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May 2006

'Sea-change' needed on welfare reform in the UK

IOSH calls for a 'sea-change' in thinking if the UK government is to succeed in assisting more ill, disabled and older people to enter and stay in work. To achieve a more inclusive and diverse workforce, we believe the proposed welfare reforms require adequate planning, resourcing and training and, importantly, need to promote the positive engagement of all those professionals who can help.

Commenting on the Inquiry report, Neil Budworth, IOSH President said: "We are disappointed that the health and safety practitioner's role in helping prevent work-related injury and illness is not better recognised. Where they do occur, working with others to 'bridge the gap' between absence and a safe return to work, is being overlooked in the debate."

He added, "We believe it's vital to harness the country's large and growing body of health and safety practitioners who, with minimal additional training, can deliver the necessary support to workers and employers managing illness and disability in the workplace. We call on the government to fund specialist training for around 10,000 health and safety practitioners to strengthen their role in helping to manage rehabilitation, reasonable adjustments and return to work programmes."

In its response to the Inquiry and the Green Paper, IOSH has called for:

A new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work Presented to the UK Parliament by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by Command of Her Majesty January 2006 Cm 6730

IOSH - Paul Marston, IOSH media officer | Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3141 | Email or
Anne Smart, IOSH media and marketing assistant on | Tel +44 (0)116 257 3139 | Email for more information.

Call for Abstracts for December 2006 Nanotechnology Conference

US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the University of Cincinnati will cosponsor the International Conference on Nanotechnology Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety: Research to Practice December 3-8, 2006 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Centered on the impact of nanotechnology on occupational and environmental health and safety, abstracts for paper presentations and workshops are due by May 31, 2006. Abstracts for poster presentations will be accepted until June 30, 2006.

The conference follows other successful international forums cosponsored by NIOSH in Buxton, U.K., in 2004, Minneapolis in 2006, and Miami earlier in 2006.

The Fire Protection Association (FPA) has launched a new corporate identity to coincide with the beginning of its sixtieth anniversary year in 2006

The launch of the UK based FPA's new corporate identity reflects the organisation's renewed commitment to protecting businesses and communities from fire, says Jonathan O'Neill, Managing Director of the FPA.

The Fire Protection Association (FPA) has launched a new corporate identity to coincide with the beginning of its 60th anniversary year in 2006. The decision to re-brand was reached following a review of FPA's aims and objectives by our Board of Directors and by the FPA Council, now chaired by the former fire minister, Nick Raynsford MP. The strap-line, Protecting People, Property, Business and the Environment, not only reflects the activity and culture within the FPA, it interestingly would have been a suitable précis of the original aims and objectives of the organisation when it was started by the insurers in 1946.

The motivation of the insurers for setting up the FPA was not simply sheer benevolence; there were, and still are, sound business reasons for supporting an organisation whose primary role was to improve fire prevention and protection techniques through research, technical standards and publicity. However, the tremendous investment in the FPA by the insurance industry should be recognised.

The FPA is, of course, a very different organisation today - it has a much broader ownership, which includes the Chief Fire Officers' Association, the Institution of Fire Engineers and the trade, through the Fire Industry Confederation. The FPA no longer rely on a grant or levy from the insurers to cover operating costs and support the good works. In fact, 2006 will be the final year for which this type of funding will be available.

Our previous support of community-based fire prevention activity should not be under-estimated, since it helped lay the foundations for much of the work currently being undertaken by fire and rescue services. Initiatives such as the National Fire Prevention Youth Quiz have been effective in promoting a fire safety message to large numbers of children, many of whom may not have received the information any other way. The youth quiz also introduced many brigade personnel to community safety activity, many of whom have now become champions today, both locally and nationally.

It is very important that this type of work continues to be supported. Although the FPA no longer receives a grant from the insurers to support such initiatives, it remains a not-for-profit organisation, which will invest any surplus made from its commercial operations into activities which 'protect people, property, business and the environment'. Incidentally, this is not to say that the insurers no longer support the FPA; much of our commercial activity is directed at the insurance industry and four of our non-executive directors are from the industry.

