CIS Newsletter

No. 228
September 2008

CIS Newsletter celebrates 20 years & still going strong!
Bringing news to over 147 countries in the CIS Network!


  1. Editorial
  2. Last chance to attend Meeting and training session of CIS Members in London, 10-11 September 2008 all are welcome...
  3. News from around the World - Belgium, Canada, Cuba, European Agency, EuroFoundation, Europe, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, UK and the USA
  4. OSHE websites to explore
  5. Diary of Events


Dear CIS Colleagues

Time flies ... Early Autumn approaches the Northern Hemisphere... I know the year is moving on when the farmer harvests the wheat in the field that I see when I look out from my office window! It happened this week!

As usual you can see there is a wealth of news in this edition of the CIS newsletter from around the world... including FOCUS article on training and also a description of the Israel National CIS Centre.

This is the final, final call for The London meeting... a group of CIS members are meeting on 10-11 September 2008, in Central London, UK. Everyone is invited - we each are paying our own travel, accommodation and meals as we always do. CIS network should benefit from this meeting enormously.

The programme is exciting and those meeting are looking forward to making their presentations, having discussions and making proposals for promoting OSH worldwide.
Even if you cannot get send some ideas and we will incorporate them into our final papers to share with everyone.

See below for full details.

2009 is looming up fast - The most important date that is ahead of us - the celebration of the 50th Anniversary in 2009 of the formation of CIS! All those involved in CIS work should be starting to plan their campaigns - please start to think about this major event and how news of CIS and its activities can be broadcasted around the World. We will not get such a chance for another 50 years!!! Authoritative and Validated Health and Safety Information is essential to help achieve higher standards of health and safety in the workplaces of the world.

Make my day and send your news... 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 now for over 6 years.

Some of you may have changed your email number and addresses in recent months, please let CIS Headquarters know your new email/address and also let me know as well - otherwise you will not get the CIS Newsletter or other news.

Remember >>>>

Use the CIS Logo on your web site and publications!

Remember the motto of all publicity people... tell them, tell them and tell them again... so take every opportunity to give publicity to "Health and Safety at work"...

Thriving in 2008... Keep promoting and telling the World at large that CIS and its network exists!

And will you be Surviving in 2009?... perhaps you will if you make efforts in promotion, publicity and telling the World that CIS and its network exists!

Each month I get news of information centres and libraries that are being closed down or having their budgets cut or staff numbers cut. I will not depress you with the details... Just keep on fighting for information and especially occupational safety and health information.

All good wishes to you, your families and your colleagues.

Sheila Pantry, OBE
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, 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

Important Latest News for CIS Members

Meeting and training course for CIS Members will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, 10 and 11 September 2008 at the Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, Central London

The aim of the meeting is to enable CIS members to:

The Draft Agenda

The following draft agenda is a first stab of what we can/want do - but please do send in other topics...

Gabor Sandi will represent the ILO at the Meeting of the CIS Members' Network on 10-11 September 2008. Gabor will inform participants of the results of the CIS Centres meeting in Seoul, of other relevant activities at the World Congress (including the Declaration), and of plans for the future by CIS, including the celebrations foreseen for the 50th anniversary next year.

  1. What we should be doing to celebrate the CIS 50th anniversary in 2009 collectively and in our own countries
  2. Share best promotion and publicity practices in each of our countries - examples of successes
  3. Build on ideas that we have discussed over the years and which are captured in the report I wrote that can be accessed on
  4. Use of the 50th anniversary of CIS to make people worldwide aware of the available validated and authoritative health and safety information centres, services, guidance and advice that CIS network members hold or have access to.
  5. Have an updating exchange of news from those attending
  6. Any other business topics

Everyone is invited - we each are paying our own travel, accommodation and meals as we always do when attending CIS Meetings.

CIS network MEMBERS should benefit from this meeting enormously.

Please note that you will NOT receive any official invitation from CIS HQ because this meeting is an informal meeting, organised by CIS members for CIS Members.

A number of members have already indicated that they wish to attend this meeting.

If you are attending this September 2008 meeting please send your name, organisation, address and all up-to-date contact details including email number to:

Sheila Pantry, OBE, BA, FCLIP
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, 85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK
Tel: +44 1909 771024
Fax: +44 1909 772829

Hotel accommodation prices have been sorted and will be sent to all delegates. If you are going to this meeting then contact details are above.

The location of the meeting is central London and easy access from all airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Stanstead and the new St. Pancras International Train Station. See Details of travel to the Imperial Hotel will be forward to delegates.

NEXT MONTH's EDITION of the CIS Newsletter will include a report on the results of the meeting... watch out for it.

News from the USA - NIOSH

Former US NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., will chair the Steering Committee of the International Labour Organization's (ILO) Steering Committee for the 5th Edition of the ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, the ILO announced July 24, 2008.

Dr Howard left NIOSH in July 2008.

"Dr. Howard's longstanding experience in leading a national approach to occupational safety and health will help the ILO "apply the lessons learned from his nation to many of our ILO country programmes, thus improving the lives of our constituents throughout the world," said Dr. Sameera Al-Tuwaijri, the director of the ILO's Safework Programme. The ILO Encyclopedia is an international resource of information for preventing work-related injuries and illnesses".

Further information about the ILO Encyclopedia is available through the ILO by emailing see also article below.

News from your Editor

Missing OSH-ROM? Then make a major step and take a 15 day free trial of OSH UPDATE

If you have been a subscriber to OVID/SilverPlatter's OSH-ROM that I invented many years ago then you will know that it is no longer going to be published.


Instead take a 15 day free trial of OSH UPDATE that is an Internet service and contains an ever-growing collection of 19 databases from worldwide authoritative and validated sources. This aggregation of databases currently contains well over 800,000 relevant references with abstracts or keywords and will keep you and your colleagues wherever you are in the world alerted to hot topics such as the health risks of nanotechnology, corporate killing and corporate social responsibility, bioterrorism, management of road risks, preparedness and business continuity as well as basic health, safety, hygiene and working environment information.

There are many thousands of references that immediately link to full text documents. Increasingly more full text documents are being added.

OSH UPDATE is continuously enlarged as new information is published.

Those information services that have been using OSH-ROM that is now ceasing publication will find that OSH UPDATE - now in its 4th year of publication will more than compensate.

Below are listed the 19 databases in OSH UPDATE and it also indicates those databases that are ALL full text... all from one service!

Currently OSH UPDATE has almost 800,000 records with 23,000 full text documents or links to URLs, including 1300 pieces of legislation.

During 2007, 24,152 new bibliographic records containing 3,387 links to full text and 1,811 full text documents containing 42,724 pages were added.

Subscription prices

In these days of tight budgets you might find the price of OSH UPDATE attractive - ask for prices.

If you wish to take a 15 day free trial please go to

Contact: Sheila Pantry OBE BA FCLIP, Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd Sheffield S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | Email: | Web sites and products: | | | |


Decent Work Essential to Effective Development Aid, Unions to Tell International Conference

Brussels, 28 August 2008 (ITUC OnLine): Trade unions will press the case for Decent Work as a primary benchmark in development aid at a major international conference on the effectiveness of aid, being held in Accra, Ghana from 2 - 4 September. This High Level Forum takes place at a time when even the modest gains of recent years in tackling world poverty stand to be wiped out due to escalating prices of food and other commodities, the global financial crisis and the impacts of climate change.

The ITUC, which is fielding a delegation of international and Ghanaian trade union representatives at the forum, is working with other civil society organizations to ensure that democracy, the creation of decent jobs, gender equality and a range of other key concerns are fully integrated into future aid strategies. The unions are also strongly backing moves to stop donor countries unilaterally imposing onerous conditions into aid packages, especially as these "conditionalities" often contradict democratic decisions taken by national governments and undermine democratic ownership and overall progress on development.

"Genuine partnership is essential to ensuring that development aid is effective and brings sustainable results, and while some steps have been taken in this direction, there is still a heavy hangover of past practices that often bred dependence, and hindered rather than helped equitable economic development," said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder.

The Ghana Forum needs to focus on how international aid can support and promote decent work, which will not only directly benefit workers and their local communities, but help ensure that the assistance provided will have real impact in tackling poverty and generate lasting economic development. The union delegation in Accra will press for this and for real progress on ensuring the economic empowerment of women through development aid as well as action to create employment for young people.

"Development aid has an important contribution to make in tackling the massive challenges confronting the world community. Making sure that aid is truly effective is a key part of the overall transformation in global economic relations, which the world so badly needs. Trade unions have a unique and pivotal contribution to make in ensuring aid effectiveness and accountability alongside their broader role as major actors in civil society as guarantors of democracy, equality and sustainable development," said Ryder.

Following a preparatory meeting in Accra on 30 August, the trade union delegation will take place in a two-day gathering of civil society organizations to finalise common positions to put to governments at the High Level Forum. The ITUC is a member of the International Steering Group of civil society organizations.

For more information, see and

The ITUC represents 168 million workers in 155 countries and territories and has 311 national affiliates. Website:

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018

'Sound advice' from the UK

Sound advice practical guidance on noise at work in music and entertainment

Sound advice, containing practical guidance on the control of noise at work in music and entertainment in the UK is now available. It has been developed by the industry for the industry with support from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The web version is available at Employers, employees and freelancers are advised to explore the site by venue, but safety professionals may prefer to go straight to the detailed guidance in The Whole Story. This includes general and sector-specific advice that is essentially the same as the book version - Sound advice: Control of noise at work in music and entertainment HSG260 available through HSE Books.

Recent feedback on Sound advice includes:

'All involved deserve congratulation; very important advice/guidance clearly published with excellent use of web-casting.' - HSE Board Member

'Thank you so very very much for putting together such a useful and well laid out tool - it's just great!' - Occupational Hygienist

The site is a fantastically flexible resource and is less intimidating to a first time user than buying a book and sitting down to read it all. Having said that, the paper publication will probably give the guidance more credibility... This is a document I will refer to again and again.' - Senior Adviser

Sound advice site

Contact: Andrew Maxey, Injuries Reduction Programme, Policy Group, IR4 Noise and Vibration Programme Unit, 8NW Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge London SE1 9HS | Tel 020 7717 6369 (VPN 522) | Fax 020 7717 6437 | | | (noise at work in entertainment)

News from the European Foundation

Eurofound publishes annual report on pay increases across the European Union. Women still earn less than men in Europe

Women in Europe earn on average almost 16% less than men doing similar jobs, according to new data published by Eurofound's European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO). The good news is that the gender pay gap in the EU15 countries is shrinking. The bad news, however, is that the pay gap between men and women doing similar jobs in the new EU Member States is wider than the EU average.

The gender wage gap averaged 15.9% across the EU27 in 2007, as indicated by the annual update on pay increases, which covers all EU27 Member States and Norway. This is down from the 16.2% recorded in 2006. Since 2001, the average wage gap in the EU15 countries has fallen: it stood at 20.4% in 2001, 19.2% in 2002, 18.6% in 2003, 17.4% in 2004 and 18.1% in 2005.

In the ten new EU Member States, and the newcomers Romania and Bulgaria (which together make up the NMS12 countries), the gender wage gap averages 17.8%, which is 3.4 percentage points higher than the average in the EU15. In the 2006 pay review, the gap for these NMS was found to be 17.5%, 2.2 points higher than the average in the EU15.

Among the 28 countries examined in the report, the gender wage gap is greatest in Slovakia (26.9%) and least in Slovenia (at 6.9%). Belgium, Greece, Ireland and Italy show a notably narrower gender wage gap of 10% or less. In Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal, there is a comparatively wider wage gap of 20% or more.

The report also looks at collectively-agreed pay increases generally across the EU27 Member States and Norway, as well as in the chemicals, retail and civil service sectors. The report also looks at current wage rates and minimum wage increases, and increases in average earnings.

The full text of the report on pay developments is available at

For further information, contact Måns Mårtensson, Press Officer | Email: | Tel: +353-1-204 3124 | Mobile: +353-876-593 507.

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound - is a tripartite EU body, whose role is to provide key actors in social policymaking with findings, knowledge and advice drawn from comparative research. Eurofound was established by Council Regulation EEC No 1365/75 of 26 May 1975 and is located in Dublin, Ireland.

The European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) is Eurofound's monitoring instrument offering news and analysis on industrial relations in all 27 EU Member States and Norway, and at European level.

News from the ILO

Occupational injuries statistics - An ILO manual on methods

A manual on Occupational injuries statistics from household surveys and establishment surveys has been prepared recently by the ILO Bureau of Statistics, as a follow-up to the resolution concerning statistics of occupational injuries (resulting from occupational accidents), adopted by the 16th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) in 1998, in collaboration with the then ILO InFocus Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork).

This manual is aimed to assist those responsible for compiling data on occupational injuries with newly developed tools for collecting data from household surveys and establishment surveys, as well as enhancing comparability of data among countries by encouraging the application of the latest international statistical standards.

Copies can be obtained through major booksellers or ILO local offices in many countries, or direct from ILO Publications, International Labour Office, CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland | Email: |

News from Cuba

Cuba ratifies ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention

Cuba ratified the ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187) on 5 August 2008. The Convention will become effective on 20 February 2009, bringing to 76 the number of Conventions ratified by Cuba.

The Convention (and its accompanying Recommendation) is based on the ILO's Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health, which will promote the development of a preventive safety and health culture through the elevation of occupational safety and health high on national agendas by launching national occupational safety and health programmes, as well as the promotion of safer and healthier working environments through preventive measures.

Cuba had already ratified Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155).

In 2007 and 2008, the following five countries also ratified the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187) (by alphabetical order): Finland, Japan, Korea (Rep. of), United Kingdom and Sweden.

See the ILOLEX database for more information on ILO Conventions and Recommendations.

Sweden ratifies ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention

Sweden ratified the ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187) on 10 July 2008. Therefore, the Convention shall become effective 12 months after this date and bring to 77 the number of Conventions in force in this country.

The Convention and its accompanying Recommendation are based on the ILO's Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health which will promote the development of a preventive safety and health culture through the elevation of occupational safety and health high on national agendas by launching national occupational safety and health programmes, as well as the promotion of safer and healthier working environments through preventive measures.


Train, train and train again... keep up-to-date and invest in new training courses

The laws worldwide say that your employer must protect your health and safety. The laws also say that you must not do anything that could harm yourself or other workers. Employers and workers need to work together to make a place of work safe. Your employer must tell you:

In some jobs you can have your health checked if there is a danger of ill health because of your work. If, for instance, you work in a country such as the UK you can also see your employer's safety policy statement. Employers must have one if five or more people are employed.

It essential that training needs are constantly updated. Likewise it is essential that everyone is trained to do their job correctly. So changing jobs may require that the worker needs to have new or refresher training sessions.

First time workers

At this time of the year, many organisations worldwide will be taking in new, first-time employees. These young people may have a little knowledge of some workplaces where they have had work experience or a job whilst they have been studying. But all employers and work colleagues need to ensure that these young people have first class induction training to ensure that they know the hazards of their workplace and what the consequences are of not being health and safety conscious.

