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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

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News Archive

April 2008

Mind the Gap: looking for fire information from worldwide sources?

In this fast moving world it is essential to have quick access to validated, authoritative and constantly updated information collections. Much time is spent these days searching the Internet for validated and authoritative information often resulting in out-of date sources. Collections 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. Nor should people be without access to information that has been published in the past!

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! Nor is the latest theory that if you have a credit card and access to search engines then you do NOT need a library!

FIREINF, arguably the world's premier collection of related validated, authoritative information on the subject aims to help all those seeking such information. Emphasis is on all aspects of fire, emergency and preparedness management principles, fire risk assessment, practices and research. FIREINF leads the searcher to quality guidance and advice from around the world. And it is used by organisations, those teaching fire science as well as fire brigades, rescue services, forensic and fire experts.

One way to quickly gain access to legislation, guidance and advice that is up-to-date and relevant is to take a 15-day Free Trial of FIREINF - the service that is focused, affordable, easy to use and continuously updated as new data is published.

Published by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd. since 1997 (previous titles Fire Worldwide and also Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide), FIREINF uses the powerful Headfast software

Fireinf is accessible via the Internet Service

Contact Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd. for 15 day FREE trials for all services that are cost effective. Why pay more for information? Click onto

28 April 2008 - World Day for Safety and Health at Work

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual event, held on 28th April of each year. It aims to raise awareness about how to make work safe and healthy and the need to raise the political profile of occupational safety and health.

The International Labour Office (ILO) encourages its tripartite partners to organize activities at the national and enterprise levels using promotional materials.

For more information, visit the ILO site for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2008:

Ideally, events should involve both management and workers and be reported to press and media. Please also let the ILO know about your events by sending an e-mail to

The ILO Report for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2008 - My life, my work, my safe work: Managing risk in the work environment - is now available along with other promotional products (poster, postcard and bookmark) on the ILO web site.

Access the ILO Report for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2008 (PDF 1460 KB)

This year, the Report focuses on managing risk in the work environment. All managers and workers need to think about how to control and reduce risks in their own workplaces to prevent injury and protect their safety and health. It highlights the need for governments, employers, workers and their representatives, as well as research and training institutions and international organizations to work together to reduce the vast human and economic burdens of work-related accidents and diseases.

NIOSH and TB Prevention: Staying Vigilant

by Dr John Howard, Director National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), USA

An age-old disease, tuberculosis (TB) continues to afflict men and women around the world in the 21st Century. Internationally, 9.2 million new cases of TB and 1.7 million deaths from the disease occurred in 2006, according to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates. In the U.S., it is an occupational health concern for people who have an increased, work-related risk of exposure to the TB bacteria, such as workers in health-care facilities and correctional institutions.

In the decades after World War II, thanks to strides in detection and control, significant inroads were made against the disease. However, in the 1980s, this progress stalled as a result of several factors, and TB resurged. The public health community redoubled efforts to control the disease.

As part of its research and outreach mission, NIOSH stepped up to help protect men and women who were at increased risk of work-related infection from TB's resurgence. On one track, working with our colleagues elsewhere in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health institutions, we were at the table in helping to craft broader national initiatives in the renewed campaign against the disease. Our scientific findings and our insights into the dynamics of the workplace were important for incorporating occupational health protection as a critical part of national TB control guidance. A recent example is CDC's 2005 guidelines for controlling TB transmission in health-care settings,

At the same time, responding to our stakeholders with direct assistance, we also helped employers and employees to identify risk factors in their workplaces and to institute effective protective measures. We have provided extensive technical assistance and guidance in the form of published guidelines, training materials, health surveillance data, health hazard evaluation reports, presentations at professional conferences, chapters in textbooks, and other resources. These materials include valuable resources not only for occupational health programs in health-care facilities, but also for programs in other places where work-related risks exist, such as correctional facilities, nursing homes, and homeless shelters.

To a significant extent, the renewed efforts here in the U.S. and abroad have been successful. For example, WHO estimates that the number of new TB cases per capita globally has fallen since 2003. In the U.S., the incidence rate of TB among health-care workers declined during the period from 1994 to 2000. However, as long as the disease exists, the potential for infection remains. In 2006, according to CDC statistics, 408 healthcare workers and 17 correctional workers were diagnosed as having TB. This is 425 cases too many. Two recent reports also highlight trends that further demonstrate the need to stay vigilant.

