Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

November 2012

Contents
  1. NEBOSH's most popular qualification available in Arabic
  2. RR948 - Uptake and quality of health surveillance for hand-arm vibration and noise exposure - A telephone based survey among dutyholders
  3. News from Germany - Fire and explosion module for the EMKG risk assessment tool for dangerous substances
  4. European Campaign on Working together for Risk Prevention
  5. New Zealand mining disaster: Sweeping away of old laws left industry "in limbo"
  6. News from Canada: Occupational Health and Safety of Students who Hold Jobs during the School Year: Effects of Concurrent School Activity and Work Constraints
  7. Needlestick Resistance of Protective Gloves: Development of a Test Method
  8. Eurofound launches its 2012 Report from the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM)
  9. The largest presentation of ergonomic products and services in Europe in 2012
  10. 2012-13 Healthy Workplaces Campaign 'Working together for risk prevention' launched
  11. RoSPA expands its global reach to the Middle East with new international operations strategy
  12. Three PhD Studentships available at Centre for Fire and Hazards Science, University of Central Lancashire
  13. Major site contractors launch safety drive
  14. Europe: Chemicals watchdog is failing on REACH
  15. Celebrating 20 Years of EPSC with Past Award Winners
  16. EPSC to Release Reports and Position Papers through Late 2012
  17. Canadian report: Occupational Health and Safety of Students who Hold Jobs during the School Year: Effects of Concurrent School Activity and Work Constraints
  18. Pre-Commission Cleaning of Pipework Systems: New UK BSRIA guide replaces BG 29/2011
  19. Online risk assessment tool for workplaces goes from strength to strength
  20. Research shows health and safety impact of shipping supply chains
  21. 2013 British Safety Council International Safety Awards now open for applications

The UK based National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) will soon be offering an Arabic language version of its most popular examination, the International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.

The first International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety exams in Arabic will be available from 1 December 2012, with an official launch taking place at Intersec from 15th - 17th January 2013 in Dubai, UAE.

The Middle East is currently NEBOSH's largest international market, with registrations up by 56% on 2010/11.

"We're taking our most popular international qualification and making it available in the language which is most commonly spoken in our largest overseas market," said NEBOSH Chief Executive, Teresa Budworth.

"We anticipate this will result in further growth in NEBOSH exam entries from overseas, which overall now surpass those from our UK home territory."

Arabic, in its various forms, is spoken by around 280 million people, making it one of the top six most commonly used languages in the world.

An Arabic language version of NEBOSH's introductory level Health and Safety at Work qualification was launched in 2011 and has been well received.

Courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications are offered by around 500 course providers in more than 100 countries around the world.

Further information about NEBOSH courses can be found at www.nebosh.org.uk/Qualifications.

NEBOSH will be exhibiting at stand 4-824S, please come and visit us. For further information about Intersec, visit www.intersecexpo.com

The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) was formed in 1979 and is an independent examining board and awarding body with charitable status. NEBOSH offers a comprehensive range of globally-recognised, vocationally-related qualifications designed to meet the health, safety, environmental and risk management needs of all places of work in both the private and public sectors.

Courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications attract around 35,000 candidates annually and are offered by around 500 course providers around the world. NEBOSH examinations have been taken in over 100 countries. NEBOSH qualifications are recognised by the relevant professional membership bodies including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Contact: Julia Whiting, Communications and Marketing Manager, NEBOSH, UK | Tel: + 44 (0)116 263 4724 | Mob: +44 (0)7850 204072 | Email: julia.whiting@nebosh.org.uk

RR948 - Uptake and quality of health surveillance for hand-arm vibration and noise exposure - A telephone based survey among dutyholders

Health surveillance (HS) is the systematic supervision of workers looking for early signs of work-related ill health in employees exposed to certain hazards. Health surveillance for hand-arm vibration (HAV) is largely based on the collecting of appropriate symptoms in individual workers, while quantitative pure-tone audiometry is a large element of HS activity for noise.

This UK Health and Safety Executive report details a telephone-based questionnaire study on the uptake and quality of HS for the hazards of noise and HAV. The study was undertaken during 2009-2010 and was centred on an agreed number of industry sectors, where the risks from such hazards are generally considered to be high. A total of 632 companies were involved.

The levels of uptake of HS presented in this report appear better than data collected in 1995 and similar to that from 2004 for HAV. The size of the firm, rather than industry sector, is important in defining the uptake of HS, with smaller firms having a lower uptake. The results clearly demonstrate and provide further evidence of the specific needs of SMEs in relation to HS for noise and HAV.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

Full report: www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr948.pdf

News from Germany - Fire and explosion module for the EMKG risk assessment tool for dangerous substances

The EMKG (easy-to-use workplace control scheme for hazardous substances) is aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Based on a control banding approach it aims to support enterprises in carrying out a risk assessment and defining control measures.

