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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

September 2010

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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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Invitation to participate in Fires Seminar Series follow-on survey

Four FIRES seminars on the effects of moorland and heathland wildfires and prescribed fires on ecosystem services were held in the UK during 2008-2009,

The series was funded jointly by ESRC and NERC.

A policy brief has been produced. It summarises the key messages from the series, policy recommendations and knowledge gaps:

We would like to know what you think about these recommendations.

Please take 10 minutes to complete our on-line survey. We are keen to hear from anyone who has views on UK vegetation fires. It is not necessary to be involved in fire management or policy-making, or to have attended the FIRES seminars. We welcome responses from as wide a range of stakeholders as possible. Please feel free to forward it to other interested parties.

The survey closes on 15 October 2010. Responses are individual and anonymous. However, if you choose to provide your contact details we will enter you into the prize draw for a £25 book token. Further information can be found on the introductory page of the survey. If you have any queries please contact

Thank you for your time.

Dr Anna Gilchrist
School of Environment and Development
University of Manchester

Nanosafe 2010 Conference, 16-18 November 2010, Minatec, Grenoble, France

The rapidly developing field of nanotechnologies presents many opportunities and benefits for new materials with significantly improved properties as well as revolutionary applications in the fields of energy, environment, medicine, etc... The industrial production and use of nanoparticles will be the driving force for the emerging new materials industry of the 21st century. In terms of economics, analysts have estimated that the worldwide market for nanomaterials will be 2,600 billion Euros in 2014. However, the potential impact of these new materials on human health and the environment is viewed with apprehension. This new industry can only develop dynamically if these preoccupations are satisfactorily allayed.

Following the successful outcome of the past International Conference on Safe production and use of nanomaterials Nanosafe 2008 that took place in Grenoble (France), the Organizing Committee has decided that the next conference will take place in MINATEC again in November 2010.

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Latest edition of African Newsletter August 2010 published: Risk assessment at workplaces

In the foreword to the African Newsletter August 2010, ILO Safework Director Seiji Machida says:

Work-related accidents and diseases continue to have serious consequences, with an estimated 2.3 million fatalities per year and economic losses of 4% of global GDP. Strategic and systematic actions are required in our fight against these deficits in the world of work.

The ILO Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health, adopted in 2003, and the 2006 Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, (No. 187) call for the application of a systems approach to occupational safety and health at both national and enterprise levels.

The importance of establishing an OSH management system at all workplaces is widely recognized in this connection. The ILO Guidelines on Occupational Safety and Health Systems (ILO-OSH 2001) provide a framework for management systems. Key components for management systems include OSH policy, an organizing mechanism for managing risks at work, and systematic operation of the mechanism with regular review an reinforcement of prevention measures.

Core actions for OSH management systems are hazard identification, risk assessment, and risk reduction measures. Hazard identification is an important starting point and can be carried out with the help of a check list. After the identification of hazards, the associated risks have to be assessed with a view to establishing appropriate control measures. Proper risk assessment requires good understanding of the hazards, work environment and work organization.

The participation of workers is an essential aspect of successful OSH management. As workers face and deal with hazards every day, their understanding of the risks associated with them will greatly improve the effective use and functioning of prevention measures. The participation of workers in the risk assessment process would contribute to both better risk assessment and better application of preventive measures.

For proper risk assessment and control, it is essential that those who are involved have the necessary knowledge and experience. Mechanisms to ensure nationwide training on risk assessment should be established as a part of the national OSH system.

Full text of the Newsletter:

Younger workers: Health and safety aspects of working life

Younger workers are vulnerable, as they often are inexperienced, and ignorant of risks to themselves and others.

The European Agency for the Safety and Heath at Work says: "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".

EU-OSHA highlighted some of these aspects in a blog produced for International Youth Day on the 12th August: Young people - our future!

Read more about young workers:

Diving guidance and advice

The UK Health and Safety Executive's web site gives a wide range of information on diving.


and much more...

RoSPA Congress 2011 - 14-16 February 2011 to look at road safety in time of spending cuts

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Road Safety Congress in 2011 will take an in-depth look at how reduced public spending could impact on strategies to prevent accidents on the UK's roads.

The event, taking place in February 2011, will be the charity's 76th annual gathering for road safety researchers, practitioners and policymakers. The programme is currently being developed and RoSPA has issued a call for papers, including case studies, from the UK and overseas.

