CIS Newsletter

No. 186
March 2005

CIS Newsletter celebrates 17 years & still going strong! Bringing news to over 137 countries in the CIS Network


  1. Editorial
  2. FOCUS: Preparing for 28 April 2005 - World Day for Safety and Health at Work
  3. Hot Topic: CIS presence on the Web pages of National and Collaborating Centres
  4. 42nd Meeting of the CIS Network
  5. News from around the World - Argentina, Australia, China, CIS HQ, ILO, Spain, UK and USA
  6. OSHE web sites
  7. Diary of Events


Dear CIS Colleagues

Are you making preparations to celebrate 28 April 2005 - World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This is now an annual event for the ILO, and is an integral part of the SafeWork's Global Strategy, as documented in the Conclusions of the International Labour Conference in June 2003. Advocacy, as exemplified by World Day, is one of the main pillars of the Global Strategy, and should raise awareness about safe and unsafe practices and the need to move occupational safety and health up the political agenda. On this day the ICFTU observes Worker Memorial Day and often the two can be combined.

The over-arching theme for this year is a safety and health culture (providing continuity of message with last year) with a special emphasis on prevention. To offer constituents a choice of emphasis, there are two sub-themes:

Last year events were held in over 100 countries world wide. There is more information on this very special day in this Newsletter - helping you to make it known in your country. If you have any events organised please let me know so that I can help you share it with others around the world. Centres could very well use this Day to organize an Open House or another type of activity to make themselves and their products/services better known.

Please Note >>>>

As mentioned in the Februay 2005 edition ILO World Congress is to be held on 18-22 September 2005 in Orlando, USA - more details appearing on the ILO Congress website - full programme, speakers, travel and visa information etc. You are reminded that to gain entry into the USA you will need to get your visa applications in very early. The web site give all the details including the waiting time.

Please also Note >>>>

Alongside the ILO World Congress will be the 2005 Annual CIS Meeting on Sunday 18 September 2005 - 09.30 - 15.30! CIS HQ are contacting the organizers to ascertain which room. No doubt you will be hearing from Geneva as details emerge.

You should inform the CIS HQ as soon as possible if you intend going to the Annual Meeting in the USA.


Some people have already mentioned that travel to the USA may not be possible and taking up the discussions at the 2004 Brussels CIS meeting where some people wanted to have Regional Meetings. I have had some feedback and there is strong support for a European Meeting. URGENTLY, if you are interested in attending a European Regional Meeting please let the CIS HQ know and also send your replies to this Newsletter - so that they can be communicated in the forthcoming editions.

Many thanks to you have sent emails and news. As always these are always gratefully received and are used as soon as possible. You will see that many are preparing for the work this year in many ways.

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.


More of you will be getting the CIS Newsletter by email... I have checked against the published list that CIS HQ provided and where an email number exists will send the Newsletter to that address and cross you off the mailing list for the printed version. Remember you will get the news at least 3 weeks earlier than the printed version!



Remember you can see CIS Newsletter on the web site where back issues are stored.

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.

Remember >>>>
Surviving in 2005... By promotion, publicity and telling the World that CIS and its network exists!

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

Sheila Pantry, OBE

85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK
Tel: +441909 771024
Fax: +441909 772829

FOCUS: Time to prepare for World Day for Safety and Health, 28 April 2005

World Day for Safety and Health at Work is now an annual event for the ILO, held on 28th April. It is an integral part of the SafeWork's Global Strategy, as documented in the Conclusions of the International Labour Conference in June 2003. Advocacy, as exemplified by World Day, is one of the main pillars of the Global Strategy, and should raise awareness about safe and unsafe practices and the need to move occupational safety and health up the political agenda. On this day the ICFTU observes Worker Memorial Day and often the two can be combined.

The over-arching theme for this year is a safety and health culture (providing continuity of message with last year) with a special emphasis on prevention. To offer constituents a choice of emphasis, there are two sub-themes:

Last year events were held in over 100 countries worldwide. They ranged from speeches held by leaders from government, employers' organizations and trade unions to street theatre and worker coffee meetings focusing on occupational safety and health. There were also podium discussions between eminent specialists in the field and launches of new technical and legal material related to occupational safety and health. For more information see the web site:

This year, SafeWork would like to invite you to begin preparing activities in your region or country. Events such as the following can be organised, either by ILO offices, or by constituents or in collaboration. ILO Headquarters will provide a substantive report, fact sheets, and posters (available exclusively via the web site) in English, French and Spanish. We will also supply some other products such as pins and stickers. You are welcome to develop your own materials for added local relevance.

There will be a press release and communications officers in your offices are encouraged to work together with DCOMM at Headquarters to develop media materials and actions.

The focus for this year, as last year, is on activities in the field (there will be no headquarters event). Your activities will carry the Day and contribute to its success. So it is time to prepare for your commitment to what is becoming a major annual event.

Thematic brief: ILO World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2005

This year's themes are:

  1. Safety and health culture (overarching theme)
  2. Prevention (main emphasis within overarching theme)
  3. Construction safety (subtheme)
  4. Younger and older workers (subtheme)

The definition of a safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels. It is one where governments, employers and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the principle of prevention is accorded the highest priority. Building and maintaining a preventative safety and health culture requires making use of all available means to increase general awareness, knowledge and understanding of the concepts of hazards and risks and how they may be prevented or controlled.

