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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

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News Archive

May 2005

Backs! 2005 - Back pain and injury at work

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is running a major national initiative this summer focussed on reducing the incidence of back pain at work. Currently manual handling is a major cause of back injury. One in five of those who suffer work-related ill health has back pain - bad both for people and for business. The overall aim of the Backs! 2005 initiative is to promote the use of lifting and handling aids as a means of reducing the incidence of back injuries at work.

The main phase of the Backs! 2005 campaign will involve a nationally co-ordinated publicity, education and inspection programme over a 4 week period in June/July. The programme is being developed in partnership with Local Authorities and other stakeholders and will help encourage innovative solutions to musculo-skeletal disorder (MSD) issues.

As part of the campaign HSE Inspectors and Local Authority Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) will be gathering detailed information on MSDs and incidence of back pain in the workplace, from employers and employees. HSE Inspectors and EHOs will be completing a two part Inspection Report Form (IRF) during each site visit and a copy, of Part Two of this form, will be left with both the employer and employee representatives. To enable both employers and employees get an idea of the information to be gathered during site visits a copy of Part Two of a blank IRF can be downloaded at

Solvent Exposure in Drycleaning Industry Prompts New OSHA Publication

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published new guidance to reduce worker exposure to organic chemical solvents used in the drycleaning industry. Reducing Worker Exposures to Perchloroethylene in Dry-Cleaning provides information on the health hazards and current regulations related to the solvent, and addresses best practices to minimize worker exposure. The document can be found at

No exposure, no occupational asthma

No one really knows why occupational asthma affects a small percentage of workers and bypasses the rest. This respiratory disease is caused by certain dusts, fumes or vapours in the workplace that trigger an abnormal response in the worker's body. The worker may experience skin rashes, hay fever-like symptoms, or a combination of these symptoms.

The offending substance may be tobacco dust in a cigarette factory, tea dust in a tea plant, carmine at a cosmetics manufacturing plant, feathers in a plucking operation at a poultry plant, or the acrylates found in sealants and adhesives in an autobody shop, to name just a few. Occupational asthma has also been reported in the healthcare industry, in pharmaceutical plants, in the wood industry, and in just about any other industry with airborne substances. The medical community is aware of two main types of asthma: allergic, where antibodies attach to specific cells in the lung and react with the offending substance, and non-allergic, where repeated exposure to an industrial chemical causes leukotrienes and other substances to be released in the lungs, causing narrowing of air passages. Asthma may develop weeks, months or years after exposure to the irritant substances.

Recently, another type of asthma - reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS) - has reared its head in the workplace. In RADS cases, symptoms of asthma may develop suddenly, within 24 hours following the inhalation of irritating substances such as smoke, dust, fumes and vapours. Afflicted workers often report symptoms by the end of the day. Symptoms may persist for months or years, when the sensitized person is re-exposed to irritants. RADS is still a relatively rare condition, and one that health and safety experts are still working to better understand.

Attacks of difficult breathing, tightness of the chest, coughing, and breath sounds such as wheezing, are often a tell-tale sign of occupational asthma. Typically these symptoms are worse on working days, often awakening the patient at night, and improving when the person is away from work. While off work, asthma sufferers may still have chest symptoms when exposed to airway irritants such as dusts, or fumes, or when they exercise. Itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, stuffy and runny nose, and skin rashes may also be associated with asthma.

Although there are drugs that may control the symptoms of asthma, it is important to stop exposure before breathing problems become permanent. A well-maintained, properly fitted dust mask or respirator can help to control workplace exposure, as can engineering controls such as ventilation, or proper training in how to handle chemicals, avoid spills and practise good housekeeping at work. The only way to ensure there will be no further exposure, however, is to change jobs, or to replace dangerous substances with less harmful ones.

From The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) OSH Answers
To view the full OSH Answers document on occupational asthma, visit:

From the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) Health and Safety Report
To subscribe go to to keep up-to-date.

NFPA World Safety Conference & Exposition®

Las Vegas, USA June 6-10, 2005 Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center

NIOSH will be presenting at two separate sessions of the NFPA 2005 World Safety Conference & Exposition® in Las Vegas, NV, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center, June 6-10, 2005.

Event ID: M06
Speaker Name: Koedam, Robert
Presentation Title: Risk vs. Gain: Considerations for Working Fires in Unoccupied Structures
Date: 6/6/2005 Time: 8:00 am - 9:00 am Co-presenters: Farmer, Ann
Track(s): Fire and Emergency Response Research

Event ID: T33
Speaker Name: Proudfoot, Steven
Presentation Title: Ambulance Safety in the Fire Service
Date: 6/7/2005 Time: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Track(s): Fire and Emergency Response Research

EurOhse2005 One-day Masterclass on Fire Risk Assessment and Business Continuity Planning and Management, 29 November 2005, Stratford-on-Avon

This One-day Masterclass on Fire Risk Assessment and Business Continuity Planning and Management is to be presented on 29 November 2005 at the Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, UK by Les Moseley - Director of the Coventry Centre for Disaster Management and Programme Manager - University of Coventry , UK and Dennis Davies CBE, OStJ, QFSM, CEng, CCMI, FIFireE(Life), MEI - Independent Fire Adviser - International Committee for the Prevention and Extinction of Fire (CTIF) and formerly HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services, Scotland.

The Masterclass aims to build on existing knowledge and skills in Risk and Hazard Analysis for Fire Risk Assessment and develop further knowledge in Continuity Planning.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of the workshop participants will have:

The Masterclass is aimed at: OSH managers, risk managers and emergency and business continuity planners in industry, commerce and local and central government.

Content of the day:

Les Moseley - is Director of the Coventry Centre for Disaster Management and Programme Manager for the professional diploma courses including the Diploma in Business Continuity Management. Before joining Coventry University, Les spent 16 years in the British Fire Service as a Senior Officer and 14 years working in Emergency Planning. Immediately before joining the University he was Chief Emergency Planning Officer and Principal Officer with the West Midlands Fire & Civil Defence Authority and prior to this, County Emergency Planning Officer for Warwickshire County Council. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Defence and Disaster Studies, a Graduate Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers and a Member of the Emergency Planning Society. Les' research interests include vulnerability assessment, preparedness planning and the management of disasters. Les is also an advisor to the International Civil Defence Organisation and the World Health Organisation and regularly support them in education initiatives worldwide. Les is also a regular contributor to the local and national media and recently appeared on BBC2's 'If... the lights go out' and 'Terror Alert' on Sky One.

Dennis Davies became an independent fire adviser, working with government and commercial clients in 2004 after 39 years active involvement in the fire service. As HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services for Scotland he was responsible for assessing the performance of all Scotland's brigades and advising Ministers and the Scottish Executive on fire matters. Between 1986 and 1999 he was the Chief Fire Officer for Cheshire Fire Brigade.

Dennis joined the fire service in 1965 in his hometown Walsall. He subsequently transferred on promotion to Cheshire 1971 and, having served in a very wide range of safety, technical and operational posts became the Brigade's Chief Fire Officer. The area has a significant petrochemical industry and his experience includes command management at and contingency planning for major incidents. The Brigade was also extremely active and innovative in the promotion of community safety.

The Chairman for the day is Professor Peter Waterhouse, the Honorary Visiting Professor of Occupational Safety in the Robens Centre of the European Institute of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey, UK.

This is a unique opportunity to attend this Masterclass to be given by two international experts....make sure that you have a place and make your reservation now!

Organised by Angel Business Publications and Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, the Masterclass will be followed by the EurOhse2005 conference that will be held on 30 November 2005 - 1 December 2005 at the Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, UK. This is the third year for this very popular, informative conference that keeps you up-to-date and provides excellent networking opportunities and will provide key points for future activities for all those responsible for securing good standards of health and safety in the workplace, and excellent networking opportunities.14 eminent speakers with backgrounds in government, inspectorates, industry, research and education will discuss a range of topics.

Chairmen for the two days will be John Howard OBE, CEO RoSPA and Professor Peter Waterhouse, Robens Institute.