WHO reported on March 17 that progress in controlling TB world-wide slowed in 2006, the most recent year for which the international data were available. One important factor is the continued growth of multidrug-resistant TB, which poses ongoing challenges for diagnosis and treatment. The WHO report is essential reading for health professionals.

An article in the March 21, 2008, issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found a similar slowdown in progress against TB in the United States. Recommendations in the article for vigorous actions to address this problem, and to push for the eradication of TB once and for all, involve roles for NIOSH and its partners. Among the recommendations: "improved case management and contact investigation, intensified outreach and testing of populations at high risk, better treatments and diagnostic tools, improved understanding of TB transmission, and continued collaboration with other nations to reduce TB globally."

Clearly, our ongoing NIOSH resources for employers and workers continue to meet a critical need. They include:

NIOSH has also contributed to the development, assessment, and guidance for use of environmental control measures such as ventilation and filtration, airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIR), portable air cleaners, and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), to the advancement of knowledge about personal protective equipment, and to improvements in methods for assessing TB exposure. These advances add to the base of knowledge that will be needed for protecting workers - and indeed, the public as a whole - as efforts against TB proceed in the 21st Century. NIOSH's work is described in an evidence package presented to the National Academies last year for independent scientific review of the quality, relevance, and impact of our strategic research program for preventing occupational respiratory diseases.

For health professionals, the ultimate goal is not simply the containment or control of TB. The ultimate goal is eradication. NIOSH is honoured to be a partner in this historic enterprise. For more information about our resources for occupational health professionals, employers, and workers, please visit our topic page at

Published in NIOSH E-News April 2008 to subscribe to NIOSH E-News click on

The Rasbash Lecture of the UK Institution of Fire Engineers

The Rasbash Lecture will take place this year at a very prestigious venue - Defence Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Andover, Hampshire, UK, on 5th June - 4.5 hrs CPD

To be delivered by Professor G Quintiere -The John L. Bryan Professor of Fire Protection Engineering University of Maryland.

"Integration of Fire Dynamics and Fire Safety Engineering"

Contact: Jenny Angus: The Institution of Fire Engineers London Road, Moreton in Marsh, GL56 0RH, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1608 812588 | Email:

Cost of chronic diseases hurts business and threatens economic sustainability

The rising cost of chronic diseases, including direct medical costs and indirect costs associated with lost productivity, is a growing burden for businesses, according to research prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers in conjunction with the World Economic Forum. The report warns that over the next 25 years chronic disease will reduce the available labour supply, savings, investments and ultimately affect the capital markets, and outlines the business rationale for workplace wellness programmes. It states that in an interdependent global economy, chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory illness, are creating a significant societal risk that threatens health systems and economic sustainability.

PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis found that productivity losses associated with workers who have chronic disease are as much as 400 percent more than the cost of treating chronic disease. Losses in productivity include disability, unplanned absences, reduced workplace effectiveness, increased accidents and negative impacts on work quality or customer service.

Moreover, the incidence of chronic disease is growing at an astonishing rate. Globally, chronic diseases represent more than half (57%) of all deaths annually, and this is expected to rise by 23% over the next 20 to 25 years, while deaths due to other causes are expected to remain roughly stable through to 2030. This progression of chronic disease is occurring despite the fact that these diseases are largely preventable. While the relative burden of chronic disease is still greatest in industrialised countries, the convergence of the global economies and the Western influence on lifestyles throughout the world will increasingly impact emerging economies at a similar rate.

Given the growing incidence of chronic diseases through the world and new evidence that workplace wellness programmes are effective at reducing the risk of these diseases, the report suggests that businesses have a vested interest in workplace wellness programmes and that public-private partnerships are imperative from a health, bottom-line and national perspective.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers and World Economic Forum report entitled "Working Towards Wellness: The Business Rationale," identifies four primary reasons that business should invest in the prevention of chronic disease:

Chronic disease drives national healthcare costs

People with chronic disease account for the majority of national health expenditures and approximately 40% of total lost work time. The impact of chronic disease is placing an increasing burden on health systems, taxes and costs of coverage, which increasingly burden organisations and their employees.

Wellness and health promotion programmes are generally focused on reduction of risky health behaviours that lead to the development of chronic diseases. Healthcare costs for those with more health risks increases in proportion with the number of risks they have, even in the absence of a chronic disease.

Productivity losses associated with chronic disease are even greater

Studies have consistently shown productivity costs related to health risk factors to be up to four times those of healthcare costs for employers. The most costly conditions and health risk factors related to productivity are different from those when considering only the cost of treating the disease. Depression, fatigue and sleeping problems - conditions or risks that are often associated with chronic diseases - have the largest impact on productivity. As with healthcare costs, more risk factors multiply the losses in productivity.

In the next 10 years, China, India and the UK are projected to lose US$ 558 billion, US$ 237 billion and US$ 33 billion, respectively, in national income as a result of heart disease, stroke and diabetes and partly as a result of reduced economic productivity.

In many emerging economies, lack of effective treatment of chronic disease during the working years also contributes to the higher numbers of lost years of productive life. For example, by 2030, the total number of productive years lost in Brazil, South Africa, Russia, China and India is expected to increase 64% from 20.6 million in 2000 to 33.7 million in 2030 due to cardiovascular disease alone. This poses significant threats to the vitality of a highly interdependent global ecosystem, which in turn can threaten the sustainability of already burdened social security systems in industrialised societies.

Workplace wellness efforts can positively impact human capital investments

Human capital is an increasingly scarce organisational resource on a global level. The demand for talented people is increasing, and an ageing workforce is creating an additional drain on organisations' workforces. For example, China will be moving from an era of labour surplus into an era of labour shortage as early as 2010, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis found that organisations invest an average of US$290 in labour costs to generate US$ 1,000 in revenue and because the amount of labour investment per dollar generated is increasing, there is a significant opportunity for improvement of return on investment in the workforce. By helping employees work longer and have more productive lives, organisations can protect this asset in the face of growing labour shortages globally.

Furthermore an organisation that shows that it values workers' health is more likely to attract, retain and motivate employees. Leading organisations have utilised prevention and wellness programmes to demonstrate the value they place on their workers.

Sustainability is threatened by the epidemic of chronic disease

In a globally interdependent economy, the epidemic of chronic disease - a product of both environment and behaviours - is a social phenomenon that is as equally prevalent and preventable as issues such as global warming, infectious diseases, poverty, terrorism, clean water and basic infrastructure. In fact, many of those issues are intertwined with the issue of chronic disease.

For a copy of the report, "Working Towards Wellness: The Business Rationale"

The entire Wellness series released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 2008 is available at


6th International Occupational Risk Prevention Conference - ORP'2008

ORP'2008 will take place in A Coruña, Spain, on May 14th to 16th. The previous conference - ORP'2006 gathered 2,000 participants from 21 countries and featured 100 stands from corporations working in the field of Occupational Risk Prevention. Invited lectures were given by experts from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Portugal and the U.S. 284 assessed papers were presented on issues such as safety and prevention management, industrial hygiene, ergonomics, legislation and psycho-sociology, among others.

This year, it will be dedicated to "Commitment towards Prevention: A Corporate Responsibility".

Contact: Technical Secretariat, CEP (Centre for Ergonomics and Prevention), ETSEIB (School of Industrial Engineering), UPC (Technical University of Catalonia), Av. Diagonal 647, planta 10, Barcelona, Spain | Tel: + 34 93 401 17 58 | Fax: + 34 93 401 25 78 |

Chinese edition of Enhancing Occupational Safety and Health joins the Spanish and English editions

You may be interested in the Chinese edition of Enhancing Occupational Safety and Health by Geoff Taylor, Kellie Easter and Roy Hegney.

It is published by Chemical Industry Press, Beijing as Zhiye Anquan Jiankang. The translator is Prof Fan. Y Xiao of the Safety Engineering Department of the China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China.