Change of governance

The change in corporate governance and funding arrangements for the organisation has, in many ways, increased the significance of the FPA Council, whose role is to advise the Board and to determine the direction of non-fee-earning activity and the support of good works. With the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 formally recognising the fire prevention role of fire services, community safety is now comparatively well-resourced, both nationally and locally. The FPA has nowhere near the amount of resource available that is needed to underpin this activity, but we can be effective by supporting projects that may struggle for core funding elsewhere. So where are we heading in the next few years?

Business continuity planning has long been recognised as a key feature of the survivability of any business following a major incident, including fire. The London bombings in July 2005 and, more recently, the Buncefield oil depot disaster have highlighted the effect on businesses of a major incident that may not necessarily result in material damage. The Buncefield incident affected some 300 businesses, with early reports suggesting that 70 were immediately forced to shut down permanently.

Simply not having access to a business premises can have a devastating effect on order fulfilment and cash flow. It is recognised that most small- and medium-sized businesses do not have adequate contingency plans and are therefore at much greater risk, should a major incident occur. The FPA has undertaken a research project to devise a simple guide for small businesses on the principles of contingency planning. In the coming year, we intend to work with fire and rescue services and other local authorities to improve business continuity planning in small- and medium-sized firms.

Our other major focus will be on arson reduction. Although there has been some local success in reducing the number of deliberate fires, linked to some innovative projects sponsored by the Arson Control Forum, it remains a major societal problem. The FPA must do more in this field to assist in identifying how the trend in the number of arson fires can be reversed. We are in the process of identifying how best to use our limited resources to best effect.

The change in corporate identity is reflective of the step change that there has been in UK fire. The FPA's re-brand is designed to recognise that our role is wider than fire and that, by working together with others, we can be effective in reducing risk in the community to the benefit of all.

Jonathan O'Neill is Managing Director of the Fire Protection Association |

The Fire Protection Association, London Road, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 0RH | Tel: +44 (0)1608 812 500 | Fax: +44 (0)1608 812 501 . Email:

Finding your way in the European Union Health and Safety Policy - A trade union guide

This easy-to-read handbook aims to give an overview of the European Union (EU) institutions and procedures involved in regulating health and safety at work, and the role of trade unions in relation to it. Depending on where their interests lie and what they already know about a given issue, readers can choose to explore the structure and organisation of the EU, ways in which trade unions can have an influence, or specific national examples.

The EU rules on health and safety at work derive from the EU Treaty and the directives that are drawn up on the basis of the Treaty. As well as these, there are technical standards, recommendations, guidance documents and communications, etc. The handbook focuses on the most important ones.

It also focuses on a few key aspects of the EU social dimension. The main thing to remember is that the information that comes out of the European Commission on the social dimension is just as important as the proposals for new directives, because it represents an invitation to the member countries and their citizens to take part in the discussion on developing the EUs social agenda.


Finding your way in the European Union Health and Safety Policy: A trade union guide by Lone Jacobsen, LO, Danish Confederation of Trade Unions
Viktor Kempa, ETUI-REHS, HESA Department and Laurent Vogel, ETUI-REHS, HESA Department
2006. 72 pages. Format 17x24 cm. ISBN 2-87452-011-X. 10 Euros EN - SP

Order from: European Trade Union Institute - Research, Education, Health and Safety, Health and Safety Department, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5, B-1210 Brussels | Tel: +32-(0)2-224 05 60 | Fax: +32-(0)2-224 05 61 | |

How to implement drinks and drugs policies in the workplace

EurOhse2006 Masterclass to be held on 8 November 2006 at the Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London

EurOhse 2006 Masterclass on How to implement drinks and drugs policies in the workplace will be presented by Ava Fine and John Griffiths of Work2Health on 8th November 2006, Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London.

The Masterclass is aimed at:
OSH managers, directors, occupational health nurses and doctors and line supervisors responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy workplace.

Learning Objectives
The Masterclass aims to build on any existing knowledge and skills, and at the completion of the Masterclass participants will:

Both Ava Fine and John Griffiths are very experienced trainers in these topics.

Angel Business Communications Ltd and Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd are delighted to announce that EurOhse2006 will be a series of Masterclasses on topics that have been requested by delegates at previous conferences.

EurOhse 2006 Masterclasses 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.

In addition to this event on Wednesday 8 November 2006 - EUROHS MASTERCLASS - How to implement drinks and drugs policies in the workplace presented by Trainers - Ava Fine and John Griffiths, Work2Health there will be two other EurOhs Masterclasses in this series to be held in November 2006 in the Tudor Room, Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London are

Tuesday 7 November 2006
MASTERCLASS - Training in management of road risk (MORR)
Trainers - Roger Bibbings, RoSPA and others

Thursday 9 November 2006
MASTERCLASS - Working at Heights
Trainers - Geoff Hornby, Alex Sammut and Paul Ramsden, ISAC UK Ltd

Places will be limited for these interactive Masterclasses ... Bookings have already started - make sure that you book early.

The cost per Masterclass is £295.

If you register for 2 Masterclass events you will receive a 10% discount.
If you register for 4 or more Masterclass events you will receive a 20% discount

Payment must be received prior to the event. Delegates are responsible for making hotel bookings. The organisers reserve the right to alter the content of the programme. Payment can be made online via our secure World Pay system, payment can be made by cheque or you can request an invoice to be sent to you. This booking includes admission to the Masterclass and lunch/coffee for the day.

For further details regarding the content of the Masterclasses contact the programme organiser Sheila Pantry at Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Email:

For further details regarding booking a place contact: Jesse Bhadal, EurOhse 2006, European Occupational Health and Safety Magazine (EurOhs), Angel Business Communications Ltd, Unit 6, Bow Court, Fletchworth Gate, Burnsall Road, Coventry CV5 6SP, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 2476 718970 | Fax: +44 (0) 2476 718971 | Email:

Britain to lead the world in work revolution

Just as Britain led the way with industrialisation in the 19th century, we are looking to lead the world in changing the work culture in the 21st.

An initiative which aims to make the UK the most progressive economy in the world was launched on 3 May 2006 at the QEII Conference Centre in London.

Called Work Wise UK, the initiative will encourage the widespread adoption of smarter working practices, such as flexible working, remote working, mobile working and working from home. Adopting this modern day approach to working lives will increase business productivity and competitiveness, reduce transport congestion and pollution, improve health, assist disadvantaged groups, and harmonise our work and family commitments.

Meg Munn MP, DTI Minister for Women and Equality, said: "Smarter working should be integral in a modern economy. It increases productivity, competitiveness and helps our economy perform better in the global marketplace. It also helps people - it enables us to lead more fulfilled lives - having greater choice about how we balance our work with our family commitments. These flexible work practices benefit us all."

An increasingly complex world means that employers and employees have to strive to use their resources effectively; the one to gain better productivity, the other to balance work-life pressures.

Confederation of British Industries (CBI) Director-General, Sir Digby Jones, who spoke at the Work Wise summit, said: "Flexible, smarter working is here to stay. Nine out of ten requests from staff to work flexibly have been accepted by employers and the UK leads the rest of Europe in numbers of part-time workers. New technologies will help more people in the future to 'telework' from home or on the move.

"These new ways of working have benefits for companies seeking to recruit, motivate and retain valued staff and for employees who have hectic or demanding lives. More flexible working benefits the economy through higher productivity and reduced transport pressure.

"The challenge for us all is to strike the right balance - both in and outside of work - and achieve the maximum flexibility whilst still meeting the needs of our businesses and customers."

It is recognised that the UK workforce is now among the hardest working in the world, an amazing transformation since the 1970s when the country was viewed as the "sick man of Europe". Today, this work ethic results in the UK average working week being among the longest in Europe.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, also speaking at the summit, was keen to see working hours reduced through smarter working: "Our long hours culture is damaging the UK's productivity prospects. British men work the longest hours in Europe and this isn't helping their firms become more productive, nor is it good for the health of these long hours employees or the happiness of their families. The attitude of employers is the biggest barrier we face to a better work/life balance. Unfortunately too few employers have yet to grasp the concept that flexible working not only makes for sound business sense but is also good news for overworked individuals.

"With statistics showing that only one in seven UK employees is able to work from home occasionally and just one in ten is allowed to work flexibly, we still have a long, long way to go before a decent work/life balance can be achieved by everyone at work. Those employers who have been bold enough to embrace flexibility are more likely to recruit and retain staff and are less likely to suffer from high levels of staff absence. A more flexible approach to work is the direction in which we want to be going and I call on the UK's employers to work with unions and the Government to make Britain a better, more productive place to work."

