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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

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News Archive

August 2010

FIREINF is essential for everyone who is seeking worldwide and up-to-date fire information

Emphasis in FIREINF is on all aspects of fire, emergency and preparedness management principles, fire risk assessment, practices and research.

FIREINF is arguably the world's premier collection of validated, authoritative information on fire and fire related information as well as a broad range of occupational safety and health information.

FIREINF now has 17 databases - the last one added is the BRE Flair Database.

FIREINF leads the searcher to quality guidance and advice from around the world. It is used worldwide by organisations, including those teaching fire science as well as fire brigades and their union, rescue services, forensic and fire experts.

The Full Text Collection has 5 databases and The Bibliographic Collection has 12 databases. Together these sources contain over 534,000 records with links to 32,000 full text documents 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.

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.

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Contact Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd. for 15 day FREE trials for all services that are cost effective. Why pay more for information? Go to

NIOSH in "Top Ten" Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene List

On 8 July 2010, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene announced the top ten most highly cited articles published in that journal from 2007-2009

Four of the top 10 papers were published by NIOSH researchers:

Critical and up-to-date occupational health and safety information is essential. OSH UPDATE is here to help - easy to use and very subscription friendly - why pay more?

OSH UPDATE - arguably one of the world's best collections of full text and bibliographic health and safety information is continuously updated as new data is published.

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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Safe maintenance is good business: 30 pan-European organisations join as Official Campaign Partners

Companies and associations from the private and public sector, including some of Europe's well known companies, have joined forces with EU-OSHA in the new Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2010/11 on safe maintenance.

Did you know? International Youth Day: Health and safety aspects of working life

Younger workers are vulnerable, as they often are inexperienced, and ignorant of risks to themselves and others. It is important to integrate safety and health into education so that young people are aware of the risks they might face and are capable of dealing with them. It is also important for employers to pay extra attention to the safety of young workers, including students taking summer jobs.

Read more about young workers:

Agency's Blog:

Occupational Hygiene 2011 - 5-7 April 2011, The Holiday Inn, Stratford upon Avon

OH2011 - The British Occupational Hygiene Society annual conference is already on the horizon and will be held in the UK in Stratford upon Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, steeped in English culture and history.

Visit for information on how to submit abstracts. The final deadline for abstracts is 30 September 2010.

Please contact if you require any further information.

Bladder cancer risk to painters confirmed

Painters are at a significantly increased risk of developing bladder cancer, with the risk increasing the longer a person works in the trade, a new study has confirmed. The research is based on almost 3,000 cases of the disease in professional painters reported in 41 separate studies carried out between the 1950s and 1990s. The large scale 'meta-analysis', published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found those with more than 10 years in the trade were more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who had been doing so for less than that time.

Lead author Dr Neela Guha said the risk arises not solely from exposure to paint but to factors that can occur in the environment in which painters work, such as the stripping of old paintwork, sanding or exposure to asbestos. The authors of the study found that after taking tobacco use into account, painters were still 30 per cent more likely to develop bladder cancer than the general population. Dr Guha said that while harmful chemicals like benzene and lead had been reduced or removed from paints in developed countries, it was too soon to say whether new, 'greener' paints would reduce the risk of bladder cancer as the disease takes between 10 and 50 years to develop.

Those working in high-risk environments should wear gloves and keep skin covered, wear a mask or respirator, should not to eat in the area and should ensure the buildings were well ventilated, Dr Guha said. An accompanying editorial by Professor Paolo Vineis of Imperial College London praised the 'important' study. He said: 'The evidence in this case is clearly laid down and is strikingly consistent.' Out of 41 studies reviewed, 37 showed an increased risk, he said.

New Risk Observatory web section

Visit the European Risk Observatory (ERO) to learn about the changes affecting health and safety at work: Which are the most important new and emerging risks? What trends can we identify in occupational accidents and diseases? Where should research be focusing?

The ERO examines these issues by reviewing scientific literature, collecting and analysing data and by coordinating and collaborating with researchers.

Counting the cost of absence from work

According to estimates in a new comparative report from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), 2.5% of European GDP is lost every year due to absence from work, while employers in Germany, for instance, put the cost of absence at €34 billion annually. In a number of countries efforts have been made at both national and company level to boost the health of workers and so reduce the amount of sick leave taken, rather than simply a narrow emphasis on the financial costs of absenteeism.

This study is based on a questionnaire distributed to the national correspondents of the European

Working Conditions Observatory network. Its purpose is to show the overall extent of absence from work and outline the policies that have been developed in an attempt to deal with this issue, and to put this in the context of wider debates about the quality of work.

This study addresses patterns of absence from the 27 EU Member States and Norway, the costs involved, policies for dealing with absence and general developments in relation to promoting health and well-being. Average rates of absence across Europe are between 3% and 6% of working time. There is also evidence of presenteeism - the practice of attending work while ill - although there is a general lack of data on trends. While some countries are attempting to control costs, others put the emphasis on promoting well-being.

Absence from work by Paul Edwards and Kay Greasley
University of Warwick / University of Lancaster
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2010
29 pages

HSE publications translated: Information and advice in world languages

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) welcomes people of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds to its web site.

If you are looking for information, help or guidance a number of publications have been translated into languages other than English.

News from Canada: Making work meaningful - Promoting psychological well-being

The Institut de Recherche Robert Sauvé en Santé et en Sécurité du Travail (IRSST) has just published a guide intended for managers and others involved in workplace health in its broad sense, including psychological well-being.

This document is also a tool for heads of human resource departments, health & safety committees, and union and employer representatives. It is based on the study, The Meaning of Work, Mental Health and Organizational Commitment, which discusses six characteristics giving meaning to work, and analyzes the links between work characteristics, mental health and an employee's commitment to the employer.

The document provides a positive and proactive approach to workplace health, and has four premises:

Ireland's Farm safety code of practice - online risk assessment tool

This is an electronic version of Ireland's Health and Safety Authority Risk Assessment document from the Farm Safety Code of Practice, i.e. the Code of Practice for Preventing Injury and ill Health in Agriculture. It allows you to fill in and save the risk assessment electronically. It will store your risk assessment which you can look at and update at any time by going to

If you have to log out before you complete the risk assessment document your work will be saved and it will bring you back to the same stage when you log back in. When complete and you set out what you need to take action on you can print out your farm safety action plan.

Farm safety code of practice - online risk assessment tool
Health and Safety Authority; July 2010; 36 pages