2012 • 17 March 2012

Britain: New rights for agency workers
Hundreds of thousands of agency workers across the UK will benefit from improved working conditions as a result of new equal treatment rights for temps. Although general health and safety laws apply to all workers regardless of their employment status, the new law will deliver some new rights on working hours and facilities that do fall in part under a workplace safety heading.
TUC news release and agency worker adviceCWU news releaseRisks 5251 October 2011

Britain: ThyssenKrupp in court again
A global car components manufacturer has been fined after an agency worker fractured and burned a finger while operating a welding machine. Thyssenkrupp Tallent Ltd also currently awaiting a crown court hearing on criminal charges relating to the crushing death on 8 July 2009 of Paul Clark, 52, at its plant in Aycliffe, County Durham and earlier this year its top executive in Italy was jailed for the murder of seven workers in a December 2007 factory fire.
HSE news releaseRisks 51416 July 2011

Britain: AMEC and RWE npower guilty over death
Contractor AMEC and energy giant RWE npower have been fined £450,000 after a maintenance worker fell to his death at a South Wales power station. Agency worker Christopher Booker fell 12m through an unprotected opening in a working platform at Aberthaw Power Station in June 2007.
HSE news releaseConstruction Enquirer • The Guardian • BBC News OnlineRisks 50911 June 2011

Britain: Put agency workers on fair ground
Retail union Usdaw is campaigning for a fair deal for agency workers. It’s ‘Put Agency Workers on Fair Ground’ campaign says the UK has the highest use of agency workers across all of the major industrial countries – higher than Japan, the USA and the whole of Europe.
Put Agency Workers on Fair Ground website and related facebook groupRisks 5084 June 2011

Britain: Greenhouse giant probed for 'sweatshop labour'
Working conditions at Britain's largest greenhouse complex Thanet Earth are being investigated by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) after the union Unite claimed agency workers at the vegetable growing site in Kent are being treated like “sweatshop labour.”
Unite news releaseBBC News OnlineThe GuardianEthical Trading Initiative base-codeRisks 5047 May 2011

Japan: Temp workers suffer nuclear fall out
Unions have long contended that precarious workers have higher rates of injuries and illness on the job. Now global union federation IUF is warning precarious work is also the hidden underside of the Japanese nuclear power industry, where contract workers have an average level of radiation exposure 16 times that of the small layer of permanent workers.
IUF news reportNew York TimesAsahi ShimbunBBC News OnlineIMF precarious work webpagesRisks 50216 April 2011

Britain: Chemical spray left sprayer sore
An international utilities company has been fined after an agency worker suffered skin problems caused by prolonged exposure to a hazardous chemical. Laing O'Rourke Utilities Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after Peter Johnson, 48, from Exeter, suffered sore skin around his face after several weeks of exposure to isocyanate between July and August 2007.
HSE news releaseRisks 49819 March 2011

Britain: Chemicals harmed agency farm workers
A company has been fined after three workers were taken to hospital following a chemical incident at a Spalding vegetable grower and supplier. Spalding Magistrates' Court heard a Latvian agency worker at Emmett UK Ltd was cleaning food processing machinery when he accidentally mixed two cleaning chemicals which reacted together to produce a toxic gas.
HSE news releaseSpalding TodayRisks 49712 March 2011

Britain: Law fails blacklisted agency worker
The construction giant Carillion has admitted a construction worker was blacklisted because of his trade union activities and efforts to improve site safety, but has escaped responsibility because he was an agency worker. The revelation came during an employment tribunal brought against the firm by engineer and former UCATT safety rep Dave Smith.
Blacklist blogDaily MirrorConstruction EnquirerMorning StarSocialist WorkerRisks 54028 January 2011

Britain: Council risks agency staff's safety
Birmingham City Council has been accused of providing insufficient protective clothing to agency workers unions say were brought in to undermine refuse collection industrial action in the city. Directly employed refuse collectors in the city have been working to rule since 22 December last year.
Birmingham MailMorning StarUCATT news releaseRisks 48915 January 2011

Britain: Agency worker died on first day at work
A Newmarket retail display firm has been fined £80,000 after a worker was crushed to death by a stack of glass he was unloading on his first day at work. Vitalijus Orlovas, 29, an agency worker originally from Lithuania, was unloading 100kg plus sheets of glass from a shipping container at Arken PoP's site in St Neots when they fell on him. He suffered crush injuries and died at the scene.
HSE news releaseRisks 4888 January 2011

Britain: Fabric roll crushed agency worker’s arm
Leather Limited, a Peterborough fabric manufacturer, has been fined after a worker’s arm was so badly crushed he had to have metal plates inserted to help support his broken bones. Agency worker Robert Dunn, 32, was operating a fabric winding machine on 4 November 2009 when his left arm was drawn into a roll of material and crushed, breaking all three arm bones.
HSE news release, textiles and risk assessment webpages, and guide to the 
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 [pdf] • Risks 47525 September 2010

Britain: HSE targets meat industry risks
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued new instructions to inspectors on how to police safety at meat and poultry factories. The move follows an official inquiry that uncovered widespread mistreatment and exploitation of migrant and agency workers in the meat and poultry processing sector.
Usdaw information noteInspection of meat/poultry factories 2010/11, SIM 01/2010/01, HSE • Risks 453 24 April 2010

Britain: Vulnerable meat workers 'exploited'
An official inquiry has uncovered widespread mistreatment and exploitation of migrant and agency workers in the meat and poultry processing sector. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation found workers reported physical and verbal abuse and a lack of proper health and safety protection.
EHRC news release and report [pdf] •   Unite news releaseThe GuardianBBC News OnlineRisks 44820 March 2010

Britain: Peat firm fined after agency worker death
Horticulture firm Humax Horticulture Ltd has been fined £23,300 following the death of an agency worker in southern Scotland. Colin McCourt, 55, of Annan, died when a tip bucket he was welding moved and crushed him.
HSE news release • BBC News Online • Risks 425 • 26 September 2009

Korea: Stress killed insecure worker            
A Korean court has ruled that an employer is liable for the death of a female worker who died of stress caused by job insecurity. Judge Seo Tae-hwan of the Seoul Administrative Court said in the ruling: “It’s apparent that the deceased was under extreme stress over her job insecurity for five years during which she was a non-permanent worker at Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO).”
Korea Times • 5 September 2009

Britain: Poor protection leads to turkey firm fine
A food firm has fined after an agency worker who had not been provided with a protective apron accidentally stabbed himself with a knife – the fourth stabbing incident at the firm. Robert Bogdan, from Hungary, suffered a 4 inch-deep stab wound while working on the turkey processing line at Cranberry Foods in Scropton in August 2008.
HSE news release • Burton Mail • 5 September 2009

Australia: Casual work upsets mental health
Men who work in full-time casual jobs report significantly lower levels of mental health than those who are permanently employed.
The AgeProject briefing • Does casual employment affect workers' self-rated health? The case of Australia, Guangyu Zhang and Sue Richardson, Flinders University, 2009 [abstract] • IMF precarious work campaignRisks 41518 July 2009

Britain: New rights plan for agency workers
Agency workers are set to get the same pay and conditions as permanent staff, the government has said. Launching a consultation on the changes, the government said the new rights would build on last year's agreement between TUC and Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
BERR news releaseTUC news releaseUnite news releaseUCATT news releaseRisks 40616 May 2009

Britain: Job insecurity causes lasting stress
Job insecurity is causing lasting anxiety and stress, with men worse affected than women. A Cambridge University study found that when unemployed men move into insecure jobs, they show no improvement in psychological health and reported the long-term decline in mental well-being can also be worse for people who are under threat of losing their jobs than for those who are actually made redundant.
The ScotsmanPersonnel TodayRisks 39714 March 2009

