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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

December 2008

OSH-ROM: End of an Era! So 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 has ceased 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 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 2008, over 50,000 new records containing 4,715 URL links to full text including 842 full text documents 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 | | | |

USA: Report derides nanotech risk strategy

The US government's plans to research the potential health and environmental risks from engineered nanomaterials are woefully inadequate, an expert panel of the National Research Council has said. The highly critical report describes serious shortfalls in the Bush administration's strategy to better understand the environmental and health and safety risks of nanotechnology and to effectively manage those potential risks.

The report, Review of the federal strategy for nanotechnology-related environmental, health and safety research, calls for a significant revamp of the national strategic plan. 'Industry wants to run with it,' said Andrew D Maynard, chief science adviser to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnology at the Woodrow Wilson Institute, who was chair of the panel. But he added, 'one of the big barriers at the moment is understanding how to use it safely.'

The panel analysed the risk research strategy of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the programme to coordinate federal efforts in nanotechnology research and development. Its report concluded that the initiative's strategy 'does not present a vision, contain a clear set of goals, have a plan of action for how the goals are to be achieved, or describe mechanisms to review and evaluate funded research and assess whether progress has been achieved.'

The panel's vice chair, Martin Philbert, a toxicologist at the University of Michigan, said that assessing the risk of nanomaterials was crucial because the materials would not be accepted if people lacked confidence that they were safe. In its assessment of gaps in existing research, the panel found the plan overstates the degree to which already funded studies are meeting the need for research on health and environmental risks.

For example, the report says more than half of the currently funded projects on nanotechnology and human health are aimed at developing therapies for diseases. It says while this research is important, it will not shed light on health risks that may be posed by nanomaterials. Moreover, the plan does not note the current lack of studies on how to manage consumer and environmental risks, such as how to manage accidents and spills or mitigate exposure through consumer products, the report says.

FIREINF has doubled in size in 2008 bringing together even more quality data in fire and fire related information

This year - 2008, FIREINF has doubled in size and is arguably the world's premier collection of related validated, authoritative information on fire and fire related information as well as a broad range of occupational safety and health information .

Emphasis in FIREINF 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 and their union, rescue services, forensic and fire experts.

FIREINF is the world's premier collection of validated, authoritative fire and fire related information and contains two major collections.

For those individuals and organisations that do not subscribe to a range of journals/magazines this is one way of ensuring that the latest news, developments and trends are available.

The Full Text Collection has 5 databases containing thousands of pages of full text information and The Bibliographic Collection has 10 databases which together contain over 523,000 records to journal articles, guidance and advice, circulars, reports, conference proceedings, research reports, statistics and codes of practice from worldwide sources, all of which may be easily accessed. One of the databases - from the British Standards Institution - contains references to over 4000 fire and fire related standards.

This long established collection started in 1997 as Fire Worldwide and then expanded into Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide. From 2007 the collection continues to expand with the new powerful software and host platform and aims to help all those seeking information on all aspects of fire, emergency and preparedness management principles, fire risk assessment, good practices and research.

FIREINF is continuously enlarged as new information is published.

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!

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? Go to

UK Health and Safety Executive urges more Business leaders to "Take Advantage"

The UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is urging business leaders to take advantage of a free guide that could bring significant benefits to them. The guidance, entitled, 'Leading health and safety at work', is issued jointly by the Institute of Directors & HSE.

The call comes as research revealed that a quarter (25%) of business leaders surveyed knew of the publication.

Tony Bandle, Head of HSE's Business Involvement Unit, said, "We know that these are trying times for businesses, their suppliers and customers. Whilst it's pleasing to see 25% of businesses know about this publication I would urge other industry leaders to take advantage of this free publication that is written by business people for business people."

  1. 'Leading health and safety at work', ING417, is available free of charge at
  2. 'Leading health and safety at work' was launched in October 2007. The guidance is written 'by directors for directors' and offers them straightforward practical advice on how to; Plan, Deliver, Monitor and Review, health and safety in the workplace. Production of the guidance was overseen by an IoD led steering group with nominees from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Local Government Association (LGA), National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), NHS Confederation, Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Warwick Law School, University of Warwick
  3. To establish awareness of the guidance amongst directors and equivalents of organisations with 5 or more employees in the public, private and third sectors, HSE commissioned Databuild to survey directors of 1600 organisations. Telephone surveys were undertaken during 2008 July 28 - September 9.

