Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

May 2004

Largest European Union (EU) campaign ever tackles the huge human and financial costs of poor safety standards in Europe's construction industry

Higher safety and health standards in Europe's construction industry could save up to 1,300 lives each year and avoid 850,000 serious injuries, according to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work launch of its major campaign.

Cutting the sector's high incidence of accidents and work-related illnesses could also save the EU up to €75 billion a year, claims the Agency.

The 'Building in Safety' campaign, which will culminate in the annual European Week for Safety and Health at Work (18-22 October 2004), will highlight the health and safety risks in Europe's construction industry, as well as the solutions, in more than 30 countries throughout the continent, making it the largest ever campaign of its kind.

Speaking at the launch in Dublin, Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament, said: 'Construction is one of the EU's most important industries, employing over 12 million people and worth over €900 billion a year. Yet it has one of the worst safety and health records: its accident rate, for example, is twice as high as the EU industry average. The incidence of back pain and other musculoskeletal problems, exposure to hazardous substances and many other risks are also significantly above the average. These problems need to be urgently addressed, not just to alleviate the very real human suffering, but also to reduce the financial burden on businesses and society.'

Bertie Ahern, Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, which holds the EU Presidency, added: "Tackling this issue is not just the responsibility of construction firms; it is the duty of everyone with a stake in the sector, including architects, planners, engineers and others. Many accidents on building sites are due to decisions taken before any building work starts. As a result, the only way forward - as with so many other health and safety issues - is through partnerships. We have to work together and the Agency's Building in Safety campaign epitomises this approach - with the full commitment of the EU Presidency, Parliament, Commission and Europe's social partners."

EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne said: "Our health is our wealth. By placing the safety of construction workers at the heart of this European Construction week we can improve health, reduce costs and strengthen competitiveness. Through effective social partnership we can work to deliver health, employment and prosperity. I am convinced that the European Week on Construction 2004 could be the most prolific yet in terms of contributing to implementation of the Community Strategy on health and safety at Work 2002-2006 and could set the benchmark for future 'European Weeks'."

The campaign, which will be underpinned by a range of printed and online information, including examples of good practice, will be supported by thousands of events in 31 European countries, including Member States, as well as acceding, candidate and EFTA countries. Coordinated by the Agency's network of national focal points, events will range from training initiatives and promotional campaigns to seminars and workshops. In addition, businesses and organisations involved in the construction industry will be invited to sign an online campaign charter to demonstrate their commitment to higher OSH standards in the industry. Full details can be found at the Agency's special European week 2004 website https://www.healthy-workplaces.eu/en/european-week-safety-and-health-work

'Our goal is not only to raise awareness of the risks, especially among small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which account for more than 80% of workers in construction, but also provide the tools to improve standards,' said Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, the Agency's Director. 'This includes guides and checklists for risk assessment and examples of good practice solutions all freely available from our website. The situation won't change overnight, but I'm confident we can make a significant impact, provided we have everyone's commitment. Signing up to our online campaign charter is the first step to displaying such commitment.'

European Health and Consumer Affairs Commissioner, David Byrne, was also present at the launch. And both sides of the industry were represented by the European social partners, Ulrich Paetzold, Director of the European Construction Industry Federation, and Harrie Bijen, General Secretary of the European Federation of Building and Wood Workers.

Construction is a risky business, with nearly 13 workers per 100 000 being killed in construction, as against five per 100 000 in the all-sector average. Construction work also exposes workers to a wide range of health problems: from asbestosis to back pain; hand-arm vibration syndrome to cement burns. The Agency factsheet no. 48 gives basic advice on health and safety in construction, but cannot provide detailed guidance. It is recommended that you contact your relevant enforcing authority or other bodies before starting work if you require further advice.

Issue 48 - Health and safety on small construction sites
http://osha.europa.eu/publications/factsheets/48

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

Intermediate Health and Safety text book

This excellent, newly published text book has been written to support those who manage or supervise staff and find themselves responsible for health and safety at work.

The hazards and risks faced at work have changed for many people with demographic changes in employment, different types of work and also the perception of health and safety at work held by managers and supervisors has also changed. We now live in a society where the fear of litigation and the requirement of the insurers are beginning to drive employers' actions.

What has not changed is the difficulty of the role of the line manager or supervisor. They have to demand safe working practices whilst under pressure from their manager to get the job done and yet at the same time working with friends and colleagues.

It is in recognition of the importance of the role of the supervisor in effect health and safety management that this book has been written. It covers: accidents, principles of health and safety law, managing health and safety at work, risk assessment, hazardous substances, safe use of equipment, fire precautions in the workplace, health at work, ergonomics and manual handling, training, inspection, consultation with employees, personal protective equipment, examinations, safety signs and signals. There is also a glossary, a list of abbreviations and a short bibliography for those seeking further guidance and advice. The book is well illustrated and comes at a bargain price of GBP12.50.

Intermediate Health and Safety: a text for Intermediate Health and Safety courses and a reference for supervisors, by Ian Fisher is published by Highfield.Co.UK Ltd, Vue Pointe, Spinney Hill, Sprotborough, Doncaster DN5 7LY, UK| Tel: +44 0845 2260350 | Fax: +44 0845 2260360 | Email: richard@highfield.co.uk | www.highfield.co.uk | www.foodsafetytrainers.co.uk

Eurojargon: a dictionary of European Union acronyms, abbreviations and terminology

Published February 2004 by the European Information Association (EIA) this 350 pages - more than 5,200 terms. Includes definitions, explanations, bibliographic references, URLs, contact addresses. This 7th edition compiled by Eric Davies, European Information Services, http://europa.eu/abc/eurojargon/index_en.htm.

Original text significantly revised, updated and expanded, and Eurojargon can be ordered via the EIA's website: www.eia.org.uk

£35 (€50) to EIA members £50 (€75) to non-members

Contact: European Information Association, Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 161 228 3691 | Fax: +44 (0) 161 236 6547 | eia@libraries.manchester.gov.uk

International Council of Chemical Associations hails entry into force of the Stockholm POPs convention

The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) welcomes the entry into force of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

The Stockholm Convention targets 12 persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals that are subject to long-range transport in the environment. Although heavily regulated in most developed countries, the Convention obligates governments to take specific measures to control the manufacture, use, release and disposal of these POPs.

The Convention purposely incorporates the use of risk and cost-benefit considerations, which the ICCA believes are integral to the integrity of regulations that govern the use of chemical compounds. For example, the Convention recognizes that there are circumstances in which certain chemicals must be available to combat the debilitating health, social and economic consequences of diseases such as malaria. This risk/cost-benefit approach recognizes the need to weigh public health, environmental safety and socio-economic considerations when determining whether to ban or restrict chemicals.

President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Greg Lebedev, who also is ICCA's current Secretary General, noted the international chemical industry's strong support for the Stockholm Convention.

"The chemical industry played an important role in assuring that a consistent global framework was adopted for the control of POPs," Lebedev said, "and we also provided strong support to the development of the Convention from the outset. Our industry believes that the Stockholm Convention is an important step toward enhancing health and environmental protection worldwide."

The Stockholm Convention enjoys an array of support from industry, environmental groups and the public health community. ICCA members worked hard during the negotiations to ensure a reasonable, risk-based approach to the regulation of POPs. The legal obligations imposed by the Convention are consistent with the chemical industry's commitment under Responsible Care®, the industry's performance improvement initiative operating in 47 countries around the world.

The ICCA urges governments that have not yet ratified the Stockholm Convention to join the international community in this important agreement. "The Stockholm Convention goes a long way toward establishing a balanced regulatory approach to these priority substances," said Lebedev, "but requires effective national implementation to succeed. Our industry is committed to working with the treaty Secretariat and all governments around the world to implement the treaty.

The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is the worldwide voice of the chemical industry, representing chemical manufacturers and producers all over the world. ICCA promotes and co-ordinates Responsible Care and other voluntary chemical industry initiatives. Its members represent more than 75 per cent of global chemical manufacturing operations with a production value exceeding US $1.6 trillion annually. Almost 30 percent of this production is traded internationally.

Contact: Chris VandenHeuvel | Tel: 0017037415587 | Chris_VandenHeuvel@americanchemistry.com

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced the results of the Futures Initiative activities

On May 13, 2004, Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced the results of the Futures Initiative activities which began in 2003. One aspect of the announcement concerns the clustering of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry/National Center for Environmental Health (ATSDR/NCEH), the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) into one of four coordinating centers at CDC.

The new organization provides a framework for the CDC to meet its overarching health protection goals of preparedness, health promotion and prevention of disease, injury and disability through more effective coordination of the programs of its centers, institutes and offices.

The goals of many of the programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health cross organizational lines; therefore, the coordination of the NIOSH program activities within the CDC environment/occupation/injury coordination center will provide opportunities for many more productive collaborations to better achieve our common goals.

NIOSH looks forward to working together with our partners to ensure that the new CDC organizational arrangements are thoughtfully implemented and will benefit the overall NIOSH mission.

CDC Announces New Goals and Organizational Design

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Julie Gerberding announced that CDC will align its priorities and investments under two overarching health protection goals:

  1. Preparedness: All people in all communities will be protected from infectious, environmental, and terrorists threats.
  2. Health Promotion and Prevention of Disease, Injury and Disability: All people will achieve their optimal lifespan with the best possible quality of health in every stage of life. In addition, the agency is developing more targeted goals to assure an improved impact on health at every stage of life including infants and toddlers, children, adolescents, adults, and older adults.

The integrated organization coordinates the agency's existing operational units into four coordinating centers to help the agency leverage its resources to be more nimble in responding to public health threats and emerging issues as well as chronic health conditions.

"For more than half a century this extraordinary agency with the greatest workforce in the world has accomplished so much for the health of people here and around the world," said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. "However, today's world characterized by tremendous globalization, connectivity, and speed poses entirely new challenges. The steps we are taking through this initiative will better position us to meet these challenges head on. Our aim is to help ensure that all people are protected in safe and healthy communities so they can achieve their full life expectancy."

The new coordinating centers and their directors are:

Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases - includes the National Center for Infectious Diseases, the National Immunization Program, and the National Center for STD, TB, and HIV Prevention. Dr. Mitchell Cohen will lead this coordinating center.

Coordinating Center for Health Promotion - includes the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Donna Stroup will lead this coordinating center.

Coordinating Center for Environmental Health, Injury Prevention, and Occupational Health - includes the National Center for Environmental Health, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Dr. Henry Falk will lead this coordinating center.

Coordinating Center for Health Information and Services - includes the National Center for Health Statistics, a new National Center for Health Marketing, and a new Center for Public Health Informatics. Dr. James Marks will lead this coordinating center.

Office of Global Health - Dr. Stephen Blount will lead this office.

Office of Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response - Dr. Charles Schable will lead this office.

In addition, Dr. Gerberding announced the following:

Dr. Gerberding and executive leaders throughout CDC will be moving forward to implement these changes by October 1, 2004, the start of the next fiscal year.

nioshenews@cdc.gov

FBI Monograph on Workplace Violence

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a monograph entitled Workplace Violence: Issues in Response. The monograph resulted from a June 2002 symposium hosted by the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime entitled "Violence in the Workplace."

Representatives from NIOSH, other law enforcement organizations, private industry, government, law, labor, professional organizations, victim services, academic, and mental health agencies joined the FBI to share their expertise on this important issue.

www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2004/march/violence_030104

Health Hazard Evaluations: Issues Related to Occupational Exposure to Fire Fighters 1990 to 2001

This report summarizes 10 years of NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations related to fire fighters. The evaluations are classified into five areas: safety-related, diesel exhaust exposure, forest fire fighting, chemical fires and communicable diseases. The report, DHHS NIOSH Pub No (2004-115), is available in print by calling 1-800-35-NIOSH or by downloading at www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2004-115.

NIOSH Summary of Health Hazard Evaluations: Issues Related to Occupational Exposure to Isocyanates 1989 to 2002

This report summarizes the 46 isocyanate-related Health Hazard Evaluations that NIOSH conducted over this 14 year period. The report provides background information on isocyanate exposure criteria, possible health effects, and NIOSH recommendations for reducing such exposures. The document, DHHS NIOSH Pub No (2004-116), is available at www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2004-116.

Mining Fact Sheets

Copies of the following 2002 mining fact sheets are now available at www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/statistics/MiningFactSheets.html or by calling 1-800-35-NIOSH.

NIOSH Alert for Young Workers Now Available in Spanish

The NIOSH Alert Preventing Deaths, Injuries and Illnesses of Young Workers is now available in Spanish. The Alert identifies hazardous working areas and provides recommendations for youth to remain safe while working in those conditions. A downloadable copy of the Alert is available at www.cdc.gov/spanish/niosh/docs/2003-128sp.html.

New Lone worker and Staff Activity Management System

Software solutions company CABell Ltd has launched an innovative new system to monitor lone workers. The text message based "Easy-Link" system provides a fully automated notification of the whereabouts of individuals who work alone and visit other premises, such as social workers, district nurses, home helps and estate agents.

It uses standard computers and the mobile phone network short message service (SMS) to record real time data such as current job, location and time required. Customers can continue to use their existing mobile phones and numbers as the system will work on any phone and any network.

Marketing Director Phil Bellamy points to the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines that state employers are responsible for lone workers, and HSE advice that procedures must be put in place to ensure their safety, with a mechanism or procedure to raise the alarm in the event of an emergency or if a lone worker hasn't returned to base on time.

"There is a risk with manual systems and procedures such as log in /out books and wipe boards that it just won't happen" says Mr Bellamy "Colleagues will have the best intentions for their co-workers, but that expected time back in the office note scribbled in the diary is often overlooked by people busy with their own hectic workloads. With 634,000 physical assaults on employees at work and 654,0000 threats of violence each year*, there is a real need to get it right every time".

Easy-link replaces manual processes by using the latest technology. Staff send messages to the system, such as location and time required and then get a response back that these details have been recorded. This then allows lone workers to enter premises reassured that they are being monitored and help will be sent to the right location if required.

Overdue workers are automatically reminded to check in, and failure to do so will prompt the automatic escalation alarms to contact any number of pre-selected staff, such as supervisors or managers, until the situation is resolved. The phones can also be used as a "panic button", which will immediately summon assistance if needed.

The product has been specifically designed to be flexible, and can be adapted to the individual needs of any organisation. With two versions of the system available, either hosted via the internet (remote data) or a non-hosted network version (local data) it can be utilized by small, medium and large businesses.

Contact: Phil Bellamy, Marketing Director, 38B High Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1DX | E-mail info@easy-link.net | Tel: +44 (0) 117 953 9300 or +44 (0) 1934 525126

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

Present status of Japanese Industrial Safety and Health 2003

This latest edition, from the Japanese Industrial Safety and Health Association gives a range of information on trends in occupational accidents and diseases in Japan.

The report also gives details of government and non-government organisations involved in industrial safety and health. It also lists safety and health laws and regulations, plus and outline of the Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA).

The report, in English, is available from: JISHA, 5-35-1, Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014, Japan | Tel: and Fax + 81 3 3454 4596 | Email: kokusai@jisha.or.jp | www.jisha.or.jp

Japan General Guidebook on Industrial Safety 2003

The 2003 Guidebook from the Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA) gives details on a range of activities:

This latest edition, in English, from the Japanese Industrial Safety and Health Association is available from: JISHA, 5-35-1, Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014, Japan | Tel: and Fax + 81 3 3454 4596 | Email: kokusai@jisha.or.jp | www.jisha.or.jp

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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