CIS Newsletter

No. 200
May 2006

Extra special edition - 200th edition ...

CIS Newsletter celebrates 18 years & still going strong!
Bringing news to over 140 countries in the CIS Network!


  1. Editorial - 200th edition
  2. Messages from the ILO HQ
  3. News items from CIS HQ and the ILO
  4. News from around the World - Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Europe, France, ICFTU, Ireland, Russia, Spain, UK, USA
  5. FOCUS: Chernobyl still killing 20 years on
  6. OSHE websites
  7. Diary of Events including CIS Meeting Date
  8. News Briefs


Dear CIS Colleagues

This is the 200th edition of the CIS Newsletter - the idea was born on a plane from Geneva to Luxembourg in 1989 when some of the CIS members travelling from the annual CIS meeting to go to the very successful 1989 "International OSH and Hygiene information specialists Conference" held in Luxembourg were discussing how we should keep in touch on a regular basis. I suggested this Newsletter - and looking back over the early copies I can see how much we have progressed in the 18 years since.

These were in the days before the INTERNET - although many of CIS members had been using the European Space Agency Information Retrieval Service in Frascati, Italy to exchange emails and also to host databases such as HSELINE. Incidentally HSELINE was the first health and safety bibliographic database to be made publicly available worldwide in 1979 on the huge computer in Frascati. So what is new??? And it is still going strong - available on OSH UPDATE

Sadly not many people have found the time to look at OSH UPDATE - arguably the biggest collection of health and safety information sources containing over 540,000 records and with many thousands of these have direct links to the full text.

It is still available for you free of charge until Mid May - enter username   cis   and password   oshday

At the 1989 CIS meeting were people such as Annaliisa Larmo - Finland, Kristian Kristiansen - Denmark, Vivian Morgan and Roger Tatken - USA, Gordon Atherley and PK Abeytunga - Canada, Elly Goos and Gerda van Thienen - the Netherlands, Penny Campbell from Australia, Francoise Cousin - France, Philip Marshall - New Zealand, Kevin Gardiner - European Commission DGV and Sheila Pantry, UK.

In 1989 we were handling enquiries about radiation, problems in using visual display units - as we called the terminals we used to access information! And worrying about passive smoking and drug abuse in the workplace and occupational stress! So what has changed? At least the smoking problem has moved on and out for many countries, but sadly occupational stress is now a major problem around the world. CIS had just celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 1989, and there were 57 CIS National Centres! So we have come a long way in some respects. Also around that time the ILO began to initiate new measures on chemical safety.

As I finish editing this newsletter we celebrate 28 April 2006 - World Day of Health and Safety a very important date in our Health and Safety World. If any of you have some interesting news re the Day please remember to share with all of us!

Perhaps some of you are planning conferences, training courses and seminars, or revamping your services. Or perhaps taking a radical look at how you get the OSH message out to the many new industries and also to new workers. If you have a winning formula perhaps you might like to share it with others - so do send some news - don't keep it to yourself. Remember that your News in the CIS Newsletter goes to over 140 countries and gets re-used in other magazines and websites. CIS Newsletters on the web are getting more and more used... With many hundreds of hits per month... Publicity means... tell them (would be customers as well as existing customers of your Information services), tell them and tell them again...

This May 2006 edition draws attention to a number of forthcoming events.. ... also get out your diaries and enter (if you have not already done so) the dates and location of this year's CIS Annual General Meeting...

Wednesday - Friday 13-15 September 2006, Geneva, Switzerland

...And now start to make your plans to be at this year's CIS Annual General Meeting. We should aim to move along in developing the FUTURE of the CIS Network. Your ideas are very much needed - and if for some reason you cannot attend the meeting - then write your ideas down and send them in for the discussions.

Already some ideas put forward last year are starting to take place.

So please make time to read the contents of this Newsletter - it is amazing how far it reaches - after every edition I get messages from outside of the CIS network from people who want to receive it on a regular basis. I know that everyone is very mega busy, short of time and finance of course - but hopefully you find the items in the CIS Newsletter are worth investing some time - if only to scan through the items and find out what is happening in this wider OSH world of ours. And perhaps make a Newsletter of your own from it and from information in OSH UPDATE.

Many thanks to you who have sent emails and news - these are always gratefully received and are used as soon as possible.

Publicity... tell them, tell them and tell them again...

Send out your press release with your own contact details to organisations and individuals in your country and elsewhere to start and use this ever-increasing valuable source of information. Send out to all your contacts, journal editors, media, universities and, educators, trainers as well as businesses!

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

Are you travelling to the CIS Meeting in SEPTEMBER 2006?
Could you please let CIS know email Gabor Sandi Annick Virot and myself with your ideas?

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

Remember >>>>
Surviving in 2006... 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

Special Message to all the CIS Centres from ILO HQ

On the occasion of this special 200th edition of CIS Newsletter May 2006 we would like to congratulate all the CIS Centres wherever they are in the world for the efforts they make in disseminating occupational safety and health (OSH) information. We know that communicating good practices to the workplace is essential to raising awareness to higher standards of health and safety.

The information centres that you represent are an essential element of the system that brings life-saving information from those who have it to those who need it. With its 140 Centres, CIS is at the centre of a truly worldwide network for the provision of OSH information and your willingness to share your own information can be seen in the CIS Newsletters.

Please continue your excellent work and enthusiasm for your OSH information work - helping to narrow the knowledge divide between the rich and the poor countries.

May we wish you all every success in the future - 200 editions of the CIS Newsletter over 18 years is a real show of all your commitment and dedication.

Assane Diop
Executive Director
Social Protection Sector

Jukka Takala
SafeWork Programme

A l'occasion de l'édition de mai 2006 de la Newsletter du CIS qui marque le 200e numéro de cette publication, je tiens, ainsi que J. Takala, à féliciter tous les Centres CIS, où qu'ils soient dans le monde, pour les efforts qu'ils déploient en vue de diffuser de l'information de sécurité et de santé au travail (SST) fiable et pertinente. Je sais combien le fait d'informer sur les bonnes pratiques en milieu de travail contribue à sensibiliser à l'importance de meilleures normes dans le domaine de la SST.

Les Centres d'information que vous représentez sont un maillon essentiel du système qui permet d'acheminer des informations vitales de ceux qui en disposent à ceux qui en ont besoin. Avec ses 140 Centres, le CIS est la cheville ouvrière d'un réseau véritablement mondial de diffusion d'information en SST et votre détermination à partager votre information est visible dans toutes les livraisons de la Newsletter du CIS.

Je vous engage à continuer votre excellent travail et à conserver le même enthousiasme parce que votre collaboration permet de réduire la fracture informationnelle entre les pays riches et les pays pauvres.

Cette 200e édition est un témoignage éclatant de votre engagement et de votre détermination et j'en profite pour vous souhaiter beaucoup de succès pour les années à venir.

Assane Diop
Directeur exécutif
Secteur de la Protection sociale

Jukka Takala
Programme SafeWork

More News from the ILO HQ

We are likely to intensify the ratification campaign after the June ILC of the conventions below - and other relevant conventions referred and listed in the forthcoming instruments to be adopted on the Promotional Framework - so this is indeed an excellent and timely contribution. ACTRAV deserves congratulations!
Jukka Takala

ILO/ACTRAV 28 April 2006 Release of New Posters
Strengthens Ratification of OHS Instruments

A series of eight new ILO posters calls for the country ratification of key occupational safety and health Conventions.

In keeping with the 3rd theme of 28 April to strengthen the ratification of ILO OHS instruments the ILO's Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV) has produced these posters in close cooperation with the Workers' Group and the Global Unions.

See: "Occupational Health and Safety - Ratify the Conventions!" at

The posters cover the following Conventions:

Available electronically in three languages (English, French and Spanish), the posters may be printed in both A4 or A3 formats.

The background trade union April OHS country-by-country profiles produced for 28 April will now be modified to interact with the availability of these new posters, eventually making them directly available to users of all profiles.

International Labour Conference (ILC) 2006
Printed copies of the posters will be available for the International Labour Conference (ILC) in June 2006. The delegates to this years' Conference will discuss the proposed Convention and Recommendation on the promotional framework for occupational safety and health, based on the conclusions adopted by the International Labour Conference following the first discussion at its 93rd Session (2005).

More information about the International Labour Conference 2006:

WEB Page
A specific web page - - has been developed with more information about the different Conventions.

The page is also available in the three languages English, French and Spanish and it is also possible to download the pdf files of the posters from the web pages.

News from Around the World

News from the UK

Poor workplace health is no laughing matter for UK managers

Increased anger and loss of humour amongst people in the workplace are just two of the knock-on effects that businesses now have to deal with due to poor workplace health, according to new research.

The 'Quality of Working Life' report published by the Chartered Management Institute and Workplace Health Connect uncovers a high number of physical and psychological symptoms and highlights the impact these have on business performance.

The survey questioned 1,541 managers in the UK revealing a poor picture of health, with only half (50 per cent) believing they are currently in 'good' health. Key findings of the report were:

The report also shows that ill-health is having an impact on morale and performance. One-third (30 per cent) admit they are irritable 'sometimes or often' towards colleagues. Some managers also want to avoid contact with other people (26 per cent) and many (21 per cent) have difficulty making decisions due to ill health.

Mary Chapman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, says: "With the impact of ill-health being keenly felt in the workplace, managers need a better understanding of the consequences of letting relatively minor symptoms escalate. They need to take more personal responsibility for improving their health because inaction is clearly having an effect on colleagues and the knock-on effect is that customer relationships will suffer, too."

Elizabeth Gyngell, programme director at Workplace Health Connect, says: "Health activities should not be driven by a concern over legislation, but by the understanding that improved well-being can generate significant benefits to morale and performance. This means organisations should ensure their employees are well versed in identifying and addressing symptoms before they escalate."

Further information: Mike Petrook/Gemma Bird, Institute Press Office | Tel: +44 ( 0)20 7497 0496; outside office hours: 07931 302 877 | Email:

As the champion of management, the Chartered Management Institute shapes and supports the managers of tomorrow, helping them deliver results in a dynamic world. The Institute helps set and raise standards in management, encouraging development to improve performance. Moreover, with in-depth research and regular policy surveys of its 71,000 individual members and 450 corporate members, the Institute has a deep understanding of the key issues. The Chartered Management Institute came into being on 1 April 2002, as a result of the Institute of Management being granted a Royal Charter.

Delivered in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive, Workplace Health Connect provides free, confidential, impartial and practical advice and support on health, safety and return to work issues. Small businesses, which employ less than 250 workers and are based in England and Wales, can access the service via an Adviceline (0845 609 6006). Where needed, this will be followed up by workplace visits from qualified Workplace Health Connect advisers. These visits are available in London, the North East, the North West, South Wales and the West Midlands.

Workplace Health Connect advisers are able to advise on a range of issues that can affect workplace health including: poor manual handling technique, incorrect use of chemicals, poor hygiene in the workplace, working in dusty or noisy environments and working at a badly set up workstation.

For further information about the service visit

News from Canada

Attention Turns to Worker Safety During Safety and Health Week

Creating workplaces where everyone can be healthy and safe is a priority for Canadians. Every year, this commitment is renewed with a week long initiative called Safety and Health Week. From April 30 - May 6 communities and businesses throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico work to raise awareness of workplace health and safety issues and help prevent occupational injuries and illnesses. The Canadian Centre for Occupation Health and Safety (CCOHS) is offering a selection of free informational programs and calling on Canadians to get involved in Safety and Health Week.

"When people feel valued, respected and satisfied in their jobs and work in safe, healthy environments, they are more likely to be productive and committed to their work. Everyone benefits!" said Len Hong, CCOHS president and CEO. "This year's Safety and Health Week's theme of 'Review. Refresh. Revitalize' serves as a reminder for all of us to take stock of our workplace environments, and then work together to bring about the changes in policies and practices necessary to create healthy workplaces. We all have a stake in achieving these outcomes that will ultimately help all to thrive and benefit - employees, employers, families, communities and governments."

In keeping with the theme, CCOHS is presenting a complimentary series of webinars running May 1-5th. The only equipment needed is a computer with speakers, and Internet access. Presentations by CCOHS' expert staff on a variety of topics will be run at various times throughout the week. There are limited "virtual" seats available therefore early registration is recommended to avoid disappointment.

The webinars can be run in boardrooms and venues as an easy and effective way for health and safety committee members, managers, supervisors and health and safety professionals to participate in the sessions. They can also serve as a platform for further discussion or an organization's own event.

The Webinar topic schedule is listed on the CCOHS website. Topics are still being added however the following are confirmed:

OHS Best Practices (1 hour)
For almost a decade there has been a focus on 'best practices' for workplaces - as a means of improving performance in health and safety. CCOHS has undertaken a number of projects over the years to locate Best Practices on various workplace health and safety issues. CCOHS will outline key web resources, strategies to locate practices and how to share your best practices with other Canadian OH&S professionals.

Orientation Training for Workers in Canada (1 hour)
Health and safety orientation programs are required by law in Canada. They are the best opportunity to provide specific practical training to new workers and workers with new responsibilities. However, many employers in small and medium sized businesses do not have an adequate understanding of exactly what their training should cover and the best means to conduct training. CCOHS reviews the Canadian situation and some strategies to enable your organization to identify health and safety orientation needs systematically as well as how to conduct effective training.

Violence in the Workplace: Awareness (20 Minutes)
Join CCOHS for an overview of workplace violence prevention topics and practices! This webinar offers a guided tour of CCOHS' e-course, and raises awareness of this very important issue. Violence in the Workplace: Awareness is a precursor to the other CCOHS Workplace Violence Prevention e-courses: Recognize the Risk and Take Action, and Establish a Prevention Program.

The Canadian launch of Safety and Health Week will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Monday, May 1, 2006. Details of the launch are available

Safety and Health Week is also an ideal time for organizations to enhance their knowledge of workplace safety by holding or participating in a health and safety event. These events can range from training sessions to contests to community events - anything designed to raise awareness. The North American Occupational Health and Safety Week website is chock full of ideas and resources that can be downloaded.

Visit the national Safety and Health Week website at

Registration and webinar details are available on the CCOHS website:

For more information contact: Eleanor Irwin, Manager - Marketing Sales and Communications, 905.572.2981 ext. 4408 | Email: |

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, training and advice that supports responsible decision-making and promotes safe and healthy workplaces. CCOHS makes a wide range of occupational health and safety information readily available, appropriate for 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.

News from the European Agency

Agency's Major Milestones 10th Anniversary

1994/1995 - Agency Regulation adopted.

1996 - Agency starts to bring together the OSH knowledge and expertise of the EU's 15 Member States to create a single source of OSH information and ideas for the region. Director appointed by Administrative Board.

1997 - Agency moves to its headquarters in Bilbao. Network of 15focal points established. Agency's first conference.

1999 - Network of websites launched, later to develop into one of the leading global portals for occupational safety and health information.

2000 - Agency runs its first European Week for Safety and Health, reaching out to thousands of workplaces across Europe with its 'Don't turn your back on MSDs' campaign. The launch of the joint website with the US marked the start of the creation of the Agency's portal to occupational safety and health information worldwide.

2001 - Start of SME Funding Schemes, benefiting over 1.5 millions mall- to medium-sized businesses in the region through examples of good OSH practice and other projects.

2004 - EU expands to 25 Member States, enriching the Agency's wealth of OSH information as its network enlarges to accommodate the new Member States.

2005 - Risk Observatory is launched, helping the Agency identify new and emerging risks and develop appropriate strategies to address these.

2006 - Agency reaches its 10th anniversary and broadens the scope of its campaigning with the new Healthy Workplace Initiative, aimed at SMEs in the ten Member States that joined the EU in 2004 plus Romania and Bulgaria.

Issue 20060301: 10th anniversary brochure
20 pages 2006

NEW WEBSITE: Introducing the independent guide to desktop search tool

A new website is being launched, the Desktop Search Guide, that aims to be the complete - and independent - guide to desktop search tools, with information about what desktop search tools are and what they can do, plus reviews and links to sites where desktop search tools can be downloaded. For health and safety managers, safety reps or, indeed, anyone with responsibility for health and safety, desktop searching can be a quick and easy way to find reports, records, correspondence, or data relating to machinery, equipment, suppliers or incidents.

Desktop search tools can revolutionise the way you use your computer; in particular, they can save time and frustration. With desktop searching you can locate documents, emails, images, web searches, instant messages and more. You can also find information or data that is contained within documents, files and databases on your hard disc, look inside archives such as Zip files, and search across networks (depending on the capabilities of the tool being used).

There are many alternative desktop search tools available - and most are FREE. To help visitors choose the tool that best suits their needs, the Desktop Search Guide enables users to learn how desktop searching works, what it can do, how it can be used, and what to look for when comparing alternative tools. In addition, there are reviews that highlight the pros and cons of the various tools.

When a visitor has decided which tools are of interest, the Desktop Search Guide provides links so that the tools can be downloaded. And for those who are undecided or who simply want to keep up-to-date, there is a section that carries the latest news about this fast-evolving class of software.

Take a look at the Desktop Search Guide now at | Email:

News from Europe

ILO Conference Labour migration on the agenda of Africa-Europe dialogue

Senior Government officials, executives of employers' organizations and trade union leaders from Africa and Europe examined ways of making labour migration contribute to integration and development at a Africa-Europe Inter-regional dialogue that took place in Brussels on 4-6 April 2006.

The conference was organized by the UN's International Labour Organization (ILO) and constitutes the culminating point of a 3-year programme aimed at building interregional partnership and cooperation over key issues such as protection of migrant workers, labour markets needs, management of labour migration and anticipating on future migration movements. A comprehensive set of national and regional research reports were presented covering statistical data, legislation and migration-development synergies.

While the Europe Union generally estimates (in a Green Paper released last year), that between 2010 and 2030, at current immigration flows, the EU-25's working-age population will fall by 20 million, the ILO notes that twenty million African workers leave and work outside of their countries of origin and by 2015, one out of ten African workers will be living and working outside his or her country.

"Clearly, labour migration has become a central challenge for development, economic progress and social welfare in both Europe and Africa" says ILO expert Patrick Taran. "ILO's mission is to help make labour migration a win-win situation for origin and host countries and for national and migrant workers", he added.

The ILO/EU programme has already led to adoption of new legislation in a number of African countries and to the establishment of tripartite migration mechanisms in twelve countries across the continent.

In Brussels, officials from governments, employers' organisations and trade unions in Europe and Africa will review progress, examine new research and discuss policy options on how to best manage labour migration for integration and development.

Recently, the ILO Governing Body authorised the publication of a non-binding multilateral framework for labour migration that is being supported by the European Union and a large number of developing countries as a unique tool to deal with migration as part of a right-based approach that take account of labour markets needs.

ILO Conventions on migrant workers provide for equal treatment for migrant workers and for improving legal migration avenues as a means of reducing abuses often linked to irregular migration.

"A significant number of migrants face undue hardships and abuse in the form of low wages, poor working conditions, virtual absence of social protection, denial of freedom of association and workers' rights, discrimination and xenophobia, as well as social exclusion" says the ILO.

According to ICFTU Equality Director P Kamalam, the adoption of a Special Action Programme on migrant workers by the ICFTU in 2005 reflects growing activity and visibility by the trade union movement worldwide on labour migration. "Migrant workers are amongst the most vulnerable to exploitation and denial of fundamental workers' rights", she said, adding "Besides campaigning for the ratification and implementation of ILO Conventions on migrant workers, national labour

legislation in many countries needs to be revised to conform with international standards. Recognising the particularly vulnerable situation of women migrants, the Global Unions Organising Campaign launched on 8 March this year pays particular attention to their organisation into trade unions".

The ICFTU Programme builds on trade union work already being done at the national level, for example the involvement of unions in tripartite migration processes in 12 African countries, and focuses on building practical cooperation between trade unions in "sending" and "receiving" countries

In addition to representatives from Africa regional and national trade union centres, the Brussels meeting will be attended by representatives from the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, the European Trade Union Confederation, the World Confederation of Labour and several national trade union centres in European Union member countries.

The ICFTU represents 155 million workers in 236 affiliated organisations in 154 countries and territories.

The ICFTU is also a partner in Global Unions

News from Argentina


BUENOS AIRES (Argentina) held 25 abril de 2006

The following were the list of participants at this 1st Regional meeting of Latin American CIS Centres. The following attended. We hope to receive a report of the meeting.




Lic. María Teresa SAFA
Comunicaciones y Relaciones Institucionales
Superintendencia de Riesgos del Trabajo
Centro Nacional de Información en Salud y Seguridad en el Trabajo
Centro Nacional CIS
Reconquista 674

Tel. (+54 11) 4393-1235 - 4328-72224/8579
Facsímile (+54 11) 4321 3550 -


Licenciada Silvia Giordano
Jefe Departamento de Capacitación y Difusión
Centro Nacional de Información en Salud y Seguridad en el Trabajo
Centro Nacional CIS
Reconquista 674
Tel. (+54 11) 4393 1235 / 4328 8579
Correo elect. or

Bibliotecaria Claudia Llanos
Área Gestión Documental y Biblioteca,
Centro Nacional de Información en Salud y Seguridad en el Trabajo
Centro Nacional CIS
Reconquista 674
Tel. (+54 11) 4393 1235 / 4328 8579
Correo elect.

Bibliotecaria Cecilia Mazzaro
Area Gestion Documental y Bibioteca,
Centro Nacional CIS
Centro Nacional de Información en Salud y Seguridad en el Trabajo
Centro Nacional CIS
Reconquista 674
Tel. (+54 11) 4393 1235 / 4328 8579
Correo elect. o





Sr. Gábor SÁNDI
Jefe del CIS
Centro Internacional de Información
Sobre Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo (CIS)
Tel.: (+ 41 22) 799 6514
Facsímile: (+ 41 22) 799 8516



Sra. Valentina FORASTIERI
Oficina Subregional de la OIT para América Central
Ofiplaza del Este
Edificio B, 3er piso, Barrio Betania/Montes de Oca
San José
Costa Rica
Tel.: (+506) 253 76 67
Facsímile: (+506) 224 26 78 o 280 85 11



Sra. Cristina BORRAJO
Responsable de la Biblioteca de la OIT
Avenida Córdoba 950
Piso 13 y 14
1054 Buenos Aires
Tel.: (+54 11) 43 93 70 76 o 43 93 50 41 O 43 93 70 68
Facsímile: (+54 11) 43 93 70 62

News from the USA

The April issue of LIFELINES ONLINE (Vol. II, No. 11) is available at the LHSFNA website. These are the headlines:

To view the stories and access our website, click

Also, please note that back issues of LIFELINES ONLINE -- as well as our print magazine, LIFELINES -- are posted for online viewing. The LIFELINES ONLINE archive and LIFELINES archive are fully searchable, so you can find the articles that relate to your topic of interest.

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

Make my day...
Send Your news to your Editor:

News from Ireland

European survey on working time and work-life balance: High levels of flexi-time arrangements in the UK compared to Europe

More than half (56%) of all private companies and public organisations in the UK with more than 10 employees have flexible working time arrangements in place, according to new research from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, the Dublin-based EU agency. In terms of flexibility, this ranks UK companies and public sector bodies fourth behind Latvia, Sweden and Finland. However, the degree of flexibility offered by flexi-time arrangements in the UK is less advanced than elsewhere in Europe.

Flexible working-time arrangements are regarded as being advantageous for both the employer and the employee, the interview-based survey of personnel managers and employees representatives in 21,000 workplaces across Europe reveals. A higher degree of job satisfaction (EU average 63%, UK 50%), better adaptation of working hours to the workload (EU 55%, UK 49%), and lower absenteeism (EU 26%, UK 35%) are reported as the benefits of flexi-time arrangements. The negative effects, such as a rise in costs (EU 5%, UK 6%) and communication problems (EU 10%, UK 10%) are minor in comparison.

'This positive approach to flexi-time arrangements is good news for job creation in Europe, since it makes work more attractive, especially for women and older workers,' says Jorma Karppinen, the Foundation's Director, in a response to the findings. 'This survey provides unique knowledge about working time arrangements and practices in the workplace in Europe, and it gives the views of both managers and worker representatives.'

The survey results also characterises the UK labour market as part-time friendly. UK companies and public organisations rank first in Europe when it comes to easily switching from full-time to part-time work. More importantly, only one in five (18%) personnel managers in the UK report slightly or significantly worse career prospects for part-time workers than full-time workers, compared to an average of one in three (28.8%) in Europe. The findings confirm, however, that more UK companies and public organisations rely on overtime and that employees are more likely to be rewarded with money than with time off in the UK.

The European survey on working time and work-life balance is a large-scale survey carried out among more than 21,000 establishments (both private companies and public organisations) in the 15 old Member States of the European Union (EU15) and in six of the new Member States: the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Latvia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia.

Find out more on

For further information, contact Måns Mårtensson, Press Officer: telephone +353-1-204 3124, mobile +353-876-593 507, or email

News from the European Agency

Keep up to date with European Agency for Safety and Health at Work OSH news!

The Agency's free electronic news service, OSHmail, provides a monthly snapshot of the latest OSH developments, delivered straight to your desk. With almost 30,000 OSH experts and practitioners, from Europe and beyond who have already subscribed, OSHMail offers a unique access to international OSH community.

And now its key content is also available in, all EU official languages, and comes in a refreshed, user-friendly design!

Please note that OSHmail is now in 20 languages: Dansk, Deutsch, Eesti, English, Español, Français, Italiano, Latviešu, Lietuviskai, Magyar, Malti, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Slovenčina, Slovenščina, Suomi, Svenska, Čeština, Ελληνικά

European Agency for Safety and Health at work:

News from Singapore

28 April - 4 May 2006 - Safe and Healthy Workplace is Good Business - Make it Yours!
Singapore National Workplace Safety and Health Week (NWSH) 2006

Organised by the Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee (WSHAC), together with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and its partners, the NWSH Week aims to raise the awareness of workplace safety and health (WSH) among all CEOs, the human resource community, managers, supervisors, WSH professionals and workers.

In conjunction with the NWSH Week, a series of exciting seminars and activities will be held. Companies are also encouraged to organise their individual WSH events during the NWSH Week to signify their commitment in raising Singapore's WSH standards.

Our partners include:

NWSH Week calendar of events:

News from the Netherlands

The leading international conference on occupational safety Third 'Working on Safety'-conference in the Netherlands - 12-15 September 2006

From 12 - 15 September 2006 the Netherlands will host the third international networking conference 'Working on Safety'. The latest scientific insights will be presented, as well as the most powerful regulatory (soft law) instruments and best practices. A must for all professionals on the globe occupied with the improvement of occupational safety. Previous Working on Safety- conferences were in Germany (2004) and Denmark (2002).

Keynote speakers are leading professors e.g.

Other speakers are decision-makers and professionals e.g.:
Ruth Dyson (minister for ACC in New Zealand), about the 'Accident Compensation Corporation' in New Zealand, Magne Ognedal (director for the new Petroleum Safety Authority Norway), about 'The risk picture in the Norwegian Petroleum Activity', and Joy Oh (policymaker of the Dutch ministry of Social Affairs and Employment), about 'An innovative view on occupational safety in the Netherlands'.

Network conference
The programme consists of 8 plenary keynote sessions, 35 parallel sessions and about 140 speakers.

Subjects are: occupational accidents, present and new techniques in analysis, safety management systems, safety culture, soft law instruments and good practices.

The main purpose is to exchange knowledge and experiences in the field of working on safety. And of course to meet colleagues from all over the world who are concerned with the same issues.

The Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (Joy Oh) and the Delft University of Technology (Professor Andrew Hale) organize the conference in cooperation with an international committee on which both the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work are represented.

The conference language will be English. The conference takes place in 'De Eemhof', a business conference centre (and holiday park) not far from the international airport Amsterdam-Schiphol. The price for accommodation and registration will be about 1100 Euro.
For more information and registration:

WORKINGONSAFETY is the worldwide network of decision-makers, researchers and professionals responsible for the prevention of accidents and trauma at work.

For more information:

For specific questions about the content of the conference: Joy Oh, +31 70 333 5499 or Peter van Beek, +31 70 333 5500, Email:

For questions about registration, accommodation et cetera: Claudia Wouters of ATP | + 31 70 3766 733 | Email:

News from the UK

Lifting the standards of safety

The Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed), in conjunction with both The Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), has updated its "Lift Guidelines - Guidelines on the Supplementary Testing of Lifts" document. The revised guidance document, previously referred to as LG1, adopts a more risk management based approach and places a greater emphasis on the role of the competent person.

The remit of the guidelines has been widened to include formal guidance on the thorough examination of non-workplace lifts. Although these are not covered by the regulations, the previous LG1 document was often used as informal guidance in line with best practice principles. In addition to bringing the old LG1 guidelines in line with current standards and legislation, the updated document includes some changes in technical details to recognise more modern lift technology and maintenance techniques.

The revised guidelines were launched at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in London to a cross section of over 200 lift manufacturers, owners, duty holders and inspection bodies. Speaking at the launch event, Richard Hulmes, SAFed's Chief Executive commented. "Rather than following a prescriptive testing timetable as is currently the case, the revised guidance adopts a more risk-based approach to the timing of supplementary testing in support of the thorough examination. Under the new regime it will be up to the 'competent person' to justify periodicity of the assessment by considering all aspects of each lift's operation, such as its frequency of use, workload and operating environment. Tailoring the timing of each inspection to a lift's usage profile ensures that a more appropriate inspection regime is created. This not only increases the overall level of health and safety, but can bring major cost savings to lift owners."

To ensure that the revised guidelines were as authoritative and practicable as possible the LG1 review committee was made up of leading lifting industry experts from SAFed, LEIA, major lift owners, local authorities, professional institutions and industry organisations. The review committee was chaired by the HSE which, for the first time, has formerly endorsed SAFed guidance by placing its logo on the front.

Copies of the revised LG1 can be purchased through SAFed's website at a cost of £15 for SAFed and LEIA members, or £25 for non-members (all prices plus p&p).

FOCUS: Chernobyl still killing 20 years on

Drawing from eyewitness accounts and analyses, ICFTU has published a new Trade Union World Briefing condemning the fact that 20 years after the fateful day of 26 April 1986, the biggest industrial catastrophe ever is still under way.

In the days following the explosion of reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, dozens of firemen and personnel at the power station died from acute radiation exposure. Since then, however, the human toll has continued to grow. Firstly, in an effort to "liquidate Chernobyl", the Soviet authorities sent some 600,000 to 800,000 people to the site of the disaster without taking the measures needed to ensure their safety. Many of them have died, while others are dying every day, often in criminal anonymity somewhere in the former Soviet Union. Secondly, at least five million people live, study and work in areas which are contaminated, and which will remain contaminated for thousands of years.

In Belarus, a country which, with every passing month, has justifiably earned the title of 'last dictatorship in Europe', implacable union repression allows the government to implement a policy to economically revive the contaminated areas, and to do so without any accountability. This policy is based on forced labour and the exploitation of migrants. "Enticed by propaganda, migrants are flowing into the contaminated areas. Many young Belarus graduates are also required to spend two years working in the contaminated areas", says Alexander Yaroshuk, President of the Belarus Congress of Democratic Trade Unions.

In Russia, the Chernobyl Union is fighting to defend the rights of liquidators in an increasingly ultra-liberal context. In 2005, unfair social reform led to an unprecedented mobilisation of civil society.

Although at the time he was working as a miner in the Tula region, Vladimir Naumov was one of the 'liquidators' sent to the disaster zone in the immediate aftermath. "We ruined our health in 1986. Of the 450 miners from Tula, 170 are dead. All of the others are invalids. In Tula, the mortality rate among liquidators is 25%. The suicide rate is ten times higher than the national average." Today president of the Chernobyl Union for Tula and the Centre Region, he explains his union struggle against efforts to play down the impact of Chernobyl on those who helped clean up the mess.

In Ukraine, the trade union activists defending the last 4,000 workers in the exclusion zone are fighting against the indifference of the authorities, which have allocated a pittance to radiation protection programmes, thus compromising the health of personnel and the population at large. Sergiy Budianskiy, president of the Chernobyl Territorial Union, an affiliate of the Union of Nuclear and Energy Industry Workers of Ukraine (Atomprofspilka), adds: "Under a 2001 government programme, the closure of the power station was supposed to be offset by the creation of 3,750 new jobs by 2008 with a forecast budget of 2.43 million, but the funds were never paid out. The Slavutich free zone only allowed the creation of 700 jobs and the salaries are much lower than those in the exclusion zone.

Read also the Spotlight interview with Vladimir Naoumov (Chernobyl Union Russia), The mortality rate among the liquidators from Tula is 25%., at

The ICFTU represents 155 million workers in 236 affiliated organisations in 154 countries and territories:

ICFTU is also a partner in Global Unions.


CIS HQ has prepared a news item with a number of links to commemorate the Chernobyl accident in 1986

Please see

News from the UK

Efficacy of Gloves used in Printing

This range of substances coupled to the need for flexibility and sensitivity poses difficulties in the selection of appropriate gloves. Advice and guidance on glove selection is often based on laboratory tests of the permeation of single substances. The penetration of mixtures of substances is less well understood and there is suspicion that some components in mixtures will enhance the penetration of others. In addition, there is a concern that gloves will behave differently in use and perform less well than in laboratory tests.

Reasons proposed for this are that flexing, stretching and elevated skin temperatures act to reduce breakthrough times below that of the test conditions (unstretched, unflexed, 23°C). The effect of flexing and temperature has been found to reduce breakthrough times to as little as one third (Oppl, 2001). HSE is looking at the solvents, gloves and exposure controls used by printers in an attempt to help reduce exposure and risk of ill-health. Field studies are being conducted to determine what solvents and gloves are commonly used and whether there are more appropriate gloves.

Other investigations involve laboratory studies of the standard permeation rates of solvent mixtures through gloves. To complete the picture HSE also needed to look at the effectiveness of gloves when worn and used. This study sought to use the solvents and gloves used by lithographic printers and simulate their activities in a controlled environment where inhalation could be prevented and the effectiveness of their gloves studied.

The information gathered will contribute to HSE's policy and advice to the UK printing industry on the correct selection and use of chemical protective gloves. Although this project deals with lithographic printing, ultimately all sectors of the UK printing industry will be studied in a rolling programme


Contact details: The Health and Safety Laboratory, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 9JN | Tel: +44 (0) 1298 218000 | Fax: +44 (0) 1298 218590

For the full report and free download go to

News from Belgium

Celebrating May Day - Joint ICFTU/WCL May Day Manifesto - 2006

1 May 2006 - on international workers' day, we celebrate the fruits of decades of collective struggle, and pay homage to all those who have made sacrifices in the name of justice, equality and human dignity. We pledge to continue to use our collective strength to bring about a safe and just world, where every woman and man has the chance of a decent job.

In the face of great challenges confronting working people, the hope that springs from the tenacity of the human spirit is evident everywhere. From young people demanding their rights at work, to migrant workers fighting exploitation, to millions of women in export processing zones or trapped in informal work and striving for justice, people across the world understand better than ever that our common struggle is truly global.

Our international resolve is strong. Long before globalisation became a household word, trade unions understood that the fate of workers in one country is inextricably linked with the fate of workers in another. We will continue to confront those who seek to divide, and to profit from division, by pitting worker against worker. We will carry forward the fight to those who advocate xenophobia and racism. We will stand, as ever, in solidarity with all those who face oppression, discrimination and violation of their rights. We remain steadfast in our determination to end global poverty, and to build a global economy that serves the interests of people rather than capital, where the rules of trade and finance support workers' rights and development instead of promoting a race to the bottom.

2006 is a year of historic importance for international trade unionism. A new trade union international will be created in November, bringing together some 200 million workers from all corners of the world. We will be stronger and more united than ever in history, and we will use this strength to transform the world of work and the world at large in the interests of all men and women. By reaching out to all workers, standing with those who fight for their rights against exploitation and dictatorship, and campaigning for global peace and security, trade unions around the world will have a new and powerful voice.

Global action on global issues is essential to realizing our primary tasks of fighting for fundamental workers' rights, for equality and for safe, sustainable and healthy work for all. It is indispensable in the fight against HIV-AIDS and the other great crises facing humanity. We pledge to fight for a world in which each human being is empowered to fulfill their potential, no matter where they live. We pledge to fight for a world in which each worker is treated with dignity and respect.

Our collective aspiration is timeless, and will live on in the hearts and minds of the millions of working men and women who are the world trade union movement. Long live international labour solidarity.

The ICFTU represents 155 million workers in 236 affiliated organisations in 154 countries and territories.

ICFTU is also a partner in Global Unions.

News from International Confederation of Free Trade Unions

Bangladesh: international actions focus on garment workers' health and safety

11 April 2006, international actions on garment workers' health and safety in Bangladesh were held around the world. This date has not been chosen randomly. It was exactly one year ago to the day that the Spectrum factory in Bangladesh collapsed. Sixty-four people were killed and 74 were injured. The victims of the catastrophe are still awaiting decent compensation. Health and safety requirements at the factory were far from met, and played a determining role in the tragedy.

As the Spectrum disaster is commemorated around the world, working conditions in Bangladesh remain a focus of grave concern. No less than four serious accidents were registered in the country in March and February alone. Three fires and a building collapse once again killed and injured numerous textile and clothing workers. The working conditions in the industry in Bangladesh are catastrophic and unacceptable. Many trade union federations have protested en masse against this state of affairs.

The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF) recently opened an independent inquiry into the disasters casting a tragic shadow over the textile and clothing industry in Bangladesh. It has also called on the country's authorities to take urgent measures to protect the health and safety of the sector's workers.

The sectoral federation's actions are fully backed by the ICFTU. The international trade union movement supports the programme of action proposed by the ITGLWF. The programme covers a number of urgent measures to be taken, such as ensuring that all production units hold a certificate on structural soundness by 30 June, that premises used to produce textile and clothing be equipped with sufficient emergency exits, and that all production units employing more than 25 workers have a compulsory health and safety committee comprising representatives of the management and the workers, etc.

For more information on this programme, visit:

The ICFTU represents 155 million workers in 236 affiliated organisations in 154 countries and territories:

ICFTU is also a partner in Global Unions:

OSHE websites to explore

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

Asbestos  UK
The UK Asbestos Safety Association (ASA) is predominantly a members' only support service, but there are some information sources under "Asbestos World" including conference writeups.

Avian Flu  Luxembourg

The European Commission (SANCO), EU Health Ministries, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority EFSA has been published providing information and advice to groups at risk and members of the public. This fact sheet gives details about avian flu.

First Aid: Training  UK
The British Red Cross has launched a new website offering customers 'real time' information for those booking first aid courses for the workplace - the only organisation to offer this facility. The new website aims to provide customers with easier and more convenient way to book first aid courses. It gives users up-to-date information on the availability and location of courses throughout the UK. It allows customers to take a 'shopping basket' approach, selecting appropriate courses before 'checking out' using the automated payment process. The Red Cross is one of the UK's leading providers of first aid training. It has 175 centres across the country running 800 courses a month. The British Red Cross trains 120,000 people in first aid for the workplace. Money raised through this activity is used to continue the humanitarian work of the Red Cross in the UK and overseas.

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

Information and Intelligence  USA
The US Central Intelligence Agency International Factbook is an invaluable source of information on worldwide countries. Regularly updated, contains information on infectious diseases. There is now a separate entry for the European Union. A very useful list of the flags of the nations.

Nanotechnology  USA
The International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) is an organization whose activities are broadly supported by industry, non-profit foundations, and governments. Based at Rice University, USA, the ICON is a currently an affiliates program of the United States National Science Foundation's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology. ICON has launched an online database of scientific findings related to the benefits and risks of nanotechnology. The ICON Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) database contains summaries (abstracts) and citations for research papers related to the EHS implications of nanoscale materials. The ICON has issued a request for proposals for best practices for nanotechnology safety.