Why not book both the Masterclass and the EurOhse2005 conference?

For further details contact: EurOhse 2005 and Masterclass, Jesse Bhadal, Conference Manager, Angel Business Communications Ltd, 34 Warwick Road, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 1HE, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1926 512424 | Fax: +44 (0) 1926 512948 | email:

For further details contact the programme organiser Sheila Pantry | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | email:

New BOOK... Managing Health and Safety by Mike Bateman

Managing Health and Safety is a wide-ranging reference book to health and safety law for the busy manager. Written in a practical and accessible way by an experienced Health and Safety Consultant, who has also worked previously as an Inspector for the UK Health and Safety Executive, this handbook aimed at the UK practitioner enables users to gain a good understanding of the requirements of the law in relation to employees and others, but will be useful for practitioners elsewhere who need to have a firm grip on managing health and safety. Therefore it is an ideal reference for anyone whose role includes responsibility for health and safety.

This handbook demonstrates clearly and simply how to ensure a safe workplace, answering all your health and safety questions, such as:

Managing Health and Safety will show you how to:

This new ICSA Handbook is up-to date, to include:

Features include:

Contents include: law, managing health and safety, risk assessment requirements including COSHH assessments, Noise assessments, Manual handling assessments, Display screen equipment assessments, Assessment of personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements and Fire. Other important health and safety topics such as Work equipment, Electrical safety, Occupational health and first aid.

There are only 6 pages of "sources of information" and these are mainly devoted to the UK Health and Safety Executive - that now has a very limited publishing programme. Other organisations listed are limited to just a few. Given that the majority of occupational safety and health legislation comes from Europe - there are no European sources listed such as the Official Journal of the European Union nor the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. Likewise the electronic publishers offer mainly Internet access to their ever-increasing information services, whilst still maintaining CD-ROMs for those who have problems with electronic access to sources that are updated daily. OSH information knows no country boundaries and there are some excellent sources available that should be cited in future editions of this useful book.

About the author
Mike Bateman is an experienced Health and Safety Consultant. He has previously worked as an Inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, as well as spending over 15 years as a Health and Safety Manager in industry. He formed his own consultancy in 1991 and has clients including industrial, commercial and public bodies of all sizes. He is a corporate member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and a Registered Safety Practitioner.

Managing Health and Safety • Mike Bateman • ICSA Publishing • ISBN: 1860722970 • 352 pages • Published April 2005 • £49.95

ICSA Publishing, 16 Park Crescent, London W1B 1AH, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7612 7020 | Fax: +44 (0) 20 7612 7034 | Email:

Moving Goods Safely (MGS)

Moving Goods Safely (MGS) is a London-wide initiative in 2005/06 - with the aim of a national roll out in 2006/07. It involves the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the 33 Local Authorities working in partnership to reduce injuries and ill-health arising from the movement of goods.

The project includes coordinated inspections of multi-site and peripatetic organisations by mixed Local Authority and HSE delivery teams and focuses on workplace transport, musculoskeletal disorders and slips risks. The project also encompasses the London elements of HSE's national 'Backs' and 'Slips' campaigns.

Details include Diary of Events, News and some useful links to other organisations concerned with Moving Goods Safely.

For further information on the project please e-mail:

For further information see

Public protection consultation study

This pilot study for the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) gauged views on public protection in advance of a wider consultation. Six focus groups used examples of health and safety related incidents to explore whether there should be an investigation, its purpose and the expertise investigators need.

'Health and safety' was perceived as a workplace issue with HSE's role that of overseer and inspector, setting rules and standards. Prompted, participants acknowledged wider relevance for health and safety although they realised that there are risks in all activities.

The main purpose of an investigation was to prevent the incident recurring. Outcomes do not necessarily have to be punitive; rather, bodies should accept responsibility, apologise and take preventative action. Vulnerable groups were said to need extra protection. Compensation payments were disliked, although for severe injuries, payments might cover care costs.

Participants conflated the decision-making process on whether to investigate with the reason for the incident. Incidents should be judged on: frequency; severity; scale; preventability; potential for harm; injured party's level of control; degree of personal responsibility circumstances imply; and the understanding society has of the hazard's impact. For the public, personal experience also played a role. Prioritising was to be thought very hard because individuals have different priorities.

Investigators must have relevant expertise and be independent. The first step should be an internal investigation with the results communicated to the 'injured' party. If this investigation was unsatisfactory, participants would look to outside bodies but participants were unclear which. Other professionals in the relevant field, a solicitor, the police or the media, were suggested.

Further research with a broader sample could explore:

Health and Safety Executive Research Report RR346 - Public protection consultation study 2005 | View the report [637kb]

Promoting health and safety as a key goal of the Corporate Social Responsibility agenda

The Health and Safety Commission/Executive (HSC/E) is looking to business to move beyond compliance with health and safety regulations to continuously improve all aspects of the working environment that result in a workforce that is 'happy, healthy and here'. It recognises that, as a result of progress in improving occupational safety, the major challenge for the UK in improving Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) lies in improving occupational health. Issues of occupational health are less amenable to regulation than occupational safety. CSR is therefore a potential valuable trend for the HSC/E to promote OSH.

This study was commissioned in order to consider the current thinking within CSR with respect to OSH, the views of the key CSR players on OSH in the CSR agenda and the actions that the HSC/E could take to raise the profile of OSH in the CSR agenda. This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

Promoting health and safety as a key goal of the Corporate Social Responsibility agenda
Prepared by Technopolis Ltd and Emerging Markets Economics Ltd for the Health and Safety Executive 2005
Research Report 339

FIRE WORLDWIDE... information, guidance and advice - all in one place!

Aimed at everyone in the fire industry internationally with the emphasis on all aspects of fire management principles, practices and research, Fire Worldwide is easy to use - so technophobia is eliminated... and contains thousands of pages of validated and authoritative information. It contains::

The Full text Collection has 4 major databases containing the full text documents that are continually being added to this wide-ranging source of critical fire information. The collection contains all appropriate European and UK legislation for fire and fire related industry - some hundreds of documents. In addition a range of fire and fire related documents from organisations such as: The UK Fire Protection Association, World Fire Statistics Bureau, CTIF - The International Committee for the Prevention and Extinction of Fire, UK Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, US National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health, UK Health and Safety Executive, Ireland Department of the Environment Fire Safety.

The Bibliographic Collection has 7 databases from Fire Service College, UK, LPC Centre for Risk Sciences, UK, Forensic Science Service, UK, Fire Research Institute, USA, Association nationale pour la protection contre l'incendie et l'intrusion (ANPI), Belgium, and the Department of Transport and the Regions (DETR), UK. These databases contain over 245,000 records to journal articles, guidance and advice, circulars, reports, conference proceedings, research reports, statistics and codes of practice from worldwide sources. There is information on every subject from airport fire safety, to the use of abandoned buildings for fire training, facemasks, forest fires, loss prevention, sprinklers, and wildland fires. One of the databases - from the British Standards Institution contains references to over 3000 fire and fire related standards.

To see for yourself how easy it is to get up-to-date information and for a 30-day free trial contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | Email: |

OSH UPDATE: New Internet-based service is available and already being used worldwide
Why not try this new service today? Over 500,000 records

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 this newly launched, 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 is now available and is updated monthly

It NOW contains ten bibliographic databases from worldwide authoritative sources such as:

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 contains 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, bio-terrorism, management of road risks, preparedness and business continuity, risk assessment.

The title price for a single user via the Internet is GBP250.00/Euros 360.00 /US$ 450.00 per year - less than 68 pence/1 Euro /1.2 dollars per day

The price* (see below for further details) 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.

A user in Finland says "OSH UPDATE it is excellent and easy to use".
A Hong Kong user group says it is what they need to keep them up-to-date.


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.

Sheila Pantry OBE BA FCLIP, Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, 85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | Email: | | | |
Electronic Products: Environment and Waste Plus | Fire Worldwide | OSH Ireland | OSH UPDATE

*Subscription for one year - monthly updates OSH UPDATE