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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

October 2004

Living to Work - Working to Live, Dublin, 3-4 November, 2004

These data from the Foundation's recent European Quality of Life survey, highlight one of the key challenges facing Europe's policymakers today. How can we balance worklife commitments while moving towards the full employment target of the Lisbon agenda? While aiming to create more and better jobs, policymakers across the 25 countries of the new European Union are increasingly faced with the pressing issues of flexibility and work, pension reform, time management and labour market restructuring.

These issues, and many more, will be examined at this year's Foundation Forum 2004 which brings together high-level European representatives from the social partners, government and civil society, as well as experts in the field to provide fresh and timely insights into the future direction of this crucial debate.

Construction Information Sheets for European Health and Safety Week

The TUC has produced a series of information sheets on safety in the construction industry for European Health and Safety Week which runs between October 18th-24th

TUC Activities for European Health and Safety Week

This TUC site will list what unions, and local campaigns are doing for European Health and Safety Week which runs from 18th to 24th October, and for National Inspection Day on 20th October

Start early and stay safe

Integrating safety and health into education is the key to reducing work-related accidents and illnesses, according to a new European Agency report

Integrating occupational safety and health into school and university education is the key to reducing the high incidence of work-related accidents and illnesses in many EU industries, especially among young staff, claims a new report published by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

According to the report, Mainstreaming Occupational Safety and Health into Education, young employees, aged 18-24, are 50%, more likely to have an accident than the average staff member in industrialised countries. One of the main problems, argue the authors, is that most adolescents enter the labour market with only little knowledge of the risks, let alone education in preventive measures.

To help policy makers and practitioners resolve this shortfall, the 152-page report describes and analyses 32 examples of how different EU countries have successfully integrated OSH into different levels of the education system, from primary schools up to universities and specialist vocational colleges. It also provides a strategic framework, including a 'road map', to achieve this.

Examples of good practice covered in the study include a UK initiative to educate children about the dangers of building sites; a methodology to help teachers in Italy introduce OSH into the school syllabus; and a scheme in France where pupils on work placement are invited to find ways to improve the companies' health and safety environment.

One of the lessons of the study is that health and safety education has to be a life-long process, from pre-school onwards, to succeed,' says Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, the Agency's Director. 'It's about developing a prevention culture and an integral part of this is ensuring that young people are qualified in the core principles of risk awareness and prevention before they enter the world of work - they have to "start early to stay safe". We hope this report will make an important contribution to this aim.'

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work was set up by the European Union to help meet the information needs in the field of occupational safety and health. Based in Bilbao, Spain, the Agency aims to improve the lives of people at work by stimulating the flow of technical, scientific and economic information between all those involved in occupational safety and health issues. The report Mainstreaming occupational safety and health into education - Good practice in school and vocational education can be downloaded from: Factsheet summaries of the report are also available in the 20 EU official languages at:

Copies of the report, (Cat. No: TE-59-04-104-EN-C), and the factsheet, (Cat. No: TE-58-04-336-EN-C) can be ordered from the European Publications Office and its sales offices.

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Via 33, E-48009 Bilbao - Spain | Tel: + 34 94 479 4360 | Fax: + 34 94 479 4383 | Email: |

The New Noise & Vibration Directives - an update for industry

British Occupational Hygiene Society's (BOHS's) next London-based evening meeting, which is free and open to members and non-members alike will be held at the Society of Chemical Industry, 14/15 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 5pm to 7pm, Tuesday 23rd November 2004 and is A review of the new regulations on noise and vibration. These new regulations will apply to millions of UK workers, throughout industry, who are affected by a noisy working environment, as well as hand-arm or whole body vibration from the tools or equipment they operate.

BOHS's London, South and South Eastern Region is hosting this meeting, which is aimed atondon/South East based employers and health and safety professionals within industry. It will concentrate on the practical aspects of the regulations and their effect on industry, and includes presentations by representatives from the HSE and London Underground.

There's no need to pre-book a place: anyone interested can just turn up on the night. Directions to the venue can be found on BOHS's website at

Ergonoma 2005: 3rd European Tradeshow on Workplace and Work situations Ergonomics Solutions

To be held on Wednesday 23rd, Thursday 24th and Friday 25th March 2005 at the Brussels Hall 12 Brussels Expo, Belgium.

Protecting goods and people, protection against all kinds of attacks on well-being at work, fire prevention, signalling, hygiene and maintenance... emergency plans will all be exhibited at the National Exhibition of Protection and Well-being at work SECURA in halls 11 and 12 and the European Professional Salon of Solutions for the Comfort of work posts and situations. ERGONOMA in Hall 12, at the Brussels Expo in Heysel attended by nearly 10,000 visitors.

The two exhibitions maintain their independence, but seek to create interaction from one exhibition to the other. ERGONOMA will take place in Hall 12 and will give a complete offer: material, services, measurement and analysis, prevention, professional organisations, institutions, administrations and training, based on a European scientific council.

