CIS Newsletter

No. 201
June 2006

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


  1. Editorial
  2. CIS Annual General Meeting and Workshop
  3. World NO Tobacco Day - 31 May 2006
  4. News from Hong Kong
  5. News from Japan
  6. FOCUS - Decent Work
  7. News Briefs - Belgium, Japan, Spain, Tanzania
  8. News from around the World - Canada, Israel, Namibia, The Netherlands, Switzerland, UK and USA
  9. Request for help on Expert Systems
  10. Gabor Sandi reports from South America
  11. Check out the OSHE websites
  12. Diary of Events


Dear CIS Colleagues

Hope you enjoyed the May 2006 the 200th edition of the CIS Newsletter and could see how much we have progressed since 1989. If you did not see it you can always go to the web site and read it on

As I finish editing this newsletter we celebrate 31 May 2006 World No Tobacco Day - try to find some way of promoting this in your country - you will find some useful information in the article in this newsletter. If any of you have some interesting news re the Day please remember to share with all of us!

This June 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

Gabor Sandi sends the invitation to the Annual Meeting in this edition - you will be receiving your personal one very shortly, so 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.

The one day training course to be held on Wednesday 13 September 2006 will give even the most jaded information manager some new ideas in using OSH information. Take time to invest in a day that will give you some new horizons to aim for as you deliver your information services!

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

Important News from Geneva

Gabor Sandi, Head CIS send the following news - of course invitation letters will be sent to individuals...

Dear Colleague

It is a pleasure to invite you to the 44th annual Meeting of CIS National and Collaborating Centres, which will take place at ILO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 September 2006. The meeting will be preceded, for those who are interested, by a one-day hands-on training session on the use of information tools in OSH, kindly organized by Sheila Pantry.

The Meeting will be held in Meeting Room IV at the R3 level of the ILO Building. Simultaneous interpretation will be offered between English and French.

The provisional agenda of the CIS annual meeting is as follows:

Thursday, 14 September 2006

Friday, 15 September 2006

Please note that the time devoted to the presentation of Reports by CIS Centres should be kept to a bare minimum. We respectfully ask Centres to limit their presentation to about 5 minutes, enough time for a very brief overview of their activities in the past year, with a special mention of new or modified activities if any. As usual, CIS welcomes the submission of longer reports in printed or electronic format, and will install them on its web site, if possible.

As in past years, CIS is unable to contribute financially to the participation of Centre representatives at its meetings.

Our Secretariat will be happy to help you find accommodation in Geneva. We shall also send information about how to get from the airport to downtown Geneva, as well as other practical matters, to all those who confirm their participation.

If you intend to attend the Meeting, please inform the CIS Secretariat at the address given below, specifying in addition if you will also participate in the hands-on training session offered on Wednesday, 13 September.

Your confirmation should be sent by e-mail to:

Alternatively, you can send it by mail to: Gabor Sandi, Head, CIS, International Labour Office, 4, route des Morillons, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland

World No Tobacco Day - 31 May 2006

Since 1988, World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) has been held on May 31. Created by the World Health Assembly, it is the only global event to call worldwide attention to the impact of tobacco on public health.

All over the world, WNTD is celebrated with media campaigns and special activities. Past themes have included health professionals against tobacco, tobacco-free workplaces, and media and tobacco.

For 2006, the theme is Tobacco: Deadly in any form or disguise.

Tobacco: a global killer

The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by 2020, tobacco will become the leading cause of death and disability, killing more than 10 million people each year and causing more deaths than HIV, tuberculosis, maternal mortality, car accidents, suicide and homicide combined.

Strict regulation is key

Many tobacco products around the world are marketed in a variety of forms and disguised as healthy through labeling and attractive packaging and fruity flavours.

All tobacco products are deadly, including:

The message of World Tobacco Day 2006 is to encourage countries and governments to work towards strict regulation of all tobacco products.

Find out more about World No Tobacco Day

Visit the World No Tobacco Day 2006 website to download WNTD publicity materials.

News from Hong Kong

Tracy Chan, Publicity Officer, Hong Kong Occupational Safety & Health Council writes:

The Hong Kong Occupational Safety & Health Council and the Labour Department are proud to host the 7th International Congress on Work Injuries Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation from 27 - 29 June 2006 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

This international event consists of 3-day conference on the issue of prevention, rehabilitation, compensation of work related injury and illnesses and will be packed by powerful presentations of internationally renowned experts. An exhibition will be showcasing the latest safety and health products and services.

The 3-day international conference consists of over 150 keynote and plenary presentations and a tradeshow featuring 80 exhibition booths showcasing the latest safety and health products and services.

Please visit the Congress website for updated program and register as early as possible. For further information, contact: Congress Manager - Workcongress7

Swire Travel Limited | Tel: (852) 3151 8808 / (852) 3151 8829 | Fax: (852) 2590 0099 | Email:

Hong Kong Occupational Safety and Health Council:

News from Japan

Mr. Hirotoshi Goo retired from JISHA at the end of March 2006 and assumes a new position at Japan Association of Safety and Health Consultants.

CIS Centres colleagues wish Mr Goto every success in his new post and his future. Many colleagues will remember Mr Goto at our Annual Meetings.

We would like to dispatch one personnel to the Annual Meeting. After deciding who will attend, we will inform you. Thank you for your kind cooperation.

