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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

April 2009

What are you doing on 28 April?

Workers' Memorial Day (WMD) - the 28 April event where unions and campaigners each year commemorate those killed at work and pledge to press for health and safety improvements - is drawing close.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) says 'It is our day, workers and our families and our trade unions, to focus on health and safety at work, both in our workplaces, and at events locally, nationally and worldwide.

Every year there are thousands of events across the world on WMD attended by millions of people. The TUC adds that the day's purpose is twofold: 'To remember the dead and also to fight for the living.'

The TUC web pages include resources and pointers for those organising local events, and links to other sources of useful information.

See also ILO web site 2009: Health and life at work: A basic human right

World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an international campaign to promote safe, healthy, and decent work.

This year, as in previous years, tripartite events will be taking place world wide, and a number of products are available from the ILO Web page to support those efforts.

You are invited to join in promoting this important day.

Studying fire sciences: Be up-to-date with the latest fire information - have a trial of FIREINF

Last 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 worldwide 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? Click onto

First Helsinki Chemicals Forum will take place on 27 - 29 May 2009

New approaches are needed to overcome the challenges facing the environment worldwide. The field of chemistry plays a significant role in finding and contributing to sustainable solutions for environmental problems and consumer concerns. This is why the Helsinki Chemicals Forum is inviting academic researchers, politicians, non-governmental bodies, human interest groups and industry for an open dialogue with true impact. The first Helsinki Chemicals Forum will take place on May 27th -29th 2009 at the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre. The European Chemical Agency's (ECHA) Meeting Day for its stakeholder organisations precedes the Forum on May 27th. The Helsinki Chemicals Forum will set a Helsinki Agenda to make a change.

Make sure that you are on that agenda!

OSH UPDATE will save you time and money now OSH-ROM has ceased

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: | | | |

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has issued Factsheet 84 Expert forecast on emerging chemical risks related to occupational safety and health. There are an estimated 167,000 work-related fatalities in the EU-27 every year. About 159,000 are attributable to work-related diseases, of which 74,000 may be linked to workplace exposure to hazardous substances. The Community Strategy 2002-06 called on the Agency to 'set up a risk observatory' to 'anticipate new and emerging risks'. The expert forecast was formulated within this context, from the results of three consecutive questionnaire-based surveys using the Delphi method. Forty-nine experts from 21 European countries participated in this forecast.

Full text available in English and other EU languages:

Health and safety for new workers

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed a new
e-course, Orientation on Health and Safety for New Workers, that provides a general introduction to workplace health and safety to new workers.

According to SAFE Work Manitoba, new workers have 5 to 7 times the risk of injury in the first 4 weeks of a new job.

New employees need to know about their health and safety responsibilities, legislation, job related hazards, and how to work safety. CCOHS has developed Orientation on Health and Safety for New Workers, to help equip new workers with the information and guidance they need.

"Creating a health and safety orientation program will help employers and their employees understand and take action in building and maintaining a safer workplace, taking the special needs of new workers into consideration," said Dr. P. K. Abeytunga, CCOHS Vice President and Director General.

The course provides participants with information about their workplace rights under health and safety legislation, the role of health and safety programs in workplaces, and how to identify job-related hazards in order to work safely. The topics covered in the course include recognizing workplace hazards, occupational health and safety law, general approaches to working safely, working safely - specific hazards, preparing for emergencies, occupational health and safety programs and who to ask for help.

All e-courses by CCOHS are available in English and French. They are developed by experts in the field and reviewed by labour, employer and government representatives. Those who score at least 80% on the final exam earn a certificate of completion. Case studies, quizzes, and an "ask a question" option are also featured.

More information about the courses, pricing and how to register is available on the CCOHS website.

For Further Information, contact: Eleanor Westwood, Manager - Communications, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) | Tel: +1 (905) 572-2981, Ext. 4408 | E-mail: |

REACH: Registration and Beyond: Exposure Scenarios and safe handling advice; 2nd European Workshop & Conference 30 September 2009 - 1 October 2009 at the Husa President Park Hotel, Brussels, Belgium

If you're involved in REACH, then this is an event not to miss!

This is an international workshop and conference, organised by BOHS in collaboration with our European sister organisations, led by occupational hygienists for those whose work is affected by the regulations. It will address practical issues and include workshop sessions relevant to registration and beyond, including an exchange of REACH initiatives available from European occupational hygiene associations and a review of the latest tools to support development and application of Exposure Scenarios.

CCOHS Guide to Working from Home

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed a new pocket guide to help people work safely when working from home.

With growing computer use both at work and at home, and advancements in information and telecommunications technology, working outside traditional worksite settings - offsite and in home offices has become a reality for many Canadians. These work arrangements also pose their own set of ergonomic health and safety problems.

The Telework and Home Office Health and Safety Guide covers all aspects of implementing a comprehensive health and safety program for teleworkers and home-based workers. The main focus of this guide is to learn how to integrate health and safety into home-based office work through telework agreements and the set up of the office

The Telework and Home Office Health and Safety Guide is 117-pages of clear-language text, charts, diagrams and checklists. Written for home-based office workers and related professionals, this guide provides information such as how to integrate health and safety into everyday practices, ensure compliance with health and safety legislation and due diligence, and how to manage a telework position so the arrangement works best for both the employee and employer. This guide also outlines the importance of ergonomics, work organization, and other safety and security needs that may be unique to a working at home environment.

CCOHS publications are unique in that they are developed by experts in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour; employers and government to ensure the content and approach are unbiased and credible.

More information about the Telework and Home Office Health and Safety Guide is available on the CCOHS website.

For Further Information, contact: Eleanor Westwood, Manager - Communications, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) | Tel: +1 905 572-2981, Ext. 4408 | E-mail: |

ETU - a new point of departure: New name, new logo, new look for the European Trade Union Institute

The European Trade Union Institute for Research, Training and Health and Safety (ETUI-REHS) sheds its skin on 20th February 2009. It is now simply the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI). The restyled logo embodies the English acronym 'ETUI' for European Trade Union Institute. With the name change comes a new visual identity focused on two values: simplicity and modernity.

With its new, revamped visual identity, the ETUI aims to further strengthen the exchanges and discussions with its partners and expand the reach of the work of its researchers and trainers. The new graphical 'look' will be phased in gradually on publications, websites, existing and new emailed newsletters.

You can update your websites by downloading the new ETUI logo from

Multifaceted Approach to Assess Indoor Environmental Quality

The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) researchers are examining the potential causes of work-related asthma in indoor environments and the role of volatile organic compounds.

It has been estimated that indoor environmental quality-related health issues cost US businesses in the range of $20-70 billion annually due to lost productivity, decreased performance, and sick absences. Some of these health effects include respiratory issues that could fall under the classification of work-related asthma. Work-related asthma is a subset of occupational lung disease which can be further subdivided into occupational asthma, which can be caused by exposure to a sensitizer or irritant at work, and work-exacerbated asthma, which is when pre-existing asthma becomes worse due to exposures at work.

The indoor environment has changed. Materials emitting high formaldehyde levels are being eliminated from indoor environments. However, many questions remain regarding occupational asthma and work-exacerbated asthma and the indoor environment. What are the irritants/sensitizers that cause these diseases? Can they be controlled? What is the actual physiological mechanism? What are the actual exposures in the workplace? There is probably no single one chemical exposure responsible for these illnesses, but more likely a mixed exposure of chemical classes such as particulate matter and oxygenated organic species (oxidized volatile organic compounds that are likely biologically reactive and potentially cause cell damage and increase susceptibility to disease).

The possible answers to these questions might be found in investigating the chemistry of volatile organic compounds found in the indoor environment, developing new sampling methods, and improving assessments of chemical health effects.

Read more and comment on the NIOSH Science Blog: