CIS Newsletter

No. 183
December 2004

CIS Newsletter celebrates 16 years & still going strong! Bringing news to over 135 countries in the CIS Network


  1. Editorial
  2. News from CIS HQ
  3. New Series: Hot Topics
  4. News from around the World - Australia, Canada, China, European Commission, Finland, ILO, Ireland, Spain, UK, USA
  5. FOCUS - OSH UPDATE: affordable new Internet based service
  6. More News from around the World
  7. OSHE web sites
  8. Diary of Events


Dear CIS Colleagues

Welcome to the last CIS Newsletter of 2004 and Festive Greetings to everyone, wherever you are. In many parts of this World of ours there will be celebrations of Christmas. To everyone, may I extend the warmest of good wishes to you, your colleagues and your families at this very special and happy time of the year. I hope you enjoy the festivities.

Whilst this is usually a joyful season for families and friends we must also remember those families around the world where there will be that missing family member, who, because of very sad incidents, accidents and workplace ill health problems will not be present.

As always, it has been an exciting and very fast year, and now we look forward to 2005 with all its challenges and opportunities ahead for us to help improve the knowledge of all workers through disseminating validated and authoritative information, which at all times, should be timely and presented in usable formats.

Many thanks to you have sent emails and news - these are always gratefully received and are used as soon as possible. You will see that many are preparing for next year in many ways.... IAPA in Canada send an invitation to their April 2005 - to mention a few.

If you are planning any publications, conferences, seminars or training courses, then please send your details to me so that we can share your efforts with others. Don't forget to send me your latest news! It is amazing how much the CIS Newsletter content gets re-used around the world.

You know I welcome ideas for inclusion in the future editions of this Newsletter. Let me know if there are any areas you would wish to see covered in future.

A few people have responded since the last edition, but if there is anyone else who want to get it electronically please let me know as soon as possible your email number. Anyone who finds that they cannot received the CIS Newsletter either by email or from the web site where back issues are stored should also let me know by fax +44 1909 772829 that paper based service is the only way.

Also on emails ....Some of you who have changed your email number and addresses in recent months, please let CIS Headquarters know your new email/address and also let me know as well - otherwise you will not get the CIS Newsletter or other news.

All good wishes to you, your families and your colleagues.

Sheila Pantry, OBE
85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK
Tel: +44 1909 771024
Fax: +44 1909 772829


News from CIS HQ

Annick Virot writes:

Mr. Buet, our documentalist in CIS, compiles a monthly list of periodicals and documents received at CIS. This list is now available on the CIS Website under "Latest documents and periodicals received" at the following address:

This list in two parts is a valuable information tool for the OSH community. Thank you for letting people know through the Newsletter that it exists.

Knowledge Sharing for Development: a practical workshop exploring research communication in Africa
Cairo, Egypt, February 27-28, 2005

Are you based in a social science research institute in Sub-Saharan Africa? Are you in charge of research communication at your institute? Do you have a success story to tell - or are you not sure where to start? GDNet is inviting applications from librarians, administrators, information officers, knowledge managers and researchers involved in disseminating research on behalf of institutes in sub-Saharan Africa to take part in a practical workshop building skills and sharing experiences of research communication in an African context.

Hot topics..... New series

In the forthcoming CIS Newsletters in addition to the OSHE web sites I will be alerting you on some new Hot topics that may help in your search for further information. If you have a new Hot Topic that you want to share with others please send details to your Editor.

This month we start with:


Occupational health risks associated with manufacturing and using nanomaterials are not yet clearly understood. The rapid growth of nanotechnology is leading to the development of new materials, devices and processes that lie far beyond our current understanding of environmental and human impact.

Many nanomaterials and devices are formed from nanometer-scale particles (nanoparticles) that are initially produced as aerosols or colloidal suspensions. Exposure to these materials during manufacturing and use may occur through inhalation, dermal contact and ingestion. Minimal information is currently available on dominant exposure routes, potential exposure levels and material toxicity. What information does exist comes primarily from the study of ultrafine particles (typically defined as particles smaller than 100 nanometers).