The new EMKG version 2.2 is supplemented by an additional module for the assessment of fire and explosion hazards.

Users can derive in a few steps priorities for action. As in "EMKG compact" the steps of the new module for the assessment of fire and explosion hazards involving dangerous substances are summarized in a score card/disc.

www.baua.de/en/Topics-from-A-to-Z/Hazardous-Substances/Hazardous-Substances.html

European Campaign on Working together for Risk Prevention

EU-OSHA's Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2012-2013 'Working together for risk prevention' focuses on the twin concepts of management leadership and worker participation in OSH. In the UK the title translates more accurately as 'working together on risk management'.

For more information, advice etc. - see: www.hse.gov.uk/campaigns/european/

New Zealand mining disaster: Sweeping away of old laws left industry "in limbo"

New laws to improve worker participation in health and safety matters and toughen up directors' duties should be given early attention, according to an official report into the Pike River mining tragedy in New Zealand two years ago.

The Pike River coal mine, which lies on the west coast of the South Island, exploded on 19 November 2010, due to the ignition of a large volume of methane gas. Twenty-nine men underground died immediately, or soon afterwards, either from the blast or from the toxic atmosphere. Over the next nine days the mine exploded three more times before it was sealed.

The Royal Commission report into the incident, issued 5 November 2012, makes 16 recommendations, the vast majority of which the New Zealand Government has promised to take forward immediately. Following its release, Labour minister Kate Wilkinson resigned from her post, but retains ministerial responsibilities for other portfolios.

The Commission's report is scathing of the roles of both the mine owner, Pike River Coal Ltd (Pike), and the previous regulator, the Department of Labour. Pike had not completed the systems and infrastructure necessary to produce coal safely, and numerous warnings of explosive or potentially dangerous volumes of methane from workers were not heeded.

The Commission concluded that the firm's directors "did not ensure that health and safety was being properly managed, and the executive managers did not properly assess the health and safety risks that the workers were facing".

The Department of Labour was also at fault, said the Commission, assuming, as it did, that Pike was complying with the law, "even though there was ample evidence to the contrary". At the time of the disaster, the Department had just two mining inspectors.

Although finding New Zealand's chief legislation - the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, based on the reforms recommended by the Robens Committee in the UK 20 years earlier - generally fit for purpose, the Commission highlighted how "necessary support for the legislation, through detailed regulations and codes of practice, did not appear. Instead, the opposite happened; such regulations, as existed, were repealed when the HSE Act came into force."

Consequently, the new legislation swept away the special rules and safeguards present in the old legislation, leaving mining operators and mining inspectors "in limbo".

Prime Minister John Key said: "The Commission found that while the HSE Act appropriately placed primary responsibility for health and safety on the employer, this was seen by the Department of Labour as somehow reducing its responsibility to actively administer the legislation."

Some new mining regulations were passed, but approved codes of practice and informal guidance were never issued. As a result, concludes the Commission, New Zealand's regulatory framework for underground coalmining is currently years behind other advanced nations and requires urgent modernisation - a proposal the Government has accepted.

Implementation of, arguably, the Commission's most crucial recommendation - to establish a new Crown agent focused on health and safety - is, however, more in the balance, as the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety is currently consulting on what shape a new health and safety regulator might take. Nevertheless, the Government has vowed that, once the Taskforce reports on its findings, expected by 30 April next year (2013), it will "move quickly to establish a new regulator".

In response to a proposal to improve worker participation in underground mining, which also advocates the reinstatement of union-appointed check inspectors with mining expertise, the Government says the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will immediately pick up the recommendation.

The Royal Commission also calls for statutory responsibilities for health and safety to be imposed on directors, noting that, as in the UK, current health and safety legislation places general duties on employers, managers and others, but not on directors.

The Government stopped short of declaring its outright support for this proposal, saying: "We will be asking the Independent Taskforce, currently consulting on these very issues, to pick up the Royal Commission's recommendations and provide detailed proposals for strengthening health and safety governance."

The Royal Commission report is available at: http://pikeriver.royalcommission.govt.nz/Final-Report

News from Canada: Occupational Health and Safety of Students who Hold Jobs during the School Year: Effects of Concurrent School Activity and Work Constraints

A new study published by the Canadian IRSST found that students who held a job or jobs during their studies faced a range of health risks and that job characteristics, working hours and career paths had an impact on various health indicators.

