National Hazards Campaign 2019 “Manifesto For a Health & Safety System Fit For Workers, Decent Jobs & Decent Lives”

National Hazards Campaign 2019 “Manifesto For a Health & Safety System Fit For Workers, Decent Jobs & Decent Lives”

The National Hazards Campaign has launched its 2019 “Manifesto For a Health & Safety’ System Fit For Workers, Decent Jobs & Decent Lives” in which it states that three factors could make UK workplaces safer and healthier at a stroke.

The three factors that could make UK workplaces safer and healthier at a stroke are:

  • Strong H&S laws,
  • Strict enforcement and
  • Workplace safety pushed by strong, active trade unions.

According to the union-backed Hazards campaign, the UK health and safety system is ‘broken and needs fixing urgently.’ 

Work contributes to:

  • A huge amount of public ill-health,
  • Health inequality,
  • Lower life expectancy,
  • Fewer years of healthy life,
  • The deaths of over 50,000 people in the UK each year,
  • Makes millions ill,
  • Injures over half a million and
  • The quality of jobs contributes to poverty and ill-health.

The Hazards campaign concludes that all of this is preventable. The right framework of strong laws, strict enforcement and support for active worker and union participation will have massive payback for workers, employers and the whole economy.

The Hazards 2019 ‘Manifesto’ has three clear demands on the current and future governments.

The demands on government include a call for:

  • The restoration of the notion of regulation and enforcement “as a social good”.
  • The creation of “a health and safety system based on prevention, precaution and participation of strong active unions”.
  • Real, enforceable employment and safety rights to ensure good health and safety through enforcement agencies working together.

To create a health and safety system fit for all workers at the heart of decent jobs and decent lives for all, the Hazards Campaign calls on government to: 

1. End Deregulation and restore regulation and enforcement as a social good
1.1 Reclaim regulation by collecting, collating and publicising evidence and make clear the extent of harm caused by work.
1.2 Disband all the ‘Better Regulation’ structures and bodies, repeal all legislation sustaining it and made under it and abandon derogatory rhetoric;

  • End Business Impact Targets
  • End Regulatory Impact Assessments
  • End ‘one-in three-out’ approach to regulation
  • End Growth Duty
  • End Primary Authority Scheme
  • End banning of proactive, preventative inspections
  • End exemption of self-employed workers

2. Develop a health and safety system based on prevention, precaution and participation
2.1 Revamp the governance, organisation, purpose and funding of the HSE and Local Authorities

  • Make Prevention, Precaution and Worker Participation the watchwords
  • Appoint an explicit champion of worker health and lives to lead HSE
  • Ensure HSE and LA are fully funded
  • Reconstitute the HSE, made independent of political interference
  • Reinstatement of effective tripartite consultative processes
  • Restore enforcement as a major tool
  • Implement Precautionary Principle for all workplace hazards
  • Develop ‘Toxics Use Reduction’ measures to identify all hazardous substances
  • Develop sex and gender sensitive risk assessments and research programmes
  • Create a dynamic process for developing prevention resources and best practice, new standards, creative and innovative suggestions

2.2 Support and empower trade unions, safety reps and workers to take action to protect themselves at work

  • Revision and extension of the SRSC Regulations 1977
  • Establishment and recognition of roving or regional safety reps
  • Establish ‘Shared Workplace’ safety committees
  • A new right for safety reps to ‘Stop the job’
  • An automatic right to reinstatement for safety representatives
  • Establish the right to issue Provisional Improvement Notices
  • Secure and sufficient funding for Trade Union Education for safety representatives

2.3 Just treatment for the victims of health and safety crime and ensuring fair treatment for all workers harmed by work

  • Ensure a multidisciplinary, worker oriented, free NHS occupational health service
  • Fair and just financial compensation for workers hurt or made ill by work
  • Fair and just treatment for families of those killed by employers’ negligence
  • Ensure all workers have equal rights to employment protection and health and safety protection from day one
  • Set up US style whistleblower hot line and protection unit within HSE with its own penalties
  • Repeal all anti-trade union legislation including Trade Union Act 2016

2.4 Changes to specific laws and full compliance with the highest international standards of health and safety

  • Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 must be reviewed and amended to add positive Directors Duties
  • Guarantee full ratification and compliance with all ILO Conventions on occupational health and safety
  • Guarantee that post Brexit, no existing health and safety regulation, standards or laws on workers’ rights will be removed or reduced
  • Ensure that all post-Brexit trade treaties will include the highest and enforceable standards
  • Ban forced zero hours and other insecure contracts and implement a living wage of at least £10 hour
  • Use public spending power to drive up health and safety standards
  • A Just Transition policy and unit
  • Ensure Employment Tribunal Fees are not reintroduced

3. Provide real, enforceable employment and safety rights to ensure good health and safety in low paid precarious work via enforcement agencies working together

  • Revision and extension of the SRSC Regulations 1977
  • Establishment and recognition of roving or regional safety reps
  • Establish ‘Shared Workplace’ safety committees
  • A new right for safety reps to ‘Stop the job’
  • An automatic right to reinstatement for safety representatives
  • Establish the right to issue Provisional Improvement Notices
  • Secure  and sufficient funding for Trade Union Education for safety representatives

Poor health and safety costs society and the economy an estimated £60 billion a year as employers shift the cost of their profit-saving risks to workers, their families and the state. The current health and safety system based on laws, access to justice, enforcement and active participation of workers and their unions, has been broken by neoliberal ideology of deregulation and austerity cuts which led directly to the Grenfell fire, and the continuing unacceptable workplace toll of up to 140 people a day killed at and by work.  It has been debased by lying about its value to workers and the public, changing the regulatory environment to make workers’ lives and health explicitly subservient to business interests, slashing funding for its enforcement, commercialising, privatising and monetising it. To make work safer and healthier we need to reclaim health and safety regulation, reframe it as a basic human right, a social good – we love red tape because it is better than bloody bandages – end its ideological deregulation, restore effective enforcement and remove all restrictions on trade unions to organise, educate, agitate to protect workers lives and health as a huge body of evidence attests to their impact on making work both safer and healthier.  And it is also essential that the HSE/LA system is revamped as a powerful, independent occupational health and safety preventative system, linked with agencies that enforce employment laws with good health and safety conditions at its heart.

A copy of the Manifesto is attached and goes into detail on the above summary headings and bullet points. It is an excellent, detailed piece of work drawing together all the key issues and areas of concern that the TUC and Trade Unions including the CWU have Conference policy on and have campaigned on over the years under the TUC’s ‘Protecting Health and Safety’ campaign banner and more recently the TUC’s ‘Protecting Health and Safety after Brexit’ campaign. The Manifesto will both raise awareness and provide an important focus on the key areas of the health and safety agenda we must continue to fight to achieve and protect.

Yours sincerely

 

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

19LTB079 National Hazards Campaign 2019 Manifesto

Hazards Campaign Manifesto 2019

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: