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News Archive

May 2012

Contents
  1. US NIOSH New Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Reports
  2. Working together: Risk prevention means active leadership and worker engagement
  3. Healthy Workplaces Film Award: Entries are now open
  4. 11th Global Conference on Ageing: 'Ageing Connects', 29 May - 1 June 2012, Prague, Czech Republic
  5. A lethal mix - alcohol and drugs at work: EuroFound report
  6. US Jury awards more than $21 Million Against Coca Cola Refreshments USA, Inc for distracted driving case
  7. ECHA launches a 12-week public consultation on a draft scientific review report on phthalates DINP and DIDP
  8. Check out FIREINF and OSH UPDATE and make these sources your essential workplace information sources for 2012
  9. 11 and 12 October 2012 - 7th International Conference on the Safety of Industrial Automated Systems (SIAS)
  10. EU-Eurofound's Fifth European Working Conditions Survey 2010 - First results
  11. ECHA launches a new public consultation on proposals for harmonised classification and labelling for four pesticides and a fire-preventing agent
  12. New report from Canada - Effects of Concentration Peaks on Styrene Neurotoxicity in the Fibreglass Reinforced Plastics Industry - Phase II
  13. Workers Memorial Day 28 April 2012
  14. US NIOSH Statement for Workers Memorial Day 2012
  15. Canada: National Day of Mourning: Remembering Lives Lost or Injured
  16. UK establishes an OSH Myth Busting Challenge Panel: Let's bring common sense back to health and safety!
  17. Call for Papers - Process Safety Pioneers for a Special Issue of the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries
  18. Register for ECHA's Seventh Stakeholders' Day by 16 May!
  19. New Healthy Workplaces Campaign: Call to action for employers and workers to work together
  20. Legion launches next generation evacuation software
  21. Annals of Occupational Hygiene 2012, Volume 56, Number 4 is now available on-line
  22. Eurofound co-organises conference on Quality of work and employment with the European Parliament
  23. ECHA Newsletter spring issue published
  24. "Ready reckoner" helps platform operators calculate correct spreader plate sizes

US NIOSH New Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Reports

Evaluation of Eye and Respiratory Symptoms at a Poultry Processing Facility

HHE Program investigators evaluated symptoms at a poultry processing facility and found that employees who work in areas using super chlorinated water were more likely to report chest tightness, sneezing, dry eyes, blurry vision, and burning or itchy eyes in the previous month than employees who worked in areas that did not use super chlorinated water. Investigators recommended that managers maintain chlorine and other water chemistry parameters within established guidelines and find a more accurate and timely way to monitor the super chlorinated water. Although the ventilation in the building followed guidelines for air flowing from clean to dirty areas, the air flow pattern was not done via positive pressure ventilation. Investigators recommended that positive pressure ventilation be used to achieve appropriate air flow patterns.

Chemotherapy Drug Evaluation at a Veterinary Teaching Hospital

HHE Program investigators evaluated concerns about reproductive problems and hair loss at a veterinary teaching hospital. Employees thought these issues were associated with work-related exposures to chemotherapy drugs. Cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide were found in 4 of 44 surface wipe samples but were not found in air samples. Some employees reported symptoms that have been reported with occupational exposure to chemotherapy drugs but also have other causes. NIOSH investigators were unable to determine if the health effects reported by employees were work-related. Recommendations were made to managers regarding limiting employee access to the pharmacy, chemotherapy drug preparation room, and administration area and using biological safety cabinets that do not recirculate exhaust air when preparing volatile chemotherapy drugs. Employees were encouraged to always wear the required personal protective equipment.

Links to the reports from these HHEs can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/whats_new.html

Working together: Risk prevention means active leadership and worker engagement

Management leadership and worker participation are the keys to good safety and health performance at the workplace says the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

While effective management is about securing the health, safety and welfare of all staff, managers do not have the solutions to all health and safety problems. Workers and their representatives have the detailed knowledge and experience of how the job is done and how it affects them. Therefore workers and managers need to work together closely to find joint solutions to common problems.

Contact European Agency for Safety and Health at Work to find out more useful information that can help workers and managers to improve workplace safety and health visit sections:

Healthy Workplaces Film Award: Entries are now open

EU-OSHA is supporting, for the fourth time, the Healthy Workplaces Film Award for the best documentary on work-related topics. The winning film will be selected during the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film.

11th Global Conference on Ageing: 'Ageing Connects', 29 May - 1 June 2012, Prague, Czech Republic

Venue: Prague Congress Centre, třída 5. května 65, 140 21 Prague 4, Czech Republic

The IFA 11th Global Conference on Ageing entitled 'Ageing Connects' aims to have a positive impact on age-related policy and practice globally with particular interest in contributing to the dialogue in the Czech Republic and its region of Eastern Europe and the neighbouring region of Central Asia.

The conference provides a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary forum for networking and the sharing of information related to new research and evidence-based programmes and policies. It is an opportunity for those interested in the field of ageing and the evolution of the human spirit to take stock of social trends (e.g. age friendly environments), evaluate recent policy developments and collectively chart a course. The event aims to facilitate stronger linkages among research, policy and practice and explore in greater depth the role of civil society in building effective relationships.

Through the conference program the protection of human rights is expressed as the fundamental prerequisite to an effective response to population ageing. Equally critical is the recognition of important contributions older people make to the broader social and economic productivity of a nation.

A lethal mix - alcohol and drugs at work: EuroFound report

Up to 30% of workplace accidents in European countries could be related to alcohol or drug use, according to findings from a new Eurofound report. But safety risks are just one of the problems linked to the use of alcohol or drugs in the workplace. Poor performance, reduced productivity and conflicts with colleagues are some of the other negative outcomes.

While testing for substance use at work may be justified where safety risks are high, this can be controversial as it invades the privacy of workers. Most European countries have legislation or collective agreements to ban or control the use of alcohol and drugs at work, but the issue clearly needs more consideration.

Prevention programmes, developed as part of more general strategies for health and safety at work, could produce more positive results for workers than sanctions and controls.

www.eurofound.europa.eu/observatories/eurwork/comparative-information/use-of-alcohol-and-drugs-at-the-workplace

US Jury awards more than $21 Million Against Coca Cola Refreshments USA, Inc for distracted driving case

Attorney Thomas J. Henry forces Coca Cola to face a corporate responsibility challenge after cell phone distraction injury case.

Coca Cola Refreshments USA, Inc. faces a corporate responsibility challenge after Corpus Christi jury awards in excess of 21 Million Dollars in a cell phone distraction injury case heard in the County Court at Law No. 2 in Nueces County, Case No. 10-61510-2.

Two law firms came together to bring the cell phone distraction case to a jury after it was discovered in the lawsuit that Coca Cola had a vague and ambiguous cell phone policy for its delivery drivers, according to court documents. The jury was to decide whether or not Venice Wilson's injuries were caused by a distracted Coca Cola delivery driver who was on a cell phone.

The law firms handling the trial, Hilliard, Munoz & Gonzalez through its lead lawyer, Bob Hilliard, and Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, through its lead lawyer, Thomas J. Henry, discovered flaws in the Coca Cola management cell phone policy which allowed its employees to operate company vehicles throughout the United States while using a cell phone.

According to court documents, the jury heard overwhelming evidence of how Coca Cola knew of the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, including having a cognitive distraction of 37% while on a cell phone. The jury heard that Coca Cola withheld this information from its employee driver, in addition to the data on the numbers of deaths and injuries arising from cell phone use while operating vehicles, according to court documents.

When asked about Coca Cola corporate governance, Bob Hilliard, a lead trial lawyer in the case said this:

"Today's verdict I hope sends a message to corporate America that you can't have employees on a cell phone and endanger the motoring public."

When asked to reflect on the jury's award, Thomas J. Henry of Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, a national law firm, stated:

"From the time I took the Coca Cola driver's testimony and obtained the company's inadequate cell phone driving policy, I knew we had a corporate giant with a huge safety problem on our hands. I also knew that taking on Coca Cola's policy that affects hundreds of thousands of its employees would require assembling a trial team with the horse power necessary to fight and win. More importantly, I knew Mrs. Wilson deserved justice, and the rest of the motoring public deserved safer drivers; so, Bob Hilliard and I decided to put our law firm litigation teams together to shred Coca Cola's policy."

When asked if he thought the jury connected with him during his closing argument, Bob Hilliard said, "I knew looking into their hearts and minds, after hearing days of trial testimony, that they knew cell phone use while driving was deadly and harmful. The jury knew I gave them evidence to change Coca Cola's policy, and I knew the jury would do justice, and they did. We now have a safer community, state, and country and now Coke gets to join, against their will, other Fortune 500 companies who volunteered to have a 'no cell phone use while operating company vehicles' policy."

Ed Dubens, CEO at Interactive Driving Systems said: 'It is thought that distracted driving is the cause of more than 5,000 deaths and close to 450,000 collisions each year in the United States, which makes this case an important landmark for organisations - who need to review and strengthen their road safety policies to ensure they are robust, identify and mitigate all the risks involved for their own people and other road users'.