In particular, researchers found that two out of five women and nearly one in five men reported an overall level of fatigue deemed to require medical attention. Specifically, the analyses identified the accumulation of organizational work constraints, in addition to psychological pressures, social support at work, and the fact of having held a large number of jobs since the age of 15 as factors associated with the severity of the work-related chronic fatigue. Although the majority of these working students did not view their workload as too high, one in five still perceived his or her paid work as difficult, tiring, demanding or stressful. The findings also show that about half of the working students had sleep problems.

The study shows that the young people often reported discomfort, injury or other difficulties following an accident. In many cases, these short-term effects did not translate into workplace absenteeism, since in part-time work (PTW) the period between two workdays often provides enough time to recover from these effects. Thus, one can readily understand the potential limits of an indicator judging the severity of an occupational injury based on the length of the absence when PTW is involved. Furthermore, the report's findings suggest that the occurrence of an initial work-related accident early in the young person's career, often during adolescence, increases the risk of having another accident later. The report terminates with the presentation of several avenues for intervention and research.

To download the document: www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-occupational-health-and-safety-of-students-who-hold-jobs-during-the-school-year-effects-of-concurrent-school-activity-and-work-constraints-r-752.html

The French version of this document is available at: www.irsst.qc.ca/-publication-irsst-sante-securite-des-etudiants-occupent-emploi-durant-annee-scolaire-effets-cumul-activites-contraintes-travail-r-705.html

Needlestick Resistance of Protective Gloves: Development of a Test Method

A new study published by the Canadian IRSST was conducted in response to joint requests to identify gloves that afford adequate needlestick protection. Needlestick injury is a hazard faced by a growing number of workers. In addition to other hazard-reduction strategies, including administrative measures, protective clothing, especially needlestick-resistant gloves, must be made available to these workers.

The objective of this study was to continue the work on puncture resistance begun in an earlier project and to develop a test method for characterizing needlestick resistance. Preliminary work was also done to assess puncture resistance that takes the effect of the hand wearing the glove into consideration.

The study confirmed that needlesticks are different from punctures by standard probes, with respect both to fracture mechanism and force levels measured. While puncture by standard probes is governed by the maximum rate of strain of the material, needlesticks include a large measure of cutting and friction because of the cutting edge at the tip of the needle.

The influence of needle characteristics (dimensional tolerances, wear, diameter, tip angle and number of facets), test material properties (thickness, type and hardness) and experimental conditions (probe velocity, angle of attack, temperature and humidity) on the force measuring needlestick resistance was studied for a series of materials representative of different types of protective gloves. The report includes recommendations regarding the best gloves to use for a given purpose.

To download the report, visit: www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-needlestick-resistance-of-protective-gloves-development-of-a-test-method-r-753.html

French version of the document is available at: www.irsst.qc.ca/-publication-irsst-resistance-gants-piqure-aiguilles-mise-au-point-methode-essai-r-711.html

Maura Tomi, M.Sc., Communication advisor, Communications and Knowledge Transfer Division, IRSST | Tel: +1 514 288 1551 ext. 302 | Fax: +1 514 288 7636 | Email: Maura.Tomi@irsst.qc.ca | www.irsst.qc.ca

Eurofound launches its 2012 Report from the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM)

New EU-wide restructuring report reveals wide variations in consequences across country, sector, employees

High levels of restructuring activities across the European Union have resulted in five million fewer jobs in 2012 compared to 2008, with the largest number of job loss announcements reported in the construction sector (-17,3%), followed by manufacturing (-10,6%). With just over a third (37%) of EU27 employees reporting that restructuring occurred at their workplace in the previous three years, the 2012 Report from the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) also looks at the consequences of restructuring for the individual employee. The report, which is a unique source of EU-wide information on reported restructuring developments, is launched at the European Parliament today, aimed at contributing to discussions on the future of the European Globalisation Fund.

At a macro level, the report shows that while announced job loss from restructuring has fallen from the high levels experienced at the start of the economic crisis, overall there are still more cases of announced job loss than job gain reported in the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM). The consequences however, have varied hugely across Member States, with Ireland shedding a significant 16% of its pre-recession employment, Luxembourg adding a similar percentage of new jobs and larger countries such as Austria, Poland and Germany, employment actually showing modest growth since 2008.

The bulk of the net jobs lost between 2008 and 2012 were in construction, followed by manufacturing, then agriculture, forestry and fishing (-5,9%), and wholesale and retail (-3,8%). The main employment-shedding subsectors within manufacturing were textiles, mainly in Italy and Poland; in basic metals, mainly in the UK and Spain; and wood/paper production mainly Spain and France. The pharmaceutical sector was the only manufacturing subsector to grow.