Potential speakers are invited to outline presentations that focus on the future of road safety in the new economic climate. Suggested topics include: strategies for maximising cost-benefit and efficiency; how road safety is delivered in countries with lower public spending; the importance of interventions that are informed by evidence; the need for robust evaluation; the role of employers in managing occupational road risk when resources are limited; and, the value of community involvement in road safety, plus barriers to it. RoSPA is also seeking views on whether there really has been a "war on motorists" and, to this end, invites papers on driver behaviour.

The congress will run from 14-16 February 2011 at the Marriott Hotel City Centre in Bristol.

Duncan Vernon, RoSPA's road safety manager for England, said: "Reductions in road safety budgets are already being experienced by local authorities and further cuts are expected next year. Difficult decisions about which important road safety activities to reduce are being faced across the country. In some areas, cut-backs to speed cameras are being considered or there is a question mark over continuing with local safety camera partnerships at all.

"The UK has been very successful at reducing road casualties over the last two decades, partly because our policies and interventions have been delivered in the context of comprehensive and evidence-led strategies. This has helped in the targeting of road safety funding.

"However, the next 10-year road safety strategy, which we hope will be unveiled by the Government later this year, will have to be delivered in a very different economic climate with much reduced public spending. The phrase "more for less" will echo through many spheres of public sector activity, and we cannot expect road safety to remain exempt from this efficiency drive.

"However, acting on road safety remains a statutory duty for local authorities and the challenge is therefore to identify new approaches, new thinking and new partners to ensure further casualty reductions are achieved."

Abstracts of up to 500 words should be sent to Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety, RoSPA, 353 Bristol Road, Birmingham, B5 7ST or to by September 24. Accommodation, meals and travel expenses will be covered for one speaker per presentation.

Mainstreaming OSH into business management

How can businesses improve their organisational performance and at the same time create safer and healthier working environments? A new report and factsheet give information on how to incorporate workplace safety and health into general business management, including a literature review, a policy overview and examples of good practice.

Read the report (English):

Factsheet (in 22 languages):

SCI to project manage research in to understanding Buncefield type explosions

The UK The Steel Construction Institute (SCI) is to project manage a joint industry research project to improve the understanding of explosion mechanisms such as might have been at play in the 2005 Buncefield incident, which resulted in tremendous damage to the outlying area.

Detailed analysis from earlier work supports the proposition that the surrounding site boundary vegetation accelerated the flame which caused part of the vapour cloud to detonate, but there were also other novel mechanisms considered.

The new research, which includes large and medium scale tests as well as analytical work, will focus on the following aspects, most of which remain outside the capabilities of modelling tools:

The results of this study will to lead to the development of practical industry guidance on the propensity of various hydrocarbons to develop flammable vapour clouds and a better understanding of explosion mechanisms when such clouds are ignited. The study will also provide data that can be used in the development and validation of predictive assessment tools.

This research, which started at the beginning of July 2010 is expected to take around 2 years to complete. It is being sponsored by The Health and Safety Executive, Petrobras, BP, Total, Shell and Statoil. Other companies interested in sponsoring this project should contact Dr Bassam Burgan at The Steel Construction Institute on: +44 (0)1344 6265625.

US NIOSH Safety Checklist Program for Schools

Now available is a CD-ROM ISO image file that can be used with any CD-ROM authoring software. The NIOSH Safety Checklist Program for Schools includes the following:

Recommendations on establishing a school safety program; Regulations; and Safety checklists, such as:

and Occupational Safety and Health materials such as

For more information:

ErgoWize DSE software becomes fully customisable

ErgoWize, the online DSE compliance software from EssentialSkillz, is now fully customisable so both the training and risk assessment can be modified at any time.

Customisation allows training content to be made company specific and risk assessment questions are editable as required. Links to company policies and operating instructions can be included and additional content incorporated as new technologies are introduced.

Ryan Pavey, Sales & Marketing Director at EssentialSkillz added "ErgoWize offers the unique benefit that any customisation can take place at any time so content can evolve in response to issues raised by staff. As our customers are able to carry out the customising for themselves, they avoid incurring additional costs".

(EssentialSkillz is a leading supplier of online safety training and risk assessment software. Established in 2001, EssentialSkillz has offices in the UK and Ireland. To find out more about ErgoWize please visit

For further information contact: Duncan Spode, Marketing Executive EssentialSkillz on 0844 448 4414 or