CIS Newsletter

No. 213
June 2007

CIS Newsletter celebrates 19 years & still going strong!
Bringing news to over 140 countries in the CIS Network!


  1. Editorial
  2. News from CIS HQ - CIS Annual Meeting 2007 information
  3. Marcel Robert
  4. News from around the World - Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Europe, Finland, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, UK and the USA
  5. OSH News Briefs - Bangladesh, Canada, Europe, Finland, Hungary, Tunisia and the UK
  6. Diary of Events


Dear CIS Colleagues

Summer is fast approaching for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere but this does not prevent accidents happening - either at work or even in our leisure time. You will see in this edition many activities that are taking place around the world that are informing, advising and training people of all ages, and especially the young people just starting their working lives or hoping to gain work experience during the summer holidays.

My recent visit to Budapest showed how good working practices are being rapidly adopted in many industries - great to see, but none of us must be complacent!

The major health and safety event in the UK took place last week and one of the seminars was on how to get information to small and medium enterprises - a challenge - and NOT a new one for everyone the world over!

My editorial in for June 2007 is about "Asking the right questions: what Directors should be asking about health and safety in their workplaces". This editorial discusses the fact that businesses have to cope with an increasing regulatory burden but there are many other reasons why directors should take their responsibilities very seriously. It is a criminal offence in the UK, Europe and elsewhere in the world to breach the laws protecting safety, health and the environment. Also good companies increasingly recognise good management of risks to health and safety at work is essential to the success of their business.

Creating and sustaining a good health and safety culture is essential for everyone concerned - workers, managers and directors. Directors need to learn to ask the "right" questions, understand how performance can be measured for the purpose of good corporate governance and to give commitment and leadership to staff. When management failures result in death at work, serious injuries and long-term ill health there are heavy penalties levelled at the company and its directors. In addition, the company's reputation is damaged.

Directors and others can find out more by looking at the quality guidance produced by organisations and government bodies such as CIS centres hold. Promote your Centre and make sure that pieces of guidance are readily available and really do help directors formulate the right questions and also obtain further information on how other organisations have succeeded.

ACTION by you... If you wish to send any reports re your activities and events - please send for the next CIS Newsletter. Likewise if you wish to send notice of any of your future planned events please let me know. Anything you do - even the smallest event will bring safety and health to the forefront in your country. Don't forget to look at the web site

More information and early preparations are now taking place for our 2007 CIS Meeting - in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 September 2007.

The Meeting is being organized jointly with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. The CIS Meeting will be held at the same time as the European Agency has its meeting of focal points, some of which are also our centres.

The Meeting will be held in conjunction with the A+A 2007 Congress and Trade Show, jointly sponsored by BASI (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit), the ILO, the European Agency and other safety and health bodies. For greater details see below message from Gabor Sandi at CIS HQ.

Please note that hotel accommodation is already getting booked up - so the advice is book early - like now! Some of us have booked at the Mondial Hotel, Graf-Adolf Strasse 82, Central Dusseldorf. Tel +49 0211 173 9920 | Fax: +49 0211 162 678 | | Email: Costs 125 euros per night. (Centrally located near stations and a little cheaper than the hotel near the Congress site.)

And because of the joint meeting there will NOT be any Training Workshops for CIS members this year.

Thanks for the publications, emails and news received from you this past month - these are always gratefully received and are used as soon as possible. So now we can share the information worldwide...

Publicity... tell them, tell them and tell them again... Remember >>>>
Use the CIS Logo on your web site and publications!

Thriving in 2007... Keep promoting and telling the World at large that CIS and its network exists!

You know I welcome ideas for inclusion in the future editions of this Newsletter. 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.

Changed email number recently? Please let me know of any changes so that I can continually alert you to when the new edition of CIS Newsletter is available via this website

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

Please consider the environment before printing this Newsletter
Feel free to use this Newsletter on your own web site/pages/e-news


News from Gabor Sandi, CIS HQ

Don't forget your invitation to the 45th annual Meeting of CIS National, Collaborating and Regional Centres, to be held in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 September 2007.

The Meeting will be organized jointly with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, whose Director (as you may already know) is a former Head of CIS and SafeWork in the ILO, Dr Jukka Takala. We intend to work very closely in the future with the European Agency, and we decided this year to organize our CIS Meeting at the same time as the European Agency has its meeting of focal points, some of which are also our centres. A joint meeting of this kind will be a very fruitful way to increase collaboration among institutions concerned with occupational safety and health information.

The Meeting will be held in conjunction with the A+A 2007 Congress and Trade Show, jointly sponsored by BASI (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit), the ILO, the European Agency and other safety and health bodies. Attending the CIS Meeting will therefore also enable you to participate in one of the largest European OSH conferences and trade shows. An attachment to this e-mail (A+A.doc) contains a general introduction to the A+A event, prepared by BASI. You can also check the web site of A+A ( for more information.

The Meeting will consist of two sessions:

  1. On the afternoon of Wednesday, 19 September, there will be a joint meeting involving CIS Centres and Focal Points of the European Agency for Safety and Health. This unique opportunity will bring together representatives of two very important networks of the OSH information community.
  2. On Thursday, 20 September, the whole day will be devoted to the CIS Network alone. We shall follow the traditional format of such meetings. However, European Agency Focal Point representatives and members of other OSH information networks will be welcome to participate as observers.

Send in your agenda items to CIS HQ urgently - remember it is only 3 months to the meeting!

A provisional agenda will be sent to you in due course.

The Meeting will be held in English. There will be no simultaneous interpretation into other languages.

Because the CIS Meeting will be held within the Congress location, participants will be asked to pay a registration fee for the Congress. We have, however, negotiated a special price for CIS participants: €70, instead of the €140 for normal attendees. Payment of this registration fee will, naturally, enable you to participate in all Congress activities and attend the trade show.

Please note that the A+A meeting is expected to be very heavily attended, and therefore we advise you to reserve hotel accommodation as soon as possible. The Congress organizers have made arrangements with the hotel Express by Holiday Inn Düsseldorf-Nord, for a special price of €149 per night (for a single room, buffet breakfast included) during the period 17-20 Sept. 2007. The number of these rooms is limited. If you are interested, we recommend that you make your reservations as soon as possible (this offer ends on 11 May, in any case). Reservations can be made (with a credit card) through the Internet site - please mention "BASI" during the reservation process in order to benefit from the special rate.

If for some reason the above hotel is not a possibility for you, the organizers recommend the web site for hotel reservations in the Düsseldorf area.

If you intend to attend the Meeting, please inform the CIS Secretariat by sending an e-mail to:

Alternatively, you can send it by mail to: International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre (CIS), International Labour Office, 4, route des Morillons, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland

Yours sincerely,
Gábor Sándi
Head, CIS

Marcel Robert - CIS Founder

This is to inform you that, unfortunately, our good friend and founder of CIS, Marcel Robert passed away on Sunday, 20 May 2007 in the Hôpital Beau Séjour in Geneva.

We are all deeply indebted to M. Robert for his endeavours and his determination to build CIS that enables all of us in the CIS network to exchange health and safety information and meet each other on a regular basis.

Those who attended the 2006 Workshop and CIS Annual Meeting in Geneva in September 2006 will remember Marcel's visit and his talk. Just now I am looking at him in the photo we all had taken at the September 2006 meeting.

Everyone in the wider CIS network appreciate his vision will miss him forever.

News from around the World

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Good practices will 'Lighten the load' The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work invites nominations for the eighth European Good Practice Awards in occupational health and safety.

The 2007 award scheme will recognise companies or organisations that have made outstanding and innovative contributions to promote an integrated management approach to tackle musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) embracing prevention of MSDs, and the retention, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers who already suffer from MSDs.

'Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common work-related health problem in Europe; across the EU, 25% of workers suffer from backache and 23% have muscular pains', explains Jukka Takala, Director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. 'Many problems can be prevented or greatly reduced through employers complying with existing safety and health law and following good practice. Through our Lighten the load campaign and the Good Practice Awards competition we will demonstrate that there are specific actions that can be taken if MSDs are to be tackled effectively.'

The awards aim to demonstrate, by example, the benefits of following good safety and health practices to all European employers and workers, and to intermediaries including the social partners, OSH professionals and practitioners, and others providing assistance and information at workplace level.

Good practice examples are implemented solutions to promote the effective management of occupational safety and health risks in the workplace, and prevention measures to reduce the incidence of MSDs, and to support those who have suffered MSDs.

Such examples might include identification and implementation of an action programme which takes a holistic approach to the risks causing MSDs, modification of tasks to eliminate or reduce prolonged periods of standing or sitting, rehabilitation and sickness schemes, and procurement plans to provide, in consultation with workers, 'user friendly' machines and equipment.

Good practice examples are invited from all EU Member States. They can be submitted by individual enterprises or by intermediary organisations such as chambers of commerce, trade and professional organisations, trade unions, and by others providing assistance, support and information at workplace level.

The Agency will announce the winners at the campaign's closing event in March 2008 in Bilbao. The awards will provide the winners with European recognition for their role in improving working conditions in Europe, and the awarded examples will be presented in an Agency booklet to be distributed across Europe.

Good Practice Awards are part of an annual European campaign which culminates in the European Week for Safety and Health at Work from 22 to 26 October 2007. Lighten the Load is the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work's 2007 campaign to tackle MSDs in the workplace.

The campaign follows a decentralised model: the Agency coordinates campaign activities, provides information in 22 languages and via the campaign website, organises Good Practice Awards, and the Closing Event; national Focal Points in each of the 27 EU Member Sates promote, stimulate and organise activities at national level. The dual objectives of the Week are to increase awareness of risks and to promote good practice solutions.

The 'Lighten the load' campaign will be officially launched in June 2007 in the European Commission, Berlaymont building, Brussels. The European Week itself will take place from 22-26 October 2007. The campaign's closing event will take place in March 2008 in Bilbao.

Updated information about Good Practice Awards 2007, the campaign as well as national contact points are available at

Further information about the awards and national contact details are available online at: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Via 33, E-48009 Bilbao - Spain | Tel: + 34 94 479 4360 | Fax: + 34 94 479 4383 | Email: |

UK HSC moves to the next stage of merger consultation

The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) is announcing its decision to move to the next stage of its consultation process on the merger of HSC and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The proposed merger will bring HSC's governance arrangements in line with best practice and strengthen the links between strategy and delivery to allow the level of accountability expected of a public body in the 21st century.

Commenting on HSC's decision, Bill Callaghan, HSC Chair said, "Merging the Commission and Executive into a single body will give us a more robust governance framework, improve our working practices and create a stronger voice for health and safety in Great Britain. Results from our recent extensive consultation show 80% support for our proposals and clearly point us in this direction."

Over the last few years, we have made great progress in reducing work-related ill-health, and in tackling injuries and incidents at work. But there is clearly more to do. The Commission is convinced that the new governance structure we are proposing will help us to deliver the "revitalising" targets we set, as well as better place Great Britain to meet the challenges of a 21st Century workplace. In doing this we are committed to building on our independence, good relationships with stakeholders and strong sense of partnership. This is particularly true of our relationship with local authorities which is critical to better health and safety, and we are keen to build on the undoubted improvements there have been over recent years."

The Commission agreed that the new corporate HSE will build on the values of HSC and HSE, being:

Bill Callaghan will now invite Lord McKenzie of Luton, Minister for Health and Safety, to undertake consultation on detailed proposals as required by the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006. The Ministerial consultation, in particular with organisations representative of those likely to be affected by the proposals, will take place before a draft Legislative Reform Order is presented to the relevant Commons and Lords committees for scrutiny.

In its consultation document HSC detailed how it intended the new governing body to be built on the principles of independence, openness, professionalism and accountability, and that the new corporate HSE would be expected to deliver:

The majority of the proposals set out in Lord Robens' report on were adopted in full and formed the basis of the HSW Act. However, contrary to Robens' recommendation, the HSW Act did not provide for a single authority, but two separate Crown Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs); the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive (HSC/E).

The HSC has overall responsibility for occupational health and safety regulations in Great Britain. The Commission consists of a chairman and 9 members. It is sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Minister for Health and Safety is Lord McKenzie of Luton.

Key results of the consultation were:

OSH News Brief

News from Hungary

During a recent visit to Budapest met up with Gabor Jablonkay and Katalin Balogh of the MKK Institute / CIS Centre and they send their greeting to all CIS friends wherever you are in the world! Hungary is one of the latest European Member States and there are many changes happening - particularly in the OSH world.

I have so many fond memories of the different times I have worked in Hungary - many of them connected with CIS... this is where we had the first CIS Annual Meeting in a communist country in 1986 when dear Lazlo Sulacik was alive!

From your Editor Sheila Pantry

International News

ITUC Welcomes New ILO report on the challenges of equality at work

The ITUC has welcomed a new report from the International Labour Office (ILO), released today in Brussels, on the state of discrimination in the world of work. The new major publication entitled "Equality at work: Tackling the challenges" examines the status of traditional and new forms of discrimination and analyses progress in combating them at the national and global levels.

According to the ILO report, the world is witnessing growth in particular forms of discrimination, such as unfair treatment in hiring of younger and older workers, against people with disabilities and those living with HIV/AIDS, and also on the basis of sexual orientation. Another point highlighted by the study is the emergence of practices that discriminate against people with genetic predisposition to developing certain diseases or who have lifestyle issues considered unhealthy, such as tobacco use and obesity.

The report also highlights the significance of discrimination based on gender, age, race and social origin and concludes with a range of policy suggestions and a plan of action for achieving equality at work for all.

Intolerance and discrimination are, in the ITUC's view, being exacerbated by globalization, with unemployment and poverty contributing to polarization and marginalization in societies. "Even through there is a high rate of ratification of the ILO Conventions 100 and 111 on discrimination and increased development of policies and programs, equality at the workplace still a challenge", emphasized Guy Ryder, ITUC General Secretary. "Globalisation should be helping to bridge gaps in incomes and opportunity but in reality, divisions between and within countries are growing", he added.

The gender gap in the labour force participation is also a real global problem. The World Bank's annual Global Monitoring Report on attainment of the Millennium Development Goals describes improvement in education for girls, but without a corresponding increase in women's share of non-agricultural employment. Today, it is crucial that active policies, including through social dialogue, put in place to ensure decent work and extension of workers rights to all workers without distinction.

For more information on the report:

Founded on 1 November 2006, the ITUC represents 168 million workers in 153 countries and territories and has 304 national affiliates.

News from Ireland

Martin O'Halloran to be chief executive of Health and Safety Authority Ireland

The HSA has selected Martin O'Halloran to be chief executive of the Authority. He took up the post on 1st June 2007.

Martin O'Halloran, who is currently assistant chief executive corporate services at the Authority, brings a wealth of managerial experience to the chief executive's role, including a five and a half year stint as health and safety manager with Telecom Eireann (now Eircom). A physics graduate, who also holds a master's in statistics, O'Halloran, after his stint as health and safety manager with

Telecom Eireann, headed up the company's operations in the UK for over six years. Over the last three years at the HSA he has had managerial responsibility for finance, information/communications technology, and the strategic planning and evaluation functions in the Authority. He has acted as secretary to the Board. He was a member of the HSA Board from 1992 to 1994.

O'Halloran will be the third chief executive of the Authority. He succeeds Tom Beegan, who left to take up a senior health and safety role in Canada. The first director general (as the post was then known) of the Authority was Tom Walsh.

Martin O'Halloran will be the first health and safety professional to become chief executive of the Authority. As well as holding physics and statistics degrees, on being appointed health and safety manager with Telecom Eireann - at a time when there were no professional health and safety courses in Ireland - he studied health and safety and holds a NEBOSH diploma. He is a member of IOSH.


Hazards XX- Process safety and environmental protection: Harnessing knowledge- Challenging complacency: 3 day symposium and exhibition on 15-17 April 2008, Weston Building, University of Manchester, UK

To be preceded by One Day Workshops on Monday 14th April 2008: Titles and Programmes t.b.a.

The theme of this symposium is that if we are to maintain the high levels of safety we enjoy in the chemical and process industries we need to make the best use of our current knowledge and avoid complacency. Additionally, we must apply that knowledge to emerging industries and in emerging economies. For example, concern about global warming has given an impetus to the development of new technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration, the storage and use of hydrogen as a fuel and the use of biofuels.

We should ensure that the lessons we have acquired in the old industries are applied to the new so that we do not make the same old mistakes over again. Similarly as technology is transferred to emerging economies, we should make sure that the knowledge of how to use the technology safely is transferred as well. Equally, we must ensure that we maintain our competencies and standards in the old industries so that familiarity does not breed disaster.

Hazards XX is the latest in the series of symposia run by the Institution of Chemical Engineers NW Branch since 1960. These have provided a forum for the discussion of new research and technical developments into ways to control risks in the process industries thus helping to meet increasing expectations of risk control.

The aim of this symposium is to bring together international experts and practitioners in process safety and environmental protection to present and discuss the latest technical advances and new thinking in safety and environmental management techniques.

This symposium is sponsored by: BP plc, ABB Engineering Services, and Burgoyne Consultants Ltd and Co-Sponsored by CCPS (AIChE), SCI, CIA, EPSC, RSC, Safety & Reliability Society, IOSH, SIESO, and the Safety and Loss Prevention, and Environmental Protection Subject Groups of the IChemE

Contact: Mike Adams | Tel: +44 (0) 1539 732845 (phone / fax) | Email: |

News from Europe

Decent Work campaign calls for swift implementation of European Parliament report

The Decent Work, Decent Life campaign* has welcomed a report adopted in the European Parliament report on promoting decent work** for all and called for swift action to ensure the European Commission implements its recommendations.

"With the EU in the midst of negotiating a number of bilateral free trade agreements, and the Doha round in trouble, it is more important than ever that the report's recommendations, which put decent work at the heart of trade and development policies of the EU, be implemented", said Guy Ryder, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.

"It is up to the European Union to take a lead in promoting decent work in the world", said John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

"The report provides a clear direction for how the EU's stated aim of economic and social justice within and outside its borders can be implemented. We have the policies, we have the support of the ILO, now all we need is the political will. For the sake of millions of people who desperately need decent work to lift themselves out of poverty, we urge the Commission to urgently set about enacting these proposals," Conny Reuter, the Secretary General of Solidar commented.

The report calls for, amongst other things:

"The inclusion of decent work in the EU's development strategies is paramount to maximizing the effectiveness of aid in poverty reduction. However, for as long as the EU's policies on trade and development continue to lack coherence, we will condemned to the one step forward, two steps back approach. The latest incarnation of this is the inclusion of the Singapore issues and the threat to public services presented in the Commission's "Global Europe" strategy, also tackled at this session of Parliament" argued Bart Verstraeten from Social Alert International.

Harlem Desir, Socialist MEP and the Vice-President of the Global Progressive Forum who acted as the shadow rapporteur welcomed the report's adoption.

"Promoting decent work in all international institutions, including the WTO corresponds not only to the values of the EU, it is also in our interest to promote a regulated globalisation. Decent work should serve as a framework for international trade and ensure that it doesn't develop to the detriment of other international objectives such as social protection and rights, " he concluded.

For comment and information contact:

*The Decent Work campaign is led by the International Trade Union Confederation, Solidar, the Global Progressive Forum, Social Alert International and the European Trade Union Confederation.

**Decent Work is a key element in building fair, equitable and inclusive societies based on the principles of access to employment, workers' rights, equality between women and men, social protection and social dialogue.

International News

International call for applications for prestigious Business Safety Awards Applications for the 6th international DuPont Safety Awards are currently underway

In order to meet the deadline for initial applications, companies will need to register their interest and submit a brief summary of their achievements by 29 June 2007.

Winners of five categories will each receive a prestigious award, presented by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company at the 2007 Leaders Forum on Safety in Geneva on 18 October 2007.

The DuPont Safety Awards were launched in 2002 with the purpose of stimulating individual or collective initiatives for safety enhancement and accident prevention in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

This year, DuPont - a global company widely recognised for its excellent performance in safety and health - will present awards to five individuals, companies or organisations selected as the most deserving in one of the following categories:

The awards are organized by an independent organizing committee, called Nexdor. Together with a panel of renowned experts, this committee considers all programmes, projects or contributions in the field of safety in the workplace or in society in general. It also considers printed works containing important innovations or implementations of improvements connected to safety.

Details of the categories, online application forms and a wealth of information on the DuPont Safety Awards and Leaders Forum can be accessed at

In 2006, DuPont Safety Awards were presented to: Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK Ltd for Business Impact, Hadeed Saudi Iron & Steel Company for Cultural Evolution, Danone Biscuits Division for Felt Leadership, OMV Aktiengesellschaft for Innovative Approach and US Steel Kosice for Performance Improvement. All companies benefited from extensive media coverage throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa region, joint marketing with DuPont and recognition as movers and shakers by staff, customers, associates and business competitors. For your chance to win an award, visit now!

International News

Researchers Find Shift-Work Lowers Cognitive Performance
Ergonomics Journal Paper Detailing Study Wins 2007 Liberty Mutual Award

A study that examines the long-term consequences of sleep deprivation, specifically, the influence shift-work has on verbal memory and speed performances, is the recipient of the 2007 Liberty Mutual Prize. The scientific paper, "Shiftwork Experience, Age and Cognitive Performance," appeared in Ergonomics, Vol. 48, No. 10, pp. 1282-1293, 2005 and is authored by Isabelle Rouch, M.D., Ph.D. and Pascal Wild, Ph.D., from the Department of Epidemiology, French National Research and Safety Institute for the Prevention of Occupational Accidents and Diseases (Vandoeuvre, France) and David Ansiau, Ph.D., and Jean-Claude Marquie´, Ph.D., from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University of Toulouse-le-Mirail (Toulouse, France).

In 2005, the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety and the Ergonomics Society established the Liberty Mutual Award to promote excellence in safety and health research. The award recognizes the paper published in Ergonomics that best contributes to the advancement of the practice of ergonomics. The editors of Ergonomics, in conjunction with the Ergonomics Society Honors Committee, select the winning paper from those published in the journal over a given 12-month period.

In this year's winning study, researchers examined a cross-sectional sample of 3,237 French workers aged 32, 42, 52, and 62 years of various occupational statuses. The study participants completed a questionnaire on working hours, shift work, and sleep patterns and had their cognitive abilities assessed through neuropsychological tests. The researchers found that workers currently employed as shift-workers displayed lower cognitive performance than workers not exposed to shift-work. Among the current shift-workers, researchers noted a decrease in memory performance with an increase in shift-work duration. The findings also revealed that workers who ceased shift-work more than four years prior displayed an increase in cognitive performance, thereby suggesting a possible reversibility of effects.

The Dr. Ansiau accepted the award on behalf of the research team at an award ceremony held at the Ergonomics Society Annual Conference. The conference was held at Nottingham University, United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 18.

Liberty Mutual Group employs over 39,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.

Ergonomics is the official journal of the Ergonomics Society and the International Ergonomics Association. It is an international, multidisciplinary, refereed journal with a 40- year tradition of excellence. Ergonomics is concerned with research into all aspects of the interactions of human beings and their work and leisure, including psychological, physiological, anatomical and engineering design aspects.


News from the USA

The May issue of LIFELINES ONLINE (Vol. III, No. 12) is available at the US LHSFNA website

These are the headlines:

To view the stories and access LHSFNA 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

OSH News Brief

International News

DIARY DATE - Did you know?

The 18th World Congress on Safety and Health at Work will be held in Seoul, Korea from 29 June to 2 July 2008. It will be a unique opportunity for decision-makers, safety and health professionals, employers' and workers' representatives and experts from social security to learn from each other and to exchange information with their peers from around the world.

And, for the first time in the history of the World Congress, a Safety and Health summit will be held giving participants an unequalled opportunity to place safety and health at work high on the world agenda. Find out more about the Congress:

OSH Brief

DIARY DATE - European Forum on Occupational Noise

In the wake of the European Noise at Work Summit that took place in Bilbao in December 2005, a European Forum on Occupational Noise will be held Lille, France from 3 to 5 July 2007.

It intends to contribute to increasing the dissemination of existing knowledge in all sectors affected by occupational noise.

OSH Brief

Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE).

Please note that, the OSHE office have shifted from Dhanmondi area to Panthapath from 10th of April 2007 and new contact address is follows:

Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE), 44F/6 West Panthapath (4th Floor), GOP Box-2696, Dhaka, Bangladesh | Tel: 0152-407627, 02-8143795, 01711-731218 | Fax: +880-2-8015919, +880-2-8143795 | E-mail:, | Web:

[Location: Opposite side of SEL Centre / Middle point between the Square and Samarita Hospitals]

It will be appreciated, if you could advise your office to update this new address in your regular mailing list.

A.R. Chowdhury REPON
General Secretary / Executive Director

News from the Netherlands

Elly Goos sends the following news items:

The 2006 Annual report of the Labour Inspectorate has just been published (in pdf): This report contains a list of reports published in the last 5 years. Please note that there is a separate link to several annexes ("bijlagen") that are only digitally available: Annex 11 is an English summary of the Annual report 2006.

Changes in the Health and Safety Act: January 1, 2007 the Dutch Health and Safety Act ("Arbeidsomstandighedenwet" or "Arbowet") has been changed. A separate website has recently been launched for explaining the changes that have been introduced Although this website is aimed at a Dutch audience, a summary in English is given to list the main changes / provisions of this Act The full text of the revised Health and Safety Act (in Dutch) is available at:

Changes in the Working Hours Act: April 2007 the revised Working Hours Act ("Arbeijdstijdenwet") came into force. The Working Hours Act was changed as part of the government's policy of reducing the number of rules and regulations. Easing the rules gives employers and employees the room to organise working hours to fit their needs and desires. The new act also offers them the opportunity to make their own agreements dealing with the number and time of breaks. The full text of the revised Working Hours Act (in Dutch) is available at:

New OSH portal: Recently a new OSH portal ("ArboPortaal") was launched at the initiative of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. The reason for this website is the introduction of the new Health and Safety Act that was introduced in January. With this act employers and employees will have greater opportunities to themselves define how they satisfy health and safety requirements in their own sector. To assist them in establishing the OSH policies within their organisations, this OSH portal will provide information on legislation and specific OSH topics. Also available is the library catalogue of the OSH Library of TNO ("Arbo Bibliotheek Nederland", url:, that is produced in cooperation with the Library of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.

Appointment: May 14, the Ministry issued a press release presenting the news that Paul Huijzendveld, former director of the Dutch Labour Inspectorate, has been appointed as head of the Health and Safety Agency of Trinidad & Tobago for 2 years, starting June 2007. Many CIS members will know Paul and wish him every success in his new post!

OSH News Brief from Bangladesh

Gt an idea on pushing OSHE issues in policy formulation exercise at CDS-15, UN by International Trade Union Delegation.

"Unions say stakes are high for occupational health & safety - PUT WORK, WORKERS & WORKPLACES AT THE CENTRE OF CSD NEGOTIATIONS"

Alam Hossain
Information Officer
Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE)

News from Germany

Wet work is the greatest cause of occupational skin diseases: Healthy Skin Campaign

Employees in the healthcare and nursing services and the metalworking sector particularly at risk
24 April 2007

Wet work is responsible for around a third of all occupational skin diseases. The organizers of the Healthy Skin Campaign and the OH&S authorities of the German regions draw attention to this fact on the occasion of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April. Well over 3,000 cases of occupational disease caused by wet work are confirmed in Germany each year. Regular work involving water, particularly with the addition of cleaning agents and disinfectants, is thus the main cause in Germany of occupational dermatoses, currently the most frequently confirmed occupational diseases.

An employee whose skin is exposed to water for two hours or more each day is formally classified as a wet-work employee in Germany. Employees are however at risk even if they regularly wear waterproof protective gloves: worn over a longer period, such gloves cause the hands to sweat and the horny layer of the epidermis to become soaked. "It is paradoxical, but true: water damages the skin," says Gerhard Schlagberger, a prevention expert at the Central Federation of Public Sector Accident Insurers (BUK). "Longer contact with moisture interferes with the skin's complex protective architecture."

Around a million people in Germany are classified as wet-work employees. They particularly include employees in healthcare and nursing professions and in the metalworking sector. Hairdressers and gastronomy and cleaning personnel also belong to the groups at risk of occupational skin diseases, however. Occupational dermatoses are generally manifested in the form of eczema: inflammatory changes in the skin which become evident in the form of reddening, peeling, papules, blisters and itching. "These symptoms do not occur immediately," says Schlagberger. "The skin's barrier function often deteriorates only over a longer period." The first warning sign is rough, dry skin. It is essential that the skin be treated at this point with skincare agents which support its natural barrier function with fats and hydropexic substances. Says Schlagberger: "The company physician or dermatologist must be consulted with regard to the care required by each particular skin type. Skin protection plans have also proved effective in practice within companies."

In addition, employers must take effective measures to protect their wet-work employees. Wet work should for example be shared by several people or alternated with tasks for which gloves need not be worn. Employees who must wear waterproof protective gloves whilst working can alleviate the problem at least temporarily by wearing cotton gloves underneath them. The cotton gloves absorb the perspiration, and the skin remains dry.


Skin diseases cause human suffering and high economic costs. They often result in abandonment of the occupation. Under the motto: "Your skin. The most important 2m² in your life", the Healthy Skin Campaign run jointly by the statutory health and accident insurance institutions is therefore promoting greater respect for the largest organ in the human body.

For more information, visit

Press contact: Gregor Doepke, HVBG Press Officer | Tel.: +49 2241 231-1160 | Fax: +49 2241 231-1391 | E-mail:

Jutta Sieger, Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG), Berliner Büro, Albrechtstraße 10c, 10117 Berlin, Germany | Tel.: +49 30/288763-64 | Fax: +49030/288763-70 | Email:

OSH Brief

From the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (hereafter referred to as the Foundation)

Developments in European working conditions 2006-7: 4th annual review of its European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO)

Gender equality and modernising labour law, which represent the cornerstones of the revision of the European social model, played a major role in policy developments and official reports on working conditions in Europe in 2006. The task of modernising labour law, in particular, ensured that the flexicurity debate took a central place in policy discussions. Another important milestone is the recently concluded framework agreement on harassment and violence between the European social partners and the European Commission, for which the ground work was laid in 2006. The fourth Annual review of working conditions in the EU 2006-2007 examines four key dimensions of working conditions and quality of work and employment: career and employment, health and well-being at work, skills development and work-life balance. The report outlines relevant legislative and policy developments, and examines trends in the workplace.

Developments in European working conditions 2006-7: 4th annual review of its European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO). 2007. 47 pages

News from Canada

News from IAPA - Industrial Accident Prevention Association Canada

Machine Safety - New IAPA Interlocks Course Coming Soon!

IAPA is developing a new one-day course which will feature hands-on use of machine table-top units. The course will be piloted in June and launched in the fall. It will help participants to:

MSD Prevention - IAPA's Back Safety 101 Kit

This kit focuses on the risk factors that may lead to a MSD involving the back, and it can also be applied to help prevent MSDs involving other body parts, such as the neck, shoulders, wrists and legs. The kit also offers solutions to help workplaces prevent costly and painful MSDs. The two-part kit consists of a 16-minute video and a new facilitator's guide.

The new kit (available in both VHS and DVD formats) can be used in a number of ways:

Noise - IAPA resources regarding changes to Ontario's Industrial Establishments Regulation - Noise Exposure

In advance of the Ontario regulatory change taking effect July 1, 2007, IAPA has created a new web page with resources for clients. In addition to an AP e-news article are links to IAPA's occupational hygiene consulting services and more, including the following free downloads

Zuzka Hora, Manager, Information Centre Team, IAPA (Industrial Accident Prevention Association), 5110 Creekbank Road, Suite 300, Mississauga, ON L4W 0A1 CANADA | Direct: 905-614-4272 ext 2385 | Toll free: 1-800-406-4272 ext 2385 | Fax: 905-219-0009 | Toll free fax: 1-800-316-4272 |

News from Canada from IRSST

Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute Robert-Sauvé (IRSST) announce the following publications:

A prevention guide for material handlers and sales clerks

Everyone goes to superstores, but did you know that the employees working in them have a good chance of suffering from back pain? For this growing sector, a prevention guide - Le travail de manutention et le service à la clientèle dans les magasins-entrepôts (Handling work and customer service in warehouse superstores) - has just been published by the Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute Robert-Sauvé (IRSST) and Groupe-conseil AON. In addition to offering different practical advice, this document proposes solution scenarios that are easy to implement for better prevention of handling-related accidents and the associated back pain. It responds to a real need, because in the retail sales sector, particularly warehouse superstores, back pain represents between 40 and 50% of the accidents compensated by the CSST, while this proportion is less than 28% in all of the sectors.

Target public and risk factors

Aimed at people who want to do prevention, the guide proposes a 5-part action process ranging from the identification of problems to the implementation of solutions. Several aspects have an impact on handling activities: the volume, weight and packaging of containers, the physical layouts in the sales area (height and accessibility of shelves), the equipment (mobile ladder, aerial platform, stepladder, etc.) and inventory control. The characteristics of each of these aspects can lead to injury or accident risks. This guide is designed to improve the work performance conditions of all employees that handle merchandise, from stockers to sales clerks.


The result of five years of research and based on two scientific studies, this guide contains a checklist to identify problems, six solution fact sheets, as well as a grid to evaluate the solutions. It includes illustrations, relevant examples, a glossary, and a summary table of the references. Written in simple language, this prevention guide emphasizes the important things to know and the steps to be taken to make our warehouse superstores safer workplaces. The guide and the fact sheets can be downloaded free from (French only):

Portrait of workers' exposure to chemical substances

The Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute Robert-Sauvé (IRSST) has just produced a detailed portrait of the highest concentrations of pollutants in Quebec companies by examining more than 220,000 results of environmental analyses carried out in his laboratories between 2001 and 2005. These air samples were collected mainly by practitioners from health and social services agencies, local community services centers (CLSC), the CSST and joint sector-based associations. The interpretation of the results made it possible to determine, by industrial class, the chemical substance exposure situations most likely to cause health effects.

Exposures above the standards

Although the results must be carefully interpreted, the researchers considered only the most relevant data. In the end, 50 chemicals and 141 industrial classes were retained. The study clearly shows that some substances are frequently found at a level equal to or above the exposure standards. This is the case for welding fumes, quartz, styrene, lead, beryllium, isocyanates, wood dusts, nickel, toluene, iron and methylene chloride. For some of them, action programs are being carried out at the provincial level.

In the case of fibres, grain dusts, triglycidyl isocyanurate, quartz, diethyl ether and methyl ethyl ketone, the analyses show that more than 60% of the concentrations exceed the standard in a few industrial sectors.

The industries

Among other things, the IRSST's report examines the results from the standpoint of the industrial classes. The environmental analyses carried out in some industries such as machine shops, masonry work and the truck and bus body industry show high concentrations for at least five substances. In the case of the custom coating of metal products industry and the boatbuilding and repair industry, more than one substance was measured at concentrations exceeding the standards in at least 60% of the analyses.

The report identifies many situations where the results are more than twice the standard. Some examples are:

Commenting on the report's results, the IRSST's president and CEO, Diane Gaudet, reminded that there "are action programs to reduce workers' exposure and prevent occupational injuries for some analyzed substances. This study has the advantage of identifying major trends that determine the most problematic pollutants and the high-risk sectors in order to better guide the practitioners' actions."

The report (French only) can be downloaded free at:

OSH Brief


News about IRSST research

Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute Robert-Sauvé (IRSST) produce an electronic newsletter that is published approximately 10 times a year.

The Newsletter presents all the latest news about the wide range of research conducted or funded by the IRSST plus press releases, the most recent publications and new research projects.

For the latest edition and also back issues go to:

OSH Brief

African Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety

The African Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety has been published since 1991. In helping to publish this periodical, the FIOH supports the global occupational health strategies of the International Labour Office (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The periodical is targeted at 21 African countries and the experts working in these countries, but it is distributed in some 100 countries.

The latest edition - April 2007 of the African Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety covers the following:

To see the full edition go to

There are also archive copies available going back to 1995.

Published by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and financially supported by the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization.

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland | Fax: +358 30 474 2548

OSH Brief

From Tunisia

The April 2007 edition of the Institute de Sante et de Securite au Travail (ISST) review Sante-Securite-Travail - SST - contains the Dossier - Atteintes renales et travail. A number of articles covering a range of topics are also included.

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:

Diary of Events

If you have a seminar, conference or exhibition that you would like to promote - please send details to your Editor. Also look in

2-4 September 2007 - The National Safety Symposium: organised by the Public Services Group of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nottingham, UK
Contact: Colette Walley, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 1NN, UK | Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3166 | Email: |

17-18 September 2007 - Forum '07: a Canadian national event to explore health and safety issues emerging from changing workplaces
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Contact: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), Canada |

18-20 September 2007 - IBC's 11th Annual Residential Course on... Effective Safety Management
Christ's College Cambridge, UK
Contact: Daniel Claassen | Email:

18-20 September 2007 - Ecobuilding performance: International Trade Exhibition
Porte de Versailles, Paris, France
Contact: Elodie Chauderlot, Manager Communications, Ecobuilding | Tel: + 33 149 685 662 or + 33 614 663 635 | Email: |

26 September 2007 - Update to changes in the new EMC Directive 2004/108/EC will come into force on 20 July 2007 in the UK
Contact: Samantha Donhue, Event Co-ordinator, AccessERA, ERA Technology Ltd, Cleeve Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7SA, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1372 367319 | Email:

28-29 November 2007 - The Emergency Services Show 2007 - Improving Emergency Response
Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, UK

3-4 December 2007 The RCN Society of Occupational Health Nursing Forum and Society of Occupational Medicine joint conference and exhibition: Collaboration... the way forward for Occupational Health
City Hall, Cardiff, Wales
Contact: Priya Tekchandani, Conference and Events Organiser, The Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London, UK | Tel: +44 (0)207 647 3581 | Fax: +44 (0)207 647 3411 | Email: |


15-17 April 2008 - Hazards XX - Process safety and environmental protection: Harnessing knowledge - challenging Complacency: Symposium and Exhibition - IChemE
Weston Building, University of Manchester, UK
Contact Mike Adams | Tel: +44 (0) 1539 732845 (phone / fax) | Email: |

Make my Day... Send some News - Your Editor

Block these dates in your diary: visit A+A Dusseldorf, Germany on 18-21 September 2007

Also 2007 CIS Annual Meeting also in Dusseldorf, Germany