News from around the World
- Work smarter not harder - use FIREINF and OSH UPDATE as your essential workplace information sources for 2012
- New qualification to help tackle $630 billion worldwide cost of fires
- Dr Jukka Takala: First Executive Director Appointed for Workplace Safety & Health Institute, Singapore
- Deepwater Horizon Roster Summary Report Available
- Australia: Unions 'speak up for health and safety'
- Russia: 53 oil workers die as oil rig capsizes
- Worldwide: Workers' Memorial Day 2012 - 28 April
- New Dutch Inspectorate SZW from 1 January 2012
- New report from IRSST in Canada: Strategies for Preventing Prolonged Disability in Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Singapore setting the national Workplace Safety and Health Institute research agenda
- New Book - Sustainable Green Design and Firefighting
- European Commission focuses on active ageing in 2012
- European Agency for Occupational Safety and Health at Work launches the Guide on Economic Incentives Schemes
- Ireland's popular NISO Annual Safety Awards Workshops are back
- IPAF launches MEWP/AWP incident database
- US NIOSH Skin Permeation Calculator Updated
- ICEH2012: Lisbon 29 May 2012 - 1 June 2012
- Report from Canada: Evaluation of whole-body vibration exposure of operators of soil compactors
- US NIOSH New Health Hazard Evaluation Reports Now Available
- ECHA's new website
- 2012 Society of Exposure Science Meeting Announced
- MOSHA in the Republic of Macedonia is the Focal Point of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA)
- 6th Working on Safety Conference (WOS2012), Sopot, Poland, 11-14 September 2012
- UK Health and Safety Executive EH40/2005 Workplace exposure limits revised 2011
- The NIOSH Science Blog has been updated: A Comprehensive Approach to Workforce Health
- The findings of an ECETOC task force on “Refined Approaches for Risk Assessment of PBT/vPvB Chemicals” have been published as ECETOC Technical Report No. 112
- ECHA recommends thirteen Substances of Very High Concern for authorisation
- Global experts praise and encourage use of new interactive BBC road safety website
- ECHA updates the Candidate List with twenty new Substances of Very High Concern
- European Parliament approves report on the mid-term review of the EU strategy for safety and health at work 2007-2012
- New Book - Risk Management Handbook for Health Care Organizations: Student Edition
- New Book - Disaster Operations and Decision Making
Work smarter not harder - use FIREINF and OSH UPDATE as your essential workplace information sources for 2012
How up-to-date in your wider health and safety information knowledge. Remember ignorance of the law and its requirements is NO excuse in any country. So do you want to keep up-to-date in worldwide occupational health, safety, hygiene, road safety, water safety, environment trends and the latest information? Do budget constraints not allow you to buy all the journals, newsletters and documents that contain the latest information? Can't afford the time to search for the latest information, legislation and standards? No staff to search for this information? And no time yourself to spend hours searching for information?
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These services contain wide ranges of information - not only from Europe but from around the World. Check out OSH UPDATE www.oshupdate.com and FIREINF www.fireinf.com electronic collection of information sources. Information Seekers will find a wealth of authoritative and validated advice including best practices, case studies, journal articles, reports, legislation, standards and much more.
The electronic services OSH UPDATE and FIREINF will help you and your organisation to keep up-to-date. The services continue to bring you the latest information on health, safety, environment, fire and other subjects that you will find useful in your daily work.
OSH UPDATE and FIREINF services contain both full text and bibliographic information are continuously enlarged as new information is published. These services are used by individuals, organisations, universities, institutions and companies worldwide.
New qualification to help tackle $630 billion worldwide cost of fires
A new vocational qualification has been developed to help reduce the annual worldwide cost of fire damage of around $630 billion.
Safety, health and environmental examination board NEBOSH will officially launch the International Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management at the Intersec trade fair in Dubai on 15th January 2012.
Thousands of people die and many more are injured throughout the world as a result of fires each year. A large number of these deaths and injuries occur in workplaces and often result from failure to manage the risks of fire. As well as the cost in terms of lives, fires also have a huge economic impact. According to the World Fire Statistics Centre - the annual worldwide cost of fire is around 1% of global GDP (Gross Domestic Product), or around $630 billion*. A large proportion of businesses never recover following a fire.
"This latest qualification will help raise standards of fire risk management in workplaces across the world," said NEBOSH Chief Executive, Teresa Budworth. "Our qualification will provide safety practitioners, managers and others with the know-how and skills to significantly improve fire safety where they work."
The qualification covers the causes of fire in workplaces, fire prevention and protection techniques. To achieve the qualification students will need to carry out a fire risk assessment in their own workplace.
The International Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management is based on International standards and good practice from organizations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), International Code Council (ICC) and the Confederation of Fire Protection Association Europe (CFPA-Europe).
For more information on this or any other NEBOSH qualification, visit www.nebosh.org.uk/Qualifications
* Annual global GDP in 2010 was $63 trillion, according to the World Bank.
The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) was formed in 1979 and is an independent examining board and awarding body with charitable status. NEBOSH offers a comprehensive range of globally-recognised, vocationally-related qualifications designed to meet the health, safety, environmental and risk management needs of all places of work in both the private and public sectors.
Courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications attract around 35,000 candidates annually and are offered by over 450 course providers around the world. NEBOSH examinations have been taken in over 91 countries. NEBOSH qualifications are recognised by the relevant professional membership bodies including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
Dr Jukka Takala: First Executive Director Appointed for Workplace Safety & Health Institute, Singapore
The Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has appointed Dr Jukka Takala as the first Executive Director (ED) of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute as of 28 December 2011. The WSH Institute was established in April this year by MOM in partnership with WSH Council to build strong WSH capabilities in Singapore. The Institute aims to deepen stakeholders' understanding of current and emerging work environments and processes. Using evidenced-based approach, it will determine the best ways to shape WSH, develop solutions and enhance WSH practices in Singapore.
Dr Takala brings with him more than 35 years of experience in the international WSH arena. He has made great strides in advancing WSH research and knowledge solutions in Europe. He was also a member of the MOM International Advisory Panel (IAP) for WSH from 2006 to 2011. (See Annex A). As the first Executive Director of the WSH Institute, Dr Takala will set strategic directions for the Institute in two areas: raising WSH capabilities in Singapore and supporting MOM and WSH Council in making informed WSH policies and programmes. He will also lead efforts in the delivery of quality applied research programmes, impactful continuing education initiatives for WSH professionals and business leaders as well as relevant information services for industry stakeholders to address new and emerging WSH issues. (See Annex B)
On his appointment to the WSH Institute, Dr Takala said, "Singapore has made significant progress in its workplace safety and health standards over the last few years and is on track to become a leading centre of excellence in workplace safety and health in the region. My vision for the Institute is to help to sustain these achievements and create a world class Institute to support all stakeholders in their WSH efforts. I hope to work closely with my counterparts in MOM and the WSH Council to reinforce efforts in key areas such as WSH knowledge and information systems, hazard communication, leadership and employees' involvement. Together, we hope to bring the Institute to new heights in achieving its vision of being a leading think-tank for WSH knowledge, innovations and solutions."
Deepwater Horizon Roster Summary Report Available
US NIOSH has released the Deepwater Horizon Roster Summary Report.
This new report issued January 2012 describes the nature of the workforce that responded to onshore and offshore cleanup and containment activities following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, April 2010.
Read more at www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-12-19-11.html
Australia: Unions 'speak up for health and safety'
Australian unions have launched a nationwide awareness campaign to inform workers of their rights and employers of their obligations under newly harmonised health and safety laws. Announcing the 'Speak Up' campaign, Michael Borowick, assistant secretary of the union federation ACTU, said it was important that workers know they have enhanced rights to elect their own health and safety representatives under the harmonised occupational health and safety (OHS) system.
'Workers need to know that when they are confronted by a health or safety issue in their workplace, they don't have to deal with it alone,' Mr Borowick said. 'They have an iron-clad right, under law, to elect their own health and safety representatives. These reps act as watchdogs within the workplace, making employers comply with the law well before regulators have to become involved. They have rights to stop work and demand improvements when there are health or safety concerns.'
Alongside the distribution of Speak Up campaign materials in workplaces around Australia, a new website www.safeatwork.org.au has also been launched. ACTU says the website will be a hub of information for workers and safety reps about common health and safety issues, rights and obligations, tips for safer workplaces, legislation, and news. Workers will also be able to post questions about health and safety and get advice from union experts.
Russia: 53 oil workers die as oil rig capsizes
The sinking of an oil rig on 18 December 2011 in icy seas off the Russian coast claimed 53 lives, officials have confirmed. A total of 67 people were on board when the Kolskaya rig capsized under tow in icy seas off the country's east coast. Only 14 survived. One of the survivors, Sergei Grauman, told Russian TV a strong wave had smashed potholes in the dining room on the rig's platform, destroying equipment.
Russian media questioned why so many people had been on the rig, when regulations stipulated that only the captain and a small crew were allowed to be there while it was being towed. Global union federation ICEM extended condolences to its affiliate, the Russian Oil, Gas and Construction Workers' Union (ROGWU) following the tragedy.
The Kolskaya, owned by a subsidiary of the Russian state-owned company Zarubezhneft OJSC, had been drilling for Gazprom subsidiary Gazflot on the West Kamchatsky shelf since September 2011.
Worldwide: Workers' Memorial Day 2012 - 28 April
It's time to start preparing for Workers' Memorial Day, Saturday 28 April.
In December 2011, the UK TUC called on 'unions, trades councils, and others to make 28 April 2012 a 'Day of activity to defend health and safety'.
To help build the campaign, TUC says it will organise meetings of activists in every region of England as well as in Wales. The Scottish TUC will also be organising support for the day. In the fortnight before 28 April, unions will be asked to lobby local MPs.
Most MPs surgeries fall on a Friday so there should be a lot on 27 April. Now, Hazards magazine has produced a series of new 'remember the dead, fight like hell for the living' images for union reps to use in the campaign.
- Hazards 'remember the dead, fight like hell for the living' images
- WMD artwork gallery
- TUC call for action
- TUC Workers' Memorial Day web pages
The International Labour Office (ILO) coordinates activities around the world
The ILO theme for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work in 2012 is Green jobs: promoting safety and health in a green economy.
New Dutch Inspectorate SZW from 1 January 2012
The new Inspectorate SZW came into being on 1 January 2012. The SW SZW Inspectorate combines the organisations and the activities of the Labour Inspectorate, the Work and Income Inspectorate and the Social and Intelligence Investigation Service of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. With the Inspectorate SZW in its new form, there will now be an inspectorate that works together for a fair, healthy and safe working world with social security for everyone.
Supervision by the Inspectorate SZW
Although the Inspectorate SZW is a new organisation, the core tasks remain the same:
- Supervision of compliance with the regulations in the area of working conditions and the prevention of major hazards involving dangerous substances.
- Supervision of compliance with the regulations concerning illegal employment and minimum wages.
- Carrying out investigations into the lawfulness and efficiency of the implementation of the social security laws by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), the Social Insurance Bank (SVB), municipal government and other organisations (as well as the effectiveness).
- Detecting fraud, exploitation and organised crime within the chain of work and income (exploitation in employment, human trafficking and large-scale fraud in the area of social security). This work is carried out under the direction of the Public Prosecution Service.
- Identifying developments and risks in the working area of Social Affairs and Employment and reporting these to interested parties.
By combining the three organisations into one, supervision over the compliance with rules and regulations across the whole range of Social Affairs and Employment can be organised more cleverly, more effectively and with greater efficiency. This is achieved on the basis of risk analysis across the breadth of Social Affairs and Employment and by using a carefully chosen mixture of:
- preventive actions (providing information about rights and obligations);
- repressive interventions (such as fines and the enforcement of criminal law).
Priorities of the Inspectorate SZW
The Inspectorate SZW is selective in its supervision: it sets priorities on the basis of risk analysis over the whole range of the working area within the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. This means that the Inspectorate is able to use its capacity efficiently where necessary in order to gain results. On the basis of the results of the risk analysis for the year 2012, the Inspectorate has designated a high priority to the following task areas for the coming years:
- illegal employment;
- exploitation in employment;
- companies that score badly in general concerning safety in the workplace;
- companies that work with dangerous substances;
- benefit fraud.
As in the case of all risk analyses, these represent snapshots of particular points in time.
For questions or reports contact Inspectie SZW (Inspectorate SZW): www.inspectieszw.nl/english
Some additional news on the Labour Inspectorate
The FNV (= trade union) has issued a press release concerning the new Inspectorate SZW (formerly: Labour Inspectorate), and states that they will file a complaint at the ILO.
The press release (in Dutch) can be found at: www.fnv.nl/themas/arbeidsvoorwaarden/nieuws/Arbeidsinspectie-wordt-politieke-speelbal
Trade Union FNV says: Labour Inspectorate becomes political football - Netherlands Labour Inspectorate no longer independent
This makes our country the only European country without an independent inspectorate. Now Minister Kamp will determine the work of the inspector. Kamp has announced that not all complaints will be dealt with. The FNV is baffled.
"Doing nothing with complaints could lead to a disaster such as Chemie Pack. The political control of the service may lead to selective inspections. The independence of the labor inspector is necessary to prevent abuses and disasters. The Labour Inspectorate must not become a political football" says Leo Hart Field, FNV federation director.
Also one fifth of the jobs disappear. There only remains one inspecting officer per 45,000 workers, while the international standard is 1 in 10,000. This number of inspectors will result in a situation where a company on average is checked once every 40 years.
The government also has announced an 'inspection holiday'. According to the FNV this is just a stop to controlling. "For employers, it is tempting to ignore working conditions. Because they are not inspected," said Hart Field.
Last month the Labour Inspectorate proved once more the necessity of its existence. Research of the Labour Inspectorate showed that many of the service companies for asbestos removal do not work safety. This puts the health of the employees of those companies into serious danger.
While the government wants people working longer, there are considerable cuts in the control of working conditions. Because of these measures healthy and safe working conditions are under even more pressure.
The FNV will file a complaint with the ILO International Labour Organization concerning the position of the Labour Inspectorate.
New report from IRSST in Canada: Strategies for Preventing Prolonged Disability in Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders
The main purpose of this literature review published by the IRSST (Institut de recherché Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail) was to provide an overview of the main topics and recent trends in contemporary work disability research and to identify potentially successful intervention modalities for preventing prolonged disability in workers compensated for Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs).
The major topics in work disability research appear to be the factors contributing to prolonged disability and a clear interest in intervention modalities for people at risk of prolonged disability. Multidisciplinary, multimodal, and targeted intervention is also an increasingly prevalent topic in the studies reviewed.
In addition, the investigation of psychosocial and ergonomic-related workplace factors, especially for workers identified as being at risk of prolonged disability, is frequently considered. Taking into account the different stakeholders' points of view also constitutes a widespread trend in contemporary research on intervention aimed at preventing prolonged disability in workers compensated for WRMSDs. Finally, the literature reviewed identifies a number of strategies as potentially successful in preventing prolonged disability.
The findings of this document will provide stakeholders and practitioners in the work disability intervention field with potentially successful strategies for preventing prolonged disability and with information about specific areas in need of further research regarding workers compensated for WRMSDs.
Strategies for Preventing Prolonged Disability in Workers Compensated for Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders - A Systematic and Comprehensive Literature Review: www.irsst.qc.ca/media/documents/PubIRSST/R-719.pdf
Singapore setting the national Workplace Safety and Health Institute research agenda
The Workplace Safety and Health Institute (WSH) initiated the following process in November 2010 to establish the agenda:
- Internal and external consultations with MOM, WSH Council and institutes of higher learning (IHL) to determine a preliminary priority list.
- Online questionnaire survey with 350 respondents and 9 sectoral focus group discussions to refine priority list and to identify potential research topics.
- Public consultation before finalization of agenda.
The National WSH research agenda for 2011-2016 is now finalized and a copy of the document: https://www.wsh-institute.sg/files/wshi/upload/cms/file/National%20WSH%20Research%20Agenda%202011-2016.pdf
The WSH research priorities are categorized into two broad themes of (1) Business and organizational aspects of WSH; and (2) WSH risks and solutions. Each of these themes is further sub-categorized into 3 research areas:
Theme 1: Business and Organizational Aspects of WSH
- Enhancing WSH Leadership and Culture
- Linking WSH to Business
- Measuring WSH Performance
Theme 2: WSH Risks and Solutions
- Addressing Imminent WSH Concerns
- Designing for Safety and Health
- Managing Workplace Health Hazards
In addition, the WSH Institute has also consolidated a list of priorities, identified by our stakeholders, that would be given greater emphasis. This list may be found in Annex C of the WSH research agenda document.
New Book - Sustainable Green Design and Firefighting
"Going green" with new construction or adding green features to existing structures is excellent for the environment but it can pose challenges to the fire service. Written from the unique perspective of a fire chief, Sustainable Green Design and Firefighting delivers cutting-edge coverage to help fire and rescue workers develop strategies and tactics to deal with the challenges that arise from buildings constructed of energy-saving materials.
This comprehensive book familiarizes responders with sustainable and integrated design concepts and how they relate to the fire service, including topics on sustainable sites, water efficiency, alternative energy, natural refrigerants, light weight construction materials, and indoor environmental quality.
An excellent training tool for new firefighters to fire chiefs, this text also features information on new technology such as microturbines, photovoltaic arrays, green roofs, and heliostats, ensuring that responders of all levels are fully prepared to engage in an incident involving a green structure. Describes effective strategies and tactics related to various sustainable green design features to enhance operational effectiveness and safety.
Explains concepts in a non-technical manner to improve comprehension of sustainability and how it affects firefighting and emergency operations. Reviews potential hazards to firefighters and presents important lessons learned from actual events in the Case Studies. Chief concerns featured throughout the chapters offer valuable advice from firefighter experience. Enhances learning with vivid photos and graphics that provide examples of various green building structures, materials and practices. Educates members of the integrated construction design team so they may understand how building construction affects the fire service - including stakeholders, owners, architects, engineers, general contractors, tradesmen, code officials, consultants, insurance carriers, interior designers, landscapers.
Includes a comprehensive set of Appendices that provides for further reading, including a review of the origins of international green building and design, the green building rating systems utilized throughout the world, and the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
Sustainable Green Design and Firefighting
Spadafora, Ronald R.; Cengage Learning, March 2012, 320 pp, ISBN-13: 9781111127343, ISBN-10: 1111127344
European Commission focuses on active ageing in 2012
The European Commission has announced that the European Year 2012 is dedicated to "Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations". Throughout the year, initiatives at EU and national level will raise awareness of issues related to active ageing such as early retirement, ill health and isolation of older people, and suggest solutions to best deal with these challenges.
The aim of this year's theme is to encourage all policymakers and stakeholders to set goals to create opportunities for active ageing and living independently, and take action to meet them.
Various national governments such as Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Austria have already launched their own "European Year 2012" website to support the initiative.
The European Year 2012 will be officially launched on 18-19 January at an opening conference organised by the Danish Presidency and the European Commission in Copenhagen. The conference will focus on innovation and how it can offer new solutions to the pending challenges of an ageing society in Europe regarding employment, social affairs and health. EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli will deliver a keynote address.
Innovation in healthcare and, more specifically, innovation in medical technology help people to live healthy and active lives. The European medical technology industry supports the European Year 2012 as a means to raising awareness of solutions promoting active ageing and independent living amongst policymakers and stakeholders.
European Year 2012 official website: http://europa.eu/ey2012
European Agency for Occupational Safety and Health at Work launches the Guide on Economic Incentives Schemes
The Guide on Economic Incentives Schemes is intended to serve as a practical and user-friendly guide to help incentive providers to create or optimise their own economic incentive schemes.
Incentives schemes should not only reward past results of good OSH management (such as low accident numbers), but should also reward specific prevention efforts that aim to reduce future accidents and ill-health.
Therefore the EU-OSHA expert group on economic incentives suggested the development of compilations of innovative and evidence-based preventive solutions, starting with three sectors: construction, health care and HORECA.
- Guide on Economic Incentives Schemes
- Sectoral compilations of Innovative solutions to safety and health risks in the construction, healthcare and HORECA
Ireland's popular NISO Annual Safety Awards Workshops are back
The workshops are designed to provide information to previous and new entrants of the Occupational Safety Awards:
- attendees will receive general feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of 2011 entries
- new entrants will be guided on how to put a submission together for the 2012 Awards
In addition, the entrants of the 2011 Safety Awards will receive individualised feedback on how they performed in each of the categories where detailed information was sought.
It's free to attend the safety awards but you need to register.
To book a place, please select the suitable date/venue below:
- 18 January 2012, 10.30, Sheraton Hotel, Athlone
- 19 January 2012, 19.00, Ramada Viking Hotel, Waterford
- 23 January 2012, 15.30, Oriel House Hotel, Ballincollig, Co Cork - The Southern region AGM will take place after the workshop at 18.00. Members of NISO based in the South region are invited to attend.
- 26 January 2012, 10.30, CityNorth Hotel, Exit 7, M1, Gormanstown [between Dublin Airport and Drogheda]
- 20 February 2012, 14.15, Health and Safety Executive, Ladas Drive, Belfast; email@example.com
The All Ireland Safety Awards dedicated resource, http://safetyawards.ie will be available from 18 January 2012.
IPAF launches MEWP/AWP incident database
The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has begun a systematic project to collect worldwide data on accidents/incidents involving mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), also known as aerial work platforms (AWPs), with the aim of improving the safe use of equipment.
Manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and users are encouraged to report any known MEWP accidents or incidents using the standard form that is available at www.ipaf.org/accident. In the initial phase, IPAF is calling for reports of any known serious accidents and fatalities involving MEWPs in the UK, and any known fatalities involving MEWPs worldwide.
"I applaud and encourage the efforts your industry is making to collect and analyse your own data," wrote principal inspector Joy Jones of the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in an open letter to IPAF members. "Obtaining accident/incident data to identify trends and prioritise remedial action is a perennial problem... Companies sometimes have reservations about sharing their accident/incident data but in my opinion, the reputation of industry representative organisations is enhanced when they base and prioritise their activities on evidence and evaluation."
"This project will enable IPAF to build a comprehensive record of known MEWP incidents and store them in one location and in one common format, something which does not exist currently," said IPAF technical officer Chris Wraith. "Based on the data gathered, IPAF will then be able to analyse and look for common trends, and propose possible actions to further improve and promote the safe use of MEWPs worldwide."
"Powered access offers one of the safest and most efficient ways to work at height," noted IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. "When an accident happens involving a platform, it tends to become a spectacle and grabs the headlines. However, powered access actually accounts for a small percentage of all accidents related to work at height, and this project intends to uncover hard data to support that anecdotal evidence and to inform further safety initiatives."
The construction industry has one of the highest rates of fatal injuries to workers. In the UK for example, it accounted for 50 of a total of 171 fatal injuries in 2010/2011, according to HSE statistics. Of the reported major non-fatal injuries, the most common involved slipping or tripping (40%) and falls from height (16%). Less is known about the nature of the accidents involving falls from height and the type of equipment involved, which is one aspect that the IPAF initiative seeks to address.
Did an incident involving a MEWP happen at your workplace? Do your bit for safety. Report it at www.ipaf.org/accident
The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is a not-for-profit members' organisation that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide. Members include rental companies, manufacturers, distributors and equipment owners.
US NIOSH Skin Permeation Calculator Updated
Through partnership with the University of Cincinnati, USA the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Skin Permeation Calculator has been updated with enhanced features and a new user interface.
The improved calculator allows for simulation of typical occupational exposure scenarios. The calculator estimates fluxes, skin concentrations, and amounts absorbed from any size dose applied to partially or fully hydrated skin.
The calculator is available on the NIOSH Web site at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/skin/finiteSkinPermCalc.html
ICEH2012: Lisbon 29 May 2012 - 1 June 2012
The second International Congress on Environmental Health, Know(ing) the Environment to Protect Human Health (ICEH 2012) will present the most recent technological and scientific developments in the field of environmental health, emphasizing the synthesis of scientific expertise achieved in individual disciplines, namely Air Pollution; Environmental Toxicology; Food Safety; Indoor Air; Occupational Health and Public Health.
The meeting aims to bring together researchers from a number of different countries and continents, involved in these issues.
The organizing committee is pleased to announce an exciting innovative congress, with scientific presentations covering a wide range of topics.
The Congress will take place in Lisbon, which is a lovely city, between the 29th of May and the 1st of June of 2012, at the Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde de Lisboa.
Report from Canada: Evaluation of whole-body vibration exposure of operators of soil compactors
The IRSST has published an evaluation of whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure of operators of soil compactors. Single-drum vibratory compactors are widely used for compaction of soils and road building.