Road Safety  UK
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has produced two free road safety resources: Driving for Work: Drink and Drugs and Driving for Work: Own Vehicles. These aim to inform employers and line managers who have staff who drive for work, and those who have their own vehicle. One provides advice on how to ensure that staff do not drive when impaired by alcohol, drugs or medicines. The other offers advice on helping staff who use their own private vehicles for work purposes.

Stress  UK
Gone2Lunch is a UK campaign to make sure you get your proper entitlement of a stress-free, private lunch hour at work. It is a fact that the British work harder and longer than any other nation in the European Union. Not only that, the culture has resulted in the creation of a working environment where lunch is deemed only for "wimps", and a well-earned breather dismissed as little more than "slacking off". Aggressive management and the boom in out-of-town business parks confine more and more people to their desks. Little wonder that the last refuge of relaxation is a quick Web surf or email session during a snatched 5 minutes here or there. Now even this is under threat as "Big Brother"-style employers remove these rights of Internet/email access, subjecting employees to constant surveillance and invasions of privacy.

Waste Reduction Control  UK
The UK Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) has developed a construction waste and resources website for those working in the building and engineering sectors to help them improve resource productivity and achieve waste reduction.
Guidance and advice, case studies of good practice are provided.

Xylene  USA
The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH xylene pages are designed as a resource for individuals working with xylene and give advice in the NIOSH pocket guide, other information and links.

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

28 April - 4 May 2006 - Safe and Healthy Workplace is Good Business - Make it Yours!
Singapore National Workplace Safety and Health Week (NWSH) 2006
Organised by the Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee (WSHAC), together with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and its partners |

30 April - 6 May 2006 Review. Refresh. Revitalize - North American Occupational safety and Health Week
NAOSH Week is an annual initiative led by the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), in concert with North American partners in Mexico and the United States. |

2-3 May 2006 - Psychosocial aspects of complex emergencies: preparing healthcare and other professional for new challenges in the medical arena: Homeland Defense Journal Training Conference
Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC, USA
Contact: Pamela Greenstein, Homeland Defense Journal, 4301 Wilson Blvd. #1003, Arlington, VA 22203, USA | Tel: +1 703 807 2758 | Email: | |

23-27 May 2006 - Noise Action Week
The week is sponsored by the government (DEFRA). Noise Action Week is co-ordinated by NSCA, the environmental protection charity, and supported by the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations in N Ireland, Scotland and Wales. |

29 May - 1 June 2006 - WasteTech 2007 - Show and Conference
Moscow, Russia
Contact: Sergey Malygin, SIBICO International Ltd., PO Box 173, Moscow, 107078, Russia | Tel/Fax: +7 (495) 101 4621, 782 1013 | Email: |

5-7 June 2006 - 1st American Conference on Human Vibration. The conference will provide a unique opportunity for participants to exchange information on all aspects of human responses to hand-transmitted vibration and whole-body vibration.
Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
Contact: West Virginia University Medical Corporation, c/o Office of Continuing Education, 5302 Health Sciences South, P.O. Box 9080 - HV, Morgantown, WV 26506-9080, USA | Fax: + 1 304 293 8652 |

20-22 June 2006 - Trading Standards Better regulation - Better production: Trading Standards Institute Conference and Exhibition
ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, London, UK
Contact: Crescent Events, The Cork House, 104 Constitution Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6AWU | Tel: 0870 872 9040 | Fax: 0870 872 9039 | Email: |

21-23 June 2006 - 14th International Symposium on HIV & Emerging Infectious Diseases (ISHEID)
Theme: Focusing first on people

Toulon, France
Contact: Dr Alain Lafeuillade, Scientific Secretariat, Infectiology Unit, Hôpital Chalucet, 83056 Toulon, France | Tel: +33 (4) 94 22 77 41 | Fax: +33 (4) 94 92 67 47 | Email: |

12-15 July 2006 - World Conference on Tobacco OR Health Conference
Washington, DC. USA
Contact: Lisa Astorga, Conference Secretariat, American Cancer Society, 1599 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30329-425, USA | Tel: +1 856 423 3135 | Fax: +404-728-0133 | Email:

News Briefs

From Italy

ISPESL Annual Report 2004 - latest edition contains news of the work ISPESL - Italy's National Institute for Health and Safety at Work. It covers the following Departments - Occupational medicine, Occupational hygiene, Documentation, Information and Training (Also CIS Centre), Safety Technology, Production Plants and Environmental Interaction, Homologation and Certification and the Research Centre of Lamezia Terme.

Printed version free of charge from the Editorial Office, ISPESL, Department of Documentation, Information and Training, Via Alessandria 220/E, 00198 Rome, Italy | Tel: + 06 44280210 | Fax: + 06 44250972 | Email:

From Tunisia

The latest edition of the Institute de Sante et de Securite au Travail (ISST) review
Sante-Securite-Travail - SST - contains the Dossier - Le soudage: Risques et Prevention, a nuber of articles including one on absenteeism and also the calendar of events for 2006.
ISST is also the CIS National Centre in Tunisia.
Contact: ISST, 5 Bd Mustapha Khaznader, 1007 Tunis, Tunisia | Tel: +216 71 561 636 | Fax: + 216 71 571 902 | Email:

From the USA

NIOSH publication - Safe lifting and movement of nursing home residents
DHHS NIOSH Publication Number 2006-117
Contact: NIOSH, Publication Dissemination, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OHIO 45226 | Tel: + 1 800 356 4674 | Fax: + 1 513 533 8573 | 
Email: |

Make my day...
Send Your news to your Editor:

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

Don't forget
13-15 September 2006 - CIS Annual Meeting 2006 and Training Workshop, Geneva

See also details of various events worldwide in this edition!