The aftermath of the BP Texas city refinery explosion in 2005 that killed 15 workers

 


DEADLY BUSINESS NEWS

Chile: Busworkers strike over safety concerns
Busworkers in Santiago took strike action last week in protest at oppressive working conditions including 12 hour shifts, hijacks and an absence of breaks. The Transantiago employees were joined by students in 3 July protests in the Chilean capital, the action coming a month after union leader Antonio Cuadra burned himself alive in protest at his treatment by the firm.
I love Chile news reportRisks 662
Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Global: Unions vow to tackle Amazon’s ‘anti-worker culture’
Representatives of trade unions from key Amazon markets worldwide met in Berlin last week to consider the online retailer’s reported mistreatment of its workforce and its anti-union stance. The unions – all members of the global unions ITF and UNI – say Amazon treats its staff like robots, forcing them to work under enormous stress for long hours in poor conditions.
ITF news releaseRisks 662
Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Turkey: Death payout after unregistered worker dies
A court in Istanbul has ruled that a Turkish company that employed an unregistered worker from Türkmenistan, but disowned him after he died in a work-related incident, must pay record compensation to his family. It follows an earlier court ruling that the incident was work-related, paving the way for Turkey’s Social Security Institution (SGK) to pay 750 liras (£200) to Avganov’s wife every month until she remarries or dies.
Hurriyet Daily NewsRisks 662
Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Britain: Fatalities at work down, work-related deaths up
The number of workplace fatalities in Britain last year fell to the lowest annual rate on record, but deaths overall increased markedly as asbestos cancer deaths soared. While fatalities fell by 17, latest HSE figures for the asbestos cancer mesothelioma showed an increase of 244 deaths.
HSE news release and statistics, including full fatalities breakdown for 2013/14. Mesothelioma death statistics 2012Risks 662

Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Britain: Rise in sites deaths ‘sends chill’ through the industry
Construction union UCATT is warning that the latest fatality figures, showing an increase in construction deaths, could mark the beginning of a steady rise in fatalities. Despite the overall number of workplace fatalities in 2013/14 reaching an all-time low, the number of construction deaths increased to 42, an 8 per cent increase on the previous year when 39 construction workers suffered fatal injuries.
UCATT news release. HSE construction statisticsRisks 662
Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Britain: North Sea safety damaged by bullying and complacency
MPs have called for a public inquiry into whether commercial pressure from oil and gas companies and “a creeping complacency” is damaging offshore helicopter safety. The Transport select committee also heard there was a worrying culture of “macho bullying” in the industry, targeting workers who expressed safety concerns.
Transport select committee news release and full report. The Herald. BBC News Online. Morning StarRisks 662
Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Britain: Most coastguard shifts ‘dangerously under-staffed’
Maritime safety campaigners have voiced outrage after a Conservative minister admitted as many as two out of three coastguard shifts are dangerously under-staffed. Labour MP Katy Clark demanded action from ministers after extracting the figures from transport under-secretary Stephen Hammond under parliamentary questions.
Morning StarRisks 662
Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Britain: Six figure fines after zipwire crash
A worker was left with life-changing injuries after crashing at the bottom of a zipwire ride at around 35 miles per hour. The ride's breaking system had not been reset with catastrophic consequences for Brett Anthony, 20, when it failed to kick in.
Bedfordshire on SundayRisks 662
Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Britain: Horse bed maker crushed teenager’s arm
A Suffolk horse bedding manufacturer and its managing director have been fined after a young employee’s arm was crushed as he removed compacted dust from a baling machine. Thetford-based Equestrobed was fined £18,000 plus £6,929 costs after pleading guilty to a criminal safety offence and managing director Timothy David Howard was fined £1,800 for a criminal breach.
HSE news release and machinery webpagesRisks 662
Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Britain: Tree fellers caused rail problems
A council and a tree surgeon have been sentenced for criminal safety failings after a worker was injured when a tree he had been felling landed on a railway line and was hit by a train. Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council was fined £40,000 plus £5,854 in costs and tree surgeon Mark Anthony Connelly, 42, sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £5,854 in costs.
HSE news release and treework webpagesRisks 662
Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Britain: Self-employed move is good news for undertakers
Dangerously muddled Health and Safety Executive (HSE) proposals to exempt most self-employed workers from safety law have been condemned by the TUC. In a consultation document published this week, the HSE for the first time revealed the short inclusive list of self-employed jobs that will remain subject to safety law, causing TUC to comment: “The whole thing is a mess from beginning to end… unless we stop this Bill becoming law it will also mean more business for doctors - and undertakers.”
TUC Stronger Unions blog. HSE news release.
CD273 – Consultation on proposals to exempt self-employed persons from section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, except those undertaking activities on a prescribed list. The consultation will run for eight weeks, closing on 31 August • Risks 662
Hazards news, 12 July 2014

Global: Journal will make asbestos scientist own up
The asbestos industry’s attempt to put a healthy gloss on is unhealthy products is continuing, but its favourite consultant is facing renewed flak after his undeclared links to the industry were exposed. Toxicologist David Bernstein has been paid vast sums by asbestos firms and industry groups to write papers supporting continued asbestos use, with these appearing in scientific journals – but has declared he has “no conflicts of interest.”
RightOnCanada.ca • David Bernstein. Health risks of chrysotile asbestos, Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, volume 20, issue 4, pages 366-370, July 2014. Complaint to the journal • Background from Hazards and RightOnCanada on David Bernstein’s industry links • Risks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

New Zealand: Action demanded on ‘terrible’ safety record
New Zealand’s national union federation CTU has called for urgent action to address the country’s “terrible” workplace safety record. CTU president Helen Kelly made the call last week in an uncompromising oral submission to a parliamentary select committee hearing on a Health and Safety Reform Bill.
NZCTU news releaseHealth and Safety Reform BillRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Turkey: Unions share the pain of ‘industrial homicide’
An international union solidarity mission on the one month anniversary of the “killing of 301 mineworkers in an avoidable industrial disaster” has visited the site of the disaster in the mining town of Soma in Turkey. Global union federation IndustriALL said the mission “delivered a message of international anger to Turkey’s political authorities and public opinion, calling for immediate action including ratification and implementation of ILO Convention 176 on safety and health in mines,” adding: “Illegal and irresponsible outsourcing and subcontracting in the country must also be seriously tackled and reversed by the Turkish authorities.”
IndustriALL news releaseHurriyet DailyRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Britain: Dud safety equipment led to windfarm death
The grieving mother of a teenage construction worker who fell nearly 60ft to his death from a wind turbine after his equipment failed, has condemned the safety errors which cost her son his life. Antonio Basilio Brazao was 19 when he fell down the shaft of a wind turbine at the Earlsburn Wind Farm near Fintry, Stirlingshire in 2007.
Slater & Gordon news releaseRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Britain: Young mechanic was crushed by two buses
Regional bus operator West Midlands Travel has been fined £150,000 after a young employee died when he was crushed between two buses. Lee Baker, a 24-year-old assistant mechanic, was working a night shift at the company’s Walsall depot when the incident happened in the early hours of Saturday 22 October 2011.
HSE news releaseExpress and StarWalsall AdvertiserRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Britain: Firm fined after worker is crushed by falling MDF
A joinery firm has been fined for safety failings after an employee was crushed by half a tonne of MDF boards at its premises in Basildon. The 50-year-old worker suffered two collapsed lungs, a broken collar bone, five broken ribs and a gash to his head following the incident at Specialist Joinery Projects Ltd on 26 September 2013.”
HSE news release and woodworking webpagesRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Britain: Defective remote control cost waste worker his legs
A scrap metal company and a businessman have been sentenced for serious criminal safety breaches that led to a worker losing both legs as the doors of a 16-tonne baling machine closed on him. Piotr Sarna, 42, was dealing with a problem inside the five-metre long baler at H Ripley & Co’s site in Westfield, East Sussex, when the doors of the machine began to close.
HSE news release and waste webpagesHastings ObserverRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Britain: Poorly set guards led to severe hand injuries
A company that makes metal components for the automotive industry has been fined after a worker suffered horrific hand injuries in an incorrectly-guarded machine. The 56-year-old agency worker, who has asked not to be named, was operating a 160-tonne power press at the RSM Industries Ltd factory in Exhall, when the incident happened on 8 May 2013.
HSE news release and work equipment webpagesCoventry TelegraphRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Britain: Government says HSE Is OK but must sell itself
A government decision to maintain the independence of the UK’s health and safety regulator has been welcomed by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), but it says it is concerned by the pressure for HSE to “commercialise” further. The safety professionals’ body was commenting after the Department for Work and Pensions published its full response to the Triennial Review of the role of the Health and Safety Executive.
The Government Response to the Triennial Review of the Health and Safety Executive, DWP, June 2014 • IOSH news releaseEEF news releaseRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Global: TUC welcomes official push for Rana Plaza fund
The TUC has welcomed a statement signed by international development minister Alan Duncan and ministers from six other European countries, urging retailers to donate to the Rana Plaza fund – set up for victims of the factory collapse in Bangladesh in April 2013 in which over 1,100 workers were killed. The statement – issued at the Forum on Responsible Business at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – expresses concern that some companies either haven’t contributed at all or haven’t given enough to the fund.
TUC news releaseRana Plaza Trust Fund donorsOECD statement on Rana Plaza, 26 June 2014 and ministers’ statementThe GuardianRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Britain: Heathrow Express in dangerous PR blunder
Rail union RMT is demanding an immediate official investigation into an incident at Heathrow Express it says is one of the “most flagrant breaches of safety rules and regulations that the union has come across in recent years.” The union said the “disgraceful incident” involved Heathrow Express (HEX) managing director Keith Greenfield acting as a customer service representative (CSR) without the required training.
RMT news releaseMorning StarRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Britain: Rail safety goes south up north
Rail union RMT says it will hold summit talks with Northern MPs on 15 July in response to what it calls “a co-ordinated attack” on Northern Rail and Trans Pennine Express safety and services “unleashed by the government from its offices in London.” The union was acting in the wake of a government franchising consultation it says would “rip the two franchises to shreds in the name of maximising private profit.”
RMT news releaseRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Britain: Education changes put staff and pupils at risk
Government-imposed changes to the education system have undermined the safety of staff and pupils, the union NASUWT has charged. The union was speaking out after a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) probe uncovered a criminal failure to deal properly with asbestos in more than 1 in 8 schools inspected.
NASUWT news releaseRisks 661
Hazards news, 5 July 2014

Turkey: 820 workers killed in six months, says union
An estimated 820 people were killed in Turkish workplaces in the first six months of 2014, a senior trade union representative has said. Publishing the figures, Kani Beko, head of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK), said: “In our talks with prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, we have proposed to shut down all mines for three months so that all security precautions, including rescue chambers, could be taken.
Hurriyet DailyRisks 660
Hazards news, 28 June 2014

USA: Plea bargain keeps death prof out of jail
A US chemistry professor has avoided jail after settling criminal charges relating to a horrific fire in his lab that led to the death of a research assistant, 23-year-old Sheri Sangji. UCLA professor Patrick G Harran agreed a package including a fine and a five year programme of unpaid teaching working and community service with the Los Angeles County district attorney (DA).
The Pump HandleUCLA statementRisks 660
Hazards news, 28 June 2014

Britain: Van maker guilty after crushing injuries
A vehicle manufacturer has been told to pay nearly £180,000 in fines and costs for its criminal safety failings after a crane operator suffered severe crush injuries in a lifting operation at the company’s press shop in Luton. The IBC Vehicles Ltd worker, who does not wish to be named, suffered multiple injuries including fractures to the upper left arm, breastbone, right collarbone and ribs, as well as collapsed lungs.
HSE news release and lifting webpageHazards magazine suicide webpagesRisks 660
Hazards news, 28 June 2014

Britain: Injury exposes factory’s ‘appalling’ safety standards
A Blackburn packaging firm has appeared in court after an investigation into a workplace injury discovered ‘appalling’ safety standards. Europlast (Blackburn) Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) because an employee had to have part of a finger amputated after his left hand became trapped in unguarded machinery in June 2012.
HSE news release and manufacturing webpagesRisks 660Hazards news, 28 June 2014

Britain: Toppling fan unit crushes worker
A Hertfordshire engineering firm has been fined for criminal safety failings after a toppling fan unit crushed a worker as it was being manoeuvred into a ground floor plant room. The 54-year-old Wilden Services Limited worker, who does not want to be named, injured his spine and was unable to work for several weeks as a result of the incident in Woking on 17 December 2012, at the new head office for the World Wildlife Fund.
HSE news releaseHemel GazetteRisks 660
Hazards news, 28 June 2014

Global: Investors must get the truth from Rio Tinto
IndustriALL has urged investors in mining and metals giant Rio Tinto to demand the truth about aggressive management practices that are dangerously undermining safety, employment and environmental standards.  The global manufacturing union federation made the call ahead of a meeting between 25 analysts and investors and Rio Tinto in North America.
IndustriALL news release and reportRisks 660
Hazards news, 28 June 2014

Britain: Workplace safety law is top life safer
Britain’s workplace safety law has probably saved more lives than any other piece of legislation, an article in the Telegraph has said. Telegraph leader writer Philip Johnston noted “the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA), which is 40 years old this summer, has arguably saved more lives than any other piece of legislation, including the ban on drink driving or the compulsory wearing of seat belts in cars,” adding: “It may well have reduced deaths by 5,000 or more.”
HSE news releaseThe TelegraphIOSH news releaseRisks 660
Hazards news, 28 June 2014

Britain: ‘Not guilty’ verdicts in mine manslaughter case
The manager and owners of a south Wales mine where four miners died have been cleared of manslaughter. Charles Breslin, 62, David Powell, 50, Philip Hill, 44, and Garry Jenkins, 39, drowned in 2011 when 650,000 gallons of water flooded the Gleision drift mine following a controlled explosion.
BBC News OnlineThompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 660
Hazards news, 28 June 2014

Britain: Government nudging is hurting workers
The government’s disdain for regulating and enforcing to address real health and safety problems has led them to instead conjure up laws to tackle “a problem which does not actually exist except in people’s heads,” the TUC has said. TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson, writing in TUC’s Stronger Unions blog, notes the official dislike for regulation, which the government says is a ‘burden on business’, has led it to introduce an anything-but-regulation array of alternatives from ‘responsibility deals’ to non-binding guidance, with the intention of ‘nudging’ people into changing their behaviour.
TUC Stronger Unions blogCabinet Office ‘Nudge Unit’ and Behavioural Insights blogThe IndependentRisks 660
Hazards news, 28 June 2014

USA: Official scrutiny stepped up at Amazon centres
Internet sales giant Amazon is facing new scrutiny of its safety performance after two deaths in the US. The US government’s safety watchdog OSHA said it is investigating the fatalities at warehouses run by the world’s largest online retailer.
OHSA news release and temporary workers initiativeIndianapolis Business JournalThe Patriot NewsRisks 659
Hazards news, 21 June 2014

USA: Huhtamaki workers stand up for safety
Finnish packaging and paper products corporation Huhtamaki is facing criticism in the US for using lower safety and employment standards at its non-unionised plants in the country. A new report from the USW and the national union federation AFL-CIO reveals how the company’s expansion strategy in the US is creating low-wage, precarious employment while threatening the job security and living standards of unionised employees.
USW news release and full reportAFL-CIO Now blogRisks 659
Hazards news, 21 June 2014

Britain: Chemical firm was a potential bomb
The costs dangerous firms can pass on to the public purse have been illustrated by a case in Flintshire. Chemicals removed from the former Euticals factory had the power equivalent to more than 100 tonnes of explosives with the site clean-up costing the council more than £100,000.
BBC News OnlineRisks 659
Hazards news, 21 June 2014

