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March 2018

Safety Information on chemicals still has to improve

ECHA’s annual progress report on evaluation under REACH includes this time also a 10 years overview: safety information on chemicals is improving, but more still needs to be done.

Since 2008, ECHA has checked the compliance of 1 952 registrations, most of them with suspected data gaps. In the vast majority of cases, important safety information on chemicals was missing – mostly related to pre-natal developmental toxicity, mutagenicity or genotoxicity, reproduction toxicity and long-term aquatic toxicity. Overall, ECHA has issued 2 586 information requests to registrants.

In 2017, ECHA checked the compliance of 222 registrations, most of them on substances of potential concern. In 151 cases, the Agency requested further information that is essential for demonstrating the safe use of the substance.

More information:

New study suggests two-way association between experimenting with e-cigarettes and experimenting with smoking among young people

New research published 26 February 2018 provides further insights about the relationship between smoking and vaping among young people. Researchers found that having tried smoking or e-cigarettes made it more likely that young people would try the other product, although most had tried smoking before they tried e-cigarettes. This potential ‘revolving door’ between the different products may indicate that the relationship between vaping and smoking in young people is dynamic and that there may be common risk factors to use.

The longitudinal study, undertaken by King’s College London, and UK Action on Smoking and Health, was a survey of 11-18 year olds with a baseline established in April 2016 and a follow-up between August and October 2016.

The study found that compared to never e-cigarette users, those who had tried e-cigarettes were 12 times more likely to try smoking at follow-up, and that compared to never smokers, those who had tried smoking were 3.5 times more likely to try e-cigarettes at follow up. However, it was much more common for young people to have smoked than used e-cigarettes at baseline; only 21 young people had tried an e-cigarette but not smoked, compared with 118 who had tried smoking but not e-cigarettes.

More research involving larger sample sizes across multiple time points are needed to better understand how vaping and smoking behaviours are influenced. In this study, the sample size made it difficult to look at regular vaping or smoking and was only able to look at the relationship between trying the different products. Therefore, it is impossible to say whether these young people were becoming, or will become, regular smokers or vapers. Recent research led by Professor Peter Hajek in the UK found that two thirds of young people who try smoking go on to be regular smokers. [2] It is not yet known what proportion of young people who try e-cigarettes go on to become regular e-cigarette users.

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Event: Nordic Perspectives on Work Science

10-12 April 2018, Dockyard Hotel, Gothenburg, Sweden

Contact: NIVA |

Event: Managing Fire & Explosion Hazards in a Low Oil Price Environment

21 March 2018

FABIG organises 4 Technical Meetings per year on topics relevant to the challenges faced by the oil and gas industry. They are generally half-day events with presentations from invited industry experts held in Aberdeen, London and available via webcast.

Technical Meetings are accepted as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) by most engineering institutions, such as the IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers), IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) and ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers).

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Event: Enhancing UK Cycling – Better Safety, Better Mobility, Better Streets

24 April 2018, Amba Hotel Charing Cross, London

Delegates Will:

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Event: The Circular Economy and the Future of Waste Management – Delivering Innovative and Effective Strategies in Every Local Area

8 May 2018, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Delegates Will:

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Event: Assessment of Cancer Risk

14-16 May 2018, CAMM, Stockholm, Sweden

Contact: NIVA |

Event: Looking to the Future – The Use of Digital Media Marketing to Reach and Engage Our Audiences

22-24 May 2018, 8, Schaeffergarden, Copenhagen area, Denmark

Presented by Max Lum, EdD, MPA, US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Washington, USA


Event: FEICA 2018 European Adhesive & Sealant Conference and EXPO

12-14 September 2018, Radisson Blue Latvija Conference Hotel, Riga, Latvia

Each year, FEICA attracts record numbers of industry leaders to its annual Conference to discuss market drivers and trends, innovation, sustainability and technological advancements. The FEICA Conference and EXPO is firmly established as the premier event for Europe’s adhesive and sealant industry, providing essential insights into the key issues affecting the industry, as well as outstanding networking opportunities for formulators, customers and raw materials suppliers to discuss the latest trends and wider business environment.

The theme of this year’s Business Forum is “Adhesives and sealants in the digital age”. Once again, we will have highly regarded keynote speakers, followed by a panel discussion in which you will get the chance to put your own questions to the speakers.

Online registration and more information about the FEICA 2018 Conference and EXPO can be found at

Event: Mental Health 2018 – Delivering the Five year Forward View

19 September 2018, RSM, London

The independent Mental Health Taskforce published its Five Year Forward View in February 2016 which set out the current state of mental health service provision in England and made recommendations in all service areas.

In July 2016, NHS England published an Implementation Plan detailing how it will deliver the recommendations made by the Taskforce working with its partner arms-length bodies. The Plan presents the timeframes and funding for delivery of the programmes of work which will transform mental health services.

Mental Health 2018 – Delivering the Five year Forward View is an opportunity to consider progress of the Implementation Plan and monitor progress on its commitments to transform mental health services.

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Event: Safety and Risks of Engineered Nanomaterials

23-24 October 2018, Quality Hotel View, Malmö, Sweden

The main goal of the course is to provide the participants with information that allows them to understand key-issues related to Engineered Nanomaterials. More specifically, the purpose is to introduce the current knowledge about the characteristics of ENM, exposure to the materials and their health effects and also about the challenges of risk assessment and risk management concerning ENM at workplaces. One of the goals of the course is also to provide information on how to carry out predictive assessment of safety of ENM. The course will also provide information on the current hot topics in especially European approaches to promote safety of ENM.

Main topics:

Course leader: Kai Savolainen, Research Professor, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland

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Investment in prevention needed, emergency admissions data shows

UK Safety charity RoSPA is calling for a step-change increase in investment in prevention, after new statistics revealed that emergency admissions are continuing to increase each year.

The latest UK National Audit Office Reducing emergency admissions report states that overall emergency admissions increased by 9.3 per cent from 2013/14 to 2016/17. In 2016/17, there were 5.8 million emergency admissions, up by 2.1 per cent on the previous year.

Tellingly, almost a quarter of these (24 per cent) were admissions that NHS England considers could be avoidable. More than half of the growth in emergency admissions was mostly made up of older people.

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Evidence-based research is fundamental to gender equality in Europe

As more women enter the labour market, the EU and Member States reaffirm their commitment to promoting gender equality and progress towards closing the gender pay and employment gaps.

As International Women’s Day on 8 March 2018 has just taken place Eurofound invite you to explore the issue of gender equality in depth, to read about the different areas in which gender equality is most urgently needed.

Eurofound implements a gender mainstreaming approach which is transversal to its research in the areas of working conditions, industrial relations, labour market change, quality of life and public services.

For instance, topics such as pay and income, care, employment participation, leave, skills and training, work organisation, working time and work–life balance, among others, are covered from a gender perspective across various strands of Eurofound’s work, in its pan-European surveys and regular reporting at national level.

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UK Product Recalls

House of Commons Library Briefing Paper on Product Recalls, which came out on the 15th February 2018.

Product safety in the UK is governed by a regulatory regime consisting of both national and EU derived legislation.

The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 implements in the UK the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC). Under the Regulations, all products intended for, or likely to be used by, consumers under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions must be safe.

The laws apply to any business involved in the import, manufacture and supply of goods to consumers. Products must be safe when they are available for supply or “placed on the market”. This occurs when a manufacturer first makes the product available for supply or when an importer takes ownership of the goods once they have been cleared by customs.

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The health and safety toolbox: How to control risks at work

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) presents a checklist of things that all businesses must do from a health and safety perspective…

No matter how large or small there are some things that every business must do to ensure their workplace is compliant with health and safety law. See our checklist of things all businesses must do.

HSE says it is worth visiting their Health and Safety Toolbox too, which is an area of our website specifically providing helpful areas of advice, which apply to all workplaces.

Also see the web section on Health and Safety Made Simple, which will help clarify the basics for your business.

All together against falls: newly formed UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) into working at heights

A newly formed All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) into working at height will produce a report and recommendations aimed at reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries resulting from falls from height in UK workplaces.

A group of organisations are determined to make it safer to work at height, says Chris Kendall

Considered by many to be one of the most significant developments in the work at height sector in recent times, the group is currently considering evidence submissions from interested stakeholders.

Sponsored by PASMA, the not-for-profit organisation dedicated to advancing safety in the mobile access tower industry, and with the support of the Access Industry Forum (AIF), the APPG is chaired by the Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central, Alison Thewliss, and brings together concerned MPs from across the political spectrum to examine the effectiveness of the existing regulations.

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Partners get ready for the ‘Manage Dangerous Substances’ campaign

The launch of the 2018-19 Campaign – Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances – is fast approaching.

EU-OSHA’s campaign partnership meeting in Brussels on 20 March 2018 brings together European and international organisations and companies and media partners who would like to become campaign partners or renew their partnership.

The event is the ideal opportunity for them to network and exchange ideas on how they will actively promote the objectives of the campaign through their activities.

See the agenda and find out more about the campaign partnerships

News from EU-OSHA: International Women’s Day: make safety and health of women at work an everyday priority

On the International Women’s Day on 8th March 2018, EU-OSHA raises awareness about the risks and their implications for women when it comes to occupational safety and health (OSH) management, with a special insight into older female employees.

Gender specific differences in the workplace might lead to a reduction of women’s well-being at work as a result of the lack of career prospects. Women in general, and older women specifically, are also exposed to different risks than their male counterparts throughout their working lives.

Women’s careers are often less mobile than men’s, and women tend to remain in lower-grade jobs, being more likely to do the same job for a longer period of time and doing repetitive work. Better OSH management is needed to prevent risks, accidents and ill-health that women face at work.

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) is leading on an initiative of zero tolerance towards sexual harassment and gender-based violence in the workplace. EU-OSHA has signed this Joint Statement of EU Agencies in support of the health, safety and well-being of all workers based on the principle of gender equality and equal treatment at work.

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News from the ILO: Change is necessary for rural women

In a statement to mark International Women’s Day, ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, says that rural women must not be overlooked in policy decisions.

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, the ILO joins the UN system in placing the spotlight on rural women, a group often overlooked despite their enormous contributions: they contribute significantly to agricultural production and food security, and to the management of natural resources. However, deep inequalities persist and they continue to be left behind.

Rural women make up over one-fourth of the world’s population and between 41 and 60 per cent of its agricultural workforce. They are farmers, wage earners and entrepreneurs. Women from indigenous and tribal communities are often custodians of traditional knowledge that is key for communities’ livelihoods, resilience and culture, as well as for strong climate action.

Yet, rural women are more likely to be informal, low-wage workers without any social protection, and many work without pay for a family enterprise – and that means their work is largely unrecognized and undervalued. They also shoulder a disproportionate amount of unpaid care and household work. In addition, women’s presence in rural workers’ and employers’ organizations remains low, leaving them without voice and representation. They are at high risk of abuse, sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence.

Change is necessary and will benefit all.

More information:

New Reports from US NIOSH

Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program Update

Evaluation of Federal Poultry Inspectors Exposures to Chemical Disinfectants

HHE Program investigators found low levels of peracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and acetic acid on inspectors working in the evisceration area. We recommended the employer provide refresher training on the prevention of slips, trips, and falls and discontinue use of latex gloves.

Recommendations Provided to Control Dust Exposures in a Spice Shop

As some spice dusts have been reported to be allergens and finding spice dust exposures to employees grinding, blending, and mixing spices, HHE Program investigators recommended installing local exhaust ventilation, improving work practices, and requiring respirator use until local exhaust is installed.

More information:

Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program Report

Fire Fighter Suffers a Heart Attack at Brush Fire and Dies 8 Days Later – Vermont

A paid-on-call fire fighter responded to a brush fire and drove a water tanker to the scene. The fire fighter assisted with suppression operations, and after 10 minutes, he collapsed. The fire fighter was transported to a medical center, and he died 8 days later.

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Volunteer Fire Fighter Dies After Running Out of Air and Becoming Disoriented in Retail Store in Strip Mall Fire – North Carolina

On April 30, 2016, a 20-year-old male volunteer fire fighter died after he ran out of air and became disoriented while fighting a fire in a commercial strip mall.

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NIOSH Releases Updated Strategic Plan

In February 2018, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released its updated Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2019–2023. This new plan covers the breadth of the research and service work at NIOSH and is organized into the following seven strategic goals, representing the health and safety issues facing the U.S. workforce:

  1. Reduce occupational cancer, cardiovascular disease, adverse reproductive outcomes, and other chronic diseases
  2. Reduce occupational hearing loss
  3. Reduce occupational immune, infectious, and dermal disease
  4. Reduce occupational musculoskeletal disorders
  5. Reduce occupational respiratory disease
  6. Improve workplace safety to reduce traumatic injuries
  7. Promote safe and healthy work design and well-being

More information: