2022-10-27 17:37

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TUC North West Health, Safety and Wellbeing Conference 2022

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

10:00 to 16:00 (BST)

The Liner Hotel
Lord Nelson Street

Over 70 Trade Union Safety Reps, Union Mental Health First Aiders and Union reps attended today's conference organised by the North West TUC in Liverpool.

CWU was well presented with members from Royal Mail Group, and BT being amongst the delegates listening to guest speakers on the subjects of contamination at work, Covid in the workplace, the need for more union safety reps.

Workshops dealing with mental health issues, the menopause and its awareness and contaminated workplaces took place in the morning session before lunch, with reports back to delegates. This was followed by speakers on the affects of Long Covid and managing it.

Image: Afternoon Pnel

The day's full events:


10.00am - Welcome

Jay McKenna, TUC North West regional secretary

Opening Panel – Where are we now, and what next?

Chair – Janet Farrar, UCU President and TUC North West Executive


•Shelly Asquith, TUC Health and Safety policy officer
•Janet Newsham, Greater Manchester Hazards
•Jay McGovern, CWU

Followed by Q & A, and opportunity to feedback on ongoing work in your union


Image: MHFA Presentation slideWorkshops:

• Mental Health Matters
• Menopause Awareness
• Decontamination/Contaminated Workplaces

12.30pm LUNCH


Long covid and bereaved families

Panel discussion on how we support those with Long Covid, what we need to do and how we can support bereaved families

Speakers include:

• Janet Newsham, Greater Manchester Hazards
• Shelly Asquith, TUC Health and Safety policy officer
• Hilda Palmer, Hazards Campaign
• Jenny Martin, Unison
• Michelle Greaves, NEU


What next?

We want your input to help shape what we do next, how we ensure health, safety and wellbeing at working remains an important issue and how we grow and diversify our reps base.

• Shelly Asquith

What can we do to get more health and safety reps, and how we ensure they represent our diversity

  •TUC North West on how we take forward what we’ve learnt and discussed in our work across the region

Delegates also heard from Les Skarratts of the FBU speaking on their very important Decon campaign to highlight the toxic substances firefighters and others are exposed to.

Les told the delegates that such chemicals cause cancers and other detrimental diseases which shorten the life of those exposed to them. As a result firefighters are 323% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer compared to the general population.

Those attending took away with them documentation and information which will help Union Safety Reps to address the issues discussed in their workplaces and continue their work in preventing deaths and injuries.

Major organisations, including the HSE, agree that USRs wherever active in workplaces, save lives, and as a result save employers a lot of money in litigation, recruitment and training required as a result of their workforce being injured or killed whilst at work.

Further events within the USR timetable of education and events, were announced.

Included in the documentation is a GM Hazards report into toxic chemicals in the workplace. In an 8 page report entitled North West Long Covid Charter there is a checklist for Union Safety Reps and workers to aid them in their legal injury claims against their employers.

The section explains: ' Covid personal injury claims can be broken down into 3 elements any claim requires success at all of the 3 elements.'

The document adds: 'We've identified the types of questions you may wish to consider to help pursue a claim under each stage. It's important to identify as much independent evidence as possible such as witness statements and Assessments. Also record dates where applicable. This is not an exhaustive list.'

A key set of questions relating to the Employers actions and their responsobility to protect their workfoce and implement Covid-19 preventative measures are also provided on page 7 of the document: Appendix 3: Assessment Mitigation Questions about Employer actions.

The document has been put together by Janet Newsham from GM Hazards and the North West Trade Union Covid Support Group, and it can be downloaded from the Unionsafety E-Library. Use search word 'Covid' to find a list of documents on the issues surrounding Covid-19 inlcuding this latest document, or click on the pic to the left.


Pictures above of the event provided by CWU North West Health & Safety Forum members: Steve Kenna, and John Southwell

Source: CWU / NW TUC / GM Hazards


Pic: Bak to News icon link

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