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					Number 526 –8 October 2011




Risks is the TUC's weekly online bulletin for safety reps and others, read each week
by over 18,000 subscribers and 1,500 on the TUC website. To receive this bulletin
every week, click here. Past issues are available. This edition contains Useful links
TUC courses for safety reps Disclaimer and Privacy

Editor: Rory O'Neill of Hazards magazine. Comments to the TUC at
healthandsafety@tuc.org.uk


Contents
Union News
  Coastguards believe government cuts risk safety
  Warning on ‘dangerous and unregulated’ site work
  Union support for piracy victims
  Sellafield worker injured by faulty equipment
Other news
  Work stress soars with job insecurity
  New warning on upwards work deaths trend
  Cameron makes safety his whipping boy again
  Safety minister again snubs safety victims
  Oil giant challenges official safety notice
  Three seriously hurt in recycling firm blast
  Waitress suffers fractured pelvis
  Site firm pays £318,000 for asbestos death
  Car parts firm guilty after crushing death
  Forklift fall could have killed
  Box factory fall caused severe head injuries
International News
  China: Seventeen die in coal mine blast
  Global: Secretive PR firm pushes asbestos
  Japan: Overwork suicide payout is upheld
  USA: When they slam ‘regulations’, they mean ‘safety’
Events and Courses
  TUC courses for safety reps
  European Week for Safety and Health at Work, 24 -28 October
Useful Links
Union News
Coastguards believe government cuts risk safety


Coastguard staff believe the government's latest bid to cut their
jobs and close stations will put the public at risk. In a consultative
ballot conducted by PCS, of the union's 570 members in the
Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), 86 per cent of respondents
said they had no confidence the proposals will protect the public's
safety. In what the union describes as “a further blow to ministers
and management”, 99 per cent said they supported the union's
demand for full and open consultation on the plans, something so
far in little evidence as the government cooks up its proposal
behind closed doors. PCS is currently finalising its submission to the
latest consultation by the MCA over proposals to cut more than 140
jobs and close eight coastguard stations around the UK in bid to
meet government budget cuts. Public outrage over the
government's initial plans for far more extensive cuts led to a
partial climbdown (Risks 515). But the union argues the MCA has still
failed to make its case and says the new proposals will lead to
chronic understaffing and a dangerous loss of local knowledge, and
so should be scrapped. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said:
“Coastguard staff and the public have roundly rejected these cuts,
and we have very serious concerns they will put lives at risk. The
government should heed these concerns, scrap the plans and sit
down with us to talk about how to develop a safe, reliable and
professional coastguard service for the future.”


   PCS news release.




Warning on ‘dangerous and unregulated’ site work


Almost one in every five workers is now classified as „vulnerable‟, a
report for construction union UCATT has found. Based on a review
of the current enforcement regime and interviews with construction
workers, „The hidden workforce building Britain‟ says many are
working in “slavery like” conditions, wait in car parks to get work as
day labourers and are typically employed in dangerous and
unregulated work. In one case history, an illegal immigrant reports
working in London for £4 per hour and being required to use
chemicals without any protective equipment. “Me and other people
who used this chemical used to get nose bleeds and itching when
we used it,” he told the researchers. “No one warned us about the
effects or told us what to do to protect ourselves. Some of the other
guys left because of this but I stayed because it was hard for me to
find work anywhere else.” The report warns that workers in the
construction industry have a lower level of protection than workers
in the food-related sectors covered by the Gangmasters Licensing
Agency (GLA). It calls for the creation of a single independent
labour inspectorate, which would be based on the GLA model but
would cover all industrial sectors. The report argues that this beefed
up body, which would police all employment standards, should have
sufficient resources to dramatically increase its levels of proactive
inspections. UCATT says this would “ensure that there is a major
crackdown on exploitative employers.” The union‟s acting general
secretary, George Guy, commented: “It is time that the
government and the employers accept the unpalatable truths about
how the construction industry operates. Only effective regulation by
a strong enforcement regime will end exploitation in the
construction industry.”


