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November 2003

European Work Equipment legislation

The complex tangled web of directives, regulations and standards that form the body of European and Irish work equipment legislation are drawn together in one volume by the author John Munro.

Munro, drawing on his skills as an engineer and on years of experience as an expert witness in court cases, answers the many questions that perplex safety practitioners, as they try to untangle the regulatory web that is work equipment law. Any book that deals with CE certification, the Machinery Regulations, the Pressure Equipment Regulations, the Low Voltage Regulations, electromagnetic capability and control systems - and sets these in the context of health and safety legislation and risk assessment - must itself of necessity be complex.

European Work Equipment Legislation 2003 is long (over 600 pages), but for anyone who has to deal with the design, manufacture or purchase of work equipment, it is an essential reference book. Introducing the book, the author sets himself the task of bringing "this large amount of legislation together under one cover", dissecting it and then reproducing it "in a format that the reader can easily digest and put into place within the workplace". How he deals with that self-imposed task can be assessed by considering some of the issues he covers.

Many 'end users' bring machinery into the country specifically for their own use. Munro notes that some end users are of the opinion that if they engage a manufacturer to construct a piece of equipment for their own use, that it is not placed on the market and is therefore exempt from CE certification. They are wrong - it should be CE certified. And for good measure Munro explains that if the equipment is not CE compliant, then in such circumstances the person who first put the equipment into use is responsible for ensuring CE compliance.

Standards

Throughout the text, Munro draws the reader's attention to the relevant standards. Dealing with the compliance requirements of the General Application 1993 Regulations Fifth Schedule, when commenting on paragraph nine (dealing with areas for working on or maintenance of work equipment) he links in standards such as:- EN 1837:1999 on lighting for equipment - ISO 292 on the principles of visual ergonomics - EN 292 on the safety of machinery.

Equally usefully, in relation to work equipment parts at high or very low temperatures, which employees must not come into contact with, he says "this speaks for itself in that any surface temperature over 55 degrees is suspect as would any temperature under 2 degrees" be for "fractional contact". In the light of recent reports regarding pending claims, in which it is alleged that workers have suffered injury because of either whole body or hand-arm vibration, the pages on vibration measurement will be of interest to many safety practitioners. This is just one of the health issues covered in the book. Others include noise and radiation. It is now accepted that risk assessment is at the heart of any good safety management system.

Risk Assessment

Munro's chapter on risk assessment again links this statutory requirement to standards, such as EN 954-1:1996 relating to safety parts of control systems. He also deals in detail with eight different types of risk assessment referred to in EN 1050. The chapter on risk assessment contains an invaluable set of sample risk assessments. Indeed one of the valuable features of the book are the many checklists, such as that in Table 10, which lists a wide range of occupations and notes the agent that can cause occupational asthma to those in such occupations.

European Work Equipment Legislation is not a book to sit down and read for a quick overview. Rather, the book is one that any safety practitioner who has to advise on the purchase/acquisition of work equipment should have to hand for reference purposes. The great value of the book lies in the fact that the author breaks new ground, as he deals comprehensively with a subject that presents difficult and complex issues.

Although written for Work Equipment users in Ireland the book will be useful for anyone who uses, imports or manufactures workplace equipment. The book is clearly laid out, with tables, flow charts, illustrations and 15 page index. It has 12 chapters under the following headings:

Legislation covering Council Directives, Primary and Secondary Legislation, Codes of Practice, Harmonised Standards (ENs), other standards and Responsibilities; CE Certification; current National Regulations, machinery Regulations ... Implementing Directive 98/37/EC; Pressure Equipment Regulations; European Approval Materials; Low Voltage Regulations... and EN 60204-1: 1998; Simple Pressure Vessel Regulations; Electromagnetic Compatibility; Risk Assessment - including Types of Risk Assessment, "What if" scenario, Failure Mode, Fault Tree Analysis, Hazard Risk Number (HRN), Hazard Operability Studies (HAZOP), Job Safety Analysis (JSA); Control Systems - Safety Related parts - EN 954-1; Harmonised Standards includes Safety of Machinery - General [EN 292]; Safety of Machinery - Electrical [EN 60204]: Guards [EN 953] and other EN Standard.

There is a chapter entitled The Technical File that cover Press 60 Tonne, Packaging Machinery, Bending/Forming Machine, Separator Machine and Crimping Machine.

European Work Equipment Legislation 2003, by John Munro. Published by Munro-Scotway & Associates Ltd.
Available from: Munro-Scotway & Associates Ltd, Blackhall, Clane, County Kildare, Ireland | Tel: +353 45 861 282 | Fax: +353 45 861 911 | Email: jgmfirst@eircom.net | www.cecertification.com

Keystone VS-11 Vision Screener for Display Screen Equipment DSE users, Drivers and improved performance and safety at work

The Keystone Vision Screener simply, yet accurately, tests distance, middle distance/display screen range, near vision, depth perception, binocular, colour, side field of vision and low light vision. All tests can be given with any
spectacles normally worn to verify that existing glasses are suitable.

Available from Warwick-Evans Optical Co Ltd, specialist in vision screeners since 1960, the Keystone Vision Screener gives simply, yet accurately, tests distance, middle distance/display screen range, near Complete command of all test operations is at your fingertips with the VS-II remote control unit. By pressing appropriate buttons on the compact panel, the stereo test may be advanced, Near or Far test distance being selected, either of the subject's eyes occluded, and the Peripheral vision test target lamps selectively lit. Suitable for either desktop or handheld operation, the control unit measures a scant 11.2x15x2.5 cm (4 1/2"x6"x1") and weighs only 225gm (8 ounces). It is connected to the VS-II with a 84 cm (33") cable to give the examiner location flexibility.

Contact: Warwick-Evans Optical Co Ltd, 22 Palace Road, Bounds Green, London N11 2PS, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 208 - 888 - 0051 | Fax: +44 (0) 208 - 888 - 9055 | sales@keystonevision.com | www.keystonevision.com

The European Foundation is paving the road to enlargement: longer working hours, higher physical risk in acceding and candidate countries

Workers in the acceding and candidate countries (ACC) work longer hours in less service-related industries than their European Union (EU) counterparts, with higher exposure to various physical risk factors such as dangerous substances, fumes and noise. These are some of the conclusions that can be drawn from the wide-ranging report 'Working conditions in the acceding and candidate countries', published recently by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

'The survey provides a first comprehensive overview of working conditions in the 13 acceding and candidate countries, using the same methodology as in the previous European working conditions surveys carried out by the Foundation in 1990, 1995 and 2000,' says Willy Buschak, Acting Director of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, the Dublin-based EU-agency providing data and analysis on socio-economic issues in Europe. 'The report is the first in a series of Foundation publications and events over the coming months, aimed at increasing knowledge, data and analysis on living and working conditions in the new enlarged Europe. A comprehensive report based on the survey of living conditions in the ACC will be published in February 2004. A conference to promote social dialogue as a tool for conflict resolution in the ACC will take place in March. The results of the 28-country pan-European Quality of Life monitoring initiative will also be available in May 2004.'

The average working week in the ACC is 44.4 hours per week compared to the EU average of 38.2. One in five the workforce in the ACC is involved in agriculture, compared to only one in 20 in the EU. Considerably fewer people in the ACC (47%) are employed in the services sector than in the EU (66%). 51% of the workforce in the ACC is over
the age of 40, compared to 47% in the current EU Member States. Some 40% of ACC workers believe their health and safety is at risk due to work, compared to only 27% in the EU.

The results of this survey offer an important first and unique comparative insight into working conditions in these countries. The findings provide a positive input to the socio-economic policies for the new enlarged European Union and will serve as a basis for monitoring trends in working conditions in an enlarged Europe. The Foundation's fourth European working conditions survey, planned for early 2005, will cover working conditions in the 25 EU Member States as well as candidate countries and selected third countries.

The survey is based on face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of a total of 11,000 workers: 1000 workers in each country, apart from Malta and Cyprus where 500 persons were interviewed.

The full report is available for downloading in the following languages: EN, FR, LT, BG, CS, ET, HU, SK, PL, SL, TR, RO, and LV, at www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/htmlfiles/ef0306.htm

Further information regarding this press release or any other information from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, please contact Mr. Måns Mårtensson, press officer, at Tel: +353-1-204 3124 | mobile: +353-876-593 507 | e-mail: press.officer@eurofound.eu.int

Keep up with news from the European Foundation in http://eurofound.europa.eu/news

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World of Work... the magazine of the International Labour Office ILO

The latest edition of The World of Work No. 48 2003 contains a range of topics from: Working out of poverty; New ILO study highlights labour trends worldwide, new publications and news from around the world.