The advantages of an improved work-life balance are well-documented, and although the UK is embracing smarter working practices, there is a huge scope for improvement. Currently, there are 5.4 million employees who work through some kind of flexible working agreement, of which 2.2 million are men and 3.2 million are women (Labour Force Survey, Autumn 2005). Of these totals, 3.3 million work from home in some form (LFS Microdata Service).

"Work Wise UK will accelerate the change in working practices towards a culture that helps balance work and life commitments," said Phil Flaxton, chief executive of the IT Forum Foundation, the organiser of Work Wise UK, which was established in 1983 as a not-for-profit undertaking.

"Work Wise UK is about changing working culture for the better, changing the way people work, giving them the skills to work smarter, to work more efficiently," he said.

Meg Munn MP continued: "We've seen evidence that flexible working is making a difference to people's lives. But to really change the way we work and maximise the benefits for everyone, we need to encourage the widespread adoption of smarter working practices."

The start of Work Wise UK involves a period of discussions and planning, led by the CBI and TUC, on how to deliver the vision of up to half the working population working smarter by the end of the decade. This consultation will culminate with the publication of a concordat - a document with across-the-board support which details the vision and how it will be achieved.

Work Wise Week marked the start of the three-year Work Wise UK programme during which it is hoped many thousands of companies and organisations will sign-up to the concordat and implement smarter working practices to the benefit of their business, their employees, and the country as a whole.

Further information about Work Wise UK can be found at

EU seat belt rules extended to coaches, lorries, mini-buses

New European Union (EU) rules on wearing seat belts came into force on 9 May 2006. Wearing seat belts will be compulsory in all EU member states for drivers and passengers on tourist coaches, lorries and mini buses where seat belts are fitted.

The new rules also require specially adapted seat belts to protect children. Existing European legislation requires passengers to wear seat belts in vehicles below 3.5 tonnes. Larger vehicles will now be covered too. In the UK, 3,368 people were killed on the roads in 2004. Failure to use seat belts is the second biggest cause of road deaths after speeding. Drink-driving comes third.

A European Commission study concluded that using seat belts could save 5,500 lives a year across the EU. Jacques Barrot, European Commissioner for transport, said: "This measure will save thousands of lives. It will help us to meet the target of halving the number of deaths on the European roads by 2010 compared with the figure of 50,000 in 2001". [IP/06/583]

OSH UPDATE grows in size and 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 540,000 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.

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".
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Why not take a 30-DAY FREE TRIAL of OSH UPDATE and see for yourself.

If you are interested in taking up this service on trial please email/fax with your details, 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, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide | OSH Ireland | OSH UPDATE

Benchmarking Risk Management in Europe

Over 460 risk managers across European have responded to the 2006 benchmarking survey conducted by the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) in co-operation with Ernst & Young and AXA Corporate Solutions. ToLuna, an independent, online market research company, has collected the replies and is now analyzing the results, which will be announced at the FERMA seminar on 11 October 2006 in Brussels.

Risk management in a changing environment is the theme of the 2006 seminar, which is open only to risk manager members of the national associations which make up FERMA and the individual members from countries which do not yet have a national association. Topics include:

The seminar, an event which takes place in alternate years from the more extensive FERMA Forum, will also be the occasion of the launch of Prorim, the risk management training course for small and medium sized (SMEs) organizations created by FERMA with the co-operation of members and academic institutions from France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. It is already attracting a lot of interest, especially from Eastern Europe.

Registration opens in June (members risk managers only event).

The national risk management associations of 12 countries form the Federation of European Risk Management Associations - FERMA. It represents over 5000 individual members and a wide range of business sectors from manufacturing to financial services, charities and health organisations as well as local government organisations. Member associations are from the following countries: Belgium (BELRIM), Denmark (DARIM), France (AMRAE), Germany (Bfv & DVS), Italy (ANRA), Netherlands (NARIM), Portugal (APOGERIS), Russia (RussRisk), Spain (AGERS), Sweden (SWERMA), Switzerland (SIRM) and United Kingdom (AIRMIC). Web site:

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.


Why not try ENVIRONMENT and WASTE PLUS for yourself and check out the contents of these exciting sources of information against your own workplace or academic needs. After a free trial it is offered on a subscription service.

Send your request for either an Internet or CD-ROM trial now.

In the case of Internet trials, access will be timed out after 30 days.

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
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