CIS Newsletter

No. 192
September 2005


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


Contents

  1. Editorial
  2. CIS Newsletter Editor interviews Assane Diop, ILO Executive Director, Social Protection Sector
  3. News and appointments from CIS HQ
  4. News from around the World... France, Germany and Japan
  5. FOCUS on Malaysia NIOSH
  6. More News from Canada, UK, European Agency, Japan, France
  7. Books and Newsletters
  8. Singapore restructuring
  9. News from USA, UK and Hungary
  10. OSHE web sites
  11. Diary of Events

Editorial

Dear CIS Colleagues

Can you believe that the 2005 Annual CIS Meeting in Orlando, USA is so near? The Annual Meeting, whilst a very short one, has a number of delegates coming who will also be attending ILO Congress. I hope that the 2005 Annual Meeting will be as fruitful as the "Wind of Change Meeting" 1st CIS Regional Meeting held in Geneva 17-18 May 2005

If you are attending the Annual CIS Meeting, there will be presentations on the 2005 Working Groups Papers and future work. Many thanks to all those who have made comments - it has been very pleasing to see so much interest. You can still see the papers on www.sheilapantry.com/cis - see the list of papers in the Box alongside the CIS Newsletters.

I hope that you enjoy this 'bumper edition' of the CIS Newsletter. Also appreciate all the news items - no matter what size the news - please continue to send. These are always gratefully received and are used as soon as possible. And of course, any suggestions to improve the Newsletter!

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. It is amazing how much the CIS Newsletter content gets re-used around the world. Take advantage of free publicity!

The experiment of sending the email message to you to let you know that the latest edition of the CIS Newsletter is on the web seems to have worked well.

Remember you can see CIS Newsletter on the web site www.sheilapantry.com/cis 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
Email: sp@sheilapantry.com
www.oshworld.com
www.sheilapantry.com
www.shebuyersguide.com
www.oshupdate.com


Interview

Assane Diop, ILO Executive Director, Social Protection Sector is interviewed by Sheila Pantry OBE, CIS Newsletter Editor who posed the following questions and received the answers from Assane Diop (AD)

Q1a. Are governments putting enough resources into improving standards for OSH, to help reduce fatalities, injuries and long-term ill health?

AD: Some governments are making an effort to spend more on important public services, such as those for OSH, and have made good progress in this area recently, promoting national OSH programmes and developing national OSH systems, to tackle unacceptable levels of occupational deaths and injuries as effectively and efficiently as possible. This example should be followed by other governments too. It is of course not only for governments to spend resources on OSH, but employers should also invest in it, taking action to prevent accidents and diseases before they occur, all of which makes sound business sense as well as benefiting the lives of their workers.

Q1b. How can the ILO influence governments to raise OSH in their own agendas?

AD: The ILO Global Strategy on OSH (adopted in 2003) aims to influence governments and social partners through: (1) promotion, awareness-raising and advocacy, (2) ILO instruments (such as Conventions and Recommendations), (3) technical assistance and cooperation, (4) knowledge development, management and dissemination (especially through the CIS centres) and (5) international collaboration. Through this integrated approach, the ILO hopes to engage all social partners in a concerted effort to make a real difference to the lives of workers' health and safety, not only in individual countries but also throughout the world.

Q2. Is prosecuting individual Directors a practical way to reduce fatalities at work? Would it be better to prosecute the Board of Directors of the companies involved?

AD: No-one can be prosecuted if there is no breach of the law, so the first step must be to ensure that adequate national legislation exists, and ILO standards provide an excellent basis for this. However, where there is a suspected breach of national OSH law, it must be for the national enforcing authorities to decide whether and who to prosecute, often on a case-by-case basis. Every set of circumstances is different and national enforcing authorities must be allowed some discretion here. Much depends on how the law is framed, but legal action might be taken against an employer, a corporation, a manager or even an individual worker. While the ILO of course wishes to see that national legislation is upheld and properly enforced, the question of how the law is enforced must be left to the national enforcing authorities (and the law courts) to decide.

Q3. Should labour inspection be standardised internationally and overseen by the ILO?

AD: There are several international standards for labour inspection, in particular the Labour Inspection Convention 1947 (No. 81) and its accompanying Recommendation (No. 81), and the Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention 1969 (No. 129) and its accompanying Recommendation (No. 133). The ILO regularly asks for reports on the application of Conventions, and a country-by-country survey of how Convention 81 is applied (C.81 is one of the most widely ratified of all ILO Conventions) has been very recently carried out and the report is in its final stages.

Q4. What are your views on the current state of OSH research and is funding adequate? Should international collaboration in some areas be mandatory?

AD: The ILO Global OSH Strategy, mentioned above, refers to the importance of having adequate capacity for developing knowledge through OSH research, amongst other things. As with resources for OSH more generally, there is always more research that could be done if more resources were available, but governments and employers have been devoting significant amounts of funding to OSH research for many years. More could be done to share the results of OSH research between national research centres, but this is happening. It would be difficult to make such international collaboration mandatory (how does one define 'research' or 'collaboration'?) but such collaboration is to be welcomed.

Q5. How can the OSH message be spread, not only wider, but deeper?

AD: As your question implies, the OSH message needs to be spread not only more widely but also at greater depth: attitudes to OSH need to change at international, national and enterprise levels. The root cause of most work-related accidents and diseases is a poor overall attitude to OSH - a poor safety culture and not enough commitment to improving OSH standards in practice. These issues were discussed at the International Labour Conferences in both 2003 and 2005, and a proposed Convention to promote OSH more effectively will be considered at the International Labour Conference in 2006. The proposed Convention aims to promote more of a preventative safety and health culture and better management of OSH through improved national OSH programmes and systems. Gaining greater commitment to OSH at international, national and enterprise levels is a significant challenge for us all, but we believe that it can be done through the concerted effort of all parties concerned.

Q6. Is training for work a cost effective way to improve OSH Standards? What other ways would you suggest?

AD: Effective safety and health training (for all workers) is very important, of course, and it should certainly be cost-effective. However, such training needs to be part of an overall management system to control and reduce work-related risks, a system that accepts management responsibilities and worker involvement and sets out all the measures required for managing safety and health effectively. Other elements in such a system should include supervision, adequate instruction and information about hazards and risks, inspection and maintenance of workplace equipment etc. More widely, better promotion and awareness-raising of OSH is needed, through activities such as the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April each year (in which 115 countries took part in 2005) and other publicity. National campaigns on OSH have a significant role to play too in raising OSH standards, as has risk education in schools and colleges. TV and radio coverage of OSH also have an important contribution to make, as for example in the UK where the TV 'Worksmart' series, featuring stories of real-life work-related accidents and diseases, had a clear impact on attitudes towards OSH amongst workers and their families.

Q7. The future role of CIS

  1. Given the results from the "wind of change" meeting held in Geneva in May 2005 how do you see the future role of CIS in relation to the above questions?
    AD: The role of CIS has always been to provide access to useful and reliable OSH information to anyone in the world who needs it. It is only natural that in a world that is undergoing constant change and, in particular, in the changing technological environment we all live in, CIS has to change its approaches as well, adapting to the changes around it. The key outcome of the meeting in Geneva held recently is to reinforce CIS's desire to collaborate even more closely with its national and collaborating centres in the collection and dissemination of the information it provides, to rely to an even larger extent than it has on the Internet in achieving its goals and to provide more publicity to its work. Major changes have already been implemented and these will continue: for example the free access to the CISDOC database and to the ILO Encyclopaedia. These changes will strengthen CIS as envisaged by the knowledge management component of the ILO's Global Strategy. However, income is also reduced as a result of these decisions.
  2. Do you see the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work overtaking the role of CIS given the European Commission's recent mandate to engage "third countries" in its network - see its new partnerships with many countries outside of Europe - e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, South America, Korea, Japan etc etc?
    AD: CIS has always considered the European Agency as a privileged partner, maintaining an excellent relationship with it. We look forward to CIS maintaining strong links with the Agency, and we welcome the Agency's efforts in extending its partnerships with OSH organizations outside the EU - especially "third countries" - most of which are longstanding members of the CIS Centres network.
  3. Do you see the CIS network working more closely with the International Association of Labour Inspection (IALI)?
    AD: Most definitely. We would like to see a close relationship between CIS and the IALI, and we would be delighted if more national inspectorates joined the CIS centres' network.

I hope that you will find this interview interesting... feedback is always welcomed.


News from CIS HQ

New appointments

Annick Virot has been appointed CIS National and Collaborating Centres Co-ordinator.

Readers will have noted that in the August 2005 edition of the CIS Newsletter Gabor Sandi is now Acting Head of CIS.

We wish both colleagues every success in their new appointments and look forward to working with them to help raise CIS and the network's profile and to become more active in the future.

New and interesting links

Please visit the site of the Labour Inspection cluster at the ILO. It contains a number of interesting links including a PowerPoint presentation and two very useful documents:

  1. a brochure to promote the ratification and enforcement of Conventions 81 and 129 on Labour Inspection
  2. The final Conclusions of the March 2005 Luxemburg Conference on Labour Inspection.

These documents can be downloaded from the following sites: www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/safework/labinsp and www.safework.ru (Russian version).

Reminder

Please note that CIS National and Collaborating Centres that the 43rd Annual meeting will take place on Sunday September 18 from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Congress venue. You may also want to remind our readers to visit the site of the Orlando World Congress due to take place from 18 to 22 September at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando Florida.

www.safety2005.org


News from France

14 October 2005 - Health and safety of temporary workers in Europe: European discussion workshop

Contact: EUROGIP, 55 rue de la Fédération, F-75015 Paris, France | Tel: +33 0 1 40 56 30 40 | Fax: +33 0 1 40 56 36 66 | www.eurogip.fr/index.php?chlang=en

European discussion workshop organized by Eurogip on 14 October 2005 (Paris), knowing that:

The discussions will be organised around three round table meetings on stakes in a better protection of temporary workers against occupational hazards, prevention policies implemented at the national, regional and sector levels, and the concrete actions against occupational hazards taken by enterprises.

The objective of this meeting is to encourage the exchange of information and experience at the European level between all the relevant players: government, social partners, industrial doctors, safety managers, human resource managers, etc.

Please download the registration form: www.eurogip.fr/index.php?chlang=en

Isabelle Leleu, EUROGIP, 55 rue de la Fédération, F-75015 Paris | Phone: +33 0 1 40 56 30 40 | Fax: +33 0 1 40 56 36 66


News from Germany

CIS Members will be pleased to read the following from Ulrich Trapp, BauA. We wish Ulrich continued improvement in his recovery...

Dear Colleagues,

I thank you very much for the best wishes you sent me after my serious accident.

At 29th July 2004 (exactly one year ago!) I and my bicycle didn't reach my house directly from work but instead the next hospital. I had to stay there for same months, and at that time nobody could give a secure confirmation to me or my wife that it would have a good end. I enjoyed the greetings of my friends, especially of you, the CIS family.

From the beginning of this month I am working again full-time. In consequence of my accident some of my duties has changed but I am working for the national CIS centre now and in future. Unfortunately I cannot go to the next annual meeting of the CIS family. So I ask you to send best greetings to all colleagues who sent me so good wishes after my serious accident.

Yours sincerely,

Ulrich Trapp, Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, Gruppe 6.4 (Bibliothek, Dokumentation), Friedrich-Henkel-Weg 1-25, D-44149 Dortmund | Tel.: + (0)231 / 90 71 2396 | www.baua.bund.de | Email: Trapp.Ulrich@baua.bund.de


News from Japan

Activity Report of the CIS National Centre in Japan - JISHA form September 2004 - August 2005

1. Since ILO/CIS bulletin "Safety and Health at Work" was stopped being published, we only have one subscriber of CD-ROM.

2. Mr. Hirotoshi Goto, Senior Director for International Affairs attended the 42nd Annual Meeting of ILO/CIS National Centres, held in Brussels, Belgium.

3. JISHA Events

5. JISHA English printed-materials sent to CIS headquarters:

6. International Cooperation

Promote various types of exchanges with overseas safety and health organizations/institutions.

7. Joint Seminar on Occupational Safety and Health with counterpart of JISHA

8. Japan International Center for Occupational Safety and Health (JICOSH)

The following training courses, which had 109 participants, were held in FY2004.

9. Group Training Courses jointly with JICA

10. JICA Technical Cooperation Projects

[Dispatch experts to Malaysia (NIOSH)]
(1) Field: Working environmental measurement: harmful chemical substances
One expert, 17 days

[Dispatch experts to Thailand]
· Field: Assessment of impact of occupational safety and health for SMEs
One expert, 9 days

[Counterpart training program: accepting trainees from Asian countries]
· Malaysia (NIOSH): six trainees
[Field]

11. Other

www.jisha.or.jp


Make my Day...

Don't forget to send your News

Your Editor


FOCUS ON MALAYSIA

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Malaysia

The NIOSH performance in 2004 in terms of activity as well as income has been excellent. In accordance to the new corporate mission which was introduced in 2002, NIOSH has worked to fulfil its mission to be the industrial preferred partner in improving the occupational safety and health (OSH) in Malaysia.

NIOSH's training activity performance has increased to 83 percent compared in 2003 in which as many as 1,099 courses have been conducted. Three new training programs have also been introduced to the industry. The information dissemination activity has increased from 47 external exhibitions in 2003 to 54 exhibitions in 2004. The consultation and research development has also showed an increased in terms of the number of projects carried out.

NIOSH have started to introduce and market its product and services to the industries and new ventures, especially government agencies, agriculture industry and industries involving chemical use. These efforts have enable NIOSH to be known among the industries other than manufacturing, construction, oil and gas as well as heavy industries. This advancement has placed NIOSH as the main reference center for information and services in relation to OSH in Malaysia.

Quality Management under the MS ILO 9001 : 2000

As one of the steps in continuous improvement for the MS ISO 9001 : 2000 recognition, NIOSH has upgraded the maintenance of the management system by setting up a special unit to manage activities in relation to management. This unit is known as the Quality Management Unit which function is to carry out the routine activity and continuous improvement in relation to MS ISO 9001 : 2000 as well as looking after the important documents such as manual, procedures and other related documents.

Activity performance in 2004

Training Programmes

NIOSH offer six types of training programmes to industries:

In 2004, NIOSH has carried out 1,094 courses compared to 598 in 2003 that is an increase of 83%. The number of course participants have also increased from 16,439 to 28,149 in 2004 with the percentage increase of 71%. The main contributing factor in the increase is the significant addition in the number of courses conducted for the contractors through the programmes of Contractor Safety Passport System (CSPS) and NIOSH Safety Passport (NSP) as well as the new safety induction programme for Petronas contractors also known as NIOSH Petronas Safety Passport (NPSP).

Since 1997 - 2004, NIOSH has successfully conducted 4,518 training programmes with the number of participants of 118,567 people. The Certificate Course of Safety and Health Officer continued to be the top on the list of certificated courses in which 35 out of the 67 certificated courses carried out, are the courses which gives the comprehensive exposure on the OSH and recorded as many as 752 course participants. This course managed to keep the sequence of:

NIOSH also offers several certificated courses and trainers courses for the purpose of fulfilling the requirement under the OSH Act 1994 and its regulations. All these courses involved examination or assessment to ensure that the participants are qualified and competent to carry out the task and specific responsibility in relation to OSH.

In addition to that, NIOSH has also introduced several new courses and revamped some existing courses which were necessary in fulfilling the request and the need from the industries; namely:

Curriculum Development

In accordance to the MS ISO 9001 : 2000 procedures, which focuses on the product quality for client's satisfaction, attention and concentration was given towards the curriculum development and course module for the year 2003. This improvement is required to ensure that the courses offered will remain relevant and suitable with the situation and the current legislation.

In 2004, seven new module development was conducted out of 8 targeted modules. Where as 27 review on the existing modules was also conducted out of 29 targeted modules. However, there were four more new module development which were unplanned but has been carried out in 2004.

Monitoring and Assessment

Monitoring and assessment unit is responsible in monitoring training facilitator, programmes and facilities. The monitoring will ensure that NIOSH provides a quality service to its clients. A total of 130 facilitator assessment consist of internal and external and 29 programme and facilities assessment has been carried out in 2004 and each facilitator has been assessed and informed of their performance.