Although work is inevitable, pain at work is not. Go to ERGONOMA

Entrance free only by invitation

Exhibition accessible for the disabled. Free pre-registration to exhibit, visit and register at the training meetings on or by fax on +33(0) 237 440 450

Europe strengthens its defences against disease

Senior health officials and politicians from around Europe, North America and Asia have met in Stockholm to attend a start-up event for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. This new EU agency will co-ordinate Europe's health knowledge to enable better preparation and response to future epidemics, more effective continent-wide disease surveillance and better cooperation between Europe and its international partners. The inaugural meeting of the centre's management board also met in Stockholm to appoint its president and start work on building the new agency. The management board is made up of representatives nominated by the EU member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission. EU health Commissioner David Byrne said: "Outbreaks like SARS in 2003 and bird flu this year have been a wake-up call. Infectious diseases can pose a deadly threat and they do not respect national borders. This new EU agency will enable Europe to be better prepared for whatever new epidemics the 21st century has in store. It also has a crucial role to play in helping us contain the alarming resurgence of HIV-AIDS we are beginning to see in Europe and enabling us to better understand a whole range of lethal diseases." It is hoped to have a director in place and to start recruiting other staff early in 2005 so that the centre can become operational in May 2005. It will be up to the director, in close co-operation with the Swedish government and the centre's management board, to find office accommodation in Stockholm for the new agency. The centre has a budget of €4.8 million (£3.2m) for 2005, so its initial staff will be quite small, but the centre's budget is expected to rise to about €29 million (£19.5m) by 2007.

Maritime safety - ships banned from EU ports

Nineteen ships flying the flags of eight different states were banned from entering EU ports between 1 November 2003 and 31 August 2004 according to the European Commission. The United Kingdom was the banning authority for two of the twelve bulk carriers, but the list also included four ro-ro passenger ships, two chemical tankers and one oil tanker. Publication of this information is required under the new European rules on port state control to ensure transparency and to deter those who already fall short of the relevant maritime safety standards. "This measure is part of the arsenal of legislation adopted in the wake of the Erika and Prestige disasters to combat oil spills and rust-bucket ships. We must keep up the pressure so that maritime safety continues to improve globally and ensure that the rules are applied rigorously by all member states," said Loyola de Palacio, Commission vice-president responsible for transport and energy. In parallel, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) publishes a regularly updated list of banned ships from EU ports on its web site. [IP/04/1169]

New streamlined funding programme for the environment

A new simple and streamlined funding programme for the environment has been approved by the European Commission which will come into place in 2007 when the EU's new budgetary period begins. The new programme called "LIFE+" would become the EU's single financial instrument targeting only the environment. LIFE+ should closely support the priorities of the 6th Environment Action Programme (2002-2012) which are to combat climate change, to halt the decline in bio-diversity, to minimise negative environmental effects on human health, and to deal with natural resources and waste in sustainable ways. With this new instrument, aligned more closely with today's environmental and sustainable development agenda, the Commission expects to push improvements ahead more rapidly for the benefit of EU. The Commission has proposed to commit a total of €2.19 billion (£1.5bn) from 2007 to 2013. "Even if money alone cannot solve environmental problems, it can definitely help solve them", said environment commissioner Margot Wallström. "LIFE plus will enable the Commission to offer faster, more flexible support to environmental improvements.


The October 2004 issue of LIFELINES ONLINE (Vol. I, No. 5) is available at The headlines are below.

Also this month, we're pleased to announce the posting of a new NOISE page in the Occupational Safety and Health section of our site. The page includes Controlling Noise on Construction Sites - a Best Practices Guide, a product of the Construction Noise Control Partnership. Also featured is the NIOSH Sound Meter, with which you can compare the noise levels of common sounds and various workplace machines. Other new features will be added to the NOISE page in the coming months.

As always, we look forward to your feedback.

Here's the stories in this month's LIFELINES ONLINE:

Steve Clark, Communications Manager, Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America, 905 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006

Requiring Safety Belt Use is Key Employer Policy for Preventing Job Vehicle Deaths

Employers should implement and enforce the use of safety belts in company and agency vehicles. This recommendation was made by NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Motor Vehicle Safety (NHTSA) Symposium held September 14. Among the general population, the use of safety belts saved nearly 12,000 lives in motor vehicle crashes in 2000 and could have prevented an additional 9,000 fatalities had the victims been wearing safety belts. NHTSA estimates injuries from non-use of safety belts cost employers more than $1 billion each year in health insurance and other direct costs. More information on NIOSH recommendations to prevent work-related motor vehicle fatalities and injuries can be found at International Labor Organization Releases Fact Sheets on Work Economic Security

The International Labour Organisation "Economic Security for a Better World"

The International Labour Organisation has released fact sheets based on their new report, "Economic Security for a Better World." The fact sheets, divided into 13 topic areas, provide bulleted lists of major study findings. NIOSH serves as an information center for the ILO and works actively with the ILO through the World Health Organization Global Network of Collaborating Centers. The report and associated fact sheets can be accessed on the ILO web site at

Proposals Requested for Joint Nanotechnology Research Grants

NIOSH, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are seeking applications proposing research on the potential implications of nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials on human health and the environment. Areas of particular interest include the toxicology of manufactured nanomaterials; the fate, transport, and transformation of manufactured nanomaterials; and human exposure and bioavailability. The deadline for applications is January 5, 2005. Complete details of the request and the application submission process are available on the EPA web site,

Nanotechnology Workplace Safety and Health

DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 2004-175 is an easy-to-read fact sheet describing nanotechnology, how it is used and the role NIOSH is taking to study its use in workplace safety and health issues. NIOSH is part of an international effort of research groups, government agencies, and industry interested in understanding the health impact of nanotechnology and how to control potential risk. The fact sheet is accessible at