To see detailed information see:
This European Union sponsored Thematic Network will provide a comprehensive source of information on all areas of Nanotechnology to the business, the scientific and social communities. The main vehicle for the thematic network will be this dedicated website. Nanoforum will encompass partners from different disciplines, bring together existing national and regional networks, share best practice on dissemination national, EU-wide and Venture Capital funding to boost SME creation, provide a means for the EU to interface with networks, stimulate Nanotechnology initiatives in European underdeveloped countries, stimulate young scientists, publicises good research and form a network of knowledge and expertise. Nanoforum aims to provide a linking framework for all nanotechnology activity within the European Community. It will serve as a central location from which to gain access to and information about research programmes, technological developments, funding opportunities and future activities in nanotechnology within the community.
The European Commission has adopted an European Union (EU) strategy to help Europe become world leader in the rapidly developing field of nanotechnology, the science of the infinitely small. The Communication, Towards a European strategy for nanotechnology ( provides a series of recommendations and initiatives on how to strengthen European research and development (R&D) in the field and help turn nanotechnologies into commercially viable products for the benefit of society. Key actions include boosting R&D investment and infrastructure, improving training for research personnel, enhancing technology transfer in Europe and its financing, taking into account the impact of nanotechnology on society and increasing international co-operation towards a responsible approach to nanotechnology R&D globally. Scientific investigation and assessment of possible health or environmental risks associated with nanotechnology need to accompany the R&D and technological progress. Some dedicated studies are underway to assess the potential risks, which are also examined within FP6 IPs and NEs projects in the field of nanotechnology. In particular, nanoparticles might behave in unexpected ways due to their small size. They may present special challenges, for example, in terms of production, disposal, handling, storage and transport.
Hazards Magazine website for nanotechnology- which is engineering on a very small scale. Presents warnings and links to other sites.
In June 2003 the UK Government commissioned the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK national academy of engineering, to carry out an independent study of likely developments and whether nanotechnology raises or is likely to raise new ethical, health and safety or social issues which are not covered by current regulation. 'Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties' - was published on 29 July 2004. The report illustrates the fact that nanotechnologies offer many benefits both now and in the future but that public debate is needed about their development. It also highlights the immediate need for research to address uncertainties about the health and environmental effects of nanoparticles - one small area of nanotechnologies. It also makes recommendations about regulation to control exposure to nanoparticles.
Health and Safety Laboratories Research Report RR274 - Nanoparticles: An occupational hygiene review. Nanotechnology is a broad interdisciplinary area of research, development and industrial activity which has been growing rapidly world wide for the past decade. It is a multidisciplinary grouping of physical, chemical, biological, engineering, and electronic, processes, materials, applications and concepts in which the defining characteristic is one of size.
The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded centre at Rice University USA. Aiming to transform nanoscience into a field with the impact of a modern-day polymer science, CBEN focuses on research at the interface between "dry" nanomaterials and aqueous media such as biology and the environment, developing the nanoscience workforce of the future, and transferring discoveries to industry. Scientific, public, and governmental interest in the health and environmental effects of nanomaterials has grown significantly since 2003. This web page is designed to provide a set of resources to help those interested keep up to date on this subject.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH nanotechnology pages. The past decade has seen intense interest in developing technologies based on the unique behaviour of nanometer-scale (nanoscale) structures, devices and systems, leading to the rapidly expanding and highly diverse field of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is somewhat loosely defined, although in general terms it covers engineered structures, devices and systems that have a length scale of 1 - 100 nanometers. Workers within nanotechnology-related industries have the potential to be exposed to uniquely engineered materials with novel sizes, shapes and physical and chemical properties, at levels far exceeding ambient concentrations. To understand the impact of these exposures on health, and how best to devise appropriate exposure monitoring and control strategies, much research is still needed. Until a clearer picture emerges, the limited evidence available would suggest caution when potential exposures to nanoparticles may occur. The web pages give links, resources, guidance and advice.

News from around the World

Stress Risk Assessment from Ireland

EssentialSkillz have released an efficient and cost-effective solution to help organisations meet the new Stress Management Standards from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The solution is similar in its methodology to their effective Display Screen Equipment training and risk assessment solution. A list of employees is uploaded to their Online Learning and Assessment System (O-LAS). The system sends these employees a welcome email informing them how to login to O-LAS and explaining why they need to complete a 35-minute online Stress Awareness course. Once the highly engaging and well-balanced Stress Awareness course is completed and the employees have passed the final quiz they are asked to complete an online Stress Risk Assessment. The questions on this assessment can map exactly to those issued by the HSE or you can customise the questions to meet your specific requirements with EssentialSkillz easy to use system.

The training records and risk assessment results are all maintained and managed by O-LAS. Unlike DSE risk assessments, all responses to the Stress Risk Assessment are kept completely confidential. However, O-LAS will report on who has, and has not completed their training and risk assessment and will prevent people from completing more than one risk assessment. O-LAS also has an extremely effective email function that automatically sends reminder emails, at pre-designated intervals, to those employees who have not completed their training and risk assessment. This functionality, described with more than a little tongue-in-cheek by Tony Dervan of EssentialSkillz as "replacing death by PowerPoint with death by email", enables organisations to achieve over 90% completion rates.

This high level of completion and compliance is particularly important for Stress Risk Assessments. Paper-based assessments often fail to achieve even a 40% completion level and may not prevent employees completing more than one negative assessment. It is also probable that unhappy employees will be over represented in a 40% sample leaving you with an unbalanced and inaccurate picture of the stressors within your organisation.

Providing employees with stress awareness training before asking them to complete what can be an emotive risk assessment should also help you gather better educated and more considered responses to your Stress Risk Assessment. EssentialSkillz 35-minute Stress Awareness course takes a very balanced approach to this sensitive subject dealing with factors outside the workplace and work/life balance in general. Research carried out by the HSE on DSE training showed that respondents who had received training on workstation ergonomics were less concerned by issues such as RSI than those who had not received training and whose concerns were more "media driven".

To evaluate this smart and highly effective solution in more detail EssentialSkillz provide organisations with a free pilot programme. Simply email or visit their web site,, for more information.

News from China

Dozens dead in China mine fire

A fire at an iron ore mine in northern China has killed 57 workers while three more are still missing, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Rescue efforts began after the fire broke out on Saturday at a private mine in Shahe city, Hebei province. Another 46 miners, trapped as the fire spread, were now free, Xinhua said.

Chinese mines have a poor safety record and are among the most dangerous in the world. Last month, some 120 miners died in a gas blast in Henan province. An investigation has been launched into the cause of the blaze.

One early theory is that an electric cable caught fire in one of the mines.

Official figures show that 4,153 people died in mining accidents in China in the first three quarters of this year - a figure 13% lower than last year.

But correspondents say the total may be higher, since some deaths go unreported.

These often occur in illegal, unregulated mines, which have mushroomed as China's industrial revolution drives the country's huge demand for coal.

Story from BBC NEWS:

News from the USA

Lifelines Online

The November 2004 issue of LIFELINES ONLINE (Vol. I, No. 6) is available at the LHSFNA website. These are the headlines:

To view the stories and access our website, click We look forward to your feedback and comments.

Steve Clark, Communications Manager, Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America, 905 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA

News from the UK

Foolish firms forget health and safety

"Businesses that fail to take health and safety seriously are fooling themselves - accidents will happen and they will land up in hot water," was the message from IOSH's (Institution of Occupational Safety & Health's) new president elect, Neil Budworth.

Mr Budworth, health and safety manager for Severn Trent Water, said that this was the message he wanted members of the health and safety profession to get across: "Our profession saves lives, saves money and saves business a whole lot of trouble. That's why the job is the best in the world, because it helps people to solve problems so they can do things they would not be able to do without the risk of harm.

"The role of the health and safety professional involves keeping people free from illness and injury, and that is why our cause is very honourable. We do make a difference and that is why we should all be able to hold our heads high."

Keeping people away from harm is only one part of the role of the health and safety professional, though. As Mr Budworth pointed out: "Another good thing about my job is that I know I help to make Severn Trent more profitable, and the same will be true of practitioners at their companies across the world.

"It's obvious, really, because if a factory is untidy and badly organised, it doesn't take a genius to know it will be unproductive and that people will get hurt. And, of course, when people get hurt, there are all the costs associated with that to take into account, too!

"So my message to company bosses is simple - don't fool yourself into thinking health and safety is optional, because you will be responsible for the consequences when something goes wrong!"

Paul Marston, Media Officer, IOSH, The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1NN, UK | Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3100 | Fax: +44 (0)116 257 3101 |

Visit the website for health and safety information for small businesses. Read and discuss topical health, safety & environmental issues at

Infire Conference: A safe community: the information network, October 2004, Perth, W. Australia

The conference attracted a range of people from all over Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA and had many interesting presentations, updating sessions as well as visits. The Conference Dinner was held at Frasers Restaurant, Kings Park, Perth from where we had beautiful panoramic views looking over the city and river.

The conference looked at the impact of information networking on the wider community. It certainly provided a forum that has strengthened the information networks between information professionals working in the field. The conference sponsors were:

The Conference Committee were: Elizabeth Hide (FESA), Jill Don (Queensland Dept of Emergency Services), Lidia Peitrucha (WA Police), Edith Khangure (WA Ambulance and Scott-Andrew Smith (FESA) to whom thanks were given for their work in ensuring that everything went according to plan. The whole event was greatly appreciated by the delegates.

Three of FIGUK members attended and gave papers:

The Conference papers have not yet appeared on the inFire web site

News from the UK

Helping business cut the cost of work-related stress: launch of new management standards

Over 13 million days a year are lost due to work-related stress making it the biggest occupational cause of working days lost through injury or ill-health. An average of 29 days lost per case, costing society about £3.7 billion a year. In 2001/2, over half a million individuals in Britain experienced work-related stress at levels that made them ill.

That is why the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a new approach to help large employers work with their employees to manage the risks from work-related stress.

With input from a range of businesses, professional bodies, unions, and other Government agencies such as ACAS, HSE has developed an approach based on a continuous improvement model featuring a benchmarking tool and to help managers gauge stress levels, compare themselves with other organisations, and work with employees to identify solutions.

The Management Standards are not new regulations. Along with the toolkit, the standards help large organisations meet their existing duty of care and their duty to assess the risk of work-related stress. The standards define the characteristics of an organisation where stress is managed effectively.

The Standards and advice on how to use them are available at
The Standards, informed by the expert research linking job design to ill health, consist of six main factors that contribute to work-related stress: demands, control, support, relationships, role, change.

The Management Standards were piloted with over twenty organisations before they were made available online for public consultation in May 2004. This material was distributed direct to managers and employers via a CD-ROM carried free with editions of selected journals and sent to the top 350 companies.

Examples of good practice are available in The Real Solutions Real People guide, which includes guidance on risk assessment, from HSE books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury Suffolk, CO10 2WA, UK or Tel: +44 (0)1787 881165 or, priced £25.00.

ACAS has produced a booklet 'Stress at Work' giving practical advice on handling stress issues in the workplace. It is available free at

Employers or employees can obtain free confidential advice on the ACAS helpline Tel: 08457 47 47 47.

HSE publishes improved guidance on preventing manual handling injuries

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published revised manual handling guidance helping employers and employees to take sensible steps to reduce injuries.

The new guidance, L23 Manual Handling: Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) and INDG143 (rev2) Getting to grips with manual handling: a short guide, have been thoroughly revised to take account of improved knowledge of the risks from manual handling and how to avoid them. But the essential messages about reducing risks remain the same.

