Greater Manchester Hazards Centre (GMHC)

provides health and safety advice across the North West.

GMHC is a not for profit organisation  which campaigns, lobbies and advises workers on occupational health, safety and welfare issues.  GMHC produces fact sheets and information packs; sets up and supports health and safety campaigns; raises awareness; co-ordinates a network of health and safety representatives in the North West; and has developed a health and safety App to support workers and trade unionists

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Greater Manchester Hazards Centre - across the North West

Greater Manchester Hazards Centre - across the North West

Oldham care home worker calls for help in asbestos disease claim
10 hrs ago

By Jack Fifield
jackfifield Community Reporter

A former care home worker who worked in Oldham is calling on her former colleagues for help after being diagnosed with a fatal asbestos disease.
Nora Pheasant, aged 75, worked at The Hollies Residential Care Home in Werneth Park as an employee of Oldham Council between 1978 and 1982.
Her role involved entering the home’s cellar at least twice a week to retrieve and store mobility equipment and furniture.
Nora believes she was exposed to asbestos that was used to lag the boiler and pipework in the cellar, which would be disturbed as she moved objects throughout the area.
At one point the asbestos was identified and removed by the council, during which time the residents were temporarily moved out of the home, but Nora fears she had already been exposed to the dangerous substance before this happened.
The home has since been demolished.
After struggling with breathing difficulties, she went to her GP and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2021.
Ms Pheasant said: “It’s almost impossible to put into words how devastating this diagnosis has been. I feel like I have nothing to look forward to and the symptoms make daily tasks so much more difficult.
“I believe that my work at The Hollies has caused this fatal illness, but I need my former colleagues to help verify this.
“With their help, I hope to finally get the answers as to how I developed this horrendous disease.”
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the lining of the body's organs, commonly the lungs, which is usually linked to asbestos exposure.
It can often take more than 40 years for symptoms to develop after exposure. According to the Health and Safety Executive, there were 2,544 mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain in 2020.
Ms Pheasant has enlisted Thompsons Solicitors to help with her claim.
The firm brought about the first successful asbestos disease claim to the House of Lords 50 years ago.
Paula Wrigley of Thompsons Solicitors, who is representing Ms Pheasant, said: “It’s vitally important that anyone who worked with her at The Hollies Residential Care Home comes forward to help get the answers she and her loved ones deserve.”
Anyone with information that could help Ms Pheasant with her claim should contact Paula Wrigley at Thompsons Solicitors via email on or phone 0151 224 1608.

Greater Manchester Hazards Centre - across the North West

Greater Manchester Hazards Centre - across the North West

If you arent a safety rep already, then think about becoming one - you will be trained all the things that make you a great safety rep. Lots of trade union reps are both, because you have more rights as a safety rep. These are some of the safety reps who came to the Hazards Conference this year - can you spot anyone you know?

Greater Manchester Hazards Centre - across the North West

Greater Manchester Hazards Centre - across the North West

Manchester Crown Court to be closed for two weeks following asbestos tests
It is the latest health and safety issue to lead to the temporary closure of a Greater Manchester crown court
• Share

Andrew BardsleyCourt reporter
• 15:07, 1 AUG 2022

Manchester Crown Court (Image: MEN Media)
[ ]
Manchester Crown Court will be closed for two weeks due to testing for asbestos. Sources told the Manchester Evening News that a potential site of the carcinogen was discovered in the basement of the court, which was built in the 1960s.
It's understood a 'routine asbestos survey' identified a need for further tests. So far tests have revealed no presence of airborne asbestos particles.
The court will only be re-opened when it is has been declared safe. The decision to close the court was made late on Friday.
READ MORE : Young woman who fell to her death from Stockport tower block is named
The crown court at Crown Square in Spinningfields will be shut for a fortnight. It was originally said to be closed for one week, but in an update today (Monday) the closure was extended for a further week.
Former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs is scheduled to stand trial at the court from Monday, August 8, accused of controlling behaviour of his ex-partner Kate Greville, assault occasioning actual bodily harm of Ms Greville, and assault by beating of her sister Emma Greville, alleged offences which he denies.
Some urgent cases have been transferred to the city's other crown court at Minshull Street, while others are also due to be heard at Bolton Crown Court. It's understood that court staff are investigating whether cases can be moved to other courts across the North West.
In a statement released on Friday, HM Courts and Tribunal Service said: "Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square) will be temporarily closed from Monday 1 August to Friday 5 August due to a building issue. We're contacting affected parties and relocating urgent work to alternative sites.
"We're sorry for any inconvenience caused." It is the latest health and safety issue to lead to the closure of a Greater Manchester crown court.
Bolton Crown Court, which also houses the town's magistrates court, was temporarily shut last month due to an issue with 'lighting'.
One source said court users had been informed there was a 'risk of collapse' within the building. A trial involving alleged sexual offences which was being held at the crown court had to be transferred to Minshull Street Crown Court, about 15 miles away.
Courts are also being affected by the continuing barristers strike. Criminal defence barristers are due to walk out all week as part of an ongoing row over legal aid fees.
Barristers are now operating a rota system of one full week on strike, followed by a week with no industrial action. There currently appears to be no end in sight to the dispute, with the Government and barristers remaining at an impasse.
Regarding the closure of Manchester Crown Court, a HMCTS spokesperson said: "Manchester Crown Court at Crown Square is temporarily closed due to a building issue."

Greater Manchester Hazards Centre - across the North West

Greater Manchester Hazards Centre - across the North West

Excellent resource: Workers' Guide to Health and Safety

Below is a reminder about the 'Workers' Guide to Health and Safety' published by the Hesperian Foundation. It is an excellent resource for unions developing health and safety programmes in response to the recognition of occupational health and safety as an ILO fundamental right at work.

Go to this page for links to online content in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese versions.'_Guide_to_Health_and_Safety

"The Workers' Guide is an incredibly practical, respectful resource workers will use to improve the quality of their jobs and their lives. Full of accurate technical information and motivational stories, the book proves that health and safety at work is achievable by organizing."
— Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

I was a technical editor on the publication. Your, Rory

From:> On Behalf Of Margaret Robbins

Subject: [PWA] Reminder of this resource

Hello all,

Apologies for the self promotion here. This is a reminder about this resource which might be helpful for folks wanting accessible information on workplace health and safety covering many types of hazards and how to create a healthier, safer workplace. There really is no other resource like it. I encourage you to take a look if you have not done so before.

The book is in English, and adaptations and translations into several other languages are in the works. (You can find out more about translations by contacting the publisher Hesperian Health Guides.)

The English-language book is available as a paperback book, and in downloadable pdfs as a whole book or individual chapters. A Spanish printed book is almost final, I’m told, but I'm not sure when publication is expected.

The wiki and chapter downloads are free to access. The printed book and full-book pdf download have a charge.

Maggie Robbins, MPH
Health & Safety Specialist

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More needs to be done especially amongst health workers facing burn out from huge unrelenting workloads and fatigue and life and death responsibility.