Since 2010, Trade Unions, Safety Representatives and workers in general have had to battle against not only deteriorating safety conditions at work, but the Tory-led government and it's media's attempts to further undermine safety by using extremely unhelpful rhetoric and anecdotal-based fantasy.
Long-standing legislation, designed to protect lives has been labeled as 'pointless red tape' and 'bureaucratic nonsense' by government ministers, whilst newspapers spew out stories of conkers being banned from playgrounds, village fetes being cancelled because of over-sized prize marrows and childish tales of 'elf and safety gone mad'. All this has been used to erode workplace safety rights and leave the welfare of workers in the hands of often unscrupulous employers who will, for the most part happily put profit before lives. People working in construction, down mines and in factories know the difference between effective health and safety at work and fear of litigation, claim culture and rising insurance premiums masquerading as health and safety. It's high time that our politicians made the distinction, rather than use people's lives as a political football.
On May 7th, the UK could well have a new government in place. Therefore, it's vital that the people we elect are prepared to fight to safeguard our rights at work and support some reasonable aims and demands.
The 'Hazards Campaign' are promoting a 13-point plan of action to stop workers paying the heavy price of poor health and safety and we ask that our safety representatives within the BFAWU and the wider Labour Movement get on board, sign up to it and promote it, whilst ensuring that the politicians who rely on our votes are prepared to do the same. The welfare of future generations of workers are depending on us to fight and protect the hard-fought safety rights secured by previous generations of Trade Unionists over the years. It's time to use our collective voices, or lose those rights forever.
The 'Hazards' article can be found here