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News Archive

March 2005

Prepare for ILO World Day against Child Labour, 12 June 2005

The plight of children who work in mines and quarries that are often dangerous, dirty and can pose a grave risk to their health and safety will be the focus of the fourth World Day Against Child Labour, scheduled for 12 June 2005.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that some one million children work in small scale mining and quarrying around the world. What's more, ILO studies show that these children work in some of the worst conditions imaginable, where they face serious risk of dying on the job or sustaining injuries and health problems that will affect them throughout their lives. In both surface and underground mines, children work long hours, carry heavy loads, set explosives, sieve sand and dirt, crawl down narrow tunnels, breathe in harmful dusts and work in water - often in the presence of dangerous toxins such as lead and mercury. Children mine diamonds, gold, and precious metals in Africa, gems and rock in Asia, and gold, coal, emeralds and tin in South America. In rock quarries located in many parts of the world, children face safety and health risks from pulling and carrying heavy loads, breathing in hazardous dust and particles and using dangerous tools and crushing equipment.

The experience of the ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) - which has conducted pilot projects in Mongolia, Tanzania, Niger and the Andean countries of South America - demonstrates that it is feasible to eliminate child labour in dangerous conditions by helping the mining and quarrying communities acquire legal rights, organize cooperatives or other productive units, improve the health and safety and productivity of adult workers, and secure essential services - such as schools, clean water and sanitation systems - in these often remote regions.

The ILO launched the World Day against Child Labour in June 2002 as a means of raising the visibility of the problem and highlighting the global movement to eliminate child labour, particularly its worst forms. This year, on and about 12 June, local and national organizations and many children's groups are expected to join with ILO constituents around the world to observe the World Day, which occurs during the annual International Labour Conference in Geneva, and to emphasize the need for the immediate removal of child workers from small scale mines and quarries.

For more information, please contact ILO Department of Communication in Geneva at (+4122) 799-7912 or communication@ilo.org, or Susan Gunn at ILO/IPEC at (+4122) 799-6107.

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The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions: New report 'Industrial Relations in the EU, Japan and USA 2003-4'

Still wide differences in industrial relations in the European Union (EU), Japan and USA - Collective bargaining remains the dominant method of settling pay and working time in Europe, covering around two-thirds of workers in the European Union of 25 countries. This stands in contrast to the one fifth of the workforce in Japan and only one eight of the US workforce that are covered by collective agreements. The levels, methods and even issues of collective bargaining remain widely different between the three economic blocks, argues the Foundation in its new 'Industrial Relations in the EU, Japan and USA 2003-4' report.

Since 2000, the Foundation's European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) has each year conducted a project comparing aspects of industrial relations in the European Union, Japan and the USA. The aim of the project is to provide a picture of similarities and differences in both basic structures and current developments, not least to help illuminate what does and does not make the 'European social model' distinctive.

On the issue of trade union membership levels, the report found a continuation of recent trends in the European Union: rising membership levels in a substantial number of countries, but an overall fall in union membership. The already comparatively low level of trade union membership and density continued to fall in the USA and Japan. Union mergers continued in Japan and many EU countries, while proposals for a radical merger and restructuring process raises questions for the USA's AFL-CIO confederation. Another common theme has been for unions to reach out to new groups outside their traditional constituencies. On the employer side, a number of organisations restructured or merged in some EU Member States in 2003-4.

On the issue of industrial actions, the report found that labour disputes and industrial action remained at very low levels in Japan and the USA. In the EU15, industrial action is more common, but data available indicate a general trend towards lower levels of strikes and similar activities.

The report is available from: http://eurofound.europa.eu/observatories/eurwork/articles/industrial-relations-in-the-eu-japan-and-usa-2003-4

For further information, contact Måns Mårtensson, Press Officer, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Wyattville Road, Loughlinstown, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel: +353-1-204 3124 | Fax: +353-1-282 6456 | Mobile: +353-876-593 507 | Email: mma@eurofound.eu.int | http://eurofound.europa.eu/news

1-7 May 2005 - North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week: Equip, Educate, Empower

The theme for NAOSH 2005 is Equip, Educate, Empower. To coincide with this theme, the Ontario NAOSH Network, a group representing many of the province's prevention partners, has developed a brief, 10-item checklist to help workplaces test their organization's health and safety "fitness." The checklist is intended to get workplaces thinking about basic requirements and workplace injury and illness issues. It also provides information on resources that are available so that employers can make improvements where necessary.

Good employers know that protecting the health and safety of their workers is not only law, it is the right thing to do. It also makes good business sense. By implementing active health and safety programs and enforced policies, and by making safety a top priority, organizations not only demonstrate their commitment to their employees, they act responsibility. These actions help foster a health and safety culture that can lead to fewer injuries and illnesses for the employees, and a healthier organization all round.

NAOSH week is also an ideal time for organizations to enhance their knowledge of workplace safety by holding or participating in a health and safety event. These events can range from training www.naosh.ca

16 June 2005 - 5th European Behavioural Safety Users' Conference

"The 5th European Behavioural Safety Users' Conference will be held on the 16th June 2005 and will be co-hosted by Ryder-Marsh Safety and RoSPA in association with the Chemical Industries Association. The innovations at the October 2003 conference were a great success with the independently assessed "Certificate of Achievement" awards and the Allan Poole "Behavioural Safety Achievement of the Year" award bringing a new dimension to this established learning event.

Despite the fact that the finalists were selected by an independent committee and the winner and runner up by the audience on the day - the success of Ryder-Marsh clients in filling both those positions meant, however, that it was clear that following events had to be co-hosted by a credible and neutral organisation. (Not only must the judging be fair - it must be seen to be fair if the Awards are to continue the excellent momentum started by the inaugural event). Ryder-Marsh are therefore delighted that an organisation as esteemed as RoSPA have agreed to co-ordinate this year's event and we fully expect their experience and flair will take the event forward and further establish it as a beacon for learning and best practice in the field of behavioural safety and human factors in general.

This year's event will follow the same format. The morning will be given over to a series of short presentations stratified for consultant providers and industry and all titled "problems we have had and lessons we have learnt". (As in previous years companies that have designed their own programmes will also be represented). The afternoon session will comprise 3 slightly longer presentations by the three selected finalists. They will talk to the same topic - but will be allowed an extra five minutes to detail their successes. . Certificates of achievement will be presented just after lunch and the Allan Poole award will again be voted on by the audience on the day". Full details are available through RoSPA or from www.rydermarsh.co.uk where application forms, hotel details and the text of previous talks and event learning points can be downloaded.

Hosted by Ryder-Marsh Safety and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and supported by the Chemical Industries Association at the Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester, UK
Contact: Conference Administration, RoSPA, Edgbaston Park, 353 Bristol Road, Birmingham B5 7ST, UK | Tel: +44 0870 777 2120 | Fax:+ 44 (0) 870 777 2131 | Email: events@rospa.com | www.rospa.com/events

New Global Food Standard that won't get lost in translation

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is publishing Spanish, German, Swedish, French, Dutch and Norwegian translations of its revised Global Food Standard that comes into force on 1 July 2005. The Standard will be translated into other international languages during 2005.

The BRC Global Food Standard is used by certification bodies operating throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Far East, Australasia, North and South America, to enable food suppliers to achieve certification against a globally recognised standard.

The translations, available as a PDF download from March 2005, will prove invaluable for food suppliers around the globe looking to achieve BRC certification and will enable them to co-operate more effectively with those who they supply.

BRC Head of Technical Services, Kevin Swoffer said: "This is a significant development in the BRC Global Standards series as it extends the reach of best practice standards into all global markets.

"Retailers recognise the importance of the supply of food produce from around the world and are in no doubt that the translations will help those businesses who are increasing their global operations. Most large UK retailers will require their suppliers to have gained certification to the appropriate BRC Global Standard and so we are pleased to now offer both a revised Standard that reflects the changing industry and translations of this standard - making life easier for those suppliers outside the UK."

The new BRC Global Food Standard was published on 1 January 2005 and will come into force on 1 July 2005.

The six translations available from March 2005 as a download only and are priced at £85.00, plus VAT. To order contact the TSO (The Stationery Office) by phone on +44 (0)870 243 0123, by fax on +44 (0)870, 243 0129 online at www.tsoshop.co.uk, by visiting a TSO bookshop or by post from TSO, PO Box 29, Norwich, NR3 1GN, UK Please quote the following ISBN numbers when purchasing:

To pre order the English (hard copy) version of the Standard contact the TSO (The Stationery Office), the Standard is priced at £90 plus £3.75 for postage and packaging. 15% discount is offered for all orders over 15 copies. It can be ordered by quoting ISBN number - 0117022233 by phone on +44 (0) 870 243 0123, by fax on +44 (0) 870 243 0129, online at www.tsoshop.co.uk (discount is not available by this method), by visiting a TSO bookshop or by post from TSO, PO Box 29, Norwich, NR3 1GN. The English version of the Standard is also available as a PDF download at the same price as the hard copy - please quote ISBN 011702712X.

British Retail Consortium, 2nd Floor, 21 Dartmouth St, London SW1H 9BP, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 207 854 8921 | Fax: +44 (0) 207 854 8901 | www.brc.org.uk

Cutting through the health and safety red tape

Protect your people - and your business ...the practical one-stop health and safety toolkit, a new book from IOSH, really 'does what it says on the tin'. In one clear and simple volume all the health and safety basics are covered from a practical perspective, supported by functional tools, models and checklists. Says author Bryan Toone: "Experienced health and safety professionals will know all this stuff, but they will probably never have seen it pulled together like this before."

The book offers a handy information back-up tool for health and safety practitioners, as well as an action-centred, authoritative follow-up resource to offer colleagues or client organisations.

This groundbreaking publication offers an 'antidote' to the usual heavy duty health and safety textbooks. Protect your people dispenses with the traditional reliance on the law, focusing instead on what managers need to do to make sure that the people who work for them are safe.

Ignoring the heavy-duty theory that can prove a real turn off, it's packed with tools to guide managers in setting up and running an effective health and safety programme. All the key managerial and operational issues are covered, from writing a policy to getting to grips with the rules on working time.

The book includes over 30 checklists - all available online - as well as sample documents, reports and model toolbox talks for a range of mainstream activities. A simple navigation scheme, clean, crisp layout, clear explanations of jargon, a straightforward cross-referencing system and plenty of facts and figures to drive home the cost of getting health and safety wrong, all help to make this book a unique, easy-to-read resource for managers and supervisors.

Author Bryan Toone has over 20 years' experience as a health and safety professional and is a Fellow of IOSH. He works in the construction sector for a medium-sized company. This down-to-earth new book is backed by the Federation of Small Businesses which praises its "welcome practical advice, plain English style of writing and easy-to-follow navigation".

Copies are available, priced £20, from Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1NN, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1787 249293 | Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3100 switchboard | Fax: +44 (0)116 257 3101 | www.iosh.co.uk

Find out more about IOSH 2005 Diamond Jubilee Conference at www.ioshconference.co.uk.

Hazardous Waste - The New Rules: Seminar

Tuesday 24 May 2005 at the Village Hotel, Coventry, UK

The development of new UK legislation goes on continually, but sometimes takes a long time, as has been the case here. The preliminary proposals came out in March 2001 and the firm proposals eventually at the end of July 2004; with a consultation period that ended at the end of October 2004. Though many may have forgotten, work has continued and whenever the Hazardous Waste Regulations are finally made compliance will be expected by 16 July 2005. Interim guidance on the new requirement for premises notification has just recently been published,

There will be consequences for many, including those who write Safety Data Sheets. For example the information in Section 13 will probably need revising - with the term "Special Waste" ceasing to have any special significance, being replaced by "Hazardous Waste"; and references to the Special Waste Regulations needing to be replaced by new wording.

Also will you understand the difference between an absolute entry and a mirror entry in the European Waste Catalogue?

Differences between Scotland and England/Wales exist, the term "special waste" is still in use in Scotland, but means "hazardous waste", with more to it than just a name change!

This seminar will bring chemical hazard practitioners up to date with the expected new Regulations, their wider scope, and also deal with practical implications for chemical hazard communicators.

All this against a background of a policy decision that has been taken that seeks to achieve more prosecutions.

Time will be available to ask questions of the speakers, who all have considerable experience and understanding of the issues, and network with your fellow professionals over a buffet lunch.

Programme includes:

Nota Bene: Final programme may be subject to some change.

Histoplasmosis Protecting Workers at Risk

This booklet is a revised edition of the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) document Histoplasmosis: Protecting Workers at Risk, which was originally published in September 1997. The updated information in this booklet will help readers understand what histoplasmosis is and recognize activities that may expose workers to the disease-causing fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. The booklet also informs readers about methods they can use to protect themselves and others from exposure.

Outbreaks of histoplasmosis have shared similar circumstances: People who did not know the health risks of breathing in the spores of H. capsulatum became ill and sometimes caused others nearby to become ill when they disturbed contaminated soil or accumulations of bird or bat manure. Because they were unaware of the hazard, they did not take protective measures that could have prevented illness.

This booklet will help prevent such exposures by serving as a guide for safety and health professionals, environmental consultants, supervisors, and others responsible for the safety and health of those working near material contaminated with H. capsulatum. Activities that pose a health risk to workers at these sites include disturbance of soil at an active or inactive bird roost or poultry house, excavation in regions where this fungus is endemic, and removal of bat or bird manure from buildings.

Contact: US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226 1998, USA | Tel + 1-513-533-8573 | Email: pubstaft@cdc.gov | www.cdc.gov/niosh | www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2005-109

Legislative Observatory (OEIL) on EUROPARL has been revamped

Recently revamped - a t present there are quite a few document links missing in the publicly available internet version of the dossiers. One very useful addition is a list of all the Council meetings at which the piece of legislation was discussed.

www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil

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