Construction safety is a significant area because while this sector generates much employment, it is also where more than its fair share of accidents, particularly fatal accidents, take place. The work is dangerous because it may often include working at heights (on scaffolding, gangways, ladders, roofs), excavation work (explosives, earth-moving machines), and using lifting materials (cranes, hoists).

These dangers can largely be avoided by good planning and co-ordination, for example making sure there are sufficient skilled workers and the appropriate tools and equipment at the right place at the right time. Preventive measures include signaling, developing and implementing safety procedures, personal protective equipment (where other means of protection are not available), training, first aid, and also cover welfare facilities such as drinking water and sanitary facilities.

Youth at work tends to suffer disproportionately from workplace accidents and diseases. Faced with high demands and little control (i.e. being highly stressed), yet wanting to please and wanting peer approval (wanting to be "cool") at the same time, means that young people may tend to disregard safety measures. Often they are simply not aware of those safety measures and do not yet have the experience to recognize or avoid potential danger.

Older people at work face different risks. While in most occupations they tend to have fewer accidents, they need longer to recover than younger people from injury or work-related illness. Any diseases which build up over time will manifest themselves after a certain age. What older workers may lose in strength, balance and flexibility for physical work is often made up for by higher accuracy than younger workers. So accommodation is called for to profit from the valuable skills and competencies older workers have. Preventing discrimination against older workers is also vital. In mental work, there may be a loss of the ability to deal with multiple stimuli in a busy work environment, but there is a net gain in experience and ability to make the right decision the first time round.

Farewell to the ILO CIS BULLETIN: note from CIS Newsletter Editor Sheila Pantry

I have recently received my copy of the Safety and Health at Work ILO CIS BULLETIN 2003 Vol. 17 No.4 - the last one which I shall save. As Gabor Sandi, the Bulletin Editor rightly says - "it has served its reading (and researching) public well".

So farewell to it and thanks to everyone for all the dedication to it over the years. Long may CISDOC live and grow and spread the knowledge of OSH...

A couple of points ...

CISDOC is available on a number of outlets including

I have asked if there any chance that CIS can get a shorter URL for CISDOC? The current one is somewhat long! You can always bookmark it in your list of favourite site!

Also CIS Centres could send out a Press Release to organisations in their country and to EDITORS of OSH JOURNALS re CISDOC availability on the web and also the latest documents and periodicals listings...

More News from CIS

Annick Virot writes... please will you include in the CIS newsletter the following

1) a circular letter to ask if they could place the CIS logo with a link to our site, preferably on their home page.

2) SEE HOT TOPIC: a document prepared by Gabor Sandi (that was also sent to the Centres) and which summarizes the visibility or the presence of the CIS on the Web pages of the CIS Centres which do have a site.

Please tell or remind the Centres are asked to inform CIS HQ what they think about this proposal to have our logo with a link on their pages. We have already received a number of replies >>>>

Dear Colleague,

As we have already mentioned in previous communications, CIS is giving increasing priority to the strengthening of its network of National and Collaborating Centres, a network that is the key to the fast and efficient exchange of occupational safety and health information on a worldwide basis. This strengthening of CIS's network is explicitly part of the Knowledge development, management and dissemination strategy of the ILO, as outlined in the organization's Action Plan for the Promotion of Safety and Health at Work adopted by the Committee on Occupational Safety and Health of the 91st International Labour Conference held in June 2003.

You can obtain the full copy of this document from the ILO's web site at: Part IV, Paragraph 15, on p.22, contains the recommendations regarding the network of CIS centres.

In order to increase the impact and visibility of the network on the international scene, we undertook in 2004 to prepare an inventory of our Centres and of their capacities, based on the answers to a questionnaire survey that many of you so kindly returned to us. In addition, we looked at the web pages of all the Centres we were able to locate on the Internet so that we could establish the extent to which CIS and its network of Centres was visible on the World Wide Web. An analysis of this survey of the visibility of the CIS on its Centres' web pages is attached to this letter.

A certain number of the Centres already indicate their membership of the CIS Network. We hope that all Centres with a web site will follow suit, and request therefore that in your role as a CIS National or Collaborating Centre you show your membership of the network and provide an appropriate link to our site - naturally, as long as your parent organization and its web site policies authorize you to do so. We would also welcome it if you would use our logo in conjunction with your link to the CIS site.

We welcome all your comments and observations regarding this request, and we offer our fullest cooperation should any problems arise in connection with it.

With our thanks and best wishes,


HOT TOPIC: CIS Presence on the Web Pages of CIS National and Collaborating Centres

The CIS network consists of 138 National (N) and Collaborating (C) Centres.

42nd Meeting of the CIS National and Collaborating Centres, Brussels, 17-18 September 2005

Centres will have received the 42nd Meeting of the CIS National and Collaborating Centres, Brussels, 17-18 September 2005 in which you can see the reports from CIS HQ, discussions held, the reports from the various Centres and the report on the pre-meeting workshops.

