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News Archive

February 2005

Green Week competition 2005

All children in the enlarged EU and candidate countries, aged between six and 16 years, are invited by the European Commission to take part in its Green Week schools competition 2005. The competition is part of the annual Green Week conference and exhibition, which will take place from 31 May to 3 June 2005 in Brussels. This year the competition highlights the theme of climate change. Younger children may create drawings and paintings illustrating their views about climate change, while older pupils are invited to submit a short digital video on the same subject. Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "Climate change is one of the most serious environmental challenges the world is facing. An increase of the Earth's temperature by just a few degrees over a relatively short period of time would have dramatic effects, causing sea levels to rise and threatening to wipe out a large part of the Earth's species". Entries may only be submitted with the support of a school. They must be scanned, or created digitally, and sent to the Environment Directorate-General (deadline 15 March 2005) via the entry forms on the Green Week School Competition website.

The competition, which is the fifth edition of its kind, is being run by European Schoolnet on behalf of the Commission's Environment Directorate-General.

2005 Scriptographic Catalogue and Manual Handling Revisions

Occupational health and safety publisher, Scriptographic Publications, have issued their 2005 catalogue and at the same time have made a number of important changes to their booklets Manual Handling and the Employees' Guide to Manual Handling.

Michael Whitcroft, Scriptographic's Managing Director explains the changes; 'We have gone through a major revisions programme over the last year and revised and updated many of our publications, most of which now carry the Plain English Campaign's Crystal Mark. In addition we have updated our two manual handling booklets to take into account the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) 2004 Third Edition Guidance on the Manual Handling Operations Regulations and the Institute of Occupational Medicine's report for the HSE called 'The principles of good manual handling: Achieving a consensus'.

Sample booklets, an explanatory leaflet and a catalogue are available through Scriptographic's website or by telephoning 0800 028 5670 or contact Michael Whitcroft, Scriptographic Publications Ltd, Charwell House, Wilsom Road, Alton, Hampshire GU34 2PP, UK | Tel: 08701 609 220 | Email: michaelwhitcroft@scriptographic.co.uk

The RoSPA Congress

The RoSPA Congress 2005 'Raising Standards, Embedding Excellence', at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, is designed to inform, stimulate, and offer delegates numerous insights and opportunities for discussion, to help them to enhance their contribution to prevention of injuries and safeguarding of health.

Increasingly businesses large and small are being judged by the way they manage health and safety. Whether in the boardroom or in individual work teams, the ability to demonstrate consistently high standards of health and safety risk management is being seen as a hallmark of business effectiveness and professionalism.

Legal compliance by itself is no longer enough. High standards and the pursuit of health and safety excellence need to be accepted as a key performance objective within the business. And this is far more than just being able to show consistent implementation of precautions or reducing numbers of injuries; it goes to the heart of the way organisations are run - with the emphasis clearly on strong and visible leadership by senior managers, real involvement of every worker and their representatives in decision making and the effective use of professional advice.

This year's RoSPA Congress will focus on what is being done at a strategic level to carry this approach to all parts of UK plc. The programme will also offer opportunities to examine: the real challenges associated with error and human behaviour; organisational capacity to investigate accidents and embed lessons learned; how to connect professional health and safety advice with other parts of the business agenda; and how to develop attitudes, knowledge and skills to ensure health and safety competence at all levels.

Congress will also focus on the key challenge of putting health at the heart of health and safety management, reviewing 'what works'; whether it is a question of managing stress and staff ill-health absence, or the challenge of reducing manual handling injuries, tackling occupational asthma or dermatitis or developing approaches to workplace health promotion that actually help to deliver healthier working lives.

RoSPA Congress 2005 has been designed to inform, to stimulate and to point ways forward. Whether you are a busy board level director, a senior health and safety professional or a newly appointed safety representative, this event will provide you with numerous insights and opportunities for discussion to help you enhance your contribution to preventing injuries, safeguarding health and making your organisation even more successful.

Congress Booking Hotline: 08707772120 | Email: events@rospa.com

REACHing the workplace - Belgium based TUTB analyses impact of new European chemicals policy on workers

The Trade Union Technical Bureau recent publication REACHing the workplace. How workers stand to benefit from the new European policy on chemical agents, by Tony Musu looks at the implications of the proposed reform of the European legislation on trade in chemical substances, known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals), that pursues two main aims: ensuring a high level of protection for human health and the environment; and strengthening the competitiveness of the European chemical industry.

