Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

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June 2007

Essentials of Fire Safety Management by Dennis Davis

Fire remains potentially the most damaging and disruptive event that any business has to face. Virtually every fire will result in disruption to workflows. A devastating fire will almost inevitably lead to loss of production or productive activity which can lead to a loss of orders, a loss of customers and a loss of jobs. A significant amount of businesses simply never recover from the effects of a large fire.

Essentials of fire safety management, written by Dennis Davis is designed as a comprehensive guide for those responsible for fire safety at work as a result of the recent changes to UK workplace fire safety legislation. It draws together and updates a wide range of Fire Prevention Association (FPA) advice and complements the official government guidance. Importantly, emphasis is also placed on business continuity planning and the principles and practices of property protection.

The publication explains in detail the legislative background to fire safety in the UK, outlining in each of the chapters the relevant management responsibilities. It comprehensively covers the process of fire risk assessment, describing what businesses need to do to fulfill their legislative duties and detailing methods they may wish to employ. Throughout Essentials of fire safety management, practical advice sections are included aimed at assisting fire safety professionals, as well as those without a detailed understanding of fire safety matters, to comply with the law and to improve business resilience after a fire.

The 116 pages contain 12 chapters. To obtain a copy of Essentials of Fire Safety Management, 2007. ISBN 1902790464. £34.95

Contact: The Fire Protection Association, London Road, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 0RH | Tel: +44 (0)1909 812 500 | Email: sales@thefpa.co.uk

For those seeking further information, guidance and advice including the full text of the above book why not have a 15 day free trial of FIREINF - containing over 264,000 records including full text document click onto www.sheilapantry.com/interest.html

A victory for common sense from the European Courts of Justice

UK Health and safety professionals have said that common sense has prevailed following the 14 June 2007 European Courts of Justice verdict in support of UK workplace safety law.

The European Commission's claim that the UK had failed to implement the Framework Directive (EC 89/391) was dismissed by the European Court, meaning the tried and trusted phrase in UK health and safety law 'so far as is reasonably practicable' can remain.

President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Lisa Fowlie, said: "In terms of health and safety law the clause 'so far as is reasonably practicable' means that employers don't have to take measures that are grossly disproportionate to the risk. In turn, the UK courts are able to objectively assess whether employers have done everything 'reasonably practicable' to manage the risk. The effectiveness of this system is supported by the UK's health and safety record, which is one of the best in Europe.

"Had the challenge against the UK been successful, employers in this country could have been treated more severely than those in Europe. Although, other member states' laws are written in absolute terms, the courts in those countries can apply flexibility and proportionality in their judgements."

Lisa added: "The UK explained that our whole legal system deals with health and safety duties and liabilities through a combination of criminal and civil law. We also operate a social security system to financially support victims of workplace accidents.

"The Commission failed to show how the UK system couldn't satisfy the Directive's object of the '...introduction of measures to encourage the improvement of the health and safety of workers at work'. We hope this will be an end to these sort of challenges from Europe.

"Health and safety professionals have worked long and hard to explain the risk-based approach and to win the support of workers and employers. We feel that had the UK lost so far as is reasonably practicable, this would have been a major set-back for our sensible risk message and could have had a negative effect on public confidence in the system."

IOSH is Europe's largest body for health and safety professionals. It has over 30,000 members worldwide, including more than 10,000 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. www.iosh.co.uk.

Judgement (Case C127-05): "Having regard to all the foregoing considerations, it must be concluded that the Commission has not established to the requisite legal standard that, in qualifying the duty on employers to ensure the safety and health of workers in every aspect related to the work by limiting that duty to what is reasonably practicable, the United Kingdom has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 5(1) and (4) of Directive 89/391."

New Book - Managing Stress and Conflict in Libraries by Sheila Pantry OBE BA FCLIP

Stress and conflict in the workplace undermine performance and can make people mentally and physically ill, and research indicates that ever-increasing numbers of people are experiencing excessive pressure of this kind - including aggression and abuse - in our rapidly changing world of work.

This applies to libraries and information organizations as much as anywhere; indeed they can be particular targets for verbal and non-verbal violent behaviour through their accessibility to the public, and there are also employees of such organizations who are suffering, often in silence, from aggression, bullying and harassment from a work colleague.

Tackling - and preventing - conflict and stress effectively is a legal responsibility for management, and can result in significant benefits for the organization in terms of recruitment and retention, employee commitment, performance and productivity, customer satisfaction, organizational image and reputation, and avoidance of potential litigation.

Managing Stress and Conflict in Libraries defines clearly what should and should not be tolerated in a healthy and safe working environment, and introduces the reporting procedures and communication skills leading to conflict resolution, enabling both employees and managers to consider situations consistently based on risk assessment previously carried out. The chapters cover:

Also included are case studies, a glossary of health and safety terms, and sources of further information, including relevant legislation.

This book is essential reading for employees at all levels, and also for managers, team leaders, supervisors, personnel and human resources staff, complaints officers, union officers and anyone else in the information organization who may be called upon to deal with people.

Sheila Pantry OBE BA FCLIP manages an independent information services consultancy and electronic publishing business, including websites. She has had a long and varied career in information management in a range of industry sectors, and also in government as Head of Information Services for the Health and Safety Executive. She specializes in worldwide occupational health and safety information and is an experienced trainer, writer, editor and lecturer.

Managing Stress and Conflict in Libraries by Sheila Pantry OBE, BA, FCLIP
Facet Publishing, 7 Ridgmount Street, London WC1E 7AE, UK
www.facetpublishing.co.uk
ISBN 978-1-85604-613-8

All titles available a 20% discount to Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals members.
Remember to quote your Membership Number if claiming the discount.

Available from Bookpoint Ltd, Mail Order Dept, 39 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4TD | Tel: +44 (0)1235 400400 | Fax: +44 (0) 1235 832068/861038 | Email: orders@bookpoint.co.uk | Further information - email: sp@sheilapantry.com

Also www.amazon.co.uk or go direct to www.amazon.co.uk/Managing-Stress-Conflict-Libraries-Sheila/dp/1856046133

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UV protection: skin OK, holiday OK

Sit in the shade, wear long trousers, a long-sleeved shirt and a hat - follow this ad-vice and you will spare yourself more than just a painful sunburn. According to experts, you will also considerably reduce the risk of suffering long-term skin dam-age such as cancer. The German health and accident insurance institutions, organisers of the Healthy Skin Campaign, draw attention to this fact at the beginning of the holiday season. Suncream with a high sun protection factor should be applied to exposed parts of the body in order to protect the skin against damage.

"However inviting the beach may seem at midday, a siesta indoors is the better option between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.," says Birgit Schauenburg, skin protection expert at the BKK-BV, the federal association of company health insurance funds. "For those still determined to enjoy the sun, a wide-brimmed hat and suitable clothing are absolutely essential."

Public ignorance on this issue can be gauged from a representative survey con-ducted on behalf of the Healthy Skin Campaign: whereas 70% of those questioned frequently or always used suncream, barely 40% protected themselves against UV radiation by wearing clothing covering the entire body. Says Birgit Schauenburg: "Animals have fur and feathers to protect their bodies against burns. By contrast, human skin has only melanin, the tanning pigment, to protect it."

Sunburn still ruins many people's weekend or holiday. Around a quarter of those questioned indicated that they often or almost always suffered sunburn. Birgit Schauenburg advises a healthier respect for the sun. "The skin needs time to get used to ultraviolet radiation, because the body is initially slow to produce melanin. Reddening of the skin is not an intermediate stage to a desirable tan; it is a warning signal that the skin is already damaged."

For this reason, the skin expert from the company health insurance institutions recommends that a suncream with a high sun-protection factor be used in early summer to provide protection against sunburn. At the sametime, she warns that "the sun-protection factor is not a cancer-protection factor." Studies have shown that suncream may prevent sunburn. "It is doubtful, however, whether it is equally effective in preventing skin cancer." Children need to be particularly careful, since their skin is still very sensitive. For baby skin, the maxim to be followed by parents is "Out of the sun!".

Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG), Berliner Büro, Albrechtstraße 10c, 10117 Berlin, Germany | Tel: +030/288763-64 | Fax: +030/288763-70 | Email: jutta.sieger@hvbg.de | www.2m2-haut.de

'Myth busting' study reveals health-conscious construction workers

Contrary to 'macho' stereotypes about workers in the construction industry, a recent work-related health awareness pilot for the construction industry has shown that it is middle management that needs the most encouragement to make changes - workers are actually very concerned about their health.

The study argues that introducing or promoting a culture of health management within the industry will require workers and management at all levels to work together.

Published today, a research report of the Constructing Better Health (CBH) pilot scheme, which worked with more than 360 employers, has shown how involvement by construction workers far exceeded the expectations of organisers and employers who were initially sceptical of the interest among staff.

The report, by independent experts the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), and funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), details how more than 1,700 workers attended voluntary health checks, and 2,600 went along to 'toolbox talks', providing training on occupational health issues. The report was funded by the Health and Safety Executive, which also part funded and oversaw the CBH pilot, amongst other construction industry contributors.

The results of health checks demonstrated the importance of health awareness to an industry with high levels of work-related illness and workplace injuries, as well as expected future skills shortages. A third had occupational health issues as a consequence of noise and vibration; while a third were also found to have general health problems, most commonly related to high blood pressure or respiratory issues. Overall, around 600 people needed to be referred to a GP.

Insights into the success of the CBH pilot provided by the IES report have been fundamental in shaping plans for a national scheme for the construction industry. Claire Tyers, lead report author at IES, said: "CBH has been 'myth busting'. There was a preconception that workers in the industry are irresponsible or not interested in looking after their health. The popularity of the scheme amongst workers clearly contradicts such a view.

"There are some managers within the industry who do not want to scrutinise their work practices, and who are unwilling to accept the need for organisational-level change. The research showed, for example, that the training that CBH offered which was aimed at managers was rarely taken up. These same managers were, however, were often very supportive and proactive in putting forward their workers for training.

Within construction, complex subcontractual relationships and casual employment mean that employers often don't really see absence problems as they don't have to 'foot the bill' for their employees' sickness absence and therefore don't record it or see it as a problem. Similarly, workers may feel financial pressures to come to work even when in other sectors they would be considered too ill to do so, which can store up problems in the longer term.

"Getting managers more involved is vital, not only because they are decision makers, but also because communication with the workers generally only happens with the go ahead of employers. Consultation with both workers and management about the best way to keep both parties involved should therefore be a part of any future initiatives."

Holiday entitlements - large disparities between EU member states

Holiday entitlements can vary by up to 16 days depending on where you live in the EU, according to research by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. When added together, minimum statutory annual leave and public holidays range from as many as 44 days in some countries to just 28 in others.

The average leave and public holiday entitlements across all 27 EU states is 34 days, with little difference between Eastern and Western Europe. Employees in Finland benefit from 44 days' holiday, while those in France and Lithuania receive 40 days. In contrast, staff in the UK, Netherlands and Romania are allowed just 28 days off. The figures are based on statutory entitlements for an employee working five days a week, with 10 years' service.

Mark Sullivan, worldwide partner at Mercer, commented: "Holiday entitlements are a lottery, with some countries offering over 60% more days off than others. Even though efforts have been made to harmonise employment practices in the EU, there are still large disparities in holiday allowances between the member states."

Annual leave

The minimum number of days' annual leave ranges from 20 to 30. Those countries that mandate just 20 days (the minimum laid down by the European Union) include Belgium, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and UK, while Finland and France give 30 days. The average across the EU is 23 days. In practice, employers offer more generous leave allowances but this will be driven by industry and often seniority.

Mr Sullivan said: "While employers are only obliged to give the statutory minimum amount of leave, many offer extra days to help attract and retain staff. Generous holiday allowances are an increasingly attractive benefit, as more employees seek to improve their work-life balance."

