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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

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News Archive

September 2009

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Dr John Howard re-appointed Director of NIOSH: really good news

US HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the selection of John Howard, M.D., as the new director for NIOSH and the coordinator for HHS World Trade Center Health Programs. Dr. Howard previously served as NIOSH director from 2002 through 2008.

She also thanked Dr. Christine M. Branche for her excellent service as Acting Director and welcomed Dr. Howard's return as do many people, not only in the USA, but around the World.

IALI's Role in influencing the Decent Work agenda

IALI - the International Association of Labour Inspection is participating in the implementation of the Decent Work Country Programme (DCWP) with the focus on Labour Inspection and National OSH Strategies at the A+A Congress to held on 3 - 6 November 2009 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Essential Elements for Risk Management Suggested

Six essential features for proactive management of occupational safety and health risks in emerging industries such as nanotechnology are suggested in an article in the August 2009 issue of Nature Nanotechnology. The authors are Vladimir Murashov, Ph.D., Special Assistant to the NIOSH Director, and John Howard, M.D., newly reappointed as NIOSH Director.

Nanotechnology safety and health

US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) global leadership and international teamwork in research on nanotechnology safety and health are reflected in three new reports from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

For links to these reports, see "Nanotechnology Spotlights" on the NIOSH Topic Page: Nanotechnology at

Reminder - 31 October 2009 is the closing date for nominations for the new EFCE Excellence Award in Process Safety

The European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) wishes to announce the call for nominations for the first Excellence Award in Process Safety. This triennial award aims at recognising a PhD thesis or papers published in the preceding three-year period, which demonstrates the most outstanding contribution to process safety. The award consists of a certificate, a cash prize of € 1500, a travel grant and an invitation to attend the 13th Loss Prevention Symposium in Brugge, Belgium, from 6 to 9 June 2010, where the first award will be presented.

Nominations may be submitted by any PhD supervisor at a PhD-awarding institution in an EFCE member country. The nominated PhD thesis and papers must address a topic relevant to the field of process safety. PhD thesis or papers published between 2006 and 2009 may be nominated for evaluation.

The closing date for nominations is 31 October 2009.

Further information:

Call for papers for ECCE-7/CHISA 2010

The 19th International Congress of Chemical and Process Engineering CHISA 2010 and the 7th European Congress of Chemical Engineering ECCE-7, Prague/CZ, 29 August - 2 September 2010 will cover a wide range of important topics and will offer many interdisciplinary links.

The Congress program will include the satellite PRES 2010 Conference as well as the standard sessions and specialized symposia, including the Symposium on environmental engineering, Symposium on electrochemical engineering, Symposium on safety in chemical industry, Symposium on supercritical fluid applications, Symposium on food processing and technology, Symposium on micro- and mesoporous materials, Symposium on process intensification and miniaturisation, Symposium on progress in chemical technology and biotechnology.

Meetings of EFCE Working Parties and special workshops will also be organized.

Congress website:

The call for papers is open. Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 November 2009

Statement from CSB Chairman John Bresland on Bayer CropScience re Announcement Concerning Methyl Isocyanate

John Bresland says: "The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is continuing to investigate the serious explosion that occurred one year ago at the Bayer CropScience (Bayer) pesticide manufacturing site in Institute, West Virginia. We have completed the collection of most of the evidence on the causes of the explosion itself. Consistent with a May 2009 request from Congress, our investigation is currently examining options for Bayer to reduce or eliminate the use and storage of highly toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) at the Institute site. Several Bayer officials briefed me and other CSB personnel on a plan which they said would reduce the average inventory of MIC at the Institute site by 80%. This would be accomplished in part by eliminating the on-site production of two MIC-derived carbamate pesticides, and in part by restricting the inventory of MIC needed for producing two remaining pesticides. They also stated the company would end the bulk storage of MIC in aboveground tanks, including the 40,000-pound capacity MIC "day tank" that was located approximately 80 feet away from the point of origin of the August 28 explosion. That tank, as I noted in Congressional testimony in April, was exposed to potential projectiles and other hazards from the explosion. Bayer indicated that all the changes should be completed within about 12 months.