Getting to grips is a short, free booklet aimed particularly at smaller businesses and which is also suitable for supervisors, safety representatives and individual workers.

Almost a third of all industrial injuries are caused by manual handling accidents. And they are part of a much larger problem: an estimated 1.1 million people in Britain suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including those caused by manual handling. MSDs account for around half of all work-related ill health. As a result of MSDs an estimated 12.3 million working days were lost in 2002/2003. In 1995/1996 MSDs cost society £5.7 billion.

Elizabeth Gyngell, Head of HSE's Better Working Environment Division, said "This guidance forms part of the Health and Safety Commission's Priority Programme on musculoskeletal disorders. By following the guidance, preventive action can be taken quite easily in most workplaces and need not be costly. Indeed it is likely to be far more expensive for employers and their insurers to ignore the risks from manual handling which may lead not only to compensation claims, but also to costs arising from sickness absence and reduced productivity."

The revision of the guidance shows the important role of the research programme on musculoskeletal disorders which HSE funds. The new guidance takes account of:

Further musculoskeletal research projects that will be available this year include studies of risk perception of musculoskeletal disorders, the effective management of upper limb disorders by occupational health professionals, and the link between stress and musculoskeletal disorders.

Copies of L23 'Manual handling: Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) Guidance on Regulations, ISBN 0 7176 2823 X, price £8.95, are available from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 6FS, UK | Tel: +44(0) 1787 881165 | Fax: +44 (0)1787 313995 |

Copies of INDG143 (rev2) 'Getting to grips with manual handling: a short guide', ISBN 0 7176 2828 0 for priced packs of 10, individual copies free, also from HSE Books.

Fire Safety Online

EssentialSkillz,, the award-winning developers of online health and safety course and risk assessment software, have developed Fire Safety Essentials, an online educational programme that aims to change learners attitudes and behaviours in relation to fire safety.

Over 70% of businesses involved in a major fire either do not reopen or subsequently fail within 3 years of fire reminding us that we should be doing all we can to reduce the incidence of workplace fires. These statistics highlight the importance of implementing a fire safety programme in your organisation to prevent fire related injuries and property damage.

Fire Safety Essentials is a 30-minute interactive, online course that covers the training required by the Fire Precautions Regulations 1997, made under the Fire Precautions Act 1971. It is designed to be used as part of a company-wide fire prevention programme to teach employees how to prevent fires in their workplace and the procedures that are to be followed in the event of a fire. Fire Safety Essentials provides companies with a convenient and easy-to-use resource for implementing an effective fire safety programme.

To evaluate Fire Safety Essentials free of charge, simply visit us on the web at

EUROHSE 2004 Conference: Health in the Workplace and preparing for EUROHSE 2005

A range of delegates from as far as Hong Kong, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan and other countries were brought up to date by the EUROHSE 2004 Conference that was held on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 November 2004, at the Royal National Hotel, Russell Square, London.

EurOHSE 2004 conference provided key points for future activities for all those responsible for securing good standards of health and safety in the workplace, and excellent networking opportunities. The two-day conference had a wide range of sessions on a number of themes:

The programme line-up of eminent speakers with backgrounds in government, industry, research and education were chaired on Day 1 by John Howard, Chief Executive, RoSPA

Day 2 Chaired by Professor Peter Waterhouse

From the end of November the conference website will contain

Links to the speakers' PowerPoint presentations and/or notes.

If you are interested in attending EurOhse2005 to be held in London in September 2005 send your name to be kept up-to-date with developments to:

Stephen Whitehurst, EurOhse2005, Angel Business Communications Ltd, 34 Warwick Road, Kenilworth, Warwickshire  CV8 1HE, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1926 512424 | Fax: +44 (0) 1926 512948 | Email: |


OSH UPDATE: new Internet based service from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

Want to keep up-to-date in worldwide occupational health, safety, hygiene, road safety, water safety, environment trends and the latest information? Do budget constraints not allow you to buy all the journals, newsletters and documents that contain the latest information? Can't afford the time to search for the latest information, legislation and standards? No staff to search for this information? And no time yourself to spend hours searching for information?

Then a new, very affordable Internet based service OSH UPDATE, from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd is the answer for you.

Powered by Head Software International's Headfast/Discovery Internet publishing software*, OSH UPDATE is available from December 2004and updated monthly. It contains a number of bibliographic databases from worldwide authoritative sources such as the UK Health and Safety Executive HSELINE, UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Canada Ryerson University, the International Labour Office CIS Health and Safety Centre, European Union legislation and other legislation sources and OSH standards specifications including those from the British Standards Institution.

OSH UPDATE records will have links to the full text where possible

OSH UPDATE will expand - we are continuing to make agreements with other well-known information producers around the world and these databases will also be included. As well as the latest information many reference sources go back 80 or more years and so a valuable tool for researchers.

This new aggregation of databases will contain thousands of relevant references with abstracts or keywords and will keep you and your colleagues alerted to hot topics such as the health risks of nanotechnology, corporate killing and corporate social responsibility, bioterrorism, management of road risks, preparedness and business continuity.

The title price for a single user via the Internet will be GBP250.00 / Euros 362.00 / US$ 450.00 per year - less than 68 pence / 1 Euro / 1.2 dollars per day.

