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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

February 2011

Need Major Hazards Accidents and Incidents information? See the latest database added into OSH UPDATE

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.

From February 2011 the Major Hazards Accidents and Incidents Database - (MHAID) is the latest database in the OSH UPDATE electronic service

This is the 20th database in OSH UPDATE and can be searched alongside the other 19 databases or on its own.

All the data in MHAID has been collected from regular sources - with the emphasis where possible in making links to the full text of the document/report. When the report/document is out of print we have also added locations where it can be borrowed or located for loan or photocopy e.g. The British Library.

It is intended that the content of MHAID will grow rapidly.

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


Send your request at

Do you need up-to-date authoritative fire information?

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

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

FIREINF 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 535,000 records with links to 35,000 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.

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The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) announces its Third "International Certificate Program in Occupational Health Practice"

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) announces its Third "International Certificate Program in Occupational Health Practice" for health professionals (doctors and nurses) worldwide who work in companies and organisations in developing countries or remote areas and do not have a formal academic training in OSH. The programme will start in September 2011.


The Programme offers three courses during a nine month period (about 340 total hours):

Participants come from companies and organizations around the world, for instance from China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, or Chile.

Details available at

Norbert Wagner MD PhD, Director, International Program in Occupational Health, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) | Email:

ILO and UK Cardiff University join forces to promote decent work and sector-specific standards and instruments

The International Labour Organization and the Cardiff University, through its Cardiff Business School, have signed an agreement to collaborate in the promotion and advancement of the social and labour dimension in the industrial, services and maritime sectors.

The ILO's Sectoral Activities Department and the Cardiff Business School will work together to promote decent work and sector-specific standards and instruments, make use of sectoral training materials, as well as to develop new sector-specific research and tools. The agreement will enable information exchange and allow the ILO and the Cardiff University to engage in consultations and to undertake joint programmes on relevant key issues in the different industrial, services and maritime sectors.

Furthermore, the respective ILO and Cardiff University websites will be linked to foster the sharing of data and information sources, including libraries.

This agreement is one of the first in the establishment of an institutional network, on sectoral issues, comprising of specialised universities, institutions linked to the social partners at the sectoral level, research networks and academics. The network will aim to enhance the capacity of the Office to provide technical assistance at sectoral level and to gather and disseminate specific sectoral information in a targeted manner, while expanding the outreach of the decent work agenda.

The agreement was signed by Ms. Elizabeth Tinoco, Director of the Sectoral Activities Department, on behalf of the ILO and by Professor George Boyne, Dean of Cardiff Business School, on behalf of the Cardiff University. The signing ceremony, which took place on 14 January 2011, was attended by Mr. Michael Henriques from the Director General's Office, a representative from the Office of the Legal Adviser and sectoral specialists.

The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts, USA has just released, Lessons Learned: Solutions for Workplace Safety and Health

Illustrated with remarkable, poignant photographs by the renowned labour photojournalist Earl Dotter, the report describes six case studies of occupational health and safety failures in industries with varied worker populations and hazards. In each of the case studies there are examples of when we knew of harm to workers, but did not act; and when we knew that federal programs and policies to alleviate such harm were not working, but did not change directions.

The six case studies (each of which can be downloaded separately) include:

Using lessons learned from the case studies, the report outlines seven high-priority strategies that could have important impacts on making workplaces and communities safer and healthier. The reforms include policy changes within the traditional boundaries of OSHA, such as support for a Workplace Injury and illness Prevention Program. In addition, the report recommends more fundamental changes involving reforms in other agencies and organizations that co-optimize goals of worker health, community health and economic prosperity, such as strengthening expertise in occupational and environmental health medicine and surveillance to better ensure workers' lives are protected, promoting "Prevention through Design" to make jobs, products and materials inherently safer, as well as comprehensive chemicals policy reform.

The report concludes that more regulations or more inspectors alone will not solve the complex and overlapping failures of our existing worker and community health protections. A broader package of reforms is necessary if we are to accomplish the goals of the Occupational Safety and Health Act to "assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions."

With this report, we hope we are providing front-line advocates with compelling stories showing how the US system to protect workers is broken as well as feasible steps forward. Please let us know how our future research and outreach on this report can be supportive of your efforts.

The full report and executive summary can be downloaded from the Lowell Center website:

David Kriebel, Joel Tickner, Molly Jacobs, Pia Markkanen, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) FABIG event: Aberdeen, London and via webcast

The meeting will cover "Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)" and will be a half day event held on Wednesday the 16 March 2011 in Aberdeen and on Thursday the 17 in London and via webcast (registering for the webcast also enables subsequent access to a video recording of the event for 2 weeks).

The programme for the event comprises the following presentations:

The final programme with the detailed schedule will be provided shortly on the FABIG website. It is expected that the meeting will start with registration and lunch at 12.45 and that the presentations will take place between 13.45 and 17.15.

Members of most engineering institutions can count FABIG Technical Meetings as Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Attendance certificates are issued to delegates upon request.

You can find more information and register for the event online at the FABIG website at Attendance is free of charge for FABIG members and £350 + VAT per person for non members. For non members, the fee to attend the live webcast is £200 + VAT per person.

For more information regarding registration, please contact Lis Oliver by email at or by phone at +44 (0) 1344 636 537.

New report from US NIOSH: Preventing Sensitization and Disease from Beryllium Exposure

The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) publishes the report Preventing Sensitization and Disease from Beryllium Exposure that advises workers exposed to particles, fumes, mists, or solutions from beryllium-containing materials who may develop beryllium sensitization or chronic beryllium disease, a potentially disabling or even fatal respiratory disease.

Preventing Sensitization and Disease from Beryllium Exposure

US NIOSH Announces Virtual Center for Vehicle Safety Research

The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has announced the creation of a virtual research center within the agency that will better focus, coordinate, and stimulate research to prevent work-related motor vehicle injuries and fatalities. Motor vehicle crashes consistently have been the leading cause of work-related death in the U.S., accounting for more than one-third of all job-related fatalities in 2008.

Research initiatives under the new virtual NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety will address road safety for workers across all industries and occupations, building on existing studies and partnerships. The center will be hosted by the NIOSH Division of Safety Research in Morgantown, W.Va., and will link researchers at NIOSH's geographically dispersed facilities through shared computer networks and other communication technologies.

"Formation of the virtual center reaffirms NIOSH's commitment to reducing the unacceptable toll of occupational fatalities and injuries related to driving, which persists year after year as the leading cause of death among American workers," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "By coordinating our research through one dedicated, internal center, we look forward to strengthening our existing portfolio and engaging with new partners."

As a start-up activity, the center will review NIOSH's current research program and identify research gaps. This process will consider all potential risk factors for work-related motor vehicle crashes, including inadequate occupant protection, driver fatigue, vehicle design, work organization, and employer policies. The process will also explore a wide range of interventions based on technology, organizational change, policy change, and worker education and training. The center's activities will be guided by a data-driven approach that begins with the collection of injury data, and leads to identification of risk factors, development of injury prevention strategies, and transfer and evaluation of these strategies in the workplace under NIOSH's Research to Practice (r2p) initiative.

The NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety will build on existing research projects that include assessment of crash-risk factors for truck drivers (the occupation with the greatest number of work-related crash fatalities), and studies involving other worker populations with high risk for vehicle-related fatalities, such as firefighters and emergency responders, law enforcement officers, oil and gas industry workers, and highway construction workers. Development of databases identifying the body dimensions of truck drivers and firefighters will provide data critical for designing safer vehicles. Research and outreach on fleet safety management and global road safety will help the new center to remain responsive to NIOSH stakeholder interests and will ensure that worker safety is recognized as a vital component of global road-safety initiatives.

A new web page for the NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety can be found at The page will be expanded and updated as further information becomes available. Reports, recommendations, and other NIOSH road safety resources can be found at Researchers and others interested in further information or in partnering with the new NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety can contact the coordinator, Stephanie Pratt, at

ILO and EU to launch new project on improving safety and health at work

Responding to a pressing need to improve the safety and health of workers, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European Union are launching a new project aimed at reducing occupational accidents and diseases in six countries in Eastern Europe (Ukraine and Moldova), Africa (Zambia and Malawi) and Central America (Honduras and Nicaragua).

The new project - called "Improving safety and health at work through a decent work agenda" - will play a part in a more inclusive and productive society by seeking to advance safety and health at work through a systematic approach engaging commitment on the highest political level.

"The project will include sensitization activities to convince government officials to include occupational health and safety concerns as part of national development plans, to stimulate high level decision makers at government level to allocate funds for occupational safety and health and, more generally speaking, to encourage stakeholders to take the necessary steps to improve occupational safety and health", said Mr Seiji Machida, director of SafeWork, the ILO's Programme on safety and Health at work and the environment.

One the main activities will be to support the national tripartite constituents in developing national OSH action plans based on the needs and gaps in these countries. Seminars for national policy-makers will be held to sensitize them on OSH and push for high level support at the national level.

Two key products will be developed as an integral part of the project: a methodology to determine more accurately the number of occupational accidents and work-related diseases in each country, as well a practical tool to enable countries to make their own calculations of the costs of not improving OSH conditions.

"Knowing the scope of the problem and extent of work related accidents, diseases and fatalities that occur daily will help advocate for action to mitigate these tragedies. The methodologies and tools will help quantify the concern, and call for an informed need to prevent work related catastrophes", Mr Machida said.

Other activities include - depending on the local context - training of OSH inspectors and awareness-raising campaigns in conjunction with the annual World Day on Safety and Health at Work and the EU Safety and Health at Work week. This will involve the development of tools such as brochures, newsletters, promotional items, public events and visits, audiovisual and multimedia presentations targeting also the general public. A specific website displaying updated information on the project will be created.

"Good practices and lessons learned in the six countries involved will certainly be very useful to further spread the advocacy messages on OSH in other parts of the world. They will be the subject of a final report which will be published for the benefit of other countries and to promote a systematic approach to national occupational health and safety developments", says Mr Bouratsis, Director of Thematic Operations in European Commission EuropeAid Cooperation Office.

In addition, the ILO and European Commission will organize a global conference to disseminate guidance on OSH programmes and exchange good practices, including the findings of country programmes.

Finally, advocacy tools developed by the project will be promoted by ILO SafeWork through its on-line CIS database and information service. Findings will also be endorsed by both the ILO and EU regional networks.

The countries covered involved were chosen based on the priorities identified in the decent work country programmes (DWCPs) of these countries, and the willingness expressed by the constituents to participate in the implementation of the project to ensure successful results and improvement in OSH.

Safety and health at work remains a major global concern, making such an advocacy project a much needed tool to save lives. Some 2.31 million people die around the world every year as a result of their work. This means that 6,500 workers die every day of the year from work-related accidents or illnesses. Of these, some 1,000 people go out to work in the morning or evening and simply don't return home because they die in occupational accidents.