Hiroko Hasegawa, International Cooperation Division, JISHA, 5-35-1 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014 Japan | e-mail: | Tel & Fax: +81-3-3454-4596


News from the European Commission

Commission promotes 'decent work in the world' to fight poverty and promote fair globalisation

A major push for more action, more coherent policies and better implementation of 'decent work' was launched on 23 May 2006 by the European Commission. Decent work, meaning more and better jobs with welfare protection, equal opportunities and social dialogue, can help developing countries fight poverty. But it can also help developed countries, improve working and living conditions and pursue appropriate policies as globalisation, technological advances and population trends all change. The Commission Communication, entitled ' Promoting decent work in the world', aims to strengthen EU policies and programmes in helping spread decent work both inside and outside the EU.

'Half the world's workers earn less than two dollars a day. Half of the world's population have no welfare protection. The concept of decent work for all is a way of tackling these inequalities,' said EU Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Vladimír Špidla. 'Better economic growth is no guarantee of better jobs or less poverty. Economic and social progress need to go hand in hand - this is a challenge for both public authorities and business.'

The Commission's Communication aims to go beyond just ensuring minimum labour rights, but give a clear indication how promoting decent work can be achieved. This includes promoting job creation, improved governance and social dialogue, identifying and addressing decent work deficits, better cooperation between the main stakeholders and reducing corruption. There is also a business case to improving decent work, as it contributes to improved economic performance.

Concrete activities will include developing means of measuring and addressing decent work, gauging the effect of trade on decent work, strengthening the contribution of decent work in EU development policy and external aid and reinforcing cooperation with regional, international organisations, the business community and other parts of civil society.

The Commission will emphasise the need for decent work for all in its agreements and cooperation with countries outside the EU including candidate, neighbouring, developing and developed countries. Strengthening decent work in an open trade regime will be important in EU trade policies. Workers in the informal economy in developed countries can lack the elements needed for 'decent work'. The Commission will also encourage each country to formulate a 'road map' towards establishing decent work for all, taking into account the needs and specific situations of partner countries.

The United Nations Summit affirmed last September that fair globalisation and decent work for all have to be fundamental objectives in both national and international policies, as well as development strategies. Today's Communication affirms the commitment of the Commission's commitment to contributing to the effective implementation of promoting decent work for all in the world.

The Commission will publish an outline of progress achieved in the area by the summer 2008:

Press Release IP/06/675: German | English | French

COM(2006)249 - Promoting decent work for all: The EU contribution to the implementation of the decent work agenda in the world: | German (PDF) | English (PDF) | French (PDF)

SEC(2006)643 - Annex: English (PDF) | French (PDF)


The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), the World Confederation of Labour (WCL), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Solidar and the Global Progressive Forum strongly believe that 'decent work' is an issue that has been neglected for too long by aid, trade and development organisations. Despite the development of international labour standards adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), organisations such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have done very little to make sure that basic workers' rights are respected.

ILO figures show that over 200 million children are in paid work, over 12 million people are in forced labour, and over 2 million workers die every year due to work-related accidents and diseases. Last year, 145 people worldwide were murdered for their trade union activities.

"The rights of workers have fallen off the agenda," said Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Chair of the Global Progressive Forum. "It is no wonder so many people are becoming disillusioned with globalisation when a fundamental right such as decent work is not even being discussed.

Nobody can allow child labour, forced labour and the right to a living wage to drop off the radar screen as if they no longer mattered. I am all for trade liberalisation, but only if it is accompanied by action to end child labour, to end the misery of working poverty, to give ordinary people a decent life. It is very positive that the European Commission wants to start promoting decent work. Now it needs to put words into action. The ILO core labour standards should be taken more seriously by governments and the international institutions. It would also be good if the Commission did something to improve working conditions in Europe."

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

News Briefs

From Belgium

Report - Further assessment of the impact of REACH with a focus on skin and respiratory diseases by Simon Pickvance et al.

90 000 occupational disease cases will be avoided in Europe, saving 3.5 billion euros over 10 years for the EU-25. These are the mind-boggling figures to come out of a recent ETUC report, now available in softcover. The study on how REACH will benefit workers' health was done by researchers from the University of Sheffield, looking chiefly at respiratory and skin diseases.

"The study bears out that chemical-related occupational diseases are a very big problem in all EU countries", said ETUI-REHS Director Marc Sapir.

Adopting an ambitious REACH should help bring down the numbers of these diseases that have been steadily rising for half a century. Everyone will win out - social security systems, through reduced costs; workers, through a better quality of life; and not least employers, who will avoid productivity losses from sickness-related absences.

ETUI-REHS/ETUC co-publication. 2005. 76 pages. Format 21 x 29.5 cm. ISBN 2-87452-008-X. 25 Euros. EN

European Trade Union Institute for Research, Education and Health and Safety Health and Safety Department, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5 bte 5, B-1210 Brussels, Belgium | Tel: + 32 2 224 05 60 | Fax: + 32 2 224 05 61| E-mail:

From Japan

The latest edition of JISHA's newsletter Safety and Health in Japan describes a number of activities including: Training programmes, development of guidelines for Risk Assessment implementation; Research and Statistics - Labour -Management gap in attitudes about communication and 'Viewpoint - Fostering a Culture of Safety' by Tsuyoshi Kodama, Director, Research and Surveys Department, JISHA.

Contact JISHA 5-35-1 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014 Japan | Email: | Tel & Fax: +81-3-3454-4596

From Spain

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Bilbao, Spain latest publications

The following new publications on young people at work will be of interest to those who employ young workers. Click on the titles for full text.

From Switzerland

ILO Home page

See the ILO Home page for details of the latest news

From Tanzania

Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA 2003) and Elimination of Child Labour

In March 2006,The Government in Tanzania enacted the Occupational Health and Safety legislation, replacing the Factory Inspectorate Ordinance of 1958. Factory Inspectorate Ordinance legislation was responsible for workplace inspections, however it had significant limitation as it failed to cover all workplaces and all categories of workers. All worksites without a factory were not recognized as workplaces and therefore were not monitored. It was this failing that lead to the intensification of child labour. Unfortunately though, the government has not clearly indicated the role of Government Inspectors in eradication of child labour within the new legislation.

From Tunisia

The latest edition of the Institute de Sante et de Securite au Travail (ISST) review.

Sante-Securite-Travail - SST - contains the Dossier - La securite dans les laboratories de chimie, a number of articles 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:

News from Israel

Date for your Diary: 24-25 October 2006 Tel Aviv, Israel

We are pleased to inform you about the upcoming 12th Annual National Conference & Exhibition for Safety & Hygiene at the workplace, that will take place in Tel Aviv, Israel on 24-25 October 2006. The Event is the official, the professional and the biggest one for Occupational Safety & Hygiene in Israel.

The Occupational Safety & Hygiene Conference & Exhibition is going to take place at the Israel Trade Fair Conference in Tel Aviv, in the new state of art Pavilion no. 1 with it's 5,300 sq. m., there will be held the Plenary sessions & the Exhibition with international high standard. In the last Exhibition there were representatives from 14 Countries, 134 exhibitors and approx 2,000 professional visitors, safety & purchase managers from the various fields of Industry and factories in Israel. The Exhibition is a commercial one and will contain all range of subjects connected to Occupational Safety & Hygiene and Environmental issues.

The Occupational Safety & Hygiene Conference & Exhibition is held under the supervision of the Israel Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene (IIOSH). The IIOSH is Israel's national public institution concerned with workplace safety and health and her main objective is to promote safety and hygiene at the workplace. There will be a "business Lounge" room that will allow Exhibitors to have personal meetings to develop their business leads & relations in Israel. Don't miss this opportunity to expose the suitable companies from your Country at the Exhibition to the Israeli market.

Here is the list of the Countries from were the foreign Companies participated the last Exhibition: USA, France, Germany, Italy, England, Sweden, South Africa, Switzerland, Spain, Taiwan, Finland, Belgium, South Korea, New Zealand

We invite exhibitors from your Country to take in consideration and register to the next Exhibition in order to encourage and increase your exposure into the Israeli Market.

Our rates for participation:
Space only
- $240 per 1 sq. m. or Space + constructed standard Booth - $290 per 1sq.m.
Minimum standard Booth of 6 sq.m at the cost of $ 1,470.
The standard Booth will contain: White panels, Sign on the Booth, Carpet, 1 Table, 2 chairs, 2 spotlights and 1 electricity outlet (1 kilowatt).

For more information you can browse our website: or contact me directly, Email: Please don't hesitate to contact me more information required.

Orly Spagnul, Business Development Manager, ORTRA - Conventions, Exhibitions, Incentives & Tourist Services | Tel: 00972-3-6384453 | Mobile:00972-54-6701008 | Fax:00972-3-6384455

Britain to lead the world in work revolution

Just as Britain led the way with industrialisation in the 19th century, we are looking to lead the world in changing the work culture in the 21st.

An initiative which aims to make the UK the most progressive economy in the world was launched on 3 May 2006 at the QEII Conference Centre in London.

Called Work Wise UK, the initiative will encourage the widespread adoption of smarter working practices, such as flexible working, remote working, mobile working and working from home. Adopting this modern day approach to working lives will increase business productivity and competitiveness, reduce transport congestion and pollution, improve health, assist disadvantaged groups, and harmonise our work and family commitments.

Meg Munn MP, DTI Minister for Women and Equality, said: "Smarter working should be integral in a modern economy. It increases productivity, competitiveness and helps our economy perform better in the global marketplace. It also helps people - it enables us to lead more fulfilled lives - having greater choice about how we balance our work with our family commitments. These flexible work practices benefit us all."

An increasingly complex world means that employers and employees have to strive to use their resources effectively; the one to gain better productivity, the other to balance work-life pressures.

Confederation of British Industries (CBI) Director-General, Sir Digby Jones, who spoke at the Work Wise summit, said: "Flexible, smarter working is here to stay. Nine out of ten requests from staff to work flexibly have been accepted by employers and the UK leads the rest of Europe in numbers of part-time workers. New technologies will help more people in the future to 'telework' from home or on the move.

"These new ways of working have benefits for companies seeking to recruit, motivate and retain valued staff and for employees who have hectic or demanding lives. More flexible working benefits the economy through higher productivity and reduced transport pressure.

"The challenge for us all is to strike the right balance - both in and outside of work - and achieve the maximum flexibility whilst still meeting the needs of our businesses and customers."

It is recognised that the UK workforce is now among the hardest working in the world, an amazing transformation since the 1970s when the country was viewed as the "sick man of Europe". Today, this work ethic results in the UK average working week being among the longest in Europe.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, also speaking at the summit, was keen to see working hours reduced through smarter working: "Our long hours culture is damaging the UK's productivity prospects. British men work the longest hours in Europe and this isn't helping their firms become more productive, nor is it good for the health of these long hours employees or the happiness of their families. The attitude of employers is the biggest barrier we face to a better work/life balance. Unfortunately too few employers have yet to grasp the concept that flexible working not only makes for sound business sense but is also good news for overworked individuals.