   UCATT news releaseand the full report, The hidden workforce
    building Britain: Exposing exploitation and protecting vulnerable
    workers in construction [pdf].




Union support for piracy victims


A support organisation for victims of piracy at sea has been
launched this week, thanks to major backing from a UK-based trade
union charity. The new Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response
Programme (MPHRP) is intended to help seafarers and families cope
with the physical and mental trauma caused by torture and abuse
at the hands of pirates. The initiative is co-funded by the ITF
Seafarers‟ Trust charity and brings together an alliance of
shipowners, trade unions, managers, crewing agents, insurers and
welfare associations representing the entire shipping industry, from
crews to owners. ITF – the International Transport Workers‟
Federation – is the global union federation for the transport sector
worldwide. Its charitable wing supports projects to benefit the
welfare of seafarers. Roy Paul, of the ITF Seafarers‟ Trust and who
is the MPHRP programme manager, commented: “Until now, there
has been little coordinated help for those who are suffering. Now
that will change. With the help of those in the industry who want to
do their best for those involved, we intend to build up a network of
first responders and get psychosocial help for affected crews.” He
added: “We have already been listening to seafarers and recording
their experiences. Those will lay the foundation for new guides for
seafarers, families and employers, for training in their use, and for
building the networks of human and medical help that are now
desperately needed.” ITF says over the last eight years it is
believed that some 4,000 seafarers have been attacked by pirates
or have been victims of armed robbers while at work onboard.


   ITF news release. MPHRP website. ITF Seafarers‟ Trust.




Sellafield worker injured by faulty equipment


A nuclear power worker needed surgery for a knee injury caused by
a piece of faulty equipment at work at the Sellafield Nuclear
Reprocessing Facility. Unite member Peter Straughton, 39, suffered
the injury on a turnstile at the Seascale plant that management
knew was broken, but had failed to repair. Mr Straughton, a
manufacturing team leader, had to use the security turnstile to
make his way from changing rooms to the main work area. A
magnet in the turnstile should have stopped it rotating further than
90 degrees, but was broken so the turnstile kept rotating and
caught his leg. He was taken to hospital, where they found he had
suffered a soft tissue injury to his right knee, severe bruising to his
left knee and soft tissue injuries to his right elbow. He needed right
knee surgery two months later. As a result of the injuries, he had to
take four weeks off work and was on light duties for six weeks after
returning to work following the knee surgery. Sellafield admitted
liability and agreed an undisclosed out-of-court compensation
payout. Unite regional secretary Paul Finegan commented:
“Sellafield‟s Seascale site plays an important role in the
decommissioning of the UK‟s nuclear waste. With the obvious risks
which come with the job at the plant, health and safety should be
top of management‟s agenda. It isn‟t good enough to manage just
nuclear health and safety risks and overlook basic maintenance
which, as here, has the potential to injure employees.” Lyndsay
Milligan from Thompsons Solicitors, the law firm brought in by the
union to act in the case, added: “No attempt was made by
Sellafield‟s management to replace the faulty magnet in the
turnstile even though the risk had been reported.”


   Thompsons Solicitors news release.




Other news
Work stress soars with job insecurity


Stress is now the number one cause of long-term absence across a
workforce increasingly affected by job insecurity, a Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey has found.
The CIPD/Simplyhealth Absence Management survey concludes that
for the first time stress is the most common cause of long-term
sickness absence for both manual and non-manual employees. A
link between job security and mental health problems is also
revealed in the survey. Employers planning to make redundancies
in the next six months are significantly more likely to report an
increase in mental health problems among their staff, it found, with
51 per cent reporting problems compared to 32 per cent who are
not planning redundancies. For manual workers, stress is now level
with acute medical conditions and has overtaken musculoskeletal
problems to become the top cause of long-term absence. Among
non-manual staff, stress has moved ahead of acute medical
conditions. Job insecurity is also reported as a more common cause
of work-related stress in the public sector this year, where the 24
per cent stress reporting rate is about double that for the private
sector, mirroring the relative redundancy risk identified in the
survey. Commenting on the CIPD findings, TUC general secretary
Brendan Barber said: “These figures show that the cuts, job losses,
restructurings and pay inequalities are having more than just an
economic effect. They are having a serious impact on people's
health.” He added: “Unfortunately there is still a tendency amongst
many employers to think of it as „just stress‟ but this is a real issue
which can devastate people‟s lives and tear apart families. Stress is
also avoidable and the TUC endorses the view of the CIPD that
more needs to be done at both senior and line manager level to
prevent it.”


   CIPD news release. TUC news release. Daily Mail.




New warning on upwards work deaths trend


Last year‟s sharp increase in deaths at work looks set to continue
and could be accelerating, latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
statistics suggest. HSE figures published online this week show 51
people died at work across the UK from April to June 2011, up 20
per cent on the quarterly average in 2010/2011. A total of 171
workers died that year, up from 147 workers in 2009/10. David
Urpeth, head of workplace injuries at personal injury law firm Irwin
Mitchell, said he was “incredibly concerned” about the latest figures.
“This figure of 51 people dying at work in the early part of the
summer is a very troubling increase, significantly above the
average death rate. We have to hope that the pattern is not
repeated for the rest of the year. However, already since June, we
have seen the heartbreaking case of the four Welsh miners who
died – we can only hope that no more lives are lost needlessly at
work.” Urpeth added that cost-driven changes to HSE‟s enforcement
approach risk putting even more workers‟ lives in jeopardy. “The
HSE is in a difficult position – we understand it is under pressure
from government ministers to reduce the regulatory burden on
business, but it cannot ignore its primary function and that is to
enforce strict standards of at-work health and safety.” Ministers
have instructed HSE to conduct a third fewer proactive „surprise‟
inspections, with entire sectors now effectively exempted from
official HSE policing (Risks 512). Even before these changes took
effect, HSE was only investigating 1-in-19 major injuries, and fewer
than 1-in-50 major injuries was the subject of any HSE enforcement
action (Risks 507).


   Irwin Mitchell news release. HSE statistical summary April-June 2011.




Cameron makes safety his whipping boy again


The prime minister‟s inclination to blame safety for the ills of the
economy and society has surfaced yet again. After first blaming
health and safety for August‟s riots (Risks 521), David Cameron has
now decided “the shadow of health and safety” is holding back
Britain. In his keynote address to this week‟s Conservative Party
conference in Manchester, he said “one of the biggest things
holding people back is the shadow of health and safety.” This was
followed by one of his more widely reported soundbites. “This isn‟t
how a great nation was built. Britannia didn't rule the waves with
arm-bands on,” he said. Safety professionals‟ organisation IOSH
reacted with disappointment to the speech. IOSH head of policy and
public affairs Richard Jones commented: “We think it‟s a shame that
the prime minister‟s speech mistakenly cites health and safety as
„holding people back‟ – the opposite is true! Good health and safety
enables enterprise and volunteering to happen successfully and so
helps ensure sustainability and growth. It‟s all about good sense
and proportionality and we simply don‟t recognise the negative
picture being painted here – it isn‟t real health and safety.” The TUC
found the whole tenor of David Cameron‟s speech and the Tory
conference “disappointing”. TUC general secretary Brendan Barber
said: “If the prime minister really felt the nation's pain, he would
change course.” He added: “If we judge people by what they do,
rather than what they say, ministers believe that unemployment
will be solved by getting tougher with the jobless and that they will
restore economic growth by increasing the number of unfair
dismissals."


   David Cameron‟s 5 October 2011 speech to the Conservative Party Conference.
    TUC news release. SHP Online.
Safety minister again snubs safety victims


The government‟s health and safety minister has been accused of
treating the families of those killed at work with contempt as he yet
again ignored a request to meet them. Families Against Corporate
Killers (FACK) has requested meetings with DWP minister Chris
Grayling three times in recent months so it can explain its grave
concerns over cuts to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and
the government‟s push to further reduce regulation and
enforcement. On each occasion, Mr Grayling has ignored or declined
to meet the group. Over the same period, however, he has agreed
to meetings with all the major business groups and with insurers to
hear their concerns about workplace safety (Risks 520). On the final
day of the Tory Party conference in Manchester this week, a
delegation of FACK members attempted unsuccessfully to doorstep
the minister to raise their concerns. FACK founder member Linzi
Herbertson, who lost her first husband in a work-related incident 13
years ago as a result of the criminal negligence of his employer,
was one of the snubbed relatives. “I just want the minister to listen
to us, the people who have lost everything through an employer‟s
negligence and utter ignorance of health and safety law. We just
want to meet with the minister to tell him the awful truth of what
families have to face.” She added: “The business lobby that met
Grayling have millions of pounds to donate. We the families only
have our blood.”


   FACK news release. Morning Star.




Oil giant challenges official safety notice


A North Sea oil company is challenging a Health and Safety
Executive (HSE) improvement notice issued because the safety
watchdog said workers were living in overcrowded conditions on an
offshore platform. The improvement notice was issued to Talisman
Energy (UK) Ltd after an inspection of the Tartan Alpha platform.
HSE ordered that changes be made to the accommodation area.
Talisman challenged the notice and a tribunal hearing has been
scheduled for the end of October. A spokesperson for Talisman
said: “Talisman Energy (UK) Ltd can confirm that it has lodged an
appeal against an improvement notice served by the Health and
Safety Executive, in respect of the numbers of personnel that can
be accommodated on the Tartan platform. As the matter will now
be subject to an employment tribunal hearing it would be
inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage.” The
standard of Talisman‟s offshore accommodation has attracted HSE‟s
attention previously. An HSE improvement notice in August 2010
said on one North Sea rig, Talisman had “failed to maintain the
accommodation and its plant to adequate standards of hygiene. In
particular, the sewage drainage system is subject to leakage and
blockages which result in sewage spills.” There have also been more
grave incidents. Talisman was fined £600,000 in 2008 after a
worker was killed on one of its North Sea rigs (Risks 378). The
company is part of Canadian multinational Talisman Energy Inc,
whose current president and CEO John Manzoni took up the post
after resigning as head of BP‟s refining operations in 2007. His
resignation from BP came in the wake of intense criticism following
the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion in which 15 workers died
and 170 were injured (Risks 309).
   BBC News Online. HSE notices issued to Talisman.




Three seriously hurt in recycling firm blast


Three workers remain in hospital following an explosion and major
fire this week on a Surrey industrial estate. Eight people were
injured in the blaze at Hobbs industrial estate in Newchapel, near
Lingfield, on 3 October. The fire is believed to have started in a unit
which recycles IT and electrical items and printer ink cartridges, and
spread to neighbouring units. Two air ambulances were among the
emergency vehicles sent to the scene, while 12 fire engines and
three water carriers tackled the blaze. Those injured were treated
for burns, respiratory problems and head injuries. Reports say over
100 people were moved from surrounding businesses following the
fire and explosion, which local residents said was so loud it shook
their homes. Surrey police said officers are assisting Surrey Fire and
Rescue Service and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in
investigating the cause of the blaze.


   Surrey Police news release. BBC News Online. Surrey Advertiser.




Waitress suffers fractured pelvis


A waitress broke her pelvis after she slipped on a wet restaurant
floor. The 26-year-old from Basildon was finishing her shift at an
Outback Steakhouse in October 2007 when she slipped on water on
the floor near the restaurant‟s dishwasher. She landed heavily on
her right side and fractured her pelvis in two places. The waitress,
whose name has not been released, was working her notice at the
restaurant after securing a full time position in human resources. As
a result of injury she was unable to walk unaided for nearly five
weeks and was in severe pain for eight weeks. She suffered
intermittent pain in her pelvis for several months. Investigations by
lawyers from person injury firm Thompsons, who acted for the
waitress, found the area around the dishwasher was often slippery
but on the night of the incident no wet floor warning signs had been
put up and no attempt had been made to dry the area. Outback
Steakhouse denied liability, but eventually settled the case out of
court for £6,000. Kam Singh from Thompsons Solicitors
commented: “Spillages are common hazards in busy working
kitchens where employers should train staff in wiping them up
straight away and putting up hazard signs.”


   Thompsons Solicitors news release.




Site firm pays £318,000 for asbestos death


The widow and family of a victim of an asbestos cancer have been
awarded personal injury compensation of £318,000. Elizabeth Wolff,
69, from Kilmarnock, lodged a claim for damages after her husband
William, 66, died from mesothelioma in March 2007. Diagnosed
with the terminal disease just one year into his retirement, William
Wolff died seven months later. Contractor Weir Construction Ltd
admitted to negligently exposing Mr Wolff to asbestos while he was
employed by the construction firm. At the Court of Session in
Edinburgh, Judge Lord Doherty said the Mr Wolff and his wife had
started dating as teenagers and had been married 44 years when
Mr Wolff died. They had four children and three grandchildren. Lord
Doherty said: “He had been her only boyfriend. They were a
devoted… loving couple who had been life-long companions. She
was, and is, bereft at the loss of the deceased. She feels robbed of
his love, companionship, help and guidance.” The judge granted the
widow £258,520, including £65,000 for the “exceptional pain” her
husband experienced. Mr Wolff‟s three daughters were also given
compensation awards totalling £52,317, with an additional £7,084
being awarded to a granddaughter. Claims made by other family
members have already been settled.


   Scotsman. Construction Enquirer. BBC News Online.




Car parts firm guilty after crushing death


A County Durham engineering firm has been fined £100,000 after a
worker was crushed to death while clearing a jam on a production
line. Father-of-two Paul Clark, 52, was a multi-skilled fitter at
Tallent Automotive Ltd-Gestamp Automoción. He died on 8 July
2009 after becoming trapped between a moving carriage and its
tracks. At the time he was working for the German multinational
ThyssenKrupp (Risks 504), which sold the firm to Gestamp
Automoción in July this year. Durham Crown Court heard that Mr
Clark had been working in the press shop, which manufactures
components for the car industry. An investigation by the Health and
Safety Executive (HSE) found Mr Clark was attempting to clear a
jam in a pneumatically-powered carriage after it had stopped
halfway along its tracks. He had opened the interlocked safety
gates to gain access within the fenced enclosure of the machine.
This isolated the equipment from the electricity supply, but did not
isolate and make safe the pneumatic power element of the
machine. The carriage moved suddenly and trapped Mr Clark
against the support structure at the end of the tracks. He died as a
result of traumatic asphyxia due to crush injuries. HSE inspector
Martin Baillie said: “It is vitally important that safe isolation
procedures are developed and used before attempting to make
repairs to equipment. In this instance, Tallent Automotive Limited-
Gestamp Automoción has instead relied on the training and
experience of individuals without providing a safe system of work or
adequate information for them. This was a significant cause of the
incident which led to Mr Clark‟s death.” Tallent Automotive Limited-
Gestamp Automoción pleaded guilty to a criminal safety breach and
was fined £100,000. The company was also ordered to pay £44,000
costs.


   HSE news release. Northern Echo.




