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July 30, 2021

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Fighting for the fundamental right to safe and healthy work

On 31 July and 1 August trade union safety reps and health and safety campaigners, will attend the UK Hazards online conference.

More than 300 delegates are set to attend the conference, under the banner of fighting for the fundamental right to safe and healthy work.

Chair of the conference, Doug Russell USDAW National Health and Safety Officer, said: “It is a great pleasure to be asked to chair the opening session. The organisers have made a virtue out of the need for a virtual conference by organising a powerful global line-up of speakers. The pandemic has exposed major problems with health and safety and has had a devastating impact on mental and physical health of workers. The afternoon sessions and workshops on Sunday offer practical insight into how safety representatives can organise to tackle these issues.”

Shelly Asquith TUC National Health and Safety Officer said: “Hazards Campaign has, for many years, exposed the dangers of unsafe work. As the pandemic rages on, it is one of the most important campaigns of our time. This weekend’s conference is a must for anyone keen to know more about how we make work safer for everyone.”

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the global trade union confederation ITUC, is the keynote speaker at the opening session on Saturday and will spell out why health and safety must be recognised worldwide as an ILO Fundamental Right at Work.

Richard Wagstaff, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions President will speak on the safety lessons learned recently in New Zealand with particular focus on COVID-19.

Andy McDonald, Labour’s shadow Employment Secretary, is the keynote speaker at the Sunday session and will speak about how decent work supports safe and healthy working environments and lives.

Also at the conference Shavanah Taj, Wales TUC General Secretary will say: “Health and safety at work is a fundamental right. Yet the crisis over the last 16 months has repeatedly demonstrated that for many workers this right is a fiction.

“In Wales we have seen clear evidence that a decade of austerity and cuts has left us unable to enforce the most basic measures to keep workers safe.”

“So, it’s more vital than ever that we keep health and safety failings in the spotlight and maintain a clear focus on fixing our broken system”

More information about the conference and about registering to attend it, can be found here.

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