Britain: Booker gets six figure fine over warehouse death
Booker Limited has been fined £175,000 after an employee was crushed to death by a forklift truck at its Avonmouth warehouse. Annie Brennan, who was in her 40s, died at Frenchay Hospital after the incident at Booker Wholesale cash and carry.
Bristol City Council news releaseBristol PostRisks 659
Hazards news, 21 June 2014

Britain: Small fine after worker is paralysed in fall
A Glasgow-based company has been fined for criminal safety failings after a worker was left paralysed from the neck down when he fell around three metres from the top of a gritter. Colin Shields, 34, was standing on top of a gritter at Inex Works Ltd’s premises in a bid to help his colleagues dislodge compacted grit salt from inside the machine.
HSE news release and falls webpagesRisks 659
Hazards news, 21 June 2014

Britain: Worker’s floor slip led to loss of fingertips
A Leeds-based company has been sentenced for a criminal safety offence after a worker suffered serious injuries to his hand when it came into contact with the drive chain of a conveyor at a Newcastle factory. The 26-year-old from Longbenton, Newcastle, was clearing up after completing a job on a freezer at Country Style Foods Ltd when he slipped on the icy floor.
HSE news release and food industry webpagesRisks 659
Hazards news, 21 June 2014

Global: Unions welcome Thai fisher slavery exposé
Two international union federations working together to fight appalling exploitation of fishery workers have welcomed a Guardian newspaper exposé of the use of slave labour in the Thai prawn industry. The paper’s six-month investigation established that large numbers of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand are integral to the production of the prawns, commonly called shrimp in the US.
IUF news releaseITF news releaseThe GuardianRisks 659
Hazards news, 21 June 2014

Britain: Reigniting fire exposes ‘shambolic’ strike cover
London firefighters attended the scene of a serious fire in Hackney on 13 June, after strikebreaking private crews failed to properly extinguish the blaze the previous night. Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: “The strikebreaking crews are woefully undertrained and ill-prepared.”
FBU news releaseTUC news releaseRisks 659
Hazards news, 21 June 2014

Britain: Regulators urged to act on air safety recommendations
The union representing helicopter pilots operating around Britain's shores is urging both the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to push ahead with vital flight safety improvements recommended in the Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) report into two recent Super Puma helicopter crashes.
BALPA news releaseAAIB reportRisks 659
Hazards news, 21 June 2014

Britain: Tribunal fees ‘price workers out of justice’
Employers who victimise, bully, harass or cheat their workers are increasingly likely to escape punishment as people wronged at work are prevented from seeking justice by the high cost of taking an employment tribunal case, unions have said. Citing figures published by the Ministry of Justice on 12 June, the TUC said that the 59 per cent drop in the number of single claims being taken to employment tribunals – from 13,739 between January and March 2013 to 5,619 in the first three months of 2014 – showed that fees were deterring many workers from taking their employers to court.
TUC news releaseUNISON news releaseRisks 659
Hazards news, 21 June 2014

Korea: Samsung in new cancer talks
After walking away from the table five months ago, Samsung has resumed talks with activists over compensation payouts for workers who believe their cancers were caused by their jobs for the microelectronics multinational. The move follows the company’s “deep apology” to affected workers and their families and promise of compensation last month. review our demands in good faith, and prepare comprehensive responses.”
SHARPS news releaseRisks 658
Hazards news, 14 June 2014

USA: Government action on black lung scandal
The US Department of Labor has ordered officials who determine if coal miners are eligible for black lung benefits to no longer rely on the medical opinion of the Johns Hopkins Medicine doctor an investigation found systematically denied affected miners were significantly affected by the debilitating condition. From 2000, Dr Paul S Wheeler, who was head of the Johns Hopkins black lung programme, examined 1,573 miners' black lung x-rays and not once diagnosed the severe form of black lung that automatically qualifies for compensation.
AFL-CIO Now blogABC Eyewitness NewsRisks 658
Hazards news, 14 June 2014

Britain: Dad’s near-death fall lands firm in court
A young father of two suffered life-changing injuries after he plunged seven metres through an unsafe fragile roof at a farm in Harrogate. Spruce and Hawe Ltd, a Tockwith-based agricultural engineering company hired to work on the building, had failed to provide any precautions to protect its employees from falls.
HSE news release and work at height webpagesRisks 658
Hazards news, 14 June 2014

Britain: Roof fall changes worker’s life in seconds
A 54-year-old Leeds worker suffered life-changing injuries when he plunged nearly seven metres through an unsafe rooflight while installing solar power racking. Peter Bettison sustained multiple injuries and was kept under sedation for most of the 22 days he had to spend in hospital.
HSE news releaseRisks 658
Hazards news, 14 June 2014

Britain: Company back in court for criminal failings
A Tyneside company has appeared in court for criminal safety breaches for the second time in less than a year after a forklift truck overturned at its factory in Burnopfield, injuring an agency worker. HSE inspector Cain Mitchell said: “The case is all the more serious as it is the second time in less than a year that Radford HMY Group Ltd has been prosecuted for safety failings.”
HSE news release and workplace transport webpagesRisks 658
Hazards news, 14 June 2014

Australia: Death case is the first to charge manager
For the first time, a senior company manager in Australia is facing charges over the death of a worker. The case involves Michael Booth, a 48-year-old truck driver who was electrocuted while working for Kenoss Contractors in 2012.
Canberra TimesABC NewsRisks 658
Hazards news, 14 June 2014

Britain: Death linked director jailed for illegal asbestos sales
A 64-year-old Shropshire man has been sentenced to 12 months in prison after his company illegally supplied roofing panels containing asbestos. Company director Robert Marsh’s offences only came to light after a 56-year-old construction worker, who was roofing a barn using the panels, fell through the fragile material and later died.
HSE news release and asbestos webpagesRisks 658
Hazards news, 14 June 2014

Britain: ‘Heroism’ bill sets out to slay a non-existent dragon
A proposed law the government says is necessary “to tackle the growth of compensation culture” is addressing a non-existent problem but could instead hurt victims of occupational injuries and diseases, critics have warned. Commenting on the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill (SARAH) contained in the Queen’s Speech, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Safety laws are not needless ‘red tape’, nor are they part of the ‘jobsworth culture’.”
TUC news releaseThompsons Solicitors news releaseRisks 658
Hazards news, 14 June 2014

Europe: Unions slam Europe’s do little safety strategy
Europe’s long overdue health and safety strategy has been condemned as “weak and insubstantial” by unions. Commenting on the European Commission’s ‘Framework on Health and Safety at Work,’ published on 6 June, the TUC said the strategy “contains absolutely nothing new.”
European Commission news release and Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020ETUC news releaseRisks 658
Hazards news, 14 June 2014

Australia: Unions are better in life and in deaths
In 2010, two fatalities occurred in the pulp and paper industry in New South Wales, Australia: one at a unionised workplace, the other at a non-unionised site. The difference in the responses was striking, according to the union CFMEU, with no transparency or improvements at the non-union firm, and union involvement, a quickly implemented plan of action and a marked improvement in safety performance at the union firm. 
Stand up. Speak out. Come homeRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Philippines: Action call after fire lock-in deaths
Safety campaigners have called for action after eight female workers locked inside a DVD warehouse in Pasay City in the Philippines died of suffocation. A Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) official said the eight women were inside a padlocked room on the second floor of a warehouse when the fire started at 12.45 am.
The Inquirer and related articleRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Qatar: World Cup labour abuses as bad as corruption
Last week’s World Cup bribery allegations mean that FIFA’s Congress this month has a massive case to answer going way beyond corruption, according to Owen Tudor, head of the TUC’s international department. “The case for FIFA to rerun the vote on whether the 2022 World Cup should be held in Qatar is as strong on workers’ rights as corruption,” he said.
TUC Stronger Unions blogRerun The VoteBBC News OnlineRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Britain: Recyling firm caused ‘devastating’ injuries
A plastics recycling company has been fined for serious criminal safety failings after a worker was struck by a reversing forklift truck and left unable to work. Robin Eddom, a 63-year-old engineer from Scunthorpe, suffered severe back and tissue injuries in the incident at ECO Plastics Ltd’s processing plant on 10 March 2012.
HSE news release and workplace transport webpageRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Britain: Oil firm fined after fall from tanker
A Cumbrian oil distributor has been prosecuted for criminal safety breaches after employee David Strong, 39, fell from the top of a tanker. Carrs Billington Agriculture (Sales) Ltd, which trades as Wallace Oils, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at its depot in Langwathby on 12 November 2012.
HSE news releaseRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Britain: Teen apprentice severely injured at fabric firm
A fabric company in Macclesfield has been fined after a teenage apprentice suffered severe injuries when his left arm was dragged around a machine roller. The 18-year-old from Buxton had been trying to remove a crease from a roll of silk at Medaax Ltd in Langley when his finger became caught, pulling him in up to his armpit.
HSE news release and manufacturing webpagesRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Britain: Bedding firm in court over worker’s injuries
A bedding firm has been fined after a worker suffered severe injuries when his right hand was trapped in a moving machine. The 60-year-old from Rochdale, who does not want to be named, was carrying out maintenance work on a pillow filling machine at Comfy Quilts Ltd in Stakehill when the incident happened on 2 July 2013.
HSE news releaseRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Britain: Packaging printer left workers unprotected
A Bristol-based printer of healthcare packaging has been fined for criminal safety failings after an employee had two fingers crushed when they became trapped in unguarded machinery at its Cambridgeshire plant. The 39-year-old print worker was working on a label printing machine at Clondalkin Pharma & Healthcare’s factory in Huntingdon on 14 September 2012.
HSE news release and printing webpagesRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Britain: Bid to control work amputation pain led to death
An accidental overdose killed a former cable fitter struggling to cope with the pain of a work-related amputation, an inquest has ruled. Father-of-one Daniel Batchelor, who was injured in a workplace fall, was found unconscious in his bed aged just 36 by his fiancée Shari Newman on 22 January this year.
Irwin Mitchell news releaseDorset EchoWestern Daily PressRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Britain: Top private school caused deadly silica disease
A top independent boarding college has been handed a six figure fine for criminal breaches of safety law that left a worker with a life-threatening lung disease. Preston Crown Court heard how the ‘inexcusable’ failings at the £30,000 a year Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe, caused 54-year-old stonemason Terry McGough to develop silicosis, a disabling lung disease also linked to a higher rate of lung cancer and other conditions.
HSE news release and lung disease webpagesBurnley CitizenClitheroe AdvertiserBBC News OnlineRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Britain: Heroism Bill is really blame-the-worker ‘gobbledygook’
A new law the government says will protect ‘good Samaritans and community heroes’ could be just another ‘sinister’ attack on workers suffering occupational injuries and diseases, the TUC has warned. Announcing the planned law, which is due to take effect next year and which the government says is necessary “to tackle the growth of compensation culture”, justice secretary Chris Grayling said: “I don’t want us to be a society where a responsible employer gets the blame for someone doing something stupid.”
TUC Stronger Unions blogMoJ news releaseConservative HomeBBC News OnlineRisks 657
Hazards news, 7 June 2014

Australia: Safety must be the law says ACTU
Australian trade unions have reacted angrily to further deaths as the federal government continues to consider further deregulation and the Queensland state government enacts legislation tightening union right of entry for safety reasons and restricting the rights of health and safety representatives.
ACTU releaseRisks 656
Hazards news, 31 May 2014

Britain: Apprentice death deemed unacceptable
An inquest jury was instructed to return an accidental death in the case of a teenager crushed at work when machinery weighing almost a tonne fell on him. Jason Burden, from South Shields, died in 2011 when a 970kg tunnel thruster fell from a bench as he was working as an apprentice at Tyne Slipway and Engineering Co Ltd at South Dock in Sunderland.
Press reportRisks 656
Hazards news, 31 May 2014

Britain: Clutha victims still wait for compensation
No-one injured or bereaved in the Glasgow helicopter crash has yet received compensation, despite a system of “strict liability” on the operator. Ten people were killed and many more injured after a police helicopter crashed on the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow in November 2013.
HeraldRisks 656
Hazards news, 31 May 2014

Britain: Corporate manslaughter conviction for site company
A construction company has been found guilty of corporate manslaughter after David Evans, a stone mason's mate, was killed by a two tonne limestone block which fell off a concrete lintel as he was building a large wall. Cavendish Masonry Limited was found guilty by a jury at Oxford Crown Court of corporate manslaughter following his death in February 2010 and will be sentenced in July.
Press reportRisks 656
Hazards news, 31 May 2014

Britain: Second conviction for food company
A food manufacturer has been prosecuted for a second time for safety failings after a worker was injured using a machine with a guard that had been intentionally disabled. The company, Veetee Rice, was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £5,492 in costs at Maidstone Crown Court after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, thereby exposing workers to danger.
HSE news releaseRisks 656
Hazards news, 31 May 2014

USA: Boss cries wolf – workers pay price
A US businessman who claimed that workplace safety inspectors were burdening him and killing jobs with too much red tape has just had a horrific incident on his site. Lance Johnson, president of Johnson Brass & Machine Foundry Inc., in Saukville, Wisconsin, claimed in 2012: "I've never been audited by more government agencies in my life than I have under Obama," adding that the US safety regulator, OSHA, was subjecting him to duplicative audits and that the cost of dealing with those unnecessary OSHA audits went "well into the six figures."
Huffington PostRisks 656
Hazards news, 31 May 2014

Britain: Minister clueless on government policy
Construction union UCATT have condemned a government minister for her complete lack of knowledge of the construction industry. Employment minister Jenny Willott MP said on television: “The Government supports the use of flexible employment structures in the labour market and as such cannot agree with the recommendations for requiring direct employment only”, and wrongly claimed: “This would effectively be a ban on the use of agency staff in the construction sector, which is likely to be unfair to agency workers.”
UCATT press releaseRisks 656
Hazards news, 31 May 2014

Britain: Airfield safety blunders led to firefighter’s death
An airfield operator has been convicted of criminal safety offences and fined after a firefighter died when he was hit by a gas cylinder. Steven Mills, 45, was employed by Kemble Air Services as station officer at Cotswold airfield in Kemble, near Cirencester.
HSE news releaseWiltshire TimesRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Britain: Innocent smoothie maker fined after work death
An international smoothie and fruit juice company has been sentenced for criminal safety failings after an engineer was killed by falling pipework during work to decommission a former factory in South Wales. Gavin Bedford, 24, was helping to dismantle and demolish a section of industrial pipework at the Gerber Juice Company Ltd premises in Llantrisant on 16 June 2010 when the structure, weighing around 300kg, collapsed and struck him.
HSE news releaseBBC News OnlineWalesOnlineRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Britain: Farming firm sentenced over worker’s death
A farming company in Cheshire has been fined £50,000 after a father-of-one suffered fatal injuries when a 1.5 tonne concrete panel fell on him. Sean Bennett, 30, was helping to build a new cowshed at Yew Tree Farm in Stanthorne when the incident happened on 8 December 2010.
HSE news releaseWinsford GuardianRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Britain: Sauces firm guilty over forklift death
Sauces manufacturer AAK UK Ltd has been fined £140,000 after a forklift truck driver was killed at a factory in Runcorn. Michael Moran was using his forklift truck to load a lorry trailer outside the factory on 18 April 2011 when another lorry reversed into the side of his vehicle and the forklift overturned, killing him instantly.
HSE news releaseRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Britain: Heinz sentenced after engineer’s life-changing injury
Global food producer Heinz has been fined for serious criminal safety failings after an engineer had his hand severed when it became trapped in live, unguarded machinery at its Norfolk plant. Self-employed engineer Alec ‘Alf’ Brackenbury, 49, was servicing a potato peeling machine at Heinz’s manufacturing plant in Worstead, Norfolk, on the first day of a maintenance shutdown on 20 June 2013.
HSE news release and food industry webpagesRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Britain: Newspaper group fined for guarding failure
Regional newspaper group Newsquest Media has been prosecuted after a Southampton worker was injured when his hand was caught in a rotating printer roller. The 49-year-old employee suffered crush injuries to his thumb and middle finger as he attempted to remove a small piece of torn paper from the unguarded roller.
HSE news release and work machinery webpagesRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Global: More concerns over transatlantic trade talks
A proposed trade deal the TUC warned earlier this month could jeopardise employment and safety standards has now been condemned by 178 trade union, environmental, health and labour rights groups from both sides of the Atlantic. The groups are all signatories to a letter to EU Commissioner Karel de Gucht and US Ambassador Michael Froman, key negotiators of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Corporate Europe Observatory news releaseChemSec news release and the letter. BBC News OnlineRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Korea: Sorry Samsung agrees to cancer payouts
Korean campaigners who highlighted cancer cases in workers on Samsung’s microelectronics production lines have given a cautious welcome to a “deep apology” from the company’s chief executive. Samsung chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun said the company will now compensate chip factory workers who developed cancer while working for the firm.
SHARPS news release and statements from the campaign and SamsungKorea TimesBBC News OnlineThe GuardianPC WorldRisks 655 • 24 May 2014

Turkey: Mine tragedy leads to national protests
The deaths of 301 miners in a western Turkey lignite mine has prompted widespread protests and industrial action. Trade unions launched a one-day strike on 15 May in protest of the country’s poor mining safety record.
Equal TimesBWI news releaseETUC statementIn These TimesCS MonitorCNNThe IndependentBBC News OnlineRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Qatar: Global unions set conditions on 2022 World Cup
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is demanding that next month’s FIFA Congress impose labour rights conditions on Qatar if it is to be allowed to host the 2022 World Cup. The ITUC Congress, held in Berlin this week, heard that more than 1,000 workers have been killed already building the infrastructure that will deliver the World Cup.
ITUC news releaseTUC news releaseRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

USA: Child tobacco workers in danger
Children working on tobacco farms in the United States are exposed to nicotine, toxic pesticides and other dangers, a major report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) has revealed. HRW says the world’s largest tobacco companies buy tobacco grown on US farms, but none have child labour policies that sufficiently protect children from hazardous work.
HRW news release and full report, Tobacco’s Hidden Children: Hazardous Child Labor in US Tobacco FarmingNPRRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Global: UCATT turns up the heat on FIFA over Qatar
Construction union UCATT is demanding a meeting with FIFA after Sepp Blatter, president of football’s global governing body, admitted it was a “mistake” to choose Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. But while UCATT believes an horrific work safety record and labour abuses under the bonded labour ‘kafala’ system in Qatar made it a bad pick, Blatter has suddenly realised the stifling weather in the summer months could affect the quality of football that is played.
UCATT news releaseDoha NewsRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Britain: Crossrail must improve on safety
Construction union UCATT is to step up the pressure on Crossrail to improve safety on the project. Delegates at UCATT’s conference in Llandudno agreed that UCATT safety reps must be elected on all sections of Europe’s biggest construction project and that safety committees should be created.
UCATT news releaseMorning StarRisks 655
Hazards news, 24 May 2014

Britain: Firm ignored deadly silica dust warnings
A natural stone supply firm has been fined for failing to protect workers from exposure to deadly silica dust – despite a previous official warning. Teesdale Architectural Stone Ltd (TASL) was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failings identified in an inspection of its Barnard Castle premises on 16 October 2012.
HSE news release and hazardous substances webpagesRisks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Britain: Workers not told about known asbestos risk
A south London building firm has been fined after a foreman and others were kept in the dark about asbestos exposures. Redwood Contractors Ltd was in possession of a detailed asbestos survey that clearly identified the location of the asbestos wall panels inside a warehouse, but the survey conducted two months prior to the work starting wasn’t shared with the team on the ground.
HSE news release and asbestos webpagesConstruction EnquirerRisks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Britain: Dangerous practices at naval base caused nerve damage
A company responsible for maintaining the grounds of a naval base in Cornwall has been fined after three workers were diagnosed with a debilitating condition that left them with permanent nerve damage. The three men, who do not wish to be named, were employed by Babcock Flagship Ltd to maintain the extensive grounds at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, where they were exposed to high levels of hand arm vibration (HAV) caused by using tools such as hedge cutters and strimmers for long periods.
HSE news release and vibration webpagesWestern Morning NewsRisks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Britain: Farming firm prosecuted for roof fall death
A farming business in south west Wales has been sentenced for criminal safety failings after a roof worker plunged 15 feet to his death in front of his two sons. Ronald Clarke, 59, fell through the fragile roof of a cowshed while working at Rhyd Sais Farm, Talgarreg, near Llandysul, on 23 July 2010, hitting the concrete floor below.
HSE news release and falls webpagesTivy-Side AdvertiserRisks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Britain: Worker survives plunge through church roof
A Southampton worker suffered life-changing injuries after he plunged five metres through a hole in the roof of a London church, a court has been told. Father of three Allen Smith, 58, was working for Nationwide Roofing and Cladding Ltd when he sustained a collapsed lung, smashed pelvis and head injuries in the fall at Anerley Methodist Church in Penge, south-east London, on 25 October 2011.
HSE news releaseConstruction EnquirerRisks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Britain: Dock firm fined for life-changing injuries
An Essex dock company has been fined for its criminal safety failings after a dock worker suffered severe leg injuries when an operation to unload a cargo container went wrong. Agency worker Andrew Gotts, 26, of Felixstowe, Suffolk, may never be able to work again after he suffered multiple fractures and destruction of soft tissue on his lower right leg when it was trapped and crushed as a jammed container suddenly freed itself.
HSE news release and docks webpageRisks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Australia: Government puts safety at risk
Proposed reforms of the safety system in Australia will put workers at increased risk, unions and the opposition Labour Party have warned.  They say recommendations of the Commission of Audit created by Tony Abbott’s government – and headed by the former president of the country’s top business lobby group - will mean cuts to workplace health and safety.
Brendan O’Connor’s new releaseCFMEU news releaseSydney Morning HeraldRisks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Global: Renewed warning on asbestos dangers
Global unions have warned the continued – and in many instances growing - use of asbestos in developing nations must be challenged. A conference organised by global construction unions’ federation BWI and its manufacturing and mining equivalent IndustriALL agreed a ‘Vienna Declaration’ including a “call on governments and social partners of all countries to take immediate steps to ban all mining, manufacture, recycling and use of all forms of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials as soon as possible.”
IBAS conference reportBWI news releaseVienna DeclarationIndustriALL news release.Asbestos is a killer, BWI/IndustriALL, May 2014 • Risks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

New Zealand: Private prosecution by union over work death
New Zealand’s national union federation has been granted permission to take a private prosecution against forestry firm M&A Cross Ltd, the employer of forestry worker Charles Findlay who was killed at work. Council of Trade Unions (CTU) president Helen Kelly said: “This private prosecution is being taken because Charles shouldn't have died at work and the industry must be held to account.”
NZCTU news releaseNZTVRadio New ZealandNZCityRisks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Turkey: Death toll tops 200 in coal mine blast
Over 200 workers have been confirmed dead and hundreds more left trapped underground after a deadly coal mine blast in western Turkey this week. Energy minister Taner Yıldız said 787 people were inside the coal mine in Soma, some 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of İstanbul, at the time.
IndustriALL news release • ILO statementToday’s ZamanUSA TodayBBC News OnlineRisks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Britain: Hundreds attend Stockline tragedy commemoration
Hundreds gathered at a memorial service this week to remember those killed in an explosion at a Glasgow factory a decade ago. Nine people died in the 11 May 2004 blast at the Stockline plastics factory and 33 others were badly injured.
Morning StarBBC News OnlineDaily RecordThe HeraldICL/Stockline disaster websiteOccupational health in Scotland, Stirling University, March 2014 • Risks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Global: Trade talks are a threat to safety standards
A free trade agreement being negotiated between the European Union and the US must not be allowed to undermine employment and safety standards, the TUC has said. TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson said the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal was on an “unprecedented scale” and “could have major implications for health and safety regulation and unions throughout Europe need to be on their guard to ensure that we protect what we have.”
TUC Stronger Unions blogCorporate Europe Observatory news releaseRisks 654
Hazards news, 17 May 2014

Global: Activists follow Chevron across the globe
Australian trade unionists challenging the labour rights and safety record of oil giant Chevron in its US home state have been welcomed by local activists, groups and politicians who share their concerns. Shannon O’Keeffe, campaigns director at the Sydney office of global transport unions’ federation ITF, said: “In Australia Chevron is suing the MUA and 15 of its members for taking action to ensure that their workplace was safe.”
ITF news releaseRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Global: Hi-tech giants told to ditch toxics
Smartphone manufacturers are being told that abandoning the use of highly dangerous chemicals will be good for their workforce, the environment and their bottom line. As consumer health and fitness features are expected to be the next big thing for Samsung and Apple products, campaigners are saying the hi-tech giants should make their production processes more healthy too.
eWeekKorea TimesApple and the Environment webpages, and toxins pageGreen America’s Bad Apple campaignRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Fine for foot-and-mouth lab failings
A world-renowned animal disease research facility has been fined after it was found experiments with cattle infected with the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) did not observe the necessary safety measures. The incidents at Pirbright Institute in November 2012 and January 2013 occurred in a contained facility housing infected animals.
Pirbright Institute statementHSE news releaseRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Café didn’t serve up employee insurance
A café business in Ashford has been fined for failing to hold statutory insurance that enables employees to claim compensation if they are injured at work. Ash Catering Limited, trading as Ashford Café, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after the safety regulator established there was no valid Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance for the business.
HSE news releaseRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Protective equipment firm failed to protect worker
One of Europe’s leading manufacturers of personal protective equipment has been prosecuted and fined after a worker’s hand was crushed when it became trapped in an unsafe machine at their factory in Oxfordshire. The 47-year-old employee had just started her shift on 11 January 2013 at the JSP Ltd factory in Minster Lovell.
HSE news release and work machinery webpagesRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Hand injury leads to second fine for leather firm
A leather company has been fined for criminal safety failings after a worker suffered a broken finger when her hand was dragged into unguarded machinery. The 25-year-old woman from Poland, who does not wish to be named, was working for E-Leather Ltd at its manufacturing site in Peterborough when the incident happened on 30 October 2012.
HSE news release and leather manufacturing webpagesRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Council sentenced after major gas pipe rupture
Fife Council has been fined for serious criminal safety failings after workers struck and ruptured an underground gas pipe releasing almost four tonnes of gas. One hundred homes and businesses, as well as a primary school, were evacuated following the incident at the council’s Milesmark Depot in Dunfermline on 11 June 2010.
HSE news release and work near underground services guideThe CourierRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Worker breaks hip in fall from a flat-bed trailer
Denholm Global Logistics has been fined for safety failings after a lorry driver fell from a flat-bed trailer at a company warehouse in Felixstowe. The 60-year-old worker from mid Glamorgan, who does not wish to be named, broke his hip in three places and needed two steel pins inserted to help repair the damage following the incident on 6 February 2013.
HSE news release and falls from vehicles webpageRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Cherry picker pulled over during power line work
A West Yorkshire power distribution specialist has been fined after a worker suffered multiple fractures in a cherry picker fall in Hertfordshire. Nicholas Chenery, 33, of Stowmarket, suffered a compound fracture to the left leg and three fractured vertebrae to his lower spine in the incident in the Buntingford area on 9 August 2012.
HSE news releaseConstruction EnquirerRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Concrete concerns before Crossrail death
A whistleblower has revealed how giant boulders of concrete had fallen and a number of people were injured in the months before a construction worker was crushed to death in a Crossrail tunnel. A document marked “confidential”, obtained by the Camden New Journal, warns of the “hazardous and unsafe working conditions” for staff spraying concrete onto walls deep below ground.
Camden New JournalRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Network Rail caves in on bonuses
Rail union TSSA has welcomed Network Rail's announcement that bonuses for its five top executives are to be cut from up to 160 per cent of salary to 20 per cent. Network Rail bosses drew up plans to significantly curb their six figures bonuses in the wake of strong union-led criticism of their safety record.
TSSA news releaseRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Shopworkers raise violence concerns
Shopworkers have told a top Labour politician of the routine violence, threats and abuse they face in the course of their duties. Jack Dromey, a shadow Home Office minister, responded: “We will strengthen the law and see it effectively enforced by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service and we will ensure that employers take action, working with Usdaw to ensure the safety of their staff.”
Usdaw news release and news updateRisks 653
Hazards news, 10 May 2014

Britain: Trapped worker suffers horrific head injuries
A manufacturing company has been sentenced after a worker suffered horrific head injuries when he became trapped in a machine at a Newcastle factory. Desmond Salkeld, 65, was with a colleague investigating a fault on a hot wire cutting machine at Springvale EPS Ltd in Hazlerigg, when his head became trapped in dangerous moving parts.
HSE news release and safe maintenance webpagesRisks 652
Hazards news, 3 May 2014

Australia: Petrol tankers are ‘mobile bombs’
An Australian union has told a federal government tribunal that petrol tankers are little more than ‘mobile bombs’. The 29 April Road Safety Tribunal in Sydney was convened to consider minimum safety standards for Australian petrol tankers after research revealed 1 in 4 tanker drivers were pressured to speed and 1 in 2 drivers reported inadequate brake inspections.
TWU news releaseRisks 652
Hazards news, 3 May 2014

Bangladesh: Shocking toll from work chemicals
At least 63 people were killed in Bangladesh in the last three months by toxic chemicals used at work, a study has found. According to the Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE), which conducted the research, the most dangerous industries are agriculture, shipbreaking and tanneries.
BSS NewsDhaka TribuneRisks 652
Hazards news, 3 May 2014

USA: Chicken carcass spray makes workers sick
Chemicals used to disinfect chicken carcasses are making the workers exposed to them sick – and could even be killing them. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors and workers in poultry plants say the process of preparing chicken for sale is putting them at risk.
Food Integrity Campaign news reportWSBTVMother JonesWashington PostUFCW ActionEFSA news release and decontamination webpageBilaterals.orgIUF trade and investment brochureRisks 652
Hazards news, 3 May 2014

Britain: Tributes paid to teacher killed at school
The family of teacher Ann Maguire, who was stabbed to death at a school in Leeds, has described her as “a shining light” who “brightened the world.” Mrs Maguire, 61, had worked at Corpus Christi Catholic College for more than 40 years before she was attacked in front of pupils on Monday 28 April.
West Yorkshire Police updateBBC News OnlineNASUWT news releaseRisks 652
Hazards news, 3 May 2014

Britain: Call for action over Crossrail climate of fear
Construction union UCATT says it will step up pressure on Crossrail and its contractor Balfour Beatty Morgan Vinci (BBMV) to improve safety, following a damning leaked report. UCATT regional secretary Jerry Swain said: “Employers need to understand that the perception of being victimised for reporting safety concerns is very serious, whether this is actually the reality or not.”
UCATT news releaseThe ObserverIrish PostConstruction EnquirerMorning StarRisks 652
Hazards news, 3 May 2014

Britain: Government cuts ‘vital’ safety protections
The government’s persistent ideological attacks on key health and safety legislation threaten even more accidents, injuries and deaths at work, the TUC has warned.
TUC news release and report, Toxic, Corrosive and Hazardous: The government’s record on health and safetyTUC Workers’ Memorial Day 2014 webpagesRisks 652
Hazards news, 3 May 2014

Britain: ‘Disgust’ at commercial focus for HSE’s top job
Construction union UCATT has expressed ‘disgust and disquiet’ following the publication of the job advert for a new chief executive to run the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The advert’s opening line reads: “We are now seeking a new Chief Executive to help lead change in the organisation and take advantage of a range of national and international commercial opportunities.”
UCATT news releaseReport of HSE acting chief executive Kevin Myers to the April HSE board meeting Enright AssociatesHSE chief executive recruitment pack, closing date 5 May. We love red tape blogRisks 652
Hazards news, 3 May 2014

Global: BAT must end the abuse of tobacco workers
Shareholders attending the British American Tobacco (BAT) AGM in London have been urged to put pressure on senior directors at the company to do more to raise the plight of tobacco workers in North Carolina.
TUC news releaseIUF news releaseFLOC news releaseAFL-CIO Now blog
Send a message to BAT chairman Richard Burrows telling RAI to sign an agreement with FLOC • Risks 652
Hazards news, 3 May 2014

Britain: Sites 'timebomb' from health and safety cuts
The construction industry is sitting on a “ticking timebomb,” with inexperienced workers being recruited to work on London's major building sites at a time when safety standards are being run down, according to a former government adviser on the sector. Baroness Donaghy, who wrote a landmark report ‘One Death Too Many’ for the last Labour government, said there is a severe risk of a rise in deaths and serious injuries as building activity picks up during the recovery.
The ObserverRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

Bangladesh: Brands must pay up for Rana Plana victims
A year after the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh that killed over 1,100 people and injured around 2,000 more, major fashion brands have stumped up less than half the sum needed to compensate victims and their families. So far, companies keen to improve their public reputation have donated about £10 million, but that leaves a substantial £14.9m gap.
TUC news releaseTUC Touchstone blogIndustriALL news releaseILO news release and related releaseGrowth without tears campaign videoRana Plaza Donors Trust FundMorning StarSign up to the TUC ‘Join hands with Bangladesh’ campaignRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

Namibia: Uranium miners dying, Rio Tinto denying
Miners who dug uranium ore at a Rio Tinto-owned mine in Namibia are dying of cancers and unexplained illnesses after working in one of continent’s largest mines. A study of current and former workers at the giant Rio Tinto-owned Rössing uranium mine in Namibia found that everyone questioned was aware of people who are now suffering lung infections and unknown illnesses thought to be linked to their work.
Study on low-level radiation of Rio Tinto’s Rössing Uranium mine workers, EJOLT & Earthlife Namibia Report, April 2014. The GuardianRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

USA: Union calls for safety first in poultry industry
A new official study confirms what workers in the US poultry industry have been saying for decades – has among the highest rates of strain injuries in America related to high paced, repetitive work. The report was commissioned to allay safety concerns about the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) proposed poultry modernisation rule, which would increase the speed that birds are processed to a maximum of 175 a minute – but has done precisely the opposite.
UFCW news releaseIUF news reportNIOSH report summary and full reportRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

Britain: Rubbing out safety rules puts pupils and staff at risk
Government attacks on health and safety provisions are jeopardising the quality of educational provision for children and young people and putting staff and pupils at risk, the teaching union NASUWT has warned. Delegates at the union’s annual conference condemned the repeal of the School Premises Regulations, reclassifying schools as low-risk environments and “leaving children at risk of being educated in disused offices, shops and factories.”
NASUWT news releaseRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

Britain: Minister's ‘insensitive’ schools safety attack backfires
A news release issued by the UK safety minister attacking “ridiculous” safety measures in schools has been condemned as “insensitive”. The embargoed release was sent to journalists on the morning of the funeral of Keane Wallis-Bennett, the 12-year-old Edinburgh schoolgirl who was killed on 1 April by a collapsing school gym wall.
DWP news releaseFACK news releaseSunday HeraldMorning StarThe Scotsman and related storyBBC News Online and related storyRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

Britain: More pressure for helicopter safety inquiry
Offshore safety campaigners, crash survivors and unions came together at this month’s Scottish TUC annual conference to step up the campaign for a public inquiry into UK offshore helicopter safety. The groups said they want Norwegian-style offshore safety reforms to help more workers get back home safe, noting that since 2002 the UK offshore oil and gas industry has suffered 38 fatalities involving offshore helicopter transfers while there have been zero fatalities as a result of helicopter transfers in the Norwegian offshore industry over the same period.
Unite news releaseBBC News OnlineMorning StarRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

Britain: Pilots call for no ‘backsliding’ on helicopter safety
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has hit back at suggestions by industry body Oil & Gas UK that safety improvements to North Sea helicopter operations might damage North Sea productivity. Oil & Gas UK, the industry’s trade association, had said safety improvements demanded by authorities after a series of sometimes deadly incidents could negatively impact maintenance and production.
BALPA news releaseShetland TimesRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

Britain: More pressure for helicopter safety inquiry
Offshore safety campaigners, crash survivors and unions came together at this month’s Scottish TUC annual conference to step up the campaign for a public inquiry into UK offshore helicopter safety. The groups said they want Norwegian-style offshore safety reforms to help more workers get back home safe, noting that since 2002 the UK offshore oil and gas industry has suffered 38 fatalities involving offshore helicopter transfers while there have been zero fatalities as a result of helicopter transfers in the Norwegian offshore industry over the same period.
Unite news releaseBBC News OnlineMorning StarRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

Britain: Pilots call for no ‘backsliding’ on helicopter safety
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has hit back at suggestions by industry body Oil & Gas UK that safety improvements to North Sea helicopter operations might damage North Sea productivity. Oil & Gas UK, the industry’s trade association, had said safety improvements demanded by authorities after a series of sometimes deadly incidents could negatively impact maintenance and production.
BALPA news releaseShetland TimesRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

Britain: No tears after top Tory’s legal costs shocker
A top Tory acquitted of criminal charges but left with a £130,000 legal bill is getting a bitter taste of how his party’s policies have hit injured workers who now have to hand over part of any settlement. Before his arrest, Conservative MP and former deputy speaker Nigel Evans made statements about the need to cut legal aid and admitted he would probably have voted for the last round of cuts in 2011 had he not been deputy speaker at the time.
TUC Stronger Unions blogBBC News Online Risks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

Britain: The corrosive truth about the government’s safety record
The government’s “toxic, corrosive and hazardous” record on health and safety has placed workers at risk and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in jeopardy, the TUC has warned. TUC says there “must be a sea-change in our attitude to health and safety if we are going to stop this massive health problem that costs the state billions of pounds but which claims the lives of far too many workers.”
TUC news releaseToxic, corrosive and hazardous - the government's record on health and safety, TUC, April 2014 [pdf] • TUC health and safety – Time for change manifestoThe IndependentRisks 651
Hazards news, 26 April 2014

USA: Shell oil rig ran aground dodging tax
The grounding of a Shell oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Alaska was in part driven by tax-dodging, the US Coast Guard has said, putting workers and the environment at risk. The organisation said Alaska’s tax laws had influenced the decision to tow the drilling rig Kulluk to Seattle for maintenance.
Senator Markey news releaseMorning StarThe TelegraphRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Australia: Probe deadly risks? Come back tomorrow
Unions in Queensland wanting to investigate potentially deadly safety breaches at work have been told they now have to give a day’s notice before they enter the workplace. A law passed in the state parliament changes union right-of-entry rules, and requires the 24 hour notice period before union investigators can enter a work site where they believe there are safety problems.
CFMEU news releaseCourier MailRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Britain: Nuclear bomb firms given get-out on accidents
Private companies hired to work at the Clyde nuclear bomb bases in Scotland are being given a multi-million pound get-out by Westminster so they won’t have to pay compensation or clean-up costs after “potentially catastrophic” accidents. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to sign agreements with contractors at Faslane and Coulport that limit their financial liability in case of injuries, deaths, explosions, fires and radiation leaks to no more than £100,000.
Rob Edwards blogSunday HeraldRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Britain: Sentencing guidelines won’t go far enough
Draft sentencing guidelines for crimes of theft could improve the lot of shopworkers but will not be sufficient to prevent the 300 assaults they face every day, their union has said. The new draft guidelines, put out to consultation by the Sentencing Council on 3 April, cover crimes including pick-pocketing, shop theft, handling stolen goods, car theft, leaving a restaurant or petrol station without paying and stealing by employees or care workers.
Sentencing Council news releaseUsdaw news releaseRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Britain: Agency worker was dragged into machine
A Hull-based company, which operates worldwide, has been prosecuted for neglecting the safety of its staff after an agency worker had an arm crushed when it was dragged into a machine. Jamie Rignall, 30, suffered crush injuries to his right hand and arm in the incident at JH Fenner & Co Ltd, which trades as Fenner Dunlop Europe, a leading manufacturer of industrial conveyor belts.
HSE news release and work equipment webpagesRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Britain: Dodgy handrail led to agency worker’s fall
A Tyneside house builder has been fined after a young plasterer was seriously injured when a temporary handrail gave way as she leant on it and she fell to the floor below. The 23-year-old agency worker from Gateshead, who does not want to be named, was working for Bellway Homes Ltd when the incident happened on 4 December 2012.
HSE news release and falls webpagesConstruction EnquirerRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Britain: Apprentice loses finger and gets traumatised
A Northumberland company has been fined after a worker’s left hand was crushed in machinery leading to the amputation of one of his fingers. Ricky Martin, who was 18 at the time, was a third year apprentice with Miller UK Ltd when the incident occurred at its Cramlington premises on 12 March 2013.
HSE news release and machinery webpagesThe ChronicleRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Britain: Property firm director done for safety neglect
A Gwent-based property development company and its director have been fined after being observed putting the lives of workers at serious risk. Formaction Ltd was installing a new roof on an industrial unit in Cardiff in June 2013, when a member of the public spotted the dangerous work methods and informed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
HSE news releaseRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Britain: Worker loses limb and job in cylinder explosion
A worker filling gas cylinders had his leg severed below the knee when a faulty cylinder he was filling exploded at Guardian Gas Ltd in Bridgend. Andrew Wright, 43, was filling the defective cylinder which had been inadequately tested by certified inspection body Gaspack Services Ltd.
HSE news releaseRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Britain: UNISON to appeal over employment tribunal fees
UNISON is to apply to appeal last year’s High Court ruling rejecting its claim for Judicial Review of the government's decision to introduce tribunal fees. The union will ask the Court of Appeal to consider the “shocking” figures released last month that revealed employment tribunal claims dropped by 79 per cent in the first six months after the government imposed fees on workers bringing a claim.
UNISON news releaseRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Britain: Schoolgirl’s death shows why we need safety rules
The tragic death of a schoolgirl in Scotland is a salutary reminder that the need for safe and healthy workplaces is important for the wider public too, unions and campaigners have said. Keane Wallis-Bennett, 12, died on 1 April when a free standing wall in the gym changing room at Liberton High School fell on her.
UNISON news releaseFACK news releaseThe GuardianEdinburgh Evening NewsConstruction EnquirerRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Bangladesh: Brands must be told to make Rana Plaza payouts
Companies that sourced products from the Rana Plaza garment factories in Bangladesh where over 1,100 workers died a year ago should be pressed by the government to pay “adequate compensation” to bereaved relatives and injured workers, the TUC has said. In a letter to Justine Greening, the secretary of state for international development, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady wrote: “It is important for ministers to call on companies to pay into the fund by the first anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building on 24 April 2014 to demonstrate timely steps are being taken to rebuild the lives of workers and their families.”
TUC news releaseRana Plaza Trust Fund • Join the LabourStart campaign to get all the global brands to pay upRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Global: ILO says safety and profits go hand in hand
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is pressing for measures to address the labour abuses that led to Rana Plaza and other disasters. ILO director-general Guy Ryder told a high level meeting organised by the Danish government this month: “Rana Plaza is a call for global action on decent working conditions,” adding: “Better working conditions are in everyone’s interests, a safer industry does not mean a less profitable one.”
ILO news releaseRisks 650
Hazards news, 12 April 2014

Britain: Radiation testing worker gets massive x-ray dose
A Hartlepool firm that tests machine components using x-ray and gamma radiation has been fined after one of its workers suffered ionising radiation burns while carrying out tests on safety equipment. The Redcar man, who has asked not to be named, suffered severe tissue damage to the middle, ring and little fingers of his right hand in the incident at Mistras ETS Ltd on 19 September 2012, and received more than the maximum legal yearly radiation dose in a few seconds.
HSE news release and radiation webpagesThe Northern EchoITV NewsThe GazetteRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Britain: Recycling firm fined over young worker’s injuries
A young worker almost lost his arm when it became trapped in inadequately guarded machinery at a recycling plant in Lancashire. The 20-year-old employee, from Bolton-by-Bowland in Lancashire, broke his right arm in several places in the incident at Environmental Waste Recycling Ltd in Kelbrook on 7 August 2013.
HSE news release and waste and recycling industry webpagesRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Britain: Companies fined for cable strike failings
Two north-east companies have been fined after workers were exposed to danger of electrocution when a digger struck an underground cable outdated plans had failed to identify. Egger (UK) Ltd and Northern Construction Solutions Ltd were both prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
HSE news release and electricity webpagesConstruction EnquirerRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Britain: Building firm fails the welfare test
A Lancashire building firm has been fined for failing to provide basic facilities for its workers for nearly three weeks. Two Brooks Valley Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an inspection of a construction site for a new mini-supermarket in Warton found workers had no shelter, no way of drying their clothes and no way of heating food and drinks.
HSE news release and construction webpagesRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Britain: Firm fined for workers’ injuries tackling fire
Two workers suffered burns, one seriously, when hot material from an industrial dryer hit them as they tried to tackle a fire at a factory in South Wales. The employees of Maxibrite, in Llantrisant, were trying to fight the fire at the coal briquette plant on 16 December 2012 when they were hurt, one suffering severe burns to his back, legs and hands.
HSE news release and fire safety webpagesRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Australia: Court hammers site union over safety dispute
An Australian construction union has been given a massive fine after blockading Melbourne building sites for several days in a dispute over safety. Concerns about safety raised by CFMEU at Grocon sites, where the company had denied workers union safety representation, had been supported by reports from the official safety regulator Worksafe, but the union was fined $1.25m (£700,000) and ordered to pay costs for ignoring court orders and blocking the sites.
CFMEU Victoria news releaseThe GuardianRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

China: At least 11 dead in garment workshop fire
At least 11 people were killed and another 17 injured when a fire broke out at a small family-run underwear workshop in Puning county, Guangdong, on the afternoon of 26 March. Official media reports said the five-storey concrete structure appeared to have only one exit.
China Labour BulletinSouth China Morning PostRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

India: When will the ‘world’s worst job’ finally end?
Clearing human excrement by hand – dubbed the world’s worst job - is continuing in India, despite laws outlawing it. There are still hundreds of thousands of ‘night soil workers’ in India – those who physically remove human excrement from ‘dry’ toilets, and there are millions more who perform the task of clearing human waste and general refuse by hand.
Equal TimesRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Ireland: Fishing fatalities 40 times workplace average
People working in Ireland’s fishing industry are almost 40 times more likely to be killed at work compared to the average worker.  The statistic forms part of a new public awareness campaign by Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the official workplace safety regulator, to help improve safety standards, after an inspection programme found just one in three fishing boats had a safety statement, while only one in five completed adequate risk assessments.
HSA news releaseIrish ExaminerRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Qatar: Union mission finds ‘shocking exploitation’
Construction union UCATT says it witnessed ‘shocking exploitation’ and workers subsisting in appalling living conditions, during a fact finding mission to Qatar. The union says it now plans to put further pressure on the Qatar government and British-based companies working in the country.
UCATT news releaseRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Britain: Shopworkers selling alcohol need protection
The government has blocked a proposal aimed at protecting from assault workers selling alcohol. John Hannett, general secretary of the shopworkers’ union Usdaw, said he was disappointed by the government action.
Usdaw news releaseRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Britain: Grounding fine ‘hardly a deterrent’ says union
A £60,000 fine on the German operator of a cargoship that ran aground on rocks off the north-east coast of England, stranding its crew for two weeks, is not a sufficient deterrent to stop ships employing too few crew and working them too long and too hard, the seafarers’ union Nautilus has said. The 80 metre MV Danio ran aground in the early hours of 16 March 2013 off the Northumberland coast while sailing from Perth to Antwerp.
Nautilus news releaseBBC News OnlineNewcastle Evening ChronicleRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Britain: A massive step backwards for health and safety
The government has chosen the 40th anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act to make one of the most dangerous changes since the legislation came into effect in 1974, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady has warned. Writing in the Morning Star she says ministers have “decided that Britain’s 4.3 million self-employed people should no longer be subject to the provisions of the Act unless they also employ people or are on a prescribed list of occupations,” adding: “This is a huge step backwards, and one that could lead to a big increase in deaths, injuries and ill-health.”
TUC news releaseUnite news releaseDaily MailRisks 649
Hazards news, 5 April 2014

Bangladesh: Rana Plaza fund payouts to start
The 3,600 workers and families owed compensation from the Rana Plaza factory collapse last year will be able to claim payment from 24 March, the global unions that pressed for the creation of the fund have said. An advance payment equivalent to US$650 will be made to every beneficiary before the one-year anniversary on 24 April.
UNI news releaseIndustriALL news releaseILO news releaseRana Plaza Trust FundEqual Times • Join the LabourStart campaign to get all the global brands to pay upRisks 648
Hazards news, 29 March 2014

Britain: Road tragedies expose statistical hole
Hundreds of workers die each year on Britain’s roads while working, but you’d not know it from the statistics. Almost all work-related road deaths are classified as ‘road traffic accidents’ and are not included in the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) annual work fatalities total.
Thames Valley Police news release • BBC News Online coverage of the cyclist and lorry driver deaths • Daily RecordNewbury Weekly NewsRisks 648
Hazards news, 29 March 2014

Britain: Skull fractured by catapulted metal peg
Staffordshire company Thomas Bolton Ltd has been fined after a worker suffered life-changing injuries when he was hit on the head by a metal peg. The two-kilogramme peg, which was attached to a ten-tonne overhead crane and fabric sling, was catapulted out of the sling, through the factory roof and back down into the factory some 26 metres away, hitting an employee on the head.
HSE news releaseRisks 648
Hazards news, 29 March 2014

Britain: Textile firm crushed worker’s fingers
A Huddersfield woman was left with lasting hand damage when her fingers were crushed in a yarn processing machine. The 59-year-old was injured at Lawton Yarns Ltd’s Ravensthorpe factory in Dewsbury as she reached under the rollers of a carding machine to retrieve some fibres.
HSE news release and manufacturing webpagesRisks 648 • 29 March 2014

Britain: Injury at food firm leaves a costly aftertaste
A Kent-based international food manufacturer has been prosecuted for criminal safety failings after a worker’s hand was trapped by a sealing machine. Craig Brandie, a 24-year-old employee of Veetee Foods Ltd, suffered a crushed finger when he and colleagues began to clean the machine after an oil leak.
HSE news release and equipment safety webpagesRisks 648Hazards news, 29 March 2014

Global: What are you doing on 28 April?
It’s time you told the world just what you were planning for 28 April, Workers’ Memorial Day. And that task just got a little easier, thanks to a new poster from global union federation ITUC and the UK-based Hazards magazine.
ITUC/Hazards 28 April 2014 International Workers’ Memorial Day posterTUC workers’ Memorial Day 2014 webpages • ITUC/Hazards 28 April global webpages and facebook pageRisks 648
Hazards news, 29 March 2014

Britain: Standing up for site workers - and their safety
One of the biggest names in the UK construction industry has pledged to support efforts to achieve a “fair resolution for the injustice” suffered by blacklisted workers. Caroline Murphy, who this week resigned from the board of Murphy Group, the construction giant founded by her father, said: “It has been my experience as deputy chair of the Murphy Group of construction companies, that safety and quality are inextricably linked.”
TUC Stronger Unions blogCaroline Murphy blog and news releaseConstruction EnquirerRisks 648
Hazards news, 29 March 2014

Britain: Demolition worker was crushed by steelwork
A demolition contractor has been fined for criminal safety failings after a worker suffered life-changing injuries when steelwork he was dismantling collapsed on top of him. The 39-year-old from Barnsley sustained serious crush injuries including a fractured sternum and vertebrae in the incident at a former block works in Shawell, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, on 11 March 2013.
HSE news release and demolition webpages. Construction EnquirerRisks 648
Hazards news, 29 March 2014

Britain: Rail unions get movement on director gravy train
Network Rail bosses have drawn up plans to significantly curb their six figures bonuses in the wake of strong union-led criticism over failures in their safety record. But documents leaked to the rail union TSSA show that while the firm will scale back bonuses to top directors, they are planning to increase base salaries to compensate.
TSSA news releaseRisks 648
Hazards news, 29 March 2014

Global: Unions challenge World Cup migrant labour abuse
A union-coordinated joint mission to expose the abuse suffered by migrant construction workers in Qatar has kicked off this week. The delegation, which includes representatives of UK unions and Labour MPs, is investigating the working conditions that see hundreds of migrant construction workers die in Qatar every year.
UCATT news releaseBWI news release.
Foul play, a Hazards photofile on the global union campaign around the 2022 World Cup in QatarThe case against Qatar, ITUC report • Risks 648
Hazards news, 29 March 2014

Honduras: Union body wins death threats investigation
The Honduran ambassador to the UK has promised to investigate death threats and victimisation of trade unionists in the country after an approach by unions. The London-based International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) won the commitment after a high-level told the ambassador union members have been subject to a catalogue of human and trade union rights abuses in Puerto Cortés since September 2012, when global terminal operator ICTSI won the concession to run the port.
ITF news release and related news releaseRisks 648
Hazards news, 29 March 2014

Britain: Boss abandoned teenage waitress half-blinded by chemicals
A restaurant owner has been fined after a member of his staff was splashed in the face with a caustic chemical. Initially, the incident – which happened at Huffers Cafe, Sudbury, in September 2012 – was not reported to authorities. The employee, 16-year-old Chelsea Stafford, was left half blinded on the street outside, given £20 to get a taxi and had to call her mother for assistance.
Babergh District Council news releaseSuffolk Free PressEnvironmental Health NewsRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: Life-changing injuries hamper trainee vet’s ambitions
A Shropshire horse breeder has been prosecuted for safety failings after a student suffered severe leg and pelvic injuries when she was felled by four straw bales on her last day of work experience. Emily Dawson, a 20-year-old veterinary student, was on placement at leading independent stud farm, RL Matson & Son of Whitchurch, run by partner Edward Matson.
HSE news release and guide on safe working with hay and straw balesShropshire StarRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: Scaffolding firm done for department store danger
A Hertfordshire scaffolding firm has been fined for a catalogue of criminal safety failings – including throwing and catching metal fittings over the heads of shoppers – as they    erected two scaffolds outside an Oxford department store. Darren Baker Scaffolding Limited also failed to ensure the structures outside Debenhams were properly configured, braced and tied, which compromised their stability.
HSE news releaseRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: Painter injured in fall from dodgy scaffold
A painter and decorator was injured when he fell through an unprotected ladder opening on scaffolding erected by London-based Beacon Scaffolding at a block of flats in Hemel Hempstead. Self-employed decorator David Currie, 48, suffered a fractured arm and dislocated shoulder in the 6 November 2012 incident.
HSE news release and falls webpagesConstruction EnquirerRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: Worker removing glue gets stuck in machine
A ceiling company has been fined for serious criminal safety breaches after a worker required skin grafts on an arm that had been caught in machinery. Supervisor Paul Turney, 61, was removing hardened-on glue from the lower roller spindle on a laminator machine when his left arm was caught in the drive mechanism at CEP Ceiling Ltd’s premises in Stafford on 21 January 2013; his forearm was caught in the intermeshing metal gears, which chewed up a large chunk of tissue.
HSE news release and machinery safety webpagesExpress and StarRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: Agency worker injured in poorly guarded machine
A Welwyn Garden City manufacturing firm has been prosecuted after an agency worker suffered a hand injury when clearing a blockage on a poorly-guarded palletiser machine. The 33-year-old worker, who does not wish to be named, was attempting to restart a machine at Sika Ltd’s factory after dealing with the blockage when his right hand was struck by a moving part.
HSE news release and manufacturing webpagesRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Bangladesh: Fearful Rana Plaza survivors return to factories
Less than year on from Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, which claimed over 1,100 lives, most of the survivors of the tragedy have had no choice but to return to industry despite ill-health and dread of another collapse. Many complain of panic attacks, headaches and nightmares, but most of the workers in Rana Plaza were young women from rural backgrounds with no possibility of finding work, or sometimes even enough food, near their home villages.
The GuardianRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

China: Clamour grows for dust disease action
Pressure for official action to stem China’s epidemic of work-related dust diseases has reached the highest levels of government.  China Labour Bulletin (CLB) reports that several delegates at the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress and its advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), called on the government to do more for the estimated six million workers in China with pneumoconioses, lung diseases caused by dust.
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Qatar: ITUC exposes ‘squalid’ World Cup conditions
A new report from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) exposes how far Qatar will go to deny workers their rights. ‘The case against Qatar’ was published ahead of a critical executive committee meeting of FIFA, football’s global governing body, on 20 March.
ITUC news release and report, The case against QatarTUC news releaseEqual TimesTUC Touchstone blogITUC Re-run the vote campaignRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

USA: Deadly industry attack on NY scaffolding law Construction industry lobbyists are attempting to gut a New York scaffolding safety law, a measure that for more than a century has added an extra layer of accountability for firms. Online publication In These Times reports that the lobbyists claim the law cuts into the industry’s bottom line.
In These TimesRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: UCATT welcomes false self-employment move
Treasury plans to clampdown on bogus self-employment have been welcomed by UCATT. The construction union has argued consistently that the widespread practice by employers of wrongly designating workers as self-employed has denied the Treasury millions and robbed workers of essential employment and safety protections.
UCATT news release. Government webpage on the false self-employment consultationRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: CWU celebrates new dangerous dogs law
Postal workers’ union CWU has welcomed a new dangerous dogs law. The measures, which will extend the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and see far harsher punishments for owners of dangerous dogs, will be introduced in England and Wales in early May.
CWU news release and Dangerous dogs – Bite back campaignRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: UCATT welcomes false self-employment move
Treasury plans to clampdown on bogus self-employment have been welcomed by UCATT. The construction union has argued consistently that the widespread practice by employers of wrongly designating workers as self-employed has denied the Treasury millions and robbed workers of essential employment and safety protections.
UCATT news release. Government webpage on the false self-employment consultationRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: Tribunals fall so workers and justice pay the price
A dramatic drop in number of people taking employment tribunal cases since the introduction of a fees system shows the government is on the side of bad bosses, the TUC has said. Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures reveal there has been a 79 per cent fall in employment tribunal cases – from 45,710 between September and December 2012 to 9,801 cases for the same period last year – since the government introduced a fee for most workers to take cases, including victimisation for workplace safety activities.
TUC news releaseUNISON news releaseUsdaw news releaseGMB news releaseMorning StarRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: Helicopter deaths firm still escaping justice
Scotland’s top lawmaker should bring a criminal prosecution against a helicopter firm whose negligence has been linked to an offshore tragedy, the union Unite has said. The finding of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the April 2009 deaths of 16 men in a Bond Super Puma helicopter crash in the North Sea concluded that the tragedy could have been prevented.
Unite news releaseBALPA news releaseFAI – Super Puma helicopter crash, full determinationBBC News OnlineEnergy VoiceRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Britain: STUC calls for urgent review of fatality inquiries
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has repeated its call on the Scottish government to review the country’s Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) system. The union body was speaking out after the publication of the findings from the FAI into the deaths of 16 workers in a Bond helicopter crash in the North Sea on 1 April 2009.
STUC news releaseRisks 647 • 22 March 2014

Britain: Dad’s work death spurs safety action call
Kenneth Hume was just 29 when he was killed at work, leaving behind a young family. His son Stewart, who grew up to be a union rep for Unite and a vocal safety advocate, says: “Please take part in International Workers’ Memorial Day, I know I will.”
Blacklist blog. Hazards Campaign website and 28 April resources: Posters: free (A3 and A4 available). Stickers: £1 for a single sticker, £0.50 each for 2-10, and £0.25 each for 11-100, with bigger discounts for bigger orders. Lapel stickers: £1 for a single sticker, £0.50 each for 2-10, and £0.25 each for 11-100. Car stickers: £1 each, £30 per 100. Purple ribbons: £0.30 each, £30 per 100. T-shirts: in s, m, l, xl, xxl, xxxl. £6. Order from the Hazards Campaign, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Manchester M16 7WD.  Tel: 0161 636 7557. Email: info@hazardscampaign.org.uk.
TUC workers’ Memorial Day 2014 webpages. ITUC/Hazards 28 April global webpages and facebook pageRisks 647
Hazards news, 22 March 2014

Bangladesh: Firms complete first independent inspections
Garment factories in Bangladesh have faced their first independent safety audits since the union-brokered safety accord took effect. The newly published reports of the first inspections identified widespread safety shortcomings in garment factories, including the need to reduce the total load in certain areas through moving material, stock, or supplies and improvements to electrical safety and maintenance procedures.
IndustriALL news releaseUNI news releaseNew York TimesFinancial PostRisks 646
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Global: Chemical industry manipulating EU-US trade talks
A leaked document from the December 2013 round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations exposes the extent of chemical industry influence over secretive ongoing US-EU trade negotiations, independent researchers have found. Their report says chemical industry proposals to TTIP would have a ‘chilling effect’ on the regulatory environment, slowing down the implementation of precautionary decisions on toxic chemicals, undermining democratic decision-making and stifling the innovation of safer alternatives. 
Toxic partnership: A critique of the ACC-CEFIC proposal for trans-Atlantic cooperation on chemicals, ClientEarth/CIEL’s joint report, March 2014. Leaked document from the December 2013 round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations • TUC Touchstone blogThe GuardianRisks 646
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Global: Call for full disclosure in science research
The selective promotion of scientific research to steer policy-making is a murky business, particularly as “the battle for the ear of the piper between big business and the ‘little guy’, who is often affected by pollution or hazardous substances, is so asymmetric,” a Nature editorial has warned. It cites the ongoing controversy in the US over a much delayed occupational silica dust exposure standard, noting: “Rather than challenging [safety regulator] OSHA for requesting conflict-of-interest disclosures, US politicians should be asking why all federal agencies do not require them.”
Full disclosure: Regulatory agencies must demand conflict-of-interest statements for the research they use. Editorial, Nature, 507, issue 7490, page 8, 6 March 2014 • Risks 646
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Britain: Bar worker lies in pub lift incident
An investigation has been launched following the death of a young bar worker after an incident at a pub in Swansea. Bars are not subject to preventive unannounced health and safety inspections under the government’s deregulatory plans.
South Wales Evening PostBBC News OnlineRisks 646
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Britain: Worker was crushed to death in a warehouse
A Midlands heating, ventilation and air conditioning manufacturer has been fined £150,000 after a worker was crushed to death while working in its warehouse. Ronald Meese, 58, a production supervisor for Roberts-Gordon Europe Ltd, died when one a stack of metal tubes, weighing a tonne, collapsed onto him.
HSE news release and warehousing webpagesExpress and StarRisks 646
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Britain: Reversing van killed painter
A Preston building firm has been convicted of criminal safety offences and fined £130,000 over the death of a worker outside a cinema in Ashton-on-Ribble. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted EMC Contracts Ltd after father-of-one Carl Green was struck by a reversing van in a paved area outside the entrance to the Odeon Cinema on 27 July 2010.
HSE news release and workplace transport webpagesConstruction EnquirerRisks 646 • 15 March 201
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Britain: Contractor convicted after causing concrete burns
A builder has been convicted of a criminal safety offence after two labourers sustained second degree chemical burns after working knee-deep in wet concrete for more than four hours at a development in south-west London. Principal contractor Geoffrey Cinko, 55, was convicted of a criminal safety offence and fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 in costs.
HSE news releaseRisks 646
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Global: The human cost of your new phone
Before you buy a new laptop, phone or tablet you should think about the effect on those who make them. Overwhelmingly your electronic gizmos are not produced in well-regulated economies with strong unions; the risks in their manufacture have been exported.
Who pays the price? Human costs in electronics – see the film and the facebook pageTUC Stronger Unions blogRisks 646
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Britain: Deadly Network Rail slammed for victim blaming
A call from MPs for an end to Network Rail’s bonus culture has been welcomed by rail union TSSA. The House of Commons transport select committee last week also condemned the rail giant’s deadly blame the victim approach on level crossing safety, an observation that prompted an apology from Network Rail for its “past failings in managing public safety at level crossings and for its past behaviour towards bereaved families.”
TSSA news release • Transport Select Committee news releases on the report and Network Rail’s apologyNetwork Rail news releaseBBC News Online •   ITV News. TelegraphRisks 646
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Britain: Firefighting at risk from funding cuts
Fire authorities across England and Wales are at “crisis point” as government funding cuts have left them unable to respond to national emergencies, local authorities have warned. The Local Government Association (LGA) services management committee chair Kay Hammond said its modelling “shows that further funding cuts in 2015/16 and beyond could start to impact on their ability to deliver this effective firefighting, rescue operations and community safety.”
FBU news releaseLGA news release and reportMorning StarRisks 646
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Britain: Unite demands answers following Crossrail fatality
Unite has called for an urgent meeting with Crossrail contractor BFK so the company can explain the circumstances surrounding the first fatality on the £15 billion construction project. The Metropolitan Police Service confirmed the worker who died on Friday 7 March was 43-year-old Slovakian national Rene Tkacik, who was employed by a Crossrail subcontractor.
Unite news releaseLondon Evening StandardConstruction EnquirerRisks 646
Hazards news, 15 March 2014

Qatar: Call for ‘kafala amnesty’ after gas tragedies
Workers injured in a gas leak and a separate deadly gas explosion at a local restaurant in Doha should be given a ‘kafala amnesty’ and the option to change employers or leave the country with their end of service benefits, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has said. The kafala system used in Qatar strips migrant workers of their right to change jobs or leave the country without their employer’s permission.
ITUC news releaseRisks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Global: Pressure grows on global brands
Over 70 labour rights groups and trade unions have signed up to a joint statement calling on global clothing brands that source from Bangladesh to pay into the Rana Plaza Donor Trust Fund. They say the money will ensure the survivors and families of victims of the devastating collapse receive the much needed support they need.
Clean Clothes Campaign news release, joint statement and list of signatories. Rana Plaza Donor Trust FundRisks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Britain: Are you geared up for 28 April?
Workers’ Memorial Day, the biggest event on the union safety calendar, is fast approaching. So, have you sorted your action kit for 28 April? The Hazards Campaign is providing everything from the poster you stick on the wall to the t-shirt you stick on your back.
Posters: free (A3 and A4 available). Stickers: £1 for a single sticker, £0.50 each for 2-10, and £0.25 each for 11-100, with bigger discounts for bigger orders. Lapel stickers: £1 for a single sticker, £0.50 each for 2-10, and £0.25 each for 11-100. Car stickers: £1 each, £30 per 100. Purple ribbons: £0.30 each, £30 per 100. T-shirts: in s, m, l, xl, xxl, xxxl. £6. Order from the Hazards Campaign, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Manchester M16 7WD.  Tel: 0161 636 7557. Email: info@hazardscampaign.org.uk • Risks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Britain: ‘Predatory’ Amazon receives an unwelcome delivery
On 28 February, Amazon’s UK headquarter received an unwelcome delivery of its own. Campaigners handed over a 56,000-strong petition calling on the firm to pay its workers a living wage. Petition organiser Emily Kenway of the Amazon Anonymous campaign said: “Amazon’s 3-points-and-you’re-out disciplinary system comes under fire in many of these testimonies, with points doled out for work-related injuries and traffic accidents.”
TUC Stronger Unions blogAFL-CIO now blogAmazon Anonymous campaignRisks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Britain: Self-employed plan is unjustified and its ‘dangerous’
The government’s plan to exempt most self-employed from coverage by safety laws is unjustified and ‘dangerous’, safety professionals’ organisation IOSH has said. The safety body was commenting on clause 1 of the government’s Deregulation Bill, which seeks to remove ‘burdens’ on most self-employed workers by exempting them from health and safety law.
IOSH blogRisks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Britain: Rig shuts down after North Sea worker dies
An oil worker has died after falling into the water from a North Sea platform. George Bartlett, from Shotts in Lanarkshire, fell from the Taqa’s Harding platform, which is about 200 miles north east of Aberdeen, during “maintenance activity” on 27 February.
Taqa statementBBC News Online and updateRisks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Britain: Worker was crushed to death on hospital site
A major London firm has been ordered to pay more than £250,000 in fines and costs for criminal safety failings after a worker was killed by a large concrete beam during a dangerous lifting operation in strong winds at a hospital construction site. Guilherme de Oliveira, 44, from Portugal, was working for Bouygues UK Ltd when he sustained fatal crush injuries in the incident at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford on 10 November 2008.
HSE news release and lifting operations webpagesConstruction EnquirerRisks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Britain: Manufacturer fined after acetone burns welder
A welder was seriously burned when an open bowl of highly flammable acetone used to quench hot work at a Didcot manufacturing firm ignited. The 38 year-old employee was in hospital for a week and needed skin grafts after seriously burning his left leg in the incident at Thames Cryogenics Ltd on 23 January 2012.
HSE news releaseRisks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Britain: Unite calls for action on helicopter safety
A Unite petition signed by thousands of workers was submitted to the Scottish parliament, urging MSPs to help restore ‘shattered confidence’ in offshore helicopter safety. The move coincided with a 27 February Scottish parliamentary debate led by MSP Richard Baker, in support of Unite’s ‘Back Home Safe’ campaign.
Unite news releaseRisks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Britain: London fire cuts claim their first victim
Firefighters have accused the Mayor of London of having “blood on his hands” after a Woolwich pensioner lost his life following a house fire less than two months after his local fire station closed. Maurice Cunliffe, 83, died in the early hours of Thursday 27 February, four days after being pulled semi-conscious from a fire in his flat.
FBU news releaseDaily ExpressRisks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Britain: Unions vow 'war' on driverless trains
Rail unions have vowed to resist plans to introduce driverless trains on the London Underground. Transport for London (TfL) has begun a tendering process for what it calls the New Tube for London. Bob Crow, general secretary of rail union RMT, said: “The RMT will not allow Tube safety to be sacrificed on the altar of driverless operation and we are geared up and ready to go to war on this one.”
ASLEF news releaseBBC News OnlineWandworth GuardianRisks 645
Hazards news, 8 March 2014

Britain: Attempted citizen’s arrest of blacklist boss
The Blacklist Support Group has attempted to serve a Citizen’s Arrest Warrant on Callum McAlpine, the first ever chair of the covert and illegal blacklister the Consulting Association. The arrest bid on Friday 21 February -  the fifth anniversary of the raid on the Consulting Association by the Information Commissioner’s Office -  took place at the Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd London offices.
Reel News coverageBlacklist blogMorning StarConstruction Enquirer.
Families Against Blacklisting Group, facebook page • Risks 644
Hazards news, 1 March 2014

Britain: Suspended jail term after bricklayer is paralysed
A Lincoln builder has been handed a four-month suspended prison sentence after a self-employed bricklayer broke his back in two places in a three metre fall from faulty scaffolding. Robert Wilkin, 70, was left paralysed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair following the incident at a warehouse in North Hykeham on 14 February 2013.
HSE news release and construction webpagesConstruction EnquirerRisks 644
Hazards news, 1 March 2014

Britain: Worker suffered horrific injuries in explosion
A Worcestershire engineering firm has been fined for safety crimes after a worker lost both his legs in a factory blast. Clive Dainty, from Kidderminster, was working at Filtration Service Engineering Ltd (FSE) on 8 December 2011 when a 335-litre vessel exploded as it was being pressure tested.
HSE news release and pressure testing guideExpress and StarBBC News OnlineRisks 644
Hazards news, 1 March 2014

Russia: Pilots locked in dogfight with Aeroflot bosses
Aeroflot pilots are being left out in the cold following a long-standing safety dispute between their union and the management, with three union leaders now threatened with jail. The Equal Times online journal reports that Russia’s biggest airline carrier is under intense pressure from labour rights groups who say the company is putting lives at risk by refusing to listen to the safety concerns of pilots.
Equal Times • Sign up to the LabourStart online campaign to call for the release of Shlyapnikov, Pimoshenko and Knysho • Risks 644
Hazards news, 1 March 2014

USA: Free pizza after Chevron fracking explosion kills
One hundred residents of a tiny Pennsylvania town where a fracking well exploded into a deadly tower of flame, killing one person and burning for five days, have received an apology in the form of a pizza coupon. Chevron Appalachia Community Outreach sent local residents a certificate that entitles them to a large meal (‘Special Combo Only’) from Bobtown Pizza following the 11 February tragedy.
TUC Touchstone blogPittburgh Post GazetteABC NewsRisks 644
Hazards news, 1 March 2014

Britain: Pilots back helicopter safety plan
Helicopter pilots operating around Britain's shores and represented by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) have welcomed wide-ranging recommendations made in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) review of helicopter operations.
BALPA news releaseCAA news releaseThe ScotsmanBBC News Online and related storyRisks 644
Hazards news, 1 March 2014

Europe: ‘Better lawmaking’ in Europe is much worse
A European Parliament resolution agreed in early February has undermined worker protection and “let us down badly,” the TUC has said. According to TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson: “Of course this has all played right into the hands of Cameron and the anti-regulatory wing of the Commission who are doing his bidding and will make it even more likely that the new Commission, due to be appointed shortly, will also take up the deregulation agenda.”
TUC Strong Unions blogEuropean Parliament resolution •  Find out how your MEP voted‘We love red tape’ facebook pageRisks 644
Hazards news, 1 March 2014

Britain: Shock drop in construction inspections in Wales
A drop in the number of official safety spot checks on building sites in Wales could lead to workers being put at risk, construction union UCATT has warned. The union was commenting after figures obtained by BBC Wales revealed that inspections by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the last financial year were down 35 per cent.
UCATT news releaseBBC News OnlineRisks 644
Hazards news, 1 March 2014

Britain: Self-employed exemption gets even scarier
The government’s plans to exempt most self-employed workers from safety law is a really bad idea that has just got even worse, the TUC’s head of safety has warned.
TUC Stronger Unions blogRisks 644
Hazards news, 1 March 2014

Britain: ‘Frightening’ list is peppered with deadly omissions
Self-employed workers, some in industries well known for their deadly record, are to be excluded from health and safety law under a draft government plan. A TUC analysis of the three most recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) month fatality reports found most could be in occupations not included in the government’s draft ‘prescribed’ list of self-employed jobs to remain subject to health and safety law.
TUC Stronger Unions blogRisks 644
Hazards news, 1 March 2014

Tanzania: Deaths mine 'had a fantastic year'
At the launch of the African Barrick Gold plc (ABG) 2013 financial results, chief executive officer Brad Gordon said that its North Mara gold mine in Tanzania “had a fantastic year last year.” The company, though, made no mention of the multiple deaths and injuries to local villagers that have occurred over the past year, including four deaths at the mine in the past month alone.
Leigh Day news releaseABG news releaseRisks 643
Hazards news, 22 February 2014

Qatar: We can prevent the World Cup carnage
If the 2022 Qatar World Cup organisers thought they would escape scrutiny by publishing revised Workers’ Safety Standards last week - and misleadingly claiming they had the backing of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) - they were wrong. The Observer reported last Sunday that 400 Nepalis had died in Qatar in the last year, a finding followed up by statistics obtained from the Indian Embassy in Qatar that revealed more than 450 Indian migrants had died in Qatar in the last two years.
TUC Stronger Unions blogITUC news releaseBWI news releaseILO news releaseThe GuardianThe ObserverRisks 643
Hazards news, 22 February 2014

Britain; Tipper driver crushed to death at concrete block plant
Concrete block manufacturer Plasmor (Halton) has been fined £100,000 after a worker was crushed to death when a tipper truck overturned. David Astley, 56, was crushed when a trailer full of limestone dust fell on him at the Widnes plant as it was being emptied on 13 July 2013.
HSE news release and transport webpagesConstruction EnquirerRisks 643
Hazards news, 22 February 2014

Britain: Farming firm in court after wetland deaths
A Cambridgeshire farming partnership has been sentenced for a criminal safety offence following the death of a student undertaking pest control work. Trainee gamekeeper Luke Yardy, 17, drowned in a lake at Kingfishers Bridge Wetland in Wicken on 11 September 2011 when he fell from a small boat while trying to retrieve the carcass of a culled goose; his step-brother, Ashley, also drowned while attempting a rescue.
HSE news releaseCambridge NewsBBC News OnlineRisks 643
Hazards news, 22 February 2014

Britain: Engineer and firm fined over crush deaths
A building firm and an engineer have been fined after two workers died when a wall collapsed on them at a building site in Suffolk. Matthew Skeet, 19, and Kevin Ruffles, 57, died at Worlingworth on 21 October 2010. Elliston Steady & Hawes (Building) was fined £45,000 and Barry Potts, 65, fined £15,000 at Ipswich Crown Court.
Suffolk Police news releaseEast Anglian Daily TimesBBC News OnlineRisks 643
Hazards news, 22 February 2014

Britain; Security firm fined for generator death failings
Security company Anchor Services (GB) Limited has been fined for criminal safety failings after a lone working security guard was killed by carbon monoxide fumes from a petrol generator. Arthur Ebirim, 45, was overcome by the killer gas on 28 October 2011 as he kept a night-time watch over a disused nursing home in Taunton Vale, Gravesend, that was awaiting demolition.
HSE news releaseRisks 643
Hazards news, 22 February 2014

Britain: Cold storage firm done for multiple failings
A Nottinghamshire cold storage firm, Dawson Rental Portable Cold Storage Ltd, has been fined for criminal safety failings after one worker was injured by falling equipment and several others developed a disabling condition of the nerves and joints.
HSE news release and vibration webpagesRisks 643
Hazards news, 22 February 2014

Britain: What will you be doing on 28 April?
The TUC webpages for Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April 2014 are now up, ready and waiting to list your planned activities. The TUC 28 April webpage notes: “The TUC believes that we should use the day to highlight the need for strong regulation at national, European and global level.”
TUC Workers’ Memorial Day, 28 April 2014 webpages. If you know of any union 28 April events, email details to the TUC health and safety departmentRisks 643
Hazards news, 22 February 2014

Britain: Safety cuts ‘calculated on the back of an envelope’
Government cuts to proactive Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspections were imposed without an impact assessment and without any investigation of increased risks to workers or the general public, the construction union UCATT has found. Both DWP and HSE said they did not hold the information requested.
UCATT news releaseMorning StarLow life, Hazards online report, January 2013Risks 643
Hazards news, 22 February 2014

Bangladesh: Fire factory owners surrender
Two owners of the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh where 112 workers died in a fire two years ago have turned themselves in to the authorities. Delwar Hossain and his wife Mahmuda Akter face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
BBC News OnlineTimes UnionRisks 642
Hazards news, 15 February 2014

Brazil: Another death at a World Cup stadium site
Workers at a World Cup stadium in Manaus, Brazil, threatened strike action last week, to add weight to their demand for better conditions following a third construction-related death at the Arena da Amazonia - seven workers have died at World Cup venues in Brazil so far.
Globe and MailITV NewsRisks 642
Hazards news, 15 February 2014

Russia: Sochi snow is tainted with workers’ blood
Russia’s Sochi Winter Olympics have been organised at a deadly cost, global building unions’ federation BWI has said. “There is blood in the snows of Sochi and the impunity of workers’ exploitation has to stop,” BWI said in a statement, adding: “The most expensive Games in history is also the deadliest for building workers.”
BWI news releaseTUC Stronger Unions news releaseRisks 642 • 15 February 2014
Hazards news, 15 February 2014

Britain: Lead poisoner escapes jail
The owner of Nottinghamshire firm LDB Light Alloys Ltd has received a suspended jail term after employees Brook Northey, Paul Collins and Martin Bytheway became seriously ill with lead poisoning. Laurence Dennis Brown, 65, was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months for a criminal safety offenceand also fined £45,000 plus £35,000 costs.
HSE news release and lead webpagesNottingham PostRisks 642
Hazards news, 15 February 2014

Britain: Stained glass firm caused lead poisoning
The owner of a Lincolnshire stained glass firm has been fined after one of his employees, David Doherty, suffered severe lead poisoning. David Sear, sole owner of Lincolnshire Stained Glass, pleaded guilty to a criminal breach of the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 and was fined £18,000 with £18,000 costs.
HSE news releaseLancashire Evening PostRisks 642
Hazards news, 15 February 2014

Britain: Recycling firm fined £100,000 for worker’s death
A Redditch recycling company has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £57,927 for criminal safety failings after a worker was killed by a bale of waste weighing more than a tonne. Kenneth Swaby, 43, was struck by the falling bale at R&S Recycling Ltd in Beoley on 11 February 2011.
HSE news release and waste industry and falls webpages • Risks 642
Hazards news, 15 February 2014

Britain: ILO investigates UK’s pared back inspection system
The UK government has been asked by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to explain its decision to abandon preventive health and safety inspections in most workplaces. The move follows a complaint from the TUC, which told the global labour standards body the new inspection regime does not comply with ILO standards.
Report of the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of International Labour Standards 2014 • Risks 642
Hazards news, 15 February 2014

Britain: Government cuts have hobbled the flood response
Communities secretary Eric Pickles has found himself at the centre of a storm entirely of his own making after attempting to blame the Environmental Agency’s (EA) chronically over-stretched, exhausted and rapidly dwindling number of staff for some of the country’s flooding woes. Prospect deputy general secretary Leslie Manasseh said “the people who are working day and night to prevent flooding – our members in the Environment Agency – will see their revenue budgets cut from £275m in 2010 to £226m in 2014/15,” adding: “Who will maintain these defences if the agency's revenue budgets are cut?”
Prospect news releaseUNISON news releaseThe GuardianBBC News Online and related storyRisks 642
Hazards news, 15 February 2014

Britain: UNISON vows to continue the fight for justice
The union UNISON has vowed to appeal after its court challenge to “punitive” employment tribunal fees was rejected by High Court judges. The fees introduced on 29 July last year mean workers can be required to pay up to £1,200 for taking a tribunal complaint about issues including victimisation for workplace safety activities.
UNISON news releaseMorning StarPersonnel TodayIrwin Mitchell news releaseRisks 642
Hazards news, 15 February 2014

Britain: Coastguard stations remain badly understaffed
Coastguard stations across the UK were dangerously understaffed last year, new figures have confirmed. The worst hit areas were staffed below safe levels more than half the time in 2013, data obtained by the broad-based Coastguard SOS campaign group shows.
PCS news release and Coastguard SOS websiteRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Safety concerns remain after track worker death
Rail staff are scared they will lose their jobs if they speak out about safety, a BBC investigation has found. BBC’s Inside Out programme examined the death of a contract worker who was hit by a train on the track; Scott Dobson, 26, died near Saxilby, Lincolnshire, in December 2012.
BBC News OnlineInside Out, 3 February 2014Risks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Firm fined £250,000 over worker fall death
A logistics firm has been fined £250,000 after a worker was killed when he fell through a warehouse roof in Wythenshawe. Michael Sweet, 48, from Stockport, was cleaning out the guttering at Aramex (UK) Ltd on the Ringway Trading Estate near Manchester Airport on 12 December 2011 when he stepped on a fragile panel and fell to the concrete floor below.
HSE news release and falls webpagesRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Worker died after fall through roof light
Scaffolder Michael Stone, 44, died of his injuries a week after he fell eight metres through a fragile roof light while working on top of a chemical store at a creamery in Cornwall. Dairy Crest Ltd was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 costs and Dartmeet Services, the main contractor, was fined £30,000 with £10,000 costs.
HSE news release and roof lights guideConstruction EnquirerRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Global packaging giant fined for guarding failings
The UK division of a global packaging company has been fined for criminal safety failings after a long-serving worker lost a finger in an unguarded chain on a machine. The 54-year-old from Gosport, who does not want to be named, cut the first finger on his right hand to the bone in the incident at Huhtamaki UK Ltd in Gosport on 4 February 2013.
HSE news releasePortsmouth NewsRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Fitting firm fined over brain injury
Bedfordshire fitting company DM Specialist Limited has been fined for criminal safety failings after a worker sustained a serious head injury in a preventable fall from a temporary scaffolding platform in Kensington. Stewart Alazia, 51, fractured his skull and left cheekbone, and was left with bleeding to his brain as a result of the incident on 21 December 2011
HSE news releaseRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Another deadly BP cost cutter gets a top government post
A former oil executive criticised for his role in a deadly BP refinery explosion, and whose last company was fined over 50 health and safety violations connected with fracking, has been appointed to lead the government's Major Projects Authority (MPA). John Manzoni will be responsible for overseeing big-budget projects including the HS2 high-speed rail line and the new nuclear programme, and follows his former BP boss Lord Browne into the Cabinet Office, while former BP Alaska chief John Morgan was appointed by David Cameron to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) board – all three have been criticised in reports and court for corner cutting on safety.
Cabinet Office news releaseThe GuardianFinancial Times
Safe hands? BP old boys linked to disasters find favour with the PM, Hazards magazine, number 122, April-June 2013 • Risks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Network Rail to pay bonuses despite crossings carnage
Network Rail has said it intends to proceed with retention bonuses totalling £900,000 to three executives despite a High Court judge calling for bonuses to be “severely reduced” because of the company’s devastating failings on level crossing safety. TSSA leader Manuel Cortes, who has been strongly critical of the company ‘gravy train’, accused the firm of “hard hearted cynicism” after outgoing chief exec Sir David Higgins said the bonuses would still be paid this April.
TSSA news releaseRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Ineos sacks stressed union rep while he’s at the docs
The union Unite is taking legal action over the “grotesque” treatment of a prominent Ineos union rep fired “on trumped up charges” while he visited his doctor. Mark Lyon, who Unite say is suffering from a serious stress-related illness as a result of his treatment by the company, was dismissed this week after Ineos said he had not stopped the union from commenting over fears of job losses at the Scottish plant.
Unite news  releaseBBC News OnlineThe HeraldRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: GMB wins care home rest breaks case
A care worker has won a GMB-backed legal case after being denied rest breaks at work. Alan Hood, who has worked for Consett-based Accept Care Limited since 2007, complained that the company failed regularly to provide him with legally required rest breaks. His complaints were upheld at a Newcastle employment tribunal, which found the firm was in breach of the Working Time Regulations.
GMB news releaseRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Workers still at risk 10 years on from Morecambe Bay
A decade on from the tragedy at Morecambe Bay which saw 23 Chinese workers lose their lives, vulnerable workers are still at risk of abuse, injury and even death at work, the TUC has warned. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Instead of reducing the GLA’s ability to protect workers, the biggest testament the government could pay to what happened at Morecambe Bay would be to extend the reach of the GLA so that rogue employers know that there is no hiding place for those who break the law.”
TUC news releaseBBC News OnlineRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: GLA powers are ‘inadequate’, says Unite
The scope and powers of The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) need to be expanded, Unite has said. The union said undetected abuses by gangmasters were the equivalent of ‘modern day slavery’. It said the fact that only seven gangmasters were convicted for operating without a licence in 2013 prompted the Unite call for more GLA investigations and for prosecutors to get tough with rogue gangmasters.
Unite news releaseEarly Day Motion by Jim Sheridan MP calling for remit of the authority to be extended to other sectorsRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Firefighter deaths caused by organisational failings
The deaths of four firefighters in a 2007 tragedy were the result of a “catalogue of organisational systemic failings” by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, a report from the union FBU has found. FBU’s investigation found “severe problems” with risk assessment and planning, the quality of information available to the incident commander, the use of breathing apparatus, and with training, particularly for ‘retained’ or part-time firefighters.
FBU news release and reportBBC News OnlineRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: No cash, no bash call for London buses
Bus drivers’ union Unite has welcomed a Transport for London (TfL) plan to no longer accept cash payment on board buses, but has warned it must also protect drivers from confrontations with irate passengers. London bus drivers will no longer accept cash payment on board their vehicles when the new measures are introduced this summer.
Unite news releaseTfL news releaseRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Britain: Safety concern about ‘work experience’ apprenticeship
An officially endorsed construction apprenticeship scheme which has advertised a position that would require the successful candidate to undertake arduous unpaid work experience at height presents serious safety concerns, the union UCATT has warned. The union says its officials were told Evolve Apprenticeships had advertised for an apprentice who would initially have to complete two weeks of unpaid work experience and be required to work at heights and carry and lift heavy loads.
UCATT news releaseRisks 641
Hazards news, 8 February 2014

Europe: MEPs criticise inaction on endocrine disruptors
The failure of the European Commission to deliver legislation on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) is alarming, leading members of the Socialists and Democrats grouping (S&D) in the European Parliament have said. An industry lobbying and product defence campaign set out to dissuade the European Commission from acting, and January this year the Commission said it would delay action for a least one year.
S&D group news release • HEAL news release • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Norway: Oil unions pull out of offshore safety group
Unions representing Norwegian offshore oil rig workers have pulled out of an industry-sponsored safety group amid harsh criticism of cutbacks in safety training. The four unions - Fellesforbundet, Industri Energi, Lederne and SAFE - announced last week they have suspended their membership in the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association's Network for Safety and Emergency Response Training (NSOB), which was established in the wake of the 1980 Alexander Kielland platform disaster in which 123 people died.
UPI News • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Qatar: The shocking death toll of World Cup migrants
The extent of the risks faced by migrant construction workers building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been laid bare by official documents revealing that 185 Nepalese men died last year alone. The Guardian reports that the 2013 death toll, which is expected to rise as new cases come to light, is likely to spark fresh concern over the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar and increase the pressure on football’s governing body Fifa to force meaningful change.
The Guardian • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Britain: One day, one roof, two falls, one death
Less than seven hours after a worker was seriously injured in a fall from a Stockport industrial unit, a second worker suffered fatal injuries falling from the same roof. The tragedy last week prompted construction union UCATT to warn that workers often lack the confidence to refuse dangerous work.
UCATT news release • Falkirk Herald • Daily Record • Manchester Evening News • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Britain: Roofer paralysed in fall from ladder
Liverpool building firm W Carroll & Sons Ltd has been fined £105,000 after a roofer was paralysed when he fell from a ladder in Southport while carrying a bag of building materials. Michael Riley, 50, from Skelmersdale, now has virtually no movement below his neck and will need to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
HSE news release and falls webpages • Construction Enquirer • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Britain: Workers poisoned on Channel Tunnel
A total of 32 workers changing rail tracks inside the Channel Tunnel have suffered suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in two incidents on two consecutive nights. A total of 19 workers out of around 60 working overnight in the tunnel were affected on 26 January and taken to hospital, with one welder who was diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning reported to be in a serious condition, and a further 13 out of 65 workers were affected the following night and taken to hospital.
The Telegraph • BBC News Online • Construction Enquirer • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Britain: Fires fall in London but deaths are now rising
A sharp decline in fires in London should not lead to complacency, the firefighters’ union FBU has said, pointing to a recent upturn in the number of fire-related deaths. Paul Embery, FBU London secretary, said the fall in the number of fires was “great news”, but warned “there are still over 100,000 incidents taking place every year, and recent cuts mean that our capacity to respond quickly and effectively has taken a big dent.”
LFB news release • FBU news release • London24 • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Britain: Attack on safety to continue says Cameron
David Cameron has confirmed health and safety will remain a major target of his deregulation drive. He told a business event this week that 800 regulations had already been scrapped, as well as “needless” workplace health and safety enforcement.
Prime Minister’s Office news release and David Cameron’s speech • BIS news release • TUC news release • FSB news release and response to David Cameron’s speech • BCC news release • Morning Star • BBC News Online • The Independent • The Guardian • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Britain: Campaigners and safety professionals slam plan
Safety campaigners and safety professionals have said the prime minister’s continuing attack on workplace safety protections will make work more dangerous and will not benefit business. Louise Taggart of bereaved relatives group Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) said: “Deregulation and slashing enforcement won’t make workers safer, or protect ordinary people, it’s designed to let corporations and business off the hook.”
IOSH news release • Hazards Campaign news release • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Britain: Protest at dangerous air traffic control cuts
Staff working in NATS, the UK’s air traffic control provider, protested outside the European Commission’s UK office in London on 30 January over fears that cost-cutting will lead to a drop in air traffic management (ATM) standards, service quality, safety and jobs. The protest was against the Single European Sky (SES 2+) proposals to hive-off support services.
Prospect news release • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Britain: MPs urged to act on offshore helicopter safety
The union Unite has told a committee of MPs that offshore workers want reforms to helicopter safety after a series of serious incidents involving 20 fatalities. The House of Commons’ transport select committee inquiry into helicopter safety took evidence from offshore trade unions and industry bodies in Aberdeen on 27-28 January.
Unite news release • STV News • BBC News Online • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Britain: Pilots want better helicopter safety regulation
Britain’s pilots’ union has called for a judicial review to probe helicopter safety problems in the UK sector of the North Sea. Captain Colin Milne, of the helicopter affairs committee of pilots’ union BALPA, told Westminster’s transport select committee the review was needed to examine the amount of control exercised by oil companies on helicopter flights and the role of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in policing offshore safety in the aviation sector.
BALPA news release • Transport Committee news release and inquiry webpage • The Scotsman • Risks 640
Hazards news, 1 February 2014

Cambodia: Global brands and unions call for deaths action
International trade union bodies and 30 global brands have joined forces to urge the Cambodian government to investigate the recent use of deadly force against garment workers striking for improved pay. Union bodies IndustriALL, UNI and the ITUC say they are encouraged that brands are taking responsibility for their production and are demanding a change from the Cambodian government.
IndustriALL news releaseUNI news releaseJoint letter from global unions and global brands to the Cambodian prime ministerCambodia DailyThe Guardian.
Act Now! Sign up to the Labourstart and union campaign in support of the Cambodian workersRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