So how soon should we start to train our young people in health, safety and fire awareness? Most people would agree not a minute too soon! So where can attractive, validated and authoritative training information be found which can be used either by trainers or by the young people themselves?

There are plenty of courses being offered in many countries worldwide. You will find some listed in OSHWORLD's Diary of Events that will help to focus on the type of training needed.

New degree in environmental health

A new degree has been launched by the UK University of Wolverhampton for people wishing to pursue a career in environmental health.

Environmental health involves ensuring food is safe and of good quality, protecting the environment and contributing to workplace health and safety.

The new BSc (Hons) Environmental Health is accredited by the UK Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the first intake of students will begin their studies in September.

Rachel Beech, Lecturer in Environmental Health at the School of Applied Sciences, said: "Environmental health is about caring and helping people and the community through addressing their health and welfare needs. The course is vocational and it is designed to empower and encourage students to use their knowledge and experiences gained at University to pursue a fulfilling and rewarding career."

Tony Lewis, Principal Education Officer at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), said: "The CIEH is delighted to have the University of Wolverhampton on-board as a partner for the delivery BSc (Hons) Environmental Health. The opening of this new course will provide additional options for students and enrich the overall environmental health academic community."

Steve Grime, Chair of the West Midlands Region for the CIEH, added: "The University and the CIEH have worked hard to bring together the course after a long period of planning. The result is a career-focused, vocational course which will have excellent career prospects for the students."

The course can either be completed on a full or part time basis, with a placement year. The course is structured to help students gain work placements in the public and private sectors, leading to a career as an Environmental Health Practitioner (formerly known as Environmental Health Officer) for local authorities or in private industry such as the food industry, public health, healthcare profession, environmental management, international groups and research.

Open evening about the course will be held on 11 September 2008 at the University's City Campus from 6pm to 8pm. For further details, email or call +44 (0)1902 322139.

Contact: Vickie Woodward, Press and Public Relations Officer, Marketing and Communications - External Communications, University of Wolverhampton, MX Building, City Campus North, Camp Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1AD | Tel: +44 (0)1902 32 2736 | Fax: +44 (0)1902 32 2099 | Mob: +44 07973 335 112 | Email:

News from Canada

New E-course an Introduction to Workplace Indoor Air Quality

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed an e-course about the importance of Indoor Air Quality in offices and other non-industrial workplaces, such as schools, public buildings and shopping malls.

The quality of air people breathe at work can affect their health, comfort and productivity. Indoor Air Quality: An Introduction covers the factors that affect the quality of indoor air as well as applicable standards and legislation. The course provides practical advice on how to investigate and resolve problems that may arise. "Sick building syndrome" and its causes are described as well as preventive measures that can be taken to safeguard or improve the quality of the indoor air.

This one-hour course is geared to workers, managers, supervisors, health and safety committee members, human resources specialists, as well as facility managers, property managers and commercial realtors. Case studies, quizzes, and an "ask a question" option are also featured. All e-courses by CCOHS are available in English and French. They are developed by experts in the field and reviewed by labour, employer and government representatives.

More information about the courses, pricing and how to register is available on the CCOHS website:

For further information contact: Eleanor Westwood, Manager of Communications, CCOHS | Tel: + 1 905.572.2981 X4408 | E-mail:

News from IPAF

Working group to create European standard for transport platforms

The Transport Platform Working Group (TPWG) of The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) International Mast Climbing Work Platform Committee has started work on drafting a new European standard for transport platforms.

None of the present European norms fully cover transport platform design and use. As a result, there are special guidelines in specific EU countries which ideally should be harmonised. At its last meeting in July, the TPWG analysed several existing standards and guidelines for transport platforms, including the US ANSI A92.10 standard and the Italian and UK guidance documents.

The TPWG has elected a task force including experts in standards drafting and technical committee work to start drafting a European standard. All manufacturers and users are invited to participate in the work of the TPWG, which already comprises key industry players.

Those who need more information can contact the chairman, Ernst van Hek from Hek Manufacturing, or the convenor, Romina Vanzi, on

About IPAF

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is a not-for-profit members' organisation that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide. Members include rental companies, manufacturers, distributors and equipment owners. More information is at

News from BOHS

New BOHS book out now: 'Controlling Skin Exposure to Chemicals and Wet-Work' by Rajadurai Sithamparanadarajah (Bob Rajan) OBE

The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) is delighted to announce the publication of a book on controlling skin exposure, by one of its members, Bob Rajan, which aims to provide practical help for health and safety professionals, and fills a gap in the workplace knowledge base on dermal exposure risk management issues.

The consequences of a failure to adequately control dermal exposure to hazardous agents do not always become apparent until years after exposure, and because of this, many employers are either ignorant of the consequences or ignore the potential for ill-health until it is too late. In Great Britain, over 29,000 people are suffering from work-related skin disease and every year over 3,500 new cases are reported (and it is likely that these statistics suffer from significant under-reporting); in the US, Department of Labor statistics show that both the prevalence and incidence rates of skin disease exceed recorded respiratory illnesses.

Alongside this, many health and safety professionals are unaware of the ways in which skin comes into contact with chemicals, or how dermal exposure can contribute to inadvertent inhalation and ingestion exposure. Many industries and occupations are affected, including agricultural workers, beauty salons and hairdressers, bookbinders and printers, cleaning trades, cooks and caterers and barworkers, construction and various associated trades, health services (such as hospital, dental and veterinary staff and care workers), many manufacturing sectors, vehicle repair, and more.

The book provides an introduction to the structure and functions of the skin, information about the diseases caused by dermal exposure and the occupations and chemicals involved, regulatory requirements related to dermal exposure at work, exposure and risk assessment, and risk management strategies. It is both comprehensive and accessible, and clearly illustrated with photographs, figures and tables throughout, ensuring that it will be of practical use. As a result, BOHS believes that it will make an important contribution to increasing knowledge about control of dermal exposure and encourage more effective control measures to be introduced in workplaces.

'Controlling Skin Exposure to Chemicals and Wet-Work' is available for £19.99 and can be purchased on-line via RMS Publishing, and Amazon, or by posting/faxing the order form which can be downloaded from the Publications section of the BOHS website.

Contact: Anthea Page, Communications Manager, BOHS, 5/6 Melbourne Court, Millennium Way, Pride Park, Derby, DE24 8LZ, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1332 250701 | Email: |

News from the ILO


The ILO Library in Geneva, working together with ILO information centres around the world, has created a Global Information Network to disseminate and provide access to ILO knowledge.

This site provides addresses of information centres in ILO offices in the country or territory, or in the surrounding region. It also provides the addresses of depository libraries for ILO publications in each country or territory listed.

or go direct to your own country

News from Canada

Prevention Guide: Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs

Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST);
Association paritaire pour la santé et la sécurité du travail du secteur affaires socials (ASSTSAS)
Working Committee on the Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs
2008; 154 pages
ISBN 9782896180172

This guide sets out a Committee's recommendations regarding how to safely handle hazardous drugs. The committee included professionals and stakeholders from the health care network, including IRSST. While this guide is primarily intended for health care workers, some recommendations apply to users of the health care network and their families. The use of hazardous drugs, particularly antineoplastic drugs used in oncology, is increasing because there has been an increase in the number of cancer cases. On the other hand, the hazardous drugs used are more potent and are more often used in combination and at higher doses. In hospitals antineoplastic drugs are most often used in the pharmacy, oncology units, some outpatient clinics, the operating room and care units. In the United States it is estimated that during the course of their work 5.5 million workers are exposed to hazardous drugs or their wastes.

Exposure is possible throughout the medication circuit in the hospital or at home. The medication circuit includes all of the steps through which drugs travel - from receiving dock to the storage facility - as well as its preparation, administration, elimination in the excreta and in its waste. A number of individuals may be exposed throughout this circuit: the transport and receiving workers, pharmacists, physicians, nurses and patient service associates involved in patient care following the administration of hazardous drugs.

News from Spain

Protecting workers in hotels, restaurants and catering: report

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has published the following guidance:

Protecting workers in hotels, restaurants and catering: report
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Vía 33, 48009 Bilbao, Spain
Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, L 2985; 2008; 30 pages
TE7007132ENC; 14.7.08; ISBN 789291912179

An initiative of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work to provide employers and employees with easy access to quality information about safety and health in the hotel, restaurant and catering (HORECA) sector. This sector covers a wide range of different businesses including hotels, pubs and restaurants, contract caterers in various industrial and commercial premises, fast-food takeaways, cafes and bistros. It plays an important role as a job creator in the service sector and in the economy as a whole in many EU Member States. Employing as it does more than 7.8 million people, it is important to manage the risks and prevent the causes of accidents and ill health in the HORECA sector. The aim of this report is to make available information relating to occupational safety and health in HORECA and to provide an overview of good practices at both the policy and workplace level.

News from Europe

Europe: Union blast on reprotoxins

The European Trade Union Confederation has criticised a European Commission u-turn on substances that are toxic for reproduction. The union body says these reprotoxins should have been brought into the directive that protects workers from carcinogens and mutagens, which is currently up for revision. It says the Commission has instead changed tack and dropped any mention of reprotoxins from its proposals.

What particularly baffles the trade union body 'is that the Commission has previously come out expressly in favour of extending the Carcinogens Directive to reprotoxins,' notes an ETUC news briefing. In a note sent to European social affairs commissioner Vladimir Spidla on 31 July, the ETUC describes the Commission's retreat on reprotoxins as 'a purely political decision that sacrifices the health of workers and future generations to the interests of some sections of industry'.

It says it wants the forthcoming economic impact assessment of the Carcinogens Directive revision to include a scenario extending it to reprotoxins. A briefing note concludes: 'For this scenario not to be included would play into the Commission's final decision, which will no doubt be taken by a new body of Commissioners after the June 2009 European elections.'

ETUI-REHS news briefing and ETUC note [pdf]

News from Finland

Finland: Union call for ban on creosote poles

A Finnish union is calling for the use of creosote-impregnated wooden electricity poles to be stopped on health grounds. The Electrical Workers' Union says safer alternatives should be used instead. The union maintains there is considerable scientific evidence that 'leaves no doubt that direct contact with creosote may cause rashes and irritation of the skin and, more damagingly, harm respiratory organs. In more serious cases creosote may damage the eyes, kidney and liver. One possible consequence is cancer.'

One of the targeted companies is Vattenfall, one of the largest electricity generators in Europe. Recently the Swedish government-owned company has expanded the use of creosote-impregnated electricity poles in Finland. The union says that although a 2001 European Directive limits the usage of creosote, it does not forbid impregnation of electricity poles.

According to a report in Trade Union News from Finland: 'During the course of daily work it is practically impossible to protect oneself from direct contact with creosote, if poles are impregnated with it, experienced electrical workers say. There is no lack of relevant protective clothing, masks, shoes etc. but they do not solve the problem, as the risk not only looms when using them but also when cleaning, storing and maintaining them.' Sauli Väntti, the bargaining secretary of the Electrical Workers' Union, said an immediate ban is the only option.

News from the Netherlands

Occupational exposure to organic solvents: effects on human reproduction

The report Occupational exposure to organic solvents: effects on human reproduction is published by the Health Council of the Netherlands, 2008; publication no. 2008/11OSH.
ISBN: 9789055497164

It is estimated that half a million workers in the Netherlands are regularly exposed to organic solvents. Some examples of well-known solvents are toluene, styrene, xylene, benzene and turpentine. These are widely used for degreasing and diluting, and are found in such products as ordinary paints, car paints, stains, and glues. Solvents evaporate, so those who work with these products tend to inhale them.

It is known for a long time that inhaling organic solvent fumes may impair people's health. In recent years, occupational exposure to these solvents has been linked to various effects. The most well-known and best documented effect is the occurrence of chronic toxic encephalopathy (CTE), also known as organic psycho syndrome (OPS). This involves serious damage to the nervous system, resulting in memory disorders, impaired concentration, mental inertia, fatigue, headache, irritability and depression. In addition, it is known that exposure to certain organic solvents (such as benzene) can cause cancer. Less is known about possible effects on reproduction. In 1999, that topic was at the centre of a commotion, following the publication of a Dutch study in men who had been examined at a fertility clinic. This study found that exposure to organic solvents appeared to be linked to reduced sperm quality. The results of this study led to questions being asked in the Dutch parliament. The results of another Dutch study were published in 2005. These results suggested that exposure to solvents might cause birth defects among the children of professional painters. In 2005, these two Dutch studies caused the State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment to seek the Health Council's advice about the possible effects on reproduction of occupational exposure to organic solvents.

News from the UK

A new research centre for studying nanotoxicology

The UK Health Protection Agency has set up a new centre to study the possible health effects of human exposure to nanoparticles. The National Nanotoxicology Research Centre (NNRC) is being developed at the Agency's Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (CRCE) at Chilton in Oxfordshire. The Agency is collaborating with universities and the Medical Research Council's (MRC) Toxicology Unit to develop the centre and its research programme.

The Agency's Chairman Sir William Stewart said: "The application of nanotechnology is an exciting development with many potential benefits. However, it is very new technology and some element of precaution is required. More research should be carried out into any possible health effects from the use of nanoparticles, and that is the primary task of the new centre."

The Agency will be collaborating with the Universities of Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Imperial College and King's College London and the MRC Toxicology Unit in Leicester.

Nanotechnology uses materials of dimensions measured in nanometers (1 x 10-9 metres or 0.000001 millimetres). Such materials can have unusual physicochemical properties which make them useful in applications including medicine, electronics, optical-electronic systems and imaging. They are also used in cosmetic and food products.

Knowledge of the possible interactions between nanomaterials and the body is developing rapidly. NNRC will focus, initially, on the behaviour of nanomaterials that enter the body via the lung and skin. The transportation of nanomaterials in the body will be studied and special emphasis will be placed on investigating the bio-kinetics of nanoparticles. This will involve studies of their entry into the body, their distribution within and their removal from the body.

News from the European Chemicals Agency

REACH-IT bulk pre-registration functionality now available

The bulk pre-registration functionality is now available in REACH-IT. It allows companies to submit pre-registration files for substances listed in EINECS. Companies may take preparatory steps outside the REACH-IT system and submit the files in an XML format specified by ECHA. Full compliance with the specified format is essential for all submitted bulk files to ensure their correct processing in the REACH-IT system.

The new functionality was recently launched and it will allow companies pre-registering substances to submit a file covering up to 500 substances listed in EINECS (Note: for substances not in EINECS the REACH-IT online pre-registration must be used). The upper limit of 500 is to allow efficient processing of the submitted files in the REACH-IT system. It will also keep the files easy to manage for the companies submitting them.

Companies carrying out pre-registrations can submit several files by using the bulk submission functionality.

Practical guidance how to submit a bulk pre-registration is available in the new "Data Submission Manual 6: Submission of Bulk Pre-registrations". The manual can be accessed via the link below.


European Chemicals Agency Annankatu 18, P.O. Box 400, FI-00121 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 9 6861 80 | Fax +358 9 6861 8210 | |

News from Canada

Call for abstracts: 4th International Conference on Whole-Body Vibration Injuries

The International Advisory and Local Organizing Committees of the 4th International Conference on Whole-Body Vibration Injuries is pleased to invite you to submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation. Prospective authors should submit a short summary (brief abstract) of the proposed presentation or poster before November 3, 2008. Instructions for formatting and submitting abstracts can be found on IRSST's website

Detailed information on the conference format and program, registration, meeting site, accommodation and important dates can also be found on the conference website

Prospective authors whose brief abstract will have been retained for presentation will be invited to submit an extended abstract and be given the opportunity to submit a full-length paper to be subsequently peer-reviewed and published in a special issue of the 'Industrial Health' journal. A bound copy of the extended abstracts of all the presentations will be made available to the participants during on-site registration. Please note that this call for abstracts/papers is also available in paper format and that copies can be made available by contacting the Conference secretariat. All correspondence and questions regarding the Conference should be addressed to the secretariat

More News from Canada

The latest edition of Info IRSST released...

INFO IRSST (Electronic newsletter from the Institut de recherché Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail)

Pleasant reading !

Jacques Millette, Communications Director, IRSST, 505, De Maisonneuve blvd. West, Montréal (Québec), Canada H3A 3C2 | |

News from UK

Step change in safety introduces new common safety standards for the oil and gas industry

The UK offshore oil and gas industry's flagship safety initiative Step Change in Safety is currently creating new, OPITO approved, minimum safety training standards for employees working on installations in the UKCS. The new standards are being developed following concerns raised by the workforce about basic safety competence, particularly for new starts in the industry. The new set of minimum standards covers nine basic safety elements, including the core topics of risk assessment and permit to work, but also introducing new key safety awareness centred on mechanical lifting and platform integrity.

John Methven, co-chair of Step Change in Safety, said: "Currently, basic safety training is carried out to different depths of understanding and covers varying safety elements. Every worker on the UKCS is required to complete basic offshore survival training; however this does not include training on risk assessment, process safety or platform integrity. These elements are normally covered through additional in-house training, but the core content can vary from company to company.

"By undertaking the new additional elements of basic safety training through a registered training centre, every employee working on an installation on the UKCS will have the same starting level of safety understanding and awareness. The Vantage POB system will be updated and there will be no need for individuals to undergo similar or repetitive training every time they visit a different installation; subject to any required company or site specific induction."

Alan Chesterman, leader of the Step Change in Safety competence work group, which drew up the standards, added: "We didn't reinvent the wheel - 90% of the content is not new and people will recognise it. But although the basics are essentially the same, right now there's a lack of consistency. We recognise that adopting common standards and engaging the essential support to apply them uniformly across industry is a challenge, but there is a real prize out there. We believe that training people consistently and using Vantage tracking to ensure everyone is trained to that level will bring significant safety improvements. Now it's up to each individual company to implement the standards."

The new competence standards will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase will especially target new starts in the offshore industry and will include training in all nine modules. This training will be available from the end of 2008.

The second phase will be the introduction of a newly developed, computer-based system for experienced offshore workers. This new e-learning skills test will identify and fill gaps in training and will be subject to a refresher every four years. The new system will be available early 2009.

John Methven and Rick Cohagan, co-chairs of Step Change in Safety, introduced the new standards to industry at the Oil & Gas UK breakfast on 20 August 2008, sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland.

The nine new training modules are:

Step Change in Safety is the UK based partnership with the remit to make the UK the safest oil and gas exploration and production province in the world. Step Change in Safety is made up of a Leadership Team comprising managing directors of operator and contractor companies and representatives from seven trade associations, including the UK Health and Safety Executive and the Trade Unions. It is this broad stakeholder base that makes Step Change in Safety effective across the whole industry.

More information on Step Change in Safety can be found on:

News from CIS

CIS Centres awarded in the International Film and Multimedia Festival (IFMF), Seoul, 2008

The International Film and Multimedia Festival (IFMF) was an integral part of the XVIIIth World Congress on Safety and Health at Work held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 30 June to 2 July 2008, under the theme: Safety and health at work: A societal responsibility.

The Festival was jointly organized by two of the ISSA Prevention Sections: "Electricity" and "Information".

This Festival offered Congress participants an overview of films, spots and multimedia products related to safety and health at work. A total of 115 films and 50 multimedia presentations were projected and a catalogue (CD-ROM) was distributed to the Congress participants.

An international jury of experts selected the best products and the following prizes were awarded to three CIS Centres:

For further information, please consult the ISSA Web site the pages devoted to the Festival.

News from Israel

Information about IIOSH, Israel

Israel Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene (IIOSH) is Israel's national public institution concerned with the workplace safety and health. It was established in the 50s on the basis of organizations and laws that came into existence during the period of the British Mandate, prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1947. These regulations reinforced the activity of organizations founded earlier (at the beginning of the thirties) that dealt with occupational safety, such as: the General Trade Union, the Manufacturers' Association, and the Jewish Agency. However, the field of occupational safety obtained its formal and mandatory status, acknowledged by the Mandate authorities and the Jewish leaders, only in 1946.

Following the establishment of the State of Israel, this field of activity received its semi-governmental status in 1950, with a special secretary appointed to coordinate the activity in the field of the occupational safety under supervision by one of the departments of the Ministry of Labour. IIOSH was founded as a statutory tripartite non-profit institution in accordance with the "Labour Inspection (Organization) Law - 1954".


As determined by the law, the main objective of IIOSH is to promote safety and hygiene at the workplace.

This mission includes:


Public representatives

The public interests are represented in the Institute's governing bodies:


Most of the regional branches' activities take place at the workplaces. The branches are located in four Israel's biggest cities: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva and Haifa, and also cover the surrounding areas. This geographic distribution of the branches allows them to maintain close links between the Institute and the workplaces across Israel.

The branches receive professional and administrative backup from the IIOSH headquarters departments.

A wide range of services is provided to various industries, including:

Through its branches, IIOSH maintains continuous and efficient links with about 2,800 safety committees and approximately 5,000 SMEs nationwide.

Various activities are routinely conducted at industrial plants (average annual figures):


The Engineering and Computerization Div. serves as a professional authority, guiding and advising various IIOSH departments in different fields of safety engineering.

Its primary activities include:


The Hygiene Dept. serves as the IIOSH professional authority in the field of occupational hygiene. It provides professional guidance and advice for various activities undertaken in this area within the Institute's framework.

Primary activities of the Hygiene Dept. include:


The IIOSH Information Center is the Israel's primary source of OSH information. It supplies the public, particularly safety officers and other interested people at industrial plants, with reliable up-to-date information according to their requests. Every answer is being tailored to the inquirer's needs and educational level. The center's information scientists use an extensive network of OSH information resources that includes numerous international and local databases, a library, personal expertise of the whole IIOSH staff and, when necessary, authoritative sources elsewhere. For this purpose the Information Center maintains working contacts with many relevant organizations in Israel and abroad, including CIS-ILO.

The center's main activities include:

Every year the Center answers over 5000 written and verbal information requests

The center's establishment and current operation have been facilitated by financial support provided by the Workplace Health and Accident Prevention and Research Fund of the Ministry of Labour and Welfare and the Manof Foundation of the National Insurance Institute.


The Projects Dept. initiates, oversees and coordinates projects in the field of occupational safety and hygiene.

The department's main activities include:


The Training Dept. develops, initiates and organizes various training activities for workers employed in the industrial, agricultural, and construction sectors, in accordance with the ISO 9002 requirements.

The department performs the following functions:

The main types of training events organized by the Training Dept. are courses (3 to 30 days long), one-day seminars, workshops, and lectures. They are conducted either at the IIOSH own training facilities or elsewhere, including large workplaces.

Every year the Training Dept. and the IIOSH branches conduct about 800 training events lasting at least one full day each, comprising the total of 1,750 days, with about 18,000 participants. The mobile training units serve additional 50,000 workers a year, while another 18,000 workers take part in short on-site safety training activities.

Altogether, IIOSH delivers the workplace safety and health training to 87,000 workers annually.


The Publishing Dept. publishes books, brochures, posters and periodicals in the field of safety and health at work, as well as safety signs, prospects and other printed matter used by the IIOSH staff and OSH professionals across the country. While most of the IIOSH publications are in Hebrew, a number of brochures have been published in Arabic, Russian, Amharic, Chinese, Thai and other languages.

The department's flagship is the Safety illustrated bimonthly in Hebrew, printed in 10,000 copies. Another periodical, the wall-format poster Safety and Health at Work which is intended at a wide distribution at plants and construction sites, is published monthly in Hebrew, half-yearly in Arabic, and quarterly in Russian - 10,000 copies at all.

Altogether, the Publishing Dept. produces about 500,000 copies of various publications a year.


The Internet Unit develops and supports the IIOSH website, which is in fact the Israel's main national web resource in the field of safety and health at work. Besides of serving as an electronic gate to the whole scope of IIOSH units and activities, the site comprises a range of sections and functions:

While a predominant part of the contents are in Hebrew, there are also a number of items in English (including OSH Headlines from Israel) and other languages. All information is available free of charge, including electronic copies of priced IIOSH publications.

News from CIS

ILO OSH/Working Conditions meetings for the remainder of 2008 and for 2009

At its 302th Session held in Geneva in June 2008 the Governing Body of the International Labour Office (ILO) approved the Programme of meetings for the remainder of 2008 and for 2009, as well as the timetable of symposia, seminars, workshops and similar meetings.

To consult meetings and symposia, please see the document: A. Meetings for the remainder of 2008 and for 2009; B. Timetable of approved symposia, seminars, workshops and similar meetings.

Click on 303rd Session of the Governing Body of the ILO (6-21 November 2008) to access further information.

News from your Editor

FIREINF adds more databases... the world's premier collection of fire information that is focused and affordable

ANOTHER database containing references to relevant articles from worldwide journals, reports etc been added to FIREINF. This is in addition to the recently added two databases from the US National Institute for Safety and Health - NIOSHTIC and NIOSHTIC-2. Both NIOSHTIC and NIOSHTIC-2 databases contain a wealth of fire and fire related as well as a broad range of occupational safety and health information. There are now 15 databases within FIREINF.

FIREINF now has over 522,000 records to journal articles, guidance and advice, circulars, reports, conference proceedings, research reports, statistics and codes of practice from worldwide sources, all of which may be easily accessed. One of the databases - from the British Standards Institution - contains references to over 4000 fire and fire related standards. More of the information is full text or links to full text.

FIREINF that is arguably the world's premier collection of related validated, authoritative information on the subject aims to help all those seeking such information. As more fire information services are no longer available for access FIREINF will guide you to the latest and important fire and fire related sources of information.

Emphasis in FIREINF is on all aspects of fire, emergency and preparedness management principles, fire risk assessment, practices and research. FIREINF leads the searcher to quality guidance and advice from around the world.

FIREINF is used by organisations worldwide, those teaching fire science as well as fire brigades, rescue services, forensic and fire experts.

For those individuals and organisations that do not subscribe to a range of journals/magazines this is one way of ensuring that the latest news, developments and trends are available.

In this fast moving world it is essential to have quick access to validated, authoritative and constantly updated information collections. Much time is spent these days searching the Internet for validated and authoritative information often resulting in out-of date sources. Collections brought together and maintained by information specialists are one sure way of getting good quality data.

As new research and new ways of working, with the attendant alterations in products, services and technology developments means that no-one, especially those responsible for fire, emergencies and preparedness in workplaces of all kinds, should be without the latest information. Nor should people be without access to information that has been published in the past!

Searchers should also be aware that the myth abounding in the world that everything is published on the Internet and is free is just not true! Nor is the latest theory that if you have a credit card and access to search engines then you do NOT need a library!

One way to quickly gain access to legislation, guidance and advice that is up-to-date and relevant is to take a 15-day Free Trial of FIREINF - the service that is focused, affordable, easy to use and continuously updated as new data is published.

Published by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd. since 1997 (previous titles Fire Worldwide and also Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide), FIREINF uses the powerful Headfast software

Fireinf is accessible via the Internet Service:

Contact Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd. for 15 day FREE trials for all services that are cost effective. Why pay more for information? Go to:

News from CIS

The Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety

This is the ILO's online flagship publication on all aspects of the multidisciplinary field of occupational safety and health. With over 1,000 articles, the fourth edition was produced with the collaboration of thousands of recognized experts from over 50 countries.

"The 5th edition of the Encyclopaedia will provide users with information on occupational safety and health in a highly accessible format. We hope that it will help to reduce the unacceptable global toll of 2.2 million deaths and 430 million accidents and diseases each year", concludes Dr Al-Tuwaijri.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the oldest specialized agency of the United Nations, founded in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles. The ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety is an internationally respected standard reference, used: in preparation of policy and programme planning; and for industrial hygiene, occupational medicine and workplace safety training and education.

No one else has done this job with the accuracy, history of objectivity and international mission that have been the hallmark of the ILO since its founding in 1919 and since the first Encyclopaedia in 1930. The ILO Encyclopaedia reflects the best thinking and collective knowledge of experts who have written down their information for the benefit of all people, available free of charge, in order to improve OSH and reduce costs. The 5th Edition of the ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety will provide a completely electronic, up-to-date, accurate and user-friendly information resource that is understandable by millions of people, anywhere in the world. The 5th edition of the Encyclopaedia will be electronic, located on the ILO Internet SafeWork site starting December 2009. Worldwide participation will be emphasized, following the principle of tripartism, with the goal of having at least 10 000 experts join the Encyclopaedia network as article authors, chapter editors or peer reviewers.

One of those experts can be you!

Contact: Mrs Ilise L. Feitshans (JD and ScM), Coordinator Encyclopaedia, 5th Edition ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety, SafeWork, International Labour Office (ILO), Geneva, Switzerland | E-mail: | Tel: Office (+41 22) 799 7443 | Tel. mob. Switzerland: (+41 22) 7 983 63965 | Tel. mob. USA: (+917) 239 9960

Please see also the CIS News item of April 2008.

News from France

Eurogip publishes the following reports

Activity report 2007 - understanding occupational risks in Europe. 2008; 28 pages

EuroGip in brief: description of Eurogip's activities. 2008; 7 pages

Both reports available in English and French

Contact: EUROGIP - Information Communication, Paris, France | Tel: +33 1 40 56 30 40 | Email: |

Make my Day... Please send some News - Your Editor

News from the UK

Cryoservice and the Medical Research Council put safety first in definitive publication on liquid nitrogen

Two leading UK organisations have joined forces to develop and launch a ground-breaking new publication which is set to provide a benchmark for safety and operating practices associated with liquid nitrogen.

Worcester-based CryoService, the leading UK provider of cryogenic gases and gas storage solutions, and the Medical Research Council (MRC), a world-renowned human health research organisation, have developed the 44-page publication, entitled "Standards for Liquid Nitrogen Supply".


Liquid nitrogen is widely used worldwide for its cryogenic properties which allow the safe long-term storage of biological samples. Storing items such as blood, tissues, stem cells and viruses in liquid nitrogen helps ensure their long-term viability, supporting not only medical research but procedures such as IVF and blood transfusion.

