Skip to content

Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

October 2008

Missing OSH-ROM? Why not take OSH UPDATE? Don't make decisions without quality OSH information

You may have had access to OSH-ROM for many years and will now know that it is ceasing publication. OSH-ROM was created by Sheila Pantry OBE who subsequently, in 2004 produced OSH UPDATE.

OSH UPDATE - produced by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd now has 19 databases (latest one just added) containing validated and authoritative worldwide information on all aspects of health and safety at work.

OSH UPDATE - arguably one of the best collections of full text and bibliographic health and safety information, is continuously updated as new data is published. It has user-friendly powerful software and the lowest priced collection of occupational safety and health (OSH) information.

During 2007, 24,152 new bibliographic records containing 3,387 links to full text and 1,811 full text documents containing 42,724 pages were added.


Send your request at

Contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | Email:
Websites: | | | |

European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2008: Healthy Workplaces campaign starting October 2008

Reducing the number of work-related accidents and illnesses is the target for the European Week for Safety and Health at Work from 20-24 October 2008. Organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), the week's campaign activities will highlight the importance of assessing health and safety risks. EU-OSHA has also produced a new report on 'Risk Assessment' to showcase practical ways in which workplace risks can be managed and reduced.

The European Week is part of the Healthy Workplaces campaign on risk assessment. During this week hundreds of campaign events and activities will take place all over Europe. These include conferences and exhibitions, training sessions and activities where both large and small companies work together. The common theme linking all these events is promoting the importance of carrying out risk assessment in every workplace.

Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA, says: "Every three-and-a-half minutes somebody in the EU dies from work-related causes and every four-and-a-half seconds an EU worker is involved in an accident that forces them to stay at home for at least three working days*. This is unacceptable! We need a change, and this change starts with assessing workplace risks. We have to make employers, workers, safety representatives and policy makers aware that proper risk assessment is the key to good workplace safety and health management."

The success of the Healthy Workplaces campaign and its European Week is largely due to the support of the EU-OSHA network of focal points in the 27 EU Member States and accession countries. The contribution of many local and regional initiatives carried out by trade unions, enterprises, NGOs and government administrations also play an important role. All these activities show that workplace accident and illness prevention is a top priority in Europe.

The newly published Risk Assessment Magazine is one of many initiatives to increase awareness about the importance of proper risk management. It shows examples of good practice by government ministries, employers' organisations and trade unionists from across Europe to improve workplace risk management.

Further reading

4th Annual Health and Safety Conference 2008: 3 December 2008 the must attend conference of the year!

The Hawkesmere / Croner 4th Annual Health and Safety Conference will be held on 3 December 2008, London, UK. 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:

'A very good forum for the exchange of information from both presentations and networking'

'The content and speakers were all of a high standard'

Attending this conference will give you:

This conference will help you to:

Who should attend?

BSI publishes new books on Business Continuity, Managing Risk and Resilience in the Supply Chain

Recently the British Standards Institution (BSI) have published books on supply chain risk, managing remote working, conducting BCM exercises, fire alarms and IT security. There are also some BCM and risk titles due out later this year.

Some of the latest books are:

And two due out later this year -

Contact: Sophie Phipps, Marketing Manager - Product Marketing for Materials & Healthcare; ICT; Books, BSI British Standards, BSI Group Headquarters, 389 Chiswick High Road, London W4 4AL, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 20 8996 7940 | Fax: +44 (0) 20 8996 7553 | |

RoSPA urges firms not to ignore safety during recession

To mark the start of a European week focusing on the prevention of accidents and ill-health at work, the UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is urging employers not to cut corners on health and safety during the coming economic downturn.

This year's European Campaign for Safety and Health at Work, which is marked by an awareness week running from 20 - 24 October 2008, is seeking to demystify the risk assessment process.

Roger Bibbings, RoSPA Occupational Safety Adviser, said: "Given the current financial climate, there is a danger that occupational health and safety could be seen as a problem largely solved - a 'nice-to-have' rather than a really essential social and economic ingredient. There could be a temptation to cut corners, reduce standards or delay introducing essential protective measures.

"But we must avoid seeing an increase in the number of health and safety casualties as part of the price to be paid by workers and members of the public for the recession.

"In addition to the legal and moral reasons for preventing accidents and ill-health, employers also need to recognise the strong business case, which exists even when times are tough.

"Risk assessments are a case in point. While 'suitable and sufficient' risk assessments are a legal requirement, they do not have to mean an overload of red tape and, properly undertaken, they should help businesses to direct scarce resources towards priority issues."

Roger Bibbings continued: "But a more compelling argument for keeping faith with health and safety in a recession is that when there are no longer opportunities to improve the bottom line by increasing turnover, controlling loss becomes even more important. And recession is coming at a time when penalties for non-compliance are being increased substantially and third parties such as clients are continuing to demand higher standards.

"In an increasingly competitive environment, the ability to demonstrate effective health and safety management will be all the more important in winning future business."

RoSPA offers a range of products and services to help organisations with their risk assessments. To mark the European Campaign for Safety and Health at Work 2008/09, the safety charity is offering a 10 per cent discount on risk assessment products and resources, including videos and DVDs, ordered before the end of October. Visit to view the products.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Edgbaston Park, 353 Bristol Road, Birmingham B5 7ST | Tel: +44 (0)121 248 2000 |

Involving your workers: A guide for small businesses

This free leaflet explains how you must consult all of your employees on health and safety issues at work. The information is aimed mainly at employers in workplaces with fewer than 25 employees. At these workplaces, it would normally be practical for employers to consult with their employees directly. However, for those workplaces where the employer has chosen to consult through a representative elected by employees, it provides guidance on what help and training you must provide to the representatives.

The simplest way to involve employees is to talk and listen. It is important to do this, not only because the law requires it, but also because everyone from managers to individual employees can play a part in getting health and safety right. Your employees often know best about the health and safety issues in your workplace and how to deal with them. There is also evidence to show that businesses which involve workers in managing health and safety actually have better health and safety standards, better productivity and a more motivated workforce.

ILO says global financial crisis to increase unemployment by 20 million: ILO Director-General calls for urgent measures to address "grave consequences" of global financial crisis

The global financial crisis could increase world unemployment by an estimated 20 million women and men, the Director-General of the International Labour Office (ILO) said today. "We need prompt and coordinated government actions to avert a social crisis that could be severe, long-lasting and global", he added.

Based on revised global growth estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UN and early reports suggesting rising job losses for most countries where data was available, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said the ILO's preliminary estimates indicated that the "number of unemployed could rise from 190 million in 2007 to 210 million in late 2009."

Mr. Somavia added that "the number of working poor living on less than a dollar a day could rise by some 40 million - and those at 2 dollars a day by more than 100 million".

Mr. Somavia also said that the current crisis would hit hardest such sectors as construction, automotive, tourism, finance, services and real estate. He also noted that the new projections "could prove to be underestimates if the effects of the current economic contraction and looming recession are not quickly confronted".

"This is not simply a crisis on Wall Street, this is a crisis on all streets. We need an economic rescue plan for working families and the real economy, with rules and policies that deliver decent jobs. We must link better productivity to salaries and growth to employment", Mr. Somavia said.

"Protecting and promoting sustainable enterprises and decent work opportunities must be at the heart of the Summit on the Financial Crisis recently announced by Presidents Bush and Sarkozy", he added. "We must return to the basic function of finance, which is to promote the real economy. To lend so that entrepreneurs can invest, innovate, produce jobs and goods and services."

Available in English French and Spanish

For more details see:

World of Work 2008 ILO report

Despite strong economic growth that produced millions of new jobs since the early 1990s, income inequality grew dramatically in most regions of the world and is expected to increase due to the current global financial crisis, according to a new study published recently by the research arm of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The new report, entitled World of Work Report 2008: Income inequalities in the age of financial globalization, produced by the ILO's International Institute for Labour Studies also notes that a major share of the cost of the financial and economic crisis will be borne by hundreds of millions of people who haven't shared in the benefits of recent growth.

"This report shows conclusively that the gap between richer and poorer households widened since the 1990s", said Raymond Torres, Director of the Institute responsible for the report. "This reflects the impact of financial globalization and a weaker ability of domestic policies to enhance the income position of the middle class and low-income groups. The present global financial crisis is bound to make matters worse unless long-term structural reforms are adopted."

To see the full report:

There is also a shortened executive report for those with little time!

New Skin Disorder caused by Mobile Phones discovered

Doctors are being warned to be alert to a new allergic skin disorder, caused by mobile phones, according to the British Association of Dermatologists.

A new phenomenon called "mobile phone dermatitis" has been discovered, in which people who spend long periods of time on their mobile phone develop an allergic reaction to the phone's nickel surface.

The problem was identified in several published case reports of patients with unexplained rashes on their face and ear. Closer investigation revealed that the reaction was caused by nickel in the mobile phone handsets, where it is often found in the casing or buttons, particularly in the most fashionable models.