The report also provides a comprehensive analysis of the consequences of restructuring for the individual employee. It focuses specifically on which employees lost their job at the onset of the crisis, which of them found a new job and the implications of this for their life satisfaction, and what effects restructuring have on people that remain in their jobs. It found that having long tenure protects against job loss, but long-tenured workers who lose their job are less likely to find a new one.

'One significant finding is that those who are most at risk of losing a job are those who have the least chance of finding a new one. These tend to be people with serious health problems, from a minority group and of lower professional status,' says Donald Storrie, Eurofound's expert on restructuring. 'As restructuring hits already vulnerable groups in these two respects, it suggests that policy efforts should focus more on how to protect these employees during restructuring and target them for more intensive labour market policy measures.'

According to the report, the 'stayers' - those who remain in jobs- are most likely to be in higher occupational groups and working in larger establishments, as well as employees working in traditionally state-funded sectors. In addition, the research reveals that restructured workplaces are more likely to offer higher levels of employee autonomy, more access to training, a higher incidence of teamwork, and employees having greater influence and involvement in how work is organised - the hallmarks of high performance work systems.

Full report here: www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/htmlfiles/ef1261.htm

For further information, contact Måns Mårtensson, Eurofound's media manager, Eurofound, Loughlinstown House, Wyattville Road, Dublin, Ireland D18 | Email mma@eurofound.europa.eu | Tel: +353-1-204 3124 | Mobile: +353-876-593 507

Copyright © 2012 Eurofound All rights reserved.

The largest presentation of ergonomic products and services in Europe in 2012

From 4-7 December 2012, as part of Expoprotection, Ergonoma Journal offers for the sixth time a Village totally dedicated to Ergonomics. Eighty specialists, manufacturers and distributors, will present a wide range of products, equipment, furniture and services.

Crossroads of innovation, expertise and know-how in complementary worlds (Safety / Security, Fight against fire, health and wellness at work with the "Ergonomics Village", WorkWear, industrial risk and technology, natural hazards), Expoprotection tradeshow link suppliers (manufacturers, service providers and prescribers...) and buyers (companies, institutions and administration) by immersing them directly in the heart of the new challenges of risk prevention.

Unparalleled in Europe, Expoprotection in partnership with the "Ergonomics Village" is the optimal tool to detect trends and innovations, select suppliers, select products and services and prepare for future investment. A unique opportunity to learn, share and grow one's professional network.

"The Ergonomics Village", an approach supported by Ergonoma Journal as part of Expoprotection International exhibition.

Contact: +33237440460 | info@ergonoma.com | www.ergonoma.com

2012-13 Healthy Workplaces Campaign 'Working together for risk prevention' launched

The 2012-13 Healthy Workplaces Campaign 'Working together for risk prevention' was launched at the European Week for Safety and Health at Work that called for workers and managers to work together for risk prevention.

From 22 to 26 October, the 2012 European Week for Safety and Health at Work highlighted the role of strong management leadership combined with active worker participation in making sure that Europe's workplaces are safe, healthy and productive. Organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and its partners, the week saw events organised across Europe in support of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 'Working together for risk prevention'.

'Safety and health at work is everyone's concern and we achieve success by working together', explains Dr Christa Sedlatschek, director of EU-OSHA. 'A good recent example of how things can go well, when employers and employees cooperate, has been the construction of the London 2012 Olympic Park, the largest infrastructure construction site in Europe, involving some 36,000 employees. The construction saw no fatalities - the first time ever for an Olympic stadium - thanks to strong leadership, clear lines of communication and the engagement of staff and partners in health and safety', she added.

The 2012-13 Healthy Workplaces Campaign 'Working together for risk prevention' is decentralised and is designed to help national authorities, companies, organisations, managers, workers and their representatives and other stakeholders to work together to enhance health and safety in the workplace.

The campaign supports a wide range of activities at national and European level, including national partnership meetings and seminars. Smaller enterprises are particularly welcome to take part.

To support the campaign, EU-OSHA has prepared two practical guides on management leadership and worker participation in occupational health and safety.

Management Leadership in OSH - a practical guide gives business leaders practical information on how safety and health can be improved through effective leadership, worker involvement and ongoing assessment and review.

The guide Worker Participation in OSH shows how workers can use their knowledge to actively liaise with managers to improve workplace safety and health. It outlines the respective roles, responsibilities and legal duties of workers, their representatives and employers.
The guides also contain useful 'checklists' for both employers and workers and their representatives.
This material extends into new media, with the iPad app Working together - Healthy Workplaces Campaign, which includes valuable tools and resources for both workers and managers.