CIS HQ presentations gave some of the high points in the year as:

The low points

The Pre-Meeting Workshops

The One-day Workshop had 4 sessions:

Session 1: What are the key OSH messages

The Groups agreed the following key OSH Messages that CIS Members need to promote:

It was also agreed that:

The session agreed that CIS needed:

Session 2: Who are the Targeted audiences - local, national, regional and international

It was agreed that there would be need to be different messages for the different groups:

Session 3: How do we (CIS members) become more influential?

The Groups agreed:

Session 4: Setting the priorities and Action planning

Summary of conclusions of the 3 workshops are above and the final session endorsed that there now the window of opportunity to move ahead - have the information audit, use the results to rebrand, relaunch and revitalise the CIS Centres Network. This is the 3Rs we need to do together.

We must all learn to PR our work locally, nationally and internationally. This will need co-ordination from CIS HQ in a number of ways:

The above is added into this edition to help Centres focus on ideas that can help to give CIS and the network to promote, promote and promote constantly CIS activities. When did you last promote CIS? Your Editor

News from around the world

Green Week competition 2005

All children in the enlarged EU and candidate countries, aged between six and 16 years, are invited by the European Commission to take part in its Green Week schools competition 2005. The competition is part of the annual Green Week conference and exhibition, which will take place from 31 May to 3 June 2005 in Brussels. This year the competition highlights the theme of climate change. Younger children may create drawings and paintings illustrating their views about climate change, while older pupils are invited to submit a short digital video on the same subject. Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "Climate change is one of the most serious environmental challenges the world is facing. An increase of the Earth's temperature by just a few degrees over a relatively short period of time would have dramatic effects, causing sea levels to rise and threatening to wipe out a large part of the Earth's species". Entries may only be submitted with the support of a school. They must be scanned, or created digitally, and sent to the Environment Directorate-General (deadline 15 March 2005) via the entry forms on the Green Week School Competition website.

The competition, which is the fifth edition of its kind, is being run by European Schoolnet on behalf of the Commission's Environment Directorate-General.

News from the USA

The NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program has recently released a workplace solution Divers Beware: Training Dives Present Serious Hazards to Fire Fighters. The document can be found at the following link:

2005 Scriptographic Catalogue and Manual Handling Revisions

Occupational health and safety publisher, Scriptographic Publications, have issued their 2005 catalogue and at the same time have made a number of important changes to their booklets Manual Handling and the Employees' Guide to Manual Handling.

Michael Whitcroft, Scriptographic's Managing Director explains the changes; 'We have gone through a major revisions programme over the last year and revised and updated many of our publications, most of which now carry the Plain English Campaign's Crystal Mark. In addition we have updated our two manual handling booklets to take into account the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) 2004 Third Edition Guidance on the Manual Handling Operations Regulations and the Institute of Occupational Medicine's report for the HSE called 'The principles of good manual handling: Achieving a consensus'.

Sample booklets, an explanatory leaflet and a catalogue are available through Scriptographic's website or by tele phoning 0800 028 5670 or contact: Michael Whitcroft, Scriptographic Publications Ltd, Charwell House, Wilsom Road, Alton, Hampshire GU34 2PP, UK | Tel: 08701 609 220 | Email:

2005 The RoSPA Congress: Raising Standards, Embedding Excellence'

The RoSPA Congress 2005 'Raising Standards, Embedding Excellence', at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, UK is designed to inform, stimulate, and offer delegates numerous insights and opportunities for discussion, to help them to enhance their contribution to prevention of injuries and safeguarding of health. For more information

Increasingly businesses large and small are being judged by the way they manage health and safety. Whether in the boardroom or in individual work teams, the ability to demonstrate consistently high standards of health and safety risk management is being seen as a hallmark of business effectiveness and professionalism.

Legal compliance by itself is no longer enough. High standards and the pursuit of health and safety excellence need to be accepted as a key performance objective within the business. And this is far more than just being able to show consistent implementation of precautions or reducing numbers of injuries; it goes to the heart of the way organisations are run - with the emphasis clearly on strong and visible leadership by senior managers, real involvement of every worker and their representatives in decision making and the effective use of professional advice.

This year's RoSPA Congress will focus on what is being done at a strategic level to carry this approach to all parts of UK plc. The programme will also offer opportunities to examine: the real challenges associated with error and human behaviour; organisational capacity to investigate accidents and embed lessons learned; how to connect professional health and safety advice with other parts of the business agenda; and how to develop attitudes, knowledge and skills to ensure health and safety competence at all levels.

Congress will also focus on the key challenge of putting health at the heart of health and safety management, reviewing 'what works'; whether it is a question of managing stress and staff ill-health absence, or the challenge of reducing manual handling injuries, tackling occupational asthma or dermatitis or developing approaches to workplace health promotion that actually help to deliver healthier working lives.

RoSPA Congress 2005 has been designed to inform, to stimulate and to point ways forward. Whether you are a busy board level director, a senior health and safety professional or a newly appointed safety representative, this event will provide you with numerous insights and opportunities for discussion to help you enhance your contribution to preventing injuries, safeguarding health and making your organisation even more successful.

Congress Booking Hotline: 08707772120 | Email:

REACHing the workplace - Belgium based TUTB analyses impact of new European chemicals policy on workers

The Trade Union Technical Bureau recent publication REACHing the workplace. How workers stand to benefit from the new European policy on chemical agents, by Tony Musu looks at the implications of the proposed reform of the European legislation on trade in chemical substances, known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals), that pursues two main aims: ensuring a high level of protection for human health and the environment; and strengthening the competitiveness of the European chemical industry.

European workers stand to benefit enormously from this reform, since at present the manufacture and use of chemicals in the workplace takes a heavy toll on them. Indeed, approximately one out of every three occupational diseases recognised annually in Europe can be ascribed to exposure to hazardous chemicals.

In order to better understand in what way the REACH reform represents a real opportunity to reduce the number of occupational diseases related to exposure to dangerous substances, this publication begins by examining the reasons why a reform is needed; it then describes the content of the REACH reform and the changes it will make to the existing legislation. It concludes by explaining the state of play in the legislative process underway at the European Parliament and the Council, which should result in the adoption of the REACH Regulation. The new TUTB publication covers:

REACHing the workplace. How workers stand to benefit from the new European policy on chemical agents, by Tony Musu, TUTB, 2004   36 pages   format 17x24 cm ISBN 2-930003-53-7   10   Euros EN - FR

Available from: European Trade Union Technical Bureau for Health and Safety, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5, B-1210 Bruxelles | Tel. : +32-(0)2-224 05 60 | Fax : +32-(0)2-224 05 61 | Email: |

Stay one step ahead at UK Safety & Health Expo 2005

Whether you are a health and safety specialist or a director with responsibility for your staff, attending Safety & Health Expo 2005 (17-19 May, NEC, Birmingham, UK) will guide you through the legal complexities that drive health and safety compliance. What's more, you'll have the chance to view the latest products and services available in the market.

Visit the show website here:

News from Argentina

Seminar cycle on challenges of occupational diseases worldwide, Buenos Aires, 27 - 28 April 2005
"Registration and notification of occupational diseases and health monitoring in the Americas"

The Technical Commission on Insurance against Employment Accidents and Occupational Diseases is organizing a seminar on Registration and notification of occupational diseases and health monitoring in the Americas, which will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 27 and 28 April 2005 at the invitation of the Superintendency of Occupational Risks. This event forms part of a cycle of seminars that are being held by the Technical Commission on the challenges of occupational diseases worldwide.

It should be emphasized that this seminar is being held in the context of the Argentine Occupational Safety and Health Week, introduced by the Superintendency of Occupational Risks of Argentina between 21 and 28 April each year in commemoration of the adoption of the national Safety and Health Act and "World Day for Safety and Health at Work".

On this occasion, the seminar will form part of the programme of the Argentine Occupational Safety and Health Week, which will be held from 25 to 28 April 2005.

Source: ISSA
Provisional Agenda:
Preliminary programme - Argentine Occupational Safety and Health Week:

News from the UK

Latest Edition of Directory of Occupational Hygiene Consultants

The 2005 edition of its Directory of Consultants is now available free from the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS). It lists consultancies able to provide qualified and experienced occupational hygienists and specialist occupational hygiene support services, with coverage throughout the UK. The foreword is by Hugh Robertson, Senior Health and Safety Officer of the TUC. Hard copies can be requested directly by telephoning 01332 298101, or a pdf version can be downloaded from the Society's website, by following the link from 'List of Consultants' on the home page.

Occupational hygiene is concerned with the prevention or control of hazards that can impact on worker health such as exposure to physical, chemical or biological agents, as well as, increasingly, stress and musculo-skeletal disorders. If organisations don't employ an occupational hygienist, then the person responsible for health and safety may well, at times, need specialist help in these areas.

All contacts listed within this Directory are members of BOHS's Faculty of Occupational Hygiene. Whilst this can not be taken as an endorsement of an individual by BOHS, it does provide a degree of security, since entry into the Faculty is via professional examinations which, at the lowest grade, demonstrate a minimum of three years practical experience in the comprehensive practice of occupational hygiene. Individuals are also bound by the Faculty's Code of Ethics and are thereby responsible to their peers for maintaining the highest standards of technical and professional integrity. Lastly, all Faculty members participate in a CPD scheme designed to maintain a high level of current awareness and knowledge in occupational hygiene.

Occupational hygiene is about eliminating or controlling health hazards in the workplace (NOT about washing hands properly!), and the primary objective of the profession is to protect the long-term health and well-being of those at work. The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) is the definitive voice of occupational hygiene and has strong alliances with other health and safety organisations, the HSE, trade unions and business.

BOHS was formed in 1953 and its aim is simple: to help to reduce work-related ill-health. With members from within industry, health, education and research, it is by far the biggest hygiene society in Europe, and has been strengthened by its merger in April 2003 with the British Institute of Occupational Hygienists. The Faculty of Occupational Hygiene within BOHS plays a vital role in developing and maintaining the professional standards of hygienists, and is recognised internationally as a major professional examination and qualification body.

Contact Anthea Page, Communications Officer, BOHS, Suite 2, Georgian House, Great Northern Road, Derby, DE1 1LT, UK | Email: | Tel: +44 (0)1332 298101

NEW SERVICE: Health and safety news on your union website

Most union websites these days have some material on health and safety, but to keep the health and safety information up to date, to keep members informed of breaking news in this important field, would require a huge investment of time and effort. Until now.

LabourStart is very pleased to team up with Hazards, the world's foremost health and safety magazine, to offer to all unions a health and safety newswire for your websites. The newswire includes the ten latest health and safety news stories. It is updated every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is very easy to add to your website - all you need to do is copy and paste a single line of code. And of course, it's completely free of charge.

For more details go here:

If you do use the newswire on your website, please make sure to let us know - email

News from Australia

Australia's Hazardous Substances Information System

The National Occupational Health and Safety Commission has made available online a new Hazardous Substances Database Information System, which can provide hazard classification information for over 3,500 substances and the associated national exposure standards for over 580 atmospheric contaminants.

This is the first publicly available version of the Hazardous Substances Information System. NOHSC welcomes feedback on the operation of this version. It is expected that a refined version of HSIS will be released later in 2005.The HSIS is an internet database that allows you to find information on hazardous substances that have been classified in accordance with the Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances [NOHSC:1008(2004] 3rd Edition and/or have National Exposure Standards declared under the NOHSC Adopted National Exposure Standards for Atmospheric contaminants in the Occupational Environment [NOHSC: 1003(1995)] or subsequent updates.

The HSIS provides access to two data sets, one for hazardous substance information and the other for exposure standard information. The data for substances that are common to both data sets are linked. Both data sets can be searched using a range of search criteria. Search results (including the full data sets) can be printed or saved electronically.

Using HSIS

Click on one of the links in the HSIS Navigation Bar on the left of the screen to access the search areas, user instructions and other HSIS features.

Background to HSIS

The National Model Regulations for the Control of Workplace Hazardous Substances [NOHSC:1005(1994)] are the basis for hazardous substance regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions. Under the National Model Regulations manufacturers and importers of substances supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health before supply.

The basis for determining whether a substance is hazardous, is the Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances 3rd Edition [NOHSC(1008:2004)] (the Approved Criteria). The criteria included in the Approved Criteria are adopted from European Community (EC) legislation for classifying dangerous substances.

In order to help manufacturers, importers and suppliers apply the Approved Criteria, NOHSC has previously published the List of Designated Hazardous Substances (the List), which is a list of the more commonly used workplace hazardous substances. The last edition of the List, [NOHSC:10005(1999)], was published in hardcopy in 1999.

The Hazardous Substances Information System is a new tool to support the hazardous substances regulatory framework and is effectively a comprehensive update of the List that integrates information from the Adopted National Exposure Standards for Atmospheric Contaminants in the Occupational Environment [NOHSC:1003(1995)] and subsequently declared National Exposure Standards.

For detailed information on the source of data included in the HSIS (including references to the relevant EC legislation) refer to the Guidance Material on the Search Hazardous Substances page. Version 1.2.2 - September 2004 (Last Updated: 24/01/2005)

News from the European Agency

The business case of safe and healthy work: New Agency report identifies 10 occupational safety and health criteria that underpin 'corporate social responsibility'. Another study finds strong links between the quality of work and productivity.

An analysis of a cross-section of Europe's leading proponents of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has highlighted the key ingredients of an effective CSR strategy, including 10 occupational safety and health (OSH) issues that need to be taken into account.

The research, which is published by the Bilbao-based European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, is based on a study of European businesses, ranging from multinationals such as Volkswagen to small- to medium-sized enterprises, such as the UK computer training company, Happy Computers. Entitled Corporate social Responsibility and Safety and Health at Work, the 126-page report not only pinpoints the 10 key OSH ingredients needed for CSR but also provides analysis of 11 businesses' CSR activities, as well as an overview of initiatives to promote CSR at a global, European and national level.

Some of the 10 OSH criteria for CSR success include:

As the report notes, the commercial impact of a well-structured CSR strategy, including OSH, can be significant. At Happy Computers, for example, the company has not only managed to grow in a declining market but also achieved an annual staff turnover of just 8%, half the industry average.

The Agency has also published a working paper that explores the relationship between OSH and a company's productivity. Entitled Quality of the Working Environment and Productivity, the findings of the study indicate that there is a strong relationship: the higher the OSH standards, the higher the productivity. And vice versa. In some cases, a good safety record can even be used to predict future profitability.

According to the study, factors that enable higher OSH standards to translate into increased productivity include: close cooperation between the company's management team and its employees; giving staff greater autonomy and more challenging tasks; and introducing more ergonomic working methods and equipment.

The report, Corporate social responsibility and safety and health at work can be downloaded free of charge from A summary factsheet in the 20 EW languages is also available at Printed copies of the publications can be ordered from the Publications Office of the European Communities ( and its sales agents.

The report Quality of the working environment and productivity (working paper) can be downloaded free of charge from

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 | Email: |

Workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses remain at unacceptably high levels

Workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses remain at unacceptably high levels and involve an enormous and unnecessary health burden, suffering, and economic loss amounting to 4-5% of GDP. According to the latest ILO estimates for the year 2000 there are 2.0 million work-related deaths per year. WHO estimates that there are only 10-15% of workers who have access to a basic standard of occupational health services.

