Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

April 2004

Getting the health and safety message across: Europe's premier online information source for occupational safety and health information can now be accessed in any one of 20 languages

As Europe gears up for enlargement on 1 May 2004, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has added nine languages to the interface of its corporate website http://osha.europa.eu.

One of the Agency's main roles is to organise the flow of information on occupational safety and health (OSH) throughout the EU, enabling workers, employers and authorities to have access to state-of-the-art knowledge, especially examples of 'good practice' solutions to the main safety and health problems.

As well as producing a wide variety of publications, from research reports to practical factsheets, the Agency has established a network of more than 30 partners (focal points) in Europe and worldwide which over past two years has grown to include all acceding countries.

This network is linked electronically via the Agency's family of websites, providing the world's most comprehensive source of OSH information (http://osha.europa.eu).

'Raising the standards of safety and health at work is a key element of Europe's unique Social Model,' says Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Director of the Agency. 'The accession countries have already transposed the EU's comprehensive safety and health directives into national legislation. The main challenge now is to ensure that these legal standards are converted into real improvements in working conditions. The Agency is looking forward to support this process through our multilingual online information system and other initiatives in co-operation with our partners in the accession countries to develop safe, healthy and productive workplaces across an enlarged Europe.'

Amongst the information activities of the Agency and its focal points in 2004 are:

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Via 33, E-48009 Bilbao, Spain | e-mail: information@osha.eu.int | fax: (34) 94 479 43 83 | http://osha.europa.eu

Women and Health and Safety at Work

Safety and health risks of women at work tend to be underestimated and neglected

Women make up 42% of the employed population in the EU. Men and women are not the same and the jobs they do, their working conditions and how they are treated by society are not the same. These factors can affect the hazards they face at work and the approach that needs to be taken to assess and control them. Factors to take into account include:

It is therefore important to recognise these differences and take a "gender sensitive" approach to health and safety at work. The Agency has produced a number of documents intended to help users take a gender sensitive approach to identifying and preventing risks, contribute to the debate about how a gender sensitive approach can best be taken and also contribute to the sharing of research information on gender and occupational safety.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work say that safety and health risks of women at work tend to be underestimated and neglected in a recently released report the Agency examines gender differences in workplace injury and illnesses and implications for prevention and finds that the traditional prevention approach can underestimate work-related risks to women.

The report Gender issues in safety and health - A review examines gender differences in workplace injury and illness, gaps in knowledge and the implications for improving risk prevention. It shows how the design of work, its organisation and equipment are often based on the model of the 'average' man, although the principle of matching work to workers is enshrined in EU legislation.

In general it can be said that women suffer more from work related stress, infectious diseases, upper limb disorders, skin diseases as well asthma and allergies, while men suffer more from accidents, back pain and hearing loss.

Recommendations from the report include the promotion and facilitation of a gender-sensitive approach in research, policy and prevention practices to help ensure effective prevention and avoid gender bias in occupational safety and health (OSH).

Commenting at the launch of the report, Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou said 'Improving the quality of women's work is a fundamental part of achieving the European Union's goal to significantly increase the participation of women in employment. This report shows how important it is to consider gender in risk prevention and include occupational health and safety in gender equality activities in order to improve the prevention of work related risks for both men and women.'

The Director of the Agency, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, commented 'Our study documents that the traditional gender-neutral approach to prevention can result in underestimation and even negligence of the real risks especially to the health of women. Risk assessment and prevention need to be more gender sensitive and in general take into consideration the ever increasing diversity of the European workforce.'

Coinciding with the release of the report, the Agency has also launched a web feature on gender and occupational safety and health, providing links to a wide variety of resources from sources worldwide.

Gender issues in safety and health at work - a review
Detailed report, available in English http://osha.europa.eu/publications/reports/209

In addition to the report, the Agency has produced two factsheets that are available in the 11 EU languages and are downloadable from the website at: http://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/factsheets

The gender website can be accessed at https://osha.europa.eu/en/themes/women-and-health-work

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 43 83.

New Health and Safety Guide helps workplaces prepare for Emergencies

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has just released a new Emergency Response Planning Guide. The 150-page pocket-sized handbook provides information for developing and implementing a workplace emergency preparedness and response program.

This comprehensive resource addresses the concerns of everyone in the workplace, offering guidance on risk assessments, identifying potential emergencies, developing emergency policies and programs, and conducting emergency drills.

The events of recent years such as 9/11, the Anthrax scare and the SARS outbreak, brought the issue of emergency preparedness to the forefront. Many businesses are now moving quickly to learn more about preparing for these and other possible emergencies, to minimize their potentially devastating effects.

An emergency response plan addresses how to deal with unforeseen situations such as fires, chemical spills, explosions, floods, injury and other crisis situations. It lets employers and employees know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency situation to ensure everyone's safety and minimize property damage.

The guide outlines ways of developing and implementing an emergency plan tailored to a specific workplace with detailed procedures on exactly how to:

The Emergency Response Planning Guide is the latest addition to the compact, easy-to-follow CCOHS Pocket Guide series.

The cost of the Emergency Response Planning Guide, and all Pocket Guides is $10 plus shipping and handling. Prices for publications shipped outside Canada are in US funds. To order, please contact CCOHS Client Services by Email: clientservices@ccohs.ca or visit the CCOHS website: www.ccohs.ca/products/publications/emergency.html

Construction sites - keep out children!

Construction sites and children don't mix - that is the message of this year's IOSH Children's Poster Competition!

Following on from the success of 2003's competition, when hundreds of entries were received, IOSH - Europe's leading organisation for health and safety professionals - has teamed up with nationally renowned quality housebuilder, Redrow, to ensure that young people get the message that building sites are not safe places to play, and that just being on them can endanger life.

Construction sites may seem like fun playgrounds, but over the last five years, six children have died and 524 have been injured in accidents on construction sites in the UK alone.

The competition, which is being run to coincide with the construction theme of this year's European Week for Safety and Health at Work, requires children between the ages of five and 15 to devise a poster highlighting and warning other children about the dangers that can lurk on a construction site at home, school or in their neighbourhood. The lucky winners will have the chance to attend a National Award Ceremony at Aston Villa Football Club in Birmingham and to win up to £100 worth of prizes. There are three age categories: the first is for five to seven year olds; the second for ages eight to 11 and the third for 12 to 15 year olds. Participants may use any media as long as the design is their original work and not larger than A4 in size.

Many topics exist for the young people to consider including in their design, but a few to get them started are ladders, scaffolding, machinery, holes and roofing.

Rob Strange, chief executive of IOSH, said: "Our competition aims to make children more conscious of the dangers that lurk on construction sites and to make them realise that these are not safe places to play. Too many children every year are being injured, or even killed, as a result of accidents on building sites. We here at IOSH want to ensure that all workplaces are safe - children using places of work as playgrounds not only endangers themselves, but others too!"

Rob continued: "We are delighted that a nationally renowned company like Redrow is supporting our competition, and we hope that our combined efforts will help reduce the number of tragic injuries and deaths involving young people on building sites."

Entries for the competition must be received by 1 September and entrants must obtain permission from their parent/guardian before entering. Each entry must include the following details on the reverse of the poster: Entrant's name, full home address, age, home phone number, where the entrant heard about the competition and, if entering through a school or youth club, the entrant's school/youth club name and, for schools, the teacher's name.

Please send entries to: Laurence Dufour, international affairs officer, IOSH, The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 1NN, UK | Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3100 | Fax: +44 (0)116 257 3101 | www.iosh.co.uk

EUROHSE2004 and FSE2004: Two conferences not to be missed... book now

Following the two successful conferences held in 2003, you should make sure that you are able to attend these two important conferences organised by Angel Business Communications - the publisher of EurOhs: European Occupational Health and Safety Magazine and newsletter and Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd. Latest news and updates on a wide range of topics, given by speakers from authoritative organisations and chaired by knowledgeable and experienced people. Delegates from a wide range of countries benefit from the exceptional networking opportunities. Make sure that these are the conferences you attend in 2004!

9 November 2004 - Food Safety in Europe 2004
Royal National Hotel, Russell Square, London
Contact: Mary Meadows, Office and Logistics Manager, European Occupational Health and Safety Magazine (EurOhs), Angel Business Communications Ltd | 34 Warwick Road, Kenilworth CV8 1HE, Warwickshire, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1926 512424 | Fax: + 44 (0)1926 512948 | Email: mary@angelbc.co.uk | www.fse2004.com

10 - 11 November 2004 - EurOhse2004
Royal National Hotel, Russell Square, London
Contact: Mary Meadows, Office and Logistics Manager, European Occupational Health and Safety Magazine (EurOhs), Angel Business Communications Ltd | 34 Warwick Road, Kenilworth CV8 1HE, Warwickshire, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1926 512424 | Fax: + 44 (0)1926 512948 | Email: mary@angelbc.co.uk | www.eurohse2004.com

A Head for Heights

Guidance for working at height in the construction industry video entitled A Head for Heights is a must for everyone working in the construction industry including site managers, workers and safety representatives.

Produced by the UK Health and Safety Executive, the video offers practical advice on how to avoid high-risk situations, the correct use of equipment, risk assessment and risk management.

Contact: HSE Books P O Box 1999, Suffolk CO10 2WA | Tel: +44 (0) 1787 8811765 | Fax: +44 (0) 1787 313995 | www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books

Stress in the Workplace: new on video and DVD

Presented by Kathy Tayler, this NEW video release from Safety Media is the ideal solution for Stress Awareness Training. Work-related stress can be defined as 'the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them'. The video tackles work related Stress and advise on how to improve and maintain employee health.

Contact: Safety Media Ltd, 5 Kinmel Park, Abergele Rd, Bodelwyddan, Rhyl LL18 5TX, UK | Tel: +44 0845 345 1703 | sales@safetymedia.co.uk | www.safetymedia.co.uk

Passport to Safety

The lead trade body for the independent engineering inspection industry, the Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed), has launched its much anticipated Health & Safety Passport Scheme and featured contributions from both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and RoSPA.

The scheme has been designed to provide an 'access all workplaces' safety passport for Engineer Surveyors employed by SAFed member companies. Whilst a number of Health & Safety Passport schemes already exist, there has been a distinct lack of reciprocity between the various scheme providers. This has created problems for workplace duty holders and engineer surveyors alike, with the potential for the latter needing to hold a number of different safety passports to carry out their inspection activities.

Richard Morgan is SAFed's Technical Director and one of the chief architects of the scheme. He commented. "Workplace duty holders can have full confidence that any Engineer Surveyor holding a SAFed Health & Safety Passport has the appropriate health and safety knowledge to undertake their designated duties in a demonstrably safe manner. Holders of a SAFed Health & Safety Passport should therefore not be required to possess any other industry safety passports to gain access to their clients' diverse workplaces."

Before being awarded a SAFed Health & Safety Passport, Engineer Surveyors undergo an extensive and individualised training programme. This training is aimed at providing Engineer Surveyors with a high level of Health & Safety awareness applicable to both their clients' industries and also the range of inspection activities which they are authorised to undertake. To ensure that consistently high standards are maintained, all SAFed member companies operating the Scheme will undergo an annual compliance assessment by RoSPA's Training and Consultancy Services Department.

Following a review of the Scheme by the HSE, their Head of Hazards and Technical Policy Division, Dr Bill Gillan commented. "HSE views Health and Safety Passport schemes as being an important way of improving Health & Safety. They really can make a difference. We applaud initiatives such as the SAFed Scheme that is designed to both improve and also demonstrate the appropriate health and safety awareness of SAFed member company Engineer Surveyors. The HSE also encourages agreement and mutual recognition between the providers of the many schemes in operation, so as to avoid the needless duplication of effort."

Through SAFed, any individual or organisation involved with setting standards for safety in the workplace can get access to relevant advice, guidance, information and experience. SAFed provides help and support to policy makers within business, the safety industry or at government or inter-government levels.

The Safety Assessment Federation Nutmeg House, 60 Gainsford Street, Butlers Wharf, London SE1 2NY, UK | Tel: +44 (0)20 7403 0987 | Fax: +44 (0)20 7403 0137 | Email: info@safed.co.uk | www.safeduk.co.uk

Register for EurOhs Magazine and Newsletter free of charge

You can register to receive both EurOhs: European Occupational Health and Safety Magazine published 8 times per year and also the EurOhs weekly electronic newsletter. Both are free of charge to those working in occupational health, safety, environment and fire Sectors.

Angel Business Communications Ltd, 34 Warwick Road, Kenilworth, Warks CV8 1HE, United Kingdom | www.angelbc.com | Tel: +44 (0) 1926 512424 | Fax: +44 (0) 1926 512948 | Mobile: 07973 158294

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Contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, 85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0)1909 772829 | email: sp@sheilapantry.com