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News Archive

January 2006

Fire Hazards in Industry by Norman Thomson, Safety Training and Development Manager, Vocational Training Services, Scotland

Significant loss to business occurs through fires in the workplace. Whether large or small, fire causes personal suffering, damage to plant, equipment and buildings, and loss of business.

Fire legislation has changed over the past few years, especially with the introduction of European Directives. New regulations mean that employers have to carry out fire risk assessment and then, as a result of their findings, put in place control measures to prevent loss of life.

Fire Hazards in Industry although written in 2001 has been designed to cover, in general terms, exactly what is required of employers. It is written in simple language and considers the basics of good fire safety management. After reading Fire Hazards in Industry, any employer, safety professional or fire safety officer should be able to install a system for carrying out fire risk assessment.

In addition to sections relating to the legal aspects of fire prevention, the book explains the concepts of fire modelling, explosions and combustion reactions. There is also a section relating to common industry fire hazards and hazards associated with electrical equipment. Knowledge of all these topics would be required if a person were to attempt to carry out fire risk assessment.

Throughout the book, past case histories are used to illustrate certain aspects of fire and the causes of fire. The cases used have all been published by the Health and Safety Executive as a result of their investigations. These include; Abbeystead, Frodingham steelworks, HMS Glasgow, BP Grangemouth and many more.

This book will be equally relevant to motor manufacturing as it is to the chemical industry. There are many case studies included that deal with fire hazards that are found in general industry. Fire Hazards in Industry is suitable for those who have relatively limited experience in fire safety and therefore use it as part of their career and educational development, but also can be used as reference material for those experienced professionals who have fire safety included in their day to day responsibility.

The book covers: Introduction; Fire Safety Legislation; Fire Risk Assessment; Management of Fire Risks; Wilful Fire-raising and Control; The Combustion Process; Flammability; Common Causes of Fire; Fires Involving Electrical Equipment; Gas Explosions; Dust Explosions; Liquefied Petroleum Gas; Oxidising Agents; Other Combustion Reactions; Human Factors; Conclusions

Primary market: Health and Safety Managers, Safety Advisers and Practitioners in industry. Students taking NEBOSH Diploma Parts 1 & 2 courses. Secondary market: Fire Safety professionals, Fire Safety Officers taking promotional exams, or attending courses at The National Fire Service College or Local Authority Fire Brigade training centres. Students on MSc Health & Students on MSc Health & Safety courses studying Safety Technology.

Fire Hazards in Industry by Norman Thomson | 2001 | Published by Butterworth Heinemann | ISBN: 0-7506-5321-3 | 176 pages |

Work-life balance: new research evidence on the links with management practices and productivity

Companies that are bigger, more globalised and better managed provide a better work-life balance for their employees, according to new research Work-Life Balance, Management Practices and Productivity by Nick Bloom, Tobias Kretschmer and John Van Reenen.

What's more, tough product market competition improves management practices but without any detrimental impact on work-life balance. At the same time, the researchers find no evidence that firms with good practices on work-life balance - shorter hours, flexible working, family-friendly policies, etc. - have higher productivity.

The study uses an innovative survey tool on over 700 manufacturing firms in France, Germany, the UK and the United States to ask questions about management practices and work-life balance. It finds that:

The researchers describe two opposing views on the effects and efficacy of good practices on work-life balance - the pessimistic 'Chirac' view and the optimistic 'win-win' view:

This study finds evidence for a hybrid view between these two polar extremes:

Dr Nick Bloom comments:

'Based on these results, it simply is not true that globalisation is such a disaster for employees. Employees in larger, more globalised firms seem to be much better off in terms of their working lives than those in smaller, more national firms.'

'This conclusion suggests that improving work-life balance is socially desirable - workers obviously like it and firm productivity does not suffer. For firms, this will be worth weighing up more seriously. Most of the best-run firms in our sample treated their employees very well.'

Professor John Van Reenen adds:

'But we also need to be cautious before inferring that the results give a carte blanche for governments to regulate for better work-life balance.'

'Good work-life balance seems to be something that well-run firms in competitive markets do naturally. They need to treat their employees well to keep them - if not, their competitors will hire them away. Government policies on work-life balance should take this into account.'

Further information

'Work-Life Balance, Management Practices and Productivity' by Nick Bloom, Tobias Kretschmer and John Van Reenen was published on 10 January 2006 by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP).

The research is financially supported by the Anglo-German Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Advanced Institute for Management Research.

For further information: contact Nick Bloom on 07775-862671, 0207-955-7286 or 0207-955-7284 | Email:;; |

OSH UPDATE keeps everyone informed and healthily and safe

Keeping up-to-date in worldwide occupational health, safety, hygiene, road safety, water safety, environment trends and the latest information can be time consuming. Do budget constraints not allow you to buy all the latest 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 do what many organisations and individuals have done recently and take out a subscription to OSH UPDATE!

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 containing over 538,000 references is now available and is updated monthly see

OSH UPDATE records has links to the full text where possible - this is all done for you!

It currently contains ten bibliographic databases from worldwide authoritative sources:

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, trainers and practitioners.

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 and risk assessment.

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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.

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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, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide | OSH Ireland | OSH UPDATE

Does Health and Safety pay? HSE Better Business shows how to save thousands with better health and safety

Besides the possible legal costs involved in a work-related accident, it's the hidden ones of covering absences, recruitment, training and production losses that really swallow a company's profits. But thanks to a few cost-effective health and safety steps your business can benefit from substantial savings. Here are some ways in which you can save yourself some money:

Good health and safety in the workplace is good business.

Interested? Do you want to reduce your costs in 2006? To find out more go to

Book: Still going wrong? Case histories of process plant disasters and how they could have been avoided, by Trevor Kletz

A million-dollar seller, Kletz's classic, "What Went Wrong?" has revolutionized the way industry views safety. The sequel to it is Still going wrong? Case histories of process plant disasters and how they could have been avoided, by Trevor Kletz

This volume, continues the practices and wisdom of the original.

Contents include: Forethoughts, 1 Maintenance, 2 Entry into confined spaces, 3 Changes to processes and plants, 4 Changes in organization, 5 Changing procedures instead of designs, 6 Materials of construction (including insulation) and corrosion, 7 Operating methods, 8 Explosions, 9 Poor communication, 10 I didn't know that..., 11 Control, 12 Leaks, 13 Reactions - planned and unplanned, 14 Both design and operations could have been better, 15 Accidents in other industries, 16 Accident investigation - Missed opportunities. After thoughts

Trevor Kletz offers advice to the reader on how to use the book... Starting with read it right through first, then ask if each incident could occur in your plant, and if so write down what you intend to do to prevent if from happening ! There are other suggestions such as using the book to train new employees - at all levels... Read it for yourself - it is very thought-provoking and of course shows the wealth of knowledge and experience of Trevor Kletz.

Still going wrong? Case histories of process plant disasters and how they could have been avoided, by Trevor Kletz. Issued by Gulf Publishing - an Imprint of Elsevier | ISBN 0750677090 | 256 pages | Further readings listed and extensive index:

Book: Safety at Work

Edited by John Ridley, BSc, CEng, MIMechE, FIOSH, DMS, Independent Consultant, U.K. Formerly Chief Safety Engineer, Reed International.
John Channing, MSc (Safety), MSc (Chemistry), FIOSH, RSP, Formerly Manager Health, Safety and Environment, Kodak Manufacturing. Director, Pharos Consultancy Services Limited, UK

Safety at Work is widely accepted as the authoritative guide to safety and health in the workplace and covers all aspects of safety management. The sixth edition has been revised to cover recent changes to UK practice and standards in health, safety, employment and environmental legislation. It also incorporates EU directives and references to harmonised and international standards. Reflecting the importance of the roles of directors and managers in health and safety, new chapters cover the management of risk, emphasising the need for a sound organisational structure to achieve effective risk management.

Developments in the behavioural approach to risk management and current thinking on the development of an international standard on safety management are also covered. Quality of the environment is rapidly becoming part of the safety manager's responsibilities both in the workplace and in the context of global pollution. A completely new part consisting of five chapters has been added dealing solely with environmental issues (including ISO 14001). The increasingly important role of ergonomics in health and safety is reflected in a new chapter on Applied Ergonomics, dealing with the subject pragmatically, that will allow the manager and practitioner to design process and operations that are within the limits of the human body. The effects of stress, an emerging concern in health and safety, are covered in various chapters.


Students on university first degrees/diplomas as well as post-graduate qualifications in occupational health and safety subjects, and for students of the NEBOSH and IOSH qualifications and NVQs in occupational health and safety practice. Health and Safety Practitioners, Health and Safety Executive inspectors and Environmental Health Officers.


Foreword. Preface to sixth edition. Preface to first edition. List of contributors.

Part 1 - Law: Explaining the law (by Brenda Watts). Principal health and safety Acts (by S. Simpson). Influences on health and safety (by J. R. Ridley). Law of contract (by R. W. Hodgin). Employment law (by R. D. Miskin, updated by Amanda Jones). Consumer protection (by R. G. Lawson). Insurance cover and compensation (by A. West). Civil liability (by E. J. Skellett).

Part 2 -The management of risk: An introduction to risk management (by C. E. Channing). Principles of the management of risk (by L. Bamber). Risk management: organisation and administration for safety (by J. E. Channing). Risk management: techniques and practices (by L. Bamber). The collection and use of accident and incident data (by Dr A. J. Boyle). Practical safety management: systems and techniques (by J. E. Channing). The individual and safety (by Andrew Hale). Risk management and behaviour modification (by J. E. Channing).

Part 3 - Occupational health and hygiene: The structure and functions of the human body (by Dr T. Coates) Occupational diseases (by Dr A. R. L. Clark). Occupational hygiene (by Dr C. Hartley). Radiation (by Dr A. D. Wrixon, updated by Peter Shaw and Dr M. Maslanyj). Noise and vibration (by R. W. Smith). Workplace pollution, heat and ventilation (by F. S. Gill). Lighting (by E. G. Hooper, updated by Jonathan David). Managing ergonomics (by Nick Cook). Applied ergonomics (by J. R. Ridley).

Part 4 - Workplace safety: Science in engineering safety (by J. R. Ridley). Fire precautions (by Ray Chalklen). Safe use of machinery (by J. R. Ridley). Electricity (by E. G. Hooper, revised by Chris Buck). Statutory examination of plant and equipment (by J. McMullen, updated by J. E. Caddick). Safety on construction sites (by R. Hudson). Managing chemicals safely (by John Adamson).

Part 5 - The environment: The environment: issues, concepts and strategies (by J. E. Channing). Environmental management systems (by J. E. Channing). Waste management (by Samantha Moss). Chemicals and the environment (by J. L. Adamson). The environment at large (by G. N. Batts).

Appendices: The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. Reading for Part I of the NEBOSH Diploma examination. List of abbreviations. Organisations providing safety information. List of Statutes, Regulations and Orders. List of Cases. Index.

Safety at Work edited by John Ridley, BSc, CEng, MIMechE, FIOSH, DMS, Independent Consultant, U.K. Formerly Chief Safety Engineer, Reed International.
John Channing, MSc (Safety), MSc (Chemistry), FIOSH, RSP, Formerly Manager Health, Safety and Environment, Kodak Manufacturing. Director, Pharos Consultancy Services Limited, UK

Hardbound, ISBN: 0-7506-5493-7, 1096 pages, Butterworth Heinemann - imprint of Elsevier

Environment and Waste Plus

At a time when environment and waste information is ever more increasing and the legislation is more complex help is needed to guide busy managers and practitioners quickly and easily to the data they need for compliance with the law.

Up-to-date information from a wide variety of sources - the European Commission, the UK Government and the devolved Parliaments, the agencies and other organisations is needed on environment and integrated pollution prevention control (IPPC) and waste that also meet your ISO 14001 information needs for accreditation requirements. Guidance, advice and technical details are covered.

The answer for busy people at affordable costs - for less than GBP2 / US$3 a day is the newly launched ENVIRONMENT and WASTE PLUS published by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd which contains a number of Full text databases and a Bibliographic database that may be searched either separately or together. These databases offer extensive coverage of FULL TEXT information on the topics of integrated pollution and prevention control, environment protection and waste.

Constantly updated and enlarged, Environment and Waste Plus, previously established some seven years ago as Environment Plus is re-launched to reflect the ever-increasing topic of waste and related information.

Easy to use software ensures that words and phrases that can be used to retrieve the required paragraph or instructions in a document is also a necessity when time is short and the information is needed quickly. Downloading or printing out the information or transferring to an individual's own document is also another facility. A major consideration is the price to have such a collection available to use whenever and wherever the busy practitioner requires it.

Thousands of full text pages of text are instantly accessible in ENVIRONMENT and WASTE PLUS which contains the following information:

In addition, Environment and Waste Plus contains:

Environment and Waste Plus is based on SilverPlatter's WinSPIRS software which will give the user quick and easy access to a wealth of important publications. The user can download data and print out required documents as well as cross search the database with other titles that use the WinSPIRS software such as the FIRE, EMERGENCY AND PREPAREDNESS WORLDWIDE and OSH-IRELAND. Available via the Internet or on CD-ROM It is also possible to network to enable simultaneous access by multiple users in an organisation. Users will be able to use their own personal computers to give authoritative and validated answers to questions on all aspects of environment and waste concerns.


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

US NIOSH Nanotechnology expertise highlighted in ISO Technical Committee Meeting

The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) international leadership in research on the occupational health and safety implications of nanotechnology was highlighted on Nov. 9-11, 2005, at the inaugural meeting of the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) Technical Committee on Nanotechnologies. The meeting was an early step in a process to develop international standards for global consistency in all aspects of nanotechnology. NIOSH's roles in the meeting reflected a vigorous U.S. involvement in the process:

More information on the international meeting is available from the ISO at:

Additional information on the NIOSH nanotechnology research program, and on opportunities for stakeholder participation, is available at

Get ready for future - OSH Challenges and emerging Risks: European Agency for Safety and Health at work Risk Observatory survey

Changes in society, work organisation and production methods are leading to new types and new combinations of occupational risks which demand new solutions, concludes a recent survey that was carried out among a panel of over 60 safety and health experts in fourteen European countries and the US. The results have now been published in a report by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

The report looks into emerging physical risks, i.e. risks which are both new (or changing) and increasing.

'The world of work is changing rapidly and work-related health issues are changing too', explains Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, the Agency's Director. 'Our report sheds new light on these changes by defining top ten emerging physical risks and major trends behind them. With this knowledge EU policymakers and governments will be better equipped to review current prevention measures.'

The top emerging risks include lack of physical activity, the impact on workers of increasing complexity of new technologies, and a greater vulnerability of low-status workers, e.g. to thermal risks. A new underlying trend is also visible: work health and safety is increasingly affected by multifactoral issues. In places like call centres, for instance, staff can be exposed to a combination of interacting risks, such as prolonged sitting at desks poorly adjusted to their personal needs, background noise, inadequate headsets, low job control, high time pressure, high mental and emotional demands. This, in turn, may lead to a combination of health problems, ranging from musculoskeletal disorders, varicose veins, nose and throat diseases and voice disorders to fatigue, stress and burnout.

'The report clearly indicates that multifactoral and combined risks are a growing concern', concludes Hans-Horst Konkolewsky. 'The resulting message for policymakers and health and safety experts is that we can no longer treat individual risks separately. What we need is a holistic approach to risk prevention.'

This publication is the first report of a risk observatory set up by the European Agency to monitor emerging risks ( Apart from emerging risks, this on-line observatory currently offers thematic sections on noise exposure and hearing loss, and a review of OSH monitoring systems. More information will follow, including forecasts on emerging human, social and organisational risks, on chemical and biological risks, and thematic sections on accidents, stress and occupational diseases, with focus on specific sectors and groups of workers.

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

Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide - information at your fingertips

Much time is spent these days searching the Internet for validated and authoritative information often resulting in out-of date sources. In this fast moving world it is essential to have quick access to validated, authoritative and constantly updated information collections. The ones brought together and maintained by information specialists are one sure way of getting good quality data.

As new research and new ways of working, with the attendant alterations in products, services and technology developments means that no-one, especially those responsible for fire, emergencies and preparedness in workplaces of all kinds, should be without the latest information.

Information Searchers should also be aware that the myth abounding in the world that everything is published on the Internet and is free is just not true! One way to quickly gain access to legislation, guidance and advice that is up-to-date and relevant is to take a 30-day free trial of Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide that is focused, affordable and easy to use.

Published by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd., using the powerful SilverPlatter software it is accessible via the Internet Service and also on CD-ROM for those who need access to information but do not have Internet connections to the outside world.

Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide contains two major collections - the Full Text Collection and the Bibliographic Collection.

The Full text Collection has 4 major databases containing thousands of pages of easily searchable full text documents, which are continually being added to, thus updating the existing wide-ranging source of critical fire information. The collection contains all appropriate European and UK legislation for fire and fire related industry. In addition there is an extensive range of fire and fire related documents from organisations such as:

The Bibliographic Collection has 7 databases which contain over 255,000 records to journal articles, guidance and advice, circulars, reports, conference proceedings, research reports, statistics and codes of practice from worldwide sources, all of which may be easily accessed. For those organisations that do not subscribe to a range of journals/magazines this is one way of ensuring that the latest news, developments and trends are available. One of the databases - from the British Standards Institution - contains references to over 3525 fire and fire related standards.

The publishers - Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd are committed to maintaining and expanding Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide, which is arguably the world's best collection of fire and fire related information.

George Collins, Chairman of the Executive Council of the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers says, "This collection of information is extremely valuable for those working in today's risk based fire industry who need up-to-date consultation, guidance and advice"

Used by organisations and fire and rescue services in the UK and around the world, Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide is set to expand still further!


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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, 85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | Email: | | | | NEW