Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

June 2012

Contents
  1. Controlling risks from manmade water systems: Legionella and Legionnaires' Disease
  2. Setting the world on fire?
  3. EU-OSHA launches a 'Smoke-Free Workplaces' campaign
  4. ECHA publishes the first report on the CMR substances registered or notified after the 2010 registration deadline
  5. How good are the safety and health standards in your workplace?
  6. Good Practice Awards call for managers and employees working together for risk prevention
  7. ILO Conference: ITUC outraged at Employers' attack on ILO system
  8. Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Awards
  9. Working together: Risk prevention means active leadership and worker engagement
  10. Hairdressing sector agrees on new measures to improve health and safety standards
  11. New research from Canada: Vibration, Confined Space and Little Leeway for Improvement - Addressing the Challenges Posed by the Subway Operator Workstation
  12. Dutch Research Study on Bicycling Safety Applies Innovative Methodology
  13. ECHA launches a 12-week public consultation on a draft scientific review report on phthalates DINP and DIDP
  14. Event - 7th International Conference on the Safety of Industrial Automated Systems (SIAS)
  15. Older workers most likely to work from home
  16. IFE and Pavilion launch new journal
  17. Federation supports research into high rise safety
  18. Riwal CEO to deliver keynote speech at Europlatform
  19. NEBOSH: African growth in qualifications continues
  20. Event - ICCE-20 - Beijing, China - July 22-28, 2012
  21. The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) welcomes the decision by the UK Home Office to replace existing airport based screening for TB infection with a pre-entry screening programme
  22. EEMUA COMPEX® explosive atmospheres - Application design engineer competency certification launched
  23. Public health map for Europe taking shape
  24. German Authorities Team Up with Industry to Research Safety of Nanomaterials
  25. Healthy Workplaces Film Award: Entries are now open
  26. Work-related road safety news from Interactive Driving Systems: Important guidance resources launched on 3 continents in recent weeks
  27. High Hazard industry specialist is the new IEHF President
  28. ECHA launches a new public consultation on proposals for harmonised classification and labelling for four pesticides and a fire-preventing agent
  29. US NIOSH New Health Hazard Evaluation Reports Now Available
  30. A holistic approach to well-being among security workers (6206) to be held on 3-6 September 2012 / Emergency Services College (Pelastusopisto), Kuopio, Finland
  31. Netherlands Scientific Investigation earns award from Liberty Mutual Group and Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors

Controlling risks from manmade water systems: Legionella and Legionnaires' Disease

With the ongoing outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease in Scotland the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reminded readers to note the guidance and advice that is available.

HSE's website provides information on Legionella and how to control risks from exposure to Legionella from manmade water systems.

It will help employers and those with responsibility for the control of premises understand what their duties are and how to comply with health and safety law.

www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires

Setting the world on fire?

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This long established collection started in 1997 as Fire Worldwide and over the years has been rapidly expanding and renamed as FIREINF which aims to help all those seeking information on all aspects of fire, emergency and preparedness management principles, fire risk assessment, good practices and research.

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EU-OSHA launches a 'Smoke-Free Workplaces' campaign

EU-OSHA takes part in the World No Tobacco Day, launching its 'Smoke-Free Workplaces' awareness-raising campaign which calls on employers and workers to eliminate environmental tobacco smoke in workplaces all around Europe. It supports the pan-European campaign 'Ex-smokers are unstoppable' by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers.

ECHA publishes the first report on the CMR substances registered or notified after the 2010 registration deadline

The report "CMR substances from Annex VI of the CLP Regulation which are registered under REACH and/or notified under CLP", published by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), is a screening of the information available at the Agency.

It also presents the first opportunity to take a look at the CMR - carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction - substances which have now been registered and/or notified.

More information: https://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/echa-publishes-the-first-report-on-the-cmr-substances-registered-or-notified-after-the-2010-registration-deadline

How good are the safety and health standards in your workplace?
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Good Practice Awards call for managers and employees working together for risk prevention

EU-OSHA is pleased to invite nominations for the European Good Practice Awards in occupational safety and health 2012 - 2013. As a key element of the European Healthy Workplaces Campaign, the award is aimed at promoting the mutual collaboration between managers and employees in preventing occupational risks. Following the theme, what makes this edition special is that two awards will be handed over for every company: one for a worker representative and one for a manager.

The Good Practice Awards are coordinated at the national level by the Agency's Network of Focal Points. In a two-step procedure first national good practice competitions will take place and second the national winners will then be nominated to take part in the pan-European competition.