Public holidays

Across the EU, numerous different dates are observed nationally as public holidays, yet many of these are observed by no more than one or two member states. This is in addition to the many regional holidays granted in some states.

There are also wide variations in the local implementation of employment practices governing public holidays. EU citizens typically have a statutory right to public holidays, with the exception of France, Sweden and the UK. Employers in these countries usually grant public holidays, but they are within their rights to ask employees to work, or take them as part of their annual leave entitlements.

"Employers trying to co-ordinate business operations across the EU are caught in a maze of legislation when it comes to holidays," commented Mr Sullivan. "Public holidays tend to be rooted in local tradition or religious beliefs, so it can be difficult to change practices. With the increasing cultural diversity of the European workforce there is pressure for greater flexibility around public holidays."

Special leave

In addition to annual leave and public holidays, employers in some EU states are required by law to give special leave for getting married, or for the death of a spouse or close relative, for example. Even when there is no requirement, many larger employers provide additional leave for special circumstances.

This research is primarily based on information from Mercer's Worldwide Benefit & Employment Guidelines (WBEG) reports. The WBEG reports are available in five volumes (Americas, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Western Europe and Middle East & Africa), which contain country-by-country information on employment conditions, statutory benefits and typical benefits practices.

The figures are based on statutory entitlements for an employee working five days a week, with 10 years' service.

www.imercer.com/wbeg

Warm temperatures at work?

Working in hot workplaces? Advice for outdoor workers - dehydration and heat stress.

www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/index.htm?ebul=hsegen/08-may-2007&cr=2

MSc & PGDip programmes in occupational health - your continuous development route

The UK Department of Human Sciences, Loughborough University is offering the following Masters (MSc) programmes in Occupational Health.

MSc & PGDip Psychology of Work and Health
This programme is intended for those wishing to obtain a postgraduate qualification in occupational health. The programme will appeal to graduates from a wide range of disciplines (psychology, biology, ergonomics, physiology, nursing, sociology, social policy, economics, sport science, engineering). The programme provides education and training in the application of psychology to the work environment and the promotion of health at work.
MSc & PGDip Occupational Health for Safety Professionals
This programme is designed for health and safety professionals who wish to develop their expertise in occupational health. Traditional health and safety training is predominantly concerned 'safety' rather than 'health' while health and safety professionals are increasingly having to address occupational health issues at work. The programme provides occupational health education and training focusing on the promotion of health in the workplace and management of health related issues at work.
MSc & PGDip in Occupational Health
This programme is aimed at professionals working in occupational health (occupational health advisors, occupational health nurses) and other health care professionals (nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and health promotion practitioners) who wish to obtain an advanced qualification in occupational health and develop their research and practitioner skills.

Why choose Loughborough?

Award

MSc or Postgraduate Diploma.
Programme Length MSc: 12 months full-time, minimum 24 months part-time.
Diploma: 8 months full-time, minimum 20 months part-time.

Course structure

Student take eight modules from: Environmental Ergonomics; Data Collection & Analysis; Work, Stress and Health; Health and Diversity in the Workplace; Contemporary Issues in Occupational Health & Safety; Workplace Health Promotion; Practitioner Skills; Work, Environment and Health; Organisational Systems; Occupational Health Psychology.

Assessment

Coursework and examination. The MSc research project is assessed by a dissertation and viva voce.

Entry Qualification

A good degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. biology, physiology, anatomy, nursing, health promotion, psychology, ergonomics, management science, engineering, sports science, physiotherapy, occupational therapy).

Other qualifications may be recognised and relevant work experience will be taken into consideration.

Scholarships and Sponsorships

Scholarships (25% fee reduction) may be offered to high calibre international students.

Selection

Decisions are made on the basis of documents provided. Applicants are invited to visit the department.

Contact

Cheryl Haslam, Professor of Health Psychology, Department of Human Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK | Direct line: +44 (0)1509 223086 | Department: +44 (0)1509 223036 | Fax: +44 (0)1509 223940 | Email: C.O.Haslam@lboro.ac.uk