CIS Newsletter

No. 191
August 2005

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


  1. Editorial
  2. Gabor Sandi, new Acting Head of CIS writes...
  3. CIS Annual Meeting Timetable in Orlando
  4. News from the ILO Conference
  5. News from the European Agency
  6. EurOHSE 2005
  7. FOCUS: Argentina National CIS Centre
  8. News from around the World... Australia, Europe, ILO, Ireland, Korea, Latvia, UK and the USA.
  9. Time to check out OSH UPDATE!
  10. Diary of Events


Dear CIS Colleagues

Time marches on - and the 2005 Annual CIS Meeting in Orlando, USA draws ever nearer! The meeting, whilst a very short one, has a number of delegates who will also be attending ILO Congress. If you are attending the Annual CIS Meeting, there will be presentations on the Working Groups Reports and future work. I hope that the 2005 Annual Meeting will be as fruitful as the 1st CIS Regional Meeting held in Geneva 17-18 May 2005 that was dubbed the "Wind of Change Meeting" BEFORE the event - and is certainly lived up to its name!

You will shortly be getting two more draft papers to comment on - one on the CIS Thesaurus and the other on the CIS Centres web portal.

See below for details of the CIS Annual Meeting.

Many thanks to you who have sent emails, news and especially those who have commented on the Working Group papers - much appreciated. News items are always gratefully received and are used as soon as possible.

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. Take advantage of free publicity!

Last month's experiment of sending the email message to you to let you know that the latest edition of the CIS Newsletter is on the web seem to have worked well.

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: +44 1909 771024
Fax: +44 1909 772829

CIS Network of National and Collaborating Centres... Working together and Helping Each Other...

Gabor Sandi who has been appointed Acting Head of CIS writes:

Emmert Clevenstine, who has been running CIS since1999, is retiring on 1 August 2005. Emmert has brought an extraordinary collection of talents to CIS - his knowledge of computers, languages and chemistry have all contributed to keeping CIS alive during a difficult period of transition and financial retrenchment.

In addition to his professional competence, Emmert will be sorely missed for his very human and humane approach to interpersonal relationships and for his openness of spirit in the international network of CIS national and collaborating centres.

Emmert, who is American, will be staying on in Europe for a while yet, enjoying his house and garden in Gex, France, not far from Geneva.

We hope that he will keep in touch with his friends and colleagues in CIS and its worldwide network.

News from Geneva


For your information, please find below the final agenda for the 2005 meeting of CIS National and Collaborating Centres to be held in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, 18 September 2005, in conjunction with the XVIIth World Congress on Safety and Health at Work.


Lunch break


Because of the extreme shortness of the meeting and the number of participants, we asked representatives of the Centres to keep the presentation time of their reports to a maximum of 15 minutes.

Best regards,
CIS Secretariat (F.Riette)

News from the ILO Conference 2005

More than 3,000 government, employer and worker delegates concluded the 93rd annual Conference of the International Labour Organization today following intense discussions on the need for urgently eliminating forced labour, creating jobs for youth, improving safety at work and tackling what ILO Director-General Juan Somavia called a "global jobs crisis".

"Faced with a global jobs crisis that involves trillions in GDP growth but just a trickle of new jobs, we need as many good ideas as we can generate to guide our future course of action", ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said in his wrap-up of the 93rd International Labour Conference. "The credibility of democracy and open markets are at stake. This conference has risen to the challenge by providing a rich laboratory of ideas for our efforts to make decent work a global goal."

The annual meeting of the ILO's 178 member States also discussed the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories, the state of labour standards in Belarus, Colombia and other countries and the on-going situation of efforts to stop the use of forced labour in Myanmar.

Delegates also discussed the current state of working hours and how to balance the need for flexibility with protecting workers' security, health and family life.

In the absence of a quorum for the vote on a proposed Convention on work in the fishing sector, the Conference asked the Governing Body to place a corresponding item on the agenda of the Conference in 2007, and that the report submitted to the Conference plenary be used for further consideration.

Two eminent guest speakers brought messages on the need to redress problems with globalization and decent work to the Conference. H.E. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the People's Republic of Algeria and current President of the Arab League, called for a new social dimension of globalization at the Millennium Summit in September 2000. H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria and currently Chair of the African Union (AU), urged Africa's development partners to join it in making the decent work agenda of the ILO a global goal.

The Conference President was Mr. Basim Khalil Alsalim, Minister of Labour of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Conference elected as Vice-Presidents Mr. Andrew J. Finlay (Employers) of Canada, Mrs. Hilda Anderson (Workers) of Mexico and Mr. Galo Chiriboga Zambrano (Governments), Minister of Labour and Employment of Ecuador.

The 93rd International Labour Conference adopted a programme and budget of US$594.31 million for the 2006-07 biennium. The 2006-07 budget includes moderate real growth of 1.1 per cent to address institutional investment needs and extraordinary items.

The new program and budget focuses on decent work as a global goal and action needed at the local, national, regional and international levels to make it happen, including Decent Work Country Programmes. The program reinforces and deepens the four strategic objectives of the ILO: promoting standards and fundamental principles and rights at work, creating greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and income and for enterprise development, enhancing the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all, and strengthening tripartism and social dialogue. It also proposes initiatives on decent work for youth, corporate social responsibility, export processing zones, and the informal economy.

The Conference also selected new government, employer and worker members of the Governing Body.

The Conference marked the fourth World Day Against Child Labour by calling for the elimination of child labour in one of the world's most dangerous sectors - small-scale mining and quarrying - within five to 10 years. This "call to action" was aimed at freeing the estimated 1 million or more children aged five to 17 who currently toil in dangerous conditions in small-scale mines and quarries around the world.

