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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

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News Archive

October 2006

Need authoritative occupational health and safety (OSH) information?
OSH UPDATE service grows with the addition of the original NIOSHTIC database

Why struggle to find authoritative occupational safety and health information? The good news continues for those using the OSH UPDATE service from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd. From October 2006 another database - the original NIOSHTIC database from the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This database contains over 211,000 authoritative and validated records and will complement the NIOSHTICS2 database which has been in OSH UPDATE since the launch of the service in 2005. This addition brings the total of records to 800,000 - many with full text links to the actual document. There are now 11 databases in OSH UPDATE!

OSH UPDATE keeps you up-to-date in worldwide occupational health, safety, hygiene, road safety, water safety, environment trends and the latest information. So do not waste time and money searching endlessly for information through search engines, because some of the data in this collection is not freely available elsewhere.

Added to this many OSH information seekers cannot afford the time to search for the latest information, legislation and standards and have no staff to do the searching either.

Then do what many organisations and individuals have done recently and take out a subscription to OSH UPDATE! You will never get such a collection of OSH information at such a low price!

This 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 see

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

OSH UPDATE will continue to 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, drugs and alcohol in the workplace, 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.

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: Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide | OSH Ireland | OSH UPDATE

*Subscription for one year of OSH UPDATE

Consortia buying encouraged... this is where 2 or more organisations or individuals make a subscription and share the cost between them!!!!

Method in your madness: System in your Safety by Professor Andrew Hale

Safety is always achieved by trading off with other goals. That requires transparent models of how danger arises and validated research results about the effectiveness of risk control measures: in practice this is rarely the case. That is one of the statements made by Prof.dr. Andrew Hale in his valedictory speech as Professor of Safety Science at the TU Delft on Friday, 15 September 15th 2006.

Whilst emphasizing that safety levels have improved in most sectors in developed countries over the last forty years, Prof. Hale generally signals a gap between policy and practice when it comes to safety. 'Safety and risk control is irreducibly complicated. Managers who ask for a safety management system on 'one sheet of A4' are kidding themselves. Safety will not of itself take root in the practices of a university, company or a government. We need dedicated safety professionals in research, teaching and practice, but above all a leadership in all of those, and in government, committed to implementing its safety goals.'

'I would like to challenge employers' federations and professional bodies to approach the relevant deans of faculties and rectors to persuade them just how important an understanding of risk management is. Employers should declare graduates unemployable without such a baggage integrated into their university, professional and technical training.'

Knowledge about safety and risk management is particularly important to the success of the strategy of self regulation which many countries have implemented in the last thirty years, says Hale. 'If designers, managers and professionals do not understand risk and how it emerges and can be managed, such an approach is a dead letter.'

In parallel with these processes of regulatory change Hale observes an increase in out-sourcing, the break-up of monopoly companies in railways, telecommunications and energy and the introduction of competition into markets which previously had none. One of the victims of this process has been the overview of how safety and health is faring in those sectors, he finds. 'We have seen the problem in the series of accidents and building collapses in the building industry in the Netherlands in the last few years.'

'The more responsibility and control is delegated to the sector, the stronger the need for a monitoring role at government level. But ministries and their political masters currently seem largely uninterested in, if not antagonistic towards this.'

Another topic Hale mentioned in his speech is the role of the victims of accidents. 'Victims increasingly want to see somebody's head roll when an accident occurs. Defence lawyers require their clients to keep their mouths shut. The victim is the openness required for learning, as the case of an air traffic control prosecution at Schiphol after a runway incursion accident has shown us. Two controllers were prosecuted, partly on the basis of information in an internal company incident reporting system. The result was a drop in reporting of potential problems in that system of more than 50%, which still has not recovered to normal levels today. As a result, our airport may well be a more dangerous place today than it could have been.'

'Such a prosecution system has also not proved itself able to cope with the diffused responsibility which is so common in accidents in well-defended, complex systems, where accidents emerge from the coincidence of many small decisions, each of which is individually reasonably defensible. In these there is no smoking gun, but at most a few scattered grains of gunpowder lurking in obscure corners', Hale continues.

To conclude Hale urges people to be realistic about safety issues. 'The notion of zero accidents as an objective is too far off to be motivating. Much more fundamentally, it ignores the fact that safety is always achieved in relation to other goals. Ultimately there will be trade-offs. We also have to accept that some of the changes brought about by tighter safety standards are undesirable.'

Professor Andrew Hale was named a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion in 2006. He received this Royal Honour for his services as follows:

"Since 1984, Andrew Hale has been a professor of Safety Science at Delft University of Technology's Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management. Professor Hale has created a research group that is world renowned. Many of his ideas are now to be found in legislation regulating safety and safety systems, and in the ways safety is approached in companies, transport enterprises and aviation. In the Netherlands, he is credited with establishing safety education as a science. Andrew. Hale has some 100 research publications to his name. He is recognised as one of the most vitally high profile and most competent professors at TU Delft, and he has successfully built a bridge between technology and society.

To read Andrew Hale's full farewell speech read Method in your madness: System in your safety. 2006. 43 pages

Contact: Prof. Andrew Hale, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands | Tel: +31 15 278 1706 or +31 15 278 1477 | Email:

UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) urges business to ease back pain worries by encouraging staff to stay active. Back to work could be the answer to Back Pain!

British businesses could hold the key to solving one of the nation's biggest health problems, it has been revealed in a new campaign from the Health and Safety Executive.

Back pain causes one in every six days off work due to ill-health with 4.5 million working days lost last year alone, according to the latest HSE figures. However the Better Backs campaign shows that back pain can be tackled. Staying active, introducing sensible workplace precautions and helping back pain sufferers return to work are all part of the answer.

Geoffrey Podger, chief executive of the Health and Safety Executive said:

"Back pain is one of the biggest cause of occupational ill-health in the UK, and will affect four out of five of us. Too many people still think the best answer is a good dose of bed rest, but modern medical opinion is agreed that staying active is the best way to manage back pain. In many cases, this can be achieved by getting back to work sooner."

The charity BackCare estimates back pain costs the NHS, business and the economy more than £5 billion a year. HSE is encouraging both employers and employees to talk openly about back pain issues, and to discuss ways that employers could make simple changes at work, allowing workers to return before the pain has fully subsided.

The campaign has already drawn support from many of Britain's leading employers, unions, experts from the health and medical community, and charities.

In addition, the HSE has worked with the charity BackCare to develop an exercise workout to help workers stay active. The routine is specially designed so that you can do it at any point throughout a normal day, whether that is at home, on the way to work, or during a working day.

The routine has been developed to emphasise how easy it is to use everyday activity, including work, as a way to manage back pain, but also to encourage people to take a moment at work to stretch and flex their back.

Mr Podger continued:

"Many people may find that they can make small alterations to their working day - perhaps avoiding heavy lifting, or taking more frequent breaks - which allow them to come back to work before their pain has fully subsided. By doing this, they are more likely to find their back pain recedes, as the activity of a slightly amended working day can be a tonic in itself.

"But the bottom line is, being back at work benefits employers and employees alike."

The UK Better Backs campaign runs throughout October and November 2006. To find out more about how to tackle back pain or when to visit the GP go to or you can call the HSE Infoline on 0845 345 0055.

Top 5 Back Pain Statistics

  1. Back pain will affect 80% of us at some point in our lives.
  2. One in six working days lost in the UK is due to back pain.
  3. In 2004/05 an estimated 452 000 people in Great Britain suffered, in their opinion, from a musculoskeletal disorder mainly affecting the back that was caused or made worse by their current or past work.
  4. It is estimated that 4.5 million working days (full-day equivalent) were lost in the previous 12 months due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders which mainly affected the back. Each person suffering from such a condition took an estimated 17.4 days off work on average in this period.
  5. The charity BackCare estimates that back pain costs the NHS, business and the economy over £5 billion a year.

Ageing and employment

What can be done to increase job opportunities for older people and to keep them in employment? A recently published report entitled "Ageing and Employment - Identification of good practice to increase job opportunities and maintain older workers in employment" addresses this issue. The report reflects on good practice, identifies key factors and recommends actions that can be taken at EU, national, company and individual level. The study also gauges the success of the European Employment Strategy, one objective of which is to extend the working lives and increase the employment rates of older workers.

Drawing on experience in eleven EU countries, the study acknowledges that a key goal of European economic and employment strategies is raising employment by extending working life. Encouraging this in practice without undermining living standards, the work/life balance, fairness or economic efficiency depends on companies and institutions finding viable approaches. The research involved selecting 41 organisational (company) case studies across a mix of economic activities in the public and private sectors. An analysis followed into (i) the strengths and weaknesses of the national institutional framework within which these organisations operate and (ii) selected good practice in initiatives undertaken by social partners, NGOs and national or regional policy-makers.

Ageing and employment: identification of good practice to increase job opportunities and maintain older workers in employment (253 pages) (full report in English - summary also available in English, German and French) see Europa:

'European safety and health manager' agreed in principle

A European standard for health and safety professionals is closer to becoming a reality following a meeting in Rome on 29-30 September 2006.

Members of the European Network of Safety and Health Professional Organisations (ENSHPO) have agreed the new standard, and are currently working on Europe-wide certification and a Code of Conduct. The certification will allow eligible health and safety practitioners to use the designation EurOSHM (European Occupational Safety and Health Manager).

Richard Jones, Director of Technical Affairs at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the vice chair of the ENSHPO Executive Committee, said: "The new standard will be at a level that means all chartered IOSH members and those non-chartered members with sufficient qualifications and experience will be able to apply for the award to ENSHPO's Certification Committee, chaired by Professor Andrew Hale.

"This is a significant step forward for European health and safety professionals. It's intended that this will eventually help achieve a common standard of health and safety practice throughout Europe and lead to easier recognition of equivalent qualification across member states.

"Creating an agreed standard is important because we all work within a common legal framework and face similar challenges requiring similar competencies, such as tackling musculoskeletal disorders and stress, and dealing with the health and safety implications of migration, terrorism, climate change and ageing population. Increasingly, practitioners may work across borders and employers in different countries need an easy way to identify the levels of competence of those offering services."