ILO Conference: ITUC outraged at Employers' attack on ILO system

The employers' group blocked discussion of some of the worst cases of worker rights violations at the annual ILO conference in Geneva. Since 1926, the conference has discussed the most serious cases included in the annual report of the ILO's Committee of Experts, a 17-member committee of eminent and independent international jurists. This, year the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) has refused to discuss any cases.

Sharan Burrow, International Trade Confederation (ITUC) General Secretary, said "Employers at the ILO are trying to keep the worst abuses under wraps and avoid the international scrutiny which could help save lives and tackle some of the most appalling attacks on the rights of working people. Last year, 29 trade unionists were murdered in Colombia, but employers don't think the ILO should even discuss that, nor the terrible campaign of violence against trade unionists in Guatemala or Swaziland. Egyptians are in the midst of a battle for their most basic rights to decent work, but employers seem to be siding with the military and fundamentalist forces both of which want to deprive workers of a voice. The IOE has also refused to allow discussion of the withdrawal of collective bargaining rights in Greece and Spain, where plummeting incomes are worsening the country's economic plight and other serious cases where decent labour laws are under attack. Employer organisations are playing a dangerous political game at the ILO, even as some individual companies are themselves increasingly prepared to discuss workers' rights openly and frankly.

"The ILO was established on the basis of social justice and a commitment to respect for the rule of law as it applies to working people. The world's most eminent labour law jurists have presented their findings to the ILO Conference, but the IOE is refusing to allow their findings to be examined," said Sharan Burrow.

Employers have hijacked the process based on a misplaced ideological conviction that the right to strike, guaranteed under numerous laws, domestic constitutions and international instruments, poses a threat to corporate greed.

"Employer groups are trying to undermine one of the most effective human rights mechanisms in the international system. This might help some of their least responsible member companies make some more profit and sustain governments which allow or even encourage violence against working people, but this will be at the cost of lives and livelihoods of some of the world's most vulnerable workers," said Burrow.

The ITUC represents 175 million workers in 308 affiliated national organizations from 153 countries and territories.

Website: www.ituc-csi.org and https://www.youtube.com/user/ITUCCSI

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Awards

The entry deadline of 29 June 2012 is fast approaching! There are now just a few weeks left before the deadline so start working on your entry today! Don't delay - enter your submission before Friday, 29 June by visiting the website and selecting Enter Now.

The SHP IOSH Awards are now firmly established as one of the highlights of the health and safety calendar. Recognised and respected throughout the profession, the awards have a continuing positive impact on all those who take part.

All entries are judged by a panel of acknowledged health and safety professionals, and the coveted trophies are presented at a spectacular ceremony at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

To enter for free go to www.shp-iosh-awards.co.uk

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 EU-OSHA.

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.

To find out more useful information that can help workers and managers to improve workplace safety and health visit their web sections:

Hairdressing sector agrees on new measures to improve health and safety standards

An agreement on guidance for hairdressers to work in a healthy and safe environment has been reached by the trade union UNI Europa Hair & Beauty and the hairdressing employers, Coiffure EU.

The document builds on existing national best practices in the Member States that are effective in reducing occupational health risks.

Hairdressing is the most high risk profession for occupational skin diseases. In some countries up to 70% of hairdressers suffer from work-related skin damage, which is at least 10 times more than the average for workers of all sectors.

EU-OSHA contributes for the risk prevention in hairdressing through its Online interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) project which has been already successfully adapted and implemented in European hairdressing enterprises.

New research from Canada: Vibration, Confined Space and Little Leeway for Improvement - Addressing the Challenges Posed by the Subway Operator Workstation

The IRSST in Canada has just published a document intended for occupational health and safety professionals, ergonomists, engineers, and any other persons concerned with making improvements to a workstation that currently offers very little leeway for change.

The document provides a brief description of both the technical process and collaborative approach used to improve the workstation of Montréal subway operators, who experience discomfort caused by their seat, confined work space, and vibration.

In view of the discomforts reported by Montréal's subway operators, the STM and the union representing subway operators joined forces to ask the IRSST to quantify the level of vibrations to which the operators were exposed and make recommendations concerning a new seat for the operator cab.

