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Hazards 150, April-June 2020


PIECES OF MEAT In March 2020, Boris Johnson vowed to ‘beat the enemy’ as Covid-19 raced through the country. Then on 23 June, with the infection rate still worryingly high and hundreds of typically low paid 'essential' workers already dead, the prime minister announced a dramatic relaxation of the rules. Hazards explains how, for the sake of the economy, the prime minister decided more would have to die. more

WHO KNEW? Who’d have thought we’d have to put a health warning on the World Health Organisation? Hazards discovered WHO’s ‘incredibly harmful’ advice on workplace Covid-19 risks is leaving workers in mortal danger. more

ABDICATION It is hard to see what the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has done during the pandemic, MPs found, noting it had only required one business to close. Wrong. Hazards discovered not a single workplace had been shut by the absentee regulator, which appears to have little idea what is going on. more

OUT OF TOUCH In most normal social or workplace circumstances, 1 metre physical distancing is tantamount to no physical distancing at all. In a Covid-19 pandemic, it might increase the risk of infection 10-fold, government advisers have warned. But Boris Johnson ignored the science, finds Hazards, and moved to a new 1 metre rule regardless. more

IN THE DARK When a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) backed study concluded night work should lose its official label as a ‘probable’ cause of best cancer, the regulator said the findings were ‘vital’. It was also wrong, explains Hazards , with a new review by the UN’s cancer agency concluding the association also holds for other cancers. more


VIRAL ACTION Unions and activists make a stand in 90 plus countries. Thousands of virtual events involve hundreds of thousands of real people. The Covid-19 themed International Workers’ Memorial Day, held on 28 April this year, quickly became the world’s biggest ever workplace health and safety event. more


CLASS WAR For the sake of the economy, the prime minister decided more would have to die. A Hazards pin-up-at-work poster.


Infection inequality, 14-15. Union wins, 16-17. Covid carers, 22-23. Transport danger, 24-25. News in brief, 26-31. International news, 32-33.

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