The 28th National Hazards Conference takes place at Keele University, from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th July 2017 and the CWU is once again pleased to be supporting and sponsoring this unique and popular event for Trade Union Safety Representatives.
Hazards Conference is the UK’s biggest and best educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists. It consists of a mixture of plenary sessions, meetings and a comprehensive workshop programme. It gives delegates the opportunity to exchange experience and information with, and learn from, safety reps and activists from other unions, sectors and jobs across the UK.
After 7 years of government attacks on the health and safety system and trade unions, we face the challenge of stopping further removal or downgrading of health and safety laws, enforcement and worker/trade union involvement in the post Brexit negotiations and in any subsequent trade deal with the USA. The Tory Government has promised that workers’ rights will be protected in any Brexit deal with the EU, but provides no details.
Tory manifesto and philosophy is still to deregulate and slash red tape. Trump in the USA has similar but even more aggressive business first and workers last policies. Any quickie bilateral treaty with the US, or other country, can only pose huge threats to workers’ health and safety, wages and conditions, and is likely to damage us even more than TTIP.
The European Parliament voted for CETA which must now be ratified by 28 member states. Colleagues from the Hazards Campaign sister organisation in the USA, National COSH, will speak [at the conference], so we can discuss the common threats we face and how we can organise together against them.
In the UK the HSE’s new strategy #HelpGBWorkWell, criticised as ‘no more than a social media hashtag’ and ‘business brochure’, offers little for most workers but nothing at all to help the 75% of workers not in trade unions, those in bogus self-employment, on zero hours contracts, low pay and in the so-called ‘gig economy’ who dare not raise health and safety issues for fear of being sacked or victimised.
As part of #HelpGBWorkWell, HSE has published a ‘Work and Health Strategy’, focusing on the 3 biggest causes of work-related ill health - Stress, MSDs andlung diseases. But this is also very weak, has no specific resources, fails to acknowledge and enhance the positive role of trade unions and workers, or the necessity for strict enforcement to make non-compliant, criminal employers act to prevent work making us ill.
Laying all this out in his March LTB (LTB163/17), Dave Joyce, National Health, Safety and Environment Officer for the CWU, added:
"We cannot rely on the law or HSE, but as always, on our own education, organisation and agitation! Hazards 2017 will feature the many and vibrant acts of resistance and organisation by safety reps, unions and groups in this challenging environment to defend and extend good health and safety for members and other workers."
In his most recent letter to CWU branches (LTB332/17), Dave gives further details of the forthcoming National Hazards Conference:
What is the Hazards Conference?
Hazards Conference is the UK’s biggest and best educational and organising event for trade union health and safety reps and activists. It consists of a mixture of plenary sessions, meetings and a comprehensive workshop programme. It gives delegates the opportunity to exchange experience and information with, and learn from, health and safety reps and activists from other unions, sectors and jobs across the UK.
Dangerous Dogs Seminar Included For 2017
Additionally, this year there will be A Special Dangerous Dogs Campaign Seminar, organised and presented by CWU Area Health and Safety Reps. “Dangerous Dogs” are a risk and threat to workers in many industries and this session is about raising awareness and educating Health and Safety Rep colleagues from other Unions.
This will be supported by the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department and additionally there will be a CWU Stall in the Hazards Conference Exhibition Area. (This is an action in line with CWU Conference Policy along with the Union’s increased financial support and sponsorship of the Hazards Conference and Movement).
Why not attend and support the Conference and the CWU ASRs and their seminar. Thanks and congratulations to Jamie McGovern ASR(L), Tony Pedel ASR(WF/HG) and Andrew Hickerman ASR(ST) for their work on this project, supported by the Health, Safety & Environment Department.
The CWU ‘Bite-Back’ Dangerous Dogs Campaign Seminar/Event will be very relevant and informative to all workers who visit private and commercial premises during the course of their work, as it will to their Trade Unions, their Health and Safety Reps, Employers and Enforcers (Police, LA's and HSE) as CWU Branches and Safety Reps will know only too well.
The CWU has assisted the HSE, Police and families of dog attack victims seeking justice in relation to dog attack cases, offering our assistance, input and advice in respect of dog attack cases, including a recent fatal attack after which the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department has assisted ‘Hazards’ and ‘FACK’.
Any dog of any breed can be "Dangerously Out Of Control" in any place, which is a criminal offence committed by the owner/keeper and the person in control of the animal at the time. If the dog causes injury whilst being "Dangerously Out of Control" then an "Aggravated" offence has been committed which carries heavier Court penalties. The CWU does not support Breed Specific Legislation because the problem is predominantly bad ownership not the dogs and there are many non-banned breeds that can potentially do a lot of damage to a person or kill a person under the right circumstances.
Dogs are by nature territorial and are pack animals. Hence they will naturally protect their homes and their pack (owners) from what they perceive as invaders or aggressors. Hence the need for ownership controls, socialisation, good welfare and training.
The problems and the risks affect many workers and professions; e.g. Postal and Telecom Workers, Domiciliary Care Workers, Home Helps, Meals on Wheels, District Nurses, Supermarket Food Delivery Workers, Meter Readers/Replacers, Builders, Maintenance Workers, Window Cleaners, Handymen, Tradespeople, Gardeners, Leafleters, Council Workers, Police Officers, Fire Service, Ambulances Crews, Parks Workers, Utility Workers and so on etc.
This latest update on the conference in the form of letter to branches 332, gives further details of the Hazards Conference, along with a registration form for those wishing to attend Hazards 2017, and can be downloaded here or by clicking on the pic above.