CIS Newsletter

No. 232
January 2009

CIS Newsletter celebrates 21 years & still going strong!
Bringing news from Members to Members in over 154 countries in the CIS Network!


  1. Editorial
  2. News and OSH Briefs from around the World - Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Korea, Switzerland, UK and the USA
  3. OSHE websites to explore
  4. Diary of Events

The CIS Newsletter is a monthly newsletter for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) International Occupational Health and Safety Information Centres and is edited by Sheila Pantry OBE. The CIS Newsletter is NOT an official publication of the ILO but a newsletter containing information from Members in CIS Centres and other sources and is intended to be shared by anyone who finds the data contained useful. Users are free to use and reuse the data in these newsletters.


Dear CIS Colleagues

Wishing All Readers A Very Happy, Healthy, Peaceful, Safe and Successful Year ahead in 2009.

Many thanks for all the lovely greetings cards and good wishes that I received during this Festive time.

Thanks also for the publications, emails and news - these are always gratefully received and are used as soon as possible.

The Year ahead is already looking very busy as we plan for the 50th Anniversary in 2009 of the formation of the CIS Network. No doubt you are thinking 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!!! I will, in these newsletters, put some notes regarding my recollections of 30 years of being associated with the CIS Network and its activities. It is a wonderful network of people willing to help others in so many ways.

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

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

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!

Thriving in 2009... Keep promoting and telling the World at large that CIS and its network exists! And start preparations for 28 April 2009 - World Day for Safety and Health at Work!

Remember that your News in the CIS Newsletter goes to over 154 countries and gets re-used in other magazines and websites. Also there are many people who are not CIS Members who receive the CIS Newsletters. And through its presence on the web many people are getting to know more about the CIS Network. So with many thousands of web hits per month... send your news to me and get even more publicity for your Information services!

I keep asking the question... 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!

All good wishes for 2009 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

News from Geneva from CIS HQ

From Gabor Sandi

CIS will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2009. Half a century - this is a long time in the history of an information service. Especially when it covered two major shifts in information technology - first, the shift to electronic storage of information (while keeping the output in printed format), and second, the shift to the Internet, with its ability to spread information instantaneously and universally through electronic means.

If things go well, CIS can continue to grow and to change. We can keep the world up-to-date on all types of information concerning occupational safety and health matters. Of course, CIS is not doing this alone - it receives the help of its worldwide network of information centres. CIS is thankful for this help and will strive to provide needed information to these centres. Cooperation has always been the key to success.

With these thoughts in mind, I wish all readers of the Newsletter a joyful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Gábor Sándi

CIS Coordinator

News from the ILO

Report of the 2008 CIS Centres Annual Meeting

The 46th Annual Meeting of CIS Regional, National and Collaborating Centres was held on 29 June 2008 at the COEX Convention Center in Seoul, Republic of Korea, at the margin of the XVIIIth World Congress on Safety and Health at Work (June 29-July 2), which was preceded by the Safety and Health Summit.

At this meeting, 18 representatives of CIS National Centres, 8 of Collaborating Centres and 2 of Regional Centres were present.

Mr Assane Diop, Executive Director of the ILO Social Protection Sector and representative of the Director General of the ILO, opened the meeting and delivered a speech in which he mentioned several important issues, including the updating of the ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety and the future of CIS.

As usual, the Meeting enabled participants to exchange information on the activities and achievements of both CIS and CIS Centres. Mr Gábor Sándi (CIS Coordinator), made a presentation entitled "CIS 2008 - The Present and the Future"; Mrs Ilise Feitshans (Encyclopaedia Coordinator) presented "Why a 5th edition?" [of the Encyclopaedia]; Mrs Annick Virot (CIS Centres Network Coordinator) rounded up information about the activities and plans to 2008-2009; and "Concept of new databases", was presented by Mr András Szücs (CIS Senior Systems Analyst).

It was proposed to hold the next Annual Meeting in Düsseldorf (Germany) and participants were reminded that the year 2009 will be the 50th anniversary of the founding of CIS. All proposals for the celebration were welcome.

Editor Note
As yet there is no confirmation of when, where and how the celebrations will be held.
But you can of course make your own celebrations in your own country or region

More News from Geneva

5th Edition of the ILO Encyclopaedia

Ilise L. Feitshans, the Coordinator of the 5th Edition of the ILO Encyclopaedia writes:

After a very hectic and successful First Year, as the Coordinator of the 5th Edition of the ILO Encyclopaedia I am proud to report that several Missions are planned for 2009 that will result in fostering the actual process of writing drafts and a sample chapter. Recruitment efforts remain strong, too.

The 5th Edition team wishes to express special thanks to:

Dr John Howard for his tireless efforts as Chair of the Steering Committee, to colleagues in CIS who have been supportive every time a request was made to help the 5th Edition in planning, and above all, to Dr Sameera Al-Tuwaijri for her wonderful vision to commence this process and her remarkable ability to bridge cultures, pull together resources and above all, her path breaking role model for all women in international health policy.

It is a privilege and honor to be part of this team, and to know that experts around the world are eager to help create the 5th Edition.

With these thoughts in mind, I wish you all Happy holidays, (whatever holiday your family may celebrate) and a healthy and happy New Year.

All the best,

Ilise L. Feitshans JD and ScM
Coordinator Encyclopaedia
5th Edition ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety

More notes on the Lecture given by Dr John Howard on Nanotechnology: the newest slice of global economic daily life

As reported in last month's CIS Newsletter, Dr John Howard MD, JD, MPH, LLM, former Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the USA gave a lecture on 27 November 2008 at the ILO on the emerging area of nanotechnology.

Further notes have been provided by Ilise L. Feitshans who attended Dr John Howard's Lecture on "Nanotechnology: The newest slice of global economic daily life".

For more details see the "interview" on

Dr Sameera Al-Tuwaijri, Director of the International Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork), and her entire staff welcomed Dr John Howard MD, JD, MPH, LLM, former Director of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the USA and chair of the Steering Committee of the 5th edition of the ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety.

Dr Howard has graduate degrees in several disciplines, he has a vision of the future role for nanotechnology, embracing new demographic groups of workers, and the brilliance to engage in the hard research work that will make it possible to develop sound policies. Dr Howard presented an overview of the emerging industrial applications of nanotechnology and the societal implications of this new technology from an occupational health and safety perspective.

Dr Howard discussed how the health of nanotechnology workers can be protected, noting that respirators continue to provide effective barriers to nanoparticles due to the effects of Brownian movement. He considered this "good news" for workers, who need protection, and emphasized that protective clothing, however, is an area of uncertainty.

Further, he noted that the clouds of particles that are so small that they do not respond to gravity are the more immediate source of unknown risks and concern for controls. Dr. Howard provided an overview of the development of national and international standards in the area of nanotechnology, with reference to the moratorium called for by leading non-governmental organizations, due to the unknown risks and attendant uncertainties of nanotech factories. In his conclusions, Dr Howard drew the analogy to a commuter running after a train that has just left the station, urging his audience that the occupational safety and health community has much work to catch the train and get on board with long term issues confronting society as civilization embarks upon the new era of nanotechnologies.

Approximately 48 people attended the presentation, which was open to the general public. This lecture also provided an excellent opportunity to bring together colleagues from the ILO. CIS has prepared a bibliography containing references to a selection of items reflecting the theme. References are extracted from CISDOC bibliographic database, a practical tool for seeking information on occupational safety and health at the international level.

Following the lecture, there was time for questions.

Questions ranged from concern about the analogous paradigm in silicosis, the need to set aside research funds to examine potential risks in nanotech industries and the solutions, the link between national funding within ILO Member States who support their national nanotech development and the ability of those Member States to require that a percentage of national funding to be set aside for research in safety and health, application of nanotech diagnostic tools in cancer detection, concerns about impact of nanotechnology on reproductive health in the workplace, and what information workers can be given about effective prevention and potential long-term adverse health effects in nanotech industries.

News from Belgium

European Trade Union Institute (ETUI-REHS) - New Publication

The European Trade Union Institute - Research, Education, Health and Safety (ETUI-REHS) new booklet entitled Production and reproduction. Stealing the Health of future generations

This report sets out to help improve awareness of work-related reproductive hazards. They are a vast and complex mix of varied kinds running from chemicals, through ionizing radiation, vibration, heat, biological agents to stress and more. They also have a wide variety of effects, including male and female infertility, miscarriages, birth defects, impaired child development and others. There is probably no other sphere of health and safety at work in which the available information is so piecemeal and lacking.

The booklet reviews and gives a broad-brush picture of the available knowledge for a general readership. It forms part of the general work of our Institute to develop a critical trade union approach to health and safety at work. This particular publication deals in most detail with chemicals, but also provides relevant information on other reproductive risks.

Production and reproduction. Stealing the Health of future generations
by Marie-Anne Mengeot and Laurent Vogel
2008. ISBN 978-287452125-6. 10 Euros. EN - FR
European Trade Union Institute - Research, Education, Health and Safety (ETUI-REHS)

News from Canada

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

This is now available, see

Pleasant reading!

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

New CCOHS E-Courses to Help Reduce Workplace Injuries Related to Poor Ergonomic Conditions

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed two new e-courses to help increase awareness of and prevent workplace musculoskeletal disorders: Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs): Awareness and Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs): Prevention.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs): Awareness is a free twenty-minute course that covers the risks associated with repetitive strain or motion injuries - collectively known as musculoskeletal injuries.

Work-related musculoskeletal injuries are the most frequent type of lost-time injury and are the largest source of lost-time worker compensation costs in Canada. The causes of these injuries are a result of prolonged work involving repetitive movements, forceful move­ments and awkward body postures. Musculoskeletal disorders are painful and often disabling injuries that mainly affect the wrists, back, legs, shoulders, neck, muscles and joints.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs): Prevention covers the risk factors of MSDs in more depth, as well as introducing some of the many ergonomic controls that can help prevent these injuries including: ergonomic aspects of the workstation, work organization, the work environment and recommended safe work practices. The course shows how injuries and illnesses related to poor ergonomic conditions can be prevented by making the workplace fit the physical and mental ability of each individual worker.

This course is for managers, supervisors, workers, occupational health nurses, occupational therapists, chiropractors, health and safety representatives and health and safety professionals.

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. There are quizzes throughout and a certificate of completion is issued upon passing the exam. Case studies, quizzes, and an "ask a question" option are also featured.

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

For further information, contact: Eleanor Westwood, Manager - Communications, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) | Tel: +1 905 572-2981, Ext. 4408 | Email: |

New CCOHS E-Course Outlines How to Implement a Hazard Prevention Program

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed an e-course for federally regulated organizations. This course explains how to implement and maintain a hazard prevention program in compliance with the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and the Canadian Labour Code Part II.

The Federal Hazard Prevention Program gives participants a step-by-step explanation of the federal hazard prevention program. The course covers how to implement a plan, identify and assess hazards, develop preventative measures, complete program evaluations and reviews and much more.

This course is geared towards managers, supervisors, and human resources and health and safety professionals working in federally regulated organizations.

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. As with all CCOHS e-courses, participants can contact CCOHS subject specialists to ask specific questions that may arise. There are quizzes throughout and a certificate of completion is issued upon passing the exam. Case studies, quizzes, and an "ask a question" option are also featured.

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

For further information, contact: Eleanor Westwood, Manager - Communications, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) | Tel: + 1 905 572-2981, Ext. 4408 | Email: |

Promoting Healthy Hygiene in the Workplace to Help Prevent the Spread of Viruses

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) added three new posters to its poster program to help workplaces promote health and safety. Just in time for flu season, the posters illustrate and promote safe work practices such as helping to stop the spread of viruses by practicing healthy hygiene habits and being sensitive to using scented products in the workplace. The new posters added to the series include Hand Washing, Prevent the Spread, and Be Air Aware.

The posters are double-sided, in English and French. They are available as free downloads from the CCOHS website, or for sale as glossy prints.

CCOHS is continually adding new posters to promote awareness of existing and emerging workplace health and safety issues.

More information about pricing and how to order the posters is available on the CCOHS website.

For further information, contact: Eleanor Westwood, Manager - Communications, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) | (905) 572-2981, Ext. 4408 | Email: |

News from Czech Republic

Rise in lung cancer among women

The Czech Republic has seen a three-fold increase in lung cancer cases among women over the last ten years according to new data. The figures published in the Czech daily Pravo suggest that while ten years ago, there were ten cases for every 100,000 women, today that figure has risen to thirty. Men, on the other hand, have seen a slight decline in lung cancer cases, from 101 cases per 100,000 ten years ago, to 78 today.

The causes for the growth in these cases, is given as increased smoking by women, as well as other lifestyle factors including alcohol consumption, diet, environment and stress. There are currently around 6200 cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the Czech Republic each year, with around eighty percent of those not surviving treatment.

SOURCE: Radio Prague News (Thursday, November 27, 2008):

News from Germany

Important International conference dealing with OSH strategies will be held in Dresden, Germany in January 2009

On January 28 - 30, 2009 the international strategy conference "Building a bridge between international and national strategies on health and safety at work" will take place at the BG-Academy Dresden.

The topic of the conference will be global and European strategies on health and safety at work, and other strategic approaches at international and national level. The conference will support the sharing of experience between the EU member states, other developed countries and countries in transition. The conference would like to give a contribution to narrow the gap in workers' health and safety between these countries. The conference will be hosted by the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) in co-operation with the:

Conference language will be English. Simultaneous translation will be provided in English and German. Translation in Russian will depend on the number of participants.

More info on including programme, registration and flyer.

Contact: Dr. Sven Timm, Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung DGUV, German Social Accident Insurance - Federation of the statutory accident insurance and prevention institutions Central Prevention Division - Strategic Co-operation, Alte Heerstr. 111, D-53757 Sankt Augustin, Germany | Tel: +49 - (0) 2241-231-1316 | Fax: +49 (0) 2241-231-1471 | E-mail: |

More News from Germany

New specialized periodical in Germany starting publication in 2009

The German Statutory Accident Insurance Company (Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV)), which was created in 2007 by the merger of Hauptverband der gewerblichen (HVBG) and Bundesverband der Unfallkassen (BUK), will launch a new specialized periodical in January 2009 with the title DGUV Forum.

This will replace the publication Die BG, which was started in 1949.

The new journal will reflect the merger of the two entities forming DGUV. It will cover a broader subject area than its predecessor, and will have a circulation of 5500. Subscription for a year (10 issues) will cost € 96 + postal charges. Please contact the following organisation for orders:

Universum Verlag Wiesbaden, Postfach, D-65175 Wiesbaden, Germany | Tel: +49 611 90 30 501 | Fax: +49 611 90 30 181 | Internet:

Visit the DGUV website at

News from the International Trade Union Confederation ITUC

Swiss Government must protect its workers and Liechtenstein must join the ILO

A new International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) report on core labour standards in Switzerland and Liechtenstein issued today to coincide with the trade policy review at the WTO denounces the lack of adequate protection for workers in Switzerland.

Furthermore, Liechtenstein which is a member of the United Nations has not joined the ILO. "Liechtenstein's situation is regrettable," said Guy Ryder, ITUC General Secretary. "The ILO has an established track record in providing legitimate protections to workers that is used in all countries of the world, from the richest nations to the least developed. It is the only tripartite UN body which brings governments and the social partners together. The ITUC calls upon the Government of Liechtenstein to join the ILO and through it, to protect its own workers and to add its efforts towards the promotion of decent work throughout the world."

With regard to Switzerland, although it has ratified all the ILO core conventions some aspects of its legislation are not in conformity with international standards. In particular the law does not provide for the reinstatement of trade unionists abusively dismissed. According to the report, in practice workers' right to negotiate collectively encounters significant difficulties that the Government is failing to address. In addition the persistence of limitations on the right to strike has not been adequately tackled by Swiss Federal authorities.

According to the report, in both countries discrimination at work against women and non-European minorities is a recurrent problem. Women remain over-represented in low-skilled jobs and the Swiss public authorities have recognised that a substantive part of the gender pay gap is due to discrimination. Non-European minorities face various forms of discrimination including in hiring.

Link to the full report:

The ITUC represents 168 million workers in 311 affiliated national organisations from 155 countries. |

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

News from Korea

Safety and Health Newsletter from KOSHA, Korea

Everything about World Congress on Safety and Health at Work summed up in a book that is published a document of presentations from 121 countries and provided online and offline by KOSHA.

A document was published which summed up the papers on the latest safety and health at work, the presentations on its trends over the world and a variety of technical materials by the distinguished scholars at XVIII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work.

KOSHA announced that it would provide 'the latest document on policies and technology of World Congress on Safety and Health at Work (hereinafter referred to as WCSHW)' via both online and offline which were presented in WCSHW held for four days starting from June 29 in Seoul.

This document summed up the presentations on a total of 297 themes by their contents from 121 countries which participated in WCSHW in Seoul this year.

It includes six themes on 'Effects of Changes of Working Environment on Health of Workers' presented at the plenary meeting, 41 themes on 'Migrant Construction Workers in the United States' at the technical sessions, and 250 themes including 'Safety Management System of Skyscrapers in Dubai' at the symposiums.

Also, to make people easily understand the intentions and significances of WCSHW, it provides the pictures on some major events with the entire contents on 'Seoul Declaration on Safety and Health at Work', a charter of occupational safety and health at work for global village which is adopted by 46 representatives of labor, management and government from the world during this world congress.

'The latest document on policies and technology of World Congress on Safety and Health at Work' is available at the web site of KOSHA and you can also download this document in Korean and the entire contents in English from 'The Materials of Presentations at WCSHW' in the section of 'Service & Information'.

The staff from KOSHA said, "This document will give you a chance to meet the newest technology of safety and health at work from the industry concerned and find out its strategies and methods for each country so that it can help you make your working environment safer and healthier in the domestic industry."

More News from Korea

Creating a Safe Working Environment till the second half of 2012

Korea's Ministry of Labour is revealing the detailed action plans for each government agenda.

This is based on '5 government guidelines, 20 government strategies, 100 government agendas' which were confirmed and revealed at the recent Cabinet council.

Among them, the agenda regarding the Ministry of Labor consists of 14 projects including 'creating a safe working environment', 'creating a win-win culture between labor and management' and 'protecting the non-regular workers and developing their skills'

Particularly, four detailed action plans on 'creating a safe working environment' were settled which were suggested by the president Lee, Myung Bak in his Liberation Day address.

First of all, it aims at 50% decrease of three major accidents such as nips, slips and falling down until the second half of 2012 to 'drastically reduce the conventional occupational accidents'.

In addition, other plans were settled to prevent disastrous accidents such as fires, explosions and collapses, protect vulnerable workers non-regular, foreign, senior and female from occupational accidents, and strengthen the protection of workers from the contractors through outsourcing company.

Secondly, to 'strengthen lifelong health care for workers', the action plans were designed to establish the system of preventing serious health problems on workers due to asbestos to upgrade the levels of managing harmful substances and reinforce the health care of workers and the assistance in taking care of the health of workers. Thirdly, to 'enhance the way of labor and management of thinking on safety and health, the plans were made not only to advance the safety and health environment in the industrial sites and raise the efficiency of training and promotion on safety and health, but also to work for the rationalization of regulations for preventing occupational accidents and the establishment of safety index for occupational safety areas.

Finally, to 'allow the medical treatment of victims and their return-to-work', another action plan was designed to extend the coverage of occupational accident compensation insurance for vulnerable workers and facilitate rapid and accurate compensation and rehabilitation toward the victims.

All of these actions will be in operation by the second half of 2012. The Ministry of Labor will check them each month to find out if they work properly, and on the quarterly basis, they will make a comprehensive inspection on them.

News from the UK

A healthy return - good practice guide to rehabilitating people at work

The aim of the UK Institution of Occupational Safety and Health new guide A healthy return - good practice guide to rehabilitating people at work is to give occupational safety and health practitioners a grounding in rehabilitation, and to provide them with practical support. Others, including managers and human resources personnel, will also find it useful.

The guide contains:

'A healthy return' is only intended as an introductory text to rehabilitation, with references to further reading and information sources, and not as a definitive guide to the subject.

Recent developments

In the UK, there's been a growing interest in the benefits that rehabilitation can bring and, in recent years, government and policy-makers have been actively promoting it.

First, the government's Revitalising health and safety strategy, launched in 2000, included national targets for improving health and safety by 2010:

The strategy also included an intention to strengthen retention and rehabilitation services. Second, one of the core aims of the Health and Safety Commission's* 10-year strategy (2000-2010) is to help people who are, or have been, ill or injured return to work. Third, the Department for Work and Pensions published a framework for vocational rehabilitation in 2004. This was followed in 2006 by Health, work and well-being, a national strategy and 'charter' for the health and wellbeing of working age people. In the same year, Professor Dame Carol Black was appointed the first National Director for Work and Health.

Being in work

Being in work has considerable benefits, not just for individuals but also for their families and for the communities in which they live. We know that being in work is generally good for people's health and wellbeing, and that being out of work leads to poorer health and increases health inequalities. Helping people to remain in or quickly return to work when health conditions arise is therefore important. With changing demographics, it is not just important for individuals, but essential if we are to create a sustainable workforce for the dynamic economy that supports an increasingly ageing population.

Employers can help employees in a number of ways: protect their health and wellbeing and make sure that the huge progress made in reducing work-related illness and injury continues; wherever possible, help them remain in work when health conditions arise by providing support and making reasonable adjustments; help those who have been absent to return to appropriate work that they can perform without risk; and to use the workplace as an opportunity to help improve employees' general health and wellbeing.

This requires a co-ordinated approach, with the focus on producing the best outcome for the individual. Employers, occupational health and other healthcare professionals, trade unions, HR professionals, line managers and occupational safety and health practitioners must all work together, combining their respective skills and experience to create a powerful multidisciplinary team. Within such a team, the occupational safety and health practitioner has the opportunity to use the knowledge and experience they have gained in their traditional role to help make sure that reasonable adjustments are identified which are both appropriate and without risk; to support and ensure the implementation of such adjustments; and to monitor their ongoing impact and effectiveness.

This guide not only helps to identify the opportunities for occupational safety and health practitioners to contribute to the broader health and work agenda, but is also a valuable source of advice and guidance for all those involved in this area.

IOSH is to be congratulated on its initiative, which is an excellent example of taking definitive action to bring about change and help make a difference to the lives of working age people.

A healthy return - good practice guide to rehabilitating people at work
Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, 2008 33 pages
Full text:

News from the USA

New publications from the US National Institute for Occupational safety and Health

Three new NIOSH Mining Publications Are Available:

  1. TN 532: Technology News 532 - Collapsible Drill Steel Enclosure for Reducing Roof Bolting Machine Drilling Noise (September 2008, NIOSH Pub. No. 2008-146)
    NIOSH has developed a drill steel enclosure to reduce noise generated by the Roof Bolting Machine.
  2. TN 531: Technology News 531 - Engineering Controls for Reducing Continuous Mining Machine Noise (September 2008, NIOSH Pub. No. 2008-145)
    NIOSH has developed two engineering noise controls to reduce noise generated by the CMM conveyor system.
  3. IC 9505: Age Awareness Training for Miners (June 2008, NIOSH Pub. No. 2008-133)
    This document and accompanying training curriculum provides trainers and health and safety professionals with information and resources to address changes in a normal aging workforce.

Three new Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation Reports are available:

  1. A Volunteer Mutual Aid Captain and Fire Fighter Die in a Remodeled Residential Structure Fire - Texas (F2007-29)
  2. Four Career Fire Fighters Injured While Providing Interior Exposure Protection at a Row House Fire - District of Columbia (F2007-35)
  3. Career Fire Fighter Dies and Captain is Injured During a Civilian Rescue Attempt at a Residential Structure Fire - Georgia (F2007-16)

Three New Health Hazard Evaluation Reports Now Available

  1. Investigators evaluated exposures to carbon monoxide (CO) and metals at a state vehicle maintenance garage. Recommendations were made that vehicles not be permitted to idle in the garage and that garage doors be kept open and exhaust fans used to reduce CO levels when vehicles are running. Investigators also recommended that the bench grinder and chain saw sharpener workbench surfaces be cleaned each day after use and that employees wash hands before eating, drinking, or smoking to prevent ingestion of lead and other metal contaminants.
  2. Investigators evaluated exposures to silica, volatile organic compounds, and dry powders at a pottery shop. Recommendations were made for local exhaust ventilation to be installed in high dust-generating task areas and that the central building ventilation improved. Investigators also recommended that employees wear respirators when doing high dust generating tasks.
  3. Investigators evaluated heat stress, noise, and musculoskeletal hazards at an automotive parts manufacturing facility. Recommendations were made to reduce heat stress for loaders and unloaders, such as positioning fans above those workstations, allowing workers to rest completely after loading and unloading parts, and having employees drink plenty of fluids. Investigators also recommended changes to reduce ergonomic stressors for certain jobs.

More news from the USA

Obama signals tougher line on regulation

US president-elect Barack Obama has signalled his administration will toughen regulations at and support enforcement by federal agencies that oversee consumer products, environmental policy and workplace safety.

He has already named a number of people to his transition teams for regulatory agencies who favour a firmer government hand in overseeing industry behaviour. In addition, Mr Obama has indicated in letters to a major federal employee union that he intends to take a more pro-union approach on employment questions than his predecessor.

In a series of letters to members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) in the weeks prior to the election, he said he is in favour of a more robust government approach to a variety of regulatory issues. AFGE president John Gage said Linda Chavez-Thompson, a former executive vice president of national union federation AFL-CIO and a member of the transition team, has been discussed as a possible Secretary of Labor.

The Department of Labor (DoL) oversees OSHA, the national health and safety watchdog. Workplace safety regulations will be up for an overhaul, Mr Obama and his advisers have suggested. In the letters to AFGE union employees at federal agencies, Mr Obama wrote: 'My Labor Secretary will support DoL civil servants as they work to enforce our labor laws.'

The letter added: 'In my Department of Labor, the Administrator of Mine Safety and Health will be an advocate for miners' safety and health, not for the mining companies' bottom lines.'

Letters from Obama to AFGE:

News on Global Affairs

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Council Adopts Action Plans on Global Crisis and Climate Change

The ITUC General Council recent annual meeting in Brussels adopted a far-reaching plan of trade union action to get governments to revitalise and restructure the global economy, based on regulation and decent work along with major institutional reform to change the way the world economic system is run. Along with fiscal stimulus measures and a new framework for effective financial regulation, the plan which is based on the global trade unions' "Washington Declaration", puts investment in green jobs at the heart of the new global economy.

"The world is now inches away from a deep and long global recession with tens of millions of jobs under threat in the new year. We are facing a massive rise in poverty and the prospect of wide-scale social disruption. Governments need to shut the door on the voodoo bankers and economists who led the charge to dismantle regulation, and take up their responsibility to govern. Decent work and the better living standards it brings are the best way to get the world back on track and keep it there", said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder.

While banks and businesses continue to seek bail-outs from public funds, ITUC member unions will be pressing their governments to put the Washington Declaration into effect. The ITUC and its Global Unions partners will be pushing the same agenda on the global institutions at a series of top-level meetings in the coming weeks and months. The Declaration sets out the economic priming and national and global regulations needed to avoid a long recession and ensure that the incompetence and unlimited greed which caused the crisis are a thing of the past. The world's major economic institutions need to work together in a new global governance that would include a structurally central role for the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the only tripartite global institution where workers' views are represented.

The General Council further adopted a flagship policy statement on "Equity, justice & solidarity in the fight against climate change" and committed the full strength of the world trade union movement to achieving an effective long-term global agreement to reduce carbon emissions, incorporating far-reaching just transition and green jobs commitments, when the world's environment ministers assemble again in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.

The General Council also undertook an in-depth examination of the situation of migrant workers around the world, leading to an ITUC Action Programme to support the rights of migrant workers, and build further cooperation between trade unions in countries of origin and destination.

Four new member organisations, from Guatemala (UNSITRAGUA), Liechtenstein (LANV), Nicaragua (FNT) and Sri Lanka (SLNSS) were accepted into affiliation to the ITUC at the Council meeting.

Based on the success of this year's World Day for Decent Work on October 7, the Council decided to organise a World Day for Decent Work on the same day again in 2009. The 2008 Day involved action by over 200 ITUC affiliates in 130 countries. More than 600 individual events, including rallies, marches, workplace meetings, seminars, electronic and media activities took place, with close to one million workers taking part.

The Council also discussed the particular problems faced by young workers, noting that the economic crisis was worsening an already dire situation for many, especially those in precarious and low-paid jobs or facing unemployment. Acknowledging the innovative out-reach work of the ITUC Youth Committee and similar action by many affiliates, the Council gave the green light to the launching of a special campaign focusing on young workers and trade unions in 2009.

Other key points of the Council's agenda included the holding of the first ITUC World Women's Conference in Brussels in October 2009, and the preparations for the second ITUC World Congress in Vancouver in June 2010.

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

OSH Briefs


Internet Harassment and Cyberbullying

We are living in a world of constant, instant communication - most of which involves the use of some form of technology. Computers, the Internet, cell phones and other communications technology and social media are widely used - at work, home and school.

Along with the many positive aspects of these technologies comes a downside; people who use these communication tools to repeatedly threaten, harass, maliciously tease, or embarrass an individual or a group. These actions are known as cyberbullying.

For full details:

OSH Briefs


Journal Evaluator

Irja Laamanen, FIOH, Finland says.... Have you used this journal evaluator? It is very useful.

Make sure all the URL is copied

OSH Briefs


Cochrane Occupational Health Field information

Irja Laamanen, FIOH, Finland says....

On our site you will find new evidence-based information on Occupational Safety and Health. Look at the articles and databases for example!

Also contact: Jani Ruotsalainen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Cochrane Occupational Health Field, Neulaniementie 4 PO Box 93, FI-70701 Kuopio, FINLAND | Tel: +358 30 474 7334 | Fax: +358 30 474 7221 | |

OSH Briefs


Workshop on Productivity

We are organising a workshop in Helsinki on the 23rd and 24th of January 2009 as part of our European Union (EU) FP7 project the Economic Dimension of Occupational Safety and Health.

The theme of the workshop is "OSH interventions and productivity, linking practice and evidence". We are looking for a new consensus on the influence of OSH interventions on productivity and on the business case for OSH-interventions. The workshop will consist of keynote lectures, small group discussions and free contributions. Stakeholders and researchers are welcome to participate equally.

The other two workshops will be about the economic evaluation of OSH interventions (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2009) and about economic incentives to promote the uptake of OSH measures (Lodz, Poland, November 2009).

For registration and further information go to or e-mail

OSH-ROM... Your time is running out. Why not take OSH UPDATE? Don't make decisions without quality OSH information

You may have had access to OSH-ROM for many years and will now know that it is ceasing publication. OSH-ROM was created by Sheila Pantry OBE who subsequently in 2004 produced OSH UPDATE.

OSH UPDATE - produced by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd now has 19 databases (latest one just added) containing validated and authoritative worldwide information on all aspects of health and safety at work.

OSH UPDATE - arguably one of the best collections of full text and bibliographic health and safety information, is continuously updated as new data is published. It has user-friendly powerful software and the lowest priced collection worldwide of occupational safety and health (OSH) information.

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.


Send your request at

Contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | E-mail:
Websites: | | | |

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.


ASMANET for doctors dealing with asthma in the workplace, the site lists over 70 different occupational asthma cases, each one being described. Each occupational asthma case can be retrieved either directly from the list of cases, or by the name of a specific agent causing asthma over 350 agents listed or according to the type of job the patient is performing. over 140 different jobs are registered. In French and English, links to other sites.

Centre National de Prevention et de Protection

Centre National de Prevention et de Protection -The National Center for Prevention and Protection (CNPP) is a professional body, recognized by the insurance companies, which develops, disseminates and assesses knowledge and know-how in personal safety, tangible and intangible property safety and environmental safety in every activity and environment. CNPP expertise applies particularly to risk management, general safety, fire, environmental issues, technological risks, burglary and health and safety at work. The CNPP also operates on an international level including involvement in European bodies, cooperation agreements and as a member of international networks.

Groupement de l'Institution Prévention de la Sécurité sociale pour l'Europe (Eurogip)

Groupement de l'Institution Prévention de la Sécurité sociale pour l'Europe (Eurogip) Public interest grouping (groupement d'intérêt public) formed in 1991 by the National Health Insurance Fund for Employees (CNAMTS) and the National Research and Safety Institute (INRS) with its mandate renewed in 2001.

Institut National de Recerche et de Securite (INRS)

Institut National de Recerche et de Securite INRS is a major research organisation offers training, exhibitions, related sites, consultancy and expertise, events. The Information Services is the International Labour Office Health and Safety National Centre.

International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC)

International Agency for Research in Cancer IARC is a major research organisation into all aspects of cancer, details of activities, research and extensive list of publications.

International Technical Committee for the Prevention and Extinction of Fire (CTIF)

CTIF have members from Europe and other countries around the world. Comité Technique International de prévention et d'extinction du Feu (CTIF), which was founded on August 16, 1900 in Paris as the Great International Council of Firefighters changed its name to International Technical Committee for the Prevention and Extinction of Fire in 1929, is involved in a wide range of activities including research and developing practices relating to preventative fire protection and firefighting. CTIF runs seminars, competitions and produce guidance.

Ministère de l'emploi, de la cohésion sociale et du logement - espace travail

Ministère de l'emploi, de la cohésion sociale et du logement - espace travail web site - publications, press releases and events.

Nuclear Energy Authority (NEA)

Nuclear Energy Agency is a specialised agency within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an intergovernmental organisation of industrialised countries, based in Paris, France. The activities cover nuclear safety, radioactive waste, radiation protection, nuclear development, science and law. The site has a number of database, publications and links.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),2340,en_2649_34365_1862357_1_1_1_1,00.html

This Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) website focuses on Environmental Health and Safety issues. The website includes a News and a Publications section, information on the OECD Chemicals Programme, Chemical Accidents Programme, Pesticides, Lead in Gasoline, a Biotechnology regulatory section, etc.

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.

5-7 February 2009 - Annual Voluntary Protection Program Association for Construction (VPPAC) Conference
Las Vegas, NV, USA

16-18 February 2009 - International Conference on Road Safety at Work
Washington, DC., USA

17-19 February 2009 - 19th Annual Construction Safety Conference & Expo - Look for us!
Rosemont, IL., USA

4-8 March 2009 - Emergency Nurses Association Leadership Conference
Reno, NV. USA

20-25 April 2009 - Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) 2009
Indianapolis, IN., USA

24-27 April 2009 - Symposium on Radiology of the Pneumoconioses
Chantilly, VA., USA

28-30 April 2009 - BOHS Annual Conference
Eastbourne, UK

13 May 2009 - Mind the Gap: Keeping up-to-date in fire information 2009: Fire Information Group UK (FIGUK) Conference. Essential one-day conference for all those involved in Information in fire and fire related topics
Benefit from the expertise of specialist speakers

Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London, UK
Contact: Sheila Pantry, FIGUK | Tel: +44 (0)1909 771024 |