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News Archive

April 2007

Don't forget 28 April 2007 - World Safety and Heath Day

The theme for the International Labour Office (ILO) World Safety and Health Day to be held on 28 April 2007 will be

"Making Decent Work a Reality - Safe and Healthy Workplaces".

In 2003, the ILO began to observe World Day stressing the prevention of illness and accidents at work, capitalizing on its traditional strengths of tripartism and social dialogue. 28 April is also a day the world's trade union movement has long associated with commemorating victims of occupational accidents and disease.

So look to see what can be done in your workplace to improve the standards of health and safety. Everyone should be involved. Look for ideas on www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/safework/worldday and other web sites in OSH WORLD www.oshworld.com.

You may also find ideas by looking at the collection of validated and authoritative information in FIREINF and OSH UPDATE. Both collections are continuously enlarged as new information is published.

For a 15 DAY FREE - NO OBLIGATION TRIAL contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | Email: sp@sheilapantry.com | or fill in the Interest form

International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (JOSE)

The Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute publishes an English-language scientific quarterly the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (JOSE) with results of research studies from various countries as well as reviews of books, and information about seminars and conferences organised in Poland and abroad. The journal maintains its high quality by having all submissions reviewed by members of the International Editorial Board (45 members from 21 countries).

Published in cooperation with The International Ergonomics Association;
Recognized by The International Labour Organization and
Supported by The Ministry of Science and Information Society Technology of Poland

The International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (JOSE) is published quarterly by the Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute, ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa, Poland | Tel: (48-22) 623-46-42/21 | Fax: (48-22) 623-36-93 | Email: jose@ciop.pl | www.ciop.pl/757.html

Chief Editor: Danuta Koradecka
Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute, ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa, POLAND
Co-Editor: Jukka Takala
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Vía 33, E-48009 Bilbao, SPAIN.
Managing Editor: Roman Broszkiewicz
Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute

Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA) General Guidebook on Industrial Safety 2006

Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA) has just published its 170 page General Guidebook on Industrial Safety 2006 to collate the latest information including an outline of the implementation procedure for National Safety Week as well as the current status of industrial accidents, basic accident prevention strategies, examples of accidents and countermeasure and statistics for those involved in safety management.

In particular JISHA has published an outline of the amendment to the Industrial Safety and Health Act. Very useful document for all those involved in industrial safety.

JISHA Newsletter: Safety and Health in Japan March 2007

Includes: Creating pre-emptive safety environments in the workplace and Hazard Prediction Training (KYT); Activities of Industrial Safety and Health organisations; Labour Administrative Activities; Research and Statistics - including Promoting OSHMS in the Advances companies in Asia know to be implementing outstanding safety and health efforts; Workplaces adopting anti-smoking measures increase to 90%.

In addition there are other items including Securing diverse employment opportunities for Baby Boomers: a forum on the 2007 problem and the future of senior employment.

Contact: Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association, 5-35-1 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014 Japan | Tel/Fax: +81 3 3454 4596 | Email: kokusai@jisha.or.jp | www.jisha.or.jp

RoSPA to hold The Big Network at Safety & Health Expo 2007 22-24 May 2007 - Birmingham NEC, UK

For the first time, RoSPA - The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, will be holding a facilitated networking event at Safety & Health Expo 2007. 'The Big Network' will offer participants an opportunity to network with health and safety professionals, receive one-to-one advice, exchange ideas and experiences and hear from leading health and safety authorities on the latest developments covering a wide range of best practice, new legislation and the UK Health and safety Executive (HSE) key issues relating to their own specific needs.

Taking place on 23rd May 2007 with Safety & Health Expo at the Birmingham NEC, UK, the Big Network will feature expert-led round table discussion groups to challenge delegates thinking, provide them with fresh ideas and workable strategies to address health and safety issues within their own environment.

Discussion tables will include:

Noise & Vibration
Led by Gordon Brown MIOA, 10dB Acoustics and Dr Chris Nelson, HM Specialist Inspector HSE
Back Pain the the Workplace
Led by Melissa Lovell, Moving & Handling Consultant, RoSPA
Preventing Dermatitis in the Workplace
Led by Isla Fairhurst, Skin Disease Project Manager, HSE
Slips & Trips
Led by Rob Shaw, Slips and Trips Programme, HSE
Asbestos (Revised Regulations Nov 06)
Led by Max Lopacki, Managing Director, NATAS
Working at Height
Led by Chris Nix, UK Sales Manager, Scafftag

"By attending this event delegates will gain more health and safety knowledge relevant to their working environment than would by attending three one day seminars," comments Diane Preece, RoSPA's Event Manager. "Holding The Big Network within Safety & Health Expo 2007 also allows delegates to use their time out of the office effectively by giving them the opportunity to explore the wide variety of products and services available to them, many of them never seen before."

Prices start from £169. For the full programme and to book a place please visit www.rospa.com/events

Taking place from 22-24 May 2007 at the Birmingham NEC, Safety & Health Expo 2007, supported by RoSPA, IOSH and BSIF is a key event within the health and safety industry and for many other sectors which must adhere to health and safety requirements. For further information on the event, or to register for free entry please visit www.safety-health-expo.co.uk

Companies interested in exhibiting should contact David Bishop on +44 (0)20 7921 8049.

Contact: Sarah Tanner, Communications & PR Manager, CMP Information, Ludgate House, 245 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 9UY, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7921 8066 | Fax: +44 (0) 20 7921 8059 | Email: stanner@cmpi.biz

Incentives used to reduce employee absence - European survey

In an attempt to tackle employee absence, 27% of employers now offer incentives to encourage staff to take fewer sick days, according to a new European survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. But opinion on the appropriateness of these incentives, such as vouchers and bonuses, is mixed. Some employers - particularly those in the UK - are concerned that they may increase 'presenteeism' among those who are genuinely ill. Over 380 organisations across Europe took part in the survey.

Steve Clements, principal at Mercer, explained: "Some employers believe that by offering incentives to reduce absence, they are encouraging employees who are genuinely sick to attend work. Many also struggle with the notion of rewarding employees for doing what is expected of them - that is, to work when they are fit to do so."

To help reduce the risk of employees being absent due to ill health, almost half of the respondents (49%) promote health initiatives and benefits in their organisation. Among these employers, health screening is the most popular initiative, with 60% offering access to this service. Interestingly, Southern Europe takes the lead, with 78% of companies offering health screening followed closely by Eastern Europe at 76%, compared to 49% in Northern Europe. Subsidised gym membership is most prevalent in Eastern Europe, with 54% offering this benefit to employees compared to 32% in Northern Europe and 27% in Southern Europe.

In contrast, just 13% of respondents in Eastern Europe provide support for employees who are trying to quit smoking, compared to 39% in Southern Europe and 33% in Northern Europe.

Causes of employee absence

Employers have varying opinions on how much employee absence is due to genuine ill health. The survey found that over a quarter of respondents believe less than 20% of staff absence is sickness-related. Meanwhile, a similar proportion thinks that more than 80% of days off are due to ill health.

Mr Clements commented: "The results reveal an interesting discrepancy in the proportion of absence attributed to medical conditions. The problem is that many companies still do not have reliable data on the causes of employee absence, so there may be a gap between perception and reality." He added: "While there are clearly legitimate reasons for taking days off other than ill health, the data suggests some employers are questioning how much employee absence is due to genuine causes."

For most organisations, frequent short-term rather than long-term employee absence is the main cause of lost time. "Better causal data will help companies target absence-related initiatives more effectively, and allow managers to address the issue more robustly," commented Mr Clements.

Anti-discrimination legislation

More than one in five survey respondents (22%) are concerned that anti-discrimination legislation - such as age, sex and disability discrimination - prevents them from managing absence in a timely way. Concern was highest in Eastern Europe, Germany and France. "There have been inconsistent interpretations of what the various EU anti-discrimination directives mean, and this has caused a lot of confusion for employers," said Mr Clements. "When evaluating absence cases, many employers feel they have to check and double check where they stand from a legal perspective before they take any action to get employees back to work. More guidance from government would go a long way to helping companies untangle the complex web of legislation."

Ageing workforce

Almost six in ten respondents (58%) are concerned that their healthcare costs will rise significantly as their workforce ages. As people are encouraged to work for longer due to more restricted pension provision, and are more able to do so as anti-age discrimination legislation comes into force, the average age of workforces is likely to increase. The impact on employers in Europe will vary depending on their country's state provision, but in general Southern European respondents are most concerned about rising costs while those in Eastern Europe are the least concerned.

Mercer will be conducting a European web briefing on 24 April to discuss the survey findings. More information is available at www.mercer.com.

The survey was completed by 382 employers in 16 European countries. For analysis purposes, the countries were split into three geographic zones, as follows:

Eastern Europe: Hungary, Latvia, Poland
Northern Europe: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK
Southern Europe: Portugal, Spain

HSL to establish CiNR, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Nano-research

The UK Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) has announced that it will be launching an innovative Centre for Interdisciplinary Nano-Research (CiNR) towards the end of this month. This represents the latest step in a £1m programme of nanotechnology research funded by HSL in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The HSL announcement follows the publication of a review of Government progress in the fields of NanoSciences and Nanotechnologies, last week by the Council for Science and Technology (CST).

The CST review, whilst generally critical of Government investment in nanoscience research, states: "The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) have committed substantial resources to nanotechnologies work, particularly for workplace exposure."

"Overall, CST finds that HSE and HSL have been thorough and conscientious authorities in the work that they have done to promote the safe development and handling of nanomaterials."

The launch of the new CiNR will build on HSE and HSL's contribution to the wider research effort in this important area. Also, unlike most other 'centres of excellence' in the nanotechnology field, it will cover a range of expertise from 'Explosion to Exposure'.

"The launch of the new Centre will enable HSL to translate its cutting-edge health and safety research into real workplace solutions for the nanotechnology industry," said HSL Chief Executive Eddie Morland.

"We are committed to making the CiNR the most wide ranging and accessible centre in the UK to look at the potential risks and hazards in this somewhat unknown and fast moving field. Given the unusual breadth of our scientists' knowledge, we will be looking at everything from large scale explosion potential to the toxicological impact of these materials on the cell."

HSL's nanotechnology-based research has already attracted some interest from industry and the new Centre will act as a focal point to enhance this important interaction. CiNR scientists and engineers will be actively engaging with a wide range of manufacturers, universities and other groups working with nanomaterials to provide both advice and practical research into their issues.

It is envisaged that the new CiNR will directly lead to a greater understanding and subsequent control of the potential health and safety issues relating to nanotechnology.

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Don't forget the A+A 2007!

ILO, Basi and Messe Düsseldorf cooperation now sealed! Following the excellent response to A+A 2005 (54,350 trade visitors / 1,370 exhibitors), the international trade fair with congress for Safety and Health at the Workplace will be held in Düsseldorf from 18th to 21st September 2007.

Concurrently with these preparations for A+A 2007, Basi, the Federal Working Group on Safety and Health at Work, has also started preparing its 30th Congress for Safety and Health at Work, in its capacity as congress partner to Messe Düsseldorf.

To help sharpen the international profile of A+A, which registered in the region of 10,000 international trade visitors for the 2005 fair, the International Labour Organization (ILO), Basi and Messe Düsseldorf have agreed on a comprehensive cooperation agreement in Geneva. This Agreement will be valid for at least the next four A+A-events in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.

"We are pleased to note that the ILO will enhance each of the aforementioned A+A events with an international conference and will support us in marketing the event as a whole. In return, the success and growing internationalisation of A+A will provide the ILO with a second-to-none platform for new contacts and interesting exchanges," said Wilhelm Niedergöker, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf.

The agreement also ensures that all suitable parts of the conference programme organised by the ILO and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA) as part of the A+A Congress will be accompanied by simultaneous German - English interpretation.

The following themed areas will be represented:

The Congress has also set aside a full day on fire prevention.

Worldwide developments in prevention, models of internationally active companies and the issue of supervising occupational protection will be addressed at the A+A Congress by the Conference on International Labour Organisation (ILO).

In addition, A+A 2007 will be an international meeting point for European networks in Occupational Health & Safety. At the Congress, Basi will offer these networks an opportunity to find out what others are doing. For this purpose, Basi is partnering with a variety of organisations, including the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, the European Forum on Accident Insurance and the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion.

For further information on A+A 2007 please visit www.AplusA-online.de

UK Press Contact: Geoff Mead | Tel/Fax:+44 (0)1209 861147 | Email: geoffmead50@aol.com

Press Office Messe Düsseldorf GmbH: Martin-Ulf Koch/ Larissa Browa | Tel: +49 (0) 211/45 60 -444/ -549 | Fax: +49 (0) 211/45 60 -8548 | E-mail: KochM@messe-duesseldorf.de

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