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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

January 2010

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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.

Don't make health and safety decisions without consulting the world's authoritative and validated guidance and advice that is found within OSH UPDATE.


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RR752 - Behavioural economics - A review of the literature and proposals for further research in the context of workplace health and safety

Historically, economists can be accused of having ignored behavioural issues. However, recent times have seen an upsurge in interest generated by the failure of conventional economics to adequately address recent economic reality. As a consequence, research was commissioned by the Economics Analysis Unit of the Health and Safety Executive, with three main aims: to provide a detailed review of the current and emerging literature on the use of behavioural economics; to provide initial proposals relating to the sorts of policies that could be both feasible and effective in changing favourably the health and safety behaviour of both employers and employees; and to offer recommendations on priorities for further research.

Several theories have been identified that could be relevant in health and safety policy making, including: that there is a skewed perception of risk; there is a cost of processing information; that compliance with health and safety might be affected by the level of stakeholder involvement and/or employees' perceptions of fairness; that the act of publicly committing to standards affects health and safety performance; and that the monetising of non-compliance through fines can affect health and safety outcomes. The decision as to whether and how any of these theories might be further researched by HSE is subject to a wider consultation across HSE.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

RR752 - Behavioural economics - A review of the literature and proposals for further research in the context of workplace health and safety

Health and Safety Executive prepared by the University of Liverpool
Professor David Sapsford; Ms Sarah Louisa Phythian-Adams; Ms Emma Apps
2009; 42 pages

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Explosive dusts in industrial ventilation systems: ACGIH webinar to be held on 27 January 2010

Combustible dust explosions may not be the first hazard the industrial hygienist or safety professional thinks about when reviewing their ventilation design plan but it is more common and more dangerous than one might realize. Recent industrial dust explosion occurrences have caused deaths and other serious injuries such that industrial hygienists and other safety professionals should consider all options available to them to safeguard their facility. Thus, the ACGIH® Industrial Ventilation Committee is hosting this webinar aimed at educating the EH&S community on the importance of preparing for and preventing dust related incidents in industrial ventilation systems. This webinar will explain how dust explosions occur, how to employ both dust control and ignition control methods to prevent dust explosions, and how to maintain compliance with current and future regulations.

Course Overview

A listing of the topics that will be covered in this webinar follows:

Learning Objectives

After participating in this webinar, attendees will be able to:

Who Should Attend this Webinar?

What is an ACGIH® Webinar?

ACGIH® is dedicated to providing quality, scientific, educational events. One method of doing this is to offer distance-learning webinars. A webinar, short for Web-based seminar, is a presentation, lecture, or seminar that is transmitted over the Internet. A key feature of a webinar is its interactive elements - the ability to give, receive and discuss information. Webinars are as effective as on-site presentations without the travel expense. An ACGIH® webinar is 2 ½ hours in duration and consists of a live presentation given via the Internet with an audio telephone link similar to that of a conference call.

Further information:

ECHA starts to publish information on safe use of chemicals for citizens

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published on its website hazard and safe-use information on chemical substances that have been registered. Over time, this growing database will permit citizens to make well informed decisions about the use of chemicals or articles containing chemicals they purchase. The information was provided by companies who manufacture or import these substances. It will be updated each time additional information is received by ECHA.

Public access to information on chemicals is a central element of the REACH Regulation and shall allow EU citizens to make informed decisions about the use of chemicals to which they may be exposed. Also workers will benefit from this by safer use of chemicals at the work place. By making available the first safety information submitted under the REACH Regulation, ECHA is starting to implement this important aspect of the Regulation. In a dedicated section of the ECHA webpage you can find information on substances which companies manufacture or import in the EU: their hazardous properties, their classification and labelling and how to use them safely.

The amount of information provided can be different for individual substances - for example, the higher the production volume of the substance, the more information the companies need to provide. It is possible that some information is not disseminated because companies have claimed confidentiality. That information may become available at a later stage after ECHA has decided whether these claims are justified.

The number of substances for which information is available in the database will increase considerably over time as more registrations are received by ECHA. ECHA is publishing the information as submitted by the companies in their registration dossiers as required by the REACH Regulation. This means that the information is not verified by the Agency.

The current webpage is in a pilot form that has been derived from technical dossiers used for registration purposes. It is planned to dramatically improve the presentation, layout and search functions. We would be happy to receive your feedback on the pilot through a dedicated web form, the link for which you find below.

Further Information:

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has developed a risk assessment tools database with tools from all over Europe. The database is regularly updated

The most common risk assessment tools are checklists, which are a useful tool to help identify hazards. Other kinds of risk assessment tools include: guides, guidance documents, handbooks, brochures, questionnaires, and 'interactive tools' (free interactive software, including downloadable applications which are usually sector-specific). These tools can be either generic or branch/risk-specific.