Links

RoSPA expands its global reach to the Middle East with new international operations strategy

The UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is working to cut the number of unnecessary deaths and accidents in the Middle East.

The UK's leading accident prevention charity has appointed a head of international operations to link up with organisations and government departments in the Arabian Gulf region and drive forward health and safety on the roads, at work and in the home.

Martin Eagleton, from Yorkshire, UK takes on the role - the first of its kind in RoSPA's 95-year history - which is aimed at furthering its reach on a global scale.

Key target areas will include occupational safety and road safety training with driver and fleet services for private companies, training enterprises and the government sector.

Mr Eagleton, RoSPA's head of international operations, who has spent the past 10 years working in the Middle East and Africa in the telecommunications sector, said: "Organisations in the Middle East region are working extremely hard on health and safety schemes and promotions.

"RoSPA leads the way on training and advice, and the fact that Britain's standards are recognised as among the highest in the world will enable RoSPA to help Middle East organisations gain more education and awareness in the field of health and safety.

"This is a massive opportunity for RoSPA and Middle Eastern organisations to work together, and potentially to build a cohesive strategy for the region. We already have a large number of member organisations in the region, which when canvassed, have been extremely supportive of this initiative.

"We want them to know that RoSPA is committed to the region and is here to help, train, advise and increase health and safety awareness. Hopefully this will bring about even better health and safety results in the coming years."

On the roads, the annual estimated death rate for the United Arab Emirates was 37.1 per 100,000 people, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar at 29 and 23.7 respectively, compared to 5.4 in the UK. This was according to the most recent figures from the World Health Organisation. The majority of road accidents are work-related and preventable.

RoSPA's intention is to establish a full range of educational training courses, both academic and practical, for the benefit of the region. These RoSPA services will be delivered in the region by RoSPA and its approved centres. All RoSPA courses currently delivered in Britain and in other areas of the world are now available to organisations within the Middle East region.

The Middle East has become a major business and tourism hub for international companies with new offices, hotels and landmarks opening or under construction, which also places increasing health and safety demands on the region.

Qatar is preparing to host the World Cup in 2022, which will involve in-depth plans on construction, infrastructure, road and crowd safety. In Dubai, tourism projects include the 3.8 million metre squared Falconcity of Wonders development, which will feature replicas of the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids, Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Leaning Tower of Pisa.

For more information on RoSPA's international operations, visit: www.rospa.com/about/global

Three PhD Studentships available at Centre for Fire and Hazards Science, University of Central Lancashire

These exciting projects address one of the major challenges in European fire safety - the replacement of ecotoxic halogenated flame retardants with safe alternatives. There are three studentships associated with this project and applicants will be considered for all three studentships unless indicated otherwise.

Applications are invited for these 3 PhD studentships, funded by the European Union Framework 7. Each studentship is tenable for 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress. Each studentship will cover the cost of tuition fees for UK/EU residents, plus an annual, tax-free bursary of £16,000 (approx €20,000). The projects will start around January 2013.

International applicants may apply, but will be expected to pay the difference between the UK/EU and International Fee Rate (approx £8,000 per year).

Versatile and enthusiastic chemistry/physics/analytical science or engineering graduates are required. Applicants should have or expect to receive a good degree in chemistry or related subject preferably 1st class honours or equivalent.

Requests for an application pack (quoting the reference number RS1208) should be directed to the Graduate Research School Office. Tel: 01772 895082 or email: researchdegrees@uclan.ac.uk

The project is led by Dr. Anna A Stec, and Prof. T Richard Hull (editors of Fire Toxicity, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK), and both based at UCLan.

Major site contractors launch safety drive

The UK Contractors Group has launched a new health and safety plan to spread best practice down the supply chain. The plan includes a 'supply chain charter setting out what UKCG expects from its supply chain and what support they can expect from us' and 'a road map to excellence, signposting the industry to appropriate best practice.'

Dave Smith, chair of UKCG's health and safety group, said: 'Health and safety remains a number 1 priority and UKCG aims to continue to provide leadership to the construction industry and strive towards world class performance.

The new plan has the support of all UKCG members at the highest level. It refreshes our commitments and we will now work hard to deliver the goals.'

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/risks-newsletter/risks-2012/risks-579-27-october-2012#tuc-21570-11

Europe: Chemicals watchdog is failing on REACH

European companies are failing to produce the legally required information on the chemicals they use and the watchdog that should be making them comply is not doing so, new evidence suggests. A report from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and ClientEarth says the chemical industry has largely failed to provide the necessary data to make the REACH chemical safety law work, adding the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has allowed them to get away with it.

The report was released ahead of the European Commission's anticipated report on ECHA's performance. REACH is based on two key legal principles - 'no data, no market' and 'one substance, one registration'. However, the new research found that both of these principles are routinely ignored in the registration of substances, said co-author of the report Christian Schaible at EEB. Co-author Vito Buonsante of ClientEarth added: 'ECHA has already acknowledged that many substances have been inappropriately registered as intermediates by industry in order to avoid information requirements, but our investigation found that on top of this the industry has by and large failed to submit all available test data on substances, as required by REACH. However ECHA is doing little to prevent industry from doing so and is complacent in its compliance checks. Furthermore ECHA is dedicating too little time to work towards the substitution and phase out of hazardous chemicals which European citizens are exposed to every day.'

The report says ECHA is shrouded in a culture of secrecy and is under pressure from the chemicals industry which cites 'business confidentiality' as a means to prevent important information being released.

https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/risks-newsletter/risks-2012/risks-579-27-october-2012#tuc-21570-20

Celebrating 20 Years of EPSC with Past Award Winners

The Technical Steering Committee meeting for Autumn 2012 was a very special event for EPSC, marking 20 years since the founding of the European Process Safety Centre. Following the usual business of a TSC workshop and meeting, EPSC members met with EPSC Award winners and staff for a celebratory dinner, giving a chance to look back on the progress made in process safety during those two decades and the role that EPSC has had among it.

EPSC Operations Manager Lee Allford gave a speech recognising the work of the various guests, offering a look through the achievements that EPSC has recognised as improving the theory and practice of process safety in Europe.

Of particular note was the winner of this year's Award, Pol Hoorelbeke, who had given a detailed presentation earlier in the day on his experiments in vapour cloud explosion mitigation by means of additive powder sprays.

The TSC meeting the next day looked instead to the future, selecting possible areas of future work. There has been interest in forming new working groups on a wide variety of topics, with proposals ranging from examining the hazards of dust mixtures to advancing the principles of safety culture.

www.epsc.org

EPSC to Release Reports and Position Papers through Late 2012

The European Process Safety Centre has started to release a series of position papers and reports throughout the latter half of 2012. A position paper on process safety culture [PDF], has been published.

The latter half of 2012 will see outcomes from several groups progressing towards release of documents to members or to the public. The Ageing Assets working group is to release a position paper imminently, with the document currently under review. EPSC position papers are made publically available, and give a high level overview of the state of a field of study and the position taken by EPSC on best practice in that field.

Following this, in late 2012, reports are due from the Atypical Scenario Development group and the Process Safety Competence Group. The competence report is planned to be a complete guidance document on the maintenance of skills and experience within a workforce, covering the methods needed to identify skills needed at every level of an organisation and the specific challenges raised by process safety work.

The scenario development report will cover the work of the group on using standard hazard identification and risk analysis methods to cover extreme or low probability "worst case" events. Reports are available to members via the members' area of the website.

The EPSC Annual Report for 2012 has also been made available in a new format. In addition to print and PDF copies, the review can also be read in a digimag format.

Canadian report: Occupational Health and Safety of Students who Hold Jobs during the School Year: Effects of Concurrent School Activity and Work Constraints

A new study published by the Canadian IRSST found that students who held a job or jobs during their studies faced a range of health risks and that job characteristics, working hours and career paths had an impact on various health indicators.

In particular, researchers found that two out of five women and nearly one in five men reported an overall level of fatigue deemed to require medical attention.

Specifically, the analyses identified the accumulation of organizational work constraints, in addition to psychological pressures, social support at work, and the fact of having held a large number of jobs since the age of 15 as factors associated with the severity of the work-related chronic fatigue. Although the majority of these working students did not view their workload as too high, one in five still perceived his or her paid work as difficult, tiring, demanding or stressful. The findings also show that about half of the working students had sleep problems.

The study shows that the young people often reported discomfort, injury or other difficulties following an accident. In many cases, these short-term effects did not translate into workplace absenteeism, since in part-time work (PTW) the period between two workdays often provides enough time to recover from these effects.

Thus, one can readily understand the potential limits of an indicator judging the severity of an occupational injury based on the length of the absence when PTW is involved. Furthermore, the report's findings suggest that the occurrence of an initial work-related accident early in the young person's career, often during adolescence, increases the risk of having another accident later. The report terminates with the presentation of several avenues for intervention and research.

Document: Occupational Health and Safety of Students who Hold Jobs during the School Year: Effects of Concurrent School Activity and Work Constraints

The French version of this document is also available.

Contact: Maura Tomi, M. Sc., Communication advisor, Communications and Knowledge Transfer Division, IRSST, Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Tel: +1 514-288-1551 ext. 302 | Fax: +1 514-288-7636

Pre-Commission Cleaning of Pipework Systems: New UK BSRIA guide replaces BG 29/2011

This updated guide BG 29/2012 reflects British and European standards and clarifies certain points that have been raised over the last year.

It provides the industry with the latest standards and good practice pre-commission cleaning techniques.

Pre-commission cleaning is achieved through a process of flushing and chemical cleaning (where required) followed by the addition of biocides and inhibitors.

This guide is available to order for £60 or £30 to BSRIA members.

BSRIA Ltd Old Bracknell Lane West, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7AH, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1344 465600 | Fax: +44 (0) 1344 465626 | Email: bsria@bsria.co.uk

Online risk assessment tool for workplaces goes from strength to strength

A free online software, developed by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), is giving micro and small businesses across Europe the means of carrying out risk assessments in workplaces in a straightforward and cost-effective way.

Risk assessment is the cornerstone of health and safety management, and with the Agency's Online interactive Risk Assessment software, OiRA, we are giving European businesses the means of carrying it out properly. As OiRA develops, it shows the way for us to work better in Europe, to keep our workplaces safe.

That was the message of EU-OSHA Director Christa Sedlatschek, speaking at an event organised under the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU, within the framework of EU-OSHA's Healthy Workplaces Campaign "Working together for risk prevention". The conference, held in the Cypriot city of Nicosia and entitled 'Working together for the future of occupational safety and health in Europe', looked at the challenges facing policymakers, employers and employees, in improving health and safety standards.

According to Christa Sedlatschek, this is precisely where OiRA can help to bring OSH closer to European businesses. OiRA is a tool which the Agency makes freely available online, and which helps micro and small businesses in Europe (who may lack resources and know-how) to carried out their risk assessment, comply with the rules on risk assessment, evaluating and managing workplace risks to prevent injury and ill health. OiRA gives businesses a simple, step-by-step guide to the risk assessment process, helping to demystify that process, and enabling risk management.

One of the first OiRA tools to be developed was in Cyprus itself: a sector-specific tool relating to the hairdressing industry, which sees high rates of occupational skin diseases and musculoskeletal disorders. Other tools are being released in Cyprus (working in offices), in France (road transport sector), and at EU level (leather and tanning industry).

New OiRA tools which are under development and which will be ready soon include one designed for hairdressers in Belgium, one generic tool and one for working in offices in Slovenia, one for butchers in Greece and one for garage holders in Lithuania. A number of other European countries have signed memoranda of understanding to develop OiRA, or are currently developing new OiRA tools or taking part in pilot projects: these include Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, Belgium, Latvia Lithuania and Slovenia. Further work is being carried out by the INRS risk prevention association in France, and by the social partners working in the EU private security sector.

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Research shows health and safety impact of shipping supply chains

Shipping supply chains can have a positive effect on health and safety management in high profile organisations and projects - research has found.

But the UK Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), which commissioned Cardiff University to explore the issue, still has concerns about the safety of seafarers on ships where company reputation is less of a driving force.

The research used two seafaring case studies to explore what positive effects leverage within their supply chains had on health and safety management. The report, released today (Tuesday 2 October), found that the tanker companies studied were strongly influenced by pressures from the oil companies whose products they carried, to ensure good standards of health and safety management onboard their ships.

IOSH is urging other shipping businesses that aren't necessarily subject to demands from the top of the supply chain not to cut corners on health and safety at the expense of worker safety.

IOSH executive director of policy Dr Luise Vassie said: "Many workers in shipping supply chains are far removed from standards at the top which should be filtering down to protect their health, safety and welfare. With the higher profile shipping companies featured in this research, health and safety has taken higher priority, reaching further down the chain - after all, an incident, for them, can be hugely damaging to reputation."With such a complex sector where a lot of activity takes place outside of conventional national regulatory scrutiny, we're worried about the health of employees further down the chain who are remote from the protection regulation, contracts and pro-active inspection would afford."

A team from the Cardiff Work Environment Research Centre and the Seafarers' International Research Centre, both at Cardiff University, plus an expert from Oxford Brookes University found many positive effects of supply chains upon occupational safety and health performance. However, it found that such supply chain relationships were not a substitute for regulation.

Of the shipping case studies, the first included four tanker ship operators, seafarers on eight of their vessels and the major oil companies whose products they carried. The second was a ship management company, plus the charterers and owners of the container ships it managed, the crew of one of those ships and the owners of the goods being carried.

Cardiff University's Professor David Walters said: "Where we found supply chain relationships having a good effect on health and safety, often these were situations where regulatory standards were already being implemented too. But we did find that in higher profile companies such as in our tanker trade case study, buyers were carrying out ship inspections for themselves, because they have a vested interested in checking that their ships meet a high standard of safety. In this way they provided additional pressures to achieve compliance with regulatory standards and even went beyond them.

"Big oil companies can often impose health and safety requirements on the operators carrying their oil - they also inspect ships regularly. This kind of direct influence from buyers means workers may be better protected," Professor Walters added.

The researchers also found supply chain influences operating among the reputable companies studied in the container trade. Here the nature of the business meant there was less direct pressure from shippers, but nevertheless both the ship management companies and charterers involved made efforts to ensure compliance with regulation and pressures from within their supply chains were one of the influences that helped them achieve this.

Prof Walters added: "The maritime trade is a complex and global sector, but where buyers write health and safety requirements into their contracts, or carry out certification schemes and training to help suppliers meet their standards, performance is much better. And while direct pressure from buyers on suppliers can improve occupational health and safety in some circumstances, it is one element in a constellation of features that can be used to drive good practice in this area."

The limits of influence: The role of supply chains in influencing health and safety management in two sectors

Report submitted to the IOSH Research Committee
Professor David Walters and Dr Emma Wadsworth, Cardiff Work Environment Research Centre
Cardiff University and Professor Helen Sampson, Seafarers' International Research Centre
Cardiff University, Professor Phil James, Oxford Brookes University Business School
October 2012, 100 pages

This report presents an account of an empirical study of experiences of supply chain-mediated influences on health and safety practice and performance in the construction and shipping industries.

It sets out to test a set of propositions concerning the conditions and contexts of these influences that was developed by two of its authors in a previous study. It is based on four case studies, two in each sector, each selected in order to examine situations in which supply chain relationships are likely to influence and support improved health and safety practices and performance. In each case, documentary evidence and qualitative data obtained from in-depth interviews have been analysed.

These analyses are further supported by a review of the research literature on trends in the structure, organisation and regulation of work in the sectors and recent evidence concerning supply chain influences.

Findings confirm the previous propositions with respect to the conditions and contexts governing positive supply chain effects on health and safety practice. They draw attention to the influence of health and safety requirements at the procurement stage and in the choice of contractors, as well as to the role of support, monitoring and surveillance in ensuring compliance with these requirements. At the same time, they show that supply chain influences on health and safety vary both according to the business interests of the actors involved and the regulatory contexts in which they work, and that leverage in supply chain relationships is only one element in a constellation of influences acting in concert to raise occupational safety and health standards. In particular, there is no evidence in our study to suggest that such leverage acts effectively without regulation or regulatory inspection.

However, the study does suggest that regulatory strategies need to become more attuned to exploiting the positive features of supply chain relationships.

See www.iosh.co.uk/Books and resources/The limits of influence

2013 British Safety Council International Safety Awards now open for applications

The British Safety Council has launched its 2013 International Safety Awards scheme designed to recognise good health and safety management over the past year.

2013 will mark the fifty-fifth year of the International Safety Awards which have made a significant contribution over many years in promoting the benefits that well managed workplace health and safety bring.

These awards are open to all organisations, both members of the British Safety Council and non-members in the UK and overseas. We welcome your application whether you are applying for the first, the tenth or thirty-third time. Last year 550 organisations won our International Safety Award including Aramark, Aston Martin Lagonda, Barclays Capital, Bovis Homes, GlaxoSmithKline, Green King Breweries, Indian Oil Corporation, Kier Construction, Larsen & Toubro, Scottish Power, Selex Galileo, SPIE WHS and Warburtons.

Awards relate to individual sites and business units and organisations can enter as many sites or business units as they wish. Applications must be completed online and submitted by the closing date of Friday 25 January 2013.

Award applications are marked by independent chartered health and safety professionals appointed by the British Safety Council. Successful applicants are awarded a pass, a merit or distinction. Results will be posted to all applicants on 18 February 2013.

For 2013 the British Safety Council is introducing two new individual awards. These new awards are optional and free to enter. The two awards, for Health and Safety Champion of the Year and Health and Safety Young Champion of the Year, provide organisations with the opportunity to recognise and reward the contribution of particular employees who have gone the extra mile to make a real difference in helping to keeping work and workplaces healthy and safe.

Winning organisations and the two individual champions will be invited to the International Safety Awards banquet at Grosvenor House in London on 26 April 2013. Winners will enjoy a spectacular evening that includes awards presentations, a superb dinner, fabulous entertainment and dancing. The keynote address will be delivered by Andrew Sharman, Director, Environment, Health & Safety and Risk Management, O-I Europe.

The eligibility criteria and details of how to apply can be found at www.britsafe.org/isa