European Union Social partners report on workplace stress agreement

Representatives of employers and workers at EU-level presented a report on 15 December 2008 explaining how they have implemented their framework agreement on work-related stress.

Stress is a serious work- related health problem and considered the primary cause of lost working days in Europe. The objective of the agreement is for workers and employers to work together at better identifying, preventing and managing stress.

Work-related stress is among the four most reported work-related health problems in the EU, affecting 22% of workers (in 2005). Studies suggest that between 50% and 60% of all lost working days are related to it. This represents a huge cost, both in terms of human suffering and impaired economic performance.

The agreement - concluded in October 2004 - aims to raise awareness of work-related stress among employers, workers and their representatives. It provides them with a framework to identify and prevent or manage stress. At the same time, it sets out employers' and workers' responsibilities.

As provided for by the agreement, this report - co-signed by all the European social partners (BusinessEurope, UEAPME, CEEP and ETUC) - presents the implementing measures from the Member States one year after the implementation deadline. The European Commission will analyse the implementation over the coming year and then issue its own report.

Read the reports

ITUC General Council Adopts Action Plans on Global Crisis and Climate Change

The ITUC General Council annual meeting in Brussels in December 2008 adopted a far-reaching plan of trade union action to get governments to revitalise and restructure the global economy, based on regulation and decent work along with major institutional reform to change the way the world economic system is run. Along with fiscal stimulus measures and a new framework for effective financial regulation, the plan which is based on the global trade unions' "Washington Declaration puts investment in green jobs at the heart of the new global economy.

"The world is now inches away from a deep and long global recession with tens of millions of jobs under threat in the new year. We are facing a massive rise in poverty and the prospect of wide-scale social disruption. Governments need to shut the door on the voodoo bankers and economists who led the charge to dismantle regulation, and take up their responsibility to govern. Decent work and the better living standards it brings are the best way to get the world back on track and keep it there", said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder.

While banks and businesses continue to seek bail-outs from public funds, ITUC member unions will be pressing their governments to put the Washington Declaration into effect. The ITUC and its Global Unions partners will be pushing the same agenda on the global institutions at a series of top-level meetings in the coming weeks and months. The Declaration sets out the economic priming and national and global regulations needed to avoid a long recession and ensure that the incompetence and unlimited greed which caused the crisis are a thing of the past. The world's major economic institutions need to work together in a new global governance that would include a structurally central role for the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the only tripartite global institution where workers' views are represented.

The General Council further adopted a flagship policy statement on "Equity, justice & solidarity in the fight against climate change" and committed the full strength of the world trade union movement to achieving an effective long-term global agreement to reduce carbon emissions, incorporating far-reaching just transition and green jobs commitments, when the world's environment ministers assemble again in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.

Resolutions on Pakistan and South African investment company INVESTEC were adopted, and the Council authorized a special statement on Zimbabwe

The General Council also undertook an in-depth examination of the situation of migrant workers around the world, leading to an ITUC Action Programme to support the rights of migrant workers, and build further cooperation between trade unions in countries of origin and destination.

Four new member organisations, from Guatemala (UNSITRAGUA), Liechtenstein (LANV), Nicaragua (FNT) and Sri Lanka (SLNSS) were accepted into affiliation to the ITUC at the Council meeting.

Based on the success of this year's World Day for Decent Work on October 7, the Council decided to organise a World Day for Decent Work on the same day again in 2009. The 2008 Day involved action by over 200 ITUC affiliates in 130 countries. More than 600 individual events, including rallies, marches, workplace meetings, seminars, electronic and media activities took place, with close to one million workers taking part.

The Council also discussed the particular problems faced by young workers, noting that the economic crisis was worsening an already dire situation for many, especially those in precarious and low-paid jobs or facing unemployment. Acknowledging the innovative out-reach work of the ITUC Youth Committee and similar action by many affiliates, the Council gave the green light to the launching of a special campaign focusing on young workers and trade unions in 2009.

Other key points of the Council's agenda included the holding of the first ITUC World Women's Conference in Brussels in October 2009, and the preparations for the second ITUC World Congress in Vancouver in June 2010.

The ITUC represents 168 million workers in 155 countries and territories and has 311 national affiliates. Website:

'New cross-cultural research into people's behaviour in emergencies'

The EU-funded research project BeSeCu (Behaviour, Security, Culture), a collaboration between 7 European countries, will investigate the way people respond (i.e. think, feel, act) in the face of fires, natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Findings will be used to improve security and evacuation communications, procedures and models, to enhance public safety.

