Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

March 2012

Contents
  1. Active ageing tomorrow requires good safety and health today
  2. Do you want to keep up-to-date with authoritative fire and occupational health and safety information? Have a look at FIREINF and OSH UPDATE and make these your essential workplace information sources for 2012
  3. Worker involvement saves lives and money
  4. Urgent training and safety issues in shipping
  5. OSHWORLD Diary of Worldwide Events
  6. Mental Health and Work: New Report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  7. New web-based software partnership for RoSPA and Airsweb
  8. ECHA Publishes the Evaluation Report 2011
  9. Canada helps Prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries
  10. Effects of Concentration Peaks on Styrene Neurotoxicity in the Fibreglass Reinforced Plastics Industry
  11. Sleep is a vital biological function
  12. Insulated Panel guide for roof and wall cladding: Guide to fire safety and performance in fire
  13. New US OSHA Training Videos in English and Spanish Help Educate Workers on Respirator Use
  14. US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Workplace Safety and Health Institute of Singapore (WSH Institute) sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 24 February 2012
  15. ECHA has launched a new public consultation on thirteen potential Substances of Very High Concern
  16. IPAF Summit in Rome, 29 March 2012
  17. New OSHA Training Videos in English and Spanish Help Educate Workers on Respirator Use
  18. Nanoparticles from Printer Emissions in Workplace Environments: Australian Research
  19. Excessive working time causes depression: New joint Finnish - UK study
  20. 28 April 2012 - International Day of Safety and Health
  21. 28 May - 8 June 2012 - SOLVE training of trainers: Integrating health promotion in occupational safety and health policies

Active ageing tomorrow requires good safety and health today

Occupational safety and health has a crucial role to play in securing active ageing through a better and longer working life.

That's the message that European Agency for Safety and Health at Work - EU-OSHA is looking to communicate during the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. http://ec.europa.eu/archives/ey2012

Throughout the year, EU-OSHA will be publishing a range of information products and articles on the website as well as passing the message on at public events and conferences.

Check out our active ageing feature: https://osha.europa.eu/en/themes/osh-management-context-ageing-workforce

Do you want to keep up-to-date with authoritative fire and occupational health and safety information? Have a look at FIREINF and OSH UPDATE and make these your essential workplace information sources for 2012

How up-to-date is 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?

Then try these Practical, Affordable Solutions for your health, safety, fire and environment information needs - Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd offers the following full text and bibliographic services that are continually updated and available via the Internet. They are also very cost effective.

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.

For a 15 DAY FREE NO OBLIGATION TRIAL contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | email: sp@sheilapantry.com | or fill in the Interest form www.sheilapantry.com/interest.html

Worker involvement saves lives and money

There are substantial business benefits from worker involvement in health and safety, Prospect's Sarah Page has told an audience of industry figures. Page, the national health and safety officer with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors' union, told the 'Health and Safety South' event in Sandown Park the benefits of involving the workforce in health and safety would be visible in the balance book as well as the accident book.

'Evidence shows that workplaces where workers have a say in decisions that affect their health and safety are safer and healthier,' she said, adding HSE itself recognised this. She also cited practical examples where Prospect and management had worked together and where this collaborative approach had made a difference.

These included: promoting the role of health and safety reps in Babcock Marine at Rosyth, Scotland; working with BT on mental health and other issues; 'building consensus' during restructuring at Defra's Natural England; instilling 'a culture of dialogue' at the Magnox reactor sites in Wylfa and Anglesey in Wales; and involving Prospect in the Powering Improvement initiative run by the Energy Networks Association.

https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/risks-newsletter/risks-2012/risks-546-10-march-2012#tuc-20744-2

Urgent training and safety issues in shipping

Unions and MPs are putting urgent training and safety issues in the maritime industry back on the agenda 'big time'. They are worried that the lack of provision for training, education and safety for shipping workers will result in a huge crisis in recruitment. Nautilus International spokesperson Andrew Linington said: 'They are back on the agenda big time because there are so many burning issues.' Seafarers' unions Nautilus and RMT held talks this week to explore areas for collaboration.

On 9 March 2012 a working group of interested MPs met shipping minister Mike Penning. The meetings came after bereaved families and survivors of the Zeebrugge ferry disaster marked the 25th anniversary of the tragedy with a 6 March memorial service. The Herald of Free Enterprise capsized after setting out from Belgium bound for Dover on 6 March 1987, killing 193 people. Commenting after the 'powerful tribute', Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said: 'Twenty-five years on, this awful accident still has very strong resonance with the present-day and Nautilus remains determined to ensure that all the lessons of the loss are learned and that the Herald of Free Enterprise can leave a lasting legacy for safety in the ferry sector.'

Stricter ferry safety regulations were introduced following the disaster and rules were tightened even further after the Estonia ferry capsized in September 1994 with the loss of more than 850 lives. In January, the cruise ship Costa Concordia capsized, leaving 32 people dead or missing.

https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/risks-newsletter/risks-2012/risks-546-10-march-2012#tuc-20744-3

OSHWORLD Diary of Worldwide Events

The Diary of Events is intended as a guide to the wide range of Health, Safety, Fire, Chemical, Environment events, conferences, seminars, training courses and other related activities worldwide.

It is updated during the first week of the month, and includes validated Internet links to further information. If you cannot attend these events the organisers are usually willing to let you have papers and other information, if you contact them.

See www.oshworld.com/diary.html

Mental Health and Work: New Report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Have you ever been depressed or suffered from anxiety? If so, you are not alone. A recent report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says that one in five workers currently suffers from a mental disorder, and many are struggling to cope.

Mental illness is a growing problem, affecting productivity in the workplace and worker well-being. The report says that poor mental health represents about 30% to 50% of all new disability benefit claims in OECD nations. The economic burden of mental illness in Canada alone was estimated to be $51 billion in 2003, according to the Institute for Work and Health.

The OECD's report, entitled Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health at Work found that workers with a mental disorder miss work for illness more often than other workers. And of those with mental disorders who don't take sick leave, many may underperform in their jobs and have lower productivity compared to their mentally healthy colleagues.

"Such high losses in productivity suggest that policies directed at sickness monitoring and management are essential", says the report. "But this approach is not enough because it implies that intervention and support is in many cases coming too late. Good-quality jobs, good working conditions and, in particular, good management play a crucial role."

The OECD reports that mental illness is undertreated. Currently the focus of health systems is treating people with severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia who make up approximately 25% of sufferers. Less attention is being paid to the 75% of sufferers who have common mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. Almost 50% of those with a severe mental disorder and over 70% of those with a moderate mental disorder don't get any treatment for their illness, and for many of those who do, treatment is inadequate. Most common mental disorders can get better, and taking them more seriously would increase the likelihood of people receiving proper treatment and staying at work, or returning to work.

The OECD calls for policymakers to find new ways to tackle the social and economic problem of mental illness. With growing job insecurity and work pressure, work-related stress and job strain are likely to increase in the years ahead, as may the prevalence of mental illness. "To help sufferers, a new approach is needed, especially in the workplace," says the OECD. "This includes good working conditions which reduce and better manage stress; systematic monitoring of sick leave behaviour; and help to employers to reduce workplace conflicts and avoid unnecessary dismissal caused by mental health problems."

Learn more about the OECD report: Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work.

Take the online employer self-evaluation for psychosocial risks from the Committee of Senior Labour Inspectors (SLIC) in the European Union.

Visit Healthy Minds at Work for more free information and resources.

New web-based software partnership for RoSPA and Airsweb

Promoting safety awareness and transparency in organisations is becoming easier thanks to a new partnership between the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and specialist quality, health, safety and environment (QHSE) software provider airsweb.

The exclusive partnership will give RoSPA clients access to health and safety management software, which enables them to access real-time safety data and create reports, graphs and performance trend analyses that can support them in decision-making.

The state-of-the-art, web-based technology will be accessible from anywhere in the world via an internet browser. This means the system can be used "on the go" as well as at fixed work stations. The system can also be accessed by multiple users in an organisation, meaning, for example, that site managers in one country could be adding local data at the same time as a group health and safety manager was contributing group performance from head office - saving time for all.

The functionality of the high-security software lends itself well to facilitating benchmarking, particularly in relation to RoSPA audits and the annual RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards - the areas of RoSPA's work that will benefit from the partnership. The awards judging process will also be made easier, with judges being able to log-in online to view entries.

Frances Richardson, RoSPA's director of operations, said: "There are a multitude of benefits for RoSPA and airsweb to work together. The fast-growing, dynamic approach and capability of airsweb and its state-of-the art, world-class technology provides a platform for RoSPA's Occupational Health and Safety Awards, and for RoSPA's range of workplace safety audits.

"RoSPA is keen to focus on health and safety content development rather than producing specialist systems for its auditing and awards. The partnership is mutually beneficial, and whereas there is already a considerable overlap in the number of organisations throughout the world who trade with both RoSPA and airsweb, we expect this to increase with the new joint developments planned for a launch later in the year."

Jason Wright, business development director at airsweb, said: "We are extremely proud and excited at the prospect of working with RoSPA through this exclusive partnership. We believe that it will provide significant benefits to both organisations and perhaps more importantly to our respective clients. Airsweb provides QHSE web-based software management solutions to some of the world's largest organisations and the access to subject matter expertise can only strengthen our offering. The opportunity to work with such a prestigious and internationally renowned organisation is quite simply a privilege."

www.rospa.com

ECHA Publishes the Evaluation Report 2011

The main finding of the report is that a large part of the examined registration dossiers raise compliance or quality concerns to different degrees and require ECHA to address the shortcomings by regulatory action. So, ECHA strongly encourages registrants to proactively update their dossiers, taking into account the recommendations of the report.

The Evaluation report presents details and figures on ECHA's REACH dossier evaluation activities and their respective output. In 2011, ECHA issued 187 draft or final decisions on testing proposals. In 2011, ECHA adopted 22 final decisions on testing proposals, and closed the examination of 58 cases that were either inadmissible or withdrawn by the registrant. A significant share of the proposals could not be examined or properly concluded due to substance identity problems.

In 2011, ECHA completed 146 compliance checks. Of the 146 completed dossiers, 134 resulted in ECHA requesting the registrant to provide further information. Ten of the cases were already closed after the registrant had updated his dossier with the information required, and in twelve cases no action was needed.

Given the high proportion of compliance checks where action was required, the report concludes that while registrants strived to fulfil their obligations regarding information requirements under REACH, in many cases further improvement is required from registrants, thereby giving the perception of insignificant quality of registrations overall.

"This report is essential reading for registrants preparing for the 2013 REACH deadline and should be a call for action for companies who have already registered", says ECHA's Executive Director Geert Dancet in the foreword of the report.

The report lists the most common shortcomings found in the dossiers and gives specific recommendations for registrants of which the most important are:

The report contains recommendations to registrants with regard to the relevance of particular tests, the test material for the specific substance, substance identity and reproductive toxicity testing. There are also tips to avoid shortcomings in the chemical safety assessment, hazard assessment, PBT assessment, exposure assessment and its scope, risk characterisation and classification and labelling.

Further information: https://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/echa-publishes-the-evaluation-report-2011

Canada helps Prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries

Each year, the last day of February is reserved for International Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, a day dedicated to RSI education and prevention. February 29, 2012 will mark the 13th Annual RSI Awareness Day in Canada.

"Repetitive strain injuries are a serious occupational health concern across the world and are recognized as leading causes of significant human suffering, loss of productivity and economic burdens on society," says Steve Horvath, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. "To help minimize the risks of any workplace injury, we need to constantly create awareness of these issues, and provide practical solutions."

Repetitive strain injuries, also known as work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), is an umbrella term to describe a family of painful disorders affecting tendons, muscles, nerves and joints in the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands. These disorders can be caused by work activities that are frequent and repetitive, or activities with awkward postures.

WMSDs can be caused by work activities that are frequent and repetitive, or activities with awkward postures, including fixed or constrained body positions; continual repetition of movements; force concentrated on small parts of the body, such as the hand or wrist or a pace of work that does not allow enough rest between movements. Heat, cold and vibration may also contribute to the development of WMSDs. These disorders are generally caused by a combination of these factors - rather than one individual factor.

A fundamental principle of occupational health and safety is that hazards are best eliminated at the source. In the case of WMSDs, the prime source of hazard is the repetitiveness of work. Prevention must aim at eliminating the repetitiveness of the work by proper job design. Where this is not possible, preventive strategies such as good workplace layout, tool and equipment design, and proper work practices should be considered. It is important to recognize these disorders early because medical treatments become less effective the longer these injuries go on.

Preventive and control measures, in order to be truly effective, require significant involvement on the part of the workers, their representatives, and management to improve occupational health and safety.

For a number of free resources for the prevention of WMSDs, including fact sheets, podcasts, webinars and e-courses, visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website.

Contact:

Effects of Concentration Peaks on Styrene Neurotoxicity in the Fibreglass Reinforced Plastics Industry

In a new research published by the IRSST, the researchers observed important styrene exposure peaks in the fibreglass reinforced plastics industry, even though in certain cases, the measured styrene values exceeded the standards prescribed by the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety. Furthermore, the researchers noted that the volunteers exposed to styrene at average concentrations of 137 mg/m³ showed a frequency of irritation symptoms higher than the "Control group" or the "Average group." For the other tests and symptoms, the results showed no relationship between styrene, at the exposure levels in this study, and measurable effects on the nervous system. Also, the results obtained with the "Group with peaks" were no different from those obtained with the "Control group" and the "Group without peaks."

In several studies, the styrene exposure duration (more than eight years) has been demonstrated to have a possible effect on the nervous system. This is an important factor to consider in studying the chronic effects of styrene. The average duration of exposure of the workers in our study was only 5.6 years, which could explain the negative results that we obtained. The concentrations of the peaks remain high in the fibreglass reinforced plastics industry (FRPI) and must continue to receive particular attention by occupational hygienists when measuring styrene concentrations in the workplace.

To download the full text, please visit: www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-effects-of-concentration-peaks-on-styrene-neurotoxicity-fibreglass-reinforced-plastics-industry-r-728.html

The document is available in French as well at: www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-effects-of-concentration-peaks-on-styrene-neurotoxicity-in-the-fibreglass-reinforced-plastics-sector-phase-ii-r-640.html

Sleep is a vital biological function

And many Americans don't get enough. To coincide with National Sleep Awareness Week, the new US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) blog post: Sleep and Work summarises the risks to workers, employers and the public when long hours and irregular shifts required by many jobs do not allow workers to get adequate sleep.

Read more on the NIOSH Science Blog: http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog

Insulated Panel guide for roof and wall cladding: Guide to fire safety and performance in fire

Industry body, Engineering Panels in Construction (EPIC), has published Insulated panels for external roof and wall cladding: A guide to fire safety and performance in fire to update its 2002 EPIC Fire Guide.

It contains the latest regulatory requirements and case studies on the performance of insulated panels when subjected to external attack, such as arson, and of insulated panels spanning fire-resistant compartment walls.

The 60-page guide now also links the results and findings of small- and medium-scale fire tests directly to the analysed performance of PIR-cored insulated panels in real fires. It can be downloaded free from www.epic.uk.com

New US OSHA Training Videos in English and Spanish Help Educate Workers on Respirator Use

US OSHA has posted a series of 17 videos to help workers learn about the proper use of respirators on the job.

These short videos, nine in English and eight in Spanish, provide valuable information to workers in general industry and construction. Topics include OSHA's Respiratory Standard, respirator use, training, fit-testing and detecting counterfeit respirators. The clips are available with closed captioning for streaming or download.

www.osha.gov/video/respiratory_protection

US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Workplace Safety and Health Institute of Singapore (WSH Institute) sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 24 February 2012

The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Workplace Safety and Health Institute of Singapore (WSH Institute) on 24 February 2012 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to recognize the importance of research and new knowledge in developing and applying preventive measures in occupational safety and health, and to share a common mission to contribute to the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases. This MOU is intended to continue for a period of five years from date of signature.

Under the agreement, NIOSH will partner with the WSH Institute to cooperate, subject to the strategic priorities and budgetary resources of each, in defining sound occupational safety and health prevention practices and interventions in the workplace, and to implement strategies which expand protection to workers and their communities.