It joins its Spanish stablemate Mejora de la Salud y la Seguridad en el Trabajo published by Elsevier Espana, Madrid

This has previously been published in English in the UK, 2004, and Spanish, 2006.

Chemical Industry Press in Beijing has opted to reproduce the book as it appears in English (with some updates and a short extra section on coal mine gas drainage.

Contact: Geoff Taylor, Perth |

Canada's IRSST - A Prevention guide for material handlers and sales clerks

Everyone goes to superstores, but did you know that the employees working in them have a good chance of suffering from back pain? For this growing sector, a prevention guide Handling work and customer service in warehouse superstores has just been published by the Quebec Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute (IRSST) and Groupe-conseil AON. In addition to offering different practical advice, this document proposes solution scenarios that are easy to implement for better prevention of handling-related accidents and the associated back pain.

Target public and risk factors

Aimed at people who want to do prevention, the guide proposes a 5-part action process ranging from the identification of problems to the implementation of solutions. Several aspects have an impact on handling activities: the volume, weight and packaging of containers, the physical layouts in the sales area (height and accessibility of shelves), the equipment (mobile ladder, aerial platform, stepladder, etc.) and inventory control. The characteristics of each of these aspects can lead to injury or accident risks. This guide is designed to improve the work performance conditions of all employees that handle merchandise, from stockers to sales clerks.


The result of five years of research and based on two scientific studies, this guide contains a checklist to identify problems, six solution fact sheets, as well as a grid to evaluate the solutions. It includes illustrations, relevant examples, a glossary, and a summary table of the references. Written in simple language, this prevention guide emphasizes the important things to know and the steps to be taken to make our warehouse superstores safer workplaces.

The guide and the fact sheets can be downloaded free from:

Contact: Communications Division, IRSST | Email:

The challenge - speeding up the reporting process with Destiny

Since its launch in 1992, The Health and Safety People Ltd has grown into one of the UK's most respected health and safety consultancies, with around 1,200 UK and international clients. Employing around forty highly qualified and experienced consultants, whose expertise covers all aspects of construction, manufacturing, service and leisure industries, the company provides tailored health and safety management systems, procedures and policies designed to help clients satisfy their legal obligations, save time, control costs, and demonstrate their commitment and ability to keep their workforces safe. Rapid response is a key element of The Health and Safety People's offer.

All their policies are backed by a 24-hour advice hotline for immediate response in a crisis situation. The company was therefore increasingly concerned about the time that was elapsing between an inspection taking place, and receipt of the report at the client's offices - up to six days in many cases. Relying on conventional paper records that needed to be posted or faxed back by consultants, there was a high risk of reports not being sent in on time, or even forgotten. The company was also frustrated by the long and tedious process of having to make multiple photocopies of each report for invoicing, client HQ and their own files. They decided to do something about it, and called in Destiny.

The solution - rapid transmission of inspection reports and photos

An early requirement was for Destiny to redesign and simplify the inspection report, and convert it into digital format. With up to twelve separate pages and continuation sheets completed and sent individually from the field at each visit, this involved a major technical challenge to create a system which would collate and integrate them into one single PDF document.

The company's consultants were then issued with the new forms and digital pens. Initially perturbed at the idea of leaving the only hard copy with the client on site, they quickly became comfortable with the ease and practicality of the new process after early technical and procedural challenges were resolved by performing trials to check compatibility.

Now, consultants simply write out each report form and tick a SEND box to transmit it rapidly and securely via a Bluetooth mobile phone. A key aspect of the new system is the ability to take and attach photos - something they were simply unable to do before. This is critically important, since it enables them to provide evidence of hazards or behaviour, and corrective action taken.

A graphical PDF of the original handwritten form is recreated by Destiny's servers and delivered to The Health and Safety People's computer system in less than a minute after the form is transmitted from the field. Administrators also have the ability, where needed, to review any recreated form against the original on a dedicated web portal (Destiny's manage system) to check for 100% data accuracy.

The results - evidence of immediate action

John Thoday is MD of The Health and Safety People. "The Destiny system has brought us huge environmental and logistical benefits", he says. "We're now able to operate fully electronically, without any need for paper records. Our inspection reports are stored electronically by client, and can be retrieved quickly and easily."

Another positive measurement of the impact the system has made has been the reaction of the company's clients. "They love it", says John Thoday - "especially the speed of response. We can't imagine trying to take it away from them now. One of our consultants can be on site in Cornwall, and have a copy of his report and pictures at a client's London HQ just minutes after he's completed the job. This means they can take immediate action, or better still have the evidence that we've already done it on their behalf. That's great for providing rapid reassurance and peace of mind. Our clients love being the ones to tick the SEND box, feel the pen vibrate, and know that the data's been sent securely on its way."

The Health and Safety People Ltd is accredited with ISO9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004 - the environmental management standard. Digital pen technology from Destiny is fully compatible with this standard and helps environmentally driven organisations achieve even greater energy efficiencies.

Contact: Destiny, 10 Quarry Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 3UY, UK | Tel: +44 (0)8458 558855 | Email: |

Hit pain where it hurts: Arthritis Care launches new UK course during Arthritis Awareness Care week 12-18 April 2008

Time to take your life back - that is Arthritis Care's message to 7.8 million* people in the UK who live with chronic day-to-day pain. The 61-year old charity today marks its awareness week starting 12th - 18th April 2008 by launching its new Challenging Pain programme across the country.

Around half of those living with long-term pain end up losing their jobs*. It can cause insomnia, exhaustion, depression, destroy mental concentration, ruin mobility, social, family and work life, and ultimately may lead to reduced income, poverty and isolation.

'Pain is sometimes called 'the silent epidemic'. It's the main reason why people visit their GP - and arthritis is its most frequent cause. With pain being the number one reason why people call the Arthritis Care helplines, we decided to create a specific 'Challenging Pain' workshop. It addresses a wide variety of long-term conditions, equipping anyone experiencing pain with skills and techniques to combat their symptoms', said Rachel Gondwe, Arthritis Care's head of training.

Arthritis Care pioneered American style self-management training in the UK during the 1990s, paving the way for the Expert Patient Programme, and Challenging Pain was developed from its successful Challenging Arthritis course. CP is expected to become an important part of the country's self-management strategy to help the ageing population live well with long-term conditions. It is envisaged that nurses, doctors and other health and care professionals may 'prescribe' the course to those deemed likely to benefit. It is available across the UK and is totally free to participants. Employers can run it in the workplace for workers, or primary trust commission it for patients.

Challenging Pain was piloted and road-tested in Devon, and it was exported to Australia by Arthritis Care in February 2008. The charity decided to 'roll it out 'across the UK during Arthritis Care Awareness Week because the week's self-management theme, 'Time to Take Your Life Back', perfectly described the workshop's purpose. 'Pain has a huge impact on your well-being and ability to work. If you can control pain, you really can reclaim huge parts of your life. The Challenging Pain course reduces the fear, anger and frustration that pain often causes; it helps you to think about your pain differently, and to be more confident in your ability to perform daily activities. You learn new techniques for dealing with pain, and discover better ways of communicating your needs to your family, friends and your doctor. Many participants report that they are able to think more positively about the future and to plan ahead after doing the course,' said Gondwe.

To find out more about offering Challenging Pain in your practice, or for more information about the course, its trainers and accreditation:
Contact Rachel Gondwe | Tel: +44 (0)207 380 6564 | Email:
For more information and case studies |

Croner's 4th Annual Health and Safety Conference 2008

Croner Training's 4th Annual Health and Safety Conference will be held on 3 December 2008, London. Now in its fourth year, this practical one-day conference will help you move ahead with health and safety challenges in your organisation and enable you to understand what needs to be addressed to achieve success. Programme is organised and conference chaired by Sheila Pantry OBE.

The 2007 conference was attended by well over 100 delegates and received very good delegate feedback:

Attending this conference will give you:

This conference will help you to:

Who should attend?:

The final programme and speakers details will be confirmed shortly.

Croner's 4th Annual Health and Safety Conference 2008
3 December 2008, London (location TBC)
Price: £399 + VAT (Early booking discount of £100 if place booked before 29th August 2008)

Contact: Customer Services on 0845 082 1170 to book your place or email:

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.

See reviews on