Source PRWEB, May 04, 2012, www.prweb.com/releases/2012/5/prweb9478383.htm

ECHA launches a 12-week public consultation on a draft scientific review report on phthalates DINP and DIDP

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), at the request of the European Commission, has reviewed the scientific evidence on the risks posed by articles containing the phthalates DINP and DIDP.

Based on an existing restriction, these phthalates cannot be used in toys and childcare articles which can be placed in the mouth by children. In its draft report, ECHA concludes that the existing restriction is justified and that no further risk reduction measures are needed to reduce the exposure of children to DINP and DIDP.

ECHA invites interested parties to provide their comments on the draft report by 31 July 2012. In particular, ECHA welcomes any relevant new scientific evidence that was not assessed in the draft report.

Against the above background, ECHA's Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) has been requested to provide a scientific opinion on the draft report, taking into account comments from this public consultation.

Further information: https://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/echa-launches-a-12-week-public-consultation-on-a-draft-scientific-review-report-on-phthalates-dinp-and-didp

Check out FIREINF and OSH UPDATE and make these sources your essential workplace information sources for 2012

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11 and 12 October 2012 - 7th International Conference on the Safety of Industrial Automated Systems (SIAS)

To be held at Centre Mont-Royal, 2200 rue Mansfield, Montréal, Québec, Canada

For full details contact: IRSST, Montréal, Québec, Canada | www.irsst.qc.ca/en/sias2012.html

EU-Eurofound's Fifth European Working Conditions Survey 2010 - First results

Fieldwork for the 5th European Working Conditions Survey was carried out between January and June of 2010. The questionnaire covered precarious employment, leadership styles and worker participation as well as the general job context, working time, work organisation, pay, work-related health risks, cognitive and psychosocial factors, work-life balance and access to training. A number of questions were included to capture the impact of the economic downturn on working conditions.

First results: The pattern of employment continues to change across Europe, with an ongoing shift from agriculture and manufacturing into services, and persistent gender segregation in different jobs and occupations. Work intensity remains at a high level, while there has been little or no increase in the intellectual challenges that work poses; workers enjoy essentially the same levels of autonomy as they did a decade ago, but monotonous work seems to be somewhat more common. European workers remain as exposed to physical hazards as they did 20 years ago, reflecting the fact that many Europeans' jobs still involve physical labour. For instance, 33% of workers carry heavy loads at least a quarter of their working time, while 23% are exposed to vibrations - figures unchanged since 2000. Nor are physical hazards confined to manual workers: nearly half of all workers (46%) work in tiring or painful positions at least a quarter of the time. Moreover, repetitive hand or arm movements are a feature of work for more Europeans than 10 years ago.

Consequently, substantial numbers of Europeans do not feel confident about being able to remain in their current job until the age of 60.

The latest 5th EWCS overview report is now available: www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/htmlfiles/ef1182.htm

ECHA launches a new public consultation on proposals for harmonised classification and labelling for four pesticides and a fire-preventing agent

ECHA invites the parties concerned to comment on five new proposals for harmonised classification and labelling (CLH): Isoxaflutole, Tembotrione, Metosulam, Potassium sorbate and Tetrakis(2,6-dimethylphenyl)-m-phenylene biphosphate. The public consultation will be open for 45 days and will end on 28 June 2012. The CLH reports and the dedicated web form to post the comments are available on the ECHA website.

ECHA's Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) will consider the comments received during the public consultation when developing its opinion on the CLH proposal. The Commission takes into account the RAC opinion when it decides whether the proposal for harmonised classification and labelling is accepted and if so, the substance is added to the list of hazardous substances for which harmonised classification and labelling has been established (Annex VI, part 3 of the CLP Regulation).

Further information: https://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/echa-launches-a-new-public-consultation-on-proposals-for-harmonised-classification-and-labelling-for-four-pesticides-and-a-fire-preventing-agent

New report from Canada - Effects of Concentration Peaks on Styrene Neurotoxicity in the Fibreglass Reinforced Plastics Industry - Phase II

This project follows an initial phase that focused on the acute effects of styrene exposure and a critical analysis of the literature. This time, the authors wanted to determine whether exposure to high concentrations of this solvent, even for short periods, has harmful consequences on the health of workers who are regularly exposed to it. Their work was carried out on workers exposed to styrene in fibreglass reinforced plastics industries, at average concentrations not exceeding the time-weighted average exposure value (TWAEV) of 213 mg/m³.

In this type of industry, major styrene exposure peaks were observed. In some cases, the measured values exceeded the standards specified by the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (ROHS). It appears that at the exposure concentrations described, and for the exposure duration of the workers who participated in this study, styrene has no appreciable effect on the neurosensory and neuropsychological tests used by the researchers.

According to the authors, these results, in contrast to others published in the scientific literature, do not justify lowering the Québec exposure standards for styrene for workers exposed under conditions similar to those in their cohort.

Effects of Concentration Peaks on Styrene Neurotoxicity in the Fibreglass Reinforced Plastics Industry - Phase II
Vyskocil, Adolf; El Majidi, Naïma; Thuot, Ross; Beaudry, Charles; Charest-Tardif, Ginette; Tardif, Robert; Gagnon, France; Ska, Bernadette; Turcot, Alice; Drolet, Daniel; Aliyeva, Elmira; Viau, Claude
Studies and Research Projects / Report R-728, Montréal, IRSST, 2012, 110 pages.

www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-effects-of-concentration-peaks-on-styrene-neurotoxicity-fibreglass-reinforced-plastics-industry-r-728.html

Workers Memorial Day 28 April 2012

Remembering the importance of at-work safety and health on Workers' Memorial Day

People from across the UK will pause for thought tomorrow (28 April 2012) on Workers' Memorial Day to mark the many thousands of lives lost due to workplace accidents or ill health.

The internationally recognised annual event gives people across the world the chance to remember those who were killed or seriously injured while doing their job or who suffered work-related ill health, such as asbestos-related conditions.

There are dozens of permanent memorials to lost workers around the UK, some commemorating high-profile disasters which claimed the lives of many workers and others remembering lesser-known accidents in which a few people were killed. There are many more accidents that are not officially marked and are only remembered by grieving families, colleagues and employers.

To raise awareness of the memorial sites, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents' National Occupational Safety and Health Committee (NOSHC) initiated the creation of a website to provide comprehensive information about them. The site, which was launched in 2010, can be accessed via www.rospa.com/occupational-safety/conferences-events/workers-memorial-day. It includes details of the locations of memorials from plaques to pillars, as well as photographs, details of temporary commemorative sites, links to other sources of information and a diary of events.

In addition to work-related fatalities due to accidents, of which there were 171 in Britain in 2010/11 (not including an estimated 600 deaths due to work-related road accidents), there are many thousands of early deaths a year due to past exposure to hazardous working conditions. Millions of working days are also lost each year due to work-related injury and ill health. For example, in Britain in 2010/11, 22.1 million days were lost due to work-related ill health and 4.4 million due to workplace injury, with the annual cost to society of workplace injuries and ill health (excluding cancer) estimated at £14 billion in 2009/10.

Roger Bibbings MBE, RoSPA's occupational safety adviser, said: "The price of a workplace accident is enormous, with each fatal accident costing society about £1.5 million and each reportable injury costing £17,400. Yet money is irrelevant when placed next to the heart-breaking pain of personal tragedy. The list of memorials on our website is just the tip of the iceberg. Over the years, many thousands of families have had their lives shattered due to workplace accidents and ill health. This is why the case for maintaining sensible measures to control health and safety risks is so important and must not be undermined by silly stories that suggest 'elf 'n' safety' has gone mad."

Sheila Pantry OBE, a member of RoSPA's NOSHC and creator of the memorial website, said: "The importance of continuously repeating the health and safety message cannot be overstated. Workers' Memorial Day and this website are important ways of communicating that message."

To have a memorial listed, email Sheila Pantry at sp@sheilapantry.com.

Statement for Workers Memorial Day 2012

By John Howard, M.D., Director, US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

On April 28, Workers Memorial Day, we honor the men and women who have suffered injury, illness, and death on the job. A recent landmark study estimates that these losses of lives and livelihoods cost our economy at least $250 billion annually. The associated toll in human suffering is impossible to calculate or repay. As Dr. Alice Hamilton observed in the early years of the last century, "What could 'compensate' anyone for an amputated leg or a paralyzed arm, or even an attack of lead colic, to say nothing of the loss of a husband or son?"

Great strides have been made in workplace safety and health since Dr. Hamilton and her colleagues began their historic investigations in "the dangerous trades." Nevertheless, as Workers Memorial Day reminds us, we fall far short of success as long as the cost of any job is an injury, illness, or death that results in physical, financial, or emotional hardship for a worker or a worker's family.

As the 21st Century heirs of Dr. Hamilton and her associates, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and its partners face these challenges and opportunities:

Achieving progress will continue to require concerted effort by many partners, like the teamwork that supports the new "Safety Pays, Falls Cost" campaign. Launched this week by NIOSH and diverse partners, "Safety Pays, Falls Cost" seeks to prevent falls from ladders, scaffolds, and roofs in construction. We look forward to success over the coming weeks and months in addressing this recognized but persistent occupational hazard in one of the cornerstone sectors of the U.S. economy. For now, we ask that all Americans take the occasion of Workers Memorial Day to honour the fallen and to renew our national commitment to safe and healthful workplaces.

Canada: National Day of Mourning: Remembering Lives Lost or Injured

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is reminding employees and employers that April 28th is National Day of Mourning in Canada. This day is set aside to honour those workers across the country whose lives have been lost, or affected by workplace injuries, disabilities or disease.

The National Day of Mourning was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress. The Day of Mourning has since spread to about 80 countries around the world and has been adopted by the AFL-CIO and the International Confederation of Free Trade.

In 2010, 1014* workplace deaths were recorded in Canada - an increase from 939 the previous year. This represents nearly 3 deaths every single day. In the eighteen year period from 1993 to 2010, 16,143* people lost their lives due to work-related causes (an average of 897 deaths per year).

CCOHS reminds employees and employers that the National Day of Mourning offers them an opportunity to not only remember but to publicly renew their commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace.

To help promote awareness in the workplace of this important day, CCOHS has designed a bilingual poster made available free of charge as well as other awareness tools.

More information about the National Day of Mourning can be found on the CCOHS website.

* Data collected by the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada.

UK establishes an OSH Myth Busting Challenge Panel: Let's bring common sense back to health and safety!

A new myth busting occupational safety and health (OSH) challenge panel has been launched to curb the worst examples health and safety misuse.

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will run the Myth Busters Challenge Panel, which will provide quick advice to people who are subject to ridiculous or disproportionate health and safety decisions.

The panel will separate legitimate decisions to protect people from real risks from those not required in health and safety law. This will allow decisions by insurance companies, local authorities and employers among others to be contested.

HSE has published its top ten worst health and safety myths - exactly the sort of decisions the panel would challenge:

  1. Children being banned from playing conkers unless they are wearing goggles
  2. Office workers being banned from putting up Christmas decorations
  3. Trapeze artists being ordered to wear hard hats
  4. Pin the tail on the donkey games being deemed a health and safety risk
  5. Candy floss on a stick being banned in case people trip and impale themselves
  6. Hanging baskets being banned in case people bump their heads on them
  7. Schoolchildren being ordered to wear clip on ties in case they are choked by traditional neckwear
  8. Park benches must be replaced because they are three inches too low
  9. Flip flops being banned from the workplace
  10. Graduates ordered not to throw their mortar boards in the air

UK Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said:

All too often jobsworths are the real reason for daft health and safety decisions. We want people who are told they cannot put up bunting or they cannot play conkers to know that there is no basis in law for such rulings.

Common sense is the key to successful health and safety. The Myth Busters Challenge Panel will advise people where they think local authorities, insurance companies or schools have got it wrong.

Judith Hackitt, HSE chair and chair of the new panel, said:

Over the years we've seen health and safety invoked - wrongly - in defence of some pretty absurd decisions.

When people hear about children being ordered to wear goggles to play conkers or the dangers of candy floss on a stick it undermines public confidence in the true task of health and safety, which is to manage serious risks to life and limb in Britain's workplaces.

The launch of the Myth Busters Challenge Panel will add an important new voice for common sense. I am determined that the panel will help to put the spotlight on the worst health and safety myths and ensure that people give an honest account for their decisions.

This is a great opportunity for the public to stand with us against the jobsworths and cynics who are trivialising health and safety to suit their own ends.

The panel's role is advisory but it will give authoritative independent opinions on. The adverse publicity arising from having the panel find against a decision maker will encourage them to reverse bad decisions.

The panel will be chaired by HSE Chair Judith Hackitt. Issues can be raised through the HSE website's complaints page.

A separate Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel was launched in January to look into complaints regarding advice given by HSE or LA inspectors about health and safety which a complainant believes is incorrect or goes beyond what is required to control the risk adequately. The panel consist of independent members who have the competence and experience to assess advice that has been given on regulatory matters. For more information visit: www.hse.gov.uk/contact/challenge-panel.htm

Call for Papers - Process Safety Pioneers for a Special Issue of the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries

Submission Deadline: December 31, 2012

Process safety has come a long way since the beginning of chemical industrial activities. Before the 1960s, hazards and risks - and accidents - were perceived to go hand-in-hand with industrial progress. From the 1960s onwards, an evolution in the technology for - and in the attitude to - safely operating process plants has taken place.

Sometimes it was more like a revolution, but far more often the evolution progressed step-by-step. All around the world, a number of "pioneers" gave direction to these process safety advancements, often working in the silence of their offices or laboratories. However, these pioneers have clearly saved large numbers of men and women from injury and death.

To honour these process safety pioneers, a Special Issue of the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries is being planned and papers are invited on any topic related to this Special Issue subject.

Manuscripts must be submitted by no later than December 31, 2012. Submissions will open on 1 May 2012.

Full submissions instructions: www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-loss-prevention-in-the-process-industries/call-for-papers/special-issue-on-process-safety-pioneers

Register for ECHA's Seventh Stakeholders' Day by 16 May!

The registration form for the Agency's Seventh Stakeholders' Day conference is now available on ECHA's website and will be open until 16 May 2012. The conference takes places in Helsinki on 23 May 2012 and gives participants the opportunity to hear the latest news and updates from ECHA, European trade associations and NGOs. The event is followed by the Annual Helsinki Chemicals Forum from 24 to 25 May.

Seventh Stakeholders' Day: http://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/40bb6ef5-03b0-496f-8c4c-a8f8d04ab68c

Helsinki Chemicals Forum: www.helsinkicf.eu

New Healthy Workplaces Campaign: Call to action for employers and workers to work together

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) launches its new two-year Healthy Workplaces Campaign on Working together for risk prevention. EU workplaces are safer and healthier than they have ever been. But still every year there are 6.9 million workplace accidents and millions more work-related diseases. The human suffering of poor safety and health is immeasurable, but the economic cost is estimated at 490 billion Euros a year - more than half the current cost of the EU's financial crisis bail-out fund. EU-OSHA's new campaign turns the spotlight on the importance of management leadership and worker participation in improving workplace safety and health.

Launching the campaign in Brussels, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Mr László Andor, alongside Dr Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA and Mr Bo Smith, Permanent Secretary at the Danish Ministry of Employment, called for workers and employees to work together to lay the foundations for a more sustainable risk prevention culture in Europe.

Commissioner Andor stated that:

Europe has made a lot of progress in the area of occupational safety and health in the past decade and we have to continue our work in this area. This is one of the key policies to make active ageing a reality, which is the aim of the European Year in 2012. There is evidence that prioritising health and safety is not just the right thing to do, it's also good for business. Benefits include reduced costs and increased productivity; a happier and more productive workforce; lower rates of worker absence and turnover; fewer accidents; improved standing among suppliers and partners; greater awareness and control of workplace risks; and a better reputation for sustainability among investors, customers and communities.'

The most effective results are achieved if workers and managers join together,' adds Dr Christa Sedlatschek. 'Therefore the campaign is focusing on encouraging both bosses and top managers to show leadership in actively engaging in risk reduction and workers, their representatives and other stakeholders to work together with managers to reduce risks. There is still action to be taken and here our Healthy Workplaces Campaign plays a major role, offering simple and practical guidance to working together.

Results from EU-OSHA's recent pan-European opinion poll on occupational safety and health (OSH) give cause for optimism for the campaign's success. The poll shows that on the whole, EU workers (74%) feel confident that an occupational health and safety problem raised with a supervisor would be addressed; and generally Europeans (67%) consider themselves well informed about occupational health and safety. But there are big differences between Member States and a key aim of the campaign is to share good practice to raise the levels of risk prevention in companies of all sizes and in all sectors wherever they might be situated in the EU.

Research confirms that whatever an organisation's size, leadership from the top and the active participation of workers are crucial to successful health and safety management. The European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER) shows that worker participation combined with management commitment leads to far better occupational safety and health performance. Enterprises with high worker participation combined with high management commitment, for example, are 10 times more likely to have a documented OSH policy in place. This has the additional benefit of these measures being perceived as more effective.

The campaign encompasses a range of activities at national and European level, including the 11th European Good Practice Awards. The Awards, to be announced in April 2013, highlight the best examples of managers and employees working together for risk prevention. Organised by EU-OSHA, in cooperation with the Member States and the incumbent Council Presidencies of the European Union, the Awards are now officially open for entries, via EU-OSHA's network of national focal points https://osha.europa.eu/en/healthy-workplaces-campaigns/awards

The campaign will be led at national level by EU-OSHA's national focal points and official campaign partners. To download the official campaign guide and other campaign materials (presentations, publications and promotional material in 24 languages) and find campaign events happening across Europe, visit the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2012-13 website.

The 2012-13 Healthy Workplaces Campaign 'Working together for risk prevention' is decentralised and is designed to help national authorities, companies, organisations, managers, workers and their representatives and other stakeholders to work together to enhance health and safety in the workplace. The campaign supports a wide range of activities at national and European level, including national partnership meetings and seminars. Smaller enterprises will be particularly welcome to take part.

www.healthy-workplaces.eu/en

Legion launches next generation evacuation software

Applicable to transportation hubs, metro and rail stations, airport terminals, stadiums, large entertainment venues, offices and public buildings, large retail complexes/malls.

In response to market demands for a better way to accurately simulate evacuation; Legion, the leader in pedestrian simulation technology, is launching Legion Evac.

The software can simulate and analyse evacuation scenarios for places where people gather, such as stadiums, transport hubs, office buildings, theatres and concert halls. It enables the user to simulate, test and justify ideas for improving a design before making decisions, implementing changes and spending money.

Simulation results can be analysed graphically through 3D animation, colour coded performance maps, statistical reports and graphs, all of which are excellent for sharing results with technical and non-technical audiences.

Legion Evac combines the fully validated simulator of Legion's flagship SpaceWorks product with flexible modelling and analysis tools.

It can import results from NIST's Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) software to influence pedestrian behaviour. "Information from FDS simulations allows Legion Evac modellers to introduce behaviour such as reducing walking speeds when visibility falls below a certain distance and exit reselection if conditions in an area become untenable." according to James Amos, Head of Product Development.

Legion's scientific leadership means that agencies and consultants around the world trust Legion products as the best design and planning tools for practical applications. Such applications range from improving safety to designing for efficiency, improving operational performance and enhancing customer experience.

Legion is a UK based company with global reach, considered as the trusted authority in pedestrian simulation. Legion has been selected as the pedestrian simulation technology of choice for every Olympic Games since Sydney 2000, and is widely used by transportation authorities in cities around the world including London, Madrid, Paris, New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Santiago and Beijing.

Contact: Dayra Penagos, Legion, 22-26 Albert Embankment London SE1 7TJ, UK | Email: press@legion.com | www.legion.com

Annals of Occupational Hygiene 2012, Volume 56, Number 4 is now available on-line

The contents list of papers in this May 2012 edition is AVAILABLE on http://annhyg.oxfordjournals.org/content/current, with links to free abstracts. The paper on diesel exhaust in miners paper was held up for a year by legal action initiated by the industry - see the editorial. Both of these items are free to access, as is the Yang et al paper on Chinese dust measurements.

British recipients may have seen that The Guardian newspaper gave a lot of prominence to the move to authors paying so that all readers can have free access, backed by a somewhat misleading editorial - see www.guardian.co.uk/science/medical-research for links. For some years Annals authors have had the option of author-pays-open-access, and the Stewart et al paper in this issue is free-access on that basis.

We encourage this, as it substantially increases downloads of the papers. In addition, assistant editors can nominate for free access one paper a year of which they are co-authors without charge, and the Chief Editor can pick a paper an issue for free access. This is labelled 'editor's choice', but the one I choose is not necessarily what I think is the best paper, but one which I think will attract readers to the journal who do not usually see it.

Finally, about 1500 institutions in developing countries get free or deeply-discounted access to the whole journal www.oxfordjournals.org/access_purchase/developing_countries.html . Profits from the Annals are divided between the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) and Oxford University Press, which is part of Oxford University. The number of paid-for papers reduces the subscription price.

Another 23 papers have already been published and await allocation to an issue. They are available at http://annhyg.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/recent

BOHS members get print copies and on-line access. The print edition of this issue is due out at the end of this month. On-line access to the journal and its archive is also one of the benefits of International Partnership of BOHS, which is available to members of the occupational hygiene societies in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Africa, and Switzerland. See www.bohs.org.

Trevor Ogden
Chief Editor

Eurofound co-organises conference on Quality of work and employment with the European Parliament

New research highlights importance of sustainable quality of work for Europe

Results from the European Working Conditions Survey indicate that a significant proportion of workers are exposed to working conditions that are associated with reduced wellbeing. If recovery from the current economic crisis is to come through the ambitious Europe 2020 goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, then policy must further focus on work and how to make it also more smart, sustainable and inclusive, participants at the joint European Parliament and Eurofound conference on Quality of work and employment: a policy tool towards an inclusive and sustainable growth heard in Brussels on 12 April 2012.

A number of factors are driving the debate about work in Europe today. First and foremost, the ageing of Europe which is likely to lead to a reduction in the size of our labour force; increased participation of women into the workforce - and the policy objective of pursuing this further; and the economic crisis which puts pressure on both public finances and the social climate. While the combined impact of these factors is unknown, ensuring that work is sustainable and inclusive will be a necessary part of responding to them.

'To get a smart, inclusive and cohesive growth, as spelled out in the Europe 2020 Strategy, we must widen the policy agenda on quality of work and employment to ensure that it covers two key dimensions: a concern for the future of workers who hold job which combine a number of unfavourable features, such that the future participation in the labour market and career development of the workers is at risk; and the increased individualisation in society and the associated variety of individual preferences, which highlights the potential of the life course approach,' says Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Eurofound's Director.

To help further the debate, Eurofound is organising a conference entitled 'Quality of work and employment: A policy tool towards an inclusive and sustainable growth' with the participation of the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and the support of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, in Brussels on 12 April 2012. With participants drawn from among EU and international institutions, social partners and experts, the event provides an opportunity for Eurofound to present findings from its latest European Working Conditions Survey.

The fifth European Working Conditions Survey (5EWCS) is based on interviews with 44,000 workers across 34 European countries. The first survey was carried out in 1990. The European Working Conditions Survey series aims to measure working conditions across European countries on a harmonised basis, to analyse relationships between different aspects of working conditions, to monitor trends over time, and to contribute to European policy development, in particular on quality of work and employment issues.

Analysis of the recent survey data helps to identify how certain working conditions are associated with better wellbeing among workers. Chief among them are creating a positive working climate that has no tolerance for discrimination, violence or bullying, and encourages social support by colleagues and managers; giving workers a voice, enabling them to be heard and to make improvements that clarify their roles and tasks; and creating a safe working environment, which encourages collaborative work. But important also are ways to address job insecurity, to take steps to improve workers' career development and their participation in work over the life course, and to facilitate a good work-life balance.

More information and access to the findings of the 5th European Working Conditions Survey is available.

Contact: Måns Mårtensson, Media Manager, Eurofound, Loughlinstown House, Wyattville Road, Dublin, Ireland D18 | Tel: +353-1-2043124 | Mobile: +353-876-593 507 | Email: mma@eurofound.europa.eu

ECHA Newsletter spring issue published

In the second issue of 2012 ECHA Newsletter from the European Chemicals Agency in Finland - reports back on the milestones achieved at the beginning of the year, namely the publication of the C&L Inventory, the Evaluation Report 2011, kicking off substance evaluation under REACH and publishing information on consumer articles containing substances of very high concern.

To keep our eye on the ball - the upcoming 2013 deadline - we offer you best practice in data sharing, valuable advice on how to prepare compliant and high quality dossiers and highlight the upcoming events in Helsinki in May: ECHA Stakeholders' Day and Helsinki Chemicals Forum.

In addition, we've included participant interviews from the enforcement conference held in Brussels in March and a recap of the recent Management Board meeting.

Read the Newsletter: http://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/3a0fedf9-378b-49b0-a0fd-d3ae4d353c22

"Ready reckoner" helps platform operators calculate correct spreader plate sizes

IPAF has launched the "ready reckoner", a conversion tool that helps operators calculate appropriate spreader plate sizes to ensure the safe use of powered access equipment. This new tool builds on IPAF's international "Spread the load" campaign, which states that:

Spreader plates should always be used with boom-type mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) when fully supported on their outriggers. Spreader plates should be used with all other MEWPs that have outriggers unless a risk assessment indicates they are not necessary.

The "ready reckoner" conversion tool enables operators to quickly understand the weights and loadings that need to be considered when using spreader plates. By entering the weights of machines and identifying the different soil types, operators can then identify the suitable size and specification of spreader plates to be used. Spreader plates should have sufficient size, stiffness and strength to spread the load over the required area.

"A significant problem is that manufacturers currently use a variety of units for measuring relative bearing pressures," said IPAF technical officer Chris Wraith. "The new conversion tool makes it clear and simple for operators looking for ready guidance. The campaign message is straightforward: Always do a risk assessment and check ground conditions. Know the weight of machines and be aware of machine point loadings and ground load-bearing capacities."

The "ready reckoner", together with a free video and stickers and posters, is available at www.ipaf.org/spreaders

Contact: Berlinda Nadarajan, IPAF Information Officer | Tel: +41 (0)61 227 9000 | Fax: +41 (0)61 227 9009 | Email: media@ipaf.org | www.ipaf.org