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December 2012

Jan Chmiel named new IOSH Chief Executive

On 12 December 2012, the UK based Instution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has announced the appointment of Jan Chmiel as its new Chief Executive.

Mr Chmiel is currently CEO of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and will succeed outgoing chief executive Rob Strange OBE in April.

Following the announcement, Jan said: "I look forward to working with all IOSH members and staff in taking the organisation forward and delivering on its ambitious future strategy. It's an exciting time to be joining this successful team as IOSH is best placed to address the challenges of improving occupational safety and health in a changing world."

In March, IOSH announced Rob Strange would step down after 12 years in charge. During his tenure, IOSH membership has increased to more than 40,000 and it also received the award of a Royal charter. Rob leaves to take on a portfolio of trustee and non-executive roles and pursue interests outside of work.

Commenting on his replacement, Rob said: "I have known Jan since he became chief executive of IEMA and have a very great respect for him and for his achievements and experience. I have every confidence that the excellent growth and progress IOSH has made during my tenure as CEO will continue under Jan's leadership.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to spend 12 years as chief executive of IOSH, and I am proud of all we have achieved together over that period of time. I now look forward to working with Jan over the coming months to ensure a smooth and efficient hand-over."

IOSH Board of Trustees chair Keith Underhill added: "I would like to thank Rob for what he has achieved during his tenure, in particular raising the profile of IOSH and increasing our membership to the level it is today.

"I am looking forward to working with Jan, who has demonstrated that he is an inspirational leader. I am sure he will drive our strategy forward so the organisation and our members achieve greater recognition."

www.iosh.co.uk

Finnish Report on support at the workplace may improve the work ability of cancer survivors

Breast cancer survivors who return to work consider their work ability to be only slightly weaker than that of others. One factor that may reduce work ability is avoidance behaviour on the part of superiors and colleagues. Cancer survivors seldom change employers or occupations because of their illness, but may do so because of physically demanding work or a lack of support from their superior. These are the results of a recent study of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), which examined the return to work, changes in work life, and work ability of cancer survivors.

According to the new study, the work ability of breast cancer survivors who return to work is only slightly poorer than that of the cancer-free population, regardless of the fact that some survivors feel that their physical and emotional work ability diminishes as a result of cancer. The work ability of testicular cancer patients did not differ from that of the control group.

Those with little education and those who received poor support at the workplace rated their work ability as weaker than that of others. The work ability of cancer survivors was also reduced by avoidance behaviour by superiors and colleagues.

"Colleagues feel sympathy towards cancer survivors, but are not always able to take their needs into consideration, because they do not know how cancer and its treatments affect health and work ability. The survivor may also be more sensitive than usual," says Senior Researcher Marja-Liisa Lindbohm from FIOH.

"Leadership practices that support the coping at work of cancer survivors should be developed. Particular attention should be paid to those who have had chemotherapy and to those who have other chronic diseases, as they rated their work ability as worse than other cancer survivors," Lindbohm stresses.

Illness seldom the reason behind change of employer

Only eight per cent of cancer survivors changed employer because of their illness. The main reason for changing employer was physically demanding work. Those who had received only little support from their superior or from occupational health services also changed employer more often than others.

"Support from one's supervisor, lightening physically demanding work, planning work tasks and advice from occupational health services may well help cancer survivors maintain their jobs," summarizes Lindbohm.

About the study

The study is part of the Nordic Study on Cancer and Work. Breast, prostate and testicular cancer patients with a good prognosis were sent a questionnaire, as were a group of cancer-free people, who served as the control group. Participants were from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Denmark. A total of 2500 cancer patients, and 4300 controls returned the questionnaire.

Marja-Liisa Lindbohm presented data on the participation in work life and the retirement of cancer survivors in the Nordic countries at the 2nd Scientific Conference on Work Disability Prevention and Integration in Holland at the end of October. Her presentation won the best study award.

Further information

Marja-Liisa Lindbohm, Adjunct Professor, FIOH, Tel. 030 474 2252, marja-liisa.lindbohm@ttl.fi

3rd University Conference: Safe and healthy university

16-18 September 2013, at the DGUV Academy Dresden, Germany

The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) will be hosting the "Safe and healthy university" conference for the third time.

The key topic is the influence of new technologies upon work processes in universities and research establishments. Conference delegates will discuss safety and health as a quality feature in teaching and research.

www.dguv.de/iag/veranstaltungen/hochschultagung/2013/index-2.jsp

News from the USA: Secondhand smoke inside airports puts air travellers and employees at risk

Air pollution from secondhand smoke five times higher outside smoking rooms and other designated smoking areas than in smoke-free airports.

Average air pollution levels from secondhand smoke directly outside designated smoking areas in airports are five times higher than levels in smoke-free airports, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study conducted in five large hub U.S. airports also showed that air pollution levels inside designated smoking areas were 23 times higher than levels in smoke-free airports. In the study, designated smoking areas in airports included restaurants, bars, and ventilated smoking rooms.

Five of the 29 largest airports in the United States allow smoking in designated areas that are accessible to the public. The airports that allow smoking include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Denver International Airport, and Salt Lake City International Airport. More than 110 million passenger boardings - about 15 percent of all U.S. air travel - occurred at these five airports last year.