Examination and Assessment

As many as 22 types of examinations has been carried out with the frequency of 957 times in 2004 with 23,036 examination candidates. The CSPS examination recorded the most candidates of 11,507 people with the frequency of 457 times in 2004. Evidently, it contributes to the highest percentage of 49.95 in the overall number of candidates. The NPSP examination which was only introduced in 2004, recorded the number of candidates at 6,358 people with the frequency of 275 times and contributes 27.6 percent in the overall number of candidates.

INFORMATION DISSEMINATION

Information dissemination is one of the functions in NIOSH which has become in demand by the industries. Indirectly it indicates the increasing level of awareness in OSH among employers, employees and higher learning institutions in Malaysia. This function is carried out by the Information Services, Communication and Technology Unit. The infrastructure development and the information technology softwares are among the main elements of disseminating information to the industries as well as the public as whole.

OSH Exhibition Center

The OSH Exhibition Center has come to its fourth year of its operation. It has received as many as 3,256 visitors from 83 organisation throughout 2004 compared to 1,935 people from 71 organisation in 2003. Visitors consist of members of safety and health committee from the industries, NIOSH course participants, school teachers as well as students from public and private institutions. The center is open for public every Wednesday beginning April 2003.

External Exhibition

NIOSH conducts two types of external exhibition activity. NIOSH either organises its own external exhibitions or NIOSH attends to external exhibition organises by industries. The exhibition is aimed at disseminating information on OSH to industries as well as the public and to introduce products and services by NIOSH. Throughout 2004, NIOSH has been involved in 70 exhibition activities, 16 organised by NIOSH and 54 were organised by the industries. This has been an excellent increase compared to 47 exhibitions in 2003.

The biggest exhibition organised by NIOSH is during the 7th National Conference and Exhibition in Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) 2004 which was held in Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre. More than 50 companies of OSH equipment and suppliers had participated in the exhibition and have attracted as many as 2,000 visitors.

Library and Information Services

Throughout the year of 2004, NIOSH library have added 371 more books to its collection. A total of 290 of them are books, 66 audio visual collection and the remainders are in the form of CD/CD-ROM. These have increased the number of whole library collection to 5,475 titles of materials compared to 5,104 titles of materials in 2003. In overall, NIOSH library has 4,680 books, 662 video tapes and 118 VCD/CD/CD-ROM. To further enhance the existing library collection, NIOSH library have subscribed to 13 types of journal and registered for 2 on-line subscriptions. NIOSH library have also received free printed matters contributed by various agencies locally as well as internationally. These are in the forms of annual reports, monthly bulletins and newsletters.

In accordance to the development of NIOSH as the center for training and information, the number of library users has also increased. A total of 4,600 people have visited the NIOSH library in 2004 compared to 4,200 in 2003. There were 174 reference queries received in 2004 and they are in various forms such as emails, phone calls, letters and fax. The types of queries include the NIOSH library services, searching for materials in the library as well as queries on the functions of various sections / units in NIOSH.

To ensure the efficiency of feedback towards these reference queries, each one is recorded into the Reference Enquiry Management System (REMS) and feedback is provided within 24 hours.

OSH Shop

After almost two years of operation, the OSH Shop services showed an excellent performance. The OSH Shop services have achieved its target of providing alternative OSH products to the public which include employees, employers, course participants, students and OSH practitioners to support training activities and OSH awareness programmes in the workplace. The sales materials consist of books, video tapes, VCD, poster, souvenirs, personal protective equipment and etc. are sold here to enable clients to buy at a one stop shop. For the year of 2004, a total of 4,597 OSH books, 1,127 OSH video tapes and VCDs, 1,480 posters, 358 signages, 192 OSH equipment has been sold.

Publication

Material publication is one of the activities under the information dissemination in NIOSH. Throughout the year 2004, NIOSH has published :

  1. NIOSH FYI : Monthly publication which contains articles, latest information, book review and web sites, safety tips and other aspects in relation to OSH; and
  2. Basic Information Serial : A series of basic information published in Bahasa Malaysia which contains the summary of basic guidelines and information on specific OSH related issues.

Effort was also put in to publish the periodical journal entitled Journal of Occupational Safety and Health which serves as a platform for the experts in OSH to share the knowledge and information. Two issues have been published in 2004 that is the January and December issues.

In 2004, NIOSH has also published a book entitled Decades of Occupational Safety and Health which was written by Ir. Harminder Singh.

NIOSH Web Site

The NIOSH web site provides extensive useful and essential information for all OSH practitioners. Among the information provided in the web site include latest news in OSH, safety guidelines at the workplace as well as announcements on events in relation to OSH conducted by various organisations in Malaysia.

The NIOSH Forum is a channel where OSH practitioners use to communicate and exchange opinions and information on-line and efficiently. In 2003, a total of 238 visitors from local and international have registered themselves in this forum. The registration to the forum is free of charge.

Throughout 2004, the NIOSH web site has received 130,000 visitors. In average, about 10,830 people visited the NIOSH web site every month.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATION

In 2004, an allocation for leased line with the speed of 2 MBps for the preparation of Web Hosting services, Electronic Mailing System, Domain Name Server, Remote Access, Virtual Private Network with NIOSH branches and others was fully utilized. In addition, computer defense system (Firewall) and anti-virus system was also installed to enhance the quality of NIOSH computer network system. To ease the communication interactions, the email server capacity was upgraded using the Sun Microsystem server and the Lotus Domino application. Research was also carried out to enhance the speed of the computer network system from 10/100 Mbps to 1 Gbps and the processes of upgrading these systems have started in stages beginning late 2003.

From the aspects of application and multimedia, NIOSH has maintained four application systems since 2003, namely :

  1. Staff Monitoring System
  2. Information Management System on NIOSH Safety Passport
  3. Monthly Performance Report Management System
  4. Support Application for the Exam and Certification Unit

The NIOSH multimedia laboratory is equipped with two computers for video editing specification, where as the other computer has the specification of audio editing. The multimedia laboratory is also equipped with several VHS, VCD and DVD player as well as the BETA tape player. The laboratory also keeps the digital and photo camera as well as the digital video camera for the purpose of recording activities such as training, consultation services, research services and OSH information dissemination services.

One of the services that was introduced in 2004 is known as the e-Book service which transformed hardcopy or softcopy documents into e-Book CD software. Among the e-Book produced in 2004 are:

  1. HIRARC (Hazard Identification Risk Assessment and Risk Control)
  2. OSH Awareness
  3. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act)
  4. Emergency Rescue Planning
  5. Occupational First Aid
  6. FMA (Factory and Machineries Act)
  7. Monitoring Noise Exposure
  8. Occupational Health Doctor
  9. Risk Analysis and Assignment In House Programme
  10. SHO (Safety and Health Officer)
  11. UIOR (Understanding and Implementing of OSHA and its Regulations)
  12. USECHH (Use and Standard of Exposure of Chemical Hazardous to Health Regulations, 2000)

NIOSH has produced five OSH videos, namely, CSPS, Penang CSPS, Industrial First Aid - Wound and Bleeding which was funded by SOCSO and Exxonmobil, and Mental Stress which was funded by SOCSO.

CONSULTATION SERVICES

A total of 246 activities on consultation services were carried out by NIOSH throughout 2004 compared to 170 activities in 2003. The consultation services are divided into four services categories. They are OSH Solutions, Legal Compliance, Laboratory Services and Customised Training.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

In general, NIOSH research activities can be divided into three categories, namely :

  1. Research projects using external sources / research grants from government and private sector;
  2. Supervision research projects for students in higher learning institutions; and
  3. Article writing for journal publication.

The research activities focused on OSH aspects at the workplace. Among the relevant issues include stress at the workplace, exposure to chemical substances, physical working capacity, workplace physical assessment and OSH in the logging industries.

Information gained from these studies and research findings benefits NIOSH in the efforts to increase the quality of information services especially to the industries and the public as a whole.

NEW ACTIVITIES

Opening of New Branch Office

NIOSH opened its fifth branch office in Kerteh, Terengganu on 1st March 2004. The decision to open this branch office was based on the high demand to conduct courses especially in NIOSH-PETRONAS Safety Passport (NPSP) course. The NPSP is also one of the successful three Safety Induction for Plant Access programmes which was officially launched by YB Dato' Hj. Abdul Rahman Bakar, Deputy Minister in Human Resources Ministry on 26 April 2004.

NIOSH Appointment to Represent Malaysia as the ASEAN OSHNet Secretariat

ASEAN OSHNet (ASEAN Occupational Safety and Health Network) was officially formed in 2000 through a memorandum of understanding among the ASEAN countries. Since then, Indonesia was the first country to act as the ASEAN OSHNet Secretariat. However, Laos, who should be the next in line, for some reasons had to decline the appointment. Thus, in sequence, Malaysia have accepted the next three years appointment. NIOSH representing Malaysia has officially taken over the secretarial job from Indonesia beginning July 2004 to June 2007. The main objective of this secretariat is to cultivate the cooperation between the OSH centers among the ASEAN countries.

PLANS FOR 2005

NIOSH has outlined several strategic plans for the year 2005, namely to:

These plans are the foundations to increase the NIOSH quality and services especially in functions such as training, information dissemination, consultation services and research. Its implementation will include the scope of function and the objectives of NIOSH by taking into consideration the NIOSH corporate mission of being the preferred partner in enhancing the occupational safety and health. For a full copy of the report contact Ruzita Shariff at NIOSH Malaysia - full details below or mobile 6012 6608 247 or direct email ruzita@niosh.com.my

Ruzita Shariff, Information Services, Communication & Technology Unit (ISCTU), National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) Malaysia, Lot 1, Jalan 15/1, Section 15, 43650 Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia | Tel: + 603-8929 6747 | Fax: + 603-8926 5900 | www.niosh.com.my


News from Canada

The IRSST and NanoQUÉBEC sign a partnership agreement

The Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) and NanoQuébec are joining forces to develop and disseminate knowledge in order to prevent accidents and occupational diseases in the nanotechnology field. To this end, the IRSST's president and chief executive officer, Diane Gaudet, and the chairman of NanoQuébec's board of directors, Jean Gaulin, signed a partnership agreement.

A cutting-edge field and challenges
Due to the enormous potential of nanotechnology applications, the many benefits for numerous Québec industrial sectors can be foreseen. However, with this technology that focuses on the infinitesimal, researchers and SME working in nanotechnology have to face many challenges, mainly in the application of occupational health and safety preventive measures. "By jointly carrying out various scientific and informational activities, we will be able to help eliminate and reduce the health and safety risks that nanotechnology use can represent for Québec workers and employers, even before this technology has reached it full development potential," explained the IRSST's president and CEO, Diane Gaudet.

On his side, the chairman of NanoQuébec's board of directors, Jean Gaulin, reaffirmed "the obligation for NanoQuébec and Québec to commit to the responsible development of nanotechnologies."

Immediate activities
The IRSST and NanoQuébec have agreed to collaborate first on the writing of a good practices guide. Also considered are a review of the literature on health and safety risks, as well as the establishment of a nanomaterial strategic watch mechanism. The agreement also provides for the dissemination of knowledge to companies, researchers and other stakeholders interested in nanotechnology-related applications.

-----------

NanoQuébec coordinates the actions of all players in Québec in order to increase the scope and generate dynamics that favour the development and promotion of nanotechnologies, conveyors of important social and economic benefits for all Québec regions. NanoQuébec is embodied through partnerships with the research community, all levels of government and companies, and an agreement linking eight Québec university institutions: Concordia, Laval, McGill, Montréal, Sherbrooke, the INRS, the École Polytechnique, and the École de technologie supérieure. Recognized internationally for the excellence of its partnership activity, NanoQuébec is putting itself at the heart of the most important global nanotechnology platform, mainly through agreements with France and the state of New York.

The Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to contribute, through research, to the prevention of industrial accidents and occupational diseases as well as to the rehabilitation of affected workers. It offers the laboratory services and expertise necessary for the activities of the public occupational health and safety prevention network, as well as ensures the dissemination of knowledge and acts as a scientific benchmark and expert. Founded in 1980, the IRSST will celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary.

Sources

IRSST: Communications Division | (514) 288-1551 | www.irsst.qc.ca

NanoQuébec: Sylvain Cofsky, Director, Innovation and Corporate Affairs | (514) 284-0211 #224 | Sylvain.Cofsky@NanoQuebec.ca | www.nanoquebec.ca


More News from Canada - latest IRSST Report

The Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute Robert-Sauvé (IRSST), are keen to update readers on the research the Institute has carried out or funded, and the 2004 Activity Report presents concrete examples of the many research projects.

On the eve of the IRSST's 25th anniversary, the 2004 Activity report reveals the many ways in which it strives to fulfil its mission. The Report summarizes the main activities of the Institute, and includes a list of the year's scientific publications.

IRSST is an electronic newsletter that contains IRSST press releases, new publications as well as new research projects.

To find out more ....IT TAKES ONLY A CLICK TO ACCESS INFO IRSST www.irsst.qc.ca

IRSST's site is regularly updated and is a mine of information on all of the activities and programmes. Some 750 publications resulting from IRSST work are also available to be downloaded free of charge.

Contact: Jacques Millette, Directeur des Communications, IRSST, 505 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H3A 3C2, Canada | Email: millette.jacques@irsst.qc.ca | www.irsst.qc.ca


More News from Canada

Health and Safety Guide - An Essential Resource for Human Resources

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has released a new health and safety publication designed specifically for people working in human resources. Health and Safety Guide for Human Resources Professionals, published by CCOHS, is a 150 page, pocket-sized handbook packed full of practical information, to serve as an essential resource to for human resources managers, coordinators, specialists, and other HR professionals.

The guide assists human resources (HR) professionals in fulfilling their workplace health and safety responsibilities and complying with health and safety legislation. Readers are provided with the information they need to incorporate workplace health and safety in human resources management practices. Topics covered in the guide include how to prevent work related injuries and illnesses, foster a heath and safety culture, maintain records of injuries, illnesses and workers' compensation, and ensure that policies and procedures comply with occupational health and safety legislation.

Health and Safety Guide for Human Resources Professionals is the seventeenth addition to this compact, easy-to-follow CCOHS Pocket Guide series. The pocket guides are available for $10 each. The discounts offered on bulk purchases make these publications an even more affordable and accessible resource. The French-language edition of Health and Safety Guide for Human Resources Professionals is planned for publication later this year.

More information on this health and safety guide: www.ccohs.ca/products/publications/HR.html

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), formed in 1978, is a Canadian federal government agency based in Hamilton, Ontario. CCOHS provides Canadians with unbiased, relevant information and advice that supports responsible decision-making and promotes safe and healthy working environments. CCOHS makes a wide range of occupational health and safety information readily available, in language that is appropriate for all users, from the general public to the health and safety professional. Internationally, the Centre is renowned as an innovative, authoritative occupational health and safety resource. CCOHS partners and collaborates with agencies and organizations from Canada and around the world to improve the quality and quantity of resources and programs, as well as expand the breadth of usage of occupational health information to many different segments of society.

Contact: Eleanor Irwin, Manager - Marketing, Sales and Communications, CCOHS | Tel: +1 905.572.2981 X4408 | Email: eleanori@ccohs.ca | www.ccohs.ca


News from the UK

Work is essential for Good Health

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a new guide for safety and other trade union representatives, offering practical advice on long-term sickness absence and return to work issues. The Health and Safety Commission in a new strategy for Workplace Health and Safety have recognised the need to strengthen the role of health and safety in getting people back to work.

HSE has published advice to help trade union officials to implement solutions to reduce sickness absence in the work place. Each week one million workers take time off work because of sickness. Most return to work within days, however around 17 000 people are off work for longer. Almost one in five people who are off longer than 6 weeks leaves work permanently.

The guide outlines six key actions that union representatives can take, in partnership with employers, to reduce sickness absence and help sick employees to successfully return to work.

Actions trades union representatives can take with their employers include:

Hugh Robertson, Head of Health and Safety at the TUC and an HSC member commented: "This clear, concise and sensible guide will be a very important weapon in the armoury of safety representatives. It will help union safety representatives show employers that taking a positive approach to managing sickness absence and supporting workers in getting back to work is in everyone's interest. Safety representatives will very much welcome this practical advice from the HSE."

Recent research for HSE has shown that consulting safety representatives on health and safety helps to improve working environments. Work is essential for good health and well-being and the longer people are off work, the less likely is their return the research concluded. The leaflet "Working together to prevent sickness absence becoming job loss" can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/web02.pdf

The leaflet offers practical advice for safety and trade union representatives.

HSE has published a range of materials to help with managing sickness absence and return to work:

Copies of HSG249, INDG397 and 399 are available from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1787-881165 | Fax: +44 (0)1787-313995.


Noise at Work: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Workplaces should 'stop that noise!' This is the message of the European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2005 campaign, the sixth to be organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. The campaign coincides with the run-up to the final date for the introduction of the new European directive on noise at work, which must be in place in the Member States by February 2006.

The need to 'stop that noise' is evident. Millions of Europe's workers suffer from work-related hearing difficulties. Noise-induced hearing loss is amongst the most commonly reported occupational diseases in the European Union, and there are concerns other than hearing loss from noise exposure. Noise can also cause harm in other ways: it can interact with dangerous substances to cause harm to the ear; it can increase the risk of accidents by affecting communication. The range of jobs and workplaces where noise can be a problem is much broader than is commonly thought. It includes farms, building work, classrooms, drivers, clubs and bars, musicians and call-centre staff, as well as factories and shipyards.

To support the 'Stop that noise' campaign, the Agency is making available a wide range of material for all those trying to make Europe's workplaces safer and healthier, whether worker, employer, researcher or policy-maker. This information, in all the official languages of the EU, is provided free of charge by the Agency via its website at http://osha.europa.eu

This magazine is part of these resources. It gives a view across Europe of some of the work being done to protect workers. There is a description of the new directive, how it will be implemented, and new guidance that is being provided to help reduce risks. There are articles covering noise in schools, offices, and concert halls, and the work being done to ensure that effective control measures exist in the field of acoustic design and personal hearing protection.

It is hoped that these articles will provide an insight into some current noise-control issues and an update on some interesting initiatives and approaches that can be taken to tackle the problem.

To see more information on preparing for European Week for Safety and Health at Work 24-28 October 2005 see http//ew2005.osha.eu.int - there are a number of publications

To see the Magazine No.8 on Noise
http://osha.europa.eu/publications/magazine/8/en/index.htm


News from Japan - JISHA

The latest Safety and Health in Japan: newsletter from the Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA) shows that although the number of Japan's work related accidents has been on a downward trend for decades, annual statistics in recent years still show some 540,0000 injuries and 1,600 deaths. As the number of serious occupational accidents (involving three or more simultaneous casualties, including fatalities) has climbed in recent years, the development of industrial technologies, the ageing of the working population, and the growth of service industries have raised new issues for safety and health management activities in the workplace.

JISHA also says "Occupational accidents occur as result of inappropriate behaviour of workers and unsafe or unhealthy workplace conditions. Worker education, which enable workers to obtain the required health and safety knowledge, and top manager education, which enable top managers to improve their awareness of of workplace safety, are therefore keys to hazard-free workplaces, through the introduction of failsafe machines and improvements in the work environment are also important".

To read more and about other JISHA activities in Safety and Health in Japan
Contact: Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association, 5-35-1 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014 Japan | Tel/Fax: +81 3 3454 4596 | Email: kokusai@jisha.or.jp | www.jisha.or.jp


News from France - latest INRS Report

The latest annual review of the activities of the Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité pour la prévention des accidents du travail et des maladies professionnelle (INRS) has been published. The review covers the activities undertaken over the course of the year with key indicators for information, training, assistance, studies and research. It highlights areas and themes that the Institute attached particular to and was heavily involved in.

Features include:

To obtain a copy in English contact
INRS, Centre de Paris
30 rue Olivier Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14 France | Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 44 30 00 | Fax: + 33 (0)1 40 44 30 99 | www.inrs.fr
or INRS, Centre de Lorraine Avenue de Bourgogne - B.P. 27, 54501 Vandoeuvre Cedex, France | Tel: +33 (0)3 83 50 20 00 | Fax: +33 (0)3 83 50 20 97


Environment and Waste Plus

At a time when environment and waste information is ever more increasing and the legislation is more complex help is needed to guide busy managers and practitioners quickly and easily to the data they need for compliance with the law.

Up-to-date information from a wide variety of sources - the European Commission, the UK Government and the devolved Parliaments, the agencies and other organisations are needed on environment and integrated pollution prevention control (IPPC) information and waste that also meet your ISO 14001 information needs for accreditation requirements. Guidance, advice and technical details are covered.

The answer for busy people at affordable costs - for less than £2 / $4.00 a day is the newly launched ENVIRONMENT and WASTE PLUS published by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd contains a number of Full text databases and a Bibliographic database that may be searched either separately or together. These databases offer extensive coverage of FULL TEXT information on the environment protection, integrated pollution prevention control and waste information.

Constantly updated and enlarged, Environment and Waste Plus, previously established some seven years ago as Environment Plus is re-launched to reflect the ever-increasing waste topics.

Established easy to use software ensures that words and phrases that can be used to retrieve the required paragraph or instructions in a document is also a necessity when time is short and the information is needed quickly. Downloading or printing out the information or transferring to an individual's own document is also another requirement. A major consideration is the price to have such a collection available to use whenever and wherever the busy practitioner requires it.

Thousands of full text pages of text are instantly accessible in ENVIRONMENT and WASTE PLUS that contains the following information:

In addition.......Environment and Waste Plus contains:

Environment and Waste Plus is based on SilverPlatter's WinSPIRS software which will give the user quick and easy access to a wealth of important publications. The user can download data and print out required documents as well as cross search the database with other titles which use the WinSPIRS software such as the FIRE WORLDWIDE and OSH-IRELAND. Available via the Internet or on CD-ROM It is also possible to network to enable simultaneous access by multiple users in an organisation. Users will be able to use their own personal computers to give authoritative and validated answers to questions on all aspects of environment and waste concerns.

30 Day FREE TRIAL

Why not try ENVIRONMENT and WASTE PLUS for yourself and check out the contents of these exciting sources of information against your own workplace or academic needs.

Contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, 85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | Email: sp@sheilapantry.com | www.sheilapantry.com | www.oshworld.com | www.shebuyersguide.com | www.oshupdate.com NEW
Electronic Products: Environment and Waste Plus | Fire Worldwide | OSH Ireland | OSH UPDATE


Proposals for a Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research, 2007-2013, and for a Seventh Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), 2007 to 2011, COM(2005) 119 final

The political context and objectives for this proposal are set out in the communication "Building the ERA of knowledge for growth" presented at the same time by the Commission. Knowledge is at the core of the Lisbon Agenda, and underpins all its elements. Research and technology are, together with education and innovation, the components of the "Triangle of knowledge".

To become the "most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world" while maintaining the "European Model", Europe must increase its research effort to 3% of EU GDP and better exploit its capacities in this field, transforming scientific results into new products, processes and services.

Alongside the Member states and in close cooperation with them, the EU must mobilise its legal and financial tools towards this goal, starting with the research Framework Programme.

Among the nine themes identified for cooperation are:

Proposals for a Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research, 2007-2013, and for a Seventh Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), 2007 to 2011, COM(2005) 119 final | EUR 21730 | ISBN 92 78402990 | 108 pages | Available from Office for Official Publications of the European Commission, Luxembourg | www.cordis.lu/fp7


Unravelling the health and safety secrets - Protect your people - and your Business

IOSH's practical guide to health and safety "Protect your people - and your business" was launched recently. 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 UK 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, Tel: +44 (0)1787 249293.

Institution of Occupational and Safety Health (IOSH), The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1NN, UK | Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3100 | Fax: +44 (0)116 257 3101 | www.iosh.co.uk


Asbestos News

The British Asbestos Newsletter is a quarterly publication which is distributed to victim support groups, public bodies, lawyers, solicitors, barristers, researchers, doctors, academics and environmentalists in over thirty countries. Initially the focus of the articles was on asbestos-related news in Britain but latterly European, Australian and international events have been covered. The deciding factor is that all stories contribute something towards the understanding of asbestos-related topics in differring areas: legal, medical, historic, economic, corporate, sociological, etc.