The summary document describes the three-part study (ergonomic study, vibration study, and design of a seat prototype), which involved a series of simulations and laboratory and actual-cab tests, and ultimately led to both the installation of new seats and modifications to the operator cab. It also illustrates how the process was facilitated by the formation of a working group and steering committee involving the joint representation and active participation of all stakeholders concerned, as well as researchers and a consultant.

www.irsst.qc.ca/-publication-irsst-vibrations-exiguite-faible-marge-de-manoeuvre-r-722.html

Dutch Research Study on Bicycling Safety Applies Innovative Methodology

Scientific Investigation Earns Award from Liberty Mutual Group and Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors

Researchers from the Netherlands received the 2012 Liberty Mutual Best Paper Award for their scientific paper, "What Do Cyclists Need to See to Avoid Single-Bicycle Crashes?" The paper, published in Ergonomics (Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 315-327, April 2011), discusses a scientific study that examined visual characteristics of cycling facilities (i.e., pavement markings on bicycle paths) in an effort to improve cycling safety. The winning researchers include Paul Schepers, M.Sc., M.A., road safety consultant with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Centre for Transport and Navigation (Delft), The Netherlands, and Berry P. L. M. den Brinker, Ph.D., researcher and director of the Scientific Institute for Low Vision Use Research and Vrije Universiteit, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The award was presented at the recent Annual Conference of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors Annual Conference held in Blackpool, United Kingdom.

"The number of single-bicycle crash victims is substantial in countries with high levels of cycling," says Paul Schepers. "Prior research (Ormel, et al., 2008 from the Dutch Consumer Safety Institute) has found that single-bicycle crashes comprise nearly three quarters of all cyclist traffic incidents and one-third of all traffic incident victims in the Netherlands." To better understand the high incidence of these crashes, Schepers and den Brinker examined the role of visual characteristics of the infrastructure, such as pavement markings and the visibility of bollards, in single-bicycle crashes.

The investigation had two phases. First, the researchers obtained information from 734 bicycle crash victims treated at accident and emergency departments. The accident victims completed a questionnaire comprising both open-ended and closed questions about the crash and circumstances. With these data, the researchers applied a logistical model to study the relationship between the crashes and age, light condition, alcohol use, gaze direction, and familiarity with the crash scene. The results showed that crashes occur more often with cyclists with worsened vision and visual circumstances, including older cyclists and cyclists who drank alcohol prior to the crash.

The second study phase helped the researchers to establish a relationship with the characteristics of the visual design. Specifically, researchers looked at visibility in terms of visual periphery. To judge the visibility of critical information in the visual periphery, researchers applied the Image Degrading and Edge Detection method (IDED-method). The IDED-method blurs the image to simulate lowered visual acuity in the visual periphery (Image Degrading) and then marks all contrast differences above a minimal level of contrast (Edge Detection). The researchers applied this method to investigate the visual characteristics of 21 crash scenes that researchers could photograph under the same viewing, weather, and light conditions. Schepers explains the importance of visibility in the visual periphery, "If a cyclist approaches a row of bollards that protects a cycle track from cars, the cyclist has to detect the danger and subsequently has to steer through the gap between the bollards without fixating on them. Both detection and safe steering are guaranteed by the visibility of the bollards in the visual periphery. The IDED-method helped us to measure this and confirmed that the critical information was poorly visible at crash scenes."

The combined results of the study indicate that crashes, in which the cyclist hit a bollard, collided due to a road narrowing or veered off the road, were related to the visual characteristics of bicycle facilities. The findings support recommendations for improving the visibility of cycling facilities with edge markings, especially in curves of bicycle tracks and improved bollards conspicuity to help reduce crashes. Recently Fietsberaad, the Dutch Centre of expertise on bicycle policy, has included the recommendations on edge-off track markings in the 2011 'Guideline on Cyclist Safety'.

The Best Paper Award promotes excellence in safety and health research. The annual Award, established in 2005 by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety and the UK Institute for Ergonomics and Human Factors (formerly the Ergonomics Society), recognizes the paper published in the journal Ergonomics that best contributes to the advancement of ergonomics. The winning article is selected by the editors of Ergonomics from the 120 papers published in the journal each year.

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

Event - 7th International Conference on the Safety of Industrial Automated Systems (SIAS)

To be held on 11 and 12 October 2012 at Centre Mont-Royal, 2200 rue Mansfield, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Contact: IRSST, Canada | www.irsst.qc.ca/en/sias2012.html

Older workers most likely to work from home

Around one in five workers over 55 regularly works from home, according to a TUC analysis of official figures published today (Friday, 18 May) to mark National Work From Home Day, organised by Work Wise UK.

The TUC analysis shows that the number of home workers has grown steadily during the past decade, from around three million in 2001 to 3.8 million by the end of 2011 - up 765,000 (25.4 per cent) over the decade.

The likelihood of home working varies greatly across the country. Around one in six workers in the South West (16.4 per cent) regularly works from home compared to just one in ten workers in the North West (10.2 per cent).

And while home working is increasing across all age groups, older workers are by far the most likely to work from home. Workers over 55 years of age are more than twice as likely to work from home (19.7 per cent) as those under 35 (8.6 per cent).

While IT literacy, a key skill for home workers, is highest amongst younger workers many of the biggest barriers to working at home affect younger people the most, says the TUC.