Any measures by Bayer to reduce the inventory of MIC at the facility are a positive development, provided that the safety and environmental risk is truly mitigated. If implemented in a careful and conscientious manner, the steps Bayer has outlined will lessen the risk to the public and the workforce from an uncontrolled release of MIC. Bayer stated that the current round of changes would be implemented at a cost of $25 million and without any loss of jobs at the Institute plant.

The CSB team will continue to examine the feasibility of switching to alternative chemicals or processes, as requested by Congress. Our final report should be ready for consideration in the first half of 2010, at which time I anticipate we will hold another public meeting in West Virginia. In the meantime, I urge Bayer to continue to pursue measures to improve the safety of the site. These include ensuring that operating procedures are up-to-date and are followed, that air monitoring systems are adequate and are functional, and that there is adequate staffing and training for all hazardous processes".

For more information, contact Director of Public Affairs Dr. Daniel Horowitz, 202-261-7613, cell 202-441-6074.

USFA Announces the Release of a Report on Emergency Vehicle Visibility and Conspicuity

The United States Fire Administration (USFA), in partnership with the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA), announces the release of the Emergency Vehicle Visibility and Conspicuity Study. The study report highlights the results of a U.S. Department of Justice - National Institute of Justice (NIJ) supported project intended to enhance emergency vehicle and roadway operations safety for firefighters, law enforcement officers, and other emergency responders.

"With vehicle crashes and emergency responders being struck on the roadway being a major cause of on-duty fatalities, it is important to examine all technologies to reduce this tragic cause of death," said USFA Deputy Fire Administrator Glenn A. Gaines. "We are grateful for the U.S. Department of Justice's NIJ support of this study that will benefit the fire and emergency services and law enforcement alike."

The study report discusses best practices in emergency vehicle visibility and conspicuity, including cutting edge international efforts. It covers retroreflective striping and chevrons, high-visibility paint, built-in passive light, and other reflectors for law enforcement patrol vehicles, fire apparatus, ambulances and other EMS vehicles, and motorcycles.

The Emergency Vehicle Visibility and Conspicuity Study and further information on USFA's emergency vehicle safety projects may be found on the USFA Web site at

14-17 March 2010 - Fourth International Conference on Safety and Environment in the Process Industry (CISAP-4), Florence, Italy

The fourth International Conference on Safety and Environment in the Process Industry, CISAP-4, aims at giving continuation in creating opportunities of meeting and promoting international knowledge sharing in the fields of HSE experiences, research and innovation. An additional aim is to create a permanent biennial forum on HSE topics as well as industrial sustainability and, therefore, to help the process industries to find out the best balance between the expected growth of the enterprise value and the safeguard of the health of employees and population, the safety of operations, the environmental protection.

CISAP-4 will bring together experts from all over the world to exchange key information and hold helpful discussions and will focus on the present leading HSE legislation, forecast evolution, technical experiences and management approaches.

The Conference topics will mainly deal with the following aspects:

The Conference technical program is structured in two parallel sessions, which will be held over three days. The Conference topics will be treated in invited plenary lectures, selected oral presentations and poster sessions. Posters will stay on for the whole Conference promoting author presentation and spontaneous discussion.


The full set of accepted papers of CISAP-4 Conference (in the form of short papers of 6 pages) will be published into "Chemical Engineering Transactions". The Volume is identified by proper ISBN and ISSN and by a DOI number for each paper. Each Volume is printed both in hard copy and in a CD rom. Each Paper in the volume is covered by a copyright assigned to AIDIC Servizi S.r.l. Each Paper is evaluated for acceptance by at least two Peer Reviewers. Usually the name list of the Reviewers is published before the book publication.


"CISAP-4" will be held at Palazzo degli Affari, Piazza Adua 1, 50123 Firenze, Italy.

The exhibition and congress facilities of Firenze Fiera spa are among the most important and best equipped in Italy and it is located in the historical center of Florence.

For more details

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7 October 2009 - World Day for Decent Work - Get the World to Work

Coming up fast - the World Day for Decent Work on 7 October 2009, ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder has issued a call to action headed "Get the World to Work" to encourage participation in the worldwide mobilisation to tackle the global economic and employment crisis and ensure fundamental reform of the world economy.

Trade unions in every region are gearing up for their October 7 activities, with organisations from more than 30 countries having already posted information on their events onto the special website