The price reflects our aim to bring health and safety guidance, advice, research, journal articles, papers, standards to the attention of health and safety practitioners and managers, researchers, trade union safety representatives, occupational physicians, information specialists in industry, colleges and universities, government staff, inspectors, university and college safety directors, university and college lecturers and those in training - at a cost that is affordable and a service that is time efficient.

If you are interested in taking up this service on trial please complete the OSH UPDATE Interest Form, or contact us to ask further questions, e.g. multi-user prices or consortium prices.

Sheila Pantry OBE BA FCLIP, Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | 85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | Email: | | |

Electronic Products: Environment Plus | Fire Worldwide | OSH Ireland | OSH UPDATE

* Headfast/Discovery is being used for important bibliographic and full text information services on the Internet by other publishers including CERAM Research, Ellis Publications, Inspec, Nielsen BookData, Oxmill Publishing and TWI.

More news from around the World

News from IAPA, Canada

Dear CIS-ILO Centres Colleagues,

The Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA) - a CIS Collaborating Centre located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada - is pleased to invite the research community in participating with us in this exciting new opportunity for researchers to display and present their work to a broad community of academics, professionals and practitioners.

IAPA invites Poster Abstracts for our Health & Safety Canada 2005 IAPA Conference & Trade Show. Health & Safety Canada is the largest event of its kind in Canada and the second largest health and safety event in North America. The 2005 annual conference takes place April 4 to 6 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Canada.

The primary focus for posters is the transfer of research, workplace applications, and best practices knowledge in health and safety.

Further information which outlines the Poster Abstracts invitation in the web site below. IAPA look forward to your participation!

A limited number of poster abstracts will be given the opportunity to provide an oral session. A schedule for oral presentations will be available after the acceptance process is complete.

Sincerely, Zuzka

Zuzka Hora, Manager, Information Centre Team, Industrial Accident Prevention Association, 207 Queens Quay West, Suite 550, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2Y3 CANADA | Tel: + 1 416-506-8888 ext 385 or 1-800-669-4939 ext 385 | Fax: + 1 416-506-8880 | email: |

More news from Canada

Service Makes it Easier for Employers to Meet Health and Safety Responsibilities and Help Workers Work Safely With Chemicals

A new MSDS Management Service from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) makes it easier and affordable to communicate chemical safety information in work places. Thousands of hazardous substances are used in workplaces every day - from gas and cleaning products, to the toner used in photocopiers. Under occupational health and safety law, employers are required to keep workers informed on the hazards of chemicals found in the workplace. The MSDS Management Service makes it easier for employers to be WHMIS compliant, and for workers to easily access important safety information when they need it.

As part of the right-to-know (WHMIS), employers must make Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available for each hazardous substance in the workplace. MSDSs contain information about health hazards, handling and storage, personal protection, spill and disposal procedures, and first aid. Keeping track of MSDSs that are usually in a paper format, and ensuring they are up-to-date can be a major undertaking.

CCOHS' new online MSDS Management Service draws on the extensive CCOHS MSDS database as the primary source for the most current records from more than 1200 manufacturers and suppliers. The Service enables customized, organizational subsets of MSDSs to be created. Users can then search from a smaller collection tailored to their specific requirements, giving them quick and ready access to MSDSs. As chemical suppliers produce new MSDSs, CCOHS automatically updates the database, and informs users of the changes by email.

In addition, CCOHS provides a complete turnkey service for organizations that do not have the resources to set up and maintain their own MSDS collection. With the MSDS Management Plus! Service, CCOHS takes care of the set up and uploading of MSDSs to create custom collections, and to help organizations manage their MSDSs.

As Canada's national source of occupational health and safety information, CCOHS bundles other content rich, complimentary products and services as part of the MSDS Management Service. These include CHEMINFO, a database of more than 1300 chemical profiles; a Chemical Notification Service that informs subscribers when new information is released on chemicals in which they are interested; a database of WHMIS chemical classifications, and a wealth of other relevant materials.

Contact: Eleanor Irwin, Manager - Marketing, Sales and Communications, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) | Tel: +1 905 572-2981, Ext. 4408 | Email: |

News from Europe

HIV/AIDS: risk to young Europeans increasing

Young Europeans face an unprecedented risk of catching HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to Markos Kyprianou, European Commissioner for health and consumer protection. The number of newly reported HIV cases in the EU has nearly doubled since 1996, with the most drastic increase observed in the Baltic States. The situation in neighbouring countries is equally grave. In Russia, there are almost one million people infected with HIV, 80% of which are in people under thirty. Speaking on the eve of World AIDS Day, 1 December, 2004 Mr Kyprianou said: "Teenagers and people in their early twenties are too young to remember the safe sex campaigns of the 1980s and early 1990s. With HIV infection rates rising across our continent, urgent action is needed to avert a public health disaster".

Rising rates of sexually transmitted infections across Europe have also alarmed public health experts. Commissioner Kyprianou believes that a big factor behind these rising infection rates appears to be that many young people are either unaware of, or choose to ignore, advice about safe sex. In September 2004, health ministers from across the EU and its neighbours met in Vilnius, Lithuania, to endorse a Commission proposed strategy to fight the AIDS epidemic in Europe (IP/04/1111). The underlying principle of the programme is for politicians and public officials across the EU and its neighbours to give a strong lead in tackling HIV/AIDS. For further information about EU policies and initiatives on HIV/AIDS

European Commission consults public on action plan to reduce air pollution

As part of a new comprehensive action plan to reduce air pollution, the European Commission is asking views from members of the public and interested parties via an Internet consultation. Recent studies show that: more then 22,000 premature deaths each year are due to high levels of ozone with every European losing about nine months of life expectancy due to poor air quality.

"The facts about the impact of air pollution on the human organism are disturbing, but in order to react properly, we need to understand more about causes and effects. There are things we can do to improve air quality and we have to start now," said Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for the environment. Participants have until 31 January 2005 to make their submissions. The results of the consultation will be published by March 2005, with the action plan due by mid-2005.

For the most recent studies on air quality by CAFE ("Clean Air for Europe").

European Commission Helping people with disabilities find and keep jobs

On the occasion of the European Day of People with Disabilities 2004, Vladimir Spidla, the EU's Commissioner for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities, has called for a change of mind-set and a rights-based approach to roll back the discrimination which prevents people with disabilities from finding and keeping jobs.

Speaking at a conference in Brussels, the Commissioner outlined the three priority areas targeted by the Commission's action plan on equal opportunities for disabled people: improving access to the built environment, (roads, public transport, hospitals and public services); harnessing new technologies to enable people with disabilities to work and provide life-long learning. Figures show that only 40% of people with disabilities in the EU-15 in 2003 had jobs, compared to 64.2% for people without disabilities. The gap between the employment rate of people with and without disabilities also varies hugely between member states. [IP/04/1432]

To coincide with the event, a new fact Sheet "Ensuring the health and safety of workers with disabilities" has been published by European Agency for Health and Safety at Work to highlight that people with disabilities are covered by both European anti-discrimination legislation as well as occupational health and safety legislation and that health and safety should not be used as an excuse for not employing or not continuing to employ disabled people.

New chairperson announces European Agency for Safety and Health plans to tackle noise at work

Meeting in Bilbao on 23 and 24 November 2004, the Administrative Board of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has elected Luis Lopes as its new chairperson and agreed the Agency's work programme for 2005.

Luis Lopes is the Portuguese workers' representative on the Bureau of the Agency's Board. He takes over from Christa Schweng, Austrian employers' representative. It is Mr Lopes' second term of office having previously held the position in 2002.

Commenting on his appointment and the Agency's 2005 work programme, Mr Lopes said: "Excessive noise is a growing problem in many workplaces - from factories and farms to call centres and schools. The European Week 2005 campaign aims to get the message across that noise can cost you more than your hearing. It can also play a significant role in workplace accidents and increasing stress levels. But it's a problem for which solutions are available. One of the Agency's key roles is to make available good practice information on this and other safety and health topics across the more than 30 countries of its network. As chairman of the Board for 2005, I am looking forward to supporting the Director and the staff of the Agency in the further development of its activities".

Emerging risks, safety and health awareness in the new Member States, protecting young workers and the OSH implications of Europe's ageing workforce - amongst the priorities for 2005

The Agency's work programme for 2005 will focus on developing the Agency's information services in line with the priorities set out in the Community Strategy for Health and Safety at Work. Major initiatives will include:

Commenting on the outcome of the Board meeting, the Director of the European Agency, Mr Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, said: "I am delighted to welcome back Luis Lopes as Chairperson of the Agency and look forward to working closely with him in promoting the Agency's health and safety activities in 2005. Our new Risk Observatory will carry out Europe-wide surveillance activities to spot new and emerging risks and identify ways to combat them. Alongside our campaign on noise, we also hope to take a decisive step in promoting safety and health awareness in the new Member States through an enlargement action plan."

Final confirmation of the Agency's work programme will follow consultation of the European Commission's Advisory Committee on Health and Safety at Work and the European Parliament's decision on its budget allocation to the Agency for 2005.

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Via 33, E-48009 Bilbao - Spain | Tel: + 34 94 479 4360 | Fax: + 34 94 479 4383 | e-mail: |

Promoting better jobs for workers with disabilities

European Agency publishes a practical guide on how to secure the workplace health and safety of people with disabilities.

The Agency has produced a new factsheet on the workplace safety of people with disabilities. It looks at a key area concerning the employment of workers with disabilities - how to ensure safety and health, while avoiding discrimination.

The factsheet underlines the rights of people with disabilities to both a fair and safe workplace. It explains how a practical application of anti-discrimination legislation and health and safety legislation can benefit both the worker and employer.

Above all it provides user-friendly and practical guidance on how the responsibilities of equality legislation can tie in with health and safety responsibilities. This includes:

Finally, while employers have legal duties to take action, this factsheet shows how compliance will have a positive benefit for employers, as a workplace that is accessible and safe for people with disabilities is also safer and more accessible for all employees, clients and visitors.

The Director of the Agency Hans-Horst Konkolewsky said 'Europe needs to employ an increasingly diverse workforce, and this factsheet provides practical support towards this objective. We hope it will stimulate workplaces to take positive actions, and that this will lead to better jobs for workers with disabilities.'

The Agency produced the factsheet as a result of activities it carried out during the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003. The Agency website also has a special section devoted to disability issues that contains a database of links to good practice information

Factsheet No 53: Ensuring the health and safety of workers with disabilities will be available in 20 languages and can be downloaded free of charge at:

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Via 33, E-48009 Bilbao - Spain | Tel: + 34 94 479 4360 | Fax: + 34 94 479 4383 | e-mail: |

News from the USA

Eye Safety Topic Page
Each day in the U.S. about 2,000 workers receive medical treatment for eye injuries that occur on the job. NIOSH is addressing the occupational eye injury burden in conjunction with the Healthy Vision objectives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2010 program ( NIOSH has just released two new eye safety web pages. The main topic page on eye safety ( provides access to NIOSH eye safety resources, including a new general guidance web page on eye safety for infection control (

This is an area of eye safety that is of increasing importance to a number of worker groups such as animal care/control workers, rescue and recovery workers, and transportation workers such as those involved in transportation from SARS endemic areas, in addition to healthcare workers. The primary eye safety topic page also provides links to a variety of other eye safety resources including eye injury data sources, related bibliographic citations, and numerous other eye safety standards, regulations, and guidance materials. For more information, contact Larry Jackson at

Workers' Health Chartbook 2004
The NIOSH Worker Health Chartbook 2004 (DHHS [NIOSH] Publication No. 2004-146) is now available in printed form (Email or call 1-800-356-8573). The Chartbook consolidates information from the network of injury and illness surveillance tracking systems in the U.S. and is designed for agencies, organizations, employers, researchers, workers, and others interested in numbers of and trends in occupational injuries and illnesses. The document presents the data in an easy-to-read, visually compelling format. The Chartbook is accessible in electronic form at

English/Spanish Language Guidance on Preventing Silicosis
A new NIOSH booklet provides easy-to-use recommendations in English and Spanish to help construction workers, abrasive blasters, and other employees to protect themselves from the risk of silicosis when they are potentially exposed on the job to silica dust. Silicosis: Learn the Facts! / Silicosis: Conozca los datos! (DHHS [NIOSH] Publication No. 2004-108) includes statistics on the prevalence of work-related deaths from silicosis and case studies with information to help employees recognize risk factors. The booklet notes that many people with work-related silicosis are only in their thirties. The booklet can be ordered from the NIOSH toll-free information number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674). It is also available online at

Workplace Solutions: Preventing Deaths and Injuries to Fire Fighters during Live-Fire Training in Acquired Structures
A new NIOSH Workplace Solutions document provides safety recommendations to consider during live-fire training exercises for fire fighters. Preventing Deaths and Injuries to Fire Fighters during Live-Fire Training in Acquired Structures (DHHS [NIOSH] Publication No. 2005-102) presents two cases studies where fire fighters were critically injured while participating in such exercises. Recommendations for instructors and training participants follow the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines. The document can be accessed at

OSHE web sites to explore


Fire and Emergency Services of Western Australia FESA   AUSTRALIA

Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA) and associated volunteers respond to a wide range of emergencies including fire, cyclones, storms, floods, road accidents, chemical spills and earthquakes as well as undertaking search and rescue operations on land and water. FESA also aims to reduce injury, loss of life and destruction of property in the community through proactive measures. FESA helps the West Australian community prepare, prevent (where possible) and respond safely to disasters. Contains information, current projects, news and links.

Fire and Emergency Management Services of Western Australia FESA EMS   AUSTRALIA

Fire and Emergency Management Services of Western Australia (FESA) Emergency Management Services is a division of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA). Working with the community, the role of FESA's EMS Division is to achieve a safer Western Australian community. Contains information, current projects, news and links.


European Agency for Safety and Health at Work: Fishing safety   SPAIN

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work fishing sector information covers a wide range of topics. Also includes a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section, links and guidance. There is also a step-by-step guide to assessing and preventing risks on board fishing vessels.


World Health Organisation WHO: Violence in the health sector   SWITZERLAND

World Health Organisation (WHO) website on violence at work. The enormous cost of workplace violence for the individual, the workplace and the community at large is becoming more and more apparent. Recent information shows that the current knowledge is only the tip of the iceberg. While workplace violence affects practically all sectors and all categories of workers, the health sector is at major risk: more than half of all workers in this sector may have experienced violent incidents at some point. Ambulance and pre-hospital emergency staff are reported to be at greatest risk, nurses are three times more likely, on average, to experience violence in the workplace than other occupational groups. Since the large majority of the health workforce is female, the gender dimension of the problem is very evident. The International Labour Office (ILO), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the World Health Organization (WHO) and Public Services International (PSI) launched in 2000 a joint programme in order to develop sound policies and practical approaches for the prevention and elimination of violence in the health sector. The "Framework Guidelines for Addressing Workplace Violence in the Health Sector" are intended to support all those responsible for safety in the workplace, be it governments, employers, workers, trade unions, professional bodies or members of the public. The tool will guide you through the complexity of issues to be considered when developing anti-violence policies and strategies for all work-settings in the health sector. These can be adapted to meet local and national needs and constraints.


British Occupational Health Research Foundation BOHRF   UK

British Occupational Health Research Foundation (BOHRF) is a non-profit making, grant awarding charity established in 1991 to contribute to the best possible physical and mental well-being of employees. BOHRF mission is to bring employers and researchers together to produce robust science and evidence based work of practical value whose application will contribute to the right of people at work to be 'healthy, motivated and at work'. Topics include mild and moderate mental ill-health at work; asthma, hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVs), workplace trauma' destructive interpersonal workplace conflict, detergent enzyme sensitisation and asthma at work and managing attendance at work.

British Occupational Health Research Foundation BOHRF: Asthma   UK

British Occupational Health Research Foundation (BOHRF) website on occupational asthma, its identification, management and prevention includes evidence based review and guidelines.

Department of Trade and Industry Fireworks safety   UK

UK Department of Trade and Industry advice on fireworks safety. From how to use them safely through to protecting children and animals. Plus, what you should know about changes to the UK law and campaign materials.

Health and Safety Executive: Stress   UK

UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website for stress management including the Stress Management Standards, advice and guidance.

IonActive   UK
IonActive Consultancy provides free resources and information about health and safety related to radiation protection world wide. Includes frequently asked questions (FAQs), glossary, articles on radiation protection and also 'Radiation Protection News Online'

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents RoSPA   UK

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has a wide range of services, publications and training courses for safety and health at work, water and leisure, education and at home. RoSPA Information Services database is available in the OSH Ireland and also the new OSH UPDATE Internet service.


National Institute of Standards and Technology Fire.Gov   USA

US National Institute of Standards and Technology Fire.Gov newsletter giving details of recent publications, research and news.

Diary of Events

These may inspire you to produce something similar in your own country. Please send notification of your events to your Editor.

12 February 2005 - Health: an unhealthy obsession?
The Museum of London, London EC2, UK
Contact: Tony Gilland, Science and Society Director, Institute of Ideas, London | Tel: +44 (0)20 7269 9229 | Email: |

8-12 February 2005 - Fourth International Conference on Work in the cold - technical solutions
Hotel Rantasipi Pohjanhovi, Rovaniemi, Finland
Contact: Annika Bärlund, NIVA, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FIN 00250 Helsinki, Finland. | Tel: +358 30 474 2333 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497 | Email: |

3-4 March 2005 - CCOHS Forum 2005 - New Strategies for Recognizing and Preventing Occupational Disease. First pan-Canadian tripartite Forum on occupational disease. Organized by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
Ontario, Canada
Contact: CCOHS Forum 2005, 135 Hunter Street East, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 1M5, Canada | Tel: +1 800 668 4284 | Fax: +1 905 572 2206 | Email: |

7-11 March 2005 - Third International Course on Leaders of Interdisciplinary Research Projects
Gentofte Hotel, Gentofte, Copenhagen, Denmark
Contact: Gunilla Rasi, NIVA, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FIN-00250 Helsinki, FINLAND | Tel: +358 30 474 2498 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497 | Email: |

9-11 March 2005 - Fourth International Conference on Work Environment and Cardiovascular Diseases
Newport Beach, California, USA
Contact: ICOH | Tel: +1 949 824-8641 | Fax:+1 949 824-2345 | Email: |

16-17 March 2005 - Understanding fitness for work and medical ethics
Hilton London Olympia Hotel, London, UK
Contact: Customer Services, Croner Training, 12-18 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH, UK | Tel: +44 0845 120 9602 | Fax:+ 44 (0)20 7259 0283 | Email: |

21 April 2005 - Occupational Hygiene 2005: BOHS Annual Conference
The Manchester Conference Centre Weston Building, UMIST, Manchester, UK
Contact: BOHS,Suite 2, Georgian House, Great Northern Road, Derby DE1 1LT, UK | Tel: 01332 298101 | Fax: 01332 298099 | Email: |

21 April 2005 - Fifth International Symposium on Modern Principles of Air Monitoring organised by the National Institute of Occupational Health, NIOH, Oslo, Norway, the National Institute for Working Life, NIWL North - Work and the physical environment, Umeå, Sweden and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), USA.
Loen, Norway
Contact: Yngvar Thomassen, National Institute of Occupational Health, P.O. Box 8149 Dep, NO-0033 Oslo, Norway | Tel: +47 23 19 53 20 | Fax: +47 23 19 52 06 | Email:

15-19 May 2005 - First International Course on Biological Monitoring as a Tool for the Evaluation of Chemical Risks and Exposures at Work =
Hanasaari Cultural Centre, Espoo, Helsinki, Finland
Contact: Annika Bärlund, NIVA, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FIN 00250 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 30 474 2333 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497 | Email: |

22-27 May 2005 - Third International Course on Principles of Intervention-Prognostic Research
Hanasaari Cultural Centre, Espoo, Helsinki, Finland
Contact: Pirjo Turtiainen, NIVA, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FIN-00250 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 30 474 2349 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497 | Email: |

22-26 May 2005 - First International Course on Methods to Improve Work Environment in Small-scale Enterprises
Sundvolden Hotel, Krokkleiva, Oslo, Norway
Contact: Annika Bärlund, NIVA, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FIN 00250 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 30 474 2333 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497 | Email: |

24-27 October 2005 - A+A 2005 Safety is no accident. International Trade Fair with Congress and Special Events
Dusseldorf, Germany
Contact: Messe Dusseldorf, Germany |