Setting up a work station at home can be hard for those who live with their parents or in cramped shared accommodation, whilst early-years childcare commitments can also get in the way of home working. Furthermore, a significant proportion of home workers are self-employed, and young people are under-represented in this area.

Research shows that around one in five employees who are never able to work from home say they would like to do so. But despite the advances that some major companies have made with home working, far too many employers are still reluctant to trust their workers enough to give it a try.

With the UK's transport networks set to face maximum usage around the Olympic Games this summer, the TUC is calling on employers to think again about working practices that will help to beat the record rush-hour, such as flexi-time, remote working and working from home.

Whilst the biggest impact of Olympics-related travel will be felt in London and the South East, events elsewhere range from sailing in Weymouth to football in Cardiff, Coventry, Newcastle and Glasgow, with Manchester also hosting a broad range of events.

Up to six million more people are expected to need to travel in connection with the Olympics so many employees may have no choice but to change their working patterns. The TUC is calling on employers to trial new working practises now, rather than wait for the games - and record rush-hour - to start.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "The Olympics are an ideal opportunity for more employers to try out innovative flexible working practices such as flexi-time and home working.

"There is a huge demand from staff for more flexible working practices but too often they are held back by out-of-date attitudes and a lack a trust from bosses.

"But everyone can benefit from modernising the workplace. Working from home can help workers cut out the stressful and expensive commute. Employers who have already taken the plunge have gained improved productivity and staff motivation. And it will also reduce congestion and help the Olympics to run smoothly.

"With just 70 days are left until the opening ceremony employers still have time to plan smarter working practices, but there is now a sense of urgency.

Work Wise UK Chief Executive Phil Flaxton said: "The potential for disruption during the Olympics is an immediate strong motivator to consider all the opportunities available to become more efficient. The Olympics will not only showcase sporting achievements but provide a great opportunity for UK plc to demonstrate that we have the ability to be one of the most flexible and efficient working environments in the world.

"As the employment market emerges from the downward trend, the way in which people work will have changed significantly. Increasingly, It is becoming the norm for employees to work away from the office, with 'presenteeism' becoming a thing of the past. Managers habits and controls must change in order to maintain this momentum."

IFE and Pavilion launch new journal

A brand new journal by the UK based Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) entitled International Fire Professional is to be launched this summer by FIRE Magazine publisher, Pavilion Publishing and Media.

The Institution's new journal will feature contributions from branches around the world, technical perspectives from leading fire engineers and special features on latest developments in global fire engineering.

Pavilion Publishing and Media is producing the journal on behalf of the Institution and will supplement the quarterly publication with a comprehensive online service which will include monthly newsletters to all members.

The website will also include news and feature articles, videos, blogs and live coverage of Institution-related events.

The Institution of Fire Engineers' Chairman Peter Holland said: "We welcome the partnership with Pavilion Publishing and Media, well known for the outstanding magazine FIRE. We are keen to communicate more effectively with our members and therefore having our own magazine again will play a key role in this strategy.

"Pavilion will also be assisting us by producing a monthly e-newsletter in addition to the quarterly journal for members of the Institution. As the IFE continues to expand its membership and influence globally I am confident International Fire Professional will be of enormous help."

If you would like to discuss contributing to the new journal contact Editor Andrew Lynch on 01273 434951 or email andrew.lynch@pavpub.com

The Institution of Fire Engineers, IFE House, 64-66 Cygnet Court, Timothy's Bridge Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 9NW, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1789 261463 | Fax: +44 (0)1789 296426 | www.ife.org.uk

Federation supports research into high rise safety

The Passive Fire Protection Federation (PFPF) has announced its support for a research project that aims to study structural safety in high rise buildings. The project, awarded under the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust's 2012 Travelling Fellowship scheme, will take researcher Lem Kerks to North America in September/October this year.

The project will concentrate on structural passive fire protection features, wind and earthquake design, and mitigation of explosion and blast incidents in high rise buildings. It will also investigate structural issues related to Fire Service work, including means of escape and firefighting access and facilities in high rise buildings. This aspect of the project comes at a fortuitous time, since UK fire services are currently reviewing their methods and procedures for emergency incidents involving tall buildings.

Specific research interests include investigating: steel-framed building configurations, and the fire protection arrangements for the steelwork; the extent of protection provided in North America for externally-glazed curtain walling systems which may be subjected to blast waves; and general passive fire protection arrangements for building elements related to routes which form means of escape.

Mr Kerks has chosen six centres to visit in North America. These include New York, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oklahoma, with the visit to each centre taking approximately one week. Mr Kerks also plans to visit a range of UK passive fire protection manufacturers prior to September.

"I am happy to include any research gathering related to this project which members of the PFPF request. I am particularly interested in expanding my contact base with passive fire protection manufacturers operating in the above North American cities. Any support that PFPF members can give in this regard would be much appreciated," he said.

Mr Kerks has been involved with fire training for 25 years and is currently senior lecturer in fire safety studies at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. He has long been a supporter of the passive fire protection sector and worked with members of the Association of Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) and the College to develop passive fire protection exhibits in the building studies room at the College, some years ago. This facility, still used today, has been seen by most fire safety officers from the UK who have undertaken studies there.

Each year, Travelling Fellowships are awarded to British citizens by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, in memory of Sir Winston Churchill. Their aim is to bring back knowledge and experience from overseas travel for the benefit of UK professions and communities. Support of Mr Kerk's application was jointly undertaken by the Fire Service College and the PFPF.

For further information and guidance on fire safety, visit www.pfpf.org

To discuss the research project or provide input, contact Lem Kerks on lkerks@fireservicecollege.ac.uk

Riwal CEO to deliver keynote speech at Europlatform

Riwal CEO Norty Turner will deliver the keynote speech at the Europlatform access rental conference to be held on 20 September 2012 in Edinburgh, UK.

Europlatform is the annual high-profile access rental conference jointly organised by Access International and IPAF. It is targeted at senior and middle managers, and this year's theme is "Success in Access Rentals".

Keynote speaker Norty Turner will focus on rental management techniques, covering the performance measures that every rental company should know. Drawing on his management experience in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, including a 17-year career at Hertz Equipment Rental, he will provide valuable insights into the most effective management techniques from both Europe and the US.

"We are delighted to have in Norty Turner, a top-level speaker from a well-known company address the Europlatform conference in one of his first public speeches since joining Riwal at the start of this year," said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman.

Other speakers, soon to be confirmed, will cover topics including: total cost of ownership; trends in finance; forecasting future demand levels; lessons from the German access market; using social media; successfully exploiting telematics; cage safety systems; and why sustainability issues matter. The conference will be held in English, with simultaneous translation in German, Italian and Spanish.

The conference will be preceded by an evening networking event on 19 September at the Scotch Whisky Experience, located close to the conference hotel, the Radisson Blu in central Edinburgh.

More details on the venue and registration are at www.europlatform.info. "Early bird" conference rates are available until 15 July, so book your ticket and accommodation now.

NEBOSH: African growth in qualifications continues

The number of people taking NEBOSH examinations in the African region grew by more than 60% last year.

Figures from NEBOSH show that around 7,500 of its health, safety and environmental examinations were taken throughout the African continent in 2011, compared to around 4,500 in 2010.

"Africa is a very important region for us," said Teresa Budworth, NEBOSH Chief Executive. "Rapid development has meant that several countries in the region, such as South Africa, are now ranked as upper-middle income economies by the World Bank.

"This economic development goes hand-in-hand with demand for higher standards of employee safety and environmental management. NEBOSH is already recognised throughout the world for its vocational qualifications in these fields, so it's no surprise that we're also the number one choice in Africa."

Four years ago, fewer than 2,000 NEBOSH examinations were taken in Africa.

NEBOSH will again be exhibiting at OSH Expo Africa event this year. The trade exhibition and seminar programme will take place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa between 19th and 21st June 2012.

"Our exhibition stand will give employers, safety managers, training providers and officials the chance to learn more about our range of globally recognised qualifications, and the benefits they can bring," added Teresa Budworth.

NEBOSH is exhibiting on Stand B6. For further information about the OSH Expo Africa event, visit www.oshexpoafrica.com.

Contact: Lucie Fenton, Communications and Marketing Support, NEBOSH, Dominus Way, Meridian Business Park, Leicester LE19 1QW | Tel: +44 (0)116 263 4764 | Fax: +44 (0)116 282 4000 | lucie.fenton@nebosh.org.uk | www.nebosh.org.uk

Event - ICCE-20 - Beijing, China - July 22-28, 2012

20th Annual International Conference on Composites or Nano Engineering

Contact: David Hui, Chair ICCE-20 Beijing, China. Editor in Chief Composites B journal | dhui@uno.edu | www.icce-nano.org

The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) welcomes the decision by the UK Home Office to replace existing airport based screening for TB infection with a pre-entry screening programme

Currently, the UK Department of Health has a policy of chest X-ray screening of migrants at Heathrow and Gatwick airports as part of immigration control. This applies to individuals who are staying in the UK for six months and are from a country with a high incidence of TB.

The new measures, announced by the Home Office, mean migrants wanting to enter the UK for more than six months, who are from over 67 countries with a high risk of TB, will need to be screened before they are granted a visa for the UK. The UK Border Agency will build on existing pre-screening undertaken by international partners including the USA, Canada and Australia.

Dr Paul Cosford, executive director of Health Protection Services at the HPA, said: "We have been concerned for a number of years that chest x-rays at ports may not be cost effective or an appropriate way of dealing with TB. The main reason for this is that while it is known that TB is more prevalent in those born in certain countries abroad, it is often several years after entry into the UK before the infection manifests itself, making detection in ports by chest x-ray relatively ineffective.

"The introduction of a pre-entry screening programme in countries with high incidence of TB is a welcome addition to our TB control programme. This will enable resources currently invested in an ineffective port of entry system to be used more efficiently elsewhere in the continuing effort to control the spread of TB in the UK.

"The HPA will continue to offer expert health protection advice in ports in order to minimise the impact of infectious diseases and other hazards to public health."

It is estimated that the current X-ray programme at Heathrow and Gatwick identifies 30 - 60 cases of TB a year, the pre-entry programme is likely to identify more than this.

Ministerial approval has already been given to discontinue the TB screening service at Gatwick airport from July 2012. This was due to low levels of chest x-ray activity and very limited outcomes from the programme which did not justify its cost. The service at Heathrow airport will continue until the pre-entry screening programme is up and running.

Public health actions at airports to protect against people with infectious TB will remain. These include UK Borders Agency staff referring people who are ill to the Port Medical Inspectors.

  1. TB is an infection caused by bacteria. It usually affects the lungs, but can affect other parts of the body. TB is transmitted when someone who has the infection coughs or sneezes, but it requires close prolonged contact in order to spread from person to person. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tuberculosis-and-other-mycobacterial-diseases-diagnosis-screening-management-and-data
  2. Cases of TB remain stable in the UK with around 9,000 new cases diagnosed in 2011 and almost three quarters of cases were in non-UK born people.
  3. The Health Protection Agency is an independent UK organisation that was set up by the government in 2003 to protect the public from threats to their health from infectious diseases and environmental hazards. In April 2013 the Health Protection Agency will become part of a new organisation called Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health.
  4. For more information please contact the national HPA press office at Colindale on 0208 327 7901 or email colindale-pressoffice@hpa.org.uk. Out of hours the duty press officer can be contacted on 0208 200 4400.

EEMUA COMPEX® explosive atmospheres - Application design engineer competency certification launched

EEMUA CompEx® - the world's leading competency scheme for personnel involved in hazardous area working to IEC 'Ex' standards - has taken a significant step forward in 2012 with the extension of the scheme to encompass professional engineers responsible for design and management of hazardous areas.

Up to now, CompEx has focused primarily on the installers and maintainers. The new CompEx Unit (Ex12) Explosive Atmospheres - Application Design Engineer for professional engineers completes the safety linkage across the lifecycle of the hazardous area workplace from design through plant commissioning and operation.

The new CompEx Unit Ex12 has been specially developed for professional engineers who design applications and systems for potentially explosive atmospheres, in line with the requirements of the international standard IEC 60079 Part 14. The Unit is also suitable for the professional engineers responsible for managing these hazardous workplaces through their commissioning and operating life.

The first group of candidates to be awarded competency certificates under the new EEMUA CompEx Unit Ex12 included personnel from EEMUA Member Companies AstraZeneca, BG Group, BP, E.ON, National Grid Grain LNG, SABIC and Shell. The successful candidates took part in the first two Ex12 assessments held in Q4 2011 and Q1 2012 at licensed CompEx competency validation centre Intertek in the north-west of the UK.

www.eemua.org

Public health map for Europe taking shape

The foundations for a public health map for Europe, with a focus on environmental factors, have been laid, as part of an innovative HPA led project.

The UNIPHE (Use of sub-National Indicators to Improve Public Health in Europe) project kicked off three years ago and involved public health professionals compiling key information from European countries so they could draw worthwhile public health comparisons on a regional basis.

So far scientists have compared, among other things, deaths and injuries caused by road traffic incidents and health effects of environmental factors such as noise and air quality. The investigation team has now finished its three year long project and is finalising a report which will be published later this year.

Dr Lorraine Stewart of the HPA, and UNIPHE project co-coordinator, said: "All the available data we have collated so far has been used to create a new database covering all the partner countries.

"This has not been available in one place before and having it in this format makes it easier for those of us in public health to make comparisons at the regional and national level. This information, which is accessible to all partner nations, has also helped to highlight the differences and similarities those of us in public health work face because we know that although public health measures may be seen to succeed nationally, their success at the regional level can vary hugely.

"So when it comes to being able to evaluate the effectiveness of public health policies in regions comparable to your own, this is an invaluable tool to have at your disposal."

The work was led by staff from the UK's Health Protection Agency and involved teams from Spain, Germany, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, and Hungary.

One of the biggest differences observed so far, at the European level, has been in the rate of accidental deaths of children from falls, drowning, fires and poisoning - with some countries reporting death rates 15 times higher than others. In addition the project has drawn together data from individual countries in one place which has meant that for the first time the team has been able to identify differences within nations taking part.

Dr Stewart added: "The work so far highlights areas which require more work. They are complex and cut across many areas and government departments, so require serious consideration and well thought through policies which can be put together learning from each others' experience.

"The information system we have developed is a tool which could help shape future work, and although the UNIPHE project is now coming to an end, it is hoped that this work will be the first stage of long term efforts to create a public health map that covers all of Europe.

"And that is something which, in the long term, could make a lasting impression on efforts to improve all of our public health."

For more information on UNIPHE visit www.uniphe.eu

German Authorities Team Up with Industry to Research Safety of Nanomaterials

The German Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU), the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), and chemicals manufacturer BASF announced they will collaborate on a research project aimed at better understanding the long-term effects of nanoparticles. With around EUR 5 million budgeted over the next four years, overall coordination of the project will lie with the BMU, while BASF will conduct inhalation studies within its framework. Subsequent evaluation of the results will be spearheaded by the BAuA, the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), as independent technical authorities. Particular focus of the project will be on the investigation of the effects of nanomaterials at low doses. Click "read more" to view the press release on BAuA's website.

www.baua.de/de/Presse/Pressemitteilungen/2012/05/pm025-12.html

Healthy Workplaces Film Award: Entries are now open

EU-OSHA - the European Occupational Safety and Health Agency 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.

The following materials focus on several developments around the world that are important for work-related road safety.

According the Ed Dubens, CEO at interactive Driving Systems, all these initiatives show the importance of organisations continuing to place a health and safety led focus on managing the risks involved in driving for work. Dubens said: "Given all these developments, it remains it is more important than ever that leaders in organisations take a proactive role in understanding and managing the risks involved in driving for work".

Pan-European resources for work-related road safety

The European Transport Safety Council recent launched its 'PRAISE' (Preventing Road Accidents and Injuries for the safety of employees) Project Handbook, which is the culmination of a three year project aimed at 'Mobilising knowledge to create work-related road safety leadership' across the EU. One of many outcomes, including thematic reports on a range of important topics, achievement awards and hosting a number of well attend event, the PRAISE Project Handbook provides an excellent resource for any organisation whose people need to travel to, or as part of, their work. Excellent, freely available, guidance and case studies are provided covering topics such as:

Sources:

Harmonisation of Occupational Health and Safety laws in Australia

In Australia, the harmonisation of occupational health and safety laws means that steps are in place towards bringing about OHS uniformity nationwide, including a broader definition of the' person conducting a business or undertaking' (PCBU) who have a duty to ensure health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable. As part of this harmonisation process, the term 'Worker' has been more widely defined to provide protection to all persons who may be engaged at a workplace, even if they are not directly engaged - including contractors, outworkers, volunteers and work experience students. Workers have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety at work, as do 'visitors'. The notion of the 'workplace' has expanded to include anywhere work is done as part of a business - including vehicles and driving for work. Under the harmonised rules, the most serious offences attract a maximum fine of $3 million for companies, whilst individuals risk a maximum fine of $300,000 or five years' imprisonment or both.

All businesses are encouraged, on an on-going basis to:

Sources:

Revised ANSI/ASSE standard Z15.1 Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations re-launched in USA

In the USA, the newly revised standard NSI/ASSE Z15.1-2012 Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations sets forth practices for the safe operation of motor vehicles owned or operated by organizations.

These practices are designed for use by those having the responsibility for the administration and operation of motor vehicles as a part of organizational operations. Topics covered in the standard include:

For the Z15.1 Tech Brief with detailed information about the revisions, and to purchase the standard, go to www.asse.org

To support managers, leaders and key stakeholders in organisations to manage the risks within their motor fleets, Interactive Driving Systems has developed a 15 minutes, online coaching program known as its Mission Briefing. This is freely available at www.virtualriskmanager.net/mission and provides an excellent resource for engaging managers in work-related road safety.

This road safety communication is an example of the regular monthly mailings from Interactive Driving Systems. More details are available at www.virtualriskmanager.net

We are highly conscious of privacy and data protection, including anti-spam legislation to regulate unsolicited commercial emails. If you do not wish to receive our newsletters respond with the word REMOVE. Alternatively, please forward the information to others who may find it useful and ask them to email us to be included.

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.murray@virtualriskmanager.net | Web: www.virtualriskmanager.net | Fleet Safety Benchmarking: www.fleetsafetybenchmarking.net

High Hazard industry specialist is the new IEHF President

Jon Berman, whose expertise comes from more than 30 years addressing human performance issues in high-hazard industries, has taken on a new challenge when he became President of the Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors (IEHF) in April 2012.

Whilst Jon's career has spanned the safety critical industries from aviation and nuclear power through to rail and water, he has also been applying his ergonomics expertise across many different spheres, such as helping health professionals understand the benefits of risk assessment methods drawn from high hazard industries.

"I feel that the challenge facing us as ergonomists is to broaden across all sectors the understanding of the benefits of the science - not just the high-hazard industries. It can promote performance, health and wellbeing as well as, importantly, ensuring that the systems of which we are all a part can operate as effectively and safely as possible. A quick glance in the media shows where ergonomics should play an important role - whether it's in reducing prescribing errors in healthcare, avoiding the latest 'fat finger' error in a financial organisation, or improving the usability of public transport by the elderly and disabled," said Jon.

"I started my career in aviation, including seven years working for the RAF, before moving to the nuclear power industry, ironically just months before the accident at Chernobyl, which threw into sharp focus the importance of understanding human performance. Within certain industries, such as nuclear power, the contribution of ergonomics to reducing risk and optimising performance is well understood, whilst others are only now starting to really understand both the benefits and the importance of ergonomics" added Jon.

Jon, who is a Fellow of the IEHF, moved into ergonomics consultancy to have the opportunity to apply ergonomics more widely and 15 years ago set up Greenstreet Berman Ltd, an IEHF Registered Consultancy which focuses on managing the human contribution to risk.

"I've been fortunate to work in many fascinating industries, and whilst the challenges within each sector may appear different, in practice the causes of human error and other shortfalls in performance tend to be similar, and ways of designing resilient systems are now much better understood, even if not always applied" Jon observed.

Jon is also a Chartered Psychologist and he believes that the cognitive element of ergonomics/human factors needs to be emphasised - people often think of ergonomics as being about workspace and seating design, but it's this and much more. It covers complex fault finding in control rooms, usability, decision-making - in fact, it covers every aspect of our lives, not just at work, but also in schools, our leisure activities, and into retirement.

"The IEHF is growing steadily, and recent changes in our membership structure will allow us more effectively to support the breadth of activities that comprise ergonomics - and to help realise the benefits that an ergonomics approach to systems design can bring," he added.

He takes over as IEHF President from Professor Peter Buckle who now becomes Past President. Dr Richard Graveling, who is Head of Human Sciences at IOM becomes President Elect.

For further information contact: IEHF communications officer Amanda Bellamy on 01509 234904, a.bellamy@ergonomics.org.uk | IEHF President Jon Berman on 0118 938 7703, jonathan.berman@greenstreet.co.uk

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/

US NIOSH New Health Hazard Evaluation Reports Now Available

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

A holistic approach to well-being among security workers (6206) to be held on 3-6 September 2012 / Emergency Services College (Pelastusopisto), Kuopio, Finland

Course leaders are Adjunct professor Sirpa Lusa and adjunct professor Rauno Pääkkönen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Workers in safety occupations and safety-critical organizations - police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, prison or military workers, border guards, customs officials, emergency centres, other kind of control room workers, as well as private security guards - have many general as well as specific factors that might threaten their safety and well-being at work. In these professions, the contact with customers can be challenging; and many are also working in atypical shifts. Such work highlights the importance of human factors.

In addition, the field is changing quickly and thus raising requirements for development of expertise and skills. The course will provide most recent knowledge on how to promote holistic well-being of workers in these fields, and traditional work ability and safety issues will be discussed in an innovative and modern way.

Registration deadline is 2 July 2012.

Contact: www.niva.org for more information and the programme of the course.

Netherlands Scientific Investigation earns award from Liberty Mutual Group and Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors

Researchers from the Netherlands received the 2012 Liberty Mutual Best Paper Award for their scientific paper, "What Do Cyclists Need to See to Avoid Single-Bicycle Crashes?" The paper, published in Ergonomics (Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 315-327, April 2011), discusses a scientific study that examined visual characteristics of cycling facilities (i.e., pavement markings on bicycle paths) in an effort to improve cycling safety.

The winning researchers include Paul Schepers, M.Sc., M.A., road safety consultant with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Centre for Transport and Navigation (Delft), The Netherlands, and Berry P. L. M. den Brinker, Ph.D., researcher and director of The Scientific Institute for Low Vision Use Research and Vrije Universiteit, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The award was presented at the recent Annual Conference of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors Annual Conference held in Blackpool, United Kingdom.