"With statistics showing that only one in seven UK employees is able to work from home occasionally and just one in ten is allowed to work flexibly, we still have a long, long way to go before a decent work/life balance can be achieved by everyone at work. Those employers who have been bold enough to embrace flexibility are more likely to recruit and retain staff and are less likely to suffer from high levels of staff absence. A more flexible approach to work is the direction in which we want to be going and I call on the UK's employers to work with unions and the Government to make Britain a better, more productive place to work."

The advantages of an improved work-life balance are well-documented, and although the UK is embracing smarter working practices, there is a huge scope for improvement. Currently, there are 5.4 million employees who work through some kind of flexible working agreement, of which 2.2 million are men and 3.2 million are women (Labour Force Survey, Autumn 2005). Of these totals, 3.3 million work from home in some form (LFS Microdata Service).

"Work Wise UK will accelerate the change in working practices towards a culture that helps balance work and life commitments," said Phil Flaxton, chief executive of the IT Forum Foundation, the organiser of Work Wise UK, which was established in 1983 as a not-for-profit undertaking. "Work Wise UK is about changing working culture for the better, changing the way people work, giving them the skills to work smarter, to work more efficiently," he said.

Meg Munn MP continued: "We've seen evidence that flexible working is making a difference to people's lives. But to really change the way we work and maximise the benefits for everyone, we need to encourage the widespread adoption of smarter working practices."

The start of Work Wise UK involves a period of discussions and planning, led by the CBI and TUC, on how to deliver the vision of up to half the working population working smarter by the end of the decade. This consultation will culminate with the publication of a concordat - a document with across-the-board support which details the vision and how it will be achieved.

Work Wise Week marked the start of the three-year Work Wise UK programme during which it is hoped many thousands of companies and organisations will sign-up to the concordat and implement smarter working practices to the benefit of their business, their employees, and the country as a whole.

Further information about Work Wise Week and Work Wise UK can be found at

News from the UK

The Fire Protection Association (FPA) has launched a new corporate identity to coincide with the beginning of its sixtieth anniversary year in 2006

The launch of the FPA's new corporate identity reflects the organisation's renewed commitment to protecting businesses and communities from fire, says Jonathan O'Neill, Managing Director of the FPA. The UK based Fire Protection Association (FPA) has launched a new corporate identity to coincide with the beginning of its 60th anniversary year in 2006. The decision to re-brand was reached following a review of our aims and objectives by our Board of Directors and by the FPA Council, now chaired by the former fire minister, Nick Raynsford MP. The strap-line, Protecting People, Property, Business and the Environment, not only reflects the activity and culture within the FPA, it interestingly would have been a suitable précis of the original aims and objectives of the organisation when it was started by the insurers in 1946.

The motivation of the insurers for setting up the FPA was not simply sheer benevolence; there were, and still are, sound business reasons for supporting an organisation whose primary role was to improve fire prevention and protection techniques through research, technical standards and publicity. However, the tremendous investment in the FPA by the insurance industry should be recognised.

The FPA is, of course, a very different organisation today. We have a much broader ownership, which includes the Chief Fire Officers' Association, the Institution of Fire Engineers and the trade, through the Fire Industry Confederation. We no longer rely on a grant or levy from the insurers to cover our operating costs and support our good works. In fact, 2006 will be the final year for which this type of funding will be available.

Our previous support of community-based fire prevention activity should not be under-estimated, since it helped lay the foundations for much of the work currently being undertaken by fire and rescue services. Initiatives such as the National Fire Prevention Youth Quiz have been effective in promoting a fire safety message to large numbers of children, many of whom may not have received the information any other way. The youth quiz also introduced many brigade personnel to community safety activity, many of whom have now become champions today, both locally and nationally.

It is very important that this type of work continues to be supported. Although the FPA no longer receives a grant from the insurers to support such initiatives, it remains a not-for-profit organisation, which will invest any surplus made from its commercial operations into activities which 'protect people, property, business and the environment'. Incidentally, this is not to say that the insurers no longer support the FPA; much of our commercial activity is directed at the insurance industry and four of our non-executive directors are from the industry.

Change of governance

The change in corporate governance and funding arrangements for the organisation has, in many ways, increased the significance of the FPA Council, whose role is to advise the Board and to determine the direction of non-fee-earning activity and the support of good works. With the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 formally recognising the fire prevention role of fire services, community safety is now comparatively well-resourced, both nationally and locally. The FPA has nowhere near the amount of resource available that is needed to underpin this activity, but we can be effective by supporting projects that may struggle for core funding elsewhere. So where are we heading in the next few years?

Business continuity planning has long been recognised as a key feature of the survivability of any business following a major incident, including fire. The London bombings in July 2005 and, more recently, the Buncefield oil depot disaster have highlighted the effect on businesses of a major incident that may not necessarily result in material damage. The Buncefield incident affected some 300 businesses, with early reports suggesting that 70 were immediately forced to shut down permanently.

Simply not having access to a business premises can have a devastating effect on order fulfilment and cash flow. It is recognised that most small- and medium-sized businesses do not have adequate contingency plans and are therefore at much greater risk, should a major incident occur. The FPA has undertaken a research project to devise a simple guide for small businesses on the principles of contingency planning. In the coming year, we intend to work with fire and rescue services and other local authorities to improve business continuity planning in small- and medium-sized firms.

Our other major focus will be on arson reduction. Although there has been some local success in reducing the number of deliberate fires, linked to some innovative projects sponsored by the Arson Control Forum, it remains a major societal problem. The FPA must do more in this field to assist in identifying how the trend in the number of arson fires can be reversed. We are in the process of identifying how best to use our limited resources to best effect.

The change in corporate identity is reflective of the step change that there has been in UK fire. The FPA's re-brand is designed to recognise that our role is wider than fire and that, by working together with others, we can be effective in reducing risk in the community to the benefit of all.

Jonathan O'Neill is Managing Director of the Fire Protection Association

The Fire Protection Association, London Road, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 0RH | Phone: +44 (0)1608 812 500 | Fax: +44 (0)1608 812 501 | Email: |

Help required...

Evaluation into the Success of other occupational safety and health (OSH) Regulators Use of Expert Systems Overview

BOMEL is an independent research consultancy conducting research on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in Great Britain (GB) to understand more about how expert systems are being used by International OH&S Regulators and industry to manage workplace risks. The aim of the research is to help the HSE understand how it can learn important lessons from the success of other organisation's use of expert systems to manage workplace risks.

Expert Systems

An expert system can be described as a computer application that uses specialist domain knowledge to suggest solutions to problems in a particular discipline, for example, expert systems can help to diagnose human illnesses, make financial forecasts and identify and manage workplace risks and hazards. These types of tools may also be known as knowledge-based systems, decision-making tools and computer-aided learning.

Your Involvement

We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about any expert systems that you may use as an organisation and any others that you may have come across, at a time and date convenient with you. We are interested in hearing about issues including what the system was designed to do, the main components within it, how the system is managed and how successful the system has been (see the attachment for the full list of questions). We are primarily interested in expert systems designed to address safety at work, however we would like to know about any other systems that you use or have come across.

Benefits of Involvement

Taking part in the consultation will give you the opportunity to contribute to an international review of safety-related expert systems. Helping us with this research also has much wider implications. It will ultimately provide the HSE with an understanding of the true extent and type of systems that exist, and help the HSE to apply expert system best practice to the GB context.

Proposed date and time

We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about expert systems at a date and time convenient with you. The interview will last approximately 20 - 25 minutes. However, this may vary depending on the information that you are able to provide us with.


Everything that you say will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Your personal details will not be passed on to the HSE or made available to any other parties, however specialist knowledge gathered from industry professionals regarding their successful use of expert systems will be considered for documentation as case studies in an official report for the HSE. We would provide you with copies of such information that we intend to use.

Prity Chavda, BOMEL Limited, Ledger House, Forest Green Road, Fifield, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 2NR, United Kingdom | Tel: +44 (0) 1628 777707 | Fax: +44 (0) 1628 777877 | | Email:

News from Gabor Sandi in South America

Two brief reports - finals reports to follow:

1. Buenos Aires

The 2006 CIS Regional Meeting of CIS Centres in Latin America took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Tuesday, 25 April. This was the second regional meeting in CIS history, establishing what we would like to become a regular occasion, enabling CIS Centres in specific parts of the world to exchange experiences and contribute to a better flow of OSH information in various regions of the world. The Meeting itself was held within the framework of the 3rd Argentinian OSH Week, leading up to the World Day on 28 April.

In addition to ILO staff, the meeting was attended by people from existing centres in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, as well as by other people from Argentina, and a representative of a prospective centre in Uruguay. The team from the Superintendencia de Riesgos del Trabajo (the CIS NC for Argentina), headed by Silvia Giordano from the Training and Communications Department, provided very good support for the Meeting.

Mr Gabor Sandi (Head of CIS) made a presentation on the history of CIS, its present-day activities and its future plans, followed by a demonstration of innovations on its web site. This was followed by contributions by all the participants, and a lively debate concerning the role of the CIS centres network and its role in OSH information dissemination.

An eight-point set of conclusions was reached by the end of the day:

  1. The presence and use of the Spanish language within CIS should be strengthened in order to improve the information resources at the disposal of CIS centres in Latin America.
  2. The CIS Thesaurus, the CISDOC database and the ILO Encyclopaedia of OHS should be updated on a more regular basis.
  3. Include more information concerning Latin America in the CISDOC database (and other CIS resources), in part by introducing more regional information supplied by CIS centres in the region.
  4. The exact requirements for becoming a CIS centre should be defined.
  5. The commitment of countries in Latin America to invest more human and financial resources in new and existing CIS centres should be encouraged.
  6. The ILO should be requested to establish a technical cooperation project for the creation of a regional network of CIS national and collaborating centres, in order to strengthen the same. New subregional centres could also be set up (for the Mercosur, Andes and Central American areas).
  7. There should be more collaboration with employers' and workers' organizations by establishing OSH information centres within their scope of activity. This collaboration could be enhanced by working together with national OSH tripartite consultative bodies in countries where these exist.
  8. There should be close collaboration with CIS Headquarters in Geneva in organizing the commemoration of the World Day on April 28 of every year .

2. Sâo Paulo

I paid a visit to Fundacentro (our Brazilian NC), where I was received with great kindness by the Head of the Fundacentro Documentation Services and Library, Maria Inés dos Santos. I had a thorough overview of Fundacentro's library and other activities (including its analytical laboratories and PPE testing facilities). With Ms dos Santos, we came to an agreement, approved after a meeting with higher management, on three particular issues regarding further collaboration:

  1. Fundacentro would share with CIS its bibliographic database concerning Brazilian OSH theses. This d/b contains over 500 records, and its structure is such that it can be included (after translation into English and French) relatively easily in CISDOC. Where online pdf copies of the theses (with copyright permission, naturally) exist, these will of course be indicated in CISDOC, where they are not, the Fundacentro library will be indicated as the location of the original copy. This will be the beginning of CIS's efforts to include more of what is known as gray literature in our database - when it comes to material from outside Europe and North America, a lot of highly useful material can be thus included in CISDOC.
  2. For years, Fundacentro has been using the CIS Thesaurus for its own purposes. It has added a large number of new terms, and has translated the entire Thesaurus into Portuguese. We agreed that the additions would be included, as far as possible, in CIS's own version of the Thesaurus, and that - again if feasible - the Portuguese version of theThesaurus would be added on to our existing three languages. This should encourage CIS to make the Thesaurus into a multilingual OSH information tool as well.
  3. Brazil is an enormous country, yet we have only one centre there. Fundacentro has a large number of branch offices in various state capitals, two of which have their own library. We agreed that ways should be found to indicate the existence of these libraries (i.e. information centres) in the directory of CIS centres - since none of the existing names (National/Collaborating/Regional Centres) are suitable, we have to find a new term - hopefully we can!

News from Canada

E-Courses Focus on Prevention of Workplace Violence

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has released a trio of e-courses that focus on preventing violence in the workplace. Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur in or outside the workplace and can range from harassment, threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. Whatever form it takes, workplace violence is a serious issue that affects all business sectors and occupations and the safety and security of every employee and employer. CCOHS has developed three new e-courses to help increase awareness, suggest preventive measures and provide information to help develop a workplace violence prevention program.

Violence in the Workplace: Awareness
This fifteen minute course, offered free of charge, helps promote awareness of this important issue and serves as a introduction to the other CCOHS Workplace Violence e-courses.

Recognize the Risk and Take Action
Designed for frontline supervisors and workers, the course describes what workplace violence is, the consequences of workplace violence and preventive measures that can be taken. It takes approximately one hour to complete the course.

Establish a Prevention Program
The course introduces managers, supervisors and employees to the key components of an effective workplace violence prevention program. It provides the knowledge and tools they need to eliminate or minimize the potential for workplace violence by developing a prevention program for their organization. The course takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.

E-learning courses from CCOHS are unique in that they provide the user with course content that is

Pricing and registration details are available on the CCOHS website:

Contact: Eleanor Irwin, Manager - Marketing Sales and Communications | Tel: 905.572.2981 ext. 4408 | Email: |


The 2006 edition of the renowned ACGIH® booklet "Threshold Level Values and Biological Exposure Indices" (TLV/BEIs) is now available!

Normal price for the book is £33 but we are offering a special price of £30. Shipping and handling is extra according to size of order (minimum cost £2 plus VAT if applicable).

The 2006 Edition of the Guide to Occupational Exposure Values is also available at a cost of £43 per copy plus shipping and handling.

Finally, the 2006 Supplement to the Documentation of the TLV/BEIs is also now available and the CD ROM covering the Documentation and Occupational Exposure Values will be published in early June. Ask for a price quote if you are interested

On other fronts, don't forget the following:

Contact: Stephen Beach, Safchem Services, The Farthings, Meesden, Buntingford, Hertfordshire SG9 0BA, UK | Tel/fax: +44 (0)1279 778971 | Mobile: 07939 261930

News from Namibia

Decent Work - Safe Work

On 28 April 2003 the world through ILO (International Labour Organization) began to observe World Day for safety and health at work stressing the prevention of illness and accidents at work, capitalizing on its traditional strengths of tripartism and social dialogue. 28 of April is also a day the world's trade union movement has long associated with commemorating victims of occupational accidents and disease.

The International Labour Organization was founded to ensure everyone the right to earn a living in freedom, dignity and security. In short: the right to decent work. The belief that injury and disease "go with the job" is not acceptable. The challenge is to extend the benefits of this experience to the developing world.

A socially protected worker from unfair labour practices and a healthy worker equally protected from hazards at workplace is a happy worker who is highly productive and thus, contribute to a higher profit for the enterprises he/she is working for.

The primary focus on that day is on hazardous occupations. It targets workers in highly hazardous occupations.

In recent years, the charcoal production has expended in the farming sector in Namibia. The poor safety conditions of the charcoal workers is a major concern which was brought to the attention of cabinet by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

The charcoal producers farm owners seem to run away from their responsibilities as employers who, in term of the Labour Act, are obliged to take care of the health and safety of their employees for free of charge including free protective equipment, right working tools, free regular medical check-ups and on the job safety training.

The farmers who are charcoal producers are owners of the respective farms where debushing is taking place. They do respectively decide on the exact location where debushing should be done, the quantity of the required charcoal to be produced, the price per ton, equally, they provide the working tools for debushing and determine the time within which charcoal should be processed .

The charcoal labourers usually find themselves in the charcoal industry pushed out of desperation to find any employment in order to survive.

This charcoal producing workers have no right to sell themselves the charcoal produced by them, neither they are in position to negotiate for its price per ton, because they are not organized by any trade union.

The current practice whereby Charcoal workers are deliberately not supervised gives the misleading impression that they are self-employed or sub-contractors.

The charcoal labourers should be considered to be employees of the charcoal producers who must meet their responsibilities and obligations as employers, in accordance with existing labour legislation.

Indeed, the charcoal business is, presently becoming costly due to the unfavorable international market situation in this sector.

Nevertheless, to be en employer is a commitment just like parenthood: you should be able to cater for the basic needs of your child, irrespective of your present financial situation. Would such a comparison be appropriate?

In labour context it simply means that an employer must comply with the basic conditions of employment as stipulated in the Labour Act.

In labour traditional tripartite fashion it would be appropriate that any entitlements and definition on the legal status of the workers at the charcoal industry: whether employees, self employed or subcontractors, should transpire as a result of through tripartite consultations. The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare is in the process of consulting all social partners though the existing tripartite structures on this matter.

It goes without saying as far as the workers' entitlements are concerned, it they are considered to be employees, they have all the rights accorded by the Labour Act and all other labour legislation.

As mentioned previously, the charcoal workers are not unionized and it is also due to the fact that they are working in remote bush areas, practically inaccessible for possible union organizers. Who would cater then for their interests?

Currently, several line ministries are busy consulting on social improvements in the charcoal sector.

The safety situation at the charcoal industry in Namibia is pertinent in the context of commemorating World' Safety and Health at Work day.

The right of survival through honestly earned income is a basic human right of every citizen in independent Namibia. Equally, the right of safety at work is an intrinsic part of decent work.

In Labour too, we should respect all our fellow citizens, irrespective of ethnic or social background.

Through mutual respect in labour, we will not have costly for the employers industrial actions and protests by disgruntled workers.

We must find peaceful ways to solve labour problems through mutual respect between employers and workers in order to achieve a lasting solution for the betterment of us all.

Workers and employers should not look at each as adversaries, but as business, social partners working together towards the development of our country.

The fact remains that without an employer, there is no employee and, equally a worker makes the employer's business grow.

Workers and employers can be compared to a tandem where both sides are pulling together ahead towards economic development of our country and realization of Namibian vision 2030 which entails that Namibia will be a developed country by then.

To break the traditional wall of prejudice and mistrust between employers and workers is a tremendous task we have before us through implementing the amended Labour Act (No.15 of 2004) which soon may be operational.

The onus, however, is not only in the hands of the line ministries, but, equally, with the business sector and all other stakeholders in order to ensure industrial peace and thus, social stability in our country.

Dr Valentina Mulongeni , Director of Labour Services at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Namibia

News from The Netherlands

Occupational safety at international conference

"Accidents will be reduced by 40% through new safety culture on the workplace" and "Occupational accidents will be reduced by 30 till 40 percent if we change the company culture," states Joy Oh, policymaker of the Dutch ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. He is one of the organizers of the international networking conference on occupational safety, from 12 - 15 September 2006 in The Netherlands. Leading scientists, decision makers and safety professionals will present the latest trends for occupational safety: a new safety culture and less laws and rules.

For the first time the Netherlands will show an unique quantitative risk model for workers which uncovers the causes of accidents.

"For a long time prevention and technical security were the leading strategies to reduce occupational accidents. Which - as a consequence - created technical laws and rules and control systems. Till we reached the point that the number of accidents were not reduced any longer. Nowadays the company culture, organisation and the costs of safety are much more important to reduce accidents.

Occupational safety costs money and it has to be spend deliberately. Therefore instruments that make decisions easier, are of great value. Companies want to know which decisions to make and if the costs are worth it.

This also leads to less laws and rules about occupational safety. Prescriptive legislation was so overwhelming that maintenance of these rules became difficult. Now, companies have more freedom to take their own decisions", says Oh.

Safety culture

"Dangerous work can cause accidents. But companies can reduce the likelihood by creating a good culture. This includes for example that employees know what to do, keep an eye on each other and aren't afraid to talk to one other about each other behaviour. They must feel free to report unsafe situations or nearly accidents. Companies with this culture show great improvements. Accidents will reduce by 30 to 40% or even 60 to 80%. Changing the safety culture requires commitment on both sides: management and employees. Culture will change by good consultation and training," says Oh. In order to support companies to achieve this, the ministry has started an intensive program.

Risk model

Besides of the company culture analyses are important that uncover the causes of accidents. By order of the Dutch ministry of Social Affairs and Employment an international consortium of leading scientists have developed a so called quantitative occupational risk model.

This model is based upon a unique study of 9000 occupational accidents, which were investigated by the Labour Inspectorate. "Never before, such an extensive study of the underlying causes of incidents was undertaken", says Oh. "The new model will help companies to point out the risks and to take action to reduce accidents. The model will be presented at the conference."

Network conference

The main purpose of the conference is to exchange knowledge and experiences in the field of working on safety. And - last but not least - to meet colleagues from all over the world who are concerned with the same issues. The conference takes place at 'De Eemhof', a business conference centre (and holiday park) not far from the international airport Amsterdam-Schiphol.

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 price for accommodation and registration will be about 1100 Euro.

For more information and registration:

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:

ILO/ACTRAV releases 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 the USA

Trench Safety Awareness Training
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2006-133D

The revised version of the NIOSH CD is now also available as a web-based training resource. It provides interactive material on conducting a safe trenching program. Topics include the four types of trench collapse, the frequency and cost of trench collapses, trench soil types, and common trench protective systems. The web version, along with ordering information for the CD version, can be accessed at

Health Hazard Evaluation: Evaluation of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields at a computer and telecommunications facility
NIOSH investigators responded to a request to assess whether employees were exposed to high radiofrequency (RF) exposures in the antenna fields at a computer and telecommunications facility, and whether exposures could cause health problems. Investigators found that RF fields and body currents were well below occupational guidelines in transmitter buildings and in the antenna field, but that spatial average electric-field strength in certain outdoor areas exceeded occupational guidelines. NIOSH investigators recommended advising employees and others of potential exposures, restricting access to certain areas, periodically measuring electric and magnetic field strengths, and providing radiation safety training for specific personnel. The full report is available at

Technology News: Float Coal Dust Explosion Hazards
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2006-125

A new technical report highlights potential explosive hazards from float coal dust in mines, and ways to reduce those risks. Float coal dust is the term for fine coal particles that remain airborne in coal mines and can be moved relatively long distances through ventilating air. To address risks from float coal dust on surfaces above the mine floor and to reduce the potential for an explosion, special attention to increase the rock dust content on these elevated surfaces is recommended. The publication can be accessed at

Technology News: ARMPS-HWM: New Software for Sizing Pillars for Highwall Mining
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2006-128

The NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory has developed a new computer program to assist mine planners with pillar design. To assist in meeting Mine Safety and Health Administration requirements, the Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability-Highwall Mining (ARMPS-HWM) program uses a formula to estimate the strength of long strip pillars. More information on the features of the software is available at The software program can be accessed at

OSHE Websites

Go to the PORTAL and check out the wealth of OSH web sites on offer - check for item with NEW. Send your web site if not listed - look at Country List and Subject lists - your chance to promote your own web site - free of charge and checked out by thousands of searchers each month!

Diary of Events

If you have details of any conferences, seminars, training courses and events then please send to your Editor. You can also check and please use any of the data in

20 June 2006 - Fire Safety - New Legislation and requirements: one day training course by the University of Aston in association with Trenton Fire Ltd
School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
Contact: Helen Mallinson, The Course Secretary, Aston University, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Birmingham, UK | Tel: +44 (0)121 204 3593 | Fax: +44 (0)121 204 3684 | Email: |

27-29 June 2006 - 7th International Congress on Work Injuries Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation and Exhibition presented by The Hong Kong Occupational Safety & Health Council and the Labour Department
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong
Contact: Congress Manager - Workcongress7, Swire Travel Limited, Hong Kong | Tel: (852) 3151 8808 / (852) 3151 8829 | Fax: (852) 2590 0099 | Email: | |

29-30 June 2006 - Health Risk Management of Environment and Labour: Towards Safe and Clean Earth (Special cooperation with ILO Tokyo)
U Thant Conference Hall, United Nations House, United Nations University , HQ Building, Tokyo, Japan
Contact: URMPM Publication & Registration Office (Post) 4-36-2-103 Hongo, Bunkyoku, Tokyo, 13-0033, Japan | Tel: + 03-3817-6770 | Email: |

13 July 2006 - First annual Work-life Balance conference - Work-life Balance - Challenging Assumptions & Sharing Best Practice
CBI Conference Centre, London, UK
Contact: Booking Hotline on Tel: +44 (0) 20 7403 3990 |

24-28 July 2006 - ASTM International 2006 Boulder Conference: Bringing Science to Bear on Moisture and Mold in the Built Environment
University of Colorado at Boulder in Boulder, Colorado, USA
Contact: Conference Co-Chairman: Eva Ewing, Compass Environmental, Inc., Kennesaw, Ga. | Tel: +1 770 499 7127 | Email: |

21-25 August 2006 - 26th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants
SAS Radisson Scandinavia Hotel, Oslo, Norway

Contact: Symposium Secretariat, Congress-Conference AS, P.O. Box 2694 Solli · NO-0240 Oslo, Norway | Tel: +47 2256 1930 | Fax: +47 2256 0541 | Email:

20-21 September 2006 - Beijing - 2nd China International Forum on Work Safety and China: Work Safety and Social Harmony. International Occupational Safety and Health Exhibition.
Organized by the China National Center for International Exchange and Cooperation on Work Safety (NCICS) and sponsored by the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) and the International Labour Office (ILO).

Beijing, China
Contact: Ms. Zhou Weiqi and Ms. Wang Jing, Secretariat, National Center for International Exchange and Cooperation on Work Safety, State Administration of Work Safety, 21, Hepingli Beijing, Beijing 100713, China | Tel: +86 10 64229939/64463382 | Fax: + 86 10 64463003 | Email: |

1 October 2006 - Benchmarking Risk Management in Europe
Brussels, Belgium
Contact: Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) in co-operation with Ernst & Young and AXA Corporate Solutions.|

25-27 October 2006 - International Symposium Wood Dust: Occupational exposure to wood dust: risk assessment and management. Organised by EUROSHNET
Strasbourg, France
Contact: INRS - Wood Dust, Dpt MP, Avenue de Bourgogne - B.P. 27, 54501 Vandœuvre Cedex, France | Tel: +33 383 50 21 37 | Fax: +33 383 50 20 60 | Email: |

6 November 2006 - EurOhse2006 Masterclass Active Monitoring
Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London, UK
Contact: Angel Business Communications Ltd/Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, Coventry, UK | Tel: +44 (0)24 76 718970 | Email:

3-10 November 2006 - National Safety Council - Congress and Expo 2006
San Diego, California, USA
Contact: National Safety Council, 1121 Spring Lake Drive, Itasca, Illinois, 60143, United States | Tel:+1 630 775 205 | Email: |

3-6 December 2006 - The International Congress and Exposition on Noise - INTER-NOISE 2006.
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Contact: Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE), Business Office, 212 Marston, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-2153, United States | Tel: +1 515 294 6142 | Fax: +1 515 294 3528 | Email: |

2007 Dates

29-31 May 2007 - International Conference on Healthy Air - Better Work 2007 organised by Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Helsinki, Finland
Contact: Conference Co-Chairman: Eva Ewing, Compass Environmental, Inc., Kennesaw, Ga. | Tel: + 1 770 499 7127 | Email: |

Make my day...

Send Your news to your Editor:

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!