China: Shoe factory fire kills at least 16 workers
In the latest devastating workplace fire to hit China, at least 16 workers were killed when a blaze broke out on the afternoon of 14 January at a shoe factory in the eastern coastal city of Wenling, China’s official media has reported. Two of the owners and one manager at Taizhou Dadong Shoes were subsequently taken into custody by the local police pending an investigation into the cause of the fire.
China Labour BulletinPeople’s DailyRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

France: Conflicts of interest scandal hits top agency
The French government should block the appointment of a scientist with undeclared asbestos industry links as the head of the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), the country’s leading public health agency, campaigners have said. In a letter to authorities, the National Association of Asbestos Victims (ANDEVA) said the nomination of Paolo Boffetta as head of France’s top institute of epidemiology and public health must be rescinded.
IBAS news reportRightOnCanada news releaseRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Britain: New rules have led to harsher penalties
Tougher penalties including more custodial sentences are being handed out to employers who breach criminal health and safety laws following a change in the official approach to prosecutions, according to a government report. It says changes introduced under the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008, which include more cases being heard in the lower courts, have resulted in higher fines and more jail terms.
DWP news release and report: Health and Safety Act 2008: Post-legislative scrutiny memorandum 16 January 2014IOSH news releaseRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Britain: Firm ‘will never be forgiven’ for apprentice’s death
A Sunderland-based marine engineering firm has been sentenced for criminal safety failings after a teenage apprentice was crushed and killed by a piece of machinery weighing almost a tonne. Jason Burden, 19, from South Shields, was in his fourth year as an apprentice engineer at Tyne Slipway & Engineering Co Ltd (TSECL) at South Dock when a 970kg tunnel thruster from a ship overturned and landed on top of him.
HSE news release and safe maintenance webpageSunderland EchoShields GazetteBBC News OnlineHazards dockwork featureRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Britain: Lorry driver crushed unloading heavy parts
A lorry driver was crushed and killed by heavy graphite parts after being allowed to unload his vehicle in a dangerous manner, a court has heard. Turkish national Ahmet Yakar, 52, was struck by parts weighing up to a quarter-of-a-tonne each in the fatal incident at Morganite Electrical Carbon Ltd in Swansea on 19 July 2011.
HSE news release and vehicle loading factsheetRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Britain: Firm fined after repeat recycling plant blunder
A Devon company has been fined after a worker was seriously injured by a reversing vehicle at a recycling centre in Exeter in a near carbon copy of an earlier incident. Exeter Magistrates’ court heard that Leases Limited hired the telehandler in September 2012, but did not have it fitted with a reversing camera.
HSE news releaseRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Britain: BBC Watchdog does watchdog’s job
An Oldham roofing firm and a company director have appeared in court after being filmed breaking the law by the BBC’s Watchdog programme. Renov8 (North West) Ltd and Darren Potts were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after footage showed workers on top of house roofs using a pressure washer without any measures to stop them slipping and falling to the ground below.
HSE news release and falls webpageConstruction EnquirerRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Global: Workers bear the brunt of terror attacks
Every terrorist attack is a tragedy for the victims, their families and communities. But Owen Tudor, head of the TUC’s international department, notes “we often lose sight of the fact that many people killed in such attacks are workers going about their daily business.”
TUC Stronger Unions blogIFJ statementRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Britain: Usdaw worried by rising shop thefts and assaults
Soaring rates of theft from shops are leaving workers facing intolerable levels of violence at work, the shopworkers’ union Usdaw has said. The union was commenting after the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) retail crime survey revealed the number of shop thefts had reached a nine-year high, with a trebling of incidents of violence, threats and abuse against retail staff, which included a four-fold increase in assaults on shopworkers.
Usdaw news releaseBritish Retail Consortium Annual Retail Crime SurveyRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Britain: New concerns about performance management
Civil servants could be unfairly targeted under a new performance management system, the union Prospect has warned. It says the new process could see “line managers under pressure to deliver a forced distribution of performance markings;” adding: “The union fears that if the process is not closely monitored and challenged, it may be used to force managed exits and drive down pay.”
Prospect news releaseHazards performance management guideRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Britain: Directors must be made accountable
Company directors will pay greater regard to workplace health and safety if there is a prospect they could end up branded safety criminals, the TUC has said. In the latest  TUC briefing supporting its 2013 ‘Time for change’ health and safety manifesto, the union body calls for explicit safety duties on directors and notes: “You cannot put a company or local authority in jail if it kills someone.”
TUC Time to Change Health and Safety bulletin – Directors’ Duties [pdf] •
Time for change: A trade union manifesto for reclaiming health and safety at work, TUC, February 2013. Time for change manifesto webpageRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Britain: Derail the Network Rail directors’ gravy train
Massive bonuses for Network Rail’s top bosses should be axed in the wake of level crossing deaths, the union TSSA has said. The rail giant’s director for operations Robin Gisby, finance boss Patrick Butcher and infrastructure head Simon Kirby all receive six-figure salaries and are set to receive a £300,000 bonus top up in April.
TSSA news releaseNetwork Rail news releaseDaily Mirror • Morning StarRisks 639
Hazards news, 25 January 2014

Britain: Government-ordered review supports HSE’s role…
The TUC and unions have welcomed the recommendations of the Triennial Review into the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which confirms the important role the regulator plays in reducing injury and ill health caused by work. This review, authored by a government-selected business lob by group leader, is the fourth to examine the health and safety system since 2010, following the Young and Loftsedt reports and the “Red tape” challenge.
TUC news releaseUNISON news releaseProspect news release.
Health and Safety Executive: 3-yearly review of its future as a non-departmental public body, webpage and full report. Mike Penning, Ministerial statement, 9 January 2014Risks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: Fact-blind ministers set on ‘commercialising’ HSE
Safety minister Mike Penning is intent on ignoring the fi ndings of the government-commissioned Triennial review, saying the government wants “to go further to introduce reforms of HSE to ensure that it delivers value for money to the taxpayer, whilst ensuring safety for the nation.” Criticising the government announcement, TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson said its last minute government decision to strap the recruitment process for a new HSE chief executive, after interviews had taken place, suggested the government now intended to “appoint someone who will share their zeal for greater commercialisation.”
TUC Stronger Unions blogUCATT news releaseNASUWT news releaseHazards Campaign news releaseIER news releaseBOHS news releaseIOSH news releaseRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: Workers must be consulted on HSE changes
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) union Prospect has welcomed the findings of the Triennial Review of the watchdog commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and says the government must involve workers on any changes to HSE and heed the review’s warnings about the dangers of the 'fee for intervention' model.
Prospect news releaseConstruction EnquirerRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: Cleaners treated like ‘third-class’ workers
Cleaners are facing a corrosive mix of workplace hazards, poor employment conditions and disrespect from their colleagues, their union UNISON has said. A UNISON focus group involving NHS cleaners also found the EU working time directive is used to deny cleaners their breaks and identified poor health and safety practices, especially where dangerous chemicals are concerned.
UNISON news releaseRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: Union concern over unsafe breakdown vehicles
Unsafe AA breakdown vehicles are being kept in service, a union has charged, and is demanding road and workplace safety regulators intervene. GMB, the union for AA roadside and recovery staff, has written to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) asking them to intervene.
GMB news releaseRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: Business for Britain’s plan is ‘unworkable and unjust’
A report from a right wing group claiming to speak for business and calling for the wholesale removal of workplace protections for millions of British workers has been dismissed by the TUC and the business group representing Britain’s manufacturing firms. The report from Business for Britain, led by the founder of the Conservative-linked TaxPayers’ Alliance, says that workers employed by UK companies that don’t export to Europe should have fewer workplace rights.
TUC news releaseBusiness for Britain news release, and report ‘Setting out the British Option’EEF news releaseRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: Widow calls for end to betting shop lone working
The widow of a man murdered behind a betting shop counter has called for an end to lone working in the industry, echoing calls from the Labour Party and the union Community. Betting shop manager Andrew Iacovou, 55, lay bleeding to death for 90 minutes behind the counter at Ladbrokes, in Morden, south London, as oblivious gamers continued to use slot machines.
The StandardCommunity news releaseRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: Cuts fears prompt BMA occupational health action
The British Medical Association (BMA) is seeking assurances over the future of occupational health services for GPs and their staff amid reports they are about to be cut. Doctors leaders have written to the Department of Health requesting confirmation of the continuing provision of support for GPs and NHS staff suffering from stress and burnout.
BMA news releaseRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: English Heritage gets a ticking off
English Heritage has accepted a Crown Censure for criminal safety failings that led to a 12-year-old boy being badly cut when a glass floor panel broke during a family visit to Yarmouth castle on the Isle of Wight. The panel, which had been in place for many years and walked on by thousands of people over that time, splintered into shards and the boy suffered severe lacerations to his left leg from the jagged glass.
HSE news releaseRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: Developer fined following platform collapse
Prominent London developer St George South London Ltd has been sentenced for criminal safety management failings after a worker was seriously injured when a temporary platform collapsed at a landmark site in south London. Noel Doyle, 32, suffered a shattered right elbow, broken vertebrae, fractured pelvis and ribs, and damage to internal organs in the incident at St George Wharf in Vauxhall on 10 February 2009.
HSE news release and construction webpagesConstruction EnquirerRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: Steel giant prosecuted after worker’s injury
Steel multinational Tata Steel has been fined for criminal safety failings after a worker sustained serious injuries to his hand at the company’s works in Llanelli, South Wales. Llanelli Magistrates heard the man, an employee for 34 years, was working on a production line at the Tata site in Trostre on 6 December 2012 when his left hand became trapped in a pair of steel pinch rolls.
HSE news release and work equipment webpagesBBC News OnlineITV NewsRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Britain: Plastics worker severed fingers in saw
Birmingham plastics firm Kalsi Plastics (UK) Ltd has been fined after an employee had four fingers severed in a circular saw. An official investigation found although some workers knew about a problem with the machine, workers were not represented in safety meetings so this information was not known to management.
HSE news releaseRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Cambodia: Stop government violence against workers
Unions worldwide have called for an end to the violent suppression of union protests in Cambodia in which at least five workers have been killed, with many others injured or detained. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady wrote a letter of protest to the Cambodian ambassador as part of a global campaign co-ordinated by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), protesting at the violent repression of a strike by textile workers seeking a living wage.
Act Now! Sign up to the Labourstart and union campaign in support of the Cambodian workersITUC news releaseIndustriall news releaseTUC news releaseRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Global: Sweden’s Winter Olympics set rights record
The Swedish Trade Union Confederation, LO-Sweden, has signed an historic cooperation agreement with the Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK) which stipulates respect for labour rights as a basis for the Swedish bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The agreement covering the 2022 Stockholm Olympic Games includes groundbreaking sustainability, economic, social and ethical benchmarks.
ITUC news release and letter to IOC President BachTUC Stronger Unions blogEqual TimesRisks 638
Hazards news, 18 January 2014

Bangladesh: Factory bosses charged over fire deaths
Thirteen people, including the two factory owners, have been charged over the Tazreen garment factory fire in Bangladesh in November 2012 that killed more than 100 people. Police announced in December 2013 they had charged Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akther, as well as security guards and managers, over the Dhaka blaze.
New York TimesTUC Stronger Unions blogBBC News OnlineThe Guardian.
Bangladesh AccordRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Global: UN cancer agency ‘captured’ by industry
A high profile United Nations cancer agency has been ‘captured’ by industry and compromised, new reports suggest. They reveal that two Russian scientists who have acted for Russia’s asbestos lobby around the world are helping fashion the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) policy and publications on asbestos and a paper on asbestos cancer risks with three prominent IARC authors was co-authored by Paolo Boffetta, an ex-IARC staffer who had also acted for the asbestos industry. RightOnCanadaHazards magazineRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Britain: Farming company fined for forklift death
Lincolnshire Field Products Ltd has been ordered to pay more than £200,000 in fines and costs after a farm manager was killed when he was hit by a forklift truck. Peter Barney, 58, was walking from his car across the yard at Middle Farm in Moulton Seas End when he was struck on 31 October 2010.
HSE news release and workplace transport webpagesLincolnshire EchoITV NewsRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Britain: Forestry worker killed in the danger zone
The Buccleuch Estates Limited has been fined for criminal safety failings after a worker died during tree felling operations at Bogrie Wood near Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries. Ross Findlay, aged 49, who had learning difficulties, was struck in the head and body by a 36 metre tall tree.
HSE news release and chainsaw safety guide •   BBC News OnlineRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Britain: Foundry fined over cellar fumes death
Sheffield Forgemasters has been ordered to pay £245,000 in fines and costs for criminal safety failings that led to an employee dying of carbon dioxide poisoning. Labourer Brian Wilkins, 48, was found unconscious at the South Yorkshire foundry after a confined underground area swiftly flooded with carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing mist.
HSE news release and confined spaces webpagesRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Britain: Tesco shelf stacker loses toes in faulty lift
A Tesco worker suffered the “nightmare” of having a third of his right foot amputated after a lift accident that saw the supermarket giant fined more than £100,000 for criminal safety failures. Mohammad Ferdous, 32, was unloading cages of goods from the faulty lift in the basement of the Tesco Metro in Victoria, London, when it suddenly descended and trapped his foot.
BBC News OnlineLondon Evening StandardThe TelegraphRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Britain: More disappointment on deregulation
Bodies representing unions and safety professionals have expressed their “disappointment” at the failure of a government committee to rein in dangerous measures in the draft Deregulation Bill, including exemption of the self-employed and a ‘growth duty’ on regulators including the Health and Safety Executive.
Joint Committee on the Draft Deregulation Bill news releaseTUC health and safety facebook pageIOSH news releaseRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Britain: Government cuts heighten flood dangers
Cuts to essential Environment Agency (EA) jobs will dramatically reduce the country’s ability to respond to floods and other extreme weather emergencies, unions have said. The warning, coming as large stretches of the country remained flood affected, has received support from MPs.
UNISON news releaseProspect news releasePCS news releaseGMB news releaseThe GuardianThe BBCRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Britain: Floods highlight peril facing lifesaving services
The impact of cuts to essential Environment Agency flood prevention services will be amplified as crucial emergency and coastguard services are also dramatically pared back, unions have warned.
PCS news releaseFBU news releaseRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Britain: George Osborne wants your pension
The Chancellor’s December 2013 budget delivered a crumb of safety comfort but accompanied it with some devastating news for your prospects of ever living to see your pension. It is the government’s plans for a staged increase in the state pension age to 70, which would mean the average Glaswegian man might expect to be able to claim it for just over a year.
TUC Stronger Unions blogAutumn Statement 2013Risks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Britain: New call for a public inquiry on copter safety
Transport and offshore union RMT is stepping up its campaign for a public inquiry into helicopter safety after a series of incidents this year. The union said there is increasing public and political support for an inquiry, covering onshore as well as the North Sea offshore industry.
RMT news releaseThe HeraldRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

Britain: Thousands back offshore helicopter safety reform
Over 3,000 offshore workers have called on Oil & Gas UK (O&GUK) bosses to urgently act to improve the safety of helicopter transfers to and from North Sea installations. Unite representatives submitted a petition to O&GUK on 20 December 2013, backing the demands of the union’s ‘Back Home Safe’ campaign which calls for improvements to offshore helicopter design, survival contingencies and training and for the implementation all previous recommendations made by authorities to maximise the safety of workers.
Unite news releaseBBC News OnlineRisks 637
Hazards news, 11 January 2014

 

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