Where, Who and What..
In the BSSRS Office (in 9 Poland St London), in the mid 70's, Alan Dalton sat next to me, complete with his rubber plant. We had been involved with a number of community campaigns involving chemicals; I had campaigned around "Death in the Plastics Factory" exposing the new found hazards of PVC manufacture
and subpage (bottom of this page), while Alan had helped a lot of local groups dealing with pollution. Into this one day, walked Tony Fletcher who wanted some interesting work to do. So we suggested he do "Noise" - as we 'had chemicals covered'. Tony, after doing some research and talks came up with idea of a leaflet to support the message. He had realised that the research work was no use in reference libraries, but has to be where it was needed. While he was writing the Noise pamphlet, Alan picked up the idea and started to do one on "Vibration". Related but very different styles.
One afternoon, one of them said: "If we are writing these pamphlets, what are you doing Charlie?" Which gave me the idea for a magazine where we could tell stories and make sure that we could pass on the sorts of things we were finding out. This would be both technical and organisational. It would not just make the science clear (based on expertise) but also carry tales of the shopfloor which helped people organise for health & safety (experience).
|We recognised that there was a lot of different people becoming more interested in health and safety matters, because it was more "political". We saw health and safety at the very core of the crunch between capital and labour. We wanted those people to keep connected with each other and thought a magazine may help. But had no idea just how long it would last!|
Nowadays, about 500 health and safety representatives meet up for the Annual Conference of Hazards. I remember when trying to persuade people to be involved with the magazine, I would say:"We'll do it for about 6 months and then the TUC will see its value and take it over". The TUC 'adopted' Hazards 25 years later.
And we got a mention in the key paper of the journal for radical scientists - "Science is Social Relations". See more on the Beginnings
Birth First Hazards Meeting First Hazards Bulletin & Comments Pollution Man