Self-employed to be removed from Health & Safety at Work protection

11191305_sNext week the government is intending to push through legislation which will remove the cover which self-employed people have always received over the last 40 years since the passing of the Health & Safety at Work Act. Section 3 of this act currently places a duty on all employers and self-employed people to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of others. The government is now proposing to change this to:

It shall be the duty of every self-employed person who conducts an undertaking of a prescribed description to conduct the undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health and safety”.

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Turkish mine disaster: unions blame “murderous” lack of safety & privatisation

x_lon_turkeymine_140514.nbcnews-video-reststate-880Turkish trade unions are staging a one day strike today in protest at the Soma mine disaster which has left over 200 dead. An as yet unexplained explosion took the lives of 246 miners and around 700 may still be trapped underground. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the area but had his car attacked as hundreds of protesters and angry relatives besieged his car. Unions in Turkey have put the blame for the disaster at the feet of the mine owners and the government for privatising the industry, labelling them “murderers.” The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions in Turkey, which is taking part in the one day stoppage, called on people to wear black and demand answers: Continue reading

Miners — the real story

The World has watched and cheered to the rafters the human drama unfolding in Chile. That thirty three miners could be trapped underground for two months, survive and be winched to the surface in a capsule that looked as though it was once used in Star Trek is an extraordinary and joyous thing.  To watch the faces of the families, of the rescuers, of the ordinary Chileans has been to experience something refreshing for a change – the victory of hope over despair. But there’s another story. Continue reading