Forklift fall could have killed


A worker could have been killed when he fell off a forklift truck
while trying to climb onto its roof, a court has heard. The 29-year-
old man from Tyldesley, who has asked not to be named, struck his
head on the ground and was knocked unconscious for several
minutes in the incident at Moss Industrial Estate in Leigh. His
employer, Serviceplan Contracts Ltd, was prosecuted by the Health
and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to make sure the work was
planned, supervised and carried out safely. Trafford Magistrates‟
Court in Sale was told the worker had been trying to climb on the
roof of the forklift to carry out work to the lifting equipment on 3
August 2010. He suffered severe headaches, a painful swelling to
his head, and was off work for one week as a result of the fall. The
HSE investigation found it was common practice for Serviceplan‟s
employees to service the lifting mast and chains on a forklift truck
by climbing on top of it. However, they should have been given a
stepladder or mobile steps to reach the equipment safely. Some of
the work could also have been carried out from the ground.
Serviceplan Contracts Ltd admitted a criminal breach of the Work at
Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1,000 plus £1,000 costs.
Emily Osborne, the investigating inspector at HSE, commented:
“One of Serviceplan‟s employees was knocked unconscious and
suffered a head injury as a result of the fall but it could have been a
lot worse – possibly even fatal.”


   HSE news release   and falls webpages.




Box factory fall caused severe head injuries


A cardboard box manufacturer in Kent has been fined after an
incident in which a delivery driver suffered severe head injuries in a
fall. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought the prosecution
against WE Roberts (Corrugated) Ltd. The incident took place on 27
August 2009 when the worker was delivering flat-packed cardboard
boxes to an address in Eastbourne. The man, whose name has not
been released, was trying to pull a pallet of cardboard boxes across
his trailer from the driver‟s side to the curb side. The pallet
strapping snapped and the worker fell nearly three metres
backwards and 1.5m down onto the pavement. He suffered severe
head injuries, which have had life-changing effects and have meant
he is still not able to return to work. After the hearing, HSE
inspector Michelle Taylor said: “The company failed to adequately
consider the risks that delivery drivers face when they are not on
site. This led to this severe and entirely preventable incident which
has had such a long-lasting and devastating effect on this worker.”
She added: “The outcome of this case reinforces the responsibility
that employers have to all of their workers, wherever they are, not
just those on site under constant supervision.” At Dartford
Magistrates‟ Court, WE Roberts (Corrugated) Ltd pleaded guilty to a
criminal breach of safety law and was fined £20,000 and ordered to
pay costs of £12,190.


   HSE news release. The Argus.




International News
China: Seventeen die in coal mine blast


At least 17 workers have died in a coal mine explosion in
southwestern China. The official Xinhua News Agency says 28
miners were in the shaft when the blast occurred at 7.53 am on 4
October at the Anping Coal Mine, the Lihua Township in the county
of Libo, Guizhou province. Eleven were rescued and were taken to
hospital. Xinhua did not give a cause for the blast. China's coal
mines are the most dangerous in the world, although the industry's
safety record has improved in recent years as smaller, illegal mines
have been closed. Annual fatalities are now about one-third of the
high of nearly 7,000 in 2002.


   Xinhua. Time. Shanghai Daily.




Global: Secretive PR firm pushes asbestos


A major US public relations company is attempting to derail a move
to ban asbestos in Malaysia, but has refused to reveal who is
funding its activities. Washington DC-based APCO Worldwide,
whose previous credits including working for the tobacco industry to
frustrate US government cancer prevention efforts, “is seeking to
undermine an initiative to protect people in Malaysia from cancer
caused by asbestos,” said Kelle Louaillier, president of Corporate
Accountability International. “This is irresponsible corporate
behaviour and must stop.” Kathleen Ruff, a Canadian human rights
expert who this year as named as a Public Health Hero by the
Canadian Public Health Association for her work in opposing the
asbestos industry, added: “APCO refuses to say who has hired them
to try to kill the proposed ban on asbestos.” She said: “APCO states
in its mission statement that it will act with transparency. Where is
the transparency in APCO‟s covert lobbying to destroy this public
health initiative?” The criticism came to light after it was discovered
APCO had organised meetings in Malaysia pressing for the exclusion
of chrysotile asbestos from country‟s proposed ban. Chrysotile
asbestos is now the only form of asbestos traded. “We have
discovered that APCO‟s client is the International Chrysotile
Association,” said Barry Castleman, a world expert on asbestos. “It
is scandalous that these international influence peddlers
representing foreign asbestos companies are blocking public health
decisions in Malaysia.”


