Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

March 2002

News from the UK

Safety implications of Internet Technology

A research report highlighting the safety implications inherent in the industrial uses of the Internet and related technologies has been published by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Nowadays, the technology to allow connection of manufacturing and control systems to the Internet is easily available and cheap to install, but there is little evidence that adequate consideration has been given to the security and stability of these devices and systems. The HSE commissioned Tessella Support Services plc to outline these safety implications, concentrating on the current use of technology.

Although the study raises no fundamentally new safety issues in the uptake of Internet technology, its enhanced functionality and reduced costs mean that complex implementations are now more practical, and safety and security measures need to be thoroughly addressed. This would involve, in the context of safety issues, analysis of system, hardware, software and human factor issues.

Key to HSE's technical strategy is the international standard IEC 61508 'Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems'. Internet-related technical matters can be handled within this strategy, which offers a systematic approach to the safety of complex systems.

In the report, it is noted that the quality of publicised safety-related data varies and is potentially dangerous. Network integrity is paramount in any Internet-based system that is used for control and automation, where a breach could have serious safety repercussions. The best advice for protecting a system from hacker intrusion is to separate the networks for the plant control and business infrastructure.

With Internet technology such that a safety-related process can be moved to an Internet-based solution in a very short time, the report concludes that, "Adequate planning and management is needed to ensure that no essential safety aspects of the new process are overlooked."

Copies of Safety implications of industrial uses of internet technology (CRR 408/2002), ISBN 0-7176-2268-1, price £10, are available from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA UK, Tel: +44(0) 1787 881165 or Fax: +44 (0)1787 313995. CRR 408/2002 is also available on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_pdf/2002/crr02408.pdf

News from Europe

"Start young - stay safe" is the message from the European Agency

Safety and health education needs to begin at school... This is one of the really good pieces of news received this month......

We need to teach children to live and work safely. This was the key conclusion of a European seminar on occupational safety and health and education, held in Bilbao on 4-5 March 2002.

The world can be a dangerous place and it's never too soon to get that message across, even to very young children. It's also a process that should continue throughout their schooldays and beyond. Starting young means that children are more likely to be able to tackle safety and health risks in later life, according to experts at the seminar, which was jointly organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and the Spanish Presidency of the European Union (EU).

The seminar on occupational safety and health and education 'Learning about OSH' brought together experts from across Europe to look at a wide range of national experiences and practices and stimulate debate on the mainstreaming of OSH into education policies and practices. Mainstreaming aims to make risk management principles and 'OSH thinking' an intrinsic part of the way decisions are made and actions taken by managers and workers.

Young people are not sufficiently prepared to meet health risks at work. Recent European research indicates that young people aged between 18 and 24 are 1.4 times more likely than the average worker to suffer a work-related accident.

If that statistic is to be improved, learning about health and safety – 'risk education' – needs to begin right at the start of a child's education. Children should be made aware of what's dangerous in their environment -at home, at school, and at play and what they can do to help both themselves and those around them to stay safe.

As children grow up, teachers and parents can reinforce and help them develop their knowledge of health and safety issues helping prepare them for the world of work.

Teachers will need resources and skills to pass on the knowledge to children, and so will parents if they are to provide support outside the classroom. Clear, common goals need to be established between ministries and other key organisations, including the social partners, to ensure that learning about safety and health forms part of all levels of education and training.

At European level, the new EU occupational health and safety strategy could provide a major framework for developing education and training on workplace health and safety as part of a prevention culture. Existing European funds could to a higher degree be used to support this goal.

The Spanish Minister of Employment and Social Affairs, Mr Juan Carlos Aparicio, during his closing speech, highlighted: "We cannot talk about health at work as a social reality if we only think about it when we need it or when an accident happens. We have to integrate the value of health at work in a steady and progressive way. Therefore it is essential that this is part of education, from primary school onwards".

Agency Director, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky commented: "Too many young people enter the world of work without sufficient knowledge of the health risks they are going to face. If children are made aware of health and safety issues at an early age, they're much more likely to successfully manage such risks in later life. The message from this seminar is clear - "start young, stay safe".

Contact: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Via 33, E-48009 Bilbao, Spain | email: information@osha.eu.int | fax: +34 94 479 4383 | http://osha.europa.eu

News from the UK

HSE publishes revised advice on first aid at work

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revised "Basic advice on first aid at work", which will now be available in both leaflet and poster formats in line the latest recommendations on first aid practice from the Resuscitation Council (UK).

Together with a revised version of the poster "Electric shock first aid procedures", the new publications have been designed for easy display purposes and to assist first aiders. In addition, as part of their legal requirement, employers can meet duties set out under the 1981 Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations of assessing their first aid needs and providing adequate facilities, equipment and personnel in the workplace.

The revised guidance will help first aiders in minimising the consequence of injury and illness of people in the work-place until expert help can be obtained. The information not only covers how to resuscitate a casualty, but how to deal with severe bleeding and treatment of broken bones, burns and eye injuries.

The electric shock poster also advises on breaking the contact between an electrical source and a casualty, making the area safe before administering first aid.

Dr Richard Elliott of HSE's Health Directorate commented,

"The revised publications are not a substitute for effective training in first aid. However, they will serve as helpful reminders to qualified first aiders of the essential steps to follow in an emergency. Appropriate and timely action in an emergency can save lives."

Copies of all three publications are available from HSE Books and the leaflet is also available via the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg347.pdf

Copies of the leaflets can be obtained at the following:

All available from: HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA (Tel: 01787 881165; Fax: 01787 313995).

News from the USA

US NIOSH Electrical Safety .......
safety and health for electrical trades: Student Manual

Occupational safety and health training remains a fundamental element of hazard control in the workplace, and there is a great potential to reduce these incidents through pre-employment training. Effective pre-employment training should include realistic environments and hands-on exercises. However, the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that actual employment in the electrical trades or any other construction trades be delayed until individuals reach a minimum age of 18.

This student manual is part of a safety and health curriculum for secondary and post-secondary electrical trades courses. The manual is designed to engage the learner in recognising, evaluation and controlling hazards associated with electrical work. It was developed through extensive research with vocational instructors.

The contents cover: Electricity is dangerous; dangers of electrical shock, burns caused by electricity and a first aid fact sheet; overview of the safety model - what must done to be safe; recognising hazards; evaluating hazards; controlling hazards: safe work environment and safe work practices. There is a glossary of terms and the 77 page book is well illustrated.

Electrical Safety ....... safety and health for electrical trades: Student Manual
is available from US NIOSH Publications Dissemination, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati OH 45226 1998, USA

Tel: +1 800 356 4674 | Fax: +1 513 533 8573 | email: pubstaft@cdc.gov | web: www.cdc.gov/niosh

News from the USA

Fire Fighters exposed to electrical hazards during wildland fire operations

Among the various hazards fire fighters face are electrical hazards during wildland fire suppression activities. The contents list a number of dangerous occurrences e.g.:

The leaflet gives a couple of case studies and further reading.
It is available from US NIOSH Publications Dissemination, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati OH 45226 1998, USA | Tel: +1 800 356 4674 | Fax: +1 513 533 8573 | email: pubstaft@cdc.gov | web: www.cdc.gov/niosh | more fire information available on www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire

News from Japan

23-25 October 2002 National Congress on Occupational Safety and Health
Marine Messe Fukuoka, Fukuoka City, Japan

Contact: International Cooperation Dept., Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association, 5-35-1 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014 Japan | Tel & Fax: +81-3-3454-4596 | Email: kokusai@jisha.or.jp

News from the UK

Bad jobs, bad pay and bad prospects can mean a bad strain

An HSE-funded review of the relationship between aspects of work, inequality and musculoskeletal health has found that most factors related to socio-economic disadvantage also carry with them a heightened risk of work-related strains - probably. The authors of Work, inequality and musculoskeletal health, top ergonomists from the University of Surrey, concluded that a lack of research made reaching firm conclusions difficult. The authors say there should be more resources for studies using participatory ergonomics approaches to investigate: Effectiveness of health information and education at the workplace and techniques to compensate for low levels of education; how social support at work is used and ways of providing additional support in order to reduce inequalities that may result for example from having a low status job; effects of different job contract terms like temporary employment or piecework on health; research on non-work related inequalities in health; and on improved design guidance to!

The report Work, inequality and musculoskeletal health, HSE Contract Research Report CRR 421/2002 is available on the HSE web site www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_htm/2002/crr02421.htm

News from the UK

Mark a parcel, save a back' Manual Handling Leaflet

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a free leaflet on how to prevent manual handling injuries among parcel workers. The leaflet gives advice on good practice and sources of further reading for employers in the parcels industry and to organisations that despatch parcels. Copies of 'Mark a parcel, save a back', ISBN 0-7176-2275-4, are available, single copies free, or priced £5.00 for a pack of 20, from HSE Books on (Tel) + 44 (0)1787 881165 , or (Fax) +44 (0)1787 313995.

News from Canada

New resources on the Web: A readily available guide on the safe use of isocyanates

The Canadian Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) have launched a new on-line guide on isocyanates, available at www.irsst.qc.ca. This guide groups together the know-how and most of the knowledge developed since 1986 on the management of risks associated with the use of isocyanates.

Comprehensive information and simple language
Research on isocyanates has been a topic of concern for the IRSST over the past fifteen years. Isocyanates are chemical substances used in making products such as automobile paints and which cause sensitivities that may lead to asthma attacks among exposed workers. The guide clearly reflects most of the knowledge acquired over the years from research conducted by the IRSST, a leader renowned worldwide for its expertise in the field. The content of the guide is in keeping with the realities and prevailing regulations in North America. Easy to consult, this guide offers a diversified content that answers the most frequently asked questions concerning the various types of isocyanates, current usage, effects on health, individual protective equipment, etc. It deals in detail with such issues such as ventilation, spills, decontamination, substitution and training, in a clear and simple language.

Reference tool
The pooling of the results of research performed by the IRSST and other research organizations has made it possible to develop the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide so far. "We are very proud of this new window which showcases the products of scientific research. The diversity and scope of its content and the rigour and simplicity of its information make this guide a unique reference tool, where everybody can obtain complete and high-quality information on isocyanates easily and free of charge," said IRSST Chief Executive Officer, Jean Yves Savoie. Indeed, this guide addresses the concerns of not only occupational health and safety (OHS) stakeholders, but also business owners, employees, suppliers of protective equipment and a broader clientele that shows an interest in OHS matters. Many national and international collaborators from the occupational health and scientific research communities participated in the development of this guide. As for the technical implementation of the project, it went to the company Kemika XXI, whose mission is to provide value-added knowledge, information and expert advice on chemical products and their governing laws, regulations and standards.