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The TUC said the minister’s selection of Susan Johnson, who holds several other paid board-level appointments, upsets the statutory balance of representation between workers and employers on the HSE board. The safety professionals’ organisation was commenting after the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre published its new registry of 540 organisations that have produced anti-slavery disclosure statements for the 2015/16 financial year, a measure required for larger firms under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015. Regulations are ‘critical drivers’ encouraging industry to substitute hazardous chemicals, a new study has found. The TUC is urging safety reps, union branches and campaigns to make submissions for the Euro-week related EU-OSHA ‘all ages’ themed Good Practice Awards ahead of a 7 October 2016 deadline. The 21 August day of action marked the start of many by Playfair Qatar, the TUC’s campaign with the Football Supporters’ Federation to raise awareness of the exploitation and abuse faced by workers in the Gulf state. House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee news release and report. A&J Robertson employee, Kenneth Rennie, was left with a shattered vertebra after a large piece of rock became detached from a six tonne boulder and struck him and pinned him to the ground. Enterprise Inns plc was taken to court after the worker at the Angel Inn in Caerphilly was injured when a ‘flash over’ occurred from a gas fired cooking range on 16 July 2015.
The TUC has condemned the government after it emerged a former employer and business leader had been appointed by the work and pensions secretary to a seat on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) board that is reserved for a representative of ‘employees’ interests’. At the company’s 7 September annual meeting, more than half (53 per cent) of independent Sports Direct shareholders voted against management and called for an independent investigation into how Sports Direct treats its workers. TUC news release and report, Postponing the pension: are we all working longer? While studies suggest as many people develop lung cancer caused by asbestos as develop mesothelioma caused by the fibre, compensation settlements for lung cancer are relatively rare as it is common in the general population and less likely to be attributed to work factors. BBC News Online and Panorama - Sellafield's nuclear safety failings. A newly published ‘enhanced’ registry identifying what over 500 UK companies are doing to prevent slavery and human trafficking should encourage other firms to follow suit, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has said. West Ham’s first Premier League match at their newly acquired London Olympic Stadium was used by a trade union and football supporter-backed campaign to highlight the ongoing horror of Qatar’s World Cup 2022 preparation. The system, known as day crew plus, would mean the hours a firefighter works in one week would double and their hourly salary would be one of the lowest in any fire service in the country. Measures proposed by the Women and Equalities Committee include a system of individual risk assessments to be introduced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) by the end of the year and a straightforward mechanism to ‘compel’ employers to remedy any work-related health risks to the pregnant woman, the pregnancy or the baby. The trade union Nautilus, which stepped in to assist the crew, noted: “The exploitation of these crews directly undermines our own shipping industry with unfair competition.” The Guardian. An Aberdeen memorial firm has been fined after a worker’s spine was crushed by a falling slab of granite. A national pub chain has been fined £95,000 after a staff member suffered burns while working in South Wales.
Nine out of every ten hotel housekeeping workers in London suffers from back pain caused by their job, a union survey has found. Journalists on Newsquest titles in London are balloting for industrial action over inadequate staffing levels, excessive workloads, health and safety concerns, reduced quality of newspapers and poor pay. According to statistics collated by CWU, Dexter Neal’s death was the UK's 34th dog attack fatality “with all but three of them occurring since 2005 which indicates the steep rise over the last decade.” CWU news release. NIOSH Research Rounds, volume 2, issue 2, August 2016. Workplace psychosocial and organizational factors for neck pain in workers in the United States, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, volume 59, issue 7, pages 549-560, July 2016. What resources help you prevent MSDs in the workplace? Suicide is the overlooked construction worker killer, the Samaritans has warned. The firm’s latest half yearly results said it had allocated “a £25 million charge relating to revised legal guidelines and settlements,” adding: “This largely relates to a reassessment of potential liabilities on historical health and safety breaches following new sentencing guidelines introduced earlier this year.” Construction Enquirer. A Bulgarian construction firm has been handed a £500,000 fine after a member of the public reported unsafe working practices during the construction of an adventure course in Markeaton Park, Derby. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how highly flammable ethyl acetate was being transferred from a bulk storage tank into an intermediate bulk container when the 21-year-old Alcohol Limited employee was engulfed in flames. Speakers include top academics, campaigners, employment and human rights lawyers, union officers and activists and shadow chancellor John Mc Donnell. The Institute of Employment Rights is organising ‘health and safety update’ conferences, in Liverpool on 4 October and London on 18 October. The TUC is investigating gender-related problems associated with workplace dress codes and personal protective equipment (PPE). Construction union UCATT has warned that Laing O’Rourke’s new safety policy could ‘wreck’ the UK’s construction safety regime. The death of a young boy in an attack by an out-of-control dog highlights the need for stronger enforcement action, the union CWU has said. RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT will be maintaining a policy of ‘extreme vigilance’ with our reps monitoring issues like safety, security and the impact on staff of running services round the clock,” and ASLEF said it “will be watching closely to ensure that staffing and policing levels are adequate to ensure a safe environment for the traveling public and all those working hard to deliver the service.” RMT news release. Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said as the new chair of the Asbestos in Schools (Ai S) group she would “be pressing the new education secretary, Justine Greening, to do more to deal with the threat that a report from the all-party parliamentary group on occupational health and safety described as the ‘timebomb in our schools’.” Labourlist. Working with academics, investigators at the US government’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) confirmed the link between neck pain and specific psychosocial and organisational risks in the workplace. Balfour Beatty has set aside up to £25 million to cover potential health and safety fines under new sentencing guidelines. A distillery in the West Midlands has been fined after a young employee with only six months’ experience on the job was engulfed in flames in a fire that destroyed a warehouse and its contents. The event has been organised by the university’s Work & Employment Research Unit (WERU) in conjunction with the Blacklist Support Group. As the first phase of the night train roll out commenced on the London Tube system last weekend, rail unions stressed that safety must be a top priority. A Labour MP has accused the government of failing to protect children and teachers from “an asbestos timebomb” in our schools. Work factors are a major pain in the neck, a study has found, but has highlighted the prevention measures that could put the problem behind us. The University of Greenwich, London is to host a 16-17 September conference on ‘Blacklisting, bullying and blowing the whistle’. The communication workers’ union, which represents postal and telecom workers whose work regularly takes them to people’s homes, made the call after Huddersfield resident David Ellam, 52, died from injuries sustained while trying to protect his own Yorkshire Terrier from an out-of-control larger dog. The TUC has warned companies there will be “no hiding place” if they exploit their workers. Delegates agreed unanimously an emergency motion calling for measures to stamp out sexual harassment at work after hearing two-thirds of young women had been directly affected. Everyday Sexism Project and ‘shouting back’ platform. A longstanding PCS activist who was fired by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in February 2013 ostensibly on the grounds of his sickness record, has returned to work following his reinstatement. The collapse this month of a huge steel structure on a prestigious road building project and another incident where a mechanical roadworking machine overturned has raised serious safety concerns, the construction union UCATT has warned. A Nottinghamshire rail worker who suffered a hand injury while working on railway repairs has received a £15,000 payout in a union-backed claim. The last body missing in the rubble of Didcot Power Station has been removed from the site. General secretary Frances O'Grady told delegates at TUC’s annual conference in Brighton that mistreatment of the workforce is becoming more widespread in the UK, warning “greedy” businesses that the TUC would “shine a light on you.” TUC news releases on holding firms to account and the Wetherspoons zero hours move and new report, Taking the temperature of the post-Brexit economy. A tribunal found that Lee Rock had been unfairly dismissed and upheld, in part, the claim of disability discrimination. The union said ‘such huge breaches of health and safety’ on the high profile £750m Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) project ‘are deeply worrying as they threaten workers’ lives.’ UCATT news release. Unite member Trevor Allen, 65, was attempting to use a planing machine, which is used to shape a rail track, when he was injured. A guard of honour was formed as the body of John Shaw, 61, was taken away early on the morning of 11 September; he is the last of four victims to be located under the rubble after the power station’s boiler house collapsed on 23 February.
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SCP news release and motion 80 to the TUC conference. Sexual harassment at work is a major under-reported problem in Britain’s workplaces, the TUC’s annual conference has heard. TUC guide to your rights on sexual harassment, union reps’ guide to addressing sexual harassment and report, Still just a bit of banter? Representatives of Transocean could be hauled before the Transport Select Committee after it agreed to look into the incident, the move coming the day after the UK government confirmed that it would not be carrying out a risk assessment into the need for a second emergency tug to cover the west coast of Scotland. The union AMWU supported Sharon Johnson and Peter Miller when they went to the West Australia (WA) parliament to hand the petition to MP Graham Jacobs, who led the parliamentary inquiry into FIFO mental health that reported more than a year ago and that was prompted by a spate of suicides.