                        Letter sent to Margery Kraus, President
    RightonCanada news release.
    & CEO, APCO Worldwide, Washington, DC: Disassociate yourself from
    the discredited and deadly propaganda of the asbestos industry, health
    defenders tell APCO Worldwide. Montreal Gazette. Vancouver Sun.




Japan: Overwork suicide payout is upheld


Japan‟s Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by two
companies against a work-related suicide compensation award. A
court order now requires the firms to pay compensation for the
1999 death of a 23-year-old temporary worker who killed himself
because of overwork-induced depression. Multinational camera and
optical products giant Nikon Corp and a Nagoya-based temp agency
will pay a total of ¥70 million (£590,000) to the mother of Yuji
Uendan, who took his own life while working at a Nikon factory in
Saitama. The Tokyo High Court ruled in 2009 that Uendan‟s suicide
was due to depression caused by overwork and that both the temp
agency and the company where he worked failed to exercise due
care. According to the ruling, at the time of his death Uendan was
in charge of electronic products inspection and was working
irregular and long hours in a windowless „clean room‟.


   Japan Times. Japan and Tokyo News. More on work-related suicide.




USA: When they slam ‘regulations’, they mean ‘safety’


US Republicans are putting the blame for the country‟s faltering
economy at the door of „regulations‟. But observers are increasingly
saying it is an approach long on rhetoric, but remarkably short on
evidence. The New York Times‟ Paul Krugman, a winner of the
Nobel Prize for economics, commented this week: “The truth is that
we‟re in this mess because we had too little regulation, not too
much. And now one of our two major parties is determined to
double down on the mistakes that caused the disaster.” Steve
Benen, writing in the Washington Monthly, says there are certain
regulations particularly galling to Republican politicians – those
covering workplace safety. Republican-proposed federal budget cuts
put forward this week “would scuttle several worker safety
protections put forth by the Department of Labor,” he writes.
“Among other anti-regulatory measures, the budget would block the
department from moving forward with its Injury and Illness
Prevention Program, which would require employers to develop
written plans to address workplace hazards and reduce worker
injuries. Under the Republican plan, no Labor Department funding
could be devoted toward the program.” Planned measures to
protect roof workers and to reduce the toll of repetitive strain
injuries are also “gutted” in the Republican plan, he notes. Benen
concludes: “What, in Republican lawmakers‟ eyes, will boost the
economy? Workplaces in which Americans are more likely to be
injured. That‟s the plan.”


   Washington Monthly. New York Times.




Events and Courses
TUC courses for safety reps


COURSES FOR SEPTEMBER 2011 TO DECEMBER 2011


   Northern, North West, Southern & Eastern, Yorkshire & Humber,
    South West, Midlands, Scotland, Wales




European Week for Safety and Health at Work, 24 -28
October


European Week for Safety and Health at Work, 24 -28 October, is
edging closer. For a second consecutive year, the theme is
maintenance work. „National inspection day‟, which has been
strongly promoted by the TUC and has in recent years spurred a
mass outbreak of workplace inspections by union safety reps
countrywide, is on 26 October.


   TUC maintenance briefing and National Inspection Day inspection
    guide [pdf]. Unite European Week resources. European Agency maintenance
    guide and related Euroweek resources.




Useful Links

   Visit the TUC www.tuc.org.uk/h_and_s website pages on health
    and safety. See what's on offer from TUC Publications and
    What's On in health and safety.
   Subscribe to Hazards magazine, supported by the TUC as a key
    source of information for union safety reps.
   What's new in the HSC/E and the European Agency.
   HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA. Tel:
    01787 881165; fax: 01787 313995




The person responsible for the Risks e-bulletin is Hugh Robertson
Email: healthandsafety@tuc.org.uk

				
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