Now the British Association of Dermatologists is warning other doctors to be aware of the allergy, which is thought to be on the increase. Because the condition has only newly been identified, many cases may go unreported or untreated, which has prompted the scientists to share their findings.

Nickel allergy is the most common contact allergy in the UK and is thought to affect 30 percent of the population, with a rising incidence.* Women have a higher risk of developing mobile phone dermatitis, as they are more likely to have been previously sensitised to the metal following an allergic reaction to nickel-coated jewellery.

Dr Graham Lowe, from the British Association of Dermatologists, said: "The allergy results from frequent skin contact with nickel-containing objects. Prolonged or repetitive contact with a nickel-containing phone is more likely to cause a skin reaction in those who are allergic. If you have had a previous reaction to a nickel-coated belt-buckle or jewellery, for example, you are at greater risk of reacting to metal phones.

"In mobile phone dermatitis, the rash would typically occur on the cheek or ear, depending on where the metal part of the phone comes into contact with the skin. In theory it could even occur on the fingers if you spend a lot of time texting on metal menu buttons.

"It is worth doctors bearing this condition in mind if they see a patient with a rash on the cheek or ear that cannot otherwise be explained."

In a study published earlier this year, doctors in the US tested for nickel in 22 popular handsets from eight different manufacturers, and found it present in ten of them.†

Dr Lionel Bercovitch, one of the study's authors from Brown University, Rhode Island, said: "Nearly half of the phones we spot tested contained some free nickel. The menu buttons, decorative logos on the headsets and the metallic frames around the liquid crystal display (LCD) screens were the most common sites... Those with the more fashionable designs often have metallic accents and are more likely to contain free nickel in their casings.

"Given the widespread use of cell phones, the presence of metal in the exterior casing of these phones and the high prevalence of nickel sensitization in the population, it is not surprising that cell phones can cause allergic contact dermatitis."

Several other cases have been reported, prompting the British Association of Dermatologists to share the research with other doctors. The association is advising anyone who develops a rash on their face which might be attributable to prolonged mobile phone use to seek advice from their doctor.

For more information please contact: Nina Goad, British Association of Dermatologists, Communications Manager, Phone: 0207 391 6355, Email:, Website:

* "Genetic Factors in Nickel Allergy"; Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2004) 123, xxiv-xxv; doi:10.1111/j.0022-202X.2004.23508.x; Veronique Bataille, Genetic Epidemiology and Twin Research Unit, St Thomas Hospital, London, UK

Recent case reports of mobile phone dermatitis

† "Cellphone contact dermatitis with nickel allergy"; Lionel Bercovitch, MD* and John Luo; *Department of Dermatology, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Liberal Medical Education, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
CMAJ, January 1, 2008; 178 (1). doi:10.1503/cmaj.071233.

"Mobile phone dermatitis: a modern presentation of contact allergy"; A. Waters, C.M. Green and S. Lewis-Jones; Ninewells Hospitall, Dundee, UK. Overview available in British Journal of Dermatology, BSPD abstracts 2008; Presented at British Society for Paediatric Dermatology Annual Symposium, November 2007.

"Cellular phone addiction and allergic contact dermatitis to nickel"; Contact Dermatitis
Volume 57 Issue 2, Pages 130 - 131; Cristina Livideanu 1, Francoise Giordano-Labadie 1 Carle Paul 1; 1 University Paul-Sabatier, Department of Dermatology, Purpan University Hospital, Place du Dr Baylac Toulouse, France; 11 Jul 2007;

"Mobile telephone as new source for nickel dermatitis"; Contact Dermatitis
Volume 56 Issue 2, Pages 113 - 113; Stefan Wöhrl 1, Tamara Jandl 1, Georg Stingl 1 Tamar Kinaciyan 1; 1 Department of Dermatology, Division of Immunology, Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Medical University of Vienna; 18 Jan 2007;

The British Association of Dermatologists is the central association of practising UK dermatologists. Our aim is to continually improve the treatment and understanding of skin disease.

ECHA publishes an intermediate list of pre-registered substances

An Intermediate List of Pre-registered Substances is published today on the ECHA website. It contains almost 40,000 substances which were pre-registered by 1, October, 2008 two months before the deadline. The purpose of the intermediate list is to give Downstream Users of chemicals a possibility to determine whether substances of their interest are already pre-registered.

An intermediate list of pre-registered substances has been published to provide companies an insight to the status of pre-registrations. This list covers substances which were pre-registered by 1 October 2008 and it is accessible via the ECHA CHEM section of the Agency website.

The intermediate list contains the EC/CAS number and name of 37,768 pre-registered substances. In addition, information such as the first envisaged registration deadline, the number of related substances that may be used for (Q)SAR, grouping (category approach) and read-across, and the synonyms are included. In certain cases, when ECHA has doubts on the validity of a submitted pre-registration, the company concerned was contacted to clarify its pre-registration. The substances identified in these pre-registrations may not yet appear on the intermediate list.

The purpose of this intermediate list is to give Downstream Users the possibility to determine whether substances of their interest are already pre-registered and, if not, for them to remind their manufacturers and importers that companies can only benefit from the extended registration deadlines (2010, 2013 or 2018) if they have pre-registered their substances by 1 December 2008.

Failure to meet this deadline means that a company cannot continue manufacturing or importing the substance until they have submitted a full registration dossier and paid the registration fee.

The intermediate list is not foreseen in the REACH Regulation but it has been published on the demand from industry. By 1 January 2009, the final list required by the Regulation will be published and it will replace the intermediate list on the ECHA website. That list will cover substances pre-registered from 1 June to 1 December 2008.

More information:

Going to work in Europe can be both deadly and cause ill-health... the truth

Every year 5,720 people die in the European Union as a consequence of work-related accidents, according to EUROSTAT figures (1).

Besides that, the International Labour Organisation estimates (2) that an additional 159,500 workers in the EU die every year from occupational diseases.

Taking both figures into consideration, it is estimated that every three-and-a-half minutes somebody in the EU dies from work-related causes and that every four-and-a-half seconds an EU worker is involved in an accident that forces them to stay at home for at least three working days (3).


(1) EUROSTAT 2005: Figure in recorded economic sectors covering 87% of the workforce in the 27 EU Member States.

(2) ILO 2005: Figure is an estimation for EU27;

(3) ILO estimates 2008

How was it for you? HSE office checklist for safety reps

The Health and Safety Executive has published an online display screen equipment assessment checklist 'to help safety reps and other officials to assess the risks to workers from visual display units and comply with legal requirements.'

The eight page document covers display screens, keyboards, trackball/computer mouse, software, furniture, environment and, finally, questions to ask the person actually using the workstation. Use it and tell us what you make of it.

Abstracts and Proposals for the 17th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2009

The Online Communities Technical Committee (OCTC) will begin accepting submissions for the IEA 2009 Congress in Beijing, China using the online submission system from the Congress website. The OCTC is calling for proposals for symposia, panels, workshops, field applications and papers that address current or emerging issues related to online communities. The content of these proposals could include case studies, reports of field or laboratory research, reviews of field methods or applications, conceptual models, evaluations, implementation approaches, usability and user experience analysis or design, or other proposals that centre on online collaboration and community environments.

In particular, the OCTC seeks proposals that address core issues, including:

Please feel free to contact the OCTC Chair, Andrew Thatcher, or the Congress Secretariat: Phone: +86-10-8280-1728 | Fax: +86-10-8280-5315 | Email: | Post Address: Chinese Ergonomics Society Peking University Health Science Center Beijing, 100083, China


Submitted abstracts will be peer reviewed by at least two reviewers. The review will support the selection process of those that will be accepted for their presentation at the conference, as well as those to be selected for their publication in IEA endorsed Journals.

Contact: Prof Andrew Thatcher, Associate Professor, Discipline of Psychology, School of Human & Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand, WITS, South Africa | Tel: +27 11 717 4533 | Email:

Positive safety culture = good management' - the key to eradicating unsafe behaviours and improving performance. What the evidence shows

This is a great programme with expertise from Brian Nimick, British Safety Council Chief Executive, Neil Budworth, Corporate Health and Safety Manager E.On UK and Past President IOSH, Nigel Bryson MBE, of Bryson Consulting, Shaun Davis, Group Director of Safety, Health & Environment, Rok plc and also research - conducted by Sarah Cudmore, of Cudmore Consulting. The research reviewed existing evidence and surveys the experience of four major employers from construction, energy generation and supply, major hazards and local government.

This is a very important topic due to the fact that 80 - 90 percent of workplace accidents are triggered by unsafe behaviours.

Thursday 4th December 2008
Hilton London Euston Hotel
9am to 12:40pm

Price: The registration fee for the event will be £150 for BSC members and £200 for non-members. However, book before 19th November 2008, you can save on the registration fee - it will be £75 for BSC members and £100 for non-members. All prices are quoted excluding VAT. Please view the conference website for more information and to register online.

Contact: Althea Braithwaite, Events Executive, British Safety Council, 70 Chancellors Road, London, W6 9RS | Tel: 020 8600 5539 | Fax: 020 8741 4555 |