Skip to content

Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

December 2004

New awards encourage safety among fleet operators

The UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is launching a new award scheme to recognise the efforts made by businesses and organisations to reduce deaths and injuries on UK roads. Any organisation with a fleet of vehicles can enter for the RoSPA Managing Occupational Road Risk Awards. Entrants need to demonstrate robust risk management systems and culture as well as an improving work-related road accident record.

Fleets can be large or small and run any type of vehicle - cars, trucks, vans or motorcycles. Between 800 and 1,000 deaths on Britain's roads each year are linked to people driving as part of their job. The Health and Safety Executive and the Department for Transport have made it clear that employers have duties under health and safety law to manage the risks faced by employees when on the road.

The awards will be made at gold, silver, bronze and merit levels. All entries will automatically be considered for the RoSPA MORR Trophy, which will go to the most outstanding entrant for the year.

Entrants for gold awards must provide four years of accident records, for silver three years of data, for bronze two and for merit one. They will also be required to answer 10 key performance questions to explain their policies and procedures for managing occupational road risk.

Charles Davis, RoSPA Head of Driver and Fleet Solutions, said: "One of the best ways to raise health and safety standards is to encourage and reward those who head the field and lead by example.

"We hope this new scheme will persuade fleet operators to build on their success each year so that they go on to achieve higher and higher awards as they play their part in making Britain's roads safer."

The awards will be presented at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel, at the NEC, in May 2005. They will be part of the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards, sponsored by RMC Group plc, which honour around 1,100 winners each year. Some will also be presented at RoSPA Scotland in September 2005.

The closing date for entries is February 28, 2005. For further information, contact the RoSPA Awards Helpline on 0870 777 2091 | Email: |

Cutting health and safety risks in small businesses: EU funding helped raise safety status in 700 000 SMEs

A new Agency report, Promoting health and safety in European small and medium-sized enterprises: SME Funding Scheme 2002-2003, describes how a relatively small European funding scheme has helped over fifty projects to improve health and safety in SMEs.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are key drivers in the European economy, but their safety and health performance often falls short of that of their larger counterparts. It is clear that many SMEs do not have the knowledge or the resources to manage their own health and safety problems. They need help with practical training and in gaining a better understanding of the issues, so that they assume higher priority than they generally do now.

Health and safety issues in Europe's small businesses were the focus of the second SME Funding Scheme (2002-2003) run by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, which has just published its report on 51 completed projects: 40 national and 11 transnational (involving cross-border cooperation between partners), with full contact details for anyone interested in finding out more.

The overall aim was to reduce the number of accidents at work and to reduce the incidence of occupational ill health. Topics covered included chemical hazards, stress-related illness, prevention in high-risk sectors such as agriculture and construction, and the promotion of a preventive culture.

For example, a project in Luxembourg developed a method of analysing the risks to which people working in crèches are exposed: notably lower back pain from bending and lifting. In cooperation with crèche staff, the project team identified problem areas, developed a guide to good practices and provided training for staff.

In Denmark, a hospital department of occupational medicine set out to reduce knee problems by showing how floor layers could cut down the time spent putting undue strain on the knees. They trained instructors to use new tools that allowed much of the work to be carried out standing up. These instructors could then train operational floor layers on a region-by-region basis.

A recent independent evaluation of the funding schemes, carried out by the Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services (CSES), showed that the great majority of these initiatives would not have gone ahead without Agency funding, so the scheme fills a significant gap.

The CSES concluded that this was a well-run programme, achieving considerable added value, having beneficial impacts for some 700,000 SMEs across Europe and wider 'demonstration' effects by highlighting good practices that could be replicated more widely.

Noting that accident levels for small firms can reach up to 130% above the overall EU average Stephen Hughes, MEP, said in his introduction to the SME report: "The Agency's schemes have shown EU policy-makers, such as the European Parliament, that current safety and health legislation, if complemented by good implementation practices, can lead to improved health and safety standards also in small firms across the EU."

The Agency's Director Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, commenting on the report's publication, said: "We are delighted that the Agency's scheme has already been able to promote higher safety and health standards in some 700 000 SMEs. Our hope now is that many more SMEs will also benefit. Many of the cases covered in the report could be adapted and used by companies across Europe, so it is well-worth taking a look and seeing how the good practice developed by these project holders could be transferred to your own company!"

The report is available in English now and can be downloaded from the Agency website at

Printed copies of the SME Funding Scheme report can be ordered from the Publications Office of the European Communities ( and its sales agents. A CD-ROM with translations into French, German, Spanish and Italian will be available in early 2005.

The CSES report is the second independent evaluation, following an external assessment of the first scheme in 2003. It concludes that over 82% of the organisations responding to their survey would not have gone ahead without Agency funding. The CSES believes that around 700,000 SMEs will have benefited from the scheme in some way, either through direct advice, viewing a website or receiving written information. Some 80,000 SMEs will have received direct advice. These reports, with executive summaries, are available at:

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: |

Launching OSH UPDATE: New Internet-based service

Want to keep up-to-date in worldwide occupational health, safety, hygiene, road safety, water safety, environment trends and the latest information? Do budget constraints not allow you to buy all the journals, newsletters and documents that contain the latest information? Can't afford the time to search for the latest information, legislation and standards? No staff to search for this information? And no time yourself to spend hours searching for information?

Then a new, very affordable Internet based service OSH UPDATE, from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd is the answer for you.

Powered by Head Software International's Headfast/Discovery Internet publishing software*, OSH UPDATE will be launched in the Autumn 2004 and updated monthly. It contains a number of bibliographic databases from worldwide authoritative sources such as the UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the UK Health and Safety Executive, US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Canada Ryerson University, the International Labour Office CIS Health and Safety Centre, European Union legislation and other legislation sources and OSH standards specifications including those from the British Standards Institution.

OSH UPDATE records will have links to the full text where possible.

OSH UPDATE will expand - we are continuing to make agreements with other well-known information producers around the world and these databases will also be included. As well as the latest information many reference sources go back 80 or more years and so a valuable tool for researchers.

This new aggregation of databases will contain thousands of relevant references with abstracts or keywords and will keep you and your colleagues alerted to hot topics such as the health risks of nanotechnology, corporate killing and corporate social responsibility, bioterrorism, management of road risks, preparedness and business continuity.

The title price for a single user via the Internet will be GBP250.00 / US$ 450.00 per year - less than 68 pence / 1.2 dollars per day.

The price reflects our aim to bring health and safety guidance, advice, research, journal articles, papers, standards to the attention of health and safety practitioners and managers, researchers, trade union safety representatives, occupational physicians, information specialists in industry, colleges and universities, government staff, inspectors, university and college safety directors, university and college lecturers and those in training - at a cost that is affordable and a service that is time efficient.

If you are interested in taking up this service on trial please complete the OSH UPDATE Interest Form, or contact us to ask further questions


* Headfast/Discovery is being used for important bibliographic and full text information services on the Internet by other publishers including CERAM Research, Ellis Publications, Inspec, Nielsen BookData, Oxmill Publishing and TWI.

Antineoplastic agents: occupational hazards in hospitals

US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have produced a brochure makes you aware of the adverse health effects of antineoplastic agents. It describes how you can be exposed to these agents, and provide and identify control methods and work practices to prevent or reduce your exposure to antineoplastic agents.

Antineoplastic agents are widely used in cancer therapy because they can inhibit growth by disrupting cell division and killing actively growing cells. These agents can also cause health effects among health care workers who work with them. A summary of these health risks and means for protecting workers are available in a recent NIOSH Alert [NIOSH 2004].

Antineoplastic Agents: occupational hazards in hospitals. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004-102

Contact: US NIOSH - Publications Dissemination, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998, USA | Tel: + 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) | Fax: + 1 513-533-8573 | Email: | or visit the NIOSH Web site at

Outsourcing of ICT and related services in the EU: EU jobs not at risk from outsourcing of ICT services

Europe is 'not losing jobs' in the information and communication technologies services sector (ICT) due to outsourcing, according to the Foundation's European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC) in its new report Outsourcing of ICT and related services in the EU.

The report shows that employment in other business services is growing consistently across all the countries studied and, in some cases, such as the Czech Republic, this growth is quite spectacular. With the single exception of Denmark, any decline in computer and related employment was more than compensated, numerically speaking, by growth in another business services sector.

The strongest growth has taken place in precisely those countries where employment levels in these sectors are at their lowest. In other words, whilst the new Member States may be behind the rest of Europe in the proportion of their economies devoted to ICT services, they are catching up fast. The lowest growth rates are, by and large, in the most developed economies.

The reasons for this continuing growth in ICT service employment in Europe are several. First, it is a reflection of economic and linguistic diversity, giving a large range of alternative sites for offshore outsourcing within the EU. Second, it reflects the fact that the EU is a recipient of outsourced employment from other parts of the world, notably the US. Finally, it highlights the increasing propensity to outsource ICT and ICT-enabled functions, resulting in a shift to these sectors from other parts of the economy, including the public sector.

The report pieces together, impartially, the available evidence on outsourcing of ICT and related services in the European Union with the goal of informing the EU policymaking process. It draws on a body of market research and anecdotal data, in the absence of reliable data, statistics or research, which has been carried out over the past two decades on offshore information processing, trans-border teleworking, and new global division of labour in information services.

Three major trends have been identified.

The report is available from

For further information, contact:
Barbara Gerstenberger, EMCC research coordinator | Tel: +353-1-204 3163 | Mobile: +353-871-385 472 | Email:, or
Måns Mårtensson, Press Officer | Tel: +353-1-204-3124 | Mobile: +353-876-593 507 | Email:

NIOSH Spirometry Training Guide

The NIOSH Spirometry Training Guide was prepared for use as an adjunct or supplement to a NIOSH approved course on spirometry. This Guide is intended for individuals who are responsible for conducting spirometry in the workplace.

Available in print, on the web or on CD.
NIOSH Spirometry Training Guide DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004-154c

Contact: US NIOSH - Publications Dissemination, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998, USA | Tel: + 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) | Fax: + 1 513-533-8573 | Email: | or visit the NIOSH Web site at

The Worker Health Chartbook, 2004

The 354 page US NIOSH Worker Health Chartbook, 2004 is a descriptive epidemiologic reference on occupational morbidity and mortality in the United States. A resource for agencies, organizations, employers, researchers, workers, and others who need to know about occupational injuries and illnesses. Chapter 5 addresses special populations such as young workers, older workers and Hispanic workers.

Available in print or on the web
NIOSH Worker Health Chartbook, 2004 DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004-146

Contact: US NIOSH - Publications Dissemination, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998, USA | Tel: + 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) | Fax: + 1 513-533-8573 | Email: | or visit the NIOSH Web site at

Factsheet 53 Ensuring the health and safety of workers with disabilities

People with disabilities should receive equal treatment at work. This includes equality regarding health and safety at work. Health and safety should not be used as an excuse for not employing or not continuing to employ disabled people. In addition, a workplace that is accessible and safe for people with disabilities is also safer and more accessible for all employees, clients and visitors. People with disabilities are covered by both European anti-discrimination legislation and occupational health and safety legislation. This legislation, which the Member States implement in national legislation and arrangements, should be applied to facilitate the employment of people with disabilities, not to exclude them.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work Factsheet 53 Ensuring the health and safety of workers with disabilities is available on the web at

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: |

Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA), and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work in Bilbao (Spain) have today launched a new joint OSH website

The site follows the structure and presentation of the Agency's website network and represents a significant contribution to the creation of a global portal to workplace safety and health information.

As well as linking directly to EU information, the site is a rich source of Japanese OSH information.

Mr. Kazuo Hiromi, the president of the Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association, JISHA, comments: "I am very pleased to launch this new website in cooperation with the European Agency. At the same time as JICOSH has been disseminating Japanese information across the world, Japanese industries have also been learning a lot from information provided by the Agency and other countries. In the new website we have agreed with the Agency to put the emphasis mainly on 'good practice'. In doing so, I hope we can further contribute to improving occupational safety and health in the world.

"This link between Japan and Europe provides valuable information on workplace health and safety standards in our respective economies. We can share our successful strategies to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses. Good OSH practice benefits society and makes sound business sense."

The Director of the European Agency, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, said: "The launch of the Japanese website adds a significant dimension to the Agency's network. It allows business, workers and experts alike to be better informed about regulatory demands, OSH systems and best practices in Japan and in the European Union and thus to meet the challenges of globalisation."

Achieving better safety and health in construction

The 16 cases described in this report consider a range of issues that influence standards of safety and health. These include design and planning decisions, effective partnering, training issues, construction site management and risk assessment

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Issue 314 - Achieving better safety and health in construction. 2004. 144 pages
ISBN 92 9191 073 2

This publication is available in PDF format on or can be ordered through Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. OPOCE Catalog number: TE5904136ENC

World of Work: ILO turns 85: strong foundations for decent work

In the 85 years since the birth of the International Labour Office (ILO), the organization has sought to renew itself on a number of occasions. This year marks a series of important milestones for the ILO.

In the November 2004 edition there are articles on the ILO and its achievements plus a number of other important and interesting articles such as: Global economic security in crisis - new ILO report finds "a world full of anxiety and anger" and New ILO study on Youth unemployment at all-time high.

World of Work magazine is now published three times per year by the Department of Communication of the ILO in Geneva. Also published in Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Japanese, Norwegian, Slovak, Spanish and Swedish.

All correspondence should be addressed to the ILO Department of Communication, CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland | Tel: +41 22 799 7912 | Fax: +41 22 799 8577 |

Readers in the US should send their correspondence to the ILO Washington Office, 1828 L Street NW, Suite 600, Washington DC 20036 | Tel: +202/653-7652 | Fax: +202/653-7687 | email: