Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

August 2012

Contents
  1. Need a one-stop shop to the latest Health, Safety, Environment and Fire information?
  2. XX Congress on Safety and Health at Work: "Sharing a Vision for Sustainable Prevention"
  3. 2013 Ergonomics Design Award
  4. Changing landscapes, Shaping a Progressive WSH Culture
  5. Provision of fire safety information is mandatory says PFPF
  6. REACH-IT Now Online
  7. The Emergency Services Show 2012 in the UK
  8. Predictive Aspects of COMAH Safety Reports: Risk Assessment for Onshore Major Hazards
  9. Big Tobacco gets a bloody nose from the Australian High Court
  10. Postgraduate course on occupational health and safety in the workplace
  11. CSB to pursue Full Investigation of 6 August 2012 Fire at Chevron Refinery in Richmond, California, USA
  12. Machinery Risk Assessment Essentials
  13. ECHA organises its second workshop for lead registrants
  14. Indian Trade unions appalled by Canada's decision to reopen asbestos mines in Québec
  15. New to the job? Just qualified? No Information service or library? Need the latest Health, Safety, Environment and Fire Information?
  16. New Biocides Regulation enters into force
  17. Slight fall in UK workplace accident deaths but don't ignore other burdens - RoSPA
  18. Safer roads needed to nurture future Olympic cyclists
  19. More jobs were lost than created across Europe in 2011
  20. Risk education: New report on mainstreaming OSH into teacher training programmes
  21. Announcement: 4th Global Programme in Occupational Health Practice (GPOHP)
  22. Diesel engine exhaust classified as carcinogenic
  23. Nanomaterials: The risks of the very small
  24. Finland - Conference on Active Ageing at Work to be held in August, 2013
  25. FABIG event: Update on Fire and Explosion Guidance, Standards and Regulations
  26. Bringing to you the SIWA Safety Conference 2012

Need a one-stop shop to the latest Health, Safety, Environment and Fire information?

Want to know the latest fire, health, safety and environmental information without too much effort? Limited budget? Short of time? Not many experts around you?

In this fast moving world it is essential to have quick access to validated, authoritative and constantly updated information collections. Much time is spent these days searching the Internet for validated and authoritative information often resulting in out-of-date sources being retrieved.

Then these Health, Safety, Environment and Fire information Collections www.oshupdate.com and www.fireinf.com brought together and maintained by information specialists are one sure way of getting good quality data.

As new research and new ways of working, with the attendant alterations in products, services and technology developments means that no-one, especially those responsible for fire, emergencies and preparedness in workplaces of all kinds, should be without the latest information.

These long established sources of information are offered by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd from the UK and are used by organisations, universities and individuals worldwide.

Searchers should also be aware that the myth abounding in the world that "everything is published on the Internet and is free" is just NOT true!

Request a free of charge 15 day trial www.sheilapantry.com/interest and check out for yourselves.

XX Congress on Safety and Health at Work: "Sharing a Vision for Sustainable Prevention"

24-27 August 2014, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The World Congress, organized every three years since 1955, provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge, practices and experiences for all occupational safety and health specialists, employers and managers, trade unions, public administration, insurance and social security professionals, manufacturers and importers, as well as anyone with an interest in safety and health at work.

www.safety2014germany.com

2013 Ergonomics Design Award

The 2013 Ergonomics Design Award has launched, with entries being accepted until 30 November 2012. This is the third year the Award has run and the Institute of Ergonomics And Human Factors is expecting an even greater number of high quality entries than in previous years - last year entries increased by almost 50%.

www.ergonomics.org.uk/awards

Changing landscapes, Shaping a Progressive WSH Culture

12-13 September 2012, Singapore

The Singapore WSH Conference 2012 is co-organised by the WSH Council, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and WSH Institute, and supported by strategic partners - National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), International Labour Organization (ILO), Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and Singapore Institution of Safety Officers (SISO).

Contact: Singapore WSH Conference Secretariat | Tel: +65 9128 8113 | Fax: +65 6270 0262 | Email: secretariat@singaporewshconference.sg | www.singaporewshconference.sg

Provision of fire safety information is mandatory says PFPF

Knowledge of the assumptions and key components in the fire safety design of a building is vital in enabling its effective management.

But, says the Passive Fire Protection Federation (PFPF), there is little awareness of a requirement contained within the UK Building Regulations which makes it mandatory for fire safety information to be passed on to the building occupier on completion of a construction project.

www.pfpf.org/articles_press.htm

REACH-IT Now Online

The new version of REACH-IT is to be used to submit registration and other dossiers to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Industry should be aware that from now on ECHA can only accept IUCLID dossiers prepared with IUCLID 5.4.

IUCLID (International Uniform ChemicaL Information Database) is a software application to capture, store, maintain and exchange data on intrinsic and hazard properties of chemical substances. It is a key software application essential for chemical industry to comply with the new legislation, which entered into force on 1 June 2007. The freely downloadable tool will assist chemical companies globally in fulfilling their obligation to submit data to the Agency under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation from 1 June 2008)

This applies to all dossier types prepared in IUCLID and submitted via REACH-IT or through a web form (e.g. Application for authorisation, Request for an alternative chemical name). Dossiers made without IUCLID, such as online inquiry, are not affected by this change.

The manuals for creating, checking, and submitting IUCLID dossiers using REACH IT or the web forms (i.e. Data Submission Manuals and REACH-IT Industry User Manuals) have been updated and are available on ECHA's website.

In addition, upgraded IUCLID plug-ins are available to help registrants to prepare their IUCLID 5.4 dossiers (i.e. the Business Rules/Technical Completeness Check, Fee Calculation and Dissemination plug-ins).

These plug-ins are available on the IUCLID website. ECHA encourages companies to always check their IUCLID dossiers using the relevant plug-ins before submission to ECHA.

ECHA will publish a second news alert in the coming days focusing on the dissemination and confidentiality aspects with IUCLID 5.4, including key advice to industry related to the publication of SDS information. The updated manuals related to the dissemination of information and confidentiality requests (Data Submission Manual 15 and Data Submission Manual 16) will be made available in parallel with this second news alert.

Dossier submissions will only be available between 10:00 on Monday and 21:00 on Friday. Submission will not be available during weekends and public holidays.

Access to REACH-IT is available at: https://reach-it.echa.europa.eu/reach

The Emergency Services Show 2012 in the UK

21-22 November 2012

Registration is now open for the UK's leading emergency services event which takes place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, UK from Wednesday 21 November - Thursday 22 November 2012.

Over 400 exhibitors will display and demonstrate the very latest equipment and services for ALL sectors of the emergency services and their partner agencies.

www.emergencyuk.com

Predictive Aspects of COMAH Safety Reports: Risk Assessment for Onshore Major Hazards

23-24 October 2012

The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) is to run a 2 day course that gives an overview of the requirements for the predictive (risk assessment) aspects of a safety report under the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (COMAH) from the point of view of safety. Information assessed, during both the early predictive assessment and the full assessment, are explained. Common pitfalls and ways to avoid them will be identified. The course gives an overview of different risk assessment approaches, and explains how the approach needs to be selected to be proportionate to the risk.

It is delivered by experienced safety report assessors, and from the point of view of the requirements of the regulator.

The course will cover:

Who should attend?

Safety professionals and managers who are involved in the co-ordination, writing or updating of COMAH safety reports. Consultants who provide assistance with safety reports.

The course will be run at the HSL laboratory in the spa town of Buxton in the UK. Buxton is in the heart of the Peak District and has good links to mainline train stations and Manchester International Airport.

For further information email: training@hsl.gov.uk or contact the Training Unit at HSL directly on +44 (0)1298 218806 and see
www.hsl.gov.uk

Big Tobacco gets a bloody nose from the Australian High Court

The decision by the Australian High Court to reject the legal challenge by the tobacco industry against the tobacco plain packaging legislation has delighted health campaigners in the UK. Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said:

Australia's defeat of Big Tobacco is a victory for the world. There will be many more court cases but the principle is clear: the tobacco industry has no legal right to put profit before health in marketing its lethal products.

Where Australia leads other countries will follow. Now the UK Government's consultation on plain standardised packaging of tobacco has closed we are well placed to be next.

Further information:

Contact: Amanda Sandford, ASH, UK | Tel +44 (0) 20 7739 5902

Postgraduate course on occupational health and safety in the workplace

1 October 2012 - 22 March 2013

This will take place at the International Training Centre, Turin, Italy.

Contact: International Training Centre, Turin, Italy | www.itcilo.org/en

CSB to pursue Full Investigation of 6 August 2012 Fire at Chevron Refinery in Richmond, California, USA

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) will pursue a full investigation to determine the causes of the 6 August (Monday) fire at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California, northeast of San Francisco, USA the agency announced on 11 August 2012.

A CSB team numbering seven investigators arrived in at the refinery on Wednesday and has since been conducting witness interviews and reviewing documents at the site. CSB structural and industrial safety experts will arrive at the site on Monday to prepare for safe entry by investigators into the immediate area of the fire. Monday's fire occurred when a combustible hydrocarbon liquid known as "gas-oil"; leaked from an eight-inch pipe connected to a crude oil distillation tower in the refinery's crude unit.

Workers initially noted the leak and were in the process of attempting repairs on piping connected to the still-operating crude oil distillation tower when the leak suddenly intensified. Due to the high temperature of the material in the tower, in excess of 600 degrees Fahrenheit, the gas-oil immediately formed a large flammable vapour cloud. "Witness testimony collected by CSB investigators indicates that a large number of workers were engulfed in the vapour cloud," said CSB Team Lead Dan Tillema, P.E. "These workers might have been killed or severely injured, had they not escaped the cloud as the release rate escalated and the cloud ignited, shortly thereafter."

CSB Chairperson Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso said: "Monday's fire was a near-disaster for refinery personnel. The circumstances warrant a full and independent federal investigation to determine the root causes. Although fortunately no workers were killed, the overall impact of the incident ranks it as among the most serious U.S. refinery incidents in recent years."

"The information gathered so far indicates the incident had a serious impact on the community," said CSB Board Member Mark Griffon, accompanying the team. "Area hospitals told CSB investigators that they attribute hundreds of emergency room visits by community members to reported effects of the release and fire, with symptoms ranging from anxiety to respiratory distress."

Mr. Tillema said important issues in the investigation included understanding why the pipe that later failed was kept in service during a late 2011 maintenance turnaround and what procedures and industry practices exist for responding to a leak of combustible material from a running unit. He said the Board anticipates executing a site preservation and evidence testing agreement with Chevron and other investigative groups and arranging for independent testing of the leaking section of pipe to determine the failure mechanism. Both Chevron and the United Steelworkers, which represents hourly workers at the plant, have been cooperating with the CSB team.

Chevron has provided assurances its personnel will freely share their knowledge and investigative information with the Board. Cal/OSHA, Contra Costa County, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other investigative groups are fully cooperating. The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents.

The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

For further information contact Communications Director Hillary Cohen at (202) 446-8094 or Sandy Gilmour at (202) 251-5496

www.csb.gov

Machinery Risk Assessment Essentials

2 October 2012, Buxton, UK

The ability to carry out a detailed machinery risk assessment has, for some time, been a key skill required under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regs. Machinery risk assessment is also now explicitly required by the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. However many people still struggle to know what is suitable and sufficient to satisfy these regulations.

This training course gives delegates practical hands-on experience of conducting a machinery risk assessment using structured techniques which demystify the process given in BS EN 1050 and its successor EN ISO 14121-1. This course assumes a basic level of understanding of machinery safety such as that given in the machinery safety basics course that takes place on the previous day. Anyone who also needs a thorough understanding of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regs should take this course in combination with the Machinery Safety Basics course held on the previous day. Anyone who needs a thorough understanding of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regs, should take this course in combination with the designing and selecting safe machinery course held on the following day.

Course includes:

Who should attend?

This course is aimed primarily at machinery users, maintenance engineers, designers and project engineers who need to learn how to carry out risk assessment of existing machinery in use or new machinery in the process of being specified, supplied or under development. This course will also be of benefit to safety professionals who are familiar with the concepts but need to know how machinery risk assessment differs from other workplace safety or risk assessments.

Contact: HSL, Buxton | Tel: +44 (0)1298 218806 | Email: training@hsl.gov.uk | www.hsl.gov.uk/health-and-safety-training-courses/machinery-series---machinery-risk-assessment-essentials.aspx

ECHA organises its second workshop for lead registrants

11 to 12 October 2012, Helsinki

The workshop is targeted at lead registrants and will take place in ECHA's conference centre. As for the previous workshop in February 2012, the content will be coordinated together with the Agency's Accredited Stakeholder Organisations and industry associations who will be leading parts of the programme. The first draft programme will be published soon.

Registration

A total of 300 places are available for the workshop. Invitations and a link to register for the workshop will be sent by ECHA directly to all lead registrants who have notified ECHA of their role using the Lead Registrant notification web form.

Invitations will be sent in early August and registration will remain open until Friday 21 September. The selection of participants will be on a "first-come, first-served" basis.

As an additional incentive for SME lead registrants, the Agency is offering to reimburse the travel and accommodation costs of SMEs wishing to attend the Lead Registrant Workshop, subject to the availability of places and an eligibility check.

One-to-one sessions

As an additional incentive for lead registrants, participants will be able to attend one-to-one sessions with ECHA staff that will provide support on specific topics.

Training

ECHA will provide lead registrants with a live demonstration/training on IT-tools (IUCLID and the Chemical Safety Assessment and Reporting tool - Chesar). Further information about the training will be available closer to the event date.

Web streaming

The presentations delivered during the day will be web streamed live. A link to the web stream will be published on the front page of the ECHA website 24 hours prior to the event.

http://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/2b6c9ef3-b8c8-4ee1-a15d-bee72a3b47ea

Indian Trade unions appalled by Canada's decision to reopen asbestos mines in Québec

The Indian trade unions are outraged by Quebec's Premier Mr Jean Charest's decision to grant $58 million loan to revive the Jeffery Mine. The opening of the mine would mean export of over 5 million tonnes of cancer causing Chrysotile Asbestos to developing countries, including India over the next quarter of a century.

Mr. Pon Kumar, President of the Tamil Nadu Unorganised Construction Workers Federation (TCWF) an affiliate of Building and Wood Workers International (BWI) stated that "The decision to fund the Jeffery mines and knowing that Asbestos would be exported to India, which will have devastating impact on the health of millions of Indian workers, who will handle this dangerous fibre in factories and at construction sites should be condemned".

Terming it 'immoral', Fiona Murie, Health and Safety Director of the BWI said "At a time when countries in the west are counting bodies and grappling with the increased number of asbestos-caused cancers, it is indeed immoral that the Government of India is importing over four hundred thousand metric tonnes of asbestos every year and putting it into the built environment. Canada should be ashamed of their role in supplying not only the asbestos, but more so the misinformation that denies the risks to health and encourages its use. Very little asbestos was ever used in India until the bans were introduced in developing countries, so by 1985, use began to increase. But from 2004, when the government of India reduced import duty on chrysotile asbestos from 78% to only 15% the floodgates opened and it became a cheap, but deadly, option for building materials The latency period for asbestos cancers is around thirty years after exposure, so we can expect to see many cases of asbestos cancers appearing in the near future, and lasting for many years to come".

Although mining of Asbestos is banned in India but through heavy imports, India uses over 400,000 metric tonnes of asbestos annually, used mostly in roofing sheets, pipes and employs about 100,000 workers directly and indirectly in the Asbestos industry. But a comprehensive mortality data and compensation records to show the scale of health devastation due asbestos consumption does not exist. The asbestos diseases are not being recognised and notified and data is not being gathered. Employees State Insurance Corporation of India shows only 51 cases of compensation to workers suffering from asbestosis, a lung disease caused by asbestos exposure. And only 222 cases of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos in the protective lining of inner organs, has been registered by the Indian Cancer Registry, Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute and Tata Memorial Trust combined.

Hiding behind this huge lack of data, Indian asbestos stakeholders, including the government and asbestos companies, and countries like Canada continue to trade in a known killer. The revival of the Jeffery mines, whose main customers will be Indian asbestos companies, is partly financed, to the tune of $25 million, by a consortium of international investors led by Baljit Singh Chadha.

Questioning the rationality of this decision, Mr. Karnan, General Secretary of the TCWF stated that "Despite proven evidences, why does the Quebec government want to revive a notorious industry that has caused so many deaths and continues to do so. This irresponsible act shall only taint the reputation of Canada, Mr. Karnan concluded". Adding on the Tamil Nadu experience, Mr. Karnan informed that a couple of years ago the government announced to remove Asbestos sheets from schools and also the TCWF petitioned for a state wide ban on Asbestos but unfortunately there has been no further progress on the matter.

The BWI called upon the Government of India and of Tamil Nadu to ban the import and use of asbestos immediately, and to help affected businesses, communities and individuals.

For more information contact:

www.bwint.org/default.asp?Index=4275&Language=EN

New to the job? Just qualified? No Information service or library? Need the latest Health, Safety, Environment and Fire Information?

Want to know the latest health and safety information without too much effort? Limited budget? Short of time? Not many experts around you?

In this fast moving world it is essential to have quick access to validated, authoritative and constantly updated information collections. Much time is spent these days searching the Internet for validated and authoritative information often resulting in out-of-date sources being retrieved.

Then these Health, Safety, Environment and Fire information Collections brought together and maintained by information specialists are one sure way of getting good quality data.

As new research and new ways of working, with the attendant alterations in products, services and technology developments means that no-one, especially those responsible for fire, emergencies and preparedness in workplaces of all kinds, should be without the latest information.

These sources of information are offered by the long established Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.

Searchers should also be aware that the myth abounding in the world that "everything is published on the Internet and is free" is just NOT true!

Request a free 15 day trial www.sheilapantry.com/interest

New Biocides Regulation enters into force

The Biocidal Products Regulation adopted by the Council and Parliament in the spring enters into force on 17 July 2012. The regulatory requirements for industry will apply from 1 September 2013 and ECHA is preparing to start the new regulatory processes by that date.

ECHA is already preparing for the new responsibilities that the Biocidal Products Regulation brings to the Agency based on the financial contribution of the European Commission. The entry into force of the Biocidal Products Regulation liberates the 2012 subsidy and posts for ECHA, so that it can recruit new staff for the administrative tasks and sign IT contracts to develop new IT tools available for the industry to notify their biocidal products. The initial web pages will be published later in the summer.

The new regulation sets rules for placing biocidal products on the market. The aim is to simplify and harmonise the procedures for authorisation and at the same time ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment. As under its predecessor, the Biocidal Products Directive, only biocidal products with approved active substances may be authorised to be placed on the market. A new element in the new regulation is the Union Authorisation, allowing companies to get an authorisation for their biocidal products applicable across the whole EU.

The development of tools, processes and guidance will take full advantage of the synergies with REACH and CLP processes, which will make them easier to use for the stakeholders. As the entry into operation is already on 1 September 2013, little time is left for that development.

"The new regulation means new challenges, new stakeholders and new types of experts to be recruited. It is also a sign of trust in ECHA's ability to perform be it in difficult circumstances", says Geert Dancet, Executive Director of ECHA.

ECHA's task will be to coordinate the approval processes of biocidal substances and authorisation of biocidal products at the Union level. A new Biocidal Products Committee, consisting of representatives from each of the EU Member States will give its opinion on biocidal products. ECHA will also provide technical and scientific support to the industry and Member States through IT tools, guidance and the helpdesk service.

Further information: https://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/new-biocides-regulation-enters-into-force

Slight fall in UK workplace accident deaths but don't ignore other burdens - RoSPA

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is disappointed that the number of workplace injury deaths in Britain has fallen only slightly - but the safety charity is cautioning against looking at reportable fatal accident figures in isolation because they are just a small part of the overall burden of work-related death.

The provisional figures for fatal injuries in the workplace in Britain in 2011/12, published today by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), show that 173 workers were killed - a reduction of two from the previous year's figure of 175. The rate of fatal injury remained the same, at 0.6 per 100,000 workers.

The construction industry accounted for 49 of the deaths (down from 50 in 2010/11) and agriculture accounted for 33 of the deaths (up from 30 in 2010/11). There were five deaths in the waste and recycling industry (down from nine deaths in 2010/11). There were 31 deaths in manufacturing and 10 deaths in mining and quarrying.

In addition to the 173 worker fatalities, 90 members of the public were killed in accidents connected to work (excluding railways-related incidents).

The figure of 173 worker deaths in 2011/12 is 12 per cent lower than the average for the past five years (196).

Roger Bibbings, RoSPA's occupational safety adviser, said: "It is disappointing that workplace accident deaths have not fallen further. Work-related deaths shatter families and they also have massive consequences for businesses, communities and society as a whole. The figures for 2011/12 prove that we must remain focused on prevention. An important part of this involves helping employers, particularly smaller firms, get a handle on effective safety and health management, which we know can be a subject that is widely misinterpreted.

"It must also be remembered that workplace accidents represent just a small part of the overall burden of work-related death. Work-related road accidents, for example, are not included in the HSE figures and are estimated to be much higher in number than accidents in fixed workplaces.

"There is also the largely unseen burden of harm due to work-related health damage. For example, the results of the work which Lesley Rushton and her team at Imperial College London have done for the HSE on occupational cancer mortality projections shows a massive and continuing epidemic.

"Indeed, taking not just cancer but other occupationally related conditions such as COPD, heart disease and so on, it is clear that more workers are dying early as a result of past failure to control harmful exposures than are being killed in accidents. Of course, most of these deaths occur after work has ceased but, in many cases, people are losing up to 20 years of life expectancy. If this occurred through a massive rate of accidents among 55-60 year olds there would be a huge outcry. The level of work-related ill health demonstrates just how severe the consequences of prevention failure can be and it is a major burden on families and society."

RoSPA remains committed to playing its part to enhance skills and awareness, provide information and identify and celebrate good practice in health and safety management to save lives, reduce injuries and protect health while at work. For more information on RoSPA's occupational safety work, see www.rospa.com/occupational-safety

RoSPA House, 28 Calthorpe Road, Birmingham, B15 1RP, UK | www.rospa.com

Safer roads needed to nurture future Olympic cyclists

Olympic cyclist Andy Tennant is backing a campaign by Brake and Bolt Burdon Kemp for safer streets to enable more kids to get out and about on bikes and protect those already cycling. The campaign calls for action to project cyclists in communities across the UK, helping us foster more world-class cyclists, and improve families' health and happiness.

A survey by road safety charity Brake and specialist personal injury solicitors Bolt Burdon Kemp of more than 1,000 parents [1] reveals widespread fears about letting children cycle, and support for more safe cycling measures:

Through their Cycle for Life campaign, Brake and Bolt Burdon Kemp are calling on the government and local authorities to promote safe cycling by investing in measures to protect cyclists such as traffic-free and segregated cycle paths and widespread 20 mph limits.

They are calling on drivers to pledge to slow down to 20 mph in communities, take care to look out for cyclists and give them a wide berth to help prevent devastating casualties and enable more people, including children, to cycle safely.

Individuals and organisations can back the campaign at www.brake.org.uk/cycleforlife

More jobs were lost than created across Europe in 2011

More jobs were lost than created across Europe in 2011, and although company restructuring, job losses and site closures caused significant industrial action, many countries still experienced little or no strike activity. The recession and its aftermath were particularly severe on young workers, who found that education no longer offers protection against unemployment. Eurofound's second annual yearbook on Living and working in Europe 2011 highlights key trends in Europe's development, crucial for understanding the changing challenges it is encountering.

"Our second annual yearbook on Living and working in Europe provides a bird's-eye view of what Eurofound presented by way of policy-oriented research during the course of 2011" says Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Eurofound's Director, about the new report. 'While we do not claim to present all of our work during the last year here, the yearbook conveys the main findings of some of our key currents of research - in particular, results and analysis from our three pan-European surveys on company practices, working conditions and quality of life.'

Eurofound's research on employment trends showed that the lost jobs were mainly middle- and lower-paying jobs in construction, manufacturing and retail, while the new jobs were mostly higher-skilled and better-paying jobs in knowledge-intensive services. There were big differences between countries: some countries experienced job growth skewed towards the top of the pay distribution, some experienced polarisation, with growth at the lower and upper ends of the pay distribution, but contraction in the middle. Other countries saw downgrading, with greater job destruction in higher-paid jobs and growth or small declines in lower-paid employment.

Risk education: New report on mainstreaming OSH into teacher training programmes

Ideally teachers need training on how to deliver risk education to pupils in schools. While it is challenging to get risk education properly embedded in school curricula, it is even more difficult to get it into the busy training programmes for future teachers. But it is not impossible and a new EU-OSHA cases studies report presents various approaches and methods that could be considered or elaborated upon to prepare teachers to deliver risk education.

Announcement: 4th Global Programme in Occupational Health Practice (GPOHP)

The Great Lakes Centers for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Public Health USA announces Year Four of the post-graduate, continuing education programme.

This certificate program is completely online, with active instructor interaction; each course is 9 or 10 weeks in duration.

The global program provides two tracks:

  1. Occupational Health Certificate: designed for health care workers in companies (doctors, nurses, and other clinicians)
  2. Occupational Hygiene Certificate: for engineers, technicians, managers, hygienists & safety professionals.

For more information, visit website: www.uic.edu/sph/glakes/ce/IntPrgOHP.html

Linda Forst, MD, MPH, Program Director, School of Public Health/GLC, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2121 Taylor St. M/C 922, Chicago, IL 60612 USA

Diesel engine exhaust classified as carcinogenic

After a week-long meeting of international experts, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer and limited evidence for an increased risk of bladder cancer.

In 1988, IARC classified diesel exhaust as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A). An Advisory Group which reviews and recommends future priorities for the IARC Monographs Program had recommended diesel exhaust as a high priority for re-evaluation since 1998.

There has been mounting concern about the cancer-causing potential of diesel exhaust, particularly based on findings in epidemiological studies of workers exposed in various settings. This was re-emphasized by the publication in March 2012 of the results of a large US National Cancer Institute/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study of occupational exposure to such emissions in underground miners, which showed an increased risk of death from lung cancer in exposed workers.

Evaluation

The scientific evidence was reviewed thoroughly by the Working Group and overall it was concluded that there was sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust. The Working Group found that diesel exhaust is a cause of lung cancer (sufficient evidence) and also noted a positive association (limited evidence) with an increased risk of bladder cancer (Group 1).

The Working Group concluded that gasoline exhaust was possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), a finding unchanged from the previous evaluation in 1989.

Public health

Large populations are exposed to diesel exhaust in everyday life, whether through their occupation or through the ambient air. People are exposed not only to motor vehicle exhausts but also to exhausts from other diesel engines, including from other modes of transport (e.g. diesel trains and ships) and from power generators.

Given the Working Group's rigorous, independent assessment of the science, governments and other decision-makers have a valuable evidence-base on which to consider environmental standards for diesel exhaust emissions and to continue to work with the engine and fuel manufacturers towards those goals. Increasing environmental concerns over the past two decades have resulted in regulatory action in North America, Europe and elsewhere with successively tighter emission standards for both diesel and gasoline engines. There is a strong interplay between standards and technology - standards drive technology and new technology enables more stringent standards. For diesel engines, this required changes in the fuel such as marked decreases in sulphur content, changes in engine design to burn diesel fuel more efficiently and reductions in emissions through exhaust control technology.

However, while the amount of particulates and chemicals are reduced with these changes, it is not yet clear how the quantitative and qualitative changes may translate into altered health effects; research into this question is needed. In addition, existing fuels and vehicles without these modifications will take many years to be replaced, particularly in less developed countries, where regulatory measures are currently also less stringent. It is notable that many parts of the developing world lack regulatory standards, and data on the occurrence and impact of diesel exhaust are limited.

Conclusions

Dr Christopher Portier, Chairman of the IARC working Group, stated that "The scientific evidence was compelling and the Working Group's conclusion was unanimous: diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans." Dr Portier continued: "Given the additional health impacts from diesel particulates, exposure to this mixture of chemicals should be reduced worldwide."

Dr Kurt Straif, Head of the IARC Monographs Program, indicated that "The main studies that led to this conclusion were in highly exposed workers. However, we have learned from other carcinogens, such as radon, that initial studies showing a risk in heavily exposed occupational groups were followed by positive findings for the general population. Therefore actions to reduce exposures should encompass workers and the general population."

Dr Christopher Wild, Director, IARC, said that "while IARC's remit is to establish the evidence-base for regulatory decisions at national and international level, today's conclusion sends a strong signal that public health action is warranted. This emphasis is needed globally, including among the more vulnerable populations in developing countries where new technology and protective measures may otherwise take many years to be adopted."

Summary evaluation

The summary of the evaluation appears in The Lancet Oncology as an online publication ahead of print on June 15, 2012.

  1. JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djs034 and JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djs035
  2. Dr Portier is Director of the National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA).

For more information, contact

Nanomaterials: The risks of the very small

Nanotechnology, which involves manipulating materials at the very small scale, has the potential to lead to the development of a broad range of new materials that can bring huge benefits to society. But a new EU-OSHA literature review has found serious gaps in our awareness of the potential risks involved in handling manufactured nanomaterials in the workplace. There are also serious shortcomings in the way that those risks are communicated to the workplace.

Finland - Conference on Active Ageing at Work to be held in August, 2013

The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) is organising an International Conference "Work, Wellbeing and Wealth: Active Ageing at Work". The event will bring together researchers, experts and European networks in the area to discuss the major research and development needs and solutions.

The conference will take place from 26 to 28 August 2013 in Helsinki, Finland.

More information about the event: www.ttl.fi/en/international/conferences/work_well_being_and_wealth

FABIG event: Update on Fire and Explosion Guidance, Standards and Regulations

12th & 13th September 2012 in Aberdeen, London and via webcast

The meeting will cover "Update on Fire and Explosion Guidance, Standards and Regulations" and will be a half day event held on Wednesday the 12th of September 2012 in Aberdeen and on Thursday the 13th in London and via webcast (registering for the webcast also enables subsequent access to a video recording of the event for 2 weeks).

The event programme comprises the following presentations:

UK Industry Position on Proposed EU Regulation on Offshore Safety
Trisha O'Reilly and Robert Paterson - Oil & Gas UK
Revising Industry Guidelines on Risk-related Decision Making
David Piper - Petrofac
EFEF JIP Procedure for Quantitative Assessment and Management of Hydrocarbon Explosion and Fire Risks in Offshore Installations
J. K. Paik and B. J. Kim - PUSAN National University
Revised Guidance for Probabilistic Explosion Analysis (title to be confirmed)
Jan Pappas - Scandpower
ISO 19901-3 2010: Topsides structure, Accidental situations - Explosion
Robert Brewerton - Natabelle Technology
Development of a Fire Test Standard for Vessels
Paul Mather - Paul Mather Consultancy
Ian Bradley - AkzoNobel / International Paint

It is expected that the meeting will start with registration and lunch at 12.30 and that the presentations will take place between 13.30 and 17.20.

Members of most engineering institutions can count FABIG Technical Meetings as Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Attendance certificates are issued to delegates upon request.

You can find more information and register for the event online at the FABIG website at www.fabig.com/events. Attendance is free of charge for FABIG members and £350 + VAT per person for non members. For non members, the fee to attend the live webcast is £200 + VAT per person.

For more information regarding registration, please contact Lis Oliver by email at fabig@steel-sci.com or by phone at +44 (0) 1344 636 537.

Bringing to you the SIWA Safety Conference 2012

7-8 August 2012 - Perth, Australia

Perth and West Australia's only Professional Safety and Health event dedicated to holistically advancing your occupational safety and health skills, programs and learning.

Top business and money saving topics for you including;

Everything you need to know to manage a safety and prosperous workplace is at this conference.

Register now for the biggest and best value Professional Safety Conference in WA - August 7-9 at the Hilton Hotel Perth

Gavin Waugh, Director & Secretary, SIWA Limited, 36 Brisbane Street, Perth WA 6000 | PO BOX 8463, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849 | Mobile: 0409 295 781 | Fax: (08) 9312 1817 | Gavin.Waugh@siwa.org.au | www.siwa.org.au