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News Archive

May 2010

US CSB Receives Prestigious European Process Safety Award for Safety Videos - First Award of its kind to a U.S. Organisation

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has received the prestigious European Process Safety Centre (EPSC) Award 2010 for the CSB Safety Video series, Centre officials have just announced. The award is given to acknowledge "progress toward a less-hazardous Europe" and is made to an individual or team which "has considerably advanced the theory or practice of process safety."

It is the first time the Centre has given the award to an American entity, and only the second to an organisation or individual outside of Europe.

CSB Chairman John Bresland said, "The CSB is pleased and honoured to be the recipient of this coveted award in recognition of our Safety Video program. We are proud of the videos and the fact that they are used to promote chemical process safety around the world. We are doubly honored to know we are the first organization in the United States to receive the EPSC award."

The EPSC was founded by the European Federation of Chemical Engineering and has a membership that includes leading chemical companies, manufacturers, contractors, consultants, and academic institutions, representing a significant part of the process safety community in Europe. As its website notes, the Centre is an industry-funded network which exists to provide an independent forum for the leadership and support of process safety within Europe.

CSB Safety Videos are sophisticated, fast-moving and in-depth examinations of major chemical accidents investigated by the CSB. They feature computer animations that depict the chain of events leading to explosions, fires, leaks, tragic loss of life and serious injury. They typically include commentary by CSB investigators, board members, outside experts, accident victims and eyewitnesses, threaded into dramatic and compelling narratives.

Dr. Daniel Horowitz, CSB Director of Congressional, Public and Board Affairs, who oversees the production of the videos, said, "The EPSC Award is an exciting acknowledgement of our work in producing 17 safety videos since our first effort in 2005. We have distributed over 100,000 DVD sets of our videos around the world, and they have been viewed millions of times online. We have received thousands of messages praising the videos - from labour leaders, workers, safety training managers, company executives, trade associations, and other stakeholders across many industries. It is extremely rewarding to be cited by an organization representing all the major chemical process players in Europe, who state the videos are helping to advance the practice of process safety."

Dr. Horowitz will accept the award during a presentation in Bruges, Belgium, in June of this year.

Last year's winner of the EPSC Award was Francis Stoessel of the Swiss Institute for the Promotion of Safety and Security, for his work on the development of the criticality scale for chemical batch and semi-batch reactions. In 2008, the award was presented to Professor Andrew Hopkins of Australian National University for his writing on "learning from accidents" and particularly his published review of the BP Texas City Refinery accident of 2005, "Failure to Learn, the BP Texas City Refinery Disaster." The CSB investigated that accident. Dr. Hopkins appeared in the CSB safety video, "Anatomy of a Disaster," which detailed the causes of the tragedy.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

Safe & Sound at Work - Do Your Bit

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a new 'Worker Involvement' campaign called 'Do Your Bit'. This initiative will run for the next year and is aimed at both employers and workers. A new website is available to help employers involve workers more and HSE are also offering two new subsidised health and safety training courses to either:

The courses are designed to help organisations achieve the potential benefits associated with a collaborative approach to health and safety at work. These include lower accident rates, increased productivity, efficiency and quality.

Visit the new campaign website to find out more:

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Safe maintenance in focus with the launch of the new European Healthy Workplaces Campaign

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has launched its new Healthy Workplaces Campaign for 2010/11, promoting safe maintenance across Europe. In some European countries as much as 20% of all workplace accidents are connected with maintenance and in a number of sectors over half of all accidents are maintenance-related.

Maintenance is essential to prevent workplace risks, but it is itself a high risk activity for the workers that carry it out. It is estimated that in Europe 10-15% of fatal accidents at work can be attributed to maintenance operations. It is vital, therefore, that maintenance is carried out properly, taking into consideration workers' safety and health.

Launching the Campaign at the European Commission's headquarters in Brussels, Dr Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA, alongside the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Mr László Andor, outlined the campaign's objectives and the basic rules for safe maintenance as a key contribution to healthy workplaces.

Mr Andor giving his backing to the Campaign, said: "Maintenance is a daily part of every workplace and sector. The 20% of accidents currently linked to maintenance is too high and shows it's an area where we have to raise awareness and step up our efforts". He added: "Our overall strategy is to cut all work-related accidents in the EU by 25% over the coming years. This campaign will help to raise awareness about maintenance-related risks, saving lives across Europe and bringing us closer to our overall goal for safer and healthier workplaces".

Poorly managed maintenance activities and procedures raise the risks of workplace accidents, including fatal accidents, involving workers at all levels across a wide range of industries. In one of the worst incidents of its kind in Europe, the Piper Alpha disaster of 1988 saw the North Sea oil and gas platform turned into a blazing inferno within seconds, killing 167 workers - a tragic example of the potential consequences of inadequate maintenance procedures.

You can download the official campaign guide and other campaign materials (presentations, publications and promotional material in 22 languages) and find campaign events that will be happening near you, on the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2010/11 website:

Maintenance at a glance:

Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) won the bid for the 2015 International Congress on Occupational Health

The International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) holds the triennial Congress, which is recognised as the largest global gathering in the field of occupational health. The vote to decide the host ended on March, 26th, 2009 following the fierce competition with other candidates - Australia and Ireland.

The number of votes: Korea 172, Australia 127, Ireland 64

Developing understanding of target audiences: Local exhaust ventilation

Amongst the planned activities of the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for 2009/10, a significant element is aimed at reaching and influencing two different audiences with regards to LEV (Local Exhaust Ventilation). These audiences are: supply-side stakeholders; and SME businesses that use LEV to control their employees' exposure to hazardous substances. To inform these activities, a qualitative research study was carried out with users and suppliers of LEV equipment in April, May and June 2009. The objectives of the study were:

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 author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

RR787 - Developing understanding of target audiences: Local exhaust ventilation
Health and Safety Executive
Research Report, April 2010, 70 pages

Full report:

Global Forum of Crisis Management and Crisis Communication for Health Care, 1-2 November 2010

To be held at the University of Tokyo, Hongo Medical Campus, Tokyo, Japan

The 1st announcement (Call for Presentation Abstract and Paper):

Union of Risk Management for Preventive Medicine (URMPM)
This academic congress aims to promote global exchange of science and technology concerning crisis management and crisis communication for health care sector toward patient safety, new influenza outbreak and disaster.
Targeted participants
medical personnel, policy maker, mass media, students, only.
Deadline of registration submission
People who need Japan visa: 20 October, 2010
People without Japan visa: 1 September, 2010
Deadline of abstract submission
1 September, 2010
Procedure and fee of registration and participation
Please find in the following homepage of this academic congress:

Shirley V. Villalobos Chaves, Assistant of Editor in Chief for JMS, International Secretary of Union of Risk Management for Preventive Medicine (URMPM), URMPM Head Office, 4-36-2-103 Hongo, Bunkyoku, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan | E-mail: | Tel: +81-3-3817-7010 (81 is the country code of Japan) | Fax: +81-3-3817-6770 (81 is the country code of Japan)

Recent Books

Safety culture: theory, method and improvement by Stian Antonsen

Ashgate Publishing, December 2009, 184 pages, ISBN 978-0-7546-7695-9 (this title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-0-7546-9394-9)

The aim of this book is to show how a cultural approach can contribute to the assessment, description and improvement of safety conditions in organizations. The relationship between organizational culture and safety, epitomized through the concept of 'safety culture', has undoubtedly become one of the hottest topics of both safety research and practical efforts to improve safety.

Effective Fire & Emergency Services Administration by Robert S. Fleming

Pennwell Books, April 2010, 360 pages, ISBN: 9781593702298, ISBN-10: 1-59370-229-9

This book draws from an array of business and administrative disciplines and provides solid conceptual foundation for understanding, meeting, and exceeding the expectations of organizational stakeholders and preparing for professional, personal, and organizational success in fire administration.

Disaster Planning and Control by William M. Kramer

Pennwell Books, May 2009, 3rd edition, 447 pages, ISBN: 9781593701895

Examines the complexities of disaster planning and control, covering the concepts of disaster management, development of disaster and emergency operation plans, and much more. Through examples and case studies, the book is designed to allow the fire officer to study how the fire service has been involved with responding to various disasters and, by learning from the past and understanding the concepts presented, make a difference in the overall outcome of future events. This book is written to the US Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) model curriculum for the Disaster Planning and Recovery course.

The Common Sense Approach to Hazardous Materials, Third Edition by Frank L. Fire

Pennwell Books, October 2009, 3rd edition, 624 pages, ISBN: 978159370194 2

Covers the basic approach to hazardous materials. In the new third edition, each chapter has been revised (where required) to reflect changes since the second edition was published. For example, each chemical mentioned whose volume or usage has changed has been updated, including their usage as a chemical warfare agent. A new chapter covers each class of chemical warfare agents. An excellent resource for emergency responders and those involved in departmental training programs or curriculum development.

Petrochemicals in Nontechnical Language, 4th Edition by Donald L. Burdick, William L. Leffler

Pennwell Books, March 2010, 4th edition, 401 pages, ISBN 9781593702167

Completely rewritten this time-honoured bestseller, now the definitive book for understanding the mysteries of the petrochemical industry. With chapters on all the base chemicals and derivatives, plus seven new ones covering the Fischer-Tropsch process, polyurethane, epoxy resins and more, this is broadest available look inside the industry. Still offering readers easy-to-understand diagrams, charts and tables, plus digestible chapter reviews - this classic delivers the information that every person in the industry needs.

World No Tobacco Day - 31 May 2010

On 31st May each year WHO celebrates World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce consumption. Tobacco use is the second cause of death globally (after hypertension) and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide.

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2010 is gender and tobacco, with an emphasis on marketing to women. WHO will use the day to draw particular attention to the harmful effects of tobacco marketing and smoke on women and girls.

The World Health Assembly created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and its lethal effects. It provides an opportunity to highlight specific tobacco control messages and to promote adherence to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Tobacco use is the number one preventable epidemic that the health community faces.

Related links

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RR795 - Triaxial measurements of the performance of anti-vibration gloves

Previous studies of anti-vibration gloves have typically only considered the effect that a glove might have in the direction of compression of the glove material.

This project investigates the performance of an anti-vibration glove taking account of the influence that the glove might have in three axes. This requires consideration of the performance of the glove material in both compression and shear. Since the adoption of the revised international standard ISO 5349-1:2001 in the UK as BS EN ISO 5349-1:2001 and the implementation of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005, the technique for assessment of exposure to vibration requires the measurement of data in three axes to provide a total vibration value. It therefore follows that any estimate of the performance of a glove intended to reduce the vibration exposure of an operator should also consider all three vibration axes.

The aim of this investigation is to either confirm or challenge the assertion made by a particular machine manufacturer, that the glove they supply will provide useful attenuation of the vibration generated by their hand-held power tool products.

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 author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

To see the full report

SOLVE: Addressing social factors through health promotion in the Workplace - ILO International Training Centre, 28 June - 2 July, Turin, Italy

The overall objectives of this course is to develop knowledge and skills that will lead to the integration of the psychosocial and health promotion issues into a comprehensive enterprise policy and establish a framework for preventative action.


Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SAFEWORK):

New protection for workers from artificial light

New regulations further protecting workers from the dangers of hazardous sources of artificial light come into force on 27 April 2010 in the UK.

The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations meets a European Union Directive to ensure that standards are set and harmonised across Europe to protect workers from harm arising from exposure to hazardous sources of artificial light.

Some sources of artificial light, particularly UV radiation and light from lasers can harm the eyes and skin of workers and must be properly managed.

Workers in Great Britain are generally well protected from dangerous sources of light and the majority of businesses know how to manage the risks effectively. Therefore the regulations will mean few practical changes for most businesses, including those who are already managing the risks.

To help those businesses who are not already managing the risks understand what's required and what they need to do, HSE is producing guidance to ensure workers can remain appropriately protected.

Common sources of light in the workplace such as office lights, photocopiers and computers are not affected by the regulations.

Information on the new regulations and what's required can be found at:

Ecovert Group makes noise about safety

Ecovert Group held its annual Health & Safety Day on 28 April 2010 across all sites.

A Director or Senior Manager attended each site and made a presentation to staff during the Health & Safety meeting, in particular reminding staff of the near-miss reporting procedure. They also launched the company's new 12-month behavioural safety campaign Make Noise about Safety as well as the health and safety poster campaign designed by children of Group employees.

The film "Silence is Consent" was shown and the senior member of staff walked round to meet and greet staff unable to attend the meeting for operational reasons.

The day helped emphasise the important health and safety aspect of Actitudes, the company's sustainable development policy and coincided with the "International Day of Action for Safety & Health at Work", commemorated through the official "UK Workers Memorial Day".

Staff received a Make Noise about Safety mug and keyring as a reminder that they have a professional and personal commitment to the health and safety of themselves and their colleagues during the working day.

Emmanuel Chautemps, Director of support services at Ecovert Group, says "The day came together very well and first feedback tells us that it has been very effective in relaying the ongoing health and safety message to a large number of staff across sites and head office."