Other issues

Confronted with record levels of youth unemployment in recent years, delegates from more than 100 countries discussed pathways to decent work for youth and the role of the international community in advancing the youth employment agenda. In its final report, the Conference Committee on Youth Employment concluded that an ILO plan of action to promote youth employment should be practical and based on building knowledge, advocacy, the promotion of young workers' rights in line with international labour standards, and technical assistance.

Delegates recognized that decent employment opportunities for young people would need to grow substantially, with particular emphasis on developing countries where 85 per cent of the world's more than 1 billion youth live. The Committee also encouraged the ILO to continue playing a leading role in the UN Secretary General's Youth Employment Network (YEN) and to extend the YEN to other countries, both developing and developed.

The Committee on Safety and Health considered a promotional framework in the area of occupational safety and health. Delegates decided that the instrument establishing this framework should take the form of a Convention supplemented by a Recommendation.

The proposed instruments would support placing occupational safety and health high at national agendas, and promote safer and healthier working environment based on the prevention principle through a management systems approach, the development of national occupational safety and health programs and the continual improvement of national occupational safety and health systems.

The Committee on the Application of Standards discussed a wide variety of issues.

As part of ILO efforts to end the use of forced labour in Myanmar, the Committee again held a special sitting on the application by Myanmar of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), following up measures taken in the context of Article 33 of the ILO Constitution. This was the fifth time such a special sitting has been held.

Noting that the extent of forced labour in the country had not significantly changed, and its worst forms continued, the Committee expressed particular alarm at the Government's stated intention to prosecute those it accuses of making false forced labour complaints and the apparent intimidation of complainants. Other serious issues in need of urgent resolution involve outstanding serious allegations of forced labour, the freedom of movement of the Liaison Officer, and the issuing of visas to strengthen the ILO presence in Myanmar.

Noting that the "wait and see" attitude adopted by most members since 2001 cannot continue, the Committee urged tripartite members to urgently review their relations with Myanmar, including foreign direct investment and state and military-owned enterprises, and report back before the Governing Body meeting in November. Depending on developments in Myanmar the Governing Body should then be ready to consider new and further steps.

The Applications Committee placed its conclusions on Myanmar in a special paragraph for continued failure to implement Convention No. 29. In addition, the Committee concluded that, given that the persistence of forced labour could not be disassociated from the prevailing situation of a complete absence of freedom of association, the functions of the Liaison Officer should include assistance to the Government to implement fully its obligations under Convention No. 87.

With respect to freedom of association in Belarus, the Committee noted that no real concrete and tangible measures have been taken by the Government to comply with the recommendations of the ILO Commission of Inquiry. As details of a government Plan of Action on freedom of association were not known yet, the Committee urged that an ILO mission be sent to Belarus, to assist the government and also to evaluate the measures that the government has taken to comply with the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry.

In addition to this special sitting, the Committee carried out the examination of 25 other individual cases on cases covering such concerns as freedom of association, forced labour, discrimination, child labour, employment policy, labour inspection and wages.

The General Survey discussed by the Conference Committee this year, was on working time. While the Committee concluded that international labour standards limiting working time are still necessary to contribute to fair competition between countries in a globalized world, its discussions made it also clear that ILO Conventions Nos. 1 and 30 do not fully reflect modern realities in the regulation of working time and are viewed by an increasing number of countries as prescribing overly rigid standards.

Delegates stressed the need to find a balance between flexibility on the one hand and protecting workers' security, health and family life on the other. The discussion also highlighted the important role of the regulatory framework, collective bargaining and social dialogue in this field. The ILO will present a document to its Governing Body summarizing the debate and leaving the decision on any follow-up to its tripartite membership.

During a special sitting of the plenary of the Conference, delegates held an in-depth discussion on the situation of the more than 12 million people around the world who are trapped in forced labour, including some 2.4 million who are victims of trafficking. They strongly condemned forced labour as a violation of human dignity and supported the ILO Director-General's call for a Global Alliance to address a global problem.

The discussion was based on a Global Report issued under the follow-up of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work adopted in 1998. Law enforcement, awareness raising campaigns, capacity building for governments and social partners, rehabilitation of victims, local and global alliances and sustainable technical cooperation programmes were identified as building blocks if forced labour is to be eliminated worldwide.

The Governing Body of the ILO will discuss an action plan against forced labour, based on the report and the Conference discussion on it.

The annual Conference of the ILO drew more than 3,000 delegates, including heads of State, labour ministers and leaders of workers' and employers' organizations from most of the ILO's 178 member States. Each member country has the right to send four delegates to the Conference: two from government and one each representing workers and employers, each of whom may speak and vote independently.

The role of the International Labour Conference is to adopt and oversee compliance with international labour standards, establish the budget of the Organization and elect members of the Governing Body. Since 1919, the Conference has served as a major international forum for debate on social and labour questions of worldwide importance.

News from The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Turkey joins the Agency's network

Turkey has joined the OSH network and in partnership with its Turkish network partners will develop safe, healthy and productive workplaces. 'Raising the standards of safety and health at work is a key element of Europe's unique Social Model,' says Mr. Konkolewsky, during his recent visit there.

EU strengthens its transatlantic cooperation on work safety

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and the USA's National Institute for Occupational Safety pool their online resources in a joint website expected to facilitate knowledge transfer between researchers and practitioners on both continents.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), USA and the Bilbao-based European Agency for Safety and Health at Work have launched today a new joint OSH website.

The site follows the structure and presentation of the Agency's website network and represents a significant contribution to the creation of a global portal to workplace safety and health information. As well as linking directly to EU information, the site is a rich source of OSH information in the United States.

The common website will provide the Occupational Safety and Health community with improved access and sharing of the vast pool of European and American OSH expertise and research. 'In today's global economy such cooperation and partnership is not only a need, it is a must', said Dr Max Lum, Director of the Office of Health Communication, NIOSH.

The Director of the European Agency, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, added: 'The Agency' online network already includes health and safety organisations from Australia, Canada, USA and Japan. With such a significant new partner as NIOSH, the expanded network will be a leading international hub for safety and health information.'

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work was set up by the European Union to help meet the information needs in the field of occupational safety and health. Based in Bilbao, Spain, the Agency aims to improve the lives of people at work by stimulating the flow of technical, scientific and economic information between all those involved in occupational safety and health issues.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), USA, is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The Agency's website acts as a gateway to an ever-increasing amount of safety and health information for people with an interest in safety and health at work such as workers, employers, practitioners and experts. Starting at the Agency's home page easily navigated links connect to 25 national web sites maintained by the Agency's Focal Points, 3 EFTA countries, 2 Candidate countries and 2 international organisations plus 4 trade partners.

The EU/NIOSH website is available 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 | Email: |

Count down to making your booking for EurOhse2005: creating a winning OSH culture, to be held on 30 November 2005 - 1 December 2005 at the Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, UK. Do it now! Don't procrastinate!

At a time when it could be argued that less and less attention is being paid to occupational health and safety the EurOhse2005 conference: creating a winning OSH culture aims to inspire and re-invigorate all those who have responsibilities for achieving higher standards in OSH - so it is time to book your place. Don't delay!

Angel Business Publications and Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd are delighted to announce that EurOhse2005 conference will be held on 30 November 2005 - 1 December 2005 at the Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, UK. This is the third year for this very popular, informative conference that keeps you up-to-date and provides excellent networking opportunities.

Chairmen for the two days will be Dr Peter Waterhouse, Robens Institute and Sheila Pantry OBE.

EurOHSE 2005 conference will provide key points for future activities for all those responsible for securing good standards of health and safety in the workplace, and also excellent networking opportunities.14 eminent speakers with backgrounds in government, inspectorates, industry, research and education will discuss a range of topics.

The programme will cover four main areas:

The fourteen Speakers are:

This is the major conference of 2005! Bookings are coming in fast ... Make sure that you have a place and make your reservation now!

EurOhse2005 One-day Masterclass on Fire Risk Assessment and Business Continuity Planning and Management
29 November 2005,

This One-day Masterclass on Fire Risk Assessment and Business Continuity Planning and Management is to be presented on Monday, 29 November 2005 at the Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, UK by Les Moseley - Director of the Coventry Centre for Disaster Management and Programme Manager - University of Coventry, UK and Dennis Davies CBE, OStJ, QFSM, CEng, CCMI, FIFireE(Life), MEI - Independent Fire Adviser - International Committee for the Prevention and Extinction of Fire (CTIF) and formerly HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services, Scotland.

The Masterclass aims to build on existing knowledge and skills in Risk and Hazard Analysis for Fire Risk Assessment and develop further knowledge in Continuity Planning.

Both the EurOhse2005 conference and the Masterclass are organised by Angel Business Publications and Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.

Why not book both the Masterclass and the EurOhse2005 conference?
Contact details above. For further details contact the programme organiser Sheila Pantry at Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 or email:

For further details contact: EurOhse 2005 and Masterclass, Jesse Bhadal, Conference Manager, Angel Business Communications Ltd, 34 Warwick Road, Kenilworth CV8 1HE, Warwickshire, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1926 512424 | Fax: +44 (0) 1926 512948 | Email:

News from Korea

The Quarterly Safety and Health Newsletter from Korea - Summer 2005 is now published. It contains a number of interesting articles including:

OSH Statistics - Number of aged workers suffering from industrial accidents increases - Fatalities resulting from industrial accidents for workers aged 50 or over reach 46.4%


New OSH Materials

For full details see:

European Week 2005 - UK Web pages now up and running!

European Week 2005 will run from the 24th - 28th October 2005 and will focus on noise in the workplace. For the 2005 campaign, the UK Health & Safety Executive is working in partnership with the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) on the campaign's flagship event, the Sound Off - Noise Reduction at Work Conference. This will take place in the run-up to European Week, on the 11th and 12th October at Earls Court.

For more information on this year's European Week, the Sound Off conference and how you can order an Action Pack, please visit HSE's campaign's webpages:

Eleanor Keech, UK Focal Point, Health & Safety Executive, 9SW Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS, UK | |


The seat of the National Centre CIS, in Argentina, is at the Superintendency of Labour Risks (Superintendencia de Riesgos del Trabajo. (SRT). The SRT is part of the Ministry of Labour that, even though began to operate after the establishment, in 1996 of the Occupational Risks Act, has inherited the functions and missions of the previous Argentine Department of Occupational Safety and Health.

The Vision of the SRT is the worker's protection from labour contingencies and the promotion of safe and secure workplaces. Because of that, the fundamental task is to prevent workers from getting wounded, mutilated, ill or killed at the precise place where they went to earn their living wage.

The education of employers and workers about prevention constitutes one of the strategic pillars of this entity, prepared in accordance with government policies.

The education aims to influence the contents provided today in elementary, middle and high schools, universities, post graduate and particularly, education to employers of all categories and company workers.

The quality of available information that could be provided is of the highest importance and this is the main reason of all the efforts done to create the National Centre CIS in Argentine, and we are really very proud of it.

The operation of the National Centre CIS

In 1991 the National Department of Occupational Safety and Health in the Ministry of Labour was instituted as the organisation responsible for the National Centre CIS in Argentina.

In 1996 the SRT assumed the Department of Occupational Safety and Health functions, including the National Centre CIS. On several occasions over the years it was intended to make it function, but this was not possible, mainly due to budget problems.

By 2003, coinciding with changes in the management of the SRT, the first steps were taken to finally make the National Centre CIS work:

The National Centre CIS would be established in parallel to the revitalization of the Library of the SRT, and today is called: Document Management and Library Area.


Some facts:

Received, as a donation, the CISDOC-TEXT 1998-2002 base and purchase of the 2003 and 2004 version.

Products: Virtual Library

The importance of a digital publications was agreed and it was decided to create a "virtual" space that would organize and facilitate access to this kind of information. In order to achieve this objective several products were created, that are available through the Institutional web site:

Services include:


CIS activities are promoted through the Institutional Web site and our national CIS Centre receives an increasingly number of daily enquires.


The SRT library is part of a National Net called RENICS that joins about 80 libraries specialising in Health Sciences within the frame coordinated by PAHO/WHO.

This information was kindly sent by Claudia LLanos.

For further information see the Superintendencia de Riesgos del Trabajo web site:

News from Europe

Chemical industry unions and employers united on REACH

The social partners of the chemical industry - ECEG, European Chemical Employers Group, EMCEF, European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers Federation - and Cefic jointly appreciate that their common Position "REACH and health safety management" in the framework of the sectoral Social Dialogue has been taken into consideration at the European Parliament first vote on REACH by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, yesterday evening.

The Social Partners are committed to contribute to a successful implementation of an improved and workable REACH but also to share their joint long experience in contributing to regulation in chemicals management with other sectors.

ECEG, EMCEF and Cefic are committed to joint initiatives in the areas of occupational health, of capacity building with the social partners in the new and future EU countries EU member-states and the development of the Responsible Care programme at national and European levels. The initiatives of the Social Partners will be discussed further at the plenary session of the Social Dialogue Meeting, 15 September in London.

The Social Partners are convinced that these steps will help to add necessary social aspects to the regulation of chemical substances, to make REACH successful and to improve the competitiveness of the Chemical Industry in Europe. Only a successful REACH will enhance confidence of customers and consumers in chemical substances and related products and thus improve trust in the chemical industry. Simplified but effective chemicals legislation will furthermore help to deliver environmental and health benefits in an efficient way without jeopardising businesses and jobs.

The Social Partners of the Chemical Industry are convinced that REACH must be workable and that a new style of industrial policy aimed at creating the right framework conditions for business is essential for future success. This implies that both social partners and authorities have responsibilities for achieving long-term success. If only the authorities take action and the social partners fail to play their part, the strategy will fail, and vice versa.

Making REACH successful for Europe therefore requires clarity on the scope of REACH in order to avoid duplication of legislation and a risk-based decision-making process. Further initiatives are required to transfer good practices already achieved in the chemical industry.

The Social Partners therefore call upon the Council, the EU Commission and the European Parliament to take these results into consideration in the ongoing discussions on REACH.

For further information:
ECEG: Reinhard Reibsch | Tel + 3226262180
ECEG: Lutz Mühl | Tel: +496117788150
Cefic: J- Cl Lahaut | Tel: + 3226767203

News from Australia National standard for construction work declared

On 27 April 2005 the Australian National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) released the National Standard for Construction Work [NOHSC: 1016(2005)].

The Standard's objective is to protect persons from the hazards associated with construction work by requiring specified classes of persons to ensure these hazards are identified, the risks they pose are assessed, and either the risks are eliminated or, where this is not reasonably practicable, the risks are minimised; and requiring the provision of information, consultation, planning, documentation, training and other measures to ensure occupational health and safety.

The Standard covers the responsibilities of those who must manage safety in the workplace, the responsibilities of a person in control of a construction project, and the general duty of this person to control risks arising from specific hazards associated with construction work. NOHSC Standards have the effect of guidance unless specifically incorporated into State or Territory legislation.

National Standard for Construction Work NOHSC: 1016(2005)

Enhesa Update, May 2005

UK's HSE urges safer systems for unpacking large sheets of glass

The UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is reminding those involved in the glazing and cladding industries of the importance of conducting suitable risk assessments and having safe systems of work in place for packing and unpacking large sheets of glass.

The warning comes following a recent incident in which a person was struck and injured by several sheets of glass falling from a crate held on a metal stillage. Construction inspectors are also witnessing examples of poor practice during routine visits.

The danger arises when packing and unpacking wooden crates containing large sheets of glass, on steeply inclined stillages (stacking platforms). It appears that such crates are commonly used to import large pieces of specialist glass from Europe.

HSE's review of the arrangements for the delivery, unloading & moving of glass and discussions with the Glass and Glazing Federation indicate a need to consider carefully the risks involved in releasing single sheets of glass. The review suggests a number of circumstances (site conditions, storage arrangements, ground and weather conditions) in which glass sheets are liable to become unstable when held vertically on steel stillages.

By conducting a suitable risk assessment duty holders will be able to identify circumstances where glass could become unstable and make arrangements to eliminate the risk of the glass falling onto workers.

If this is not reasonably practicable, control measures should be considered, taking into account the sequence of work to reduce, or control the risk. This may include a positive system of excluding workers from any area where they may be struck by falling sheets. If reliance must be placed on a safe system of work, care must be taken to ensure those following it are adequately trained and supervised.

HSE has published "Workplace health and safety: Glazing"

New Book

IOSH New book unravels the health and safety secrets

IOSH's practical guide to health and safety "Protect your people - and your business" was launched at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel, London, on 15 July 2005. Speaking at the event author Bryan Toone said: "This book is a unique how-to guide. It cuts through irrelevance and enables all businesses to tackle health and safety issues effectively. I wrote this book because managers and owners of small and medium sized enterprises have been crying out for a straightforward guide to health and safety in the workplace.

"Guidance produced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is necessarily a 'counsel of perfection' - as the enforcer, it has to cover all the bases. It tends to be overcomplicated and divided up into hundreds of separate documents. The HSE also neglects important areas such as fire and hygiene which are not their 'responsibility'. But all businesses need to get to grips with these issues, regardless of who polices them.

"My book caters for the 'real world'. It's a one-stop-shop for all the health and safety needs of all SMEs, from offices to construction sites."

Bryan Toone has worked at the cutting edge of health and safety for 25 years, firstly as health and safety director at Bovis, then as a health and safety consultant, and now at the Ardmore Group. Bryan is a Fellow of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

"Protect your people - and you business" is backed by the Federation of Small Businesses, and published by IOSH. It is available from the Lavenham Press, retailing at £20, by telephoning: +44 (0) 1787 249293.

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

TUC Statement on terrorist attacks on London

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'These attacks have brought out the best in London's workforce. Emergency service and transport workers have earned the gratitude and admiration of everyone affected by these outrages.

'We offer our sympathy and condolences to everyone who has suffered in today's atrocities. They were an indiscriminate attack on the population of one of the world's most diverse cities.

'We have received messages of support from trade unions around the world including those who have suffered from similar terrorist attacks.

'When the immediate emergency is over, we will look for an opportunity to bring London's workforce together in all its diversity to show our unity in opposition to terrorism.'

All TUC press releases can be found at

News from the USA

The July issue of LIFELINES ONLINE (Vol. II, No. 2) is available at the LHSFNA website. These are the headlines:

To view the stories and access website, click

Also, please note that the current issue of our print magazine, LIFELINES, is now posted for online viewing in the archive section of our website.

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

News from the USA on agricultural health and safety

The Centers for Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education, and Prevention represent a major US National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH) effort to protect the health and safety of agricultural workers and their families. The Centers were established in 1990 through the NIOSH Agricultural Health and Safety Initiative to conduct programs in research, education, and prevention. Geographically, the Centers are distributed throughout the nation to be responsive to the agricultural health and safety issues unique to the different regions.

In the 15 years since the creation of the program, the Centers have become trusted resources for farmers, farm families, and their communities. Their research has spanned the diverse range of issues that concern farmers and agricultural workers. The results have been instrumental for advancing safety and health, and include:

The Centers utilize various means of communicating with colleagues and the entire farming population to disseminate research results and new safety and health information. These activities include:

NIOSH encourage you to visit the NIOSH Agricultural Centers' topic page,, where you will find links to each of the nine Centers.

In addition to the nine Agricultural Centers, NIOSH provides funding to support the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Safety and Health. Focusing solely on the health and safety of children in relation to working and living on farms, the Center has become a leading resource for professionals and agricultural producers to obtain guidance regarding childhood agricultural injury prevention. The Center's newsletter, Nurture, disseminates news and information on farm youth safety and health.

More information on the National Children's Center can be found at

Collaboratively, the nine Agricultural Centers and the National Children's Center have developed recommendations for a nationwide action plan to reduce the number of tractor-related injuries and fatalities in the U.S. Details of the National Agricultural Tractor Safety Initiative can be found at

Information on agricultural safety and health can be found by accessing the NIOSH topic page,

Specific information regarding children and agricultural safety and health can be accessed at

More news from the USA

Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE): Dust Exposures at a Cement Company

Company managers requested the US National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH) assistance in assessing exposures at a new cement production facility. Employee exposures to respirable dust, silica, and metals were below all regulatory and recommended standards, but employees in the raw mill and yard operations were exposed to high levels of total dust.

NIOSH investigators offered recommendations to the company managers to reduce total dust exposure through engineering controls, where feasible. Administrative controls and personal protective equipment were recommended if engineering controls were infeasible or ineffective in reducing air contaminants to acceptable levels.

The full report is available at

More information on HHEs can be found at

News from Ireland

EIro comparative study on industrial action 2003-4: Decreasing levels of industrial action in Europe in the past five years

Figures on number of working days lost per 1,000 employees in the last five years show a very low level of industrial action in some of the new EU Member States (Estonia, Lithuania and Poland) and in some of the old ones (Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). A recent study by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions found that the highest level of industrial action was found in Spain (219.7 days lost per 1,000 workers), Italy (134.7 days) and Austria (103.5 days).

The report from the Foundation's European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) reviews trends and developments in industrial action in 2000-2004. It also examines the causes for industrial action and looks at dispute resolution in the various countries.

'In comparison with the past, the early 2000s have been a time of relative industrial peace in many European countries,' says Willy Buschak, the Foundation's Acting Director, in response to the report. 'In the 1980s, days lost to industrial action in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK averaged over 400 days lost per 1000 workers.'

The study found that the sectors most affected by industrial action in 2000-2004 were transport and communications, industry/manufacturing and the broad public sector. Distribution of industrial action between private and public sector varies considerably between the countries considered.

Industrial action is one of the most high-profile aspects of industrial relations, not least in terms of media coverage and public impact and attention. It is seen by some commentators as an important indicator of whether or not industrial relations systems are functioning well, with some viewing industrial action as a sign that a system is malfunctioning. Others regard it as a relatively normal feature of a healthy and well-functioning system.

However, industrial action is an area where international comparisons are notoriously difficult. This is largely because the way in which statistics are produced differs greatly between countries, with the definition of the industrial action recorded varying considerably, and the data being collected by a variety of official and other bodies.

More information is available from

1st announcement of the Social Dialogue and Work Environment in the Post-Enlargement context in the new Member States of the European Union, Riga, Latvia on 28 September 2005


The purpose of the Conference is to act as a vehicle for dissemination of ongoing research results relating to issues of social dialogue and work environment in the Baltic States and more widely in the new Member States in the post enlargement context. The themes of industrial relations and safety and health in the workplace have been neglected at an academic level, certainly in teaching and to some degree in research. Yet, important issues of labour standards, forms of employee representation, corporate social responsibility, labour migration and economic competitiveness are directly related to such concerns. The adoption of a significant body of European legislation in the form of the acquis communautaire, means that a significant new area of policy implementation has emerged which is relevant to the integration of the new Member States in the wider Europe. The conference will seek to take stock of the existing knowledge base in the area and also present new results.

One body of research results to be presented will be the findings of the Marie Curie comparative Baltic research project conducted in collaboration with Baltic Doctoral students. However, it's also intended that the Conference acts as a forum of dissemination of current research results on labour and working environment issues produced by ongoing research activity by other scholars active in the Baltic universities, and more widely in the post-communist new Member States.

The proposed outcomes of the event:

The main Conference target:

The organisers would welcome papers both from within the Baltic region and more widely, from the new European Union Member States or accession Central and East European countries.

It is envisaged that about 100 people will be participating in the event. There is no participation fee for the participants from the Baltic States or other new Member States. Participation fee for the participants of the other countries is 250 EUR. The conference organisers will seek to provide a small number of bursaries towards the costs of travel and accommodation of authors of accepted peer reviewed abstracts from new Member States. The organisers however cannot at this stage guarantee such support.


Abstracts, from 500 to 1000 words, should be sent by July 1, 2006 to Ms. Ieva Sloka -

The abstracts in Times New Roman point size 12 should include the following information:

The full Conference papers will be considered for publication by the Scientific Committee, in collaboration with Charles Woolfson, who is guest editor of a volume of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health (Editor-in-chief Dr Joe Ladou, USA) scheduled for publication in 2007.

The participants will be notified on whether they are invited to present the paper by July 15, 2006.

Persons interested in participating in the Conference without presenting a paper are invited to inform Ms Ieva Sloka: Email:

The Scientific Committee

Laurent Vogel, Health and Safety Department, ETUI-REHS, Brussels; Professor Linda Clarke, University of Westminster, UK; Emeritus Professor Charles Levenstein, University of Massachusetts, Lowell; Dr. Jan Popma, senior researcher, Hugo Sinzheimer Instituut, The Netherlands; Professor Andrew Watterson, University of Stirling, UK.

Official Sponsors

European Institute for Construction Labour Research

The Conference Organiser

The event is organised under the banner of the Marie Curie Chair Project.

Marie Curie chairs are European-level appointments, across both the Member States and Candidate Countries, under the Framework 6 programme.

The mission of the Marie Curie chair for the Baltic States is to conduct a personal research programme, and to provide doctoral and post-graduate supervision in dissertation and thesis work, and to encourage new research, especially in the field of work environment and social dialogue. Another important task of the chair is to provide individual career advice to younger researchers who may be considering physical mobility in the context of the new enlarged Europe.

The holder of the Marie Curie chair for the Baltic States is senior Scottish academic Charles Woolfson, from the School of Law, University of Glasgow.

For more information, please contact the website -

Time to check out OSH UPDATE: New Internet-based service is available and already being used worldwide

Why not try this new service today? Over 532,000 records and also support CIS's work

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 this newly launched, 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 now available and is updated monthly

Growing rapidly - now contains over 532,000 references - yes well over half a million and many linked to the full text.

It NOW contains ten bibliographic databases from worldwide authoritative sources such as:

OSH UPDATE records has 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 contains 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, bio-terrorism, management of road risks, preparedness and business continuity, risk assessment.

The title price for a single user via the Internet is GBP250.00/Euros 360.00 /US$ 450.00 per year - less than 68 pence/1 Euro /1.2 dollars per day

The price* (see below for further details) 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.

A user in Finland says "OSH UPDATE it is excellent and easy to use".
A Hong Kong user group says it is what they need to keep them up-to-date.
Just what I need without having to worry that I am missing vital new information says a busy practitioner,


If you are interested in taking up this service on a 30-DAY FREE trial just send an email:

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 and Waste Plus | Fire Worldwide | OSH Ireland | OSH UPDATE

*Subscription for one year - monthly updates OSH UPDATE

We need a common sense approach to risk management says the UK OSH Minister HUNT

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath has called for a common sense approach to risk management as he formally launched a debate on the causes of risk aversion in health and safety.

Speaking at the launch organised by the Health and Safety Executive he said:

"Since 1974 when the Health and Safety at Work Act was passed, the rate of workplace fatalities has dropped by two thirds. The hazards in construction have if anything got greater since the 1970's, but the rate of fatal accidents has fallen dramatically. But yet there is a perception that things are getting worse.

"We must concentrate our efforts on the big issues that cause real harm and suffering and remember that excessive risk aversion does damage too. It hits organisational efficiency, competitiveness, restricts personal freedoms and damages the cause of protecting people form real harm.

"It is my intention to bring about a balanced approach to risk that will have at its heart an emphasis on the importance of communicating risk effectively."

As part of HSE's determination to build an integrated debate, the launch includes a new web forum and discussion document. Providing an opportunity for everyone to be involved in the debate and take part in live discussions that will ultimately benefit UK society as a whole. The discussion document will provide an in-depth look at the issues and backdrop that has led to the perception of risk aversion.

Both the web forum and discussion document can be found at

HSE Deputy Director General Jonathan Rees added:

"HSE's approach to regulation is very much based on sensible risk management. Risk is ubiquitous. Some degree of risk whether financial, environmental or in terms of safety is necessary for progress. We are fortunate in the way the Health and Safety at Work Act was drafted over 30 years ago. In its concept, it is goal setting rather than prescriptive. It also lays the primary responsibility for ensuring health and safety on those who create the risk and those who work withthem and not with the regulator. This approach therefore leaves room for innovation to take account of different circumstances such as the significant changes of the economy over the last thirty years".

Un-Social Europe by Charles Woolfson

Alarm bells should be ringing about work safety in the new EU member-states. Unfortunately, EU policies may only worsen the situation.

Europe is in crisis. The future of the EU constitution is in doubt. So too, in some eyes, is the notion of a 'social Europe' - and part of the blame for that is being attached to last year's enlargement. For some, enlargement has become associated with 'social dumping' and a 'race to the bottom' in which the new member states are acting as a Trojan horse for neo-liberal ideas.

Whatever the merits or demerits of these interpretations, there is major reason to worry about safety standards in the new EU member states, home to 43 million of the EU's roughly 200m workers.

On paper, there should be few reasons for such fears since the accession process harmonised large chunks of legislation. In practice, though, the average workplace in the new member states is more dangerous, more unhealthy and more unhappy than it is in the old member states, the EU15. But the trends may be worsening; in the Baltic states a deterioration seems clear. At the same time, a new approach to regulating the European workplace may only exacerbate existing problems in these countries - and for the same reasons that the adoption of EU regulations has failed to lift health and safety standards.

Over the past 15 years, the transition to a free market, globalisation and the EU accession process have transformed the Central and Eastern European workplace. Since 1989, privatisation, restructuring, the change in the business landscape and the growth of unemployment, the workforce has become radically more 'flexible'. Liberal economists say this has helped make the region the fastest growing in the EU; but it has also helped ensure that their health and safety records are poorer than in Western Europe.

Figures show that, as a whole, Central and East Europeans are three times as likely to die at work as those in the EU15, with seven of the eight new members (leaving out Cyprus and Malta) reporting fatality rates higher than the EU15's average. Subjective measures suggest that feelings of fatigue are almost twice as high in the new member states. Working hours are considerably longer and more atypical (night work or shift work). Workplaces tend to be noisier, hotter and more polluted. Workers complain of more health problems, but take less sick leave. Asserting worker rights is hard: trade unions in these countries are generally weak and information about employee rights is harder to find.

The trends are also worrying. In the EU15, the risk of death at work has fallen by 25% since 1998. In some of the new member states - Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - the trend may also be downward. But in Latvia and Lithuania and to a lesser extent in Hungary safety records appear to be worsening. Overall, the average fatal-accident rate appears to be rising across the region.

Such figures need to be treated cautiously. Only relatively few years of comparable data are available, arguably making categorical statements of longer-term trends premature. Still, it is clear from almost every measure that workers in the Baltic states are the most vulnerable in the new EU and are becoming more vulnerable still.

Part of the reason for the continuing difference - in some cases, growing difference - in safety levels is the nature of these transition economies. Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) dominate these economies. These are typically twice as unsafe as large companies. Second, the growth of part-time and fixed-term contracts, plus a sharp decline in trade-union membership, have created a significant imbalance in power between employers and employees, with the result that in sizable parts of the economy labour-protection standards are almost non-existent.

Third, different experiences, expectations and responses to the world of work combine to undermine efforts to improve safety. Workers retain an attachment to hazard pay, for example, welcoming the money as a top-up to low wages rather than pushing to eliminate the risk at source. Job insecurity means there is sometimes tacit collusion between employees and employers to avoid or resist regulations.

The result is that EU legislation has not become embedded. And by Western European standards, regulation is weak. Where rules seem unclear or where they differ from domestic preferences, resistance to EU laws emerges. This resistance is in part a post-communist reflex and in part a reflection of the business-first mindset created by the 1990s struggle to create new, competitive market economies. But there is also an ideological element.

While the candidate countries were introducing new EU regulations, they were also being faced with the vigorous promotion of neo-liberal ideas and programs by organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, urging them to remove "red tape and other regulatory obstacles to private-sector activity". Such arguments found a ready audience in the new post-communist market economies and have left their imprint in tough anti-strike legislation, for example. Yet, in some respects, the new member states are simply reflecting what has increasingly become the dominant approach at the EU level: to soften regulation and to encourage more flexible ways of promoting health and safety in the workplace, particularly through self-regulation.

This may have merit in advanced regulatory systems, but it seems likely only to aggravate existing problems in the new market economies, with their weaker regulatory systems. Self-regulation also assumes a reasonable balance of negotiating power, as well as dialogue. But in the fragmented labour markets of the Baltic states and other economies in the region, the odds are stacked in favour of employers and dialogue is limited.

By loosening regulations, 'soft laws' give local politicians and businesses more opportunity to follow their liberal instincts. That raises the possibility that the divergence in safety levels between new and older EU members will continue to grow. To avoid that, there should be an intermediate period before softer legislation is introduced, with more consultation with employees and the risks they face, and with the threat of sticks against employers being combined with the offer of carrots to them.

Charles Woolfson holds the Marie Curie chair at the University of Latvia and is professor of labour studies in Glasgow University's school of law. A longer version of this article was published in the online magazine Transitions Online

Charles is also a speaker at EurOhse2005 conference

Book your place at the conference now!

Charles Woolfson BA, PhD, Marie Curie Chair, EuroFaculty, University of Latvia, Raina Blvd 19, LV-1586, Riga, Latvia | Email: | | Tel: +370-610-05044 | FAX: +370-(5)-2153802

Professor of Labour Studies, School of Law, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8RT, UK | Email:

OSHE Websites will be continued next month

Diary of Events

If you have details of any conferences, seminars, training courses and events then please send to your Editor.

You can also check and please use any of the data in

29 November 2005 - EurOhse Masterclass on Fire Risk Assessment and Business Continuity, Planning and Management
Held in conjunction with the 3rd EurOhse Conference organised by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd and Angel Business Communications Ltd
Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, UK
Contact: Stephen Whitehurst, European Occupational Health and Safety Magazine (EurOhs), Angel Business Communications Ltd | 34 Warwick Road, Kenilworth CV8 1HE, Warwickshire, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1926 512424 | Fax: + 44 (0)1926 512948 | Email:

30 November 2005 - 1 December 2005 - EurOhse2005: creating a winning OSH culture
3rd EurOhse Conference organised by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd and Angel Business Communications Ltd
Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, UK
Contact: Stephen Whitehurst, European Occupational Health and Safety Magazine (EurOhs), Angel Business Communications Ltd | 34 Warwick Road, Kenilworth CV8 1HE, Warwickshire, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1926 512424 | Fax: + 44 (0)1926 512948 | Email:

5-7 September 2005 - 2005 National Safety Symposium: celebrating 30 years of public safety: The Practitioner's Vulnerability
Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Contact: Colette Walley, IOSH, The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1NN, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 116 257 3166 | Email: |

20 September 2005 - Wind Farm noise
Edinburgh, UK
Contact: Linda Canty, Institute of Acoustics, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1727 848195 |Fax: 01727 850553 | Email: |

26-29 September 2005 - Healthcare Safety Conference 2005: Safety, Compliance and Risk Issues
Kansas City Marriott Downtown, Kansasa City, MO, USA
Contact: TFILearning, One Research Drive, Suite 400A, Westborough, MA 01581, USA | Tel: + 1 508 614 1234 |

28-29 September 2005 - Raising Standards, Embedding Excellence: Rospa Scotland Safety and Health at Work Congress 2005
Hilton Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Contact: Congress Administrator, RoSPA, Edgbaston Park, 353 Bristol Road, Birmingham B5 7ST, UK | Tel: 0870 777 2120 | Fax: 0870 777 2131 | Email: |

3-4 October 2005 - European Congress: Hearing@Work
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contact: Hearing Academy, The Netherlands | Tel: +32 9 233 85 97 |

7 October 2005 - Business Resilience: Risk Strategies for Organisational Strength
Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Westminster, London, UK
Contact: Martin Davies, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7426 0424 | Email: |

11-12 October 2005 - Sound Off conference: organized by IOSH and HSE in conjunction with CMP Information
Earls Court 2, London, UK
Contact: CMP Information Limited, Ludgate House, 245 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 9UY, UK | |

11-13 October 2005 - IRCON 2005 - 2nd International Risk Control Conference: Back to basics with health and safety in the workplace
The Castle, Kyalami, Johannesburg, South Africa
Contact: Shereen Nortjie,IRCA South Africa | Tel: + 011 326 3428 | Email:|

18-19 October 2005 - What Noise Annoys?: Institute of Acoustics Prestigious Conference 2005
Oxford Hotel, Wolvercote, UK
Contact: Linda Canty, Institute of Acoustics, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1727 848195 | Fax: 01727 850553 | Email: |

20-21 October 2005 - 2nd European Conference on Standardization, Testing and Certification in the Field of Occupational Health and Safety
Paris, France
Contact: EUROSHNET Meeting | Fax: +33 1 401 410 | Email: |

8-9 November 2005 - 2nd Occupational Health Best Practices Conference cum Workshop 2005
Novotel, Clarke Quay, Singapore
Contact: Singapore Institution of Safety Officers, OHBP Conference cum Workshop 2005, 1010 Dover Road #03-01 Singapore 139658 | Email: | |

14-15 November 2005 - Reducing Risks and Injuries at Home: National Home Safety Congress 2005
Renaissance Solihull Hotel, Birmingham, UK
Contact: Congress Administrator, RoSPA, Edgbaston Park, 353 Bristol Road, Birmingham B5 7ST, UK | Tel: 0870 777 2120 | Fax: 0870 777 2131 | Email: |


1-3 March 2006 - Ninth International Symposium of the ISSA Research Section: Organized by the International Social Security Association (ISSA): Design process and human factors integration: Optimising company performance
Nice, France
Contact: Colette Skornik, Symposium ISSA 2006 Secretariat, INRS, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France. | Tel: +33 1 4044 3119 | Fax: +33 1 4044 1414 | Email: |

28 September 2006 - Social Dialogue and Work Environment in the Post-Enlargement Context in the new Member States of the European Union
Riga, Latvia

Contact: Charles Woolfson, Marie Curie Chair |