The most recently distributed newsletter is issue 59, Summer 2005. The production and distribution costs of the newsletter are financed by our associate company, Jerome Consultants, which retains the copyright for all articles published on this site.

Editor Laurie Kazan Allen is also the Coordinator of The International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS), which was set up both to support campaigns to ban asbestos use globally and to facilitate communication between plaintiffs' representatives and groups internationally. IBAS has been co-sponsor of a number of important international conferences and is actively involved in current UK and international asbestos issues. The IBAS website carries accounts of current developments as well as reports of IBAS initiatives and events. (Extracts of some newsletter articles also appear on the IBAS site.)


The Lifting Engineer's Handbook

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) has launched a new publication designed specifically for personnel involved in the test and examination of lifting equipment. The Lifting Engineer's Handbook is a 128-page, pocket size book that summarises the practical and theoretical information necessary to ensure test, verification and examination procedures are completed to the highest professional standards and in line with the latest UK regulations.

Based on the LEEA's sixty years of experience and the accumulated expertise of over 190 member companies, the Lifting Engineer's Handbook combines long-established best practice with relatively modern developments such as risk assessments and method statements. Specific subjects addressed include the principles of verifying equipment, basic procedures for thorough examination, and non-destructive tests. A wide range of product-specific information is also incorporated, covering commonly used equipment such as electric overhead travelling cranes, slewing jibs and slings. An overview of relevant UK legislation is included, but the Handbook's emphasis on 'good practice' will prove equally useful in many international markets.

Commenting on the launch of the Lifting Engineer's Handbook, Derrick Bailes, chief executive of LEEA, said: "This 'tool of the trade' is designed to complement the guidance provided by our User's Pocket Guide and the Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment. The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations place particular emphasis on the need for regular thorough examination of lifting equipment. Those responsible for actually undertaking these procedures now have a readily accessible point of reference."

The Lifting Engineer's Handbook is available direct from the LEEA. Prices for non-members start at £20 (including postage and packing) for a single copy, with discounts available to members of the LEEA, and for larger order quantities.

For more details, or to place an order, click on the link below or order direct from:

Lifting Equipment Engineers Association, Waggoners Court, 77, The Street, Manuden, Bishop's Stortford, Herts. CM23 1DW, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1279 816504 | Fax: +44 (0) 1279 816524 | Email: mail@leea.co.uk | www.leea.co.uk | Lifting Engineer's Handbook information


News from Singapore - Restructuring...

Dr Ho Sweet Far writes:
I am pleased to inform you that the Occupational Safety & Health Division (OSHD), Ministry of Manpower, has been restructured from 1 August 2005 to build expanded capabilities to implement a new Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) framework announced by the Minister for Manpower in Parliament on 10 March 2005.

The new framework is aimed at halving Singapore's current occupational fatality rate by 2015. The restructured OSHD will implement the framework, including new legislation, policies and programmes, adopting a proactive and systemic approach in accident prevention and involving all stakeholders in risk prevention and mitigation. OSHD will also work closely with industry to enhance accident prevention and safety management capabilities, as well as develop a stronger safety culture. The Division will focus on the prevention of risks at source; set outcome goals for employers and help companies improve their safety management systems.

The Division's six new departments and their roles are as follows:

  1. OSH Inspectorate
    The department focuses on reducing risks from safety and health hazards through inspections of workplaces, investigating accidents, taking enforcement action where necessary and providing advice and guidance.
  2. OSH Corporate Services Department
    The department assists injured workers and dependants of deceased workers to receive fair workmen's compensation for work-related injuries or deaths expeditiously, processes registration of factories and pressure vessels & other equipment and licensing of competent
    Persons, as well as provides corporate support services to the division.
  3. OSH Specialist Department
    The Department provides specialist support and guidance in OSH to meet the needs of our stakeholders, working in collaboration with partners, through programmes and activities in the areas of OSH standards, research and best practices.
  4. OSH Industry Capability Building
    The department aims to create a vibrant and safe workforce through the promotion of OSH best practices and setting competency standards for OSH personnel.
  5. OSH Information Centre
    The department provides an information service to support strategic planning and policies as well as facilitates information sharing and international collaboration in OSH.
  6. OSH Policy & Legislation Department
    The department focuses on developing and reviewing policies and legislation in fundamental and strategic OSH issues

For more information, please visit our website at www.mom.gov.sg/oshd.

With the reorganization, the contact details for matters relating to WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health and ILO CIS National Centre for Singapore will be as follows:

WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health:

Dr Magdalene Chan, Centre Director, Director, OSH Specialist Department, Occupational Safety and Health Division, Ministry of Manpower, 18 Havelock Road, #05-01, Singapore 059764 | Email: Magdalene_Chan@mom.gov.sg | Facsimile: 65 6317 1140 | Telephone: 65 6317 1111

ILO CIS National Centre for Singapore:

Dr Ho Sweet Far, CIS Contact, Deputy Director (Occupational Medicine), OSH Specialist Department and Deputy Director (International Collaboration), OSH Information Centre, Occupational Safety and Health Division, Ministry of Manpower, 18 Havelock Road, #05-01, Singapore 059764 | Email: Ho_Sweet_Far@mom.gov.sg | Facsimile: 65 6317 1140 | Telephone: 65 6317 1117

We look forward to continued and fruitful collaboration with you.

Best regards,

Dr Ho Sweet Far, Deputy Director (Occupational Medicine), OSH Specialist, Department, OSHD, Ministry of Manpower | Tel: 63171117 (DID) | Fax: 63171140


A "Special Contribution" to the current issue of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health entitled Protecting Workers' Health and Safety in the Globalizing Economy Through International Trade Treaties. By GARRETT D. BROWN, MPH, CIH

An illustrated account describes the shortcomings of international trade agreements, particularly NAFTA, with respect to worker protection in Mexico, and outlines measures needed to correct them. One of the key challenges facing the occupational health profession in the 21st century is protecting workers' health and safety in a global economy characterized by a ferocious competition to reduce production costs and a marked decline in the development and enforcement of governmental workplace regulations.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was the first experience in addressing labor rights including occupational safety and health in a trade agreement through its "labor side agreement," the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC).

The near-total failure of the NAALC to protect workers in North America, but especially in Mexico, points to what is actually required to effectively protect workers' health and safety in international trade agreements. Fifty-one of the 100 largest economies in the world are not countries but rather multinational corporations (MNCs). The 500 largest MNCs control 70% of world trade, one third of all manufacturing exports, three fourths of all commodity trade, and four fifths of technical and management services. With this immense economic power comes the power to intervene in the political actions of any country to prevent the promulgation of new regulations and to weaken or eliminate enforcement of existing laws.

INT J OCCUP ENVIRON HEALTH 2005;11:207-209

The article features photographs by award-winning photographer David Bacon. It also references two recent reports from the MHSSN on NAFTA and trade treaties which are posted in downloadable PDF format at: www.igc.org/mhssn

The IJOEH article is posted at: http://ijoeh.com


News from the USA

Focus of NORA Conference on Musculoskeletal Disorder Risk

The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) Team is co-sponsoring a working research conference titled "The Changing Nature of Musculoskeletal Disorder Risk: The Effects of Obesity and Aging in the American Workplace," to be held on September 7-8, 2005, in Seattle, Washington.

Fundamental population changes in age and obesity will affect the design of work, workstations, and products. This workshop will build on existing MSD research which included age and body mass index in statistical models. Speakers will present the magnitude and complexity of these issues and their implications for MSD in the workplace.

After initial presentations, the conference participants will work on a research agenda necessary to translate research findings to changing practices in the workplace. The objective of the conference is to develop a research to practice roadmap for addressing the changing nature of MSD risk in the workplace. Attendees are expected to include musculoskeletal researchers, policy makers, and occupational safety, health and ergonomics managers..


NIOSH Grantee Designs Ergonomic Interventions for the Fire Service

With NIOSH grant funding, researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) are designing and evaluating ergonomic interventions that have the potential to reduce the high number of musculoskeletal injuries experienced by firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) during emergency medical service (EMS) operations. Karen Conrad, Paul Reichelt, and Steve Lavender designed their research to have a very high level of participation with the fire service.

The UIC team began their project by conducting multiple rounds of focus groups with fire service personnel to generate ergonomic intervention concepts to improve the conduct of frequently performed and strenuous EMS tasks. Working with the fire service, the most highly ranked of these intervention ideas were then turned into alpha prototypes of devices. The devices were tested in their ergonomics laboratory by having firefighters and paramedics perform common patient handling tasks (e.g., carrying a patient down a flight of stairs) using the new devices and their standard equipment.

Using both the biomechanical data and evaluative feedback from the fire service personnel about the performance of the alpha prototypes, the researchers are now preparing to collect further evaluative data to facilitate the development of beta prototypes that can serve as manufacturing models. The university team will continue to work with the fire service to develop effective strategies for dissemination and implementation of the devices.

For additional information about this project, please contact Karen Conrad at kmconrad@uic.edu


How does your business measure up?

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched its Corporate Health and Safety Performance Indicator (CHaSPI) and unveiled a third round of case studies highlighting the vital role that directors play in health and safety.

The HSE conference took place today at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Launching the index at the London Chamber of Commerce conference, Lord Hunt said:

"There are still too many accidents at work and too many staff off sick. We need to convince chief executives in boardrooms across the country that managing absence and health and safety makes good business sense. This tool will help businesses to manage and track their key health and safety indicators and will enable them to compare their performance against other businesses. The easier we make it for everyone, the better the chance we have of raising standards."

CHaSPI (the Corporate Health and Safety Performance Index) is a web-based tool to assist large organisations with over 250 employees (both public and private) to:

It works by asking a series of questions on, for example, health and safety management, occupational health risk management and sickness absence rates. A score out of ten is then calculated. Overall results are made publicly available.

Using CHaSPI's is voluntary. The intention is that it's usefulness to organisations and their stakeholders is what will drive it forward - encouraging and helping organisations to improve their health and safety, going beyond the legal minimum.

Steve Waygood, director, investor responsibility Insight Investment, who collaborated on the development of CHaSPI said: "Insight will be making considered use of CHaSPI in our discussions with the directors of listed companies. As investors, we elect company directors to represent our interests. It is very much in our interests for these directors to maintain good occupational health and safety conditions for the workforce. Not only is this simply the right thing to do, but history has also shown that mistakes can lead to business interruptions that affect financial performance."

The nine case studies highlight the benefits that director leadership brings both to the health and safety of the employees and to the business.

They are aimed not only at large organisations, but at small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as well.

The case studies, compiled by risk management consultants Greenstreet Berman Ltd, are drawn from private companies and public bodies across a range of different sectors. Featured organisations are: Brymor Contractors Ltd, DCS Europe plc, Greencore Group, Joy Mining Machinery Ltd, London Ambulance Service, MTM Products Ltd, RW Green Limited, Sapporo Teppanyaki and TTE training.

The director leadership case studies build on the Health and Safety Commission's (HSC) guidance, Directors' responsibilities for Health and Safety, published in 2001 and the business benefits case studies published by HSC/E in 2004. While HSE's evidence shows a high degree of awareness of the HSC guidance among directors it is clear that around a third of organisations do not have board level arrangements in place for directing health and safety. HSC/E undertook to build on the guidance by providing accessible and persuasive case studies that bring home the benefits of director leadership.

The case studies being published supplement the director leadership case studies published by HSE in February and May 2005.

CHaSPI can be found on the internet through HSE's website at www.hse.gov.uk

Research on the development of CHaSPI is available in Research Reports RR217 and RR335. A further report on this final phase will be made available in a few months time. Research Reports are available through HSE Books or can be found on HSE's website at www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/index.htm

Insight collaborated in the development of CHaSPI, engaging with companies from the banking, insurance, chemicals, utilities, construction and house-building sectors in order to validate the index.

The full text of the case studies on director leadership on health and safety being published today and the previous case studies published in February and May 2005 can be accessed on the HSE web site at www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy.htm

HSE has also published a series of case studies that illustrate the business benefits of well-managed health and safety. These can also be accessed on the HSE web site at www.hse.gov.uk/businessbenefits/casestudy.htm

HSC guidance on directors' responsibilities for health and safety (INDG343) can be downloaded from the HSE web site - www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg343.pdf

Conference papers and documentation can be obtained by contacting: Alan Morley, Business Involvement Team, HSE. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7717 6168. Email: alan.morley@hse.gsi.gov.uk


News from Hungary... new email address for CIS Collaborating Centre

Dr Ferenc Kudász, Hungary NCP-NIOH CIS Collaborating Centre writes to inform Members that his new email is kudaszf@okk.antsz.hu


OSHE websites to explore

LUXEMBOURG

European Commission Nanotechnology   LUXEMBOURG
www.cordis.lu/nanotechnology

European Commission portal to Nanotechnology and NanoForum and links to other related sites.

UK

Beckley Foundation Drug Policy Programme (BFDPP)   UK
www.internationaldrugpolicy.net

Beckley Foundation Drug Policy Programme (BFDPP) aims to promote objective debate on the effectiveness, direction and content of drug policies at national and international level. This non-governmental initiative brings together senior policymakers, leading academics and practitioners to assess the latest evidence of drug policy effectiveness in a spirit of objectivity and open debate. It does this through a discussion forum, an international "non-governmental organisation (NGO) consortium", an academic think tank, and a series of meetings and seminars. This web site provides access to reports and briefing papers prepared by the BFDPP, as well as information on relevant events and seminars. It also hosts a forum for invited guests to discuss drug policy dilemmas facing policy makers around the world. There are links to other similar sites.

Business Continuity Institute BCI   UK
www.thebci.org

Business Continuity Institute BCI provides recognition and professional qualifications for business continuity practitioners. Represented in 19 countries, membership brings significant benefits to professionals, including recognition, networking, education and knowledge. Members also benefit from discounts for conferences, training and workshops, on books and publications. The wider role of the BCI is to promote the highest standards of professional competence and commercial ethics in the provision and maintenance of business continuity management and services

Daily Dose   UK
www.dailydose.net

The UK Daily Dose was launched in January 2001 and is now the world's leading news service on drug and alcohol misuse. The web site, updated daily, provides links to a range of relevant material from specialist organizations and the popular media from around the world. Daily Dose currently provides a unique range of free services. In addition to 365 Daily Doses per year, these services include: A Weekly Dose with links to the highlights of the week, A daily and weekly subscription service, An extensive archive for all Daily and Weekly Doses and an archive of links to specialist reports and papers. The site is maintained by WIRED. WIRED was developed four years ago by David Clark, a Professor of Psychology at Swansea University, as a way of empowering people to tackle substance misuse. It aims to: improve the quality of services to people with a substance misuse problem and their families and carers; raise awareness and understanding of substance misuse, the problems it creates and the ways to deal with these problems. Linked to by: World Health Organisation, UK Department of Health, UK Home Office, National Treatment Agency, ONDCP White House USA , Canadian and Australian Governments, Australian Federal Police, Indian Government, Magistrates Association and most of the major Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

Health and Safety Executive European Week 2005 - Noise Campaign   UK
www.hse.gov.uk/campaigns/euroweek

European Week 2005 will run from the 24th - 28th October 2005 and will focus on noise in the workplace. For the 2005 campaign, the 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, UK. Information on this year's European Week, the Sound Off conference and how you can order an Action Pack.

Continuity Insurance and Risk   UK
www.cirmagazine.com

Continuity Insurance & Risk is the UK's leading bi-monthly risk management and insurance journal. Launched in 1996, the magazine has rapidly established itself as a key weapon in the risk and insurance professional's armoury. Continuity Insurance & Risk offers a unique combination of editorial elements to provide an essential, practical tool in today's business environment. Site gives links, events etc.

Continuity Central   UK
www.continuitycentral.com

Continuity Central provides a constantly updated one-stop resource of business continuity information. Gives sources of information, publications including books, links, courses, events.

Emergency Planning Society   UK
www.emergplansoc.org.uk

The Emergency Planning Society was formed in 1993 through the merger of the Emergency Planning Association and the County Emergency Planning Officers Society. The business of the Society is managed by a Board Of Directors comprising of elected officers. There are six levels of membership, three of which members can pass through by application to a Qualification Board. The Society, its branches and its various groups organise conferences, workshops, working parties, studies and seminars to examine emergency planning practice and experience, and to develop advice on good practice. Information and reports are disseminated throughout the emergency planning community.

Health and Safety Executive   Better Business   UK
www.betterbusiness.hse.gov.uk

Health and Safety Executive Better Business web site shows that besides the possible legal costs involved in a work-related accident, it is the hidden ones of covering absences, recruitment, training and production losses that really swallow a company's profits. With a few cost-effective health and safety steps your business can benefit from substantial savings. Here are some ways in which you can save yourself some money by reducing minor injuries, reported injuries, recruitment costs, absenteeism, downtime, insurance claims and premiums. Much more on the web site.

Health and Safety Executive   Risk Debate   UK
www.hse.gov.uk/risk/debate.htm

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Risk Debate has been launched on 13 July 2005 as part of HSE's determination to build an integrated debate. The new web forum and discussion document provides 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 provides 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 on the web site.

Home Office   UK
www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Home Office web site give a range of information including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear incidents, fire safety, flooding, terrorism, severe weather.

Institute of Physics NanoTech   UK
www.nanotechweb.org

Institute of Physics nano technology site contains news, features, opinion, events and links.

Institute of Risk Management   UK
www.theirm.org

Institute of Risk Management IRM is risk management's professional education body. Established as a not-for-profit organisation, the Institute is governed by practising risk professionals and has strong links to leading universities and business schools across the world. Recognising that risk management is a multi-disciplinary field, we also work closely with many other specialist institutes and associations and seek to represent an increasingly broad and diverse set of stakeholders. The worldwide membership is drawn from industry, commerce, consultancy and the public sector. Members have backgrounds in many different risk-related disciplines: accountants, project managers, insurers, chartered surveyors, health care professionals, lawyers, bankers, auditors, health and safety professionals and engineers are among those represented. IRM Associateship (AIRM) is recognised worldwide as the sign of a risk management professional and is achieved through examination: Fellowship (FIRM) follows through accredited practical experience. Site includes links.

Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed)   UK
www.safed.co.uk

UK Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed), the UK's leading trade body for independent engineering inspection and certification industry. The site is aimed at all those concerned with health and safety. Gives details of publications, guidelines, complete list of British Standards that can be ordered alongside SAFed's own publications. Links to other relevant websites.

Survive   UK
www.survive.com

Survive, launched in 1989, has since grown throughout the world to become the leading forum for expertise and information exchange among business continuity management practitioners and professionals, and all managers and directors with responsibility for ensuring the resilience and ultimate survival of their companies. Originally focused largely on the back-up and recovery of IT and communications systems, Survive is now the only organisation of its kind in the world addressing the continuity needs of the entire organisation. Our members are concerned about everything from protecting the company data and staff safety, to safeguarding the reputation and value of the whole enterprise. The demands are growing on public and private sector organisations to prove they have processes in place to maintain continuous impressive performance 365 days a year, regardless of unusual internal or external circumstances. Such demands can be almost impossible to meet. But through understanding how organisations of different shapes and sizes tackle the difficult issues, members learn how to build resilience into their businesses and how to make business continuity a core part of the their company culture. Survive welcomes practitioners from the corporate world and the public sector, along with consultants, suppliers, educationalists, and researchers whose knowledge and insight adds enormously to the value of our information exchange. In total, we now have some 3,000 members, of whom about 85% are from corporations, public bodies and private enterprise.

USA

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH Potential school health risks from pesticide exposures   USA
www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/pesticides

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) topic website on pesticide illness and injury prevention. Research shows that exposures to pesticides can pose a risk for employees and students in schools. During the period 1998-2002, illness surveillance data identified 2,593 cases of acute illnesses associated with pesticide exposures at schools. Measures for preventing such illnesses should include implementation of integrated pest-management programs in schools, practices to reduce pesticide drift from neighbouring farm fields, and adaptation of pesticide spray buffer zones around schools, recommended Walter A. Alarcon and Geoffrey M. Calvert of NIOSH, and 13 colleagues from other federal and state agencies. An abstract of the article is available at http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/294/4/455

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH Preventing Powerline Fatalities   USA
www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-07-26-05-b.html
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) topic website on
electrocutions from unintentional contact with overhead power lines can be prevented through awareness of the hazard and proper precautions. NIOSH offers many resources to help employers, employees, volunteers, and others identify potential risks when working under and around power lines, and to help them work safely to avoid touching the lines with poles, ladders, or other objects that can conduct electricity.


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 www.oshworld.com/diary.html

NOTE NEW DETAILS - VENUE AND DATES

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: sv@angelbc.co.uk

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: sv@angelbc.co.uk

19-20 September 2005 - THE IRM Risk Forum 2005: The World at Risk? learning from today, preparing for tomorrow
Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Contact: Catherine Tasker, Institute of Risk Management, 6 Lloyd's Avenue, London EC3N 3AX | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7709 9808 | Fax: +44 (0) 20 7709 0716 | Email: riskforum@theirm.org | www.theirm.org/riskforum/index.html

28-30 September 2005 - ICOPE 2005: International Chemical and Oil Pollution Conference and Exhibition 2005
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
Contact: IBC Asia (S) Pte Ltd, No.1 Grange Road, no. 08-02, Orchard Building, Singapore 239696 | Tel: +65 (0) 6732 1970 429 4576 | Fax: +65 (0) 6733 5087 | Email: Yuhtyan.lew@ibcasia.com.sg | www.ibc-asia.com

5-7 October 2005 - 1st International Conference on Environmental Exposure and Health 2005
Wessex Institute of Technology, UK and Georgia Tech, USA.
Contact: Wessex Institute of Technology, UK and Georgia Tech, USA | Tel: +44-238 029 3223 | Fax: +44-238 029 2853 | Email: adarcy-burt@wessex.ac.uk

5-8 October 2005 - 5th Spanish Occupational Medicine Congress
Valencia, Spain
Contact:
Asociación Espanola de Especialistas en Medicina del Trabajo | Tel: +34-96-310 7189 | Fax: +34-96-341 1046 | Email: congresos.valencia@vtajesect.es | www.amtcv.org

11-13 October 2005 - Total Workplace Management
Earls Court 2 and Conference Centre, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA, UK
Contact: CMP Information Limited, Ludgate House, 245 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 9UY UK | Tel: +44 (0)870 429 4576 | www.twmexpo.com

12 October 2005 - 'Sound Off' conference: Organised as part of the 2005 European Week for Safety and Health at Work
Earls Court, London, UK
Contact: Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1NN, UK | Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3100 | Fax +44 (0)116 257 101 | www.iosh.co.uk | Conference Hotline Tel: +44 (0) 20 7921 8066 | www.sound-off.co.uk

8 December 2005 - Health and Safety Agenda 2006
Strand Palace Hotel, London, UK
Contact: Customer Services, Croner Training, 4th Floor, North West Wing, Bush House, Aldwych, London WC2B 4PJ, UK | Tel: +44 0845 120 9602 | Fax:+ 44 (0) 845 120 9612 | Email: services@cronertraining.co.uk | www.cronertraining.co.uk

2006

4-6 April 2006 - Ergonomics Society Annual Conference 2006
The Ergonomics Society, Cambridge, UK
Contact: The Ergonomics Society | Tel: +44 (0)1509 234 904 | Fax: +44 (0)1509 235 666 | Email: s.hull@ergonomics.org.uk | Web-site: www.ergonomics.org.uk/events/AC2006call.htm

11-16 June 2006 - ICOH International Congress on Occupational Health: Renewing a century of commitment to healthy, safe and productive working life
Milan, Italy
Contact: Department of Occupational Health, Via San Barnaba, 8 - 20122 Milan (Italy) | Tel: +39 02 50320110 | Fax +39 02 50320111 | Email: sabrina.braiati@unimi.it

19 September 2006 - National Fork Lift Safety Conference 2006
Warwick, UK
Contact: Fork Lift Truck Association, Manor Farm Buildings, Lasham, Alton, Hampshire GU34 5SL, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1256 381 441 | Fax : +44 (0) 1256 381735 | Email: mail@fork-truck.org.uk | www.fork-truck.org.uk

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, Latvia | www.eurofaculty.lv/MarieCurie