CIS Newsletter

No. 267
December 2011

CIS Newsletter celebrates 23 years & still going strong until December 2011!
Bringing news from Members to Members in over 154 countries in the CIS Network!

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 from the UK. 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.


  1. Editorial - CIS Newsletter ceases publication with this December 2011 edition
  2. ILO news - including Farewell Message from Annick Virot
  3. Do not waste time! Try OSH UPDATE and FIREINF
  4. FOCUS - Development of the Construction Safety Audit Scoring System (ConSASS) and the Workplace Safety and Health Appraisal Tool in Singapore
  5. News, Events and ideas from around the World from Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and USA to name a few!
  6. OSHE websites to explore
  7. Diary of Events

CIS Members' links:


Dear Colleagues

Festive Greetings to all Colleagues wherever you are in the World!

May I wish you every success for 2012 and in the future in your work as a CIS Centre and hope that you will continue to spread the message of "good health and safety in the workplace"!

After editing the monthly CIS Newsletter for 23 years - 267 editions it does seem a little strange to think that this is the last one!

I started the CIS Newsletter in 1989 after attending an exciting and stimulating CIS Annual Meeting. As developments are taking place at CIS HQ and the CIS web site is to be upgraded at the end of this year/early next year I feel that this December 2011 edition is the right time to stop the Newsletter and in future you should look for the news, events, conferences and notification of websites and other information about CIS activities on the revamped CIS website.

I have always enjoyed change and initiate change whenever I can - especially if it will take things forward in a more effective way.

Over the years I have met a great number of people associated with the CIS Network and feel privileged to have been able to help and be in contact with so many from around the world.

I will be keeping the website available that contains CIS Newsletters from 2002 and many reports - many of which are NOT located anywhere else.

N.B. CONTINUE TO SEND your news, events, websites after December 2011, because these will be used in OSHWORLD that has been thriving since 1996 when the Internet first started to offer opportunities to easily reach the World! My many websites and electronic services content get re-used around the world.

Bookmark OSHWORLD and make it your first port of call when you are seeking OSH, Fire and chemical information.

And of course do send your news to Geneva CIS HQ.

I am still very involved in electronic publishing see OSH UPDATE and FIREINF If you wish to have a trial of these powerful collections of information that contain both full text and bibliographic information including the CISDOC database then please contact me - see details at the end of this editorial.

Guidelines for the Establishment of CIS Health and Safety Information Centres and Other Information Centres by Sheila Pantry OBE, BA, FCLIP

This is my 3rd Revised edition dated June 2011 of these Guidelines, based on many, many years experience working and establishing information centres, training staff and users, not only in the UK but in over 20 countries worldwide.

I have now updated my earlier editions and the 3rd edition is now published and can be found on

Please feel free to use these Guidelines and share the content with others who either wish to start an information centre or improve the services.

Check the Guidelines to see what services you offer NOW and what you can start to offer in future.

Change is in the air...

Below you will see a message from Annick Virot about her retirement from ILO CIS on 31 December 2011. On behalf of all CIS Centres may I wish Annick a very happy and long retirement and thank her for all her work and contribution to the network.

Another retirement in the early part of 2012 will be Dr Abeytunga from the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety... Abey has long been a supporter of spreading health and safety information around the world. We also wish him a very happy and long retirement and thank him for all his work and contribution to the network. Abey tells me that first he will be taking a long holiday in Sri Lanka but will continue to reside in Canada.

As always many thanks to all who have sent in news for the CIS Newsletter which contains as usual a roundup of information received from many parts of the OSH World.

Please continue to send me your News!

Will you be Surviving by the end of 2012?... 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 in 2012 for a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful World.

Sheila Pantry, OBE

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

Fond Farewell to Annick Virot at the ILO CIS

We wish Annick a very happy and long retirement.

Annick writes...

Dear friends and colleagues:

I have been working for CIS for over 20 years, but time has come for me to start a new life. I have decided to retire from the ILO as of 31 December 2011.

The time I spent in CIS has been a great experience, having met so many OSH professionals from all over the world. I have made many friends in the OSH information community and will sincerely miss you all. I plan to stay between Canada, France and Spain. Wherever I am, I will keep you in my heart and hope to keep in touch with you.

To all of you, my sincerest thanks for your great collaboration and my best wishes for a bright OSH information future.

A special thank to Sheila for having promoted the CIS Centres network with such dedication and enthusiasm.

Here is my private email address:


Chers amis et collègues:

Je travaille au CIS depuis plus de 20 ans et le moment est venu pour moi de commencer une nouvelle vie. J'ai décidé de prendre ma retraite du BIT à partir du 31 décembre 2011.

Le temps que j'ai passé au CIS a été pour moi une expérience enrichissante, car j'ai eu la possibilité de rencontrer des professionnels de la SST du monde entier. Je me suis fait de nombreux amis dans le monde de l'information de SST et vous allez toutes et tous me manquer. J'ai l'intention de vivre entre le Canada, la France et l'Espagne. Quel que soit l'endroit où je serai, je vous garderai dans mon cœur et j'espère rester en contact avec vous.

A vous toutes et tous, mes plus sincères remerciements pour votre collaboration et mes meilleurs vœux pour un avenir lumineux dans le domaine de l'information de SST.

Des remerciements très sincères à Sheila qui a promu le réseau des Centres CIS avec un tel dévouement et enthousiasme.

Voici mon adresse électronique privée:

News from CIS HQ

Discussing the FUTURE: A meeting of selected CIS Centres and OSH institutes took place in Geneva on 2-3 November 2011

The meeting attended by representatives from CCOHS (Canada), FIOH (Finland), INRS (France), JISHA (Japan), KOSHA (Korea, Republic of), NIOH (South Africa), ISCIII (Spain), HSE (United Kingdom), NIOSH (United States of America), IRSST (Canada), DGUV (Germany) and INSHT (Spain).

The Director of PROTRAV Ms. Manuela Tomei and the Director of SAFEWORK, Mr. Seiji Machida, ILO/CIS staff and Safework specialist took part in the meeting.

During 2 days participants were discussing modern trends in the sphere of OSH information, the role of information in OSH system and policy, proposals on a new strategy of the ILO/CIS, new ways of collaboration and reactivation of the ILO/CIS Network, further development of the ILO/CIS products and other issues targeted on increasing of ILO/CIS performance in current conditions.

General conclusions of the meeting says that ILO/CIS should adapt its activities to modern trends and demands of OSH Information World, update existing and create new information products to satisfy demands of constituents, OSH specialists and decision makers at the national level as well as at the enterprise level.

Country based information is required and CIS will collect this information in collaboration with ILO/CIS Centres who should play a very important role in this process and actively contribute to the ILO/CIS products and global databases. Communication within the ILO/CIS Network and requirements to ILO/CIS Network should be revised. ILO/CIS should strengthen its coordination position in this process.

The meeting participants proposed and discussed many ideas and solution which will be taken into account by ILO/CIS for its further activities and strategies.

A new strategy is currently being produced by the CIS management and will be communicated to CIS Centres.

The ILO Encyclopaedia on Health and Safety was also discussed. Professor Jeanne Stellman, the Editor attended the meeting. The work done so far this year by Jeanne and her Team has produced REALLY great results. At the present moment the way forward is under discussion.

ILO/CIS Budget for 2012-2013

CIS Members will be pleased to note the following...

The ILO/CIS Budget and workplan for 2012-2013 were approved by the ILO Government Body 11.11.2011. According to the document ILO/CIS will change its strategy in the next biennium.

Active role of the ILO/CIS Centres in information collaboration and collection of the country based information are indicated as one the main tasks for the ILO/CIS. ILO/CIS will continue to develop its traditional information products and create new products.

The new online ILO OSH Encyclopaedia will be one of the key information resources that ILO/CIS will be develop in 2012-2013.

The ILO/CIS budget will be used for improving of the OSH information management and sharing globally, development of the information resources and ILO/CIS Network. It will be done in close cooperation within SAFEWORK and other ILO departments and programmes.

For those curious enough to want to know what is spent on keeping CIS afloat see details in

USE IT OR LOSE IT! Don't forget to continuously promote CIS and the Network!

Do add the CIS logo on the front page of your website would be a good first start. (Checked recently and only a few CIS Centres websites have the logo or links to CIS website).

Please do add the CIS logo on all your publications.

Any views you have on CIS and its work please send into CIS HQ - to Roman Litvyakov and Seiji Machida

News from the ILO

ILO Draft code of practice on safety in the use of machinery

This code of practice is intended to provide guidance on safety in the use of machinery at the workplace. A Meeting of Experts on Safety in the use of Machinery will be convened in Geneva from 27 November to 7 December 2011 to draw up and adopt a code of practice on safety in the use of machinery.

Worker safety should be addressed at all stages of the lifespan of machinery, from design to decommissioning. This code includes recommendations and requirements regarding the obligations, responsibilities, and rights of competent authorities, designers, manufacturers, suppliers, employers and workers.

It also sets out technical requirements and information on the protection of workers against hazards, risk assessments, characteristics of guards and protective devices, as well as safety requirements for different types of machinery.

The objective of this code is to protect workers from the hazards of machinery and to prevent accidents and incidents resulting from the use of machinery at work by providing guidelines for: ensuring that all machinery for use at work is designed and manufactured in accordance with safety requirements; ensuring that employers are provided with a mechanism for obtaining from their suppliers safety information about machinery to enable them to implement effective protective measures for workers; and ensuring that proper workplace safety measures are implemented to minimize risks arising from the use of machinery.

This code applies to any work activity in which machinery is used and to all stages of the lifespan cycle of the machinery including second-hand, rebuilt or redeployed machinery being used in workplaces.

Available in English, Spanish and German

How do you manage without any authoritative and validated OSH and fire information to check?

Do you need access to worldwide authoritative and validated fire and OSH information sources that are user friendly, cost effective and constantly updated? Then use OSH UPDATE and FIREINF services!

Keeping up with the latest worldwide OSH and fire information can be a time consuming exercise, but help is available if you subscribe to the ever growing OSH UPDATE collection of 20 databases and the FIREINF collection of 17 databases via the Internet. They are also "budget friendly prices"!

OSH UPDATE contains over 822,000 records - and including the 70,000 records in CISDOC database and FIREINF has over 541,000 records that link to thousands of full text documents.

It is worth spending time checking out the latest reports, guidance and advice, examples of good practices in all industry sectors that have been produced from worldwide sources. You will find many such documents, reports, standards and journal articles in OSH UPDATE and in FIREINF

The electronic services OSH UPDATE and FIREINF will help you and your organisation to keep up-to-date. These services continue to bring you the latest information on health, safety, environment, fire and other subjects that you will find useful in your daily work.

It is interesting to see how many organisations including universities and colleges do NOT have relevant OSH and fire resources listed on their websites. Everyone is advised to Mind the Gap - and remember that many OSH and fire resources are not available on the Internet!

OSH UPDATE and FIREINF services together present a major resource if you are running a CIS Centre. Easy to use and cost effective. As one Australian user said last week when renewing OSH UPDATE "this is a highly valued resource".

OSH UPDATE and FIREINF services contain both full text and bibliographic information are continuously enlarged as new information is published. These services are used by organisations, universities, companies and even some ILO CIS Centres worldwide!

For a 15 DAY FREE NO OBLIGATION TRIAL contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | email: | or fill in the Interest form

News from around the World

News from the ILO

ILO Domestic workers Convention and Recommendation published

Readers will wish to note the following two publications:

International Labour Organisation ILO: Domestic Worker Convention C189 Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 concerning decent work for domestic workers. Date of adoption: 16 June 2011

International Labour Office: Domestic worker Recommendation R201 concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers. Date of adoption: 16 June 2011

More News from the ILO

NEW - Safety and Health in Agriculture: Code of practice published

This code of practice is intended to raise awareness of the hazards and risks associated with agriculture and promote their effective management and control; to help prevent occupational accidents and diseases and improve the working environment in practice; to encourage governments, employers, workers and other stakeholders to cooperate to prevent accidents and diseases; and to promote more positive attitudes and behaviour towards occupational safety and health in agriculture throughout the sector.

Agriculture is one of the most hazardous of all economic sectors and many agricultural workers suffer occupational accidents and ill health each year. It is also the largest sector for female employment in many countries, especially in Africa and Asia. Agriculture employs some one billion workers worldwide, or more than a third of the world's labour force, and accounts for approximately 70 per cent of child labour worldwide.

This code of practice is intended to raise awareness of the hazards and risks associated with agriculture and promote their effective management and control; to help prevent occupational accidents and diseases and improve the working environment in practice; to encourage governments, employers, workers and other stakeholders to cooperate to prevent accidents and diseases; and to promote more positive attitudes and behaviour towards occupational safety and health in agriculture throughout the sector.

The code was adopted by an international group of experts meeting in Geneva from 25 to 29 October 2010. It was endorsed and approved for publication by the Governing Body of the ILO at its 310th Session (March 2011).

Published: November 15, 2011. ISBN 978-92-2-124970-2, 348 pages. Prices: CHF 45; USD 50; GBP 30; EUR 40

News from the ILO, Turin

News from the ILO International Training Centre, Turin


That the ILO International Training Centre based in Turin, Italy offers around 150 open courses every year but it implements around 450 courses. Most of the courses are tailor-made for Training Course projects and national and international organizations.

You can access to the brochures of the open courses on Occupational Safety and Health for 2012.


General catalogue of open courses of our Centre:

News from Belgium

Stop Violence, Impunity and Sexual Harassment at Work: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the International Trade Union Confederation

(ITUC) and its affiliated organisations are mobilising across the globe to say 'stop violence, impunity and sexual harassment at work'.

"The trade union movement feels particularly concerned by violence against women, be it in the private or public sphere or at work," said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. "Trade unions have a key role to play, starting with denouncing the facts and breaking the silence."

Women in precarious jobs are particularly vulnerable, such as domestic workers, for example, a largely undervalued, widely exploited group, generally unprotected by labour laws. Migrant women are also highly exposed to the risk of violence at work.

To mark this year's international day, the ITUC and the ICEM are publishing a new report "Violence against Women in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo: Whose Responsibility? Whose Complicity?" The report underlines the economic dimension of the conflict and its links to the violence endured by women.

Control over the DR Congo's natural and mineral resources has always been disputed. It is this staggering wealth of resources that fuels the conflicts plaguing the country and profits the military and rebel groups using sexual violence as a weapon of war. According to a recent UNEP report, the DRC's untapped mineral reserves are estimated to be worth 24 trillion US dollars.

The electronics industry is a major consumer of the minerals sourced from the DRC and which are essential to the production of computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices. Initiatives taken at international level such as the Dodd-Frank Act passed by the US Senate or the OECD Guidance are useful but do not go far enough. It is highly regrettable that the European Commission has not yet responded to the European Parliament's calls for it to take legislative action.

But the economic interests at stake are huge, as seen with the fierce opposition to the Dodd-Frank Act voiced by the American Chamber of Commerce, which has been trying to dilute the new control and traceability systems developed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and to delay their implementation.

Urgent action is needed to protect the people affected and to ensure decent work for the men and women being exploited in the mines of eastern DRC.

As the electoral campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo enters full swing, the country's trade unions, the UNTC, CSC and CDT, are denouncing the endemic poverty, the rampant corruption and the appalling lack of decent work.

"Impunity must be ended and justice must be done for the huge numbers of women victims of these conflicts. Powerful vested interests linked to the region's mineral resources must stop taking precedence over respect for the life and dignity of women," said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. "It will be up to the newly-elected government to establish effective legislative and punitive measures to combat all forms of violence against women," she insisted, at the same time as expressing regret at the poor level of women's participation in the political life of the country.

The ITUC has also published a new report under the heading "Stop Violence and Impunity: Justice for the Women of DRC", covering the many forms of discrimination, exploitation and isolation suffered by Congolese women.

Read the report "Violence against Women in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo: Whose Responsibility? Whose Complicity?"

Read the report "Stop Violence and Impunity: Justice for Women in DRC"

The ITUC represents 175 million workers in 153 countries and territories and has 308 national affiliates.

Website: and

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on the following numbers: +32 2 224 020 or +32 476 62 10 18

News from Canada

Canada is getting ready the GHS

It's been talked about, speculated upon and anticipated for several years, and now the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is closer than ever to becoming a reality. The exact date is not known; however with regulations for implementing GHS drawing closer, chemical suppliers are beginning to prepare for the change. The challenge they face is figuring out how to transition to the new system while still complying with the existing Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) regulations.

In Canada, supplier labels require:

Getting started

To start moving toward the GHS system, the first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with GHS hazard classification criteria, as this forms the basis for the whole GHS system. For many WHMIS classes, there is a direct correlation between current WHMIS hazard classes and the GHS hazard classes. For example, WHMIS Class D2A (Carcinogenicity) correlates very well with the GHS class for Carcinogenicity. Hazard statements have been identified for each GHS class. In instances where the GHS class criteria line up with the WHMIS class, consider using the GHS hazard statements ("May cause cancer." Or "Suspected of causing cancer.") as risk phrases for your WHMIS label now.

Precautionary statements

There are five different types of suggested precautionary statements: general, prevention, response (including fire, accidental release and first aid), storage and disposal. When available, the GHS precautionary statements can help to fulfil the requirement for WHMIS precautionary measures. Just be aware that you may need to supplement the GHS precautionary statements as they are not fully developed for some hazard classes. For example, for Gases under Pressure, there is only one storage phrase offered, and there are no phrases for prevention, response or disposal. You can supplement precautionary phrases by consulting the full list of these phrases (for all GHS hazard classes) and/or with your own phrases. For the Gases under Pressure example mentioned above, a phrase such as "Keep away from heat." (from another GHS class) may be appropriate.

To reduce translation costs, all GHS phrases are available in French as well as many other languages.

Stay WHMIS-compliant

To be WHMIS-compliant, remember that supplier labels must use WHMIS elements such as WHMIS hazard symbols, a WHMIS hatched border and a reference to the MSDS. You should note that GHS pictograms etc. cannot be used on labels in Canada at this time. However, you can move closer to GHS by adopting GHS language for the risk phrases and precautionary measures in your WHMIS labels now.

GHS Resources

More News from Canada

An Essential Tool for Hazard Management: OSH Essentials can help you build your workplace hazard management plan

The workplace can be fraught with all types of hazards - ergonomic, physical, and safety to name a few - that can harm your employees or make them ill. If you want to improve the health and safety of your workplace, hazard management is a good place to start. CCOHS has created OSH Essentials™, a new online tool to help you build your plan to manage your workplace hazards.

OSH Essentials

With OSH Essentials you can easily navigate a step-by-step process to help you identify, asses and control workplace hazards, to keep your workplace healthy and safe.

This interactive online tool provides you with practical information to help recognize, assess and control hazards in your workplace. Checklists guide you through the steps of reviewing workplace activities, identifying potential hazards, and learning relevant legislation by key sections. Choose from suggested control measures to create your final action plan that will help address the risks in your workplace.

Currently there are ten OSH Essentials topics from which to choose, with more already in the works:

  1. Excessive Noise
  2. Incorrect Lighting Levels
  3. Manual Materials Handling: Musculoskeletal Disorder Prevention
  4. Manual Materials Handling: Seated Work
  5. Slips and Trips
  6. Working Alone
  7. Working in Hot Indoor Environments
  8. Working in Hot Outdoor Environments
  9. Working on Ladders
  10. Workplace Violence

When you purchase an OSH Essentials topic, you instantly gain access to it over the web and for the next 30 days.

Access Legislation

If you need access to Canadian legislation related to your topic, OSH Essentials provides a summary and detailed lists of relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation. You can select from two Legislation options:

  1. Federal plus one jurisdiction of your choice ($20 for 30-day access)
  2. Federal plus all jurisdictions ($25 for 30-day access)

All OSH Essentials content is developed and reviewed by CCOHS' team of technical specialists.

Learn more about OSH Essentials as well as details about each topic.

More news from Canada

Workplace Health Without Borders

In the Spring of 2011, a group of occupational hygienists and other activists came together in Toronto, Canada to found Workplace Health Without Borders, a not-for-profit organisation, to address these issues. WHWB hopes to incorporate ideas from, and work with other groups who have set up similar organisations.

Building on ideas explored by occupational hygienists in Norway, the United States and elsewhere, Workplace Health Without Borders has the goal of engaging volunteers in improving workplace health in those regions of the world with under-served worker populations.

The focus of WHWB is to provide workers and employers with technical assistance, training and skills development to help them to develop the capacity and infrastructure to manage and improve the health conditions in their workplaces.

WHWB intent is also to focus on helping Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) who serve communities and workplaces in developing countries to integrate occupational health into their work.

Interest in WHWB is growing rapidly. Nearly 40 people attended a meeting at the AIHce in Portland, USA on 18 May 2011, and everyone who attended agreed to join and volunteer in one capacity or another. There is still a need for enthusiastic volunteers. Whatever your area of interest, if you are interested in the concept of a globally active occupational hygiene group, there is a place for you with WHWB.

The WHWB web site contains links to other resources and relevant organisations.

WHWB's Vision - A world where workers do not get sick because of their work.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 2/3 of the world's 3 billion workers are employed in unhealthy and unsafe working conditions. The International Labour Organization (ILO) reports nearly 2 million deaths each year from occupational disease. In addition, about 160 million of the world's workers get sick every year due to non-fatal occupational diseases. Most of the world's workers do not have access to occupational hygiene expertise. They lack the resources, knowledge and technology to identify and control workplace exposure to disease-causing agents such as chemicals, microorganisms, noise and radiation.

News from Croatia

First South East Europe Workplace Academy: Healthy Workplaces for Health Workers

Zagreb, Croatia by Susan Wilburn

The South East Europe (SEE) Network on Workers' Health with leadership from Prof Jadranka Mustajbegovic Head of the Andrija Stampar School of Public Health WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health and Prof. Jovanka Karadzinska Bislimovska of the Institute of Occupational Health in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia launched the first South East Europe Workplace Academy on health care worker (HCW) occupational health in Zagreb, Croatia at the end of June, 2011.

WHO Collaborating Centres for Occupational Health from Finland (FIOH), Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational and Environmental Medicine in Munich Germany, Coronel Institute for Occupational Health, The Netherlands, and the International Healthcare Worker Safety Center in Virginia, USA provided expert trainers for the academy.

Occupational health and safety is a key issue for HCWs. Changes in the delivery of public health care services raise concerns about whether occupational health and safety standards will be adhered to by different providers. Increased violence experienced by HCWs poses a new and growing occupational health problem. With changing occupational health and safety risks, legislation and standards need to be reviewed regularly, especially in relation to trade agreements that set international standards for companies operating in national environments.

The elimination, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of traditional occupational health and safety problems, occupational diseases, injuries and unreasonable workloads require a wider coverage and higher efficiency of Occupational Health Services (OHS). The Basic Occupational Health Services (BOHS) initiative established the ultimate objective: to provide occupational health services for all working people in the world, regardless of the sector of economy, mode of employment, size of the workplace or geographical location.

Establishment of the South East Europe Workplace Academy (SEEWA) addressed these issues and was a result of a long term development of training activities in the Region. Participants at the academy gathered from Austria, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Croatia, Montenegro, the former Yugoslave Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey as well as Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland. A reception was hosted by the Mayor of Zagreb.

Topics and workshops included:

For a full list of activities covered at the Academy, please see:

News from Finland

The Nordic model: work-life balance - a trap or an opportunity? (Course 6202) to be held on 24 - 27 April 2012 at The Norwegian National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI), Oslo, Norway

Women's participation in labour force has increased throughout the world. In the Nordic countries women's and men's employment rates are almost identical. Having children influences the employment rates of both women and men. A successful work-life balance constitutes an important health resource for both working parents, and particularly for working women.


A broad perspective will be used by taking into consideration 1) the male/female perspective, 2) the multiple ethnic and class divisions in balancing of work-family interaction; and 3) the intergenerational care, particularly those 'sandwiched' working women and men who take care of their ageing parents while taking care of their own children and families.

Call for abstracts

Participants are encouraged to send their abstracts, which will be presented and discussed during interactive rounds. Two of the abstracts will be selected for presentation during the course. The deadline for submitting the abstracts is 10 April 2012.

Course leader

Professor Kaisa Kauppinen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

For more information on the course and the programme,

Please, register at

Registration fee: 490 Euros (course material included, meals and coffees excluded).

Registration deadline: 10 April 2012.

Contact: Zsuzsanna Renkó-Michelsén, Course Coordinator, NIVA, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, 00250 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 (0)30 474 2498 |

News from Ireland

Eurofound co-organises a seminar on the links between working conditions and employee and company performance, in Warsaw, Poland, on 26 October 2011:

Changes in workplace practise can positively impact and improve the overall performance of employees and productivity of a company says new research from Eurofound, the Dublin-based EU agency.

European and Polish social policymakers will hear at an EU Presidency event in Warsaw, Poland, today that combining training, autonomous team work, flexible time arrangements, profit and ownership sharing schemes, and well functioning social dialogue as part of a strategic approach will enhance the economic performance. The event is organised jointly by the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan and Eurofound, under the patronage of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.

The global economic crisis has made it abundantly clear that emerging economies can outperform many European countries in their production of low-value-added goods and services, but equally that there is growing demand for upmarket exports from emerging economies. To exploit its competitive potential, European firms need to be prepared to move up the value chain, but to do so is likely to require approaches to people management and conditions at the workplace that provide workers with higher levels of skills and the ability to unlock their discretionary effort.

Eurofound has looked into the relationship between working conditions and both, employee and company performance, using a three-pronged research approach, reviewing academic literature of the past two decades on workplace practices, an analysis of Eurofound s second European Company Survey of over 27,000 European workplaces, and in-depth studies of practices in six countries. It found that while many companies introduce bundles of measures aimed at improving working conditions and enhancing economic performance, many do not have appropriate mechanisms in place to benefit from such measures.

We found that there is a serious potential for employee and company gains if working conditions and work organisation measures are appropriately implemented and managed, says Radoslaw Owczarzak, research manager at Eurofound. Our research also found that especially companies that are not doing so well can profit from these measures.

Eurofound's in-depth company case study research shows clear links between certain measures and increased performance. Systematic reviews of staff training needs, and giving staff training for new tasks and time off for training, are associated with good employee performance, and seem to have the greatest impact. Some practices, however, require critical mass to be successful. Eurofound's research show that at least 20% of staff much experience autonomous team work and flexible time arrangements for the schemes to have any impact.

Eurofound research on job quality also shows that workers are more satisfied and motivated when they have a say in their workplace, can organise work autonomously, work in a flexible manner, increase wages as a result of harder work, improve their skills, and have a secure job and a career perspective.

Performance pay schemes, as well as team and autonomous team working practices, for at least 25% of the employees, are all considered good organisational solutions which contribute to a good work climate and economic situation.

Unfortunately, as Eurofound research shows the awareness among companies about these possible sources of improved performance is very limited, a determined joint effort from all key stake-holders, including employers and employee representatives, is required.

More information about the event and the latest publications:

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

News from Mexico

Reminder: ICOH March 18-23, 2012

The International Commission on Occupational Health will host the International Congress this year in Cancun, Mexico, March 18-23, 2012.

The dates and the scientific program can be found at Details regarding hotels and other information about Cancun are online at the Congress website.

Abstracts have been called which link to the theme of 'Occupational health for all: From research to practice'. All submissions are subject to review and all presenters must register for the Conference. Submission instructions can be found at:

News from the Netherlands

ICEFA V - Fifth International Conference on Engineering Failure Analysis on 1-4 July 2012, Hilton Hotel, The Hague, The Netherlands

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS! Deadline: 17th February 2012

The modern innovation cycle now demands that component design involves a whole-of-life approach, incorporating an awareness of manufacture, safety, reliability, environmental sensitivity and disposal. This has focussed attention on the pivotal role of failure analysis as an essential tool to improve equipment availability, help prevent accidents and disasters and to inform the processes of design, manufacture, operation and maintenance of key plant and equipment.

Topic areas for abstracts submissions:

The strengths of past conferences have been the emphasis on practical application of technical knowledge to engineering failure analysis and the extensive use of case studies to the development of an understanding of engineering failures. The case study approach is strongly encouraged as an important mechanism for developing a body of knowledge well rooted in practical experience.

Attendance at this conference will enable you to:

For all queries regarding your submitted abstract and programme queries please contact: Wei Zhao | Email:

For marketing queries, please contact: Mareike Gutschener, Marketing | Email:

For all other queries, please contact:

News from Poland

Handbook of Occupational Safety and Health, edited by Professor Danuta Koradecka

Occupational safety and health - safe work in a safe environment. The challenge, of course, is how to make this happen and make it happen economically. A comprehensive study presenting the state of the art in the field, Handbook of Occupational Safety and Health provides a wide range of methods along with specific criteria for assessing hazard and exposure in the workplace environment. More importantly, it also offers ways to reduce these hazards. The book supplies a compendium of interdisciplinary knowledge that includes physical, chemical, and psychosocial risk factors in the working environment, highlighting issues in Occupational Safety and Health management. The book discusses the ergonomic principles of shaping products, workstands, and work processes, highlighting the significance of international requirements for competitiveness in world economy. It presents the scientific basis for each safety and health issue, followed by well-illustrated case studies to demonstrate the concepts and theories and their application in real-world situations. Based on the results of international research, the book covers:

Developed by a team of renowned contributors, the book includes strategies for creating safe working conditions, accurately assessing hazards posed by harmful environmental factors, and preventing occupational accidents and diseases. Meticulously designed to be user-friendly, it provides the tools to create a safety culture beginning at the enterprise level through to the individual employee.


Legal Labour Protection

Legal Labour Protection, B. Krzyśków

Psychophysical Capabilities of Humans in the Working Environment

The Physiology of Work, J. Bugajska

Selected Issues of Occupational Biomechanics, D. Roman-Liu

Psychosocial Risk in the Workplace and Its Reduction, M. Widerszal-Bazyl

The Physiology of Stress, M. Konarska

Basic Hazards in the Work Environment

Harmful Chemical Agents in the Work Environment, M. Pośniak and J. Skowroń

Dusts, E. Jankowska

Vibroacoustic Hazards, Z. Engel, D. Koradecka, D. Augustyńska, P. Kowalski, L. Morzyński, J. Żera

Electromagnetic Hazards in the Workplace, J. Karpowicz and K. Gryz

Static Electricity, Z. J. Grabarczyk

Electric Current, M. Dźwiarek

Electric Lighting for Indoor Workplaces and Workstations, A. Wolska

Noncoherent Optical Radiation, A. Wolska and W. Dybczyński

Laser Radiation, G. Owczarek and A. Wolska

Ionising Radiation, K. A. Pachocki

Thermal Loads at Workstations, A. Bogdan and I. Sudoł-Szopińska

Atmospheric Pressure (Increase and Decrease), W. G. Kowalski

Mechanical Hazards, K. Myrcha and J. Gierasimiuk

Biological Agents, J. Dutkiewicz

The Effects of Hazards on Work Processes

Occupational Diseases, K. Marek and J. Bugajska

Accidents at Work, R. Studenski, G. Dudka, and R. Bojanowski

Major Industrial Accidents, J. S. Michalik

Basic Directions for Shaping Occupational Safety and Ergonomics

Occupational Risk Assessment, Z. Pawłowska

Work-Related Activities: Rules and Methods for Assessment, D. Roman-Liu

Shift Work, K. Zuńewicz

Personal Protective Equipment, K. Majchrzycka, G. Bartkowiak, A. Stefko, W. Kamińska, G. Owczarek, P. Pietrowski, and K. Baszczyński

Shaping the Safety and Ergonomics of Machinery in the Process of Design and Use, J. Gierasimiuk and K. Myrcha

Basic Principles for Protective Equipment Application, M. Dźwiarek

Methods, Standards, and Models of Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems, D. Podgórski

Education in Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, S. M. Kwiatkowski and K. Świder

Published by Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group, 2010, 662 pages, ISBN 9781439806845

News from the Republic of Macedonia

The Macedonian Occupational Safety and Health Association (MOSHA), with financial support of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, translated the book "Fundamental Principles on Occupational Health and Safety" by Benjamin O. Alli, and the promotion of the Macedonian translation of the book happened at the European Week on Safety and Health at Work

In order the increase the knowledge and raise the awareness for the Occupational Safety and Health, MOSHA donated ten free copies of the book to each of the following institutions:

European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2011

The Macedonian Occupational Safety and Health Association (MOSHA) in cooperation with the State Labour Inspectorate (SLI), supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Macedonia (CFTUM), Organization of the Employers of Macedonia (OEM), The Economic Chamber Of Macedonia and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung organized activities within the European Week for Safety and Health at Work.

More details on the European Week for Safety and Health at Work, and the activities within it in the period between 25-29 October 2011, you can find on the following links:

Ljupco Kocovski, ILO/CIS Center coordinator, Macedonian Occupational Safety and Health Association, 29 Noemvri 50, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia | Tel/Fax: + 389 (0)2 2774 868 | cell: ++389 (0)75 432 051 |

News from Poland

In Warsaw - Poland, an International Conference organized by the Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute (CIOP)

Within the Polish Presidency of the EU Council is ongoing. Theme of the Conference is Strengthening OSH knowledge and innovation as a driver of EU smart growth, was held on 7 November 2011 in Warsaw within the framework of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council.

The Conference attracted more than 160 attendees representing all stakeholders from all EU member states - the governments as well as organisations of employers and employees. Other participants included representatives of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, research institutes, OSH experts' organizations, etc. and it is attended by representatives of the state institutions of 30 European countries.

The only representatives from Macedonia are Mr. Milan Petkovski and Mr. Ljupco Kocovski from The Macedonian Occupational Safety and Health Association (MOSHA).

The thematic area of the Conference followed the priorities set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy. It focused on the following topics:

The Conference was organised by the Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute with the financial support of the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity - PROGRESS (2007-2013) and the funds from the Ministry Labour and Social Policy of Poland - the National Programme on "Improvement of Safety and Working Conditions", phase II (2011- 2013).

More information:

FOCUS... News from Singapore

Development of the Construction Safety Audit Scoring System (ConSASS) and the Workplace Safety and Health Appraisal Tool in Singapore by Dr HO Sweet Far, Senior Consultant (OSH Specialist), Mr CHAN Yew Kwong, Deputy Director (OSH Inspectorate), Mr GO Heng Huat, Deputy Director (OSH Specialist), Mr Alvian TAN, Senior Specialist (WSH Institute), Mr LIM Ronnie, Senior Specialist (OSH Specialist)

The Occupational Safety and Health Division, Ministry of Manpower, Singapore has developed the Construction Safety Audit Scoring System (ConSASS), an audit tool that provides an assessment of the occupational safety and health management system (OSHMS) at a construction site. As a Collaborating Centre within the Workplan of the WHO CC's Network in Occupational Health, this division has spearheaded the first attempt by the construction industry in Singapore to formulate a more universal audit tool that may be applicable to most worksites.

In Singapore, construction worksites with project contract sum of S$30 million or more are required to appoint an independent external auditing organization to audit the OSHMS of the worksite at least once every 6 months. Approved safety auditing organizations are required to adhere to an established audit protocol when conducting audit of the OSHMS in a worksite. However, the existing auditing checklists, which vary among the audit organizations, may not adequately provide a good and consistent indication of the level of safety maturity of the contractors. As approved auditing organizations use their own scoring system to grade the performance of the implementation of OSHMS at different worksites, developers are also unable to identify the better contractors during the tendering process. As a result, there is a lack of strong business imperatives for contractors to take a serious view towards safety audits.

In addition, the construction sector remains one of the riskier sectors in Singapore. In 2010, the industry accounted for more than half of all workplace fatalities, with a fatality rate of 8.1 per 100,000 workers. The apparent lack of sustained improvements in OSH performance coupled with a weak OSH culture in the industry has made it more important to increase our efforts to improve the OSH performance of the industry. This has brought on impetus for the development of a robust and comprehensive rating system to raise standards of the construction sector.

Central to ConSASS is the audit checklist and score card that are used for the evaluation of the effectiveness and development status of the worksite's OSHMS being audited. These were developed in partnerships with academic institutions and various stakeholders such as Building and Construction Authority, Nanyang Technological University, the then Workplace Safety and Health Construction Advisory Sub-committee, and various auditing companies.

The checklist, containing approximately 300 questions, is referenced after local OSHMS standards and the Universal Assessment Instrument (UAI) tool developed by the University of Michigan and published by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). During the final phase of development, trials were carried out with over 24 worksites with the assistance rendered by private auditors. Training on the use of ConSASS was also provided to auditors.

The Audit Checklist

The checklist encompasses approximately 300 questions and they are structured along Deming's Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle as follows:

With a standardized audit checklist and a common audit scoring system, ConSASS enhances the consistency in the auditing process. By providing a clear overview of the strengths and weaknesses of their OSHMS, this allows for cross comparison across worksites in terms of the capabilities in managing safety and health risks. It also helps in promoting OSH standards in Singapore by enabling stakeholders to create a profile of OSH performance for the construction industry.

ConSASS is a key tool to use in working towards the achievement of sustainable workplace safety and health improvements:

In 2007, when it was first launched as a voluntary system, ConSASS already had the support of many industry stakeholders, including major developers such as City Development Limited and contractors like Foster Wheeler, Straits Construction and Gammon Construction have pledged their support.

Government agencies such as the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Housing Development Board (HDB) have also committed to getting their contractors on board. Many other stakeholders amongst property developers, auditors as well as building contractors voiced support for the system and expressed that they would adopt ConSASS at their worksites. During its first year of implementation, a total of 37 audits have been conducted using ConSASS. Four years after its launched, ConSASS is now a mandatory tool for auditing of OSHMS for construction worksites having a contract sum S$30 million or more.

Following the successful adoption of ConSASS in Singapore, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) appraisal tool was developed. It is based on the Universal Assessment Instrument, Singapore Standard for Occupational Safety and Health Management System (SS506) [SS 506 is a full adoption of OHSAS 18000 series] and Singapore Standard CP 79 Code of Practice for Safety Management System for Construction Worksites.

This tool incorporates the 21 measurement criteria in UAI under five driving factors (management commitment, employee participation and training, OSH systems and practices, OSH expertise and line ownership) and the Deming's Cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Act in SS506. The self administered tool helps companies to find out the strength and weakness of their WSH management system so that measures can be put in place to address the gaps identified. It also allows for data and information to be collected for the purpose of providing an indicative trend of the WSH performance of the company against the national WSH performance. It can be used by any workplace for evaluating their own WSH performance and is available free of charge on the internet.

For further information on the WSH tool: We invite all WHO collaborating centres to use this tool and provide feedback on how to enhance this tool further.

News from Spain

Work Hard - Play Hard. EU-OSHA announces winner of the 2011 Healthy Workplaces Film Award

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) presented its third Healthy Workplaces Film Award at the 54th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (DOK Leipzig). This year the prize for the best documentary on work-related topics was won by Carmen Losmann of Germany for her film Work Hard - Play Hard, an exploration of modern theories of work organisation and management.

Dr Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA said that "with the Healthy Workplaces Film Award we want to promote the importance of workplace health and safety across Europe by challenging and encouraging filmmakers to create and showcase documentaries on the issue. Work Hard - Play Hard is a worthy winner, reflecting on key questions in today's modern working world." Part of EU-OSHA's pan-European Healthy Workplaces Campaign, the award is endowed with an 8,000 Euro prize fund.

The thought-provoking film Work Hard - Play Hard, which also received the prize of the ecumenical jury and the FIPRESCI, inspired audiences to discuss one of the most important issues of our time - the individuality and personality of today's workforce. Awarding the prize the jury commented: "In considering modern theories of work organisation and management, it raises the wider issues of the place of the individual. The film encourages the audience to question our relentless pursuit of the Holy Grail - the motivation, the journey and the destination of maximum productivity and efficiency at all costs." Carmen Losmann expressed her delight at receiving the award for her film which she said reflected modern society through its exploration of today's workplaces.

Ten films from international filmmakers were nominated, showing working conditions in a range of industries including construction, production, finance and health. The films documented both the physical, psychological and economic consequences of unfavourable working conditions. The jury also gave special mention to Brazil's Caio Cavechini and Carlos Juliano Barros for their courageous film To The Bone, which explored working conditions in Brazil's meat processing factories.

The nominated films were selected from a record number of 3,012 documentaries from 100 countries submitted to the festival this year. During the course of the week, a record number of 38,000 visitors attended DOK Leipzig, Germany's largest documentary film festival. The 2010 Award was presented to Czech Director Tomas Kudrna for his film All that Glitters about working conditions in a goldmine in an inhospitable region of Kyrgyzstan. The first edition in 2009 was presented to Dutch Director Ton Van Zantvoort for A Blooming Business, showing the painful working conditions in a globalised flower industry.

For more information on the Healthy Workplaces Film Award, visit:

For more information about the DOK Leipzig Festival, visit:

Nominated films 2011

International Jury 2011

News from the UK


The Fire Prevention Association (FPA) has now launched fire-stream: an online video streaming and download portal, hosting FPA video content. Supporting materials, such as checklists and handbooks, complement the video material to provide quality, comprehensive content on demand.

Available through annual subscription or weekly access, fire-stream is a one-stop shop for general health and safety/fire safety induction and refresher training, and hosts all current FPA DVDs/video materials.

To find out more about fire-stream:

News from the UK

Cold Weather Plan for England: Protecting health and reducing harm from severe cold

The Cold Weather Plan for England has now been published. It is part of the wider suite of measures which the UK Department of Health (DH) and NHS are taking to protect individuals and communities from the effects of severe winter weather. The Plan provides advice for individuals, communities and agencies on how to prepare for and respond to severe cold weather as part of wider winter planning and announces the 'Warm Homes, Healthy People' fund. The Cold Weather Plan is a public health plan. It aims to prepare for, alert people to and prevent the major avoidable effects of winter on people's health, which claim around 27,000 lives each year.

The plan aims to do this by building on established national and local campaigns for winter health with a more co-ordinated approach. It recommends a series of steps to minimise the health impact of severe winter weather, to be taken by:

The plan will work through a system of cold weather alerts - linked to the existing winter weather warning system developed by the Met Office - which will trigger appropriate actions up to a major incident. This system is based on the established Heatwave Plan which has been in existence for seven years.

The Cold Weather Plan sets out actions at four Cold Weather Alert levels:

The plan is part of a wider suite of measures that the Department of Health is taking to protect individuals and communities from the effects of severe winter weather and ensure continuity of services. It is also linked to the annual seasonal influenza vaccination programme and the 'Keep Warm Keep Well' campaign, as well as wider work on winter pressures and resilience which takes place in the NHS over the winter months.

The Cold Weather Plan has been published with a companion document Making the Case: Why cold weather planning is essential to health and wellbeing, which provides the most up-to-date research and evidence to act as an authoritative source of information for local organisations, communities and individuals.

Cold Weather Plan for England: Protecting health and reducing harm from severe cold

More News from the UK

REACH Glossary

REACH is a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of CHemicals. To help you understand more about REACH and some of the terminology used within the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website, HSE has compiled a helpful glossary of terms for you to reference.

News from the USA

Diesel Aerosols and Gases in Underground Mines: Guide to Exposure Assessment and Control

The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Report of Investigations Diesel engines are a major contributor to concentrations of submicron aerosols, CO, CO2, NOX, SO2 and hydrocarbons (HC) in underground coal and metal/non-metal mines. The extensive use of diesel-powered equipment in underground mines makes it challenging to control workers´ exposure to submicron aerosols and noxious gases emitted by those engines. In order to protect workers, mines need to establish a comprehensive program based on a multifaceted and integrated approach. Many of the technologies and strategies available to the coal and metal/non-metal underground mining industries to control exposures of underground miners to diesel pollutants are similar. The effort to reduce the exposure of underground miners to diesel pollutants requires the involvement of several key departments of mining companies, including those responsible for health and safety, engine/vehicle/exhaust after treatment maintenance, mine ventilation, and production, as well as the departments responsible for acquiring vehicles, engines, exhaust after-treatment systems, fuel, and lubricating oil.

Author(s): Bugarski-AD, Janisko-SJ, Cauda-EG, Noll-JD, Mischler-SE

Reference: Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012-101, Report of Investigations, October 2011; 1-159

Full text:

News from the WHO, USA

Looking forward: Preparing for the WHO Collaborating Centers for Occupational Health Network 2012-2017 Workplan

by Marilyn Fingerhut and Evelyn Kortum

The Planning Committee of the Global Network of Collaborating Centers for Occupational Health (CCs) met in Oslo, Norway June 15-16, 2011 to provide guidance for a draft structure of the new 2012-2017 Workplan. The meeting was hosted by the Norwegian Collaborating Center, the National Institute of Occupational Health.

The WHO Occupational Health staff at Headquarters and in the WHO Regions along with the members of the Network of CCs, have been working together on a 2009-2012 Workplan to provide tools and guidance to assist countries to meet their obligations agreed in the May 2007 World Health Assembly Resolution 60/26, the "Global Plan of Action on Workers' Health (GPA)".

Preparations are now underway to bring to the CC Directors in October a proposal for the structure and content of the new 2012 -2017 Workplan. At that time, the CCs will also be invited to identify projects that they can contribute to the new Workplan in collaboration with other CCs. Final decisions will be made at the 9th Global WHO CC Network Meeting to be held March 15-17, 2012 in Cancun, Mexico. This Network Meeting precedes the 30th Congress of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), one of the three non-governmental organizations active within our CC Network.

The Planning Committee is the administrative leadership body of the WHO Global Network of CCs for Occupational Health. It provides practical input and assistance to ensure the coordinated work of the Network and progress in the commitments of the Global Network Workplan, in order to achieve the objectives of the World Health Assembly Resolutions 'Occupational Health for All' (1996) and the GPA (2008-2017). The Planning Committee consists of the members of the Advisory Committee, the Workplan GPA Managers, Regional Advisers for Occupational Health, Presidents of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in official relations with WHO (ICOH, IOHA, IEA), a representative of the ILO, the Co-Coordinators of the Network, and the WHO Secretariat. See below for a list of current Advisory Committee members and Workplan GPA managers.

Twenty-five participants attended the meeting in Oslo, including representatives of the Advisory Board, all three NGOs, all of the GPA Managers, the WHO Headquarters Secretariat and the Regional Advisors for the Western Pacific, South-East Asian, and European Offices.

The participants discussed the draft Workplan structure and agreed upon a draft structure that reduces the number of 15 Priority areas of the current 2009-2012 Workplan but continues to focus on obtaining deliverables that will advance the GPA. Follow-up activity includes completing the draft 2012-2017 Workplan for distribution in September to the CC Directors and preparation of a "Call for Collaborative Projects" that will accompany the draft Workplan. It was agreed during the meeting to strongly encourage CCs to work together to achieve products that can be useful globally or are adaptable to different country contexts. It was also agreed to solicit from the CCs their support for managerial and administrative aspects of the Network and provide the opportunity to all CCs to become more active in international work.

The Advisory Committee includes

The GPA Objective Managers for the 2009-2012 Workplan:

2009-2012 Workplan:

Global Plan of Action for Workers' Health:

30th Congress of the International Commission on Occupational Health:

More from the USA NIOSH

What Is Total Worker Health™?

Total Worker Health™ is a strategy integrating occupational safety and health protection with health promotion to prevent worker injury and illness and to advance health and well-being.

The protection, preservation, and improvement of the health and well-being of all people who work are goals shared by workers, their families, and employers. Today, more than ever, there is increasing evidence that the work environment and the overall health, safety and well-being of the workers within it are strongly connected. Diminished health and injury, whether caused by work or resulting from non-work activities, reduces quality of life, opportunity, and income for workers and those dependent upon them. Conversely, workplaces with low risk of injury and enhanced opportunities for the total health of workers can lead to a vibrant, engaged and highly performing workforce.

The "Issues Relevant to Total Worker Health™" graphic below is an at-a-glance visual of issues relevant to integrating occupational safety and health protection with health promotion. The lists below are not meant to be exhaustive, but, rather they illustrate the breadth of issues related to work that have the potential to impact health and should be considered as strategies are developed for integration of health protection and health promotion activities.

NIOSH conducts research on the integration of health protection and health promotion through both internal and external avenues. Extramurally, NIOSH funds three WorkLife Centers of Excellence dedicated to ground-breaking research, translation and best practices of integrative approaches to protecting and promoting health in the workplace. An intramural program will connect related work within NIOSH; elucidate and communicate current knowledge, successful approaches, and challenges; and promote the concepts and practices of total worker health to our partners and stakeholders.

For more information see

Do you know about... SafeWork Bookshelf?

The SafeWork Bookshelf is a collection of key OSH documents produced, in whole or in part, by the ILO. It was compiled by CIS, the information arm of the SafeWork Programme of the ILO.

The SafeWork Bookshelf consists of the following items:

The SafeWork Bookshelf is available on the Internet and on CDs, in both English and French.

CD: ISBN 92-2-119078-1, ISBN 978-92-2-119078-3

CD: ISBN 92-2-219078-5, ISBN 978-92-2-219078-2

Do literature reviews mislead?

by Blythe McLennan and John Handmer

Do literature reviews mislead end users? Our answer to this question is: yes, and often. Moreover, no one seems to be paying much attention to this fact, at least not amongst the researchers and end users involved in fire and emergency management in Australia.

We believe it's time for the humble and familiar literature review to get some direct and critical scrutiny in this sector. To help kick it off, we recently wrote a discussion paper on the topic. The paper outlines some of the problems with the traditional approach to literature reviews from both research and end user perspectives. It then discusses some of the things that other sectors are doing to move past these problems.

We'd also like to hear what others think about this issue, both researchers and end users.

As grist for the discussion mill, consider a key argument made in the discussion paper. Summarised, it is this: because of a lack of close attention to the way they are carried out, literature reviews reveal as much about the particular views and interests of the reviewer as they do about the status of current scientific knowledge.

Why is this? In large part it is a by-product of the low status that researchers (and their universities, funding agencies and publishers) assign to literature reviews. Reviews are seen as 'just' summaries of other people's work rather than as potentially important and legitimate pieces of integrative research in their own right. Because of this, the methodological attention that is demanded of all primary research is almost completely absent when it comes to literature reviews. End users might be surprised to hear that, as a general rule, researchers get very little direct training or guidance on how to review literature. It is also highly uncommon - at least in this sector - for a researcher to describe how they conducted a literature review. In our experience, when researchers do attempt to describe the methodology used to conduct a major literature review, editors, peer reviewers and end users alike consider it extraneous. We can only assume that because these parties see literature reviews as stock standard (and not 'real' research anyway) they consider the review process to be more or less self-explanatory and uniform.

But we would argue that the process of conducting a literature review is anything but standard. Most are idiosyncratic and highly selective given the amount of material they cover. In reality, a reviewer makes numerous choices about what studies to include (and exclude), and how to evaluate and integrate their findings. The underlying problem with this - one that is generally overlooked by everyone involved - is that the reviewer brings their own perspectives, knowledge and interests to bear on these choices. This influences what research is covered in the review and how it is interpreted and communicated. As a result, two reviews on the same topic conducted by two different researchers can cover different literature and reach very different conclusions.

What does this mean for end users? Most importantly, without an awareness of how a literature review was carried out and what choices the reviewer made (and why), end users have no basis for evaluating the review's quality, partiality or relevance for their own practical purposes. Without this, they have three general options. They can trust in the reviewer's perspective of what research counts; uncritically accept the review as a true, accurate and complete assessment; or regard it as a possibly interesting but generally partial and uninfluential product. Unfortunately, none of these options can substitute for the value end users can get from an informed evaluation of a thorough, well-constructed and transparent literature review.

Authors: Blythe McLennan and John Handmer, Bushfire CRC researchers at RMIT University, Australia

This is an edited text. See the full article online at:

See also: McLennan B. and Handmer, J. 2011. Reviewing research for policy making and practice: a discussion paper for the Australian emergency management industry. RMIT University and the Bushfire CRC.

News from the USA

The November issue of LIFELINES ONLINE (Vol. VIII, No. 6) is available at the LHSFNA website.

These are the headlines:

To view the stories and access our website, click Also, please note that back issues of LIFELINES ONLINE - as well as our print magazine, LIFELINES - are posted for online viewing. The LIFELINES ONLINE archive and LIFELINES archive are fully searchable, so you can find the articles that relate to your topic of interest.

As always, we look forward to your feedback and comments on our website and LIFELINES ONLINE.

Steve Clark, Communications Manager, Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America, 905 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA

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 selection of Nanotechnology websites.

Also look in for hundreds of links to authoritative and validated web sites... on a vast range of subjects... constantly updated. Arguably the biggest portal to OSH and fire websites in the world!

This collection of authoritative and validated organisations' websites are listed first alphabetically under country name and then alphabetically under the first word of the organisation. The subject index expands the information of these websites, especially where there are many important sources of information which may not be apparent from a first look at a particular web site.

If you have a favourite site which should be included in this list please email details to:

And if we do not have your web site listed in please send it to me

Nanomaterial: Definition   BELGIUM

European Commission on 18 October 2011 adopted "Recommendation on the definition of a nanomaterial". According to this Recommendation a "Nanomaterial" means: A natural, incidental or manufactured material containing particles, in an unbound state or as an aggregate or as an agglomerate and where, for 50% or more of the particles in the number size distribution, one or more external dimensions is in the size range 1 nm - 100 nm. In specific cases and where warranted by concerns for the environment, health, safety or competitiveness the number size distribution threshold of 50% may be replaced by a threshold between 1 and 50%. By derogation from the above, fullerenes, graphene flakes and single wall carbon nanotubes with one or more external dimensions below 1 nm should be considered as nanomaterials. The definition will be used primarily to identify materials for which special provisions might apply e.g. risk assessment or ingredient labelling. It is noted that those special provisions are not part of the definition but of specific legislation in which the definition will be used. There exist several pieces of EU legislation and technical guidance supporting implementation of legislation, with specific references to nanomaterials. In order to ensure conformity across legislative areas, where the same materials are often used in different contexts, the Recommendation also provides a coherent cross-cutting reference. This should help to ensure that a material which is a nanomaterial in one sector will also be treated as such when it is used in another sector. Nanomaterials are not considered to be intrinsically hazardous per se but there may be a need to take into account specific considerations in their risk assessment. A third purpose of the definition is therefore to provide clear and unambiguous criteria to identify materials for which such considerations apply. It is only the results of the risk assessment that will determine whether the nanomaterial is hazardous and whether or not further action is justified.

Nanotechnology   CANADA/USA

The GoodNanoGuide is a collaboration platform designed to enhance the ability of experts to exchange ideas on how best to handle nanomaterials in an occupational setting. It is meant to be an interactive forum that fills the need for up-to-date information about current good workplace practices, highlighting new practices as they develop.

Nanotechnology   EUROPE

This European Union sponsored Thematic Network will provide a comprehensive source of information on all areas of Nanotechnology to the business, the scientific and social communities. The main vehicle for the thematic network will be this dedicated website. Nanoforum will encompass partners from different disciplines, bring together existing national and regional networks, share best practice on dissemination national, EU-wide and Venture Capital funding to boost SME creation, provide a means for the EU to interface with networks, stimulate Nanotechnology initiatives in European underdeveloped countries, stimulate young scientists, publicises good research and form a network of knowledge and expertise. Nanoforum aims to provide a linking framework for all nanotechnology activity within the European Community. It will serve as a central location from which to gain access to and information about research programmes, technological developments, funding opportunities and future activities in nanotechnology within the community.

Nanotechnology   LUXEMBOURG

European Commission portal to Nanotechnology and NanoForum and links to other related sites.

Nanotechnology   Luxembourg

The European Commission has adopted an European Union (EU) strategy to help Europe become world leader in the rapidly developing field of nanotechnology, the science of the infinitely small. The Communication, Towards a European strategy for nanotechnology ( provides a series of recommendations and initiatives on how to strengthen European research and development (R&D) in the field and help turn nanotechnologies into commercially viable products for the benefit of society. Key actions include boosting R&D investment and infrastructure, improving training for research personnel, enhancing technology transfer in Europe and its financing, taking into account the impact of nanotechnology on society and increasing international co-operation towards a responsible approach to nanotechnology R&D globally. Scientific investigation and assessment of possible health or environmental risks associated with nanotechnology need to accompany the R&D and technological progress. Some dedicated studies are underway to assess the potential risks, which are also examined within FP6 IPs and NEs projects in the field of nanotechnology. In particular, nanoparticles might behave in unexpected ways due to their small size. They may present special challenges, for example, in terms of production, disposal, handling, storage and transport.

Nanotechnology   SWEDEN

Swedish Chemicals Inspectorate - KEMI has produced a report Nanotechnology - large risks with tiny particles? released on 31 October 2007 that warns firms developing nanotechnologies that they must take a precautionary approach to the sector to prevent environment and health risks. 'Companies should apply special precautions in the development and use of nanomaterials,' Kemi said, because of the 'rapid development in this area and the great lack of knowledge about risks.' Though the sector is covered by legislation, Kemi said in many cases nanomaterials used in finished products will fall through the chemical safety assessment net being introduced in the EU's new Reach chemical policy. Governments will need to 'complement the EU regulatory framework for nanomaterials,' including on the way companies must test for health and environmental effects, it said. Kemi proposes to hold a conference during Sweden's EU presidency in 2009 on how nanotechnology should be dealt with by legislation. Ethel Forsberg, director-general of Kemi, said: 'The combination of the rapid development in the area of nanotechnology and the lack of knowledge concerning the risks to humans and the environment is worrying. A strategy for nanotechnology, which includes research on health and environmental risks, needs to be devised without delay.' The report is in Swedish but has an English summary. Kemi news release and report (PDF).

Nanotechnology   UK

Hazards Magazine website for nanotechnology- which is engineering on a very small scale. Presents warnings and links to other sites.

Nanotechnology   UK

Health and Safety Executive Protecting workers during manufacture of nanomaterials

Nanotechnology   UK

Nanoparticles are the end products of a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological processes, some of which are new and radically different, others of which are quite commonplace. Nanoparticles: an occupational hygiene review RR274 from the UK Health and Safety Laboratories reviews processes for the deliberate development and manufacture of nanoparticles products and has considered sources and routes of exposure, levels of exposure, numbers exposed, knowledge gaps and future trends. It also states that current knowledge is insufficient for risk assessment purposes. There is little evidence to suggest that worker exposure arising from the production of nanoparticles has been adequately assessed.

Nanotechnology   UK

In June 2003 the UK Government commissioned the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK national academy of engineering, to carry out an independent study of likely developments and whether nanotechnology raises or is likely to raise new ethical, health and safety or social issues which are not covered by current regulation. 'Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties' - was published on 29 July 2004. The report illustrates the fact that nanotechnologies offer many benefits both now and in the future but that public debate is needed about their development. It also highlights the immediate need for research to address uncertainties about the health and environmental effects of nanoparticles - one small area of nanotechnologies. It also makes recommendations about regulation to control exposure to nanoparticles.

Nanotechnology   UK

Institute of Physics nano technology site contains news, features, opinion, events and links.

Nanotechnology   USA

The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded centre at Rice University USA. Aiming to transform nanoscience into a field with the impact of a modern-day polymer science, CBEN focuses on research at the interface between "dry" nanomaterials and aqueous media such as biology and the environment, developing the nanoscience workforce of the future, and transferring discoveries to industry. Scientific, public, and governmental interest in the health and environmental effects of nanomaterials has grown significantly since 2003. This web page is designed to provide a set of resources to help those interested keep up to date on this subject.

Nanotechnology   USA

The International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) is an organization whose activities are broadly supported by industry, non-profit foundations, and governments. Based at Rice University, USA, the ICON is a currently an affiliates program of the United States National Science Foundation's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology. ICON has launched an online database of scientific findings related to the benefits and risks of nanotechnology. The ICON Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) database contains summaries (abstracts) and citations for research papers related to the EHS implications of nanoscale materials. The ICON has issued a request for proposals for best practices for nanotechnology safety.

Nanotechnology   USA

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH nanotechnology pages. The past decade has seen intense interest in developing technologies based on the unique behaviour of nanometer-scale (nanoscale) structures, devices and systems, leading to the rapidly expanding and highly diverse field of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is somewhat loosely defined, although in general terms it covers engineered structures, devices and systems that have a length scale of 1 - 100 nanometers. Workers within nanotechnology-related industries have the potential to be exposed to uniquely engineered materials with novel sizes, shapes and physical and chemical properties, at levels far exceeding ambient concentrations. To understand the impact of these exposures on health, and how best to devise appropriate exposure monitoring and control strategies, much research is still needed. Until a clearer picture emerges, the limited evidence available would suggest caution when potential exposures to nanoparticles may occur. The web pages give links, resources, guidance and advice.

Nanotechnology - implications for health and safety   UK

HSE Horizon Scanning Short Report - SR002 on the implications of nanotechnology on health and safety.

Diary of Events

These events may inspire you to create similar training courses and conferences/seminars in your own country.

These are taken from the OSHWORLD Diary of Events see which is intended as a guide to the wide range of Health, Safety, Fire, Chemical, Environment events, conferences, seminars, training courses and other related activities worldwide. It is updated during the first week of the month, and includes validated Internet links to further information. If you cannot attend these events the organisers are usually willing to let you have papers and other information, if you contact them.

5-6 December 2011 - Health and Safety Training for Managers and Supervisors
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Contact: Diane Dunlop, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS), 135 Hunter Street East, Hamilton ON L8N 1M5, Canada| Tel: +1 905 572-2981 x 4518 | Fax: (905) 572-2206 | Email: |

5-6 December 2011 - The Canadian Electrical Code and Electrical Safety Conference Series
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact: Canadian Standards Association (CSA), 5060 Spectrum Wa, Suite 100, Mississauga ON L4W 5N, Canada | Tel: 416-747-4209 or 1-800-463-6727 | Fax: 416-747-2510 | Email: |

5-6 December 2011 - ECETOC scientific workshop on 'Epigenetics and chemical safety'
Rome, Italy
Contact: Attendance is by invitation only; interested parties should contact the ECETOC Secretariat |

6-7 December 2011 - Keeping Current on the Latest Developments in Occupational Health & Safety - INFONEX Conference
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Contact: INFONEX INC., 145 Berkeley Street, Suite 200, Toronto ON M5A 2X1, Canada | Tel: +1 416.971.4177 or 1.800.474.4829 | Fax: 1.800.558.6520 | Email: |
Readers may also wish to take a free trial of FIREINF and OSH UPDATE

7-8 December 2011 Tank Storage Expo and Conference
Kuala Lumpur Conference Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact: Nike Ajibode | Tel: +44 (0) 203002 9117 | Email:

7-10 December 2011 - 34th International Conference of Safety in Mines Research Institutes
Themes: Rescue and Disaster Management; Safety engineering and management; Mine environment and occupational health
New Delhi, India
Contact: Department of Mining Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India | Email: |

15 December 2011 - Building Leadership and Technical Capability in High-Hazards Operations
IChemE offices, One Portland Place, London, UK
Contact: Organiser: IChemE and BP, Gemma Jones | Tel: +44 (0)1788 534423 | Email: |

15-16 December 2011 - Incident Investigation and Organisational Learning Seminar
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
As part of the Amsterdam Process Safety Seminar Series, AEL in cooperation with CCPS will be holding a two day seminar on incident investigation as it applies to process safety.
Read More:
Readers may also wish to take a free trial of FIREINF and OSH UPDATE

31 January 2012 - 1 February 2012 - International Conference on Process Safety Performance Indicators - "Safety In Numbers"
Brussels, Belgium
Contact: European Chemical Industry Council and the European Process Safety Centre |
Readers may also wish to take a free trial of FIREINF and OSH UPDATE

7 February 2012 - FIRE/Gore Roadshows on Firefighter Safety
Stirling Management Centre, Stirling, Scotland
Contact: Jan Poole, Fire Magazine | Email: |

20-22 February 2012 - International Petroleum (IP) Week 2012, 'New frontiers, new future'
Park Plaza Riverbank, London, UK
Readers may also wish to take a free trial of FIREINF and OSH UPDATE

6-7 March 2012 - Health and safety: Changing perceptions, the IOSH 2012 Annual Conference
Manchester Central, Manchester, UK

18-23 March 2012 - 10th International Congress on Occupational Health - Occupational Health for All: From Research to Practice
Cancun, Mexico

1-4 April 2012 - 8th Global Congress on Process Safety
Houston, Texas, USA
Contact: AICHE |

2-4 April 2012 - INRS Occupational Health Research Conference: Health risks associ­ated with mixed exposures
Palais des Congrès, 17/19 rue du Grand Rabbin Haguenauer, 54000 Nancy, France
Contact: Institut National de Re­cherche et de Sécurité (INRS) in association with PEROSH |

6-19 April 2012 - Ergonomics & Human Factors 2012
Blackpool, UK

16-19 April 2012 - The Lift Show
ExCeL London, UK
Contact: Bob Hudson, Room 13 Ltd, The White House, 2 Sevenoaks Road, Borough Green, Kent TN15 8BB, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1732 886716 | Email: |

24-26 April 2012 - OH2012 - BOHS Occupational Hygiene 2012
Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff, UK
Contact: British Occupational Hygiene Society | Tel: +44(0)1332 250713 |
Readers may also wish to take a free trial of FIREINF and OSH UPDATE

24-27 April 2012 - The Nordic Work life balance: A trap or opportunity (6202)
Oslo, Norway
Contact Mia Latta, Director, PhD Nordic Institute for Advanced Training in Occupational Health (NIVA), Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 30 4741 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497

21-23 May 2012: 2nd international Conference on Well being and Work
Manchester, UK
Contact: Local Organising Committee is at the Health and Safety Laboratory, a PEROSH member institute | Email: |

29 May - 1 June 2012 Seafarers' Fitness and Emergency Situations Aboard Ships
Nantali Spa, Nantali, Finland
Contact Mia Latta, Director, PhD Nordic Institute for Advanced Training in Occupational Health (NIVA), Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 30 4741 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497

3-6 June 2012 - CISAP-5 - Fifth International Conference on Safety and Environment in Process Industry
Milan, Italy
Contact: Italian Association of Chemical Engineering (AIDIC) Working Group for Safety and Environment in the Process Industry (CISAP) |

4-6 June 2012 - Occupational health services in transition (6201)
Helsinki, Finland
Contact Mia Latta, Director, PhD Nordic Institute for Advanced Training in Occupational Health (NIVA), Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland | Tel: +358 30 4741 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497

12-13 June 2012 - Incident Live 2012
Milbrook Proving Ground, Bedford, UK
Contact: Jan Poole, Fire Magazine | Email: |

18-22 June 2012 - ACHEMA 2012: Three Yearly Trade Fair for the Chemical and Process Industry
Frankfurt, Germany
Readers may also wish to take a free trial of FIREINF and OSH UPDATE

All good wishes to all readers of the CIS Newsletter over the years... you will be able to find much of the same type information in the Editorials, Focus articles, news, events, websites in