Dr Lynn Hulse from the University of Greenwich, London, is currently working on this project and is seeking information from UK fire fighters on their observations and experiences when attending the scenes of domestic fires or the 7th July London Underground bombings.

For more information, please contact Dr Lynn Hulse at the University of Greenwich, London, UK email:

List of Pre-Registered Substances Published

ECHA has published on its website a list of pre-registered substances. The list contains about 150,000 substances which were pre-registered by 65,000 companies between 1 June and 1 December 2008. ECHA has been screening part of the information submitted and due to the high number of pre-registrations ECHA will continue to check the information into the New Year. The fully screened list will be published at a later date.

During the six month period from 1 June to 1 December 2008, ECHA received about 2.75 million preregistrations for about 150,000 substances. As provided by the REACH regulation, ECHA published today the list of pre-registered substances, i.e. before 1 January 2009.

The pre-registrations cover all the EU "existing substances" (EINECS) and the list of notified new substances (ELINCS), together about 105,000 substances. The remainder of the substances on the list are not in these inventories and are currently being screened. The screening process will continue beyond 1 January 2009 and ECHA will update the list as the checking progresses. Companies are reminded that all of the preregistered substances on the list may not fall within the scope of REACH, and some of them may have been registered without taking into account the volume trigger set by the regulation for manufacturing or importing.

During the screening process ECHA removes those pre-registrations that are in all evidence not substances (for example, pre-registrations that are articles, such as "shoes"). ECHA also merges substances that are synonyms into one pre-SIEF. Moreover, pre-registrations not submitted by EU/EEA companies will be deleted. The screening will result in fewer substances on the list and changes to the number of companies in the pre-SIEFs. The potential registrants in a pre-SIEF will first ensure that their substance is the same in order to establish the Substance Information Exchange Fora (SIEFs). Data sharing under REACH may take place in the SIEFs as well as the preparation of joint submission of registration dossiers.

Further Information:

Seven Northern Hemisphere Winter Holiday Driving Tips

Drivers should follow a few simple tips to make their Winter Solstice and festive season journeys as safe as possible.

(1) Check your vehicle:

(2) Check the weather conditions:

(3) In extreme weather conditions such as falling snow:

(4) If you are out on the roads in poor conditions:

(5) Generally, when driving in wintry weather:

(6) If you do break down:

(7) Advice for particular weather conditions:

Fog is especially a danger in autumn and winter, and is a major cause of collisions.

Ice, snow and slush drastically reduce the ability of your tyres to grip the road, which means that slowing down, speeding up, or changing direction all become hazardous. The trick to driving in these conditions is to be as smooth as possible.

Floods: It is best not to enter floodwater at all - if you can take an alternative route, do so. If you enter floodwater:


Interactive Driving Systems wishes you a safe and happy Winter Solstice and festive season.

This road safety communication is an example of the regular monthly mailings from Interactive Driving Systems. More details are available at

Dr Will Murray, Research Director, Interactive Driving Systems | Tel: + 44 (0) 1484 551060 | Mobile: +44 (0) 7713 415454 | Email: | and

News from the USA: Three New Health Hazard Evaluation Reports Now Available from NIOSH

The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - NIOSH have published the following new reports.

Investigators evaluated exposures to carbon monoxide (CO) and metals at a state vehicle maintenance garage.
Recommendations were made that vehicles not be permitted to idle in the garage and that garage doors be kept open and exhaust fans used to reduce CO levels when vehicles are running. Investigators also recommended that the bench grinder and chain saw sharpener workbench surfaces be cleaned each day after use and that employees wash hands before eating, drinking, or smoking to prevent ingestion of lead and other metal contaminants.

Investigators evaluated exposures to silica, volatile organic compounds, and dry powders at a pottery shop.
Recommendations were made for local exhaust ventilation to be installed in high dust-generating task areas and that the central building ventilation improved. Investigators also recommended that employees wear respirators when doing high dust generating tasks.

Investigators evaluated heat stress, noise, and musculoskeletal hazards at an automotive parts manufacturing facility.
Recommendations were made to reduce heat stress for loaders and unloaders, such as positioning fans above those workstations, allowing workers to rest completely after loading and unloading parts, and having employees drink plenty of fluids. Investigators also recommended changes to reduce ergonomic stressors for certain jobs.