WHO addresses occupational health through a programme in WHO headquarters, the six WHO regional offices and WHO country offices, with the support of a strong network of 70 Collaborating Centers.

WHO is implementing a global strategy to:

  1. provide evidence for policy, legislation and support to decision-makers, including work carried out to estimate the magnitude of the burden of occupational diseases and injuries
  2. provide infrastructure support and development through capacity building, information dissemination and networking, and
  3. support protection and promotion of workers' health.

WHO also assists countries to develop or upgrade their national occupational health profiles and action plans and to create the capacity to implement the plans.

WHO has a particular focus on strengthening capacity building activities, particularly on practical solutions, and to enhancing work addressing selected priority groups, such as health care workers.

Between 2001-2004 WHO developed and implemented a workplan in collaboration with the WHO Network of Collaborating Centres. The workplan organizes the Collaborating Centers into 15 Task Forces that carry out projects in priority areas, supporting the implementation of the global strategy.

WHO Network of Collaborating Centres

Helping CIS to spread the OSH information... Your Brand New Service - OSH UPDATE

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CISDOC, the International Labour Office CIS Health and Safety Centre database is one of the collection of NINE database on this new service that is already gaining recognition around the world.

Do you 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 already attracting users from around the World. It is updated monthly and contains a number of bibliographic databases from worldwide authoritative sources such as the UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the UK Health and Safety Executive, US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Canada Ryerson University, CISDOC the International Labour Office CIS Health and Safety Centre, database linking to publications of the European Agency of Safety and Health at Work, 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 has expanded already - a database linking to publications of the European Agency of Safety and Health at Work has just been added. It 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 / US$ 450.00 per year - less than 68 pence / 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.

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News from China

China SAWS has set New Targets for the year of 2005

The State Administration of Work Safety has set new targets to reduce fatal accidents in dangerous occupations and sectors, such as mining and road traffic. Officials are seeking to reduce the number of devastating accidents that have caused 10 or more deaths by 5 per cent this year, said Liang Jiakun, the administration's Deputy administrator, at a news conference Monday on Jan.17,2005.

"The national work safety situation last year remained stable as a whole and gained momentum to improve," said Liang. "The accident total held the line and began to drop."

There were 803,571 reported accidents of various kinds last year, causing the deaths of 136,755 people, a decrease of 155,545 cases or 16.22 per cent and a reduction of 315 fatalities or 0.23 per cent, as compared with the previous year, according to the administration.

Statistics indicate that road accidents led all categories.

"The violation of the traffic rules is the major reason behind the occurrence of these traffic accidents," said Wang Jinbiao, vice-director of the Administration of Communications under the Ministry of Public Security, during an interview last week.

For example, speeding reckless driving, poor road conditions and over-loaded vehicles have led to frequent accidents, Wang noted.

China is striving to lower the growth rate of deaths from road accidents by 1.5 per cent this year, said Liang. Despite of the improvement in work safety, the overall situation is still grave, considering of the total death toll.

In the coal mining industry, China reported a total of 3,639 fatal incidents last year, with a death toll of 6,027, making it the second dangerous sector.

"During the fourth quarter of last year, devastating (mining) accidents occurred one after another," said Liang. To reverse the situation, China has set targets this year to reduce fatalities in industrial, mining, and commercial/trading enterprises by 2 per cent, including a 3 per cent decrease in coal mine fatalities, Liang said.

"We will also try to eliminate any single coal mine accident causing 100 fatalities or more," he said. To achieve the goal, Liang said. China will work hard on the prevention of gas outburst and improve safety conditions at mines. We will suspend or close down any mines that fail to meet safety standards, and guard against capacity-exceeding production activities. Mines with any record of gas outbursts must rectify matters in strict accordance with safety standards.China will accelerate the building of an emergency rescue system and establish a national command centre," said the official. "A work mechanism will be in place featuring free flow of information and quick response when emergencies occur."

(From Chinadaily)

HSE announces construction site blitz in March!

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be carrying out a blitz of construction sites across Great Britain in March as part of a nationwide initiative to tackle serious work-related ill health.

Healthy Handling 2005 is aimed at clients, designers, planning supervisors and contractors in the construction industry, and is targeting poor work practices that can cause long-term disability and could end careers.

During the initiative HSE Inspectors will focus on handling and using tools, materials and substances which can result in fractures, strains, musculoskeletal disorders, dermatitis, cement burns, hearing loss, hand arm vibration syndrome and consequent long term disability.

Commenting on the initiative, Chief Inspector for Construction Kevin Myers said:

"Work related ill health affects a significant number of construction workers and the sector has one of the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorder in industry. Back problems, cement dermatitis, vibration white finger and deafness can ruin people's lives and force them out of their chosen profession.

"We have produced guidance outlining simple and sensible precautions to help clients, designers, planning supervisors and contractors take account of these hazards well before work starts on site. Experience shows that effective management of exposure to these risks can reduce or prevent injury and ill-health to workers."

The four core issues Inspectors will be looking at during the blitz are site order and organisation, lifting and carrying, wet cement and hand held vibrating equipment and tools. If not properly managed each of these topics has the potential to cause ill health and injury to construction workers.

For each of the four core issues inspectors will expect to find:

Order and Organisation

Lifting and Carrying

Wet Cement

Hand Held Vibrating Equipment and Tools

Further detailed information on each of these topics is available in a 4-page free guidance sheet that can be obtained from the Healthy Handling Helpline on 01582 444248 or email

This information is also available on the HSE website at:

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are by far the most common work related illness. It is estimated that each year 1 million people in Great Britain suffered a work-related musculoskeletal injury across all industries, around half due to lower back pain. 5.7 million working days are lost per year due to work related back pain. In construction MSDs account for eight per cent of major injuries, 34 per cent of 3-day injuries and 26 per cent of all RIDDOR reported accidents. In 2003/04 96,000 people are estimated to have suffered from ill-health caused or made worse by employment in the construction industry.

In 2003, a quarter of major injuries in the construction industry were due to slipping or tripping while moving around sites. Between 5.5 and 10.5 per cent of construction workers are though t to be sensitive to cement, and potentially at risk of allergic dermatitis. Vibration white finger is commonly seen as a condition associated with coal mining, yet 28.5 per cent of average annual cases, excluding extraction, were reported for construction workers.

The business case for health and safety - campaign launched

The UK Health and Safety Executive has launched a campaign to persuade businesses that sensible health and safety management is not only beneficial for staff but good for their bottom line as well. The national advertising campaign will be backed up with a new website

It cites a range of companies who have applied a managed approach and reaped the benefits in terms of improved profitability.

Environmental information: New directive giving the public better access takes effect

New rules giving the European public better access to environmental information became binding for all European Union (EU) Member States on 14 February 2005. The new directive strengthens the existing EU rules in this area, aligning them with the environmental information requirements of the 1998 Aarhus Convention. This Convention grants the public access to environmental information, provides for public participation in environmental decision-making and allows the public to seek redress when environmental law is infringed. The new rules are a key step towards improved transparency in environmental policy making. It will pave the way for giving citizens a greater say in environmental matters.

Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for the Environment, said: "Europe's citizens now have not only the freedom but also the right to obtain environmental information that is held or produced by public authorities." He added: "Information can be a powerful catalyst for change towards increased protection of the environment and I hope citizens will make the best use of it."

The new directive on public access to environmental information (Directive 2003/4/EC) replaces an earlier directive dating from 1990 (Directive 90/313/EEC). It provides that every natural or legal person, regardless of citizenship, nationality or residence, has a right of access to environmental information held or produced by public authorities. Examples of such information are data on emissions into the environment, their impact on public health and the results of environmental impact assessments.

The central elements of the new directive are:

To date, the Commission has received official notifications from nine Member States of their national measures to transpose the directive. Infringement procedures will be initiated soon against those that have not notified their national measures.

In December 2004, the Environment Council gave the green light for the EU to ratify the Aarhus Convention and also reached political agreement on a Regulation that will apply the Convention's provisions to Community institutions and bodies. Besides public access to environmental information, the EU is also bringing itself into line with the two other dimensions of the Aarhus Convention. A directive on public participation in decision-making, adopted in 2003, will take effect in June 2005. A directive covering the third pillar of the Convention, access to justice in environmental matters, was proposed by the Commission in October 2003 and is still under discussion in the Council.

OSHE websites to explore

The following may be of interest to OSHE information seekers, if you have a favourite website please let me know... Also look at at the links under country and also under subject.


Australian National Occupational Health and Safety Commission: Hazardous Substances Database Information System   AUSTRALIA

The Australian National Occupational Health and Safety Commission NOHSC has made available online a new Hazardous Substances Database Information System, which can provide hazard classification information for over 3,500 substances and the associated national exposure standards for over 580 atmospheric contaminants. The HSIS provides access to two data sets, one for hazardous substance information and the other for exposure standard information. The data for substances that are common to both data sets are linked. Both data sets can be searched using a range of search criteria. Search results (including the full data sets) can be printed or saved electronically.


European Commission: Health and Safety   EUROPE

European Commission has widen the scope of its activities, in cooperation with the European Agency for health and safety at work and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, in favour of information, guidance and promotion of a healthy working environment by paying particular attention to small and medium-size enterprises. The site includes details of EC health and safety publications, laws, committees and activities.


European Network for Workplace Health Promotion ENWHP   GERMANY

European Network for Workplace Health Promotion ENWHP recognises that working in a highly competitive business environment and at a time of increasing pressure on the labour market, many employers in Europe are aware of the need to implement measures to improve productivity and efficiency and at the same time enhance the working environment and culture. Workplace health promotion has been shown to make a major contribution to the achievement of these outcomes. The ENWHP promotes good practice in workplace health promotion and advocates the adoption of such practice in all European workplaces.


European Agency for Safety and Health at Work: Women's Health and Safety   SPAIN

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work website on gender and occupational safety and health. Information on particular hazards faced by working women, research into workplace gender topics and details of strategies being developed.


CIRIA: contaminated Land   UK

CIRA portal for contaminated land information in the UK. Provides good practice, guidance and information on all aspects of contaminated land. Also has databases of over 200 commonly used contaminated land guidance publications and summaries, standards, technical reports, glossary, training packages and legislation-related documents from relevant organisations.

Health and Safety Executive: Slips Assessment Tool (SAT)   UK

UK Health and Safety Executive Slips Assessment Tool (SAT). The SAT is a freely downloadable computer software package that allows an operator to assess the slip potential of pedestrian walkway surfaces. The SAT is used in conjunction with a small, portable surface microroughness meter, which users must obtain separately. There are a number of commercially available meters but please note that the Health & Safety Executive does not specifically endorse any of them. The package is easy to use and prompts the operator to gather relevant information concerning floor surface properties, contamination, cleaning regimes, footwear etc. When all of the information has been entered into the package, a slip risk rating is produced. This will assist the user in determining whether site conditions are likely to give rise to a high or low risk of slipping.

Health and Safety Executive: Small and medium Enterprises: Assessment tool   UK

UK Health and Safety Executive web-based tool The Health and Safety Performance Indicator (The Indicator) to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) track and assess how well they are managing their own health and safety performance supported by the DTI's Small Business Service. The Indicator was developed to help SMEs regularly assess their health and safety performance. e.g., from one year to the next. It is also intended to help companies tell their insurers how well they are managing health and safety so they can more accurately calculate insurance premiums based on individual performance.

LabourStart: Health and Safety Newswire   UK

Most union websites these days have some material on health and safety, but to keep the health and safety information up to date, to keep members informed of breaking news in this important field, would require a huge investment of time and effort. Until now. LabourStart is very pleased to team up with Hazards, the world's foremost health and safety magazine, to offer to all unions a health and safety newswire for your websites. The newswire includes the ten latest health and safety news stories. It is updated every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is very easy to add to your website -- all you need to do is copy and paste a single line of code. And of course, it's completely free of charge.

RoSPA: Driving   UK
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents RoSPA education resource linking directly with the Key Stage 4 Citizenship agenda. It includes teachers notes and student sheets on Learning to Drive or Ride, Drink, Drugs and Driving, The Impact of the Media and Passenger Safety.

Diary of Events

6-7 April 2005 - Physical Security Inspections and Audits: a two-day workshop on Performing and Documenting Physical Security System Inspections
Holiday Inn Arlington, 4610 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, USA
Contact: Laura Johnson, Director of Conferences and Strategic Planning, Homel;and Defense Journal, Inc, 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1003, Arlington, VA 22203, USA | Tel: +1 703 807 2758 | Email:

14-15 April 2005 - What's New in the EU? European information 2005. EIA's 14the annual conference
London, UK
Contact: Catherine Webb, Manager, European Information Association, Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester, M2 5PD, UK | Tel: +44 (0)161 228 3691 | Fax: +44 (0)161 236 6547 |

16-18 April 2005 - Water Quality Monitoring - 3 day residential field course
The Lumbutts Centre, Lancs, UK
Contact: Aqua Enviro Technology Transfer, Richmond House, 16 Blenheim Terrace, Leeds, LS2 9HN | Tel: +44 (0)113 2424200 |Fax: +44 (0) 113 2442166 | Email:

19-20 April 2005 - Spring Conference 2005. The Heart of Building Acoustics - what makes it tick?
Oxford Hotel, Oxford, UK
Contact: Linda Canty, Institute of Acoustics, 77 St Peter's Street, St Albans, Herts AL1 3BN | Tel: +44 (0) 1727 848 195 | Fax: +44 (0) 1727 850 553 |

27-28 April 2005 - Seminar cycle on challenges of occupational diseases worldwide. Registration and notification of occupational diseases and health monitoring in the Americas
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact: Technical Commission | Provisional Agenda:

12-15 June 2005 - Occupational and Environmental Exposures of Skin to Chemicals-2005
Stockholm, Sweden
Contact: Sid Soderholm, US CDC, USA | | The call for poster abstracts is open until February 28, 2005 and can be accessed at

12-16 June 2005 - Fifth International Symposium on Modern Principles of Air Monitoring
Loen, Norway
Contact: Martin Harper, US CDC, USA | Email:

16-17 June 2005 - Making a difference to performance: integrating Employee Assistance into effective stress management strategies - 4th EAEF Conference
Helsinki, Finland
Contact: Richard Hopkins, EAEF, UK | Tel: +31 (0) 547 27 15 6 | Fax: +31 (0) 547 26 12 38 | Email: |

22-24 September 2005 - APEX 2005 - The International Access Platform Exhibition & Conference
MECC Maastricht, The Netherlands
Contact: Joyce Eeftink, Industrial Promotions International (I.P.I.) P.O. Box 225, 7470 AE Goor, The Netherlands | Tel: +31 (0) 547 27 15 6 | Fax: +31 (0) 547 26 12 38 | Email: |

2-4 March 2006 - Work, Stress, and Health 2006: Making a Difference in the Workplace, organised US NIOSH, the American Psychological Association, the National Institute of Justice of the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Labor
Hyatt Regency Miami Hotel, Miami, Florida, USA
Contact: Wesley Baker, Conference Coordinator, American Psychological Association, Women's Programs Office, 750 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002-4242, USA | Tel: +1 202 336 6033 | Fax: +1 202-336-6117 |