"International cooperation is a critical part of improving the safety and health of all workers," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "We are excited to cooperate with the Workplace Safety and Health Institute of Singapore and work together to jointly develop a plan of action to increase workplace safety and health across the globe."

Through this cooperation, NIOSH and WSH Institute plan to:

US NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries and illnesses. It was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. For further information, visit www.cdc.gov/niosh

WSH Institute was created in 2011 by the Singapore's Ministry of Manpower in partnership with the Workplace Safety and Health Council. Their mission is to advance workplace safety and health through knowledge, innovations and solutions, visit https://www.wsh-institute.sg

Dr Jukka Takala was appointed the first Executive Director (ED) of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute on 28 December 2011. Dr Takala was previously Director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work 2006-2011 and before that Director of the International Labour Office International Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (Safework) including CIS - Health and Safety Information Centres.

ECHA has launched a new public consultation on thirteen potential Substances of Very High Concern

ECHA has published new proposals to identify an additional thirteen chemicals as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs). Interested parties are invited to join the public consultation by posting their comments on the ECHA website. The public consultation will be open for 45 days and will end on 12 April 2012.

All substances are classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction and appear to fulfil Article 57 of the REACH Regulation, defining the identification of an SVHC. More specifically, for four of the substances (C.I. Basic Violet 3, C.I. Basic Blue 26, C.I. Solvent Blue 4 and 4,4'-bis(dimethylamino)-4''-(methylamino)trityl alcohol) the potential SVHC identification is based on the presence of the carcinogenic constituents Michler's ketone or Michler's base above the concentration limit for classifying the substances as carcinogenic (≥ 0.1 % weight/weight).

Comments should provide information concerning the identity of the substances. The Member State Committee will take these comments into account when seeking agreement on the identification of a proposed substance as an SVHC.

Furthermore, information on the uses of the substances is invited. This would include data on tonnages per use and exposures or releases resulting from these uses. Information on the availability of safer alternative substances and techniques, and the structure of supply chains is also welcome. ECHA will consider this information when recommending SVHCs for inclusion in the Authorisation List (Annex XIV).

The proposals have been put forward by Belgium with Poland, the Netherlands, Germany and ECHA, at the request of the European Commission. The names of the substances, the reasons for their proposal as SVHCs and information on their uses are made available on the ECHA website. Comments should be submitted by using the dedicated web form.

As yet, 73 SVHCs have been included in the Candidate List. Inclusion on the list imposes new information requirements on suppliers of preparations and articles containing the substances.

Substances proposed for identification as an SVHC, reasons for their proposal, and their potential uses according to information provided in the Annex XV dossiers submitted for the substances.

For full details see: http://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/69ec4c10-bd37-4ec9-ba3e-ad5b1bee766a

IPAF Summit in Rome, 29 March 2012

"Analysing Accidents to Reduce Accidents" is the theme of the IPAF Summit to be held on 29 March 2012, starting at 13:30, at the Sheraton Roma Hotel in Rome, Italy. The conference is held in English, with simultaneous translation in German, Italian and Spanish. The IPAF Summit is free and open to members and non-members who should register in advance at www.iapa-summit.info

Andy Studdert, CEO of NES Rentals, one of the largest US equipment rental companies, will deliver the keynote address on "What can aerials learn from aviation?" Andy Studdert will draw on his extensive experience in the airline sector and compare both industries in terms of safety and training.

Other speakers include:

The Summit is followed that evening by the International Awards for Powered Access (IAPAs) ceremony and dinner at the same venue. The IAPAs are the premier event celebrating best practice and excellence in the powered access industry. More details are at www.iapa-summit.info

International Powered Access Federation, Moss End Business Village, Crooklands, Cumbria LA7 7NU, UK | Email: info@ipaf.org | www.ipaf.org

New OSHA Training Videos in English and Spanish Help Educate Workers on Respirator Use

OSHA has posted a series of 17 videos to help workers learn about the proper use of respirators on the job.

These short videos, nine in English and eight in Spanish, provide valuable information to workers in general industry and construction.

Topics include OSHA's Respiratory Standard, respirator use, training, fit-testing and detecting counterfeit respirators. The clips are available with closed captioning for streaming or download.

Access the training videos: www.osha.gov/video/respiratory_protection

Nanoparticles from Printer Emissions in Workplace Environments: Australian Research

Research for the Nanoparticles from Printer Emissions in Workplace Environments report examined particle emissions from laser printers in office environments. A total of 107 laser printers were examined in offices across Queensland. The majority of the nanoparticle exposure experienced by workers over the course of a working day did not come from printers but from other sources, for example vehicle emissions infiltrating the building.

The report was commissioned under the Safe Work Australia Nanotechnology Work Health and Safety Programme, funded by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. The report research was undertaken by Queensland University of Technology and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

Nanoparticles from Printer Emissions in Workplace Environments
Queensland University of Technology; Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
Safe Work Australia, December 2011, 69 pages

www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Publications/Pages/Review-laser-printer-emissions.aspx

Brief Review of the Health Risks Associated with Laser Printer Emissions Measured as Particles

To understand the potential health effects of particles measured in this report Safe Work Australia commissioned Toxikos Pty Ltd to undertake a review. A Brief Review of the Health Risks Associated with Laser Printer Emissions Measured as Particles by Roger Drew, published examined results and assessed them against national and international air quality guidelines and exposure standards.

The review found that the risk of direct toxicity and health effects from exposure to laser printer particle emissions for most people is negligible but people responsive to unusual or unexpected odours may detect and react to the presence of emissions.

The research report, review and more information on the Nanotechnology Work Health and Safety Programme is available at: www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au

Brief Review of the Health Risks Associated with Laser Printer Emissions Measured as Particles
by Roger Drew, Toxikos Pty
Safe Work Australia, December 2011, 27 pages, ISBN 9780642333261 (PDF), ISBN 9780642333278 (RTF)

www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Publications/Documents/636/Brief%20Review%20Laser%20Printer%20Emissions.pdf

Excessive working time causes depression: New joint Finnish - UK study

A new study has concluded that working long hours - regardless of job stress or satisfaction - increases the risk of depression. Researchers at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University College London followed nearly 2,000 middle-aged British civil servants for almost six years.

The researchers examined the civil servants' working hours, whether or not they were depressed or had risk factors for depression to begin with, and whether they had any major depressive episodes over time. In workers with no psychological illness, the rate of a major depressive episode was 2.43 times higher for those who worked more than 11 hours per day compared with employees who worked 7 to 8 hours a day.

This association held true even after researchers accounted for other depression risk factors, including socio-demographic factors, smoking, alcohol use, having chronic physical disease, job strain and work-related social support. 'Although occasionally working overtime may have benefits for the individual and society, it is important to recognise that working excessive hours is also associated with an increased risk of major depression,' said study author Marianna Virtanen, an epidemiologist at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

TUC working hours expert Paul Sellers, writing in the union body's Touchstone blog, said the research forms part of a large scale study that has been running for more than 20 years, 'making it one of the most reliable sources for studying working time and health.' He added 'earlier research from the same source found a worrying 60 per cent increase in the risk of contracting heart disease amongst those working overtime.' He criticised both the government and the business lobby group CBI for their continued opposition to a strengthening the Working Time Directive. He said: 'There is obviously a serious risk here and yet the state and business leaders oppose taking action to protect people - simply scandalous!'

28 April 2012 - International Day of Safety and Health

Time to start and make preparations for your organisation to partake in marking this special day.

Worldwide events will be taking place.

See some information from the International Labour Office www.ilo.org/safework/events/meetings/WCMS_173690/lang--en/index.htm

And also ideas from events that have been held in the past: www.sheilapantry.com/memorial

28 May - 8 June 2012 - SOLVE training of trainers: Integrating health promotion in occupational safety and health policies

This is being held at the ILO International Training Centre Turin, Italy

Contact: Mr. Félix Martín Daza, ILO International Training Centre Turin, Italy | Email: f.martin@itcilo.org | www.ilo.org/safework/events/courses/WCMS_165081/lang--en/index.htm