There is still further work for ENSHPO to do on the implementation arrangements. It's hoped to finalise the scheme for the pan-European certification standard in 2007 and also to work on producing a technician level European standard in the near future.

IOSH is the Secretariat of ENSHPO and was a driving force behind its creation in 2001. There are 14 member countries at present, including the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

IOSH is Europe's largest body for health and safety professionals. We have nearly 30,000 members worldwide, including more than 8,000 Chartered Safety and Health Practitioners. The Institution was founded in 1945 and is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that sets professional standards, supports and develops members and provides authoritative advice and guidance on health and safety issues. IOSH is formally recognised by the ILO as an international non-governmental organisation.

The European Network of Safety and Health Professional Organisations (ENSHPO) brings together health and safety professional organisations from the current EU member states, new member states, applicant countries, and other European countries.

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 1NN, UK | Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3100 | Fax: +44 (0)116 257 9141 |

US NIOSH Revised Nanotechnology Page

A revised nanotechnology topic page, describing the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research on the occupational safety and health implications and applications of this emerging technology, is available online at

The page was revised to make it easier for stakeholders and the general public to navigate, read, and use, reflecting the substantial amount of material that has been added to the topic page since the original version was introduced in 2004. The revised page also highlights an updated version of the online document "Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology: An Information Exchange with NIOSH," which was first posted in 2005.

BOHS Annual Conference call for papers

The 2007 British Occupational Hygiene Society Conference is being held in Glasgow, Scotland, 17 to 19 April 2007. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 27 October 2006

The Conference Organisers welcome papers on any aspect of occupational hygiene and occupational health, but this year particularly want to encourage papers on:

Health and Safety Pocket Book, by Jeremy Stranks

This pocket book contains a unique compilation of tables, data, checklists and a glossary for a wide range of health and safety topics. It includes:

The Health and Safety Pocket Book is a compact first point of reference for practicing health and safety professionals and auditors out on site visits, managers and HR personnel with health and safety responsibilities, and employee representatives. The book will also be useful on a wide range of health and safety courses at all levels.

Jeremy Stranks has 40 years of experience in occupational safety and health enforcement, management, consultancy and training. He is a founding member of NEBOSH and has lectured on numerous training courses on all aspects of health and safety. His company Safety and Hygiene Consultants offers companies advice in drawing up Health and Safety policies, writing risk assessments and audit procedures.

Readership: Health and Safety consultants and managers; Managers in all industries with health and safety responsibilities; Safety representatives in small to medium sized enterprises; HR managers. Risk assessors; Safety auditors; Lecturers and students on health and safety courses.

Health and Safety Pocket Book, by Jeremy Stranks. Butterworth-Heinemann. 2006. ISBN 0-7506-6781-8. 441 pages

OSH-IRELAND... aiming to help Ireland's organisations achieve higher standards of occupational health and safety in their workplaces

OSH-IRELAND is a collection of information that has, over the past 10 years become the essential source for organisations and practitioners seeking up-to-date information on all aspects of occupational safety and health (OSH) in Ireland. From the November 2006 edition it will have an additional database containing Northern Ireland's Health and Safety legislation. These new additions will of course be in full text so that the user has instant access to the piece of legislation that is required. This new database will help organisations that work both in Northern Ireland and in Ireland and is provided at no extra cost to the subscribers.

If you think health and safety is expensive try having an accident. This sobering thought should persuade Ireland's organisations, training companies and colleges that they must have the most authoritative information at their 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, such as OSH-IRELAND that are 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 securing good standards good standards of health and safety in their workplaces of all kinds, should be without the latest information.

Those seeking health and safety Information 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!

Easy to use and very affordable, OSH-IRELAND is published by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd with the co-operation of the Health and Safety Authority, Dublin, Ireland and other prominent OSH organisations, and contains the following complementary databases providing full text information:

National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) OSH standards (in addition to those included as full text documents), health and safety British Standards, and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) extensive bibliographic database of records to a wide range of journal articles, guidance and advice from worldwide organisations.

OSH-IRELAND contains thousands of full text pages of information - see the contents on but why not take a FREE 30-DAY TRIAL now?

Send your request for an Internet trial now

There is also opportunity for a number of small companies or a group of consultants to form a consortia to subscribe to OSH Ireland - the most effective way of getting up-to-date and validated information.

Contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | Email: | | | | NEW

New UN Report on violence against children: the workplace setting

Zero tolerance for violence against children in the workplace: A new report by the United Nations on violence against children is to be transmitted to the UN General Assembly this week. One of its sections is devoted to violence as it affects children who work.

According to the report, the key departure point has to be a policy of zero tolerance of violence against children who are working - whether legally or in child labour.

Frans Roselaers, Director of the ILO's Department of Partnerships and Development Cooperation and member of the editorial board of the report says that although the end of child labour may be in reach, stopping violence against working children is an urgent need.

The United Nations Secretary General's Study on Violence Against Children. The report to the General Assembly is available on-line at: The full text of the study's findings are published in World Report on Violence against Children, by Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, forthcoming November 2006.