Risk Assessment Tools Database

EuroSafe launch of report on "Injuries in the European Union - Statistics Summary 2005 - 2007"

The 2009-report Injuries in the EU has been launched by EuroSafe. The report presents data collected over the years 2005-2007. It also highlights injury data related to major risk groups and injury causes as identified in the EU-Council recommendation on injury prevention and safety promotion: children, adolescents, senior citizens, pedestrians/ bicyclists, sporting activities, consumer products, interpersonal violence and self-harm.

Key facts and figures from the report

Accidents and violence are a major public health problem, killing more than a quarter of a million people in the EU-27 each year and causing around 42 million injuries that need hospital treatment. Injuries are the fourth most common cause of death, after cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases.

Fatal injuries: Every two minutes someone dies of a fatal injury - this adds up to a quarter of a million injury deaths each year within the EU. There is a huge difference in injury fatalities throughout the EU. More than 100,000 lives could be saved each year if every country in the EU-27 reduced its injury mortality rate to the same level as in the country that currently has the lowest rate of fatal injuries in the EU.

Non-fatal injuries: Each year, a massive €15 billion is being spent on hospital and medical costs just treating the injury casualties admitted to hospital. Three quarters of all injuries occur at home or in leisure time. As to road traffic and work related injuries, the trend is fortunately levelling off over the past few years, but for home and leisure injuries the trend is still rising.

Injury data from hospitals now included

Injury and violence-related data can be obtained from a wide range of sources, such as police and ambulance reports and national insurance schemes. Unfortunately, these sources of data are fragmented and often incomplete.

By contrast, hospitals provide unique access to information on injury victims, in particular in relation to serious injuries that are treated in accident and emergency departments at hospitals.

Therefore, thirteen EU Member States are currently collecting on a routine base injury data in such accident and emergency settings. Altogether, they are able to report now on around 350.000 cases each year, with details on the place of occurrence and circumstances. These data are being stored and made publicly available through the European Injury Data Base (IDB), hosted by the directorate general for public health of the European Commission.

EU-wide coverage required

The challenge is now to work towards a full EU-wide coverage of the IDB system. Such a system should serve the needs of public health workers, consumer safety advocates and health and safety practitioners as well as policy makers at the national and EU-levels.

Therefore EuroSafe pleas for national IDB-systems to become mandatory for all member states. The EU-wide introduction of injury surveillance systems will empower national authorities and related safety agencies to really make a difference in preventing the enormous trail of destruction that injuries leave behind. The EU-Regulation on Community statistics on public health and health and safety at work provides an opportunity for such a binding system.

Wim Rogmans, General Secretary, EuroSafe - European Association for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, Rijswijkstraat 2, 1059 GK Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Tel: +31 - (0)20 - 511 4513 | Fax: +31 - (0)20 -511 4510 | Email: |

Call for Papers Announced - IAQ 2010 Examines Impact of HVAC on Airborne Infectious Disease

The role of heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigerating in airborne infectious disease transmission, design and control strategies and technology, pandemic preparedness and airborne infection control will be examined at the IAQ 2010 conference sponsored by ASHRAE.

Co-organized by CIBSE and ISIAQ, IAQ 2010: Airborne Infection Control - Ventilation, IAQ & Energy, takes place Nov. 10-12, 2010, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is the first time the conference is being held outside of the United States.

"The building industry is increasingly faced with the challenge of providing a healthy indoor environment," Dr. Chandra Sekhar, conference chair, said. "The SARS episode, the current H1N1 pandemic and fears of avian flu have transformed the built environment landscape, raising not only significant public health concerns but also economic implications on a global scale. Airborne infection and its control in the built environment have tremendous impact in the design, operation and maintenance of buildings and other enclosed environments. IAQ 2010 will review the state of knowledge about airborne infection and help define future directions."

The conference will feature peer-reviewed technical papers, workshops and tutorials. Abstracts are invited in the following subject areas:

The deadline for abstracts is January 15, 2010.

More information: E-mail |

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of some 50,000 persons. ASHRAE fulfils its mission of advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education.

Continues to be a critical workplace safety and health issue. It is estimated that over 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise on the job and an additional nine million are at risk for hearing loss from other agents such as solvents and metals.

The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a long history of working to prevent workplace hearing loss. While noise-induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable, once acquired, hearing loss is permanent and irreversible.

US NIOSH Science Blog:

USA CDC's Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, an ongoing assessment of the U.S. population's exposure to environmental chemicals by measuring chemicals in people's blood and urine, also called biomonitoring.

The Fourth Report presents exposure data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the civilian, non-institutionalized U.S. population over a two-year survey period of 2003-2004. In addition to presenting data from 2003-2004, this Fourth Report will also include the data from 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 as reported in the Second and Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. The Fourth Report is the most extensive assessment to date of the U.S. population's exposure to environmental chemicals.

The full Report and an executive summary can be downloaded at CDC's website: