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News Archive

May 2011

5 reasons why you should never be without the up-to-date authoritative fire information in FIREINF!

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.

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Launch of health and safety branch in Singapore marked International Workers' Memorial Day

The world's largest organisation for occupational health and safety professionals marked International Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April 2011 by launching a branch in Singapore.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has created a branch in Singapore to serve its growing number of members in the Asia-Pacific region and to support the area's occupational health and safety sector.

IOSH President Steve Granger officially opened the new branch at the Spring Singapore Auditorium, where local health and safety professional Harry Ho was inaugurated as Chair and the branch committee members announced.

Harry Ho said: "At last, all of our hard work to establish an IOSH branch in Singapore has paid off.

"For Singapore it is the right time for a reputable internationally-recognised OSH (occupational safety and health) organisation, like IOSH, to establish itself. There are already more than 80 members of IOSH here in Singapore and now that the branch has launched we expect may more local health and safety professionals to join rank.

"I hope that the creation of the branch will provide the opportunity for more interaction and learning between local and overseas OSH professionals. We are looking forward to working with local OSH bodies, businesses and the general public to help raise the standard of Singapore's OSH record."

Following the official launch of the branch are a series of seminars which will take place today and tomorrow. The seminars have been designed to share best practice techniques amongst health and safety professionals in Singapore, Hong King, Europe and the Middle East.

Mr Granger said: "International Workers' Memorial Day is about remembering those who have died or been injured in the workplace.

"The last statistics show that one worker dies every 15 seconds worldwide. By launching the sixth international branch of IOSH here in Singapore today we are another step closer to reducing fatalities and accidents in the workplace - creating a world of work that is safe, healthy and sustainable.

"To become a member of the health and safety community in Singapore is an honour and a privilege. And we hope we can do our bit to help protect people working in this wonderful part of the world."

As a charity, IOSH offers its knowledge and expertise in occupational safety and health to those who need it around the world, including governments, other professional bodies, businesses and the general public.

Attendees at the launch of the Singapore branch not only included IOSH members and occupational health and safety professionals but officials from the Ministry of Manpower and Workplace Health and Safety Council.

A Century of health and safety Science and more...

2011 is a landmark year for the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Hearty congratulations to all the scientists and engineers, past and present, who have contributed in so many ways to make life in the workplace safer and healthier. Here's to the next 100 years!

As HSL celebrates the 100th birthday a potted history below shows how it has developed over the century.

Founded in 1911 as an experimental station in Cumberland for the investigation of explosions in coal mines, HSL has become an internationally renowned, leading, scientific health and safety facility.

HSL Historic Events


Government agrees to fund an experimental station at Eskmeals in Cumberland for the investigation of explosions in coal mines


Establishment of the Safety in Mines Research Board


Acquisition of the Harpur Hill, Buxton site for mining safety work on a large scale


Opening of central laboratories in Portobello Street, Sheffield


Formation of the Safety in Mines Research Establishment (SMRE) as part of the Ministry of Fuel and Power bringing together the work at Sheffield and Buxton


Opening of new laboratory in Red Hill, Sheffield to house engineering and metallurgical work


Formation of Occupational Medicine Laboratory (OML), located in Central London


Opening of second laboratory in Red Hill, Sheffield with provision for breathing apparatus studies, general laboratories, library and conference facilities


Formation of Occupational Hygiene Laboratory (OHL) by the Factory Inspectorate, located in Central London


Relocation of the Occupational Medicine Laboratory and Occupational Hygiene Laboratory to Cricklewood, North London


On formation of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), SMRE, OHL and OML merged to form HSE's Research and Laboratory Services Division (RLSD) to cover work across a wide range of industrial health and safety topics, RLSD adopts a three laboratory structure:

  • The Occupational Medicine and Hygiene Laboratory (OMHL) at Cricklewood, North London
  • The Safety Engineering Laboratory (SEL) (at Sheffield and Buxton)
  • The Explosion and Flame Laboratory (EFL) (at Buxton)


Transfer of OMHL from Cricklewood to the purpose-built Robens Building in Sheffield


The restructuring of the three laboratories into single integrated laboratory, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL). The laboratory becomes an Agency of HSE.

November 2004

Move to a new, state-of-the-art laboratory on a single site in Buxton.

More information:

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

US NIOSH Director Dr John Howard receives New Occupational Health Awareness Award

On 2 May 2011, The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Director Dr. John Howard was presented with the first "Always & 4ever CHAMPION" award in the field of occupational health and safety.

This innovative award was presented during 2nd Annual Occupational Health Awareness (OHA) Week ceremony in Albany New York. It the highest honour awarded by the OHA founding members.

More information is available at

Focus on risk prevention! EU-OSHA launches second pan-European photo competition on safe and healthy workplaces

Following the success of its 2009 competition, which received over 1600 entries, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has launched its second photo competition to raise awareness of safety and health at work.

The competition calls for entries on the theme of 'safety and health in the workplace', with a special focus on risk prevention, to show how employers and employees can work together to prevent occupational accidents and illnesses. All photographers - professional or amateur - are invited to submit their entries before 31 August 2011, via the website:

An international jury of professional photographers and health and safety experts will select the best entries, with a first prize of €3,000 to be awarded to the winner. Second and third placed entries will win €2,000 and €1,000 respectively. This year, for the first time, a youth prize of €1,000 will also be awarded to the best entrant aged under-21.

"Over recent years, there has been an increased awareness of occupational safety and health in the EU," says Dr Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA. "Nonetheless, there is still more to be done to ensure that workers across Europe are protected against workplace risks. In launching the second edition of the competition this year, we are looking to get a true picture of how occupational safety and health is seen across Europe. The addition of a youth prize is intended to spread the message of workplace safety to the next generation of Europe's employees to help keep them safe from occupational risks in years to come."

The competition is open to entrants from across the 27 EU countries, plus the EFTA (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and six candidate and potential candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM and Albania). Winners will be selected in September 2011 and announced at the Healthy Workplaces Campaign closing event to be held in Bilbao in November 2011.

European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC)

ECETOC announces the publication of the ECETOC 2010 Annual Report. For those interested in the ecotoxicology and toxicology of chemicals, biomaterials and pharmaceuticals, or chemical regulation such as REACH, it provides an excellent snapshot of the progress of the ECETOC science programme and its activities.

The PDF version is freely available from and a printed copy is available upon request.

To be kept updated with ECETOC news see the RSS Press feed:

Leadership guidance

The UK Health and Safety Executive has produced a range of leadership guidance for all directors, governors, trustees, officers and their equivalents in the private, public and third sectors.

It applies to organisations of all sizes; small businesses and major hazard industries:

Health and safety leadership checklist
Legal obligations
SME Advice
Benefits and Costs


OSH in figures: Occupational safety and health in the European transport sector - An overview

According to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work report the transport sector is one of the growing sectors in the European economy and highly affected by change: a growing proportion of women, migrant and part-time workers, rapid ageing of the workforce and many technological innovations. Transport workers are exposed to multiple physical risks, suffer violence, and many have unusual working times and repetitive and monotonous work.

The consequences are high accident rates, musculoskeletal disorders, stress and fatigue. This report reviews the OSH risks of a wide variety of transport occupations, by analysing statistics and studies, and through selected case examples of prevention. The report has a broad scope: it covers all transport subsectors (rail, water, air and road) and is intended for both those working in the sector and policymakers.

OSH in figures: Occupational safety and health in the transport sector - An overview
Schneider, Elke; Irastorza, Xabier; Copsey, Sarah
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, TER010001EN C, 28 March 2011, 260 pages, ISBN: 9789291914067, ISSN 1830-5946

Events not to be missed in June 2011...

For a fuller listing see

2-5 June 2011 - MEDICHEM 2011 - the 39th MEDICHEM meeting
Heidelberg, Germany
Contact: Bob Orford, MD, ICOH National Secretary for USA |

5-8 June 2011 - 5th International Conference on Occupational & Environmental Exposure of Skin to Chemicals, OEESC
Toronto, Canada
Readers may also wish to take a free trial of FIREINF and OSH UPDATE

6-10 June 2011 - Principles and Practice of Fire Modelling
Greenwich Maritime Campus, London, UK
Contact: Mrs F Barkshire, Fire Safety Engineering Group, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Maritime Campus, Old Royal Naval College, Queen Mary Building, Greenwich SE10 9LS, UK | Tel: +44 (020) 8331 8706 | Fax: +44 (020) 8331 8925 | Email: |

6-10 June 2011 - Radiation Safety Officer Training for Laboratory Professionals
Harvard, USA

6-7 June 2011 - 2011 National Healthcare Leadership Conference - Rising to the Challenge: Resources, Realities and Relationships
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Contact: Canadian College of Health Leaders | Tel: 1 613 235 7218 or 1 800 363-9056

7 June 2011 - The SHE Show
Hilton Hotel, Blackpool, UK
Contact: Further information about the event including a list of exhibitors, delegate registration and details about the conference programme can be found at

8 June 2011 - 5th International Conference on Occupational & Environmental Exposure of Skin to Chemicals, OEESC
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

9-10 June 2011 - XXIII Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

9-10 June 2011 - Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association (OOHNA) 40th Annual Conference
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Contact: OOHNA, 302 The East Mall, Suite 605, Toronto ON M9B 6C7, Canada | Tel: +1 416 239 6462 | Fax: +1 416 239 5462 | Email: |

12-15 June 2011 - Safety 2011: The American Society of Safety Engineers Professional Development Conference & Exposition
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Contact: American Society of Safety Engineers, Customer Service, 1800 E Oakton St, Des Plaines, IL 60018, USA | Tel: +1 847 699 2929 | Fax: +1 847 768 3434 | Email: |

13 June 2011 - Health and Safety Training for Managers and Supervisors in the Canadian Federal Jurisdictions
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Contact: Diane Dunlop, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS), 135 Hunter Street East, Hamilton ON L8N 1M5, Canada | Tel: +1 905 572 2981 x 4518 | Fax: +1 905 572 2206 | Email: |

20-22 June 2011 - OH&S Forum 2011: International Forum on Occupational Health and Safety: Policies, Profiles and Services
Hanasaari Cultural Centre, Espoo, Finland
Contact: TAVI Congress Bureau, Tavicon Ltd, Finland | Email: |

21-22 June 2011 - Dresden Conference: Adding value through International Cooperation - Global Outreach Conference of the European Forum
Dresden, Germany
Contact: The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) and the European Forum of the insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases | Tel: + 01 47 70 45 78 | Email: |