In general, liquid nitrogen is a safe product; however, the very nature of its extreme cold properties - it is stored in liquid form at -196°C - and the fact that it expands dramatically upon evaporation, and so can displace air, poses unique safety challenges.

With their extensive joint experience in liquid nitrogen supply and use of, CryoService and the MRC decided to develop a definitive safety and usage guide that could not only be applied across the MRC as best practice, but could also provide helpful guidance to general users to optimise their use and handling of liquid nitrogen.

The document references all key industry codes of practice and includes clearly explained guidelines on:

The document will be invaluable to both experienced and new users of liquid nitrogen, and those designing or planning a new cryostorage facility.

Noor Ali, Sales & Marketing Manager for CryoService, commented: "While standards for use and safe handling of liquid nitrogen are generally high, this publication for the first time brings together every aspect of best practice in this area and will ensure that users get the most from their investment in this product.

"It will also help reassure those new to working with liquid nitrogen about the benefits it can bring and the relatively simple safety procedures required for safe handling."

Paul Jackett, Regional Coordinator, Health, Safety and Security, at the Medical Research Council, added: "We are delighted to collaborate with CryoService, a market leader in liquid nitrogen supply, on this publication, which shows the clear commitment among both organisations to best practice in liquid nitrogen supply and usage."

"Standards for Liquid Nitrogen Supply" is available for purchase at for just £29.95 plus postage and packing.

CryoService is one of the leading providers of cryogenic gases and gas storage systems in the UK. Established in 1970, CryoService provides cryogenic gases to leading scientific, medical and research users across the UK and has extensive experience in life-critical applications.

The Medical Research Council supports the best scientific research to improve human health. Its work ranges from molecular level science to public health medicine and has led to pioneering discoveries in our understanding of the human body and the diseases which affect us all.

News from the UK


REACH is in force now and GHS (the Globally Harmonised System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals) is expected this year, WASPS will be ready... Will you?

As you will know the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Regulation (REACH) is in force. This requires all manufacturers and suppliers who deal with chemicals to share all important safety information with their customers and chemical users right down the supply chain to the end user.

Properly written, Safety Data Sheets (SDS) effectively communicate chemical hazards to most chemical industry professionals. However, the SDS is woefully inappropriate for most people who actually use, ship or otherwise handle chemicals. SDS cannot easily be understood by the majority of workers in industries where chemicals are used.

The WASP sheet is a cost-effective communications tool for REACH and will be for GHS, because it bridges the gap between the scientifically expressed SDS and most of the workforce. The WASPS package also contains a full implementation of the COSHH Essentials risk assessment method introduced by the HSE. WASP sheets can be produced in less than 5 minutes and in a variety of languages. This is why Kodak Research UK, Kellogg's, Rentokil to name a few have made the change to WASPS.

GHS is expected to come into force, in the European Union, during 2008. The work of changing over will be substantial. Allow WASPS to take the sting out of the process for you. Did you know that ultimately, GHS would completely replace the CHIP regulations? There will be a new way to classify hazardous chemicals. It can never be too early to couple ultimate workplace safety to compliance with new legislation! Current WASPS users are saving money, saving time, effectively communicating hazards to their workforce and will be prepared to navigate towards REACH and GHS compliance... Will you?

WASPS software comes with a pre-written library of over 1800 WASP sheets including many generic and proprietary products. It is available now as a low-cost subscription service on annual basis from Environmental Science. Free trial version of WASPS can be downloaded from their website.

Contact: Environmental Science Ltd, Station Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 8SJ, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1354 653222 | Email: |

News from the USA

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has produced the following reports that will be of interest to readers worldwide

"First Responders: Protect Your Employees with an Exposure Control Plan" DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2008-115.

"First Responders: Encourage Your Workers to Report Bloodborne Pathogen Exposures" DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2008-118.

"Faces of Black Lung" Video DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2008-131.

"Exposure to Stress: Occupational Hazards in Hospitals" DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2008-136.

"Application of the ILO International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses to Digital Chest Radiographic Images" DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2008-139.

NIOSH Docket Archive: Docket Number 135 Healthcare Workers Safety and Health.

"NIOSH Protecting Workers in Construction - Preventing Injuries Related to Motor Vehicles and Equipment"

"NIOSH Protecting Workers in Agriculture - Preventing Tractor Overturn Injuries: The New York ROPS Retrofit Social Marketing Intervention"

Spanish versions of the following NIOSH documents are now available:

NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations

Evaluation of potential exposure to radio frequency radiation. The HHE Program responded to a union request at a weather station. The request concerned potential radio frequency (RF) radiation exposure to electronic technicians repairing equipment. HHE Program investigators reviewed incident and maintenance logs and conducted confidential medical interviews with employees. The investigators found that a RF health and safety program did not exist. The investigators found that employees were doing repairs and using equipment that they had not been trained for. Investigators recommended that managers ensure that employees are properly trained and enforce proper documentation of repairs and maintenance in their logs. Investigators also recommended that managers implement an effective RF health and safety program and enforce training and safety protocols. HHE Program investigators also recommended that managers restrict access to areas where spatial average electric field strength may exceed recommended guidelines and post signs marking these areas. Additionally, investigators recommended that employees immediately inform managers of any workplace exposure and then seek medical evaluation. The final report is available at

Evaluation of potential noise exposure. The HHE Program responded to a management request at a fire department. The request concerned potential exposure to noise by 911 dispatchers and mechanics in the fire station. HHE Program investigators monitored noise exposure to mechanics and dispatchers and looked at hearing test results. Investigators also interviewed workers and looked at injury and illness records for trauma to the ears. The investigators found that mechanics' exposure to noise was above the NIOSH recommended exposure limit, and that their exposures occurred over short periods of time. Investigators also found that the potential for harm to 911 dispatchers' hearing was low. Investigators recommended that managers enroll mechanics in a hearing conservation program and require that mechanics wear ear plugs or ear muffs when working with loud equipment. HHE Program investigators also recommended that a communications center be built for 911 dispatchers or modify the existing center to meet recommended indoor noise criteria for buildings. The final report is available at

Evaluation of health symptoms at an indoor water park. The HHE Program responded to a request for assistance at an indoor water park. The request concerned the cause of symptoms involving irritation to the eyes, nose, skin, and respiratory systems of employees. HHE Program investigators tested the air for trichloramines, soluble chlorine compounds, and endotoxins. Investigators tested the water for fecal contamination, Legionella, mycobacteria, endotoxin, sulfites, and sulfates. Additionally, investigators reviewed the ventilation system and water system designs. HHE Program investigators found that some trichloramine concentrations were at levels previously reported to cause mucous membrane irritation and that air endotoxin concentrations were at levels that have been associated with cough and fever. Investigators recommended that managers assess the ventilation system to ensure adequate air movement and proper removal of contaminants. Investigators also recommended that managers consider reducing water attraction cycle times and use larger droplet discharge nozzles to reduce aerosolization of contaminants. Investigators recommended that managers consider redesigning the spray feature piping system to make sure that water used in the pools is taken directly after the filtration and treatment cycles. Additionally, investigators recommended that employees report any work-related symptoms to their supervisors. The final report is available at

Make my Day... Please send some News - Your Editor

OSHE web sites to explore...

Also look in for hundreds of links to authoritative and validated web sites... constantly updated.

We look at websites in different parts of the world that are offering quality information.

European Construction Industry Federation FIEC   BELGIUM

The European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) is a long-standing partnership of organisations involved in the European construction industry. The industry has for the 15 member states 11,8 million operatives representing 7,0 % of Europe's work force and 28,1 % of industrial employment. 26 million workers in the EU depend, directly or indirectly, on the construction sector, it is the biggest industrial employer in Europe. The site gives guidance and advice on best practices on the co-ordination of health and safety.

European Federation for Construction Chemicals (EFCC)   BELGIUM

European Federation for Construction Chemicals - founded in July 2005. There is information on structures and activities of this international organization and includes aims and objectives, subjects ranging from concrete technology to health and environment. Includes publications and press releases and events.

European Fertilizer Manufacturers Association   EFMA   BELGIUM

European Fertilizer Manufacturers Association contains information on responsible care, improving performance in matters concerning the health and safety of their employees and the impact of their activities on the environment. Also has guidance for the compilation of Safety Datasheets for a number of fertilizers.

European Influenza Surveillance Network (EISN)   BELGIUM

European Influenza Surveillance Scheme (EISN) helps reduce the burden of disease associated with influenza in Europe by collecting and exchanging timely information on influenza activity, contributing to the annual determination of the influenza vaccine content, providing relevant information about influenza to health professionals and the general public and contributing to European influenza pandemic preparedness activities. All 25 European Union Member States and Norway, Romania and Switzerland are represented in EISN. EISN presents in the weekly surveillance reports clinical and virological data concerning influenza activity in 25 of these 28 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). This surveillance scheme includes roughly 13,000 sentinel physicians and covers a total population of 464 million inhabitants. EISN also operates the Community Network of Reference Laboratories for Human Influenza. This network includes 38 reference laboratories in the 28 European countries represented in EISN, i.e. the above mentioned countries and Cyprus, Finland and Greece.

Make my Day... Please send some News - Your Editor

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

You may also be inspired to organise something similar in your country

30 September - 3 October 2008 - 4th International Conference: Prevention of Occupational Accident in a Changing Work Environment
Organized by the Hellenic Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (ELINYAE) and supported by the International Labour Office (ILO), the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and the European Network of Safety & Health Professional Organisations (ENSHPO).
Contact: Conference secretariat, Heliotopos Conferences, 28 Ypsilantou str. GR-172 36, Dafni, Athens, Greece | Tel: +30 210 9730697 | Fax: +30 210 9767208 | Email: |

9-10 October 2008 - European Process Safety Centre (EPSC) Learning from accidents conference
Antwerp, The Netherlands

10-12 October 2008 - 11th EWHN Conference for Labour and Occupational Health and Safety Representatives and Professionals: Assessing the risk for healthy workplaces
Bologna, Italy
Contact: The European Work Hazards Network (EWHN) |

13-15 October 2008 - Safety and risks of nanotechnologies and nanoparticles to workers and citizens (4812)
Hotel Fredericksdal, Copenhagen, Denmark
Contact: NIVA, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FIN-00250 Helsinki, FINLAND | Tel: +358 30 474 2498 | Email: |

16 October 2008 - Occupational Hygiene Association of Ontario (OHAO) Fall Symposium
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

20-21 October 2008 - 6th International Conference on Safety & Protective Fabrics at IFAI Expo 2008
Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, NC, USA
Contact: IFAI |

20-24 October 2008 - European Campaign for Safety and Health at Work 2008-09 will focus on risk assessment
Contact: Health and Safety Executive, UK |
Readers may also like to take a free trial of OSH UPDATE:

21-22 October 2008 - Firex Roadshow - North 2008
International Centre, Harrogate, UK
Contact: Rachel Cowdrey, Senior Marketing Executive, CMP I Tel: +44 (0)20 7921 8154 | Email: |
Readers may also wish to take a free trial of FIREINF:

21-23 October 2008 - Third International Scientific Conference on Occupational and Environmental Health
Hanoi, Vietnam
The University of Washington's Collaborative Center for Healthy Work and Environment is a co-sponsor.
Contact: The call for abstracts can be downloaded at
The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2008.

21-23 October 2008 - NOIRS 2008: National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2008
Sheraton Station Square Hotel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Sponsor: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Co-Sponsors: National Safety Council and Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety
Readers may also wish to take a free trial of OSH UPDATE:

22-24 October 2008 - 15th International Congress in Occupational Health Services: Indicators in Occupational Health
Organised by the CISME and the ICOH Scientific Committee on Health Services Research and Evaluation in Occupational Health
Paris, France
Contact: Information: CISME - "ICOH-CISME 2008" Secretariat, 10, rue de la Rosière, 75015 Paris, France | Tel: (+33) (0) 1 53 95 38 54 | Fax: (+33) (0) 1 53 95 38 48 | Email: |

22-24 October 2008 - 3rd Annual Conference on Industrial Safety / Andean Congress on Safety and Health at Work
Lima, Peru
Contact: MCE Consultores Asociados and the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) | Tel: +51 1 483 2134 | Email: |

23 October 2008 - IFE 2008 Fire Safety Conference: Assessing fire and life safety in complex
Marriott Johnstown House Hotel, and Spa, Enfield, Co. Meath, Northern Ireland
Contact: Conference Secretary, Mr James Farrell | Mobile 0862 589 699 | Email: | Web:
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24-26 October 2008 - China International Conference on Coal Mine Gas Control and Utilization 2008
Hosted by the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), China, in collaboration with the United National Development Programme (UNDP) and China International Centre for Economic and Trade Exchanges (CICETE)
Huainan City, China
Contact: Secretariat: Ms Su Chuanrong / Mr Xie Wenbo, National Center for Exchange & Cooperation in Work Safety, State Administration of Work Safety, 21 Hepingli Beijie, Beijing 10073, China | Tel: +86 10 64463910 | Fax: +86 10 64463838 | Email: |

27-31 October 2008 - 5th International Congress on Woman, Work and Health: Towards decent and healthy jobs for women
Organised by Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas (UAZ), the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), the civil association Iniciativa Ciudadana y Desarrollo Social (INCIDE Social A.C.), El Colegio de Sonora, the Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C. and Zanzana, Conocimiento y Expresión A.C. and sponsored by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Zacatecas City. Mexico
Contact: Email: |

28-31 October 2008 - China Fire 2008: The Twelfth International Fire Protection Equipment Technology Conference and Exposition
Beijing, China
Contact: China Fire Protection Association | Tel: +86 10 8778 9262 | Fax: +86 10 8778 9785 | Email:

28-31 October 2008 - Eco Expo Asia at AsiaWorld Expo
Hong Kong
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd
Contact: Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide | Email: or |

3-5 November 2008 - 21st International Conference on New Trends in Safety and Health: Risks at work - assessment and implementation in practice; European OSH Strategy 2007-2012; new trends in OSH, good OSH practice experiences; prevention and protection services; examples of effective prevention solutions
Strbské Pleso, High Tatras, Slovakia
Contact: Information: Technical University of Kosice, Department of Safety and Quality of Production, Letna 9, 042 00 Kosice, Slovak Republic | Tel: +421 55 602 2513 | Fax: +421 55 602 2501 | Email: |

3-7 November 2008 - The Institution of Fire Engineers, Singapore Branch and National Fire Protection Association, USA have organised a series of workshops taking place in November 2008
3 and 4 November 2008 - NFPA 101: Life Safety Code
5 and 6 November 2008 - NFPA 13: Installation of Sprinkler Systems
7 November 2008 - NFPA: 20: Fire Pumps
Novotel Clarke Quay, Singapore - 9.00am to 5.00pm
Contact: The Secretariat, The Institution of Fire Engineers, 89 Short Street, #02-15 Golden Wall Centre, Singapore 188216 | Tel: +65 63389274 | Fax: +65 63366175 | Email: |
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