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Derek Maylor, Chairperson

The Coord has mentioned the plight of workers in Qatar several times over the past few years particularly since Qatar was awarded the FIFA World Cup, so we are pleased to see a significant improvement in their working conditions when it was announced that many migrant workers no longer need to obtain exit visas to leave the country.

This meant in reality that a migrant worker was reliant on his/her employer to let them leave keeping them trapped and exploited. The Coord will continue to support the campaign for workers health and safety rights to be extended.

We were disappointed to see Northern Rail withdrew from ACAS talks in guards' safety dispute. As regular users of the areas rail network we want safe and secure journeys, support for people with needs, families with prams etc. and this is not best delivered by Arriva Rail North’s plans to introduce Driver Controlled Operations across its franchise. We continue to support the RMT campaign to ensure passengers using Arriva Rail North Train Services are provided with a continued and guaranteed safe, secure and accessible railway journeys.

It is astonishing that there is such a slow response and dithering over the banning of combustible cladding in the UK, the claims that it should banned from all new high-rise buildings are wide of the mark.

The Government announcing that new high-rise residential buildings, hospitals, registered care homes and student accommodation will be covered by the ban fall far from any duty of care to the public. It should be banned full stop, and all that which is in situ should be removed as soon as reasonably practicable.

With respect to colleagues at IOSH who note the public concern about fire and call for the cladding to be banned from all high-rise buildings, existing and new, and both residential and non-residential – that is insufficient.

As Dame Judith Hackitt said it is vital that changes are implemented to fire regulations or it is impossible to rule out another catastrophe like Grenfell.

BC Disease News recently reported on a clinical trial on mesothelioma has shown results surpassing expectations. Treatment with radiofrequency ablation using radio waves following treatment with chemotherapy showed no complications and a reduction in the size of the tumour. A long way to go but international cooperation amongst clinicians may one day show that surgery, treatment followed by radiotherapy may help to prevent the development of new tumours. 

As always, and in conclusion; we aim to provide the best advice and representation for our members and to:

*Ensure a safe working environment
*Promote occupational health
*Help members raise safety concerns
*Advance industry best practice
*Provide representation at national meetings
*Raise issues with other safety or government bodies

Our greatest assets are our Union Safety Representatives and we fully support them in their work.

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