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April 2019

Derek Maylor, Chairperson:

April opens with Global Asbestos Awareness Week and organisation around the world such as IOSH are publicising events and educational resources to raise awareness of the world's single biggest cause of work-related cancer.

Asbestos is still in the workplaces and astonishing, despite what is openly known, several countries still trade in the mineral, and sadly it continues to kill hundreds of thousands around the world every year.  

Whatever happens over Brexit the idiotic mutterings of a person so far out their depth of intelligence and competency area they are foundering around on the floor – May has to go.

Brussels is back in charge, driving the bus, leading, whatever way it is looked at the abject failure nearly three years after the Brexit referendum, and two years sorting out any sort of acceptable deal, will leave a legacy of clear and abject failure by the prime minister.

We are no clearer on workers’ rights, the environment, NHS etc. Thatcher goes down in history as the most divisive PM in UK history, hated by many loved by a few. May will go down as the most incompetent, agreed by all.

The TUC have not been invited to the Brexit table but that is no surprise as none of the deals will be in our favour, zero tariffs, free trade etc. However, it was reassuring to see that the TUC noted that as part of the European TUC irrelevant of whatever Brexit, UK trade unions will be still be able to influence EU discussions on trade from outside the EU.

The REACH Regulations (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is a European Union regulation which has been in place since December 2006. REACH addresses the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both workers health and the general environment we live in. The copying and pasting of all such regulations will see over 12 000 EU chemical regulations come into a new UK chemical database. However those substances that are currently awaiting authorisation will not be covered; so UK companies cannot use them to do business with the other EU countries after Brexit cannot do any dealing leaving us worse off both in welfare and business.

The early investigations in to the recent Ethiopian Airlines crash of a Boeing 737 Max 8 showed clear similarities to the crash in Indonesia last year as flight data demonstrates  both planes experienced erratic climbs and descents just prior to crashing. Minutes into the flight one pilot reported difficulties and asked to return and air traffic monitor showed the plane's vertical speed was unstable after take-off, the system repeatedly forced the plane's nose down even when the plane was not stalling and the pilots tried to correct this by pointing the nose higher, until the system pushed it down again. All Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft must be grounded until unequivocal proof of their safety systems are established.

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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