European workers stand to benefit enormously from this reform, since at present the manufacture and use of chemicals in the workplace takes a heavy toll on them. Indeed, approximately one out of every three occupational diseases recognised annually in Europe can be ascribed to exposure to hazardous chemicals.

In order to better understand in what way the REACH reform represents a real opportunity to reduce the number of occupational diseases related to exposure to dangerous substances, this publication begins by examining the reasons why a reform is needed; it then describes the content of the REACH reform and the changes it will make to the existing legislation. It concludes by explaining the state of play in the legislative process underway at the European Parliament and the Council, which should result in the adoption of the REACH Regulation.

The new TUTB publication covers:

REACHing the workplace. How workers stand to benefit from the new European policy on chemical agents, by Tony Musu, TUTB, 2004. 36 pages. format 17x24 cm. ISBN 2-930003-53-7. 10 Euros EN - FR

Available from European Trade Union Technical Bureau for Health and Safety, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5, B-1210 Bruxelles | Tel: +32-(0)2-224 05 60 | Fax: +32-(0)2-224 05 61 | Email: tutb@etuc.org | www.etui.org

Stay one step ahead at Safety & Health Expo 2005

Whether you are a health and safety specialist or a director with responsibility for your staff, attending Safety & Health Expo 2005 (17-19 May, NEC, Birmingham) will guide you through the legal complexities that drive health and safety compliance. What's more, you'll have the chance to view the latest products and services available in the market.

Visit the show website here: www.safety-health-expo.co.uk

Seminar cycle on challenges of occupational diseases worldwide, Buenos Aires, 27 - 28 April 2005

"Registration and notification of occupational diseases and health monitoring in the Americas"

The Technical Commission on Insurance against Employment Accidents and Occupational Diseases is organizing a seminar on Registration and notification of occupational diseases and health monitoring in the Americas, which will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 27 and 28 April 2005 at the invitation of the Superintendency of Occupational Risks. This event forms part of a cycle of seminars that are being held by the Technical Commission on the challenges of occupational diseases worldwide.

It should be emphasized that this seminar is being held in the context of the Argentine Occupational Safety and Health Week, introduced by the Superintendency of Occupational Risks of Argentina between 21 and 28 April each year in commemoration of the adoption of the national Safety and Health Act and "World Day for Safety and Health at Work".

On this occasion, the seminar will form part of the programme of the Argentine Occupational Safety and Health Week, which will be held from 25 to 28 April 2005.

Source: ISSA | www.issa.int

Latest Edition of Directory of Occupational Hygiene Consultants

The 2005 edition of its Directory of Consultants is now available free from the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS). It lists consultancies able to provide qualified and experienced occupational hygienists and specialist occupational hygiene support services, with coverage throughout the UK. The foreword is by Hugh Robertson, Senior Health and Safety Officer of the TUC. Hard copies can be requested directly by telephoning 01332 298101, or a pdf version can be downloaded from the Society's website, www.bohs.org by following the link from 'List of Consultants' on the home page.

Occupational hygiene is concerned with the prevention or control of hazards that can impact on worker health such as exposure to physical, chemical or biological agents, as well as, increasingly, stress and musculo-skeletal disorders. If organisations don't employ an occupational hygienist, then the person responsible for health and safety may well, at times, need specialist help in these areas.

All contacts listed within this Directory are members of BOHS's Faculty of Occupational Hygiene. Whilst this can not be taken as an endorsement of an individual by BOHS, it does provide a degree of security, since entry into the Faculty is via professional examinations which, at the lowest grade, demonstrate a minimum of three years practical experience in the comprehensive practice of occupational hygiene. Individuals are also bound by the Faculty's Code of Ethics and are thereby responsible to their peers for maintaining the highest standards of technical and professional integrity. Lastly, all Faculty members participate in a CPD scheme designed to maintain a high level of current awareness and knowledge in occupational hygiene.

Occupational hygiene is about eliminating or controlling health hazards in the workplace (NOT about washing hands properly!), and the primary objective of the profession is to protect the long-term health and well-being of those at work. The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) is the definitive voice of occupational hygiene and has strong alliances with other health and safety organisations, the HSE, trade unions and business.

BOHS was formed in 1953 and its aim is simple: to help to reduce work-related ill-health. With members from within industry, health, education and research, it is by far the biggest hygiene society in Europe, and has been strengthened by its merger in April 2003 with the British Institute of Occupational Hygienists. The Faculty of Occupational Hygiene within BOHS plays a vital role in developing and maintaining the professional standards of hygienists, and is recognised internationally as a major professional examination and qualification body.

Contact Anthea Page, Communications Officer, BOHS, Suite 2, Georgian House, Great Northern Road, Derby, DE1 1LT, UK | Email: anthea@bohs.org | Tel: +44 (0)1332 298101

NEW SERVICE: Health and safety news on your union website

Most union websites these days have some material on health and safety, but to keep the health and safety information up to date, to keep members informed of breaking news in this important field, would require a huge investment of time and effort. Until now.

LabourStart is very pleased to team up with Hazards, the world's foremost health and safety magazine, to offer to all unions a health and safety newswire for your websites. The newswire includes the ten latest health and safety news stories. It is updated every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is very easy to add to your website -- all you need to do is copy and paste a single line of code. And of course, it's completely free of charge.

For more details go here: www.labourstart.org/hswire

If you do use the newswire on your website, please make sure to let us know - email ericlee@labourstart.org

Australia's Hazardous Substances Information System

The National Occupational Health and Safety Commission has made available online a new Hazardous Substances Database Information System, which can provide hazard classification information for over 3,500 substances and the associated national exposure standards for over 580 atmospheric contaminants.

This is the first publicly available version of the Hazardous Substances Information System. NOHSC welcomes feedback on the operation of this version. It is expected that a refined version of HSIS will be released later in 2005.The HSIS is an internet database that allows you to find information on hazardous substances that have been classified in accordance with the Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances [NOHSC:1008(2004] 3rd Edition and/or have National Exposure Standards declared under the NOHSC Adopted National Exposure Standards for Atmospheric contaminants in the Occupational Environment [NOHSC: 1003(1995)] or subsequent updates.

The HSIS provides access to two data sets, one for hazardous substance information and the other for exposure standard information. The data for substances that are common to both data sets are linked. Both data sets can be searched using a range of search criteria. Search results (including the full data sets) can be printed or saved electronically.

http://hsis.safeworkaustralia.gov.au

Using HSIS

Click on one of the links in the HSIS Navigation Bar on the left of the screen to access the search areas, user instructions and other HSIS features.

Background to HSIS

The National Model Regulations for the Control of Workplace Hazardous Substances [NOHSC:1005(1994)] are the basis for hazardous substance regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions. Under the National Model Regulations manufacturers and importers of substances supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health before supply.

The basis for determining whether a substance is hazardous, is the Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances 3rd Edition [NOHSC(1008:2004)] (the Approved Criteria). The criteria included in the Approved Criteria are adopted from European Community (EC) legislation for classifying dangerous substances.

In order to help manufacturers, importers and suppliers apply the Approved Criteria, NOHSC has previously published the List of Designated Hazardous Substances (the List), which is a list of the more commonly used workplace hazardous substances. The last edition of the List, [NOHSC:10005(1999)], was published in hardcopy in 1999.

The Hazardous Substances Information System is a new tool to support the hazardous substances regulatory framework and is effectively a comprehensive update of the List that integrates information from the Adopted National Exposure Standards for Atmospheric Contaminants in the Occupational Environment [NOHSC:1003(1995)] and subsequently declared National Exposure Standards.

For detailed information on the source of data included in the HSIS (including references to the relevant EC legislation) refer to the Guidance Material on the Search Hazardous Substances page. Version 1.2.2 - September 2004 (Last Updated: 24/01/2005)

Elektronisches Fachwörterbuch für den Arbeitsschutz Englisch/Deutsch
English/German Dictionary for Occupational Health and Safety on CD-ROM

Universum Verlag, a leading publishing company for publications related to health and safety at work has released its new Software for specialists.

The English/German Dictionary with over 100.000 technical terms and phrases to help to avoid accidents and risks that occur within internationally operating companies.

The terms and phrases are specific to:

The software is focused on the needs of architects, health and safety specialists and other experts in this field. The CD-Rom is windows based; the whole dictionary can be used on stand alone PCs as well as on the intranet.

Fachwörterbuch für den Arbeitsschutz Englisch/Deutsch
ISBN 3-89869-073-3. € 199,00

Universum Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Postfach 57 20, 65175 Wiesbaden | Telefon: 0611/90 30-501 | Order Fax 0611/90 30-277 | www.universum.de | Email: vertrieb@universum.de

The business case of safe and healthy work

New Agency report identifies 10 occupational safety and health criteria that underpin 'corporate social responsibility'. Another study finds strong links between the quality of work and productivity.

An analysis of a cross-section of Europe's leading proponents of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has highlighted the key ingredients of an effective CSR strategy, including 10 occupational safety and health (OSH) issues that need to be taken into account.

The research, which is published by the Bilbao-based European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, is based on a study of European businesses, ranging from multinationals such as Volkswagen to small- to medium-sized enterprises, such as the UK computer training company, Happy Computers. Entitled Corporate social Responsibility and Safety and Health at Work, the 126-page report not only pinpoints the 10 key OSH ingredients needed for CSR but also provides analysis of 11 businesses' CSR activities, as well as an overview of initiatives to promote CSR at a global, European and national level.

Some of the 10 OSH criteria for CSR success include:

As the report notes, the commercial impact of a well-structured CSR strategy, including OSH, can be significant. At Happy Computers, for example, the company has not only managed to grow in a declining market but also achieved an annual staff turnover of just 8%, half the industry average.

The Agency has also published a working paper that explores the relationship between OSH and a company's productivity. Entitled Quality of the Working Environment and Productivity, the findings of the study indicate that there is a strong relationship: the higher the OSH standards, the higher the productivity. And vice versa. In some cases, a good safety record can even be used to predict future profitability.

According to the study, factors that enable higher OSH standards to translate into increased productivity include: close cooperation between the company's management team and its employees; giving staff greater autonomy and more challenging tasks; and introducing more ergonomic working methods and equipment.

The report, Corporate social responsibility and safety and health at work can be downloaded free of charge from http://osha.europa.eu/publications/reports/210. A summary factsheet in the 20 EW languages is also available at http://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/factsheets. Printed copies of the publications can be ordered from the Publications Office of the European Communities (http://publications.europa.eu) and its sales agents.

The report Quality of the working environment and productivity (working paper) can be downloaded free of charge from http://osha.europa.eu/publications/reports/211

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: information@osha.eu.int | http://osha.europa.eu

Workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses remain at unacceptably high levels

Workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses remain at unacceptably high levels and involve an enormous and unnecessary health burden, suffering, and economic loss amounting to 4-5% of GDP. According to the latest ILO estimates for the year 2000 there are 2.0 million work-related deaths per year. WHO estimates that there are only 10-15% of workers who have access to a basic standard of occupational health services.

WHO addresses occupational health through a programme in WHO headquarters, the six WHO regional offices and WHO country offices, with the support of a strong network of 70 Collaborating Centers.

WHO is implementing a global strategy www.who.int/occupational_health/globstrategy/en to:

  1. provide evidence for policy, legislation and support to decision-makers, including work carried out to estimate the magnitude of the burden of occupational diseases and injuries
  2. provide infrastructure support and development through capacity building, information dissemination and networking, and
  3. support protection and promotion of workers' health.

WHO also assists countries to develop or upgrade their national occupational health profiles and action plans and to create the capacity to implement the plans.

WHO has a particular focus on strengthening capacity building activities, particularly on practical solutions, and to enhancing work addressing selected priority groups, such as health care workers.

Between 2001-2004 WHO developed and implemented a workplan in collaboration with the WHO Network of Collaborating Centres. The workplan organizes the Collaborating Centers into 15 Task Forces that carry out projects in priority areas, supporting the implementation of the global strategy.

WHO Network of Collaborating Centres www.who.int/occupational_health/network/en

OSH UPDATE: New Internet-based service is available and already being used worldwide
Why not try this new service today?

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. Launched just over a month ago this service is receiving praise from OSH information seekers around the world.

Powered by Head Software International's Headfast/Discovery Internet publishing software, OSH UPDATE is 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's HSELINE, US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Canada Ryerson University RILOSH, the International Labour Office CIS Health and Safety Centre CISDOC , European Union legislation and other legislation sources and OSH standards specifications including those from the British Standards Institution plus International Labour Office Conventions, Protocols and Recommendations.

OSH UPDATE records has 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 Annual subscription 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 a 30 DAY FREE trial please complete the OSH UPDATE Interest Form, or contact us to ask further questions.

Email: sp@sheilapantry.com