Three delegates from Unison Fife attended the Hazards Conference, 29-31 July 2016 at Keele University.
The title of the conference was “Building the Hazards Resistance to support Safety Reps to defend our lives in Brexit world”.
The opening plenary on the Friday evening consisted of a number of presentations on how Brexit could affect health and safety, and the problems caused by lack of enforcement by the HSE following funding cuts.
On the Saturday the Unison Fife delegates attended various workshops and seminars on the themes of “Dealing with risks” and “Employers offensive/workplace tyranny”; and meetings on death & suicide by overwork, and international solidarity. Stress was identified as being a major issue, and the importance of carrying out risk assessments before harm occurs was emphasised. Listening to the speakers and having discussions with other delegates gave ideas of how we can organise for and promote health and safety locally, nationally and internationally.
One of the highlights of the conference was the final plenary on the Sunday morning, with inspiring presentations by speakers including Sarah Wiktorski of the STUC’s Better than Zero campaign for young people, and the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who got a standing ovation after saying that a Corbyn-led Labour government would restore trade union rights, ensure there was no watering down of the regulatory environment post-Brexit, and work with us to develop a new agenda of health and safety.
For more information on the Hazards Campaign, see www.hazardscampaign.org.uk