World of Work is published four times per year in Chinese, Czech, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish and Swedish

Contact: The World of Work, ILO Department of Communications, CH 1211, Geneva 22. Switzerland | Tel: + 41 22 799 7912 | Fax: +41 22 799 8577 | www.ilo.org

November 2003 - US National Health Skin Month

The latest (November 2003) e-Newsletter from the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health contains a range of subjects including:

The American Academy of Dermatology has designated November as National Healthy Skin Month. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational skin diseases are the second most common type of occupational disease. In 2001, there were approximately 39,000 reported cases of occupational skin disease; accounting for about 12% of all occupational diseases. It is a pervasive problem that affects every kind of workplace from factories and repair shops to hospitals and farm fields. Continuing advancements in science provide more and better tools for identifying and preventing these disorders. They also can help us better assess and address the role of skin absorption as a pathway for toxic chemicals to enter the body. This issue of eNews focuses on NIOSH research and surveillance efforts to develop and use such tools vigorously and strategically.

Field and Laboratory Research Focused on Skin Exposure
NIOSH research on skin exposure combines field studies with basic science laboratory testing to develop new methods for measuring exposure and new technologies for preventing those exposures. Research includes identifying ways to prevent auto mechanics' dermal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; developing better techniques to measure beryllium particles contaminating the skin surface and to determine the extent of skin penetration by these particles; developing prediction models for chemical penetration through the skin; and relating skin sensitization potential to molecular structure using quantitative structure activity relationships (QSARs).

Health Hazard Evaluations Focused on Skin Exposure
NIOSH conducts Health Hazard Evaluations (HHEs) at the request of employees and employers concerned about health hazards in their workplace. From October 1999 to January 2002, NIOSH conducted 215 skin related HHEs, including paper mill workers with dermatitis from biocides and microbes in paper pulp and dermatitis in workers who handle and package vegetables. As an example of the value of HHEs for identifying and addressing emerging workplace health concerns, NIOSH conducted an HHE at the request of the Senate Sergeant at Arms and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives regarding staff concerns about handling irradiated mail following the anthrax attacks of 2001. To view the HHE Reports, go to www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe

Also includes:

This publication is available on www.cdc.gov/niosh/enews/enewsV1N7.html

The European Agency .... Systems and programmes: Improving occupational safety and health in SMEs: examples of effective assistance

This publication presents an overview of 18 initiatives and programmes carried out in 14 Member States and include a broad variety of good practice examples, from well-known concepts to innovative schemes, covering national, regional and sectoral levels. These voluntary initiatives are aimed at different target groups, support enterprises in campaigning as well as carrying out risk assessment, or provide guidance for specific occupations or expert assistance. They also address a wide range of risk factors

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Systems and programmes - Improving occupational safety and health in SMEs: examples of effective assistance. 2003. ISBN 92 91919 0430

available from: Office of the Official Publications, Luxembourg.

Keep up with news from the European Agency http://osha.europa.eu

News from France ... INRS latest report

The latest annual review of the activities of the Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité pour la prévention des accidents du travail et des maladies professionnelle (INRS) has been published. The review covers the activities undertaken over the course of the year with key indicators for information, training, assistance, studies and research. It highlights areas and themes that the Institute attached particular to and was heavily involved in. New features include:

To obtain a copy in English contact
INRS, Centre de Paris
| 30 rue Olivier Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14 | Tel: (33) (0)1 40 44 30 00 | Fax: (33) (0)1 40 44 30 99 | www.inrs.fr
or INRS, Centre de Lorraine | Avenue de Bourgogne - B.P. 27, 54501 Vandoeuvre Cedex | Tel: (33) (0)3 83 50 20 00 | Fax: (33) (0)3 83 50 20 97

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work... Annual Report for 2002

The Annual Report is a synopsis of the Agency's activities for 2002. In a year dominated by the Community's new occupational safety and health (OSH) strategy for Europe, key areas of activity included the integration of candidate countries into the Agency's safety and health network. The European Union (EU) strategy provides a framework for a modern OSH policy that is designed to integrate risk prevention in all facets of our working lives and policy thinking. It is an holistic approach that is well suited to the way the the Agency operates. The Agency will act as the driving force for non-legislative actions such as the development of a European prevention culture and the anticipation of new risks in the changing world or work.

The Agency has already identified and has been working on the key OSH issues listed in the Strategy document. Newly developed are information services for high-risks sectors such as fisheries and healthcare. To read more obtain a copy of the report in the 11 official languages of the European Union, also on CD-ROM or via the Agency's website.

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Annual Report 2002. 2003. ISBN 92 9191 024 4

Available from: Office of the Official Publications, Luxembourg

also on http://osha.europa.eu/publications/annual_report/2002