This study investigates vibration properties and operator exposure to WBV of single-drum vibratory soil compactors through measurements, and presents spectral classes of vibration that could be applied for identifying desired interventions. Two test series were undertaken to characterize the mechanical vibration properties of the vehicles and vibration exposure of the operators. The first test series was performed on a test track under controlled conditions, namely, the speed, the amplitude of vibration due to the rotating mass integrated within the drum and the soil properties. The objective was to determine the vibration behaviours of the vehicles in terms of dominant ride frequencies and probable vibration modes. The second test series was undertaken at two different worksites in Québec in order to quantify and assess the WBV exposure under typical working conditions.
These results suggest that the use of an adequately tuned suspension seat would be vital for limiting the exposure below the action value, particularly for the 10-ton machine, which is most representative of the compactors used in Québec. It was observed that most of the compactors used in Québec do not employ a suspension at the seat and the cabin suspension is limited only to rubber mounts. Further efforts are also recommended to examine the design of suspension seats used in the newer vehicles and their actual adjustment in the field to limit the transmitted vibration. Further efforts in identifying optimal cabin mounts are also desirable and recommended for limiting the WBV exposure.
US NIOSH New Health Hazard Evaluation Reports Now Available
Evaluation of Lead Exposure at an Indoor Firing Range
HHE Program investigators evaluated concerns about lead exposures and indoor environmental quality problems at an indoor firing range. Investigators found that airflow along and downrange of the firing line did not meet NIOSH recommendations. Investigators found that exposure for one instructor, one shooter, and the hazardous materials technician were above the occupational exposure limits for lead for an 8-hour time-weighted average. Surface wipe and floor vacuum samples detected lead in various places. Investigators recommended installing a ventilation system that can deliver the NIOSH-recommended airflow at the firing line and downrange. Investigators recommended removing all carpet and using an explosion-proof vacuum cleaner with high-efficiency particulate air filters to clean the range instead of dry sweeping.
Ergonomic and Safety Climate Evaluation at a Brewery
HHE Program investigators evaluated concerns about musculoskeletal disorders on the can line and in the bottle depalletization areas at a brewery. Investigators determined that employees were at an increased risk for upper extremity work-related musculoskeletal disorders due to awkward postures, forceful exertions, and repetitive motions. Some employees reported that they felt uncomfortable reporting safety incidents or expressing their safety concerns. Investigators recommended that work areas be designed to have a working height between 27-62 inches and add rotating platforms to the height-adjustable lifts. Investigators also recommended employees be encouraged to report complaints and concerns.
Unknown Gases Generated from a Silicon Wafer Grinding Filtration Process
HHE Program investigators received a request from a semiconductor manufacturing plant because unknown gases had pressurized and heated a covered storage drum containing used filters from a silicon wafer grinding filtration process. Inside the drums, investigators measured hydrogen at concentrations up to 118,000 parts per million and silane at concentrations of 20 to 50 parts per million and also found carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Investigators determined that disposing of used filters from the silicon wafer grinding filtration process in covered drums can pose a health and safety hazard for employees and recommended that drums be left uncovered to prevent the buildup of gases.
Formaldehyde Exposures during Brazilian Blowout Hair Smoothing Treatment at a Hair Salon
HHE Program investigators assessed salon employees' exposure to formaldehyde when performing hair smoothing treatments using Brazilian Blowout® hair products. Investigators found that during hair smoothing treatments employees' exposures to formaldehyde in air exceeded the ceiling limits set by NIOSH and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Investigators determined that the Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution, Formaldehyde Free Smoothing Formula, contained 11% formaldehyde. Investigators recommended that managers stop using the product.
Links to the reports from these HHEs can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/whats_new.html.
ECHA's new website
ECHA - the European Chemicals Agency has reflected on how they work and what they can do better.
The new website is an example of that. It is much easier to use, simpler to search and more intuitive to navigate around.
The website is also written in plainer English and is more informative, particularly for non-scientists. Also, most of the material is available in 22 languages.
2012 Society of Exposure Science Meeting Announced
US NIOSH announces the International Society of Exposure Science 2012 annual meeting that will take place in Seattle, Washington, 28 October 2012 - 1 November 2012.
The meeting will be co-chaired by Brian Curwin of NIOSH.
The meeting theme is Lessons Learned: Contributions of Exposure Science to Environmental and Occupational Health.
For information about the meeting contact Brian Curwin at 513-841-4432 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MOSHA in the Republic of Macedonia is the Focal Point of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA)
The Ministry of Labour and Social Politics, recently nominated the Macedonian Occupational Safety and Health Association to be a Focal point of the European Agency for Occupational Safety and Health Agency (EU OSHA) for Macedonia.
EU OSHA is a network organisation which has a Focal point in all Member States, in the economic area countries, EFTA candidates and potential candidates. Each Focal point manages its own network including the social partners.
EU OSHA is an information agency responsible for gathering, analysis and distribution of information regarding occupational safety and health, in the European Union and wider, in order to satisfy the needs of the people from the OSH area.
Through its informative activities, EU OSHA is promoting preventive culture, in order to contribute in making the workplaces safe, healthy and more productive. All mentioned above, speaks of the significance of the Agency and the responsibility of being a "Focal point", which the team of MOSHA accepted gladly. Since we always share our pleasure with our members and associates, this news was shared at the New Year's cocktail, which was attended by numerous associates and supporters of MOSHA.
On the following link, you can watch the video, on which the Director of EU OSHA addresses MOSHA and the Macedonian partners.
6th Working on Safety Conference (WOS2012), Sopot, Poland, 11-14 September 2012
Dr Daniel Podgorski, Chair of WOS2012 Conference has the pleasure to inform you that CIOP-PIB is organising the 6th Working on Safety Conference (WOS2012), which will take place in Sopot, Poland from 11 until 14 September 2012.
The event aims to share knowledge, experiences and to promote communication and co-operation between all stakeholders for the benefit of prevention of accidents at work.
The topic of this year's WOS Conference is: Towards safety through advanced solutions.
UK Health and Safety Executive EH40/2005 Workplace exposure limits revised 2011
This is a free-to-download, web-friendly version of EH40 (Second edition, published 2011). This version has been adapted for online use from HSE’s current printed version.
You can buy the book at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books and bookshops. Containing the list of workplace exposure limits for use with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (as amended).
It is available to download at: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/eh40.pdf
The NIOSH Science Blog has been updated: A Comprehensive Approach to Workforce Health
The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) updated Science blog has information on “Traditional” occupational hazards and personal characteristics and conditions, such as age, gender, genetics, or weight, are typically considered separately in the workplace.
However, most of the diseases and health conditions experienced by workers are influenced by multiple factors. NIOSH authors provide a framework for considering the health of working people in a comprehensive manner.
Read more and comment on the NIOSH Science Blog.
The findings of an ECETOC task force on “Refined Approaches for Risk Assessment of PBT/vPvB Chemicals” have been published as ECETOC Technical Report No. 112
Building upon a previous ECETOC report to develop a framework for the risk assessment of PBT chemicals (Technical Report No. 98), this report reviews the scientific developments that are available to date and details of the on-going research that is being carried out with the specific aim of reducing the uncertainty of risk assessments of PBT/vPvB chemicals.
Several case studies have been analysed and the literature on newly developed methodologies has been reviewed. The ECETOC Environmental Sciences Manager, Dr Malyka Galay Burgos, acted as Scientific Secretary to the task force.
The PDF of the report can be freely downloaded from the ECETOC website at www.ecetoc.org/publications
ECHA recommends thirteen Substances of Very High Concern for authorisation
The European Chemicals Agency has submitted to the European Commission a recommendation that thirteen Substances of Very High Concern should in future not be used without authorisation. These substances are all classified because of their carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (or a combination thereof) properties. They are used in applications where there is potential for worker exposure.
The protection of human health and the environment is at the heart of REACH. Making these thirteen Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) subject to authorisation seeks to ensure that their risks are properly controlled and that the substances are progressively replaced with suitable alternative substances or technologies.
The thirteen substances and their main uses within the scope of authorisation are:
- Trichloroethylene (carcinogen). A substance mainly used in surface cleaning, in textile scouring, in adhesives and as a heat transfer fluid.
- Chromium trioxide (carcinogen, mutagen). A substance mainly used for metal finishing and as a catalyst.
- Acids generated from chromium trioxide and their oligomers (group containing: chromic acid, dichromic acid, oligomers of chromic acid and dichromic acid) (carcinogen). A substance that could be used to replace chromium trioxide in many of its uses.
- Sodium dichromate (carcinogen, mutagen, toxic for reproduction). A substance mainly used in metal surface treatment.
- Potassium dichromate (carcinogen, mutagen, toxic for reproduction). A substance mainly used in metal surface treatment and as a processing aid.
- Ammonium dichromate (carcinogen, mutagen, toxic for reproduction). A substance with currently no uses in the scope of authorisation. It could however be used to replace other chromium(VI) substances.
- Potassium chromate (carcinogen, mutagen). A substance mainly used in metal surface treatment.
- Sodium chromate (carcinogen, mutagen, toxic for reproduction). A substance mainly used in metal surface treatment.
- Cobalt(II) sulphate (carcinogen, toxic for reproduction). A substance mainly used in surface treatment processes and as a water treatment chemical, oxygen scavenger and corrosion inhibitor.
- Cobalt dichloride (carcinogen, toxic for reproduction). A substance mainly used in surface treatment processes and as a water treatment chemical, oxygen scavenger and corrosion inhibitor.
- Cobalt(II) dinitrate (carcinogen, toxic for reproduction). A substance mainly used in surface treatment processes and as a water treatment chemical, oxygen scavenger and corrosion inhibitor.
- Cobalt(II) carbonate (carcinogen, toxic for reproduction). A substance mainly used in fertilisers and in surface treatment processes.
- Cobalt(II) diacetate (carcinogen, toxic for reproduction). A substance mainly used as a catalyst and in surface treatment processes.
The final decision on the inclusion of the substances in Annex XIV of the REACH Regulation will eventually be taken by the European Commission following the committee procedure with scrutiny. Then, as of a specific date (called “sunset date”) substances on the Authorisation List can only be used within the EU for those uses for which an authorisation has been granted.
Global experts praise and encourage use of new interactive BBC road safety website
The following interactive BBC road safety website, containing interactive maps, did you knows, a live news feed and easy to understand road safety statistics has been well received by road safety experts.
Ed Dubens, President and CEO of Interactive Driving Systems said: “Wow this is a brilliant tool, details of which we are circulating to all our UK clients and channel partners.”
One example is British Telecommunications’ Motor Risk Management Working Group, a key member of which, Kevin White, from BT Innovate and Design said: ‘The interactive map of all road fatalities across the UK is quite powerful and not a little sobering to see all the dots.’
This road safety communication is an example of the regular monthly mailings on a range of road safety topics from Interactive Driving Systems. If you find the information useful, you are welcome to use, adapt and circulate this message, but please acknowledge the source. More details about our work are available at www.virtualriskmanager.net and www.fleetsafetybenchmarking.net
Contact: Dr Will Murray, Research Director, Interactive Driving Systems | Direct dial: + 44 (0) 115 846 2994 | Tel: + 44 (0) 1484 551060 | Mobile: +44 (0) 7713 415454 | Email: Will.email@example.com | Web: www.virtualriskmanager.net | Fleet Safety Benchmarking: www.fleetsafetybenchmarking.net
ECHA updates the Candidate List with twenty new Substances of Very High Concern
Companies manufacturing or importing these substances, or articles containing the substances, need to check their potential obligations that result from the listing.
ECHA has added twenty substances to the Candidate List which now contains seventy-three substances. Among these recent additions, twelve have been included in the Candidate List following the unanimous agreement of the Member State Committee while the other eight, which did not receive comments challenging the identification as SVHC during public consultation, were directly added to the Candidate List. Nineteen SVHCs are carcinogenic and/or toxic for reproduction. Additionally, for the first time a substance 4-tert-octyl phenol - has been identified as an SVHC because of its endocrine disrupting properties which give rise to an equivalent level of concern due to its probable serious effects to the environment.
The Candidate List, including the substances which ECHA added to this list, is available on ECHA’s website. As foreseen by REACH, a specific procedure will be followed to decide whether the substances should also be included in Authorisation List (Annex XIV of the REACH Regulation).
Companies may have legal obligations resulting from the inclusion of substances in the Candidate List which may apply to the listed substances on their own, in mixtures or in articles.
Producers and importers of articles have six months from today to notify ECHA by 19 June 2012, if both of the following conditions apply: (i) the substance is present in those articles in quantities totalling over one tonne per producer or importer per year and (ii) the substance is present in those articles above a concentration of 0.1 % weight by weight. There are exemptions from the notification obligation if the substance is already registered for the use or when exposure can be excluded.
Information on the notification of substances in articles and related submission tools, as well as a manual with instructions on how to create and submit a notification dossier are available on ECHA’s website.
European Parliament approves report on the mid-term review of the EU strategy for safety and health at work 2007-2012
The Parliament’s report highlights the need to protect women, young people, ageing and migrant workers in Europe’s workplaces. MSDs and work related stress are pointed out as main areas of concern for European enterprises in relation to OSH.
The report says it is important to help SMEs put in place risk-prevention policies and stresses the positive role of simple, free and targeted initiatives, such as the OiRA and considers employee participation to be a further key factor in successful OSH-related management (ESENER)
Read the Employment Committee’s report [PDF]
Learn more about our next campaign - Working together for risk prevention: http://osha.europa.eu/en/seminars/healthy-workplaces-summit-on-safe-maintenance/summary-hwc-2011.pdf
New Book - Risk Management Handbook for Health Care Organizations: Student Edition
by Roberta Carroll (Editor)
This comprehensive textbook provides a complete introduction to risk management in health care and covers general risk management techniques; standards of health care risk management administration; federal, state and local laws; and methods for integrating patient safety and enterprise risk management into a comprehensive risk management programme. The Student Edition is applicable to all health care settings including acute care hospital to hospice, and long term care. Written for students and those new to the topic, each chapter highlights key points and learning objectives, lists key terms, and offers questions for discussion. An instructor’s supplement with cases and other material is also available.
Risk Management Handbook for Health Care Organizations: Student Edition
Carroll, Roberta (Editor); Wiley Jossey-Bass, May 2009, 672 pages; ISBN: 9780470300176
New Book - Disaster Operations and Decision Making
by Roger C. Huder
Focuses on crisis decision making and the creation of the systems and procedures needed to carry out those decisions. Based on years of research, experience in the civilian emergency management sector, and the adaptation of specific military procedures to civilian needs, it assists the reader in honing decision making, team building, and operational skills and knowledge to respond to natural and manmade disasters.
With information on current technology and lessons learned, the book also emphasizes the integration of state-of-the-art crisis decision making procedures and emergency disaster operations. Content includes: The Emergency Manager: Leading in a Crisis; Crisis Decision Making; Disaster Operations: The Art of Operations; Decision Graphics: The Green Light System; The Emergency Operations Centre; The Press, Friend and Foe; National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System; Technology; Building the Team: The Core Liaison Group and Training the Team.
Disaster Operations and Decision Making by Roger C. Huder
Wiley, December 2011, 392 pages; ISBN: 9780470927939