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Editorial

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Action plan for a Europe free from Asbestos – More than 300,000 asbestos deaths expected in Europe by 2030

July 2015
Sheila Pantry OBE

Asbestos continues to be a problem that still produces deaths and related diseases every year in Europe, despite being banned since 2005. Thus, ‘Freeing Europe safely from asbestos’ was the motto of a conference held on 24 June 2015 by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR), as an encounter not only to make an overview of the strategy and planned actions, but to demand compensation for the victims and define which are the most appropriate public policies to protect European citizens from this risk, and the steps that need to be taken to reduce it over the coming years. This event was a follow-up action to the EESC’s Opinion on Asbestos which was published in February 2015.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), between 20,000 and 30 000 cases of asbestos-related diseases are recorded every year in the EU alone, and more than 300 000 citizens are expected to die from mesothelioma by 2030 in the EU. This places asbestos related deaths at a comparable level to those expected to result from road accidents during the same period.

Asbestos is still found in many places, such as ships, trains, machinery, tunnels and in pipes in public and private water distribution networks. Asbestos was used extensively in buildings erected between 1961 and 1990, with millions of tonnes still present in buildings, not only putting building and maintenance workers at risk but potentially anybody present or occupying the property. Over 80% of schools in one country alone, the United Kingdom, still contain asbestos and even its national parliament is not immune. Also alarming is the emerging risk for everyday consumers associated with imported consumer and other products containing asbestos which are slipping through EU Market Surveillance controls.

In order to protect public health, the EESC Opinion urges the European Commission to develop action plans for asbestos removal and management which could cost between 10-15 billion Euros per country for some of the larger EU countries, based on two countries’ estimates, and to establish a clear link between safe removal of asbestos and energy efficiency renovation of buildings.

OSH UPDATE + FIRE – key tool to all your health and safety information requirements

This time of the year is a good time for all organisations worldwide to review their health and safety goals and decide on the training or re-training that is needed for all levels of staff and update their information resources.

Check out these successful efforts that are in OSH UPDATE + FIRE and introduce them into your workplace!

It is always good to keep researching and finding out if there are services and other ways of keeping up-to-date in this fast changing world of ours. Time is precious and many people are really stretched in their jobs and find it difficult to keep ahead in current knowledge that they should have for their jobs. So help is at hand for those working in health, safety and fire and fire related industries which are brought together in an easy to use web service entitled OSH UPDATE + FIRE www.oshupdate.com that is constantly updated.

Then try these long established Practical, Affordable Solutions for your health, safety, fire and environment information needs from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.

For a 15 DAY FREE NO OBLIGATION TRIAL contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | email: sp@sheilapantry.com | or fill in the Interest form www.sheilapantry.com/interest.html

FOCUS

This month’s OSHWORLD FOCUS The UK Health and Safety Executive launches new workplace health expert committee.

OSHWORLD – your portal to some of the best OSH web sites in the world

It is always good to review health, safety, chemical, fire and environment procedures on a regular basis. It is also important that the practices and systems in the workplace are constantly reviewed and if necessary, improved. This review may also indicate training requirements and updates and re-thinking how systems and services can be improved. This is where the free-of-charge OSHWORLD can help you.

In these days of tighter budgets perhaps training may be put on the “back-burner” – but think again how you can keep up with the latest techniques and training opportunities. So look at the latest additions to the Diary of Events and you will see plans have been made already worldwide up to the end of 2015 and beyond to have training courses, symposiums and conferences in many places in the world on a wide range of subjects.

Remember that even if you cannot attend these many events, speakers and organisers are often willing to share their knowledge. Look at the details – where possible, we add in the web sites of these events so you can request further information.

And do let me know if you are organising any OSHE events so that I can add them to the Diary.

Resources

In addition to the above we hope that you find the information in OSHWORLD useful in your daily work. Globally there are continually new titles, news items, new products so remember to look at the News to find the latest information from a number of worldwide sources.

Use OSHWORLD as your portal to many hundreds of validated and authoritative web sites that you can find in the Country and Subject links we offer. New subject topics are constantly brought together on web sites, e.g. avian flu and the workplace.

Most information services have a reference shelf where you can quickly check the reference sources – so OSHWORLD brings you a collection of Reference sources and also teaches you how to Search the Internet.

Click onto the various Bookshops to order any new document as they are being published. Many of these Bookshops have a constant stream of new titles available.

Please send any suggestions or comments about OSHWORLD – your portal to validated and authoritative information. Remember also to look at our other really useful sites – www.sheilapantry.com and why not make a free entry about your company’s products in www.shebuyersguide.com.

Don’t work harder – work smarter! Be ahead of the game.

Are you aiming to have a zero accident, incident-free and healthy year in 2015 in your workplace? Some would argue that this is not possible! But keep on trying in 2015!