CIS Newsletter

No. 235
April 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. World Day for Safety and Health 28 April 2009
  3. News and OSH Briefs from around the World - Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Finland, Kuwait, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, UK and the USA
  4. OSHE websites to explore
  5. 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

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

This month please do not forget the 28 April 2009 - World Day for Safety and Health... See below for more details...

Here is the fourth issue of your 2009 CIS Newsletter... time is flying and please remember to enter the following dates in your diary...

The CIS AGM 2009 Meeting will take place during the week 19 - 23 October 2009, but in these turbulent and financial restricted times perhaps you need to make sure that some budget is earmarked so that you can attend this special meeting in Geneva to celebrate the 50th Anniversary if the formation of the CIS Network.


Reminder please...


I am collecting information together to produce a Special Edition of the CIS Newsletter that will be published in June 2009.

If anyone would like to contribute a piece to this Special Edition it will be most welcomed.

If you have any special memories of meetings, conferences, training workshops held over the years I will be pleased to receive your contribution. CIS means so many things to many people... it is a unique network!

I need the information by Mid May 2009 please!

I have already been in touch with a number of people who have worked in the CIS Network over the years and it looks as if we will have a very interesting Special Edition.


Make my day... please send your news items to your Editor!
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 Newsletters 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 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

News from Geneva

Dates of the CIS Centres Annual Meeting - Geneva will be held during the week 19-23 October 2009. CIS Meeting most likely to be the end of the week. There will be a celebration the 50th Anniversary of the formation of CIS in 1959.

Details should emerge shortly, but start to try and get approval to attend... which may be even more difficult in these stringent times!

World Day for Safety and Health 28 April 2009

2009: Health and life at work: A basic human right

World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an international campaign to promote safe, healthy, and decent work.

This year, as in previous years, tripartite events will be taking place world wide, and a number of products are available from the ILO Web page to support those efforts.

You are invited to join in promoting this important day.

News from Portugal's National CIS Centre

International Congress: "Labour Inspection in the path of change: focusing its mission towards economic development and social peace in time of crisis", 16-17 April 2009, FIL Meeting Centre, Lisbon, Portugal

The Authority for Working Conditions of Portugal (ACT) and the International Association of Labour Inspection (IALI) will promote in Lisbon, on the 16th and 17th April 2009, an international congress on "Labour Inspection in the path of change: focusing its mission towards economic development and social peace in time of crisis".

This congress, in which the representatives of several countries and international organisations concerned with labour will participate, is expected to be an excellent forum to exchange information and experiences as well as to debate the kind of problems related with the role of Labour Inspection and the necessary strategies to overcome them in time of crisis.

Considering the opportunities and threats that such a pronounced world crisis like this one can represent to Labour Inspection, it is realy necessary to find out if it should maintain its traditional approach to questions related to working conditions or should it change it dynamically, searching to surpass eventual challenges that may come up in time of crisis.

The meeting in question will also represent the opportunity to approach this world economic crisis, considering it as a challenge and a test for the Labour Inspection capacity as far as its mission is concerned, according to ILO Conventions 81 and 129.

Contact: Sofia Brito Avô, Av. Casal Ribeiro, 18-A, 1000-082 Lisboa, Portugal | Tel: +351 213 308 736 | Email:

News from Australia

Manual handling risks associated with the care, treatment and transportation of bariatric (severely obese) patients in Australia

The following report has been issued by the Australian Safety and Compensation Council:

Manual handling risks associated with the care, treatment and transportation of bariatric (severely obese) patients in Australia.
Australian Safety and Compensation Council,, March 2009, 70 pages, ISBN 978 0 642 32740 6

This report, 'Manual handling risks associated with the care, treatment and transportation of bariatric (severely obese) patients in Australia' and four case studies for the ambulance, fire, hospital and funeral occupations, follows up on the previously released scoping paper on the implications of overweight and obesity for workplace health and safety and workers' compensation.

There are four case studies:

The Bariatric Journey in Australia: Fire Case Study:

The Bariatric Journey in Australia: Ambulance Case Study:

The Bariatric Journey in Australia: Funeral Case Study:

The Bariatric Journey in Australia: Hospital Case Study:

News from Canada's IRSST

Presenting a database developed by Quebec Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute (IRSST) ototoxic potential of industrial chemicals

You may also forward it to your colleagues interested in ototoxic potential of industrial chemicals.

This project of IRSST (Quebec Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute) was undertaken to develop a toxicological database allowing the identification of possible ototoxic substances present in the work environment.

There is accumulating epidemiological evidence that exposure to some solvents, metals, asphyxiants and other substances in humans is associated with an increased risk of hearing loss.

To access the tool:

More News from Canada

Occupational risks emerge from behind the scenes

An exploratory study on occupational risks in the performing arts sheds light on the impact of organizational modes of productions, cultural enterprises and sectors of activity on the health and safety of artists and artisans. The study, which was conducted by the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), forms part of the work of the Table de concertation paritaire en santé et sécurité du travail pour le domaine des arts de la scène ("joint table on occupational health and safety in the performing arts"), a body created in 2005 by the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) to follow up on measures put forward in Pour mieux vivre de l'art, the action plan implemented by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications.

New insights on occupations

Among the results obtained by the researchers is a description of enterprises and occupations in the performing arts sector. They identify risks to the health and safety of the artists and artisans, and the various causes of accidents. The study highlights inclusion, in the practices of cultural enterprises, of formal and informal experiences that can have a very positive effect on the health and safety of artists and artisans, despite the fact that prevention is sometimes perceived as a constraint on creative activity. The study also suggests that "participatory approaches" (approaches based on worker participation), which emphasize the need for prevention in occupational health and safety (OHS), depend on workers having positive experiences with these approaches. What also emerges is that artists, since they are passionate about their art and for reasons relating to the work environment, often choose to remain silent about their pain and hide their injuries. Furthermore, there is a marked trend among numerous stakeholders toward more open consideration of the realities of occupational injuries.

To download the document

Just available...

LATEST ISSUE - INFO IRSST (Electronic newsletter from the Institut de recherche 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 the European Agency

Two new important publications from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work:

Factsheet 84 Expert forecast on emerging chemical risks related to occupational safety and health.
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities; L 2985; 2009;
There are an estimated 167,000 work-related fatalities in the EU-27 every year. About 159,000 are attributable to work-related diseases, of which 74,000 may be linked to workplace exposure to hazardous substances. The Community Strategy 2002-06 called on the Agency to 'set up a risk observatory' to 'anticipate new and emerging risks'. The expert forecast was formulated within this context, from the results of three consecutive questionnaire-based surveys using the Delphi method. Forty-nine experts from 21 European countries participated in this forecast.

Expert forecast on emerging chemical risks related to occupational safety and health
Authors: Brun, Emmanuelle; Op de Beeck, Rik Van Herpe, Steve; Isootalo, Lena; Laamanen, Irja; Blotière, Catherine; Mur, Jean-Marie; Orthen, Bruno; Wagner, Edeltraud; Flaspöler, Eva; Reinert, Dietmar; Galwas, Magdalena; Pośniak, Małgorzata; Carreras, Eulalia; Guardino, Xavier; Solans, Xavier; Guimon, Michèle
Corporate Author: The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Source: Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities; L 2985; March 2009; 198 pages TE3008390ENC
ISBN 9789291911714
European Risk Observatory Report No. 8
Abstract: It is estimated that about 74,000 work-related deaths may be linked to hazardous substances at work each year in the EU - about 10 times more than workplace accidents. About 15% of European workers report handling chemical products for a quarter of their working time and 19% report breathing in dust, fumes and smoke in their workplaces. The 49 experts from 21 European countries who participated in this forecast highlighted particles and dusts as major emerging concerns and put nanoparticles at the top of the list of emerging risks. Other main groups of emerging risks identified were carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances, and the increasing use of allergenic and sensitising substances. Specific occupations of emerging concerns were also highlighted and include the increasing waste management industry, construction, and service activities such as cleaning or home nursing. In addition, there is a growing number of workers in SMEs and sub-contracted jobs, where the management of chemical risks is generally poorer. Last but not least, concern about multiple exposures is increasing as it was also shown in the three other forecasts on emerging biological, physical and psychosocial emerging risks.

News from Finland

Researchers warn of nano catastrophe

There are over 600 products in the shops based on nanomaterials, but we know barely anything about the risks, a Finnish expert has warned. Kai Savolainen, director of nanotechnology safety research at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), said when the economic expectations are big, there is a tendency to ignore the health risks. Savolainen draws parallels between asbestos and nanotechnology. He says the asbestos experience should now serve as a wake up call. 'Let us not allow the 20th century asbestos catastrophe to be followed by a nano catastrophe,' he said. His FIOH colleague, Tuure Hurme, said only one per cent of the research resources on nanotechnology are directed towards risk assessments. The greatest risks concern employees at the production and scrapping stages, he said, where there are already millions of people employed.

Trade Union News from Finland:

News from Kuwait

Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) under Ministry of Oil plans CIS Centre with SAFEWORK ILO of the United Nations

KOC Officials welcomed Ilise L Feitshans JD and ScM, Coordinator, 5th Edition, ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety, ILO SAFEWORK, Geneva Switzerland to the ASSE Kuwait Conference "Moving to Sky" on 19 March 2009.

"Sound occupational health programmes that implement best strategies are the grease for the machinery of powerful economic engines." stated Ilise L Feitshans JD and ScM, Coordinator, Encyclopedia 5th edition, in her speech before the plenary session of the ASSE MEC Kuwait Chapter. "In lean economic times, the fat to be trimmed, is not the grease for the wheels and machinery that makes smooth commerce. Safety programmes and best practices in occupational health management systems are a lifeline that save enterprises, by preventing the costs of accidents and injury in the workplace"

SAFEWORK of the International Labour Office, is the oldest specialised agency of the United Nations, established in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War One. The ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety is an internationally respected standard reference work used in preparation of policy and program planning and for industrial hygiene, occupational medicine and workplace safety training and education. The 5th edition of the Encyclopedia will be electronic, located on the ILO SAFEWORK internet site starting December 2009. CIS Member centres have unlimited access to the ILO Encyclopedia and a wealth of additional resources free of charge.

Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is an official part of the Kuwaiti Government, under the auspices of the Ministry of Oil. It is the largest employer in the nation and owns the rights to seventy percent (70%) of the land in Kuwait. As a leader within its nation and among governments, the Ministry of Oil in its capacity as owner and operator of KOC recognizes that safety programmes can save the life of an employer, as well as avoiding immeasurable pain and saving lives.

"By proposing this agreement to become an official collaborator with SAFEWORK of ILO through the CIS Centres we serve our people, our constituents, and help our major industry to thrive despite the global economic crisis", said Dr. Fathi El-Badawi, HSE leader within Kuwait Oil Company (KOC).

El-Badawi noted that becoming a CIS Centre gives the Ministry of Oil the ability to help all employers in the nation because having good occupational safety program information given by ILO for free to CIS network members can mean "Life or death for employers across all industrial sectors, especially during the global economic crisis."

With CIS as our social partner, we have more information, better quality data and the means to give out information packages for capacity building that will help our contractors as well as our people"

CIS was founded in 1959 by a consortium of national and international bodies that sought the advantages of a centralized information brokerage and housed it in the International Labour Office (ILO), Geneva, Switzerland. Fifty years later, this vibrant network has national and regional-level bodies as partners. CIS partners provide ILO with information from their country that they feel to be important which CIS distributes to the international health community free of charge. In exchange, national CIS centres receive from CIS the information provided by other Centres. As a part of the international network of over 154 similar centres, ILO SAFEWORK will provide information free of charge to all Kuwait citizens through the planned collaboration as a CIS Centre.

CIS goals are targeted to increase the effectiveness of occupational safety and health (OSH) knowledge management in the world by pooling the experience resources of national OSH information centres; to collect and disseminate systematically and rapidly information about the safety and health of workers in all sectors of the economy, and to enhance capacity building for new methods and respected techniques, that help national authorities to carry out their work in occupational safety and health knowledge management. "It is wonderful to provide this information for free. We will have a splendid fiftieth anniversary of the CIS centre in Geneva in October 2009 concluded Feitshans, "All centres are welcome to participate - whether they have been members for fifty years or fifty days - and we hope to have the honour of welcoming the Ministry of Oil from Kuwait and its employees to the CIS family at our 50th Anniversary."

Feitshans acknowledged the remarkable insights of the Director of SAFEWORK, Dr Sameera Al- Tuwaijri. "The crucial role played by my Director in making possible the presence of a CIS Centre for the entire GCC in 2008 was the first clear step towards moving the network into countries that have not been part of this process for the last half century. I personally remain amazed that she could bring such a marvellous occupational safety and health and HSE resource to every government in the region for free".

Contact: Dr. Ibrahim El-Mahdy, Senior HSE Specialist, Well Surveillance Group Office, Well Surveillance Yard, Room No 3, Kuwait Oil Company, P.O. Box 9758 Ahmadi, Code No. 61008, Kuwait | Tel: (+965) 238 67817 | Mobile Tel. no: (+965) 99750269 | Fax: (+965) 238 66145 | | Private email:

News from Poland's National CIS Centre

Work Safety in Industry Exhibition 16 - 19 June 2009, Poznan, Poland

The Work Safety in Industry Exhibition will be held in Poznan, Poland on 16 -19 June 2009, during ITM Poland - the largest fair of modern technologies for industry in the New Europe.

The honorary patronage of the exhibition will be held by Chief Labour Inspector.

The Polish market of work health and safety equipment and protection systems is very large. More and more employers pay attention to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations by improving working conditions, because it leads to greater productivity and work efficiency. Poland is open to new work protection offers.

The thematic scope of the exhibition includes:

The Work Safety in Industry exhibition creates an opportunity to present offers to a special/professional audience - not only to occupational health and safety specialists, suppliers and wholesalers, but also to exhibitors and visitors of ITM Poland exhibition that represent the following sectors:

The presence among so many industrial specialists affords a great opportunity to establish many fruitful contacts, find prospective clients and partners. Over 50% of ITM Poland visitors are decision-makers - owners and co-owners of companies, presidents, managers and company directors.

More News from Poland's National CIS Centre

CIOP-PIB portal in 2009

The Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute (CIOP-PIB) in Warsaw is a leading scientific and research institution in Poland dealing with occupational safety and health and labour condition issues. Its principal activities include research, certification, training, information collection and dissemination, and consultancy.

The Institute works towards improving human's safe, healthy and ergonomic working conditions and the living environment. It supplies employer with innovative technical and organizational solutions, which help in solving problems and in shaping a safety culture. CIOP-PIB uses broadly the Internet to popularize and disseminate the latest knowledge on occupational safety and good health at work, protection of men in the working environment and ergonomics. The portal of CIOP-PIB deals ("Portal of OSH Knowledge") with all subjects connected with OSH. And it is one of the biggest and most important source of OSH information in Poland. This opinion is proved by growing popularity in the group of its Internet users. In 2008 the portal was visited more than 3 million times and 14 million information pages was taken.

The included knowledge is addressed to the representatives of different categories of the economy sections. The main aim of the portal is to support activities related to the improvement of working conditions in Polish enterprises as well to support the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases.

The main address of the portal is

In the main portal with information on different aspects of OSH, one can find also the websites devoted to special subjects and recipients, e.g.:

The CIOP-PIB portal also contains an English version ( The portal is systematically broadened, taking into consideration the latest results of research carried out in the Institute and other OSH institutions, good practice examples from Poland and other countries as well as the needs of the users.

More News from Poland's National CIS Centre

Information on JOSE

We would like to remind you that the Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute (CIOP-PIB), Warsaw, Poland, publishes an English-language scientific quarterly: the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (JOSE) covering results of research studies from various countries as well as reviews of books, and information about seminars and conferences organised in Poland and abroad. It keeps up to date with recent research and developments in occupational safety and ergonomics.

The scope of the journal includes: studies on hazardous chemical, physical and biological agents; new technologies for collective and individual protection; criteria and requirements of occupational safety and ergonomics; studies of human psychophysical abilities; propagation of information and education; and ergonomics. The broad interdisciplinary scope of the journal is integrated by pertinence to the field of safety in the working environment.

This journal is published in cooperation with the International Ergonomics Association (IEA). It is recognized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and is supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of Poland.

The journal maintains its high quality by having all submissions reviewed by members of the International Editorial Board (40 members from 19 countries).

The chief editor is Prof. Danuta Koradecka, Director of CIOP-PIB. The co-editor is Dr Jukka Takala, the former chief of the Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SAFEWORK) of ILO and now - the director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. The second co-editor is Prof. Waldemar Karwowski, Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, University of Central Florida.

JOSE is abstracted in several international databases as e.g. Social Sciences Citation Index of Thomson Scientific, Ergonomics Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts, Health and Safety Science Abstracts, INRS-BIBLIO, OSH UPDATE, Elsevier Bibliographic Database Scopus.

More information can be found at:

The Editorial Office could be contacted by:

News from Tunisia

SST latest edition

The January 2009 edition of the Institute de Sante et de Securite au Travail (ISST) review Sante-Securite-Travail - SST - contains a 12 page Dossier - Les Maladies Emergentes et Travail: Vigilance et Rigueur S'Imposent that also contains a useful short bibliography.
The publication is in French and Arabic.

ISST is also the CIS National Centre in Tunisia.

Contact: ISST, 5 Bd Mustapha Khaznader, 1007 Tunis, Tunisia | Tel: +216 71 561 636 | Fax: + 216 71 571 902 | Email:

News from the UK

Mind the Gap: Keeping up to date in fire information 2009: 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.

Chaired by Sheila Pantry OBE, long time health, safety and fire information expert.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London, UK

Full programme - titles of talks and speakers on


To make a booking for a delegate to conference please fill in the Booking Form

Cost per delegate is £120.00 (FIG UK Members £80.00) and send by Good Friday, 10 April 2009 at the latest, with cheque made out to "Fire information Group" to:

Sally Walsh, Fire Information Group, Dr J. H. Burgoyne & Partners LLP, 11-12 Halfmoon Court, Bartholomew Close, London EC1A 7HF, UK | Email:

News from the UK

UK Health and Safety Executive Research Report RR682 - Development of fire protection measures for vessels containing reactive chemicals

The objective of this work is to have a better understanding of the phenomena that occur when a vessel containing reactive chemicals is exposed to an external fire and so assess possible preventive and mitigation measures. The following approach has been adopted:

This work will form a useful basis for HSE to assess the adequacy of the 'fire case' for relief systems provided on a range of process reactors containing reactive chemicals and on storage vessels for reactive monomers. These installations vary in size from small reactors common in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries to the large, several hundred tonne capacity storage vessels used in the petrochemical industry.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

View the full report:


Call for Papers: Annual Conference: Fire Related Research and Developments (RE09) to be held at the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh, UK, Wednesday 11 November 2009

The Institution of Fire Engineers and The Fire Service College are pleased to announce details of its annual conference and to invite papers for inclusion in plenary, parallel or poster sessions. Are you or your colleagues engaged in an innovative project, research and/or development in a fire-related field? We wish to hear from individuals, Fire and Rescue Authorities and other organisations looking to showcase best practice, initiative and cutting edge research. Our conference attracts a wide audience from across the Emergency Services, the Fire Industry, Research Communities and other private or public sectors interested in the latest fire-related issues, developments and concerns. We welcome a broad range of backgrounds and professional approaches including technical, engineering, legal, social, psychological, economic, operational, national and international perspectives. This gives our conference its distinctive multi-disciplinary and multi-agency flavour.

Benefits of attending this event include the opportunity to:

We are now inviting anyone interested in presenting at the conference to submit a short summary of their work (complete or in progress) using proforma by Thursday April 30th 2009. Presentations may focus on any field of interest to the Fire and Emergency Response and Management community. This might include (but is not restricted to) projects focussing on: technical and fire engineering research; audit analysis, leadership issues, effective evaluation methods; multi-agency initiatives, partnership working, governance, employment relations, fire research statistics; integrated risk management planning; the application of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order; civil protection & disaster management; professional training and development etc.

Contact Programme Co-ordinator Dr Anne Eyre, who is happy to discuss possible topics informally prior to submission.

Email: | Tel: +44 (0) 2476 505262.



FireINF, published by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd is an Internet service of a collection of 17 full text and bibliographic databases that continues to grow at a pace. It is arguably one of the best collections in the world - FIREINF has customers from around the world.

Recently it has now almost doubled in size - with three more databases being added.

A number of journals such as Fire Risk Management (formerly Fire Prevention and Fire Engineers Journal) and Fire Technology are now being indexed from cover-to-cover because of the lack of indexing from other information providers. Some indexing is retrospective to ensure that valuable sources are not missed out.

There is a continuous stream of full text documents and legislation being added. FIREINF is a unique service and now has over 524,000 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. Another - the British Standards Institution Security Standards contains references to security-related standard specifications. These standards will be of particular interest to those involved in insurance in the fire related industry. Latest database to be added to FIREINF contains fire and fire related information from the BRE BRIX database. In addition FIREINF contains a large amount of information from the Fire Protection Association.

If anyone wishing to have a free 15 day trial of FIREINF should contact Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd. Why pay more for information? Go to: | |

News from the USA

NIOSH Publication No. 2009-114: Preventing Deaths and Injuries of Fire Fighters Working Above Fire-Damaged Floors

Fire fighters are at risk of falling through fire-damaged floors. Fire burning underneath floors can significantly degrade the floor system with little indication to fire fighters working above. Floors can fail within minutes of fire exposure, and new construction technology such as engineered wood floor joists may fail sooner than traditional construction methods. NIOSH recommends that fire fighters use extreme caution when entering any structure that may have fire burning beneath the floor

Current Intelligence Bulletin 60: Interim Guidance for Medical Screening and Hazard Surveillance for Workers Potentially Exposed to Engineered Nanoparticles (NIOSH Publication No. 2009-116)
This document provides interim guidance about whether specific medical screening, including performing medical tests on asymptomatic workers, is appropriate for workers exposed to engineered nanoparticles.

Nine Career Fire Fighters Die in Rapid Fire Progression at Commercial Furniture Showroom - South Carolina (F2007-18)
Provides information for fire departments and fire fighters to minimize risks related to this incident.

To order NIOSH publications, CDs, and videos go to: Order up to 18 titles. Order limits are listed for each document. If you need additional information, please contact Sherri Diana at or by calling 513-533-8471.

New NIOSH Topic Pages Available en Español

News from the ILO

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 28 April 2009

World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an international campaign to promote safe, healthy, and decent work. This year, as in previous years, tripartite events will be taking place worldwide.

It is time to start your publicity efforts to promote this event.

Usually a number of products are available from the ILO web page to support these efforts, although at the time of writing there is only 2008 information available on

You are invited to join in promoting this important day.


Why waste time chasing around the Internet for quality safety and health information? Save time and money by taking OSH UPDATE!

You may have had access to OSH-ROM for many years and will now know that it has ceased 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 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 of occupational safety and health (OSH) information.

During 2008, over 50,000 new records containing 4,715 URL links to full text including 842 full text documents 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 | Email:
Websites | | | |

Health at Work: A Basic Human Right Brought to daily life by the ILO Encyclopaedia

The first edition of our International Labour Office (ILO) Encyclopedia was born at the dawn of the greatest depression the world had known, in 1930. Yet, that work saved countless pain and millions of lives. Why?

Because sound occupational health programmes that implement best strategies are the grease for the machinery of powerful economic engines.

Without the information we provide through occupational health programs no employer can survive because accidents and disease are not simply expensive but wasteful. We cannot afford waste in this economy. The fat to be trimmed, however is not the same as the grease for the wheels and machinery that makes smooth commerce. This image worked well in the 20th century that was laden with heavy machinery. So it is logical to ask whether the encyclopedia's impressive track record of success applies to the new economic depression of the lightning speed fiber optic web-based industries and communications of our times as well?

The answer is yes! ... we have more information ... better quality data ... and the means to create discrete information packages for capacity building.

Web access means that we can promote social justice by distributing our vast intellectual wealth for free. In so doing we will provide the expertise that is a lifeline for marginal employers who otherwise would not have this data because obtaining that information on the market might be prohibitively expensive. The creation of the 5th edition therefore can be pivotal: Life or death for employers especially in the informal sectors. We, unlike our ancestors in ILO in the first edition - have the tools to make this happen. We do not need new laws or to negotiate expensive new international regulations. We have a proud heritage of well-honed and widely accept international standards to guide our work. Even seemingly new problems like the uncertainties surrounding nanotechnology can be embraced in the preventive strategies in the ILO Convention C187.

Most people spend more than one-third of their adult life at work. But, their work does much more than merely sustain them. Work contributes to sustaining all society. Ultimately, civilizations that cannot perform their work and maintain their health while working become extinct. Work is therefore essential to sustaining civilized society: When life at work is threatened, the opportunities for productive employment and socio-economic development are undermined, ultimately hurting everyone. Promoting the protection of health at work therefore helps all of society, as acknowledged in several international instruments such as:

The ILO Constitution;

"Whereas universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice; and whereas conditions of labour exist involving such injustice hardship and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world are imperiled; and an improvement of those conditions is urgently required; as, for example, by the regulation of... protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment," (sic)

The Universal Declaration on Human Rights:

"Everyone has the right to life, to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment."

And the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which has my favourite international law phrase in the whole wide world:

"Recognize... in particular, the improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene; the prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases...

Fundamental rights to healthful work were first codified in the ILO Constitution in 1919. Now they are part of the Conventions and Recommendations on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), amplified by the Global Strategy on OSH and the Decent Work agenda and the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation. ILO's Decent Work agenda integrates an agenda for action, in areas of concern of the ILO, thereby promoting coherence in the design and delivery of technical cooperation national and local levels the right to health is also in the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO), and the WHO Global Plan of Action 2008-2017.

In this context, ILO's "Safework" programme provides technical advisory services and financial support to developing countries in order to assist capacity building to protect workplace health and promote best practices. Several information resources, made available through SAFEWORK's CIS Centres that offer everyone accurate information about safety and health - free of charge.

One component of this informational mission also includes the ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety. The ILO Encyclopaedia reflects the best thinking and collective knowledge of experts who have written down their information for the benefit of all people, whether or not the readers themselves are experts in their field.

For over 75 years, the ILO Encyclopaedia has remained recognised as a definitive source of reference that has gathered experts from many scientific fields and different nations in order to provide a succinct overview of the state of the art in a wide variety of workplace safety and occupational health topics: spanning across the disciplines of occupational health, occupational medicine and industrial hygiene, reaching into law, policy and hard science.

"The fifth 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", noted Dr. Sameera Al-Tuwaijri, Director of SAFEWORK. An unprecedented rapid pace of global social and economic development of information about OSH should be coupled with efforts to publicize best practices, through the conduit of the 5th edition Encyclopaedia. The ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Safety and Health, is a Global Product of created under the auspices of the ILO, the oldest specialized agency of the United Nations and an outstanding conduit for transfer of information".

Then, Now and Tomorrow:

Globalisation disproportionately impacts, in a negative sense, the lives of many categories of workers, even as the same process brings prosperity to millions of others. But was this always true?

The first edition of the ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety was published in 1930. It was prepared in an era of widespread illiteracy, indentured servitude and apartheid and very limited means of communication or now-commonplace medical care. On the eve of what was called, until very recently, the worldwide economic crisis: The Great Depression. By creating this resource for workers and their treating physicians, the small team of doctors, industrial hygienists and health professionals invented the concept of "the right to know" - a fundamental bedrock of many occupational safety and health laws in nations and under the ILO's Convention C. 155 (discussed above).

For the first time since Ramazzini wrote his encyclopaedia of occupational diseases all alone, two hundred years before, a vast gulf of ignorance was conquered by bringing technical information together in two volumes that were available to every OSH expert in the world. The first edition was created in a time when communication across continents was difficult, when penicillin, antibiotics and sophisticated understanding of disease process had not yet been discovered even though it is commonplace today and few laws protected health. Nonetheless, a small cluster of scientists and physicians had the vision that their knowledge could be very useful to millions of workers if it was compiled into one collection of information, eventually so great it required two volumes. The legacy of this remarkable document is vibrant nearly ninety-years later. The First Edition is therefore the mantra for our fifth edition, which will apply state of the art methods in order to realize these ideals in the 21st century.

It is a striking coincidence that the First Edition of our Encyclopaedia was born in the world's Great economic Depression. The people who wrote that publication felt the urgency of the world's need for sound clear thinking to start employer based health programs on their own. Those authors were keenly aware of their limited ability to meet the entire scope of occupational health needs, but were undaunted in their goal to provide a quality educational tool those operationalised basic human rights by providing access to knowledge. In so doing they invented, as we call it today in occupational health, the "Right to Know".

Now, this right to knowledge is equally essential for the survival of employment as the survival of workers. Our readers, the end-users, are the world. Sophisticated smart people who know their own work very well, need trusted information from an honest broker of information in order to move from their comfort level to an area where they have no personal expertise. Then, as now, our world needs a succinct and reliable source of clear-headed information. Articles of not more than 5000 (five thousand) words, written by people who know their subject so well they could put together those sentences if you tapped them on their shoulder in their sleep, subject to robust peer review.

Our goal is not, repeat: not, to answer definitively all the controversies in our field. Anyone who simply wishes to amass information need only Google a key term on the web, set the computer to download, go to dinner and return to volumes of data, perhaps more than the computer can actually accept. What good is that? Providing more data than anyone can use is not access to knowledge, it cannot operationalise the Right to Know. Therefore, we endeavour to serve as a filter: an objective lens through which subsequent linked information in books, journals, hyperlinks and videos can be critically reviewed and evaluated for the end user's own needs.

The sky is indeed the limit, and this conference is therefore appropriately named "Moving to Sky". We have the legal tools the heritage the data the web to provide unlimited access free of charge. We have this amazing legislative body of occupational heath laws whereas our starry eyed ancestors had only their own moral compass as their guide. Now all we need do, paraphrasing a great leader in our field is: Now let's get to work!

Paper given on 18 March 2009 "Moving to Sky" ASSE MEC Conference by Ilise L. Feitshans, JD and ScM, Coordinatrice Encyclopaedia, SAFEWORK, ILO Geneva, Switzerland | Email:

OSHE web sites to explore...

We look at websites in different parts of the world that are offering quality information. This month we look at a variety of websites.

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


International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (AISE)
The International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (AISE) is the official representative body in Europe for this industry. Membership includes 10 direct member companies as well as 37 National Associations from 41 countries, covering approximately 900 companies ranging from multinationals to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).


European Federation of Chemical Engineering
European Federation of Chemical Engineering has promoted scientific collaboration and supported the work of engineers and scientists in 28 European countries since 1953. Moreover, from the very beginning Eastern and Central European countries were included. Today the EFCE represents more than 100,000 chemical engineers in Europe. With its 22 Working Parties and 4 Sections it covers all areas of Chemical Engineering.

European Technical Platform on Industrial Safety
ETPIS (one of several technology platforms already established) is a vehicle for drawing together various stakeholders across Europe to meet the vision of accident free workplaces by 2020


JOIFF The Organisation for Emergency Services Management
JOIFF The Organisation for Emergency Services Management works to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding of emergency response personnel and to improve standards of safety and of the working environment in which industry/commerce operates, with the aim of ensuring that whether employed or contractual, personnel manage risks safely.


S2S is a European Network that aims to help industrial companies, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to improve their level of process safety. Activities include connecting people working on safety topics; Analysing the future RTD strategy; Collecting, evaluating and offering available information; Developing interactive risk assessment tools and training materials and promoting awareness on EU legislation and standardisation. S2S is supported by HarsNet, PRISM and Safetynet. In this portal you can find safety information under the following topics: safety management, human factors, explosions, industrial fires, chemical reactions, measurement methods, and materials safety datasheets.


Fire and Blast Information Group (FABIG)
The Fire and Blast Information Group (FABIG) is a non-profit, cross-industry membership based organisation committed to the dissemination of knowledge and best practice and the development of guidance on the prevention and mitigation of fires and explosions and on the protection of facilities and personnel against fires and explosions.

Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)
Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is the hub for chemical, biochemical and process engineering professionals worldwide. It is at the heart of the process community, promoting competence and a commitment to sustainable development, advancing the discipline for the benefit of society and supporting the professional development of members.

Process Industries Safety Management (PRISM)
Process Industries Safety Management assists the process industries in improving both its understanding of and application of human factors the European Process Safety Centre has linked up with leading operating companies, consultancies and research institutes in Europe to create the PRISM network. (Process Industries Safety Management). This is a 'Thematic Network' which has been established with financial support from the European Union Department for Research and Development under its Programme for Competitive and Sustainable Growth. The Objective of PRISM is the improvement of safety in the European process industries through raising awareness of, and sharing experience in, the application of human factors approaches. The following links to documents will help you to locate interesting documents currently held on the PRISM site above - the indexes contain links directly to resources on the PRISM site
Index of PRISM Guides:
Index of PRISM Seminar Materials:


Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS)
Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) is a not-for-profit, corporate membership organization within American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) that identifies and addresses process safety needs within the chemical, pharmaceutical, and petroleum industries. CCPS brings together manufacturers, government agencies, consultants, academia and insurers to lead the way in improving industrial process safety.

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

16-17 April 2009 - Labour Inspection in the path of change: focusing its mission towards economic development and social peace in time of crisis
FIL Meeting Centre, Lisbon, Portugal
Contact: Sofia Brito Avô, Av. Casal Ribeiro, 18-A, 1000-082 Lisboa, Portugal | Tel: +351 213 308 736 | Email:

2-4 June 2009 - 4th International Conference on Whole-Body Vibration Injuries
Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Contact: IRSST, 505, blvd. De Maisonneuve West, 15th floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3A 3C2 | Tel: +1 514 288-1551 | Fax: +1 514 288-7636 | Email: |

2-5 June 2009 - The Safe and Healthy Professional Driver - The human factor in traffic safety (4904)
Majvik Congress Hotel, Kirkkonummi (25 km from Helsinki), Finland
Contact: Pirjo Turtiainen, NIVA Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A 00250 Helsinki, FINLAND | Tel: +358 30 474 2349 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497 | Email: |

4-6 June 2009 - International Congress of the Polish Institute of Maritime Medicine and Tropical Diseases: Present challenges of occupational health and safety; work, tourism and leisure in the tropics
This Congress is organized on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Institute
Gdynia, Poland
Contact: Polish Institute of Maritime Medicine and Tropical Diseases, 9B Powstania Styczniowego Street, PL-81-519, Poland | Tel: +48 58 6998 593 | Fax: +48 58 622 3354 | Email: |
Readers may also like to take a free trial of OSH UPDATE:

8-10 June 2009 - Quality of the Working Environment and Productivity (4905)
First week: 8-10 June 2009, Prevent Academy for Working Life, Leuven, Belgium
Contact: Pirjo Turtiainen, NIVA Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A 00250 Helsinki, FINLAND | Tel: +358 30 474 2349 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497 | Email: |

1-2 July 2009 - IFE AGM, Conference and Exhibition 2009
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow, UK
Contact: Jenny Angus, Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) | Email: | A dedicated event website and online booking facility will be available shortly.

9-14 August 2009 - 17th World Congress on Ergonomics - IEA 2009
Beijing, China
Contact: Information: Congress Secretariat: Chinese Ergonomics Society, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100083, China.| Tel: +86-10-8280 1728 | Fax: +86-10-8280 5315 | Email: |

24-27 August 2009 - Positive psychology at work: towards flourishing workplaces (4906)
Hotel Eckerö, Åland, Finland
Contact: Gunilla Rasi, NIVA Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, 00250 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 30 474 2498 | Fax +358 30 474 2497 | Email: |

25-29 August 2009 - 2009 Fire-Rescue International Conference
Dallas, Texas, USA

26-29 August 2009 - 4th International Conference on Nanotechnology - Occupational and Environmental Health (NanOEH2009)
Characteristics of engineered nanoparticles; exposure assessment to engineered nanoparticles; toxicity and health effects of engineered nanoparticles; effects of engineered nanoparticles on the environment; control technologies and instrumentation: synthesis and characterization of exposure assessment; risk assessment of engineered nanoparticles; management and prevention of risks of engineered nanoparticles: reduction of exposure to engineered nanoparticles; regulatory framework
Helsinki, Finland
Contact: NanOEH2009 Secretariat, Ms Leila Ahlström, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 30 474 285 | Email: |

31 August - 2 September 2009 - Occupational health and alcohol: Prevention of alcohol-related harm at work-places (4907)
Hanasaari Cultural Centre, Espoo (Helsinki area), Finland
Contact: Pirjo Turtiainen, NIVA Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, 00250 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 30 474 2349 | Fax +358 30 474 2497 | Email: |