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Hazards

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BSSRS appointed a 'Pollution Man' (sic). We began by supporting local communities dealing with pollution. However, we got more interested in pollution inside, rather than outside, factories. If it was bad outside, it was often a lot worse inside. 
This was shown in high relief when helping a community fight the noise of BP making plastic in Baglan Bay, Wales. We found ourselves in the middle of the biggest industrial health issue for many years - rare cancers from making plastic. (See 'Death in Plastics industry' where you can hear origin talks between us and trade union representatives).. This shocked the occupational health world, who up till then thought hazards were 'old' - like coal dust - not new in a 'clean' plastics factory.

Three of us - Charlie Alan and Tony, found ourselves talking at many labour events, following the introduction of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. We helped campaign for the Safety Representative Regulations that had been promised but derailed. We gained publicity for a range of industrial hazards, including, noise, vinyl chloride and asbestos. BSSRS funded pamphlets and books on these.

Alan produced a pamphlet on the hazards of oils - particularly bladders cancers. Tony produced a guide to hazards of noise, so people could better understand the issues. They turned to Charlie, asking 'What pamphlet are you going to do?'. He replied 'I have an idea for a magazine, coming out every few months, that mixes our expertise with experience of workers, which we hear about on our talks'. 

Hazards Magazine was set up in the mid-1970s by Science for People Groups primarily in London, Manchester, and Sheffield, with the intention to bring together shopfloor workers and radical scientists.
 

More on Birth of Hazards

Various specialist groups were also established, including Women & Work Hazards. .


Recently Hazards wins Workworld Media Award (for record second time)