Britain: Firm fined after agency worker fall
A firm has been fined £3,500 after an agency worker fell from a platform, breaking his pelvis. Oil & Gas Systems Ltd (OGSL) was also ordered to pay costs of £2,457.80 after pleading guilty to safety offences.
HSE news releaseRisks 3801 November 2008

Britain: Recycling firm fined after lorry fall
A recycling company has been fined £2,500 after an agency worker suffered serious injuries in a fall from a lorry. European Metal Recycling Ltd was also ordered to pay £2,454 costs by Lincoln magistrates after pleading guilty to a breach of the work at height regulations.
HSE news release and falls from vehicles webpageRisks 37818 October 2008

Britain: Health and safety and agency workers
A new health and safety briefing from the union Unite provides detailed guidance on health and safety and agency workers. There’s a detailed summary of relevant health and safety law, too, and how this relates to other employment laws. On top of this, there are case histories, a listing of sources of further information, a detailed checklist for union safety reps and a pin-up-at-work ‘make sure you’re protected’ poster to direct workers to these reps.
Unite health and safety briefing: Focus on agency workers [pdf] • Unite agency workers campaignRisks 3764 October 2008

Global: Insecure jobs have more health problems
Workers who do not have job security develop more physical and mental health problems compared to their full-time counterparts. Research conducted by Dr Carles Muntaner from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto confirmed that job insecurity can lead to anxiety and depression, which can then cause cardiovascular and other physical ailments.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), September 2008. Science Daily news release, 16 September 2008. Risks 37420 September 2008

Britain: BAE fined after worker badly burned
A major munitions company has been fined £50,000 after a 21-year-old agency worker was severely burned when pyrotechnic substances ignited. BAE Systems Land Systems (Munitions and Ordnance) Ltd was also ordered to pay costs of £15,000 at Cardiff Crown Court.
Risks 2726 September 2008

Britain: Agency worker loses a finger
A Staffordshire fence manufacturer has received a £2,000 fine after an agency worker’s finger was cut off by an unguarded saw. The Fence Factory Ltd was also ordered to pay costs of £2,645 at Stafford Magistrates’ Court after admitting a safety breach.
HSE news releaseRisks 35724 May 2008

Britain: Mystery worker reveals temp exploitation
Agency working is being used to undercut the terms of employment of permanent workers, the union Unite has warned. The alert came after a Unite member went 'undercover' to experience the plight of agency workers. The union says he found an insecure world of work where no national insurance was paid, contracts of work did not exist and no workplace training or basic safety equipment was provided.
Unite news releaseTUC agency workers briefingRisks 34423 February 2008

Britain: Outrage at ‘paltry’ bakery death fines
Campaigners have denounced “paltry” fines totalling £33,500 imposed on two companies after the death of an agency worker. Father-of-four Graham Meldrum, 40, died after being hit by a faulty tail-lift on his truck at the former Allied Bakery plant in Maryhill, Glasgow.
STUC news releaseFACK news release10 November 2007

Britain: Unite tribunal victory for agency workers
Thousands of agency workers will now be entitled to greater employment rights following a tribunal win by the union Unite. The case pursued by the union’s TGWU section ended in victory when an Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) ruled in favour of a group of Polish workers in the food processing industry, saying they should be considered employees rather than self-employed.
Unite news release 26 May 2007

HSE is broke
The official safety watchdog is broke, can’t do its job and is haemorrhaging staff. Hazards editor Rory O’Neill predicts over-stretched and under-protected workers will soon get sick of being fed the government’s healthy lifestyle and “work is good for you” line.
Hazards issue 96, October/December 2006

Global: Union call for controls on precarious work
Working conditions are under constant threat as a result of the increasingly precarious nature of work, according to a report from the global metalworkers’ union federation IMF.
Risks 26117 June 2006



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Job insecurity -
the deadly hazards
of precarious work

Insecure work is not just unfair, it's downright unhealthy. Hazards challenges the dangerous shift to increasingly precarious work.

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