"The findings in today's report further confirm that ventilated smoking rooms and designated smoking areas are not effective," said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "Prohibiting smoking in all indoor areas is the only effective way to fully eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke."

A 2006 Surgeon General's Report concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Although smoking was banned on all U.S. domestic and international commercial airline flights through a series of federal laws adopted from 1987 to 2000, no federal policy requires airports to be smoke-free.

"Instead of going entirely smoke-free, five airports continue to allow smoking in restaurants, bars or ventilated smoking rooms. However, research shows that separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air and ventilating buildings cannot fully eliminate secondhand smoke exposure," said Brian King, Ph.D., an epidemiologist with CDC's Office on Smoking and Health and co-author of the report. "People who spend time in, pass by, clean, or work near these rooms are at risk of exposure to secondhand smoke."

Secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in non-smoking adults and is a known cause of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS, respiratory problems, ear infections, and asthma attacks in infants and children. Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger acute cardiac events such as heart attack. Cigarette use kills an estimated 443,000 Americans each year, including 46,000 heart disease deaths and 3,400 lung cancer deaths among non-smokers from exposure to secondhand smoke.

www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/p11_20_smoke_airports.html

12 by 12 Campaign: Six Countries Grant Rights to Domestic Workers in 2012

With six countries having ratified the ILO Convention No 189 on domestic workers in 2012, the ITUC's 12 by 12 campaign is well on track. In addition to Uruguay, Philippines, Mauritius, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Paraguay, a number of other countries worldwide have made commitments to improve the working and living conditions of domestic workers.

December 12 is a symbolic date for the 12 by 12 campaign, which is the reason why today trade unions and activists are mobilising thousands of workers in 50 countries to put pressure on decision makers and encourage governments to enact the hardly needed laws that would give domestic workers a decent work and a decent life.

"The reality of the vast majority of domestic workers today is simply slavery," said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary. "Trade unions, domestic workers' associations and their allies are changing this reality by demanding through the 12 by 12 campaign rights and benefits for this category of workers who are underpaid, not recognised and not respected."

The ILO Convention 189, adopted a year ago, guarantees the right of domestic workers to collectively defend their interests through trade unions and their access to a decent minimum wage just like any other worker. The international treaty further provides for a day off per week, a monthly payment and access to social security including in the case of maternity.

"The 12 by 12 campaign is giving hope to millions of domestic workers around the world," said Elisabeth Tang, coordinator of the international domestic workers' network. "The massive mobilisation of domestic workers' organisations and trade unions throughout the world combined with the passage of new laws and policies are important victories that make a huge difference in the lives of these millions of women whose work has been undervalued for generations," she added.

On 12 December, important mobilisations of the 12 by 12 campaign will take place in Indonesia, Senegal, Costa Rica, and Panama among others.

The '12 by 12' Campaign is an initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in partnership with the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Public Service International (PSI), The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), Human Rights Watch, Anti-Slavery International, Solidar, Migrant Forum Asia (MFA), World Solidarity and Caritas.

http://www.ituc-csi.org/12-by-12-campaign-six-countries

The website for Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, January-June 2013

Now live at http://eu2013.ie

Health and Safety Body urges UK Government rethink on health and safety

A HEALTH and safety body has urged a Government rethink on implementing its proposals following an independent review of UK health and safety legislation.

Some of the recommendations are conceptually flawed and the overall approach has been too hasty, often portraying health and safety in a negative and unhelpful light, said the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

These views form part of the Institution's submission to Professor Ragnar Löfstedt, informing his second review, due to be delivered to the Employment Minister at the end of January 2013. This report will assess the Government's handling of the first review, released in November 2011, which declared health and safety laws broadly 'fit for purpose'

IOSH head of policy and public affairs Richard Jones said: "We'd like to see the Government reconsider the way it is implementing the Löfstedt review, as it is going much further than was recommended, or intended. We don't believe the case has been properly made for a number of the proposals - quite the opposite - they offer no real benefit and introduce unnecessary human and financial risks.

"At times this year, we've seen our world-respected health and safety system being negatively portrayed. Some Löfstedt-related changes have been incorrectly announced as major and necessary reforms to relieve burdens on business. This negative message is damaging and could result in confusion and poor decision-making in our workplaces, putting lives at risk."

The Institution wants to see a more balanced approach in the halls of power, with a shift in focus towards the real problems that unfairly tarnish the good name of health and safety.

"We urgently need better guidance and education on risk, as well as a curb on aggressive claims management marketing, which fuels fear and risk aversion. Coupled with that, we'd like the Government and others to do more to explain the business and economic benefits of good health and safety management," Mr Jones added.

Just as was stated in Löfstedt's review, IOSH believes there is room for improvement in Britain's occupational safety and health system. But this is not about removing duties - it's about helping businesses to comply and strengthening requirements in some cases.

And while the Institution supports the streamlining of regulations and simplifying of guidance, the current speed and scale of change could be eroding standards. It is also concerned that new shortened consultation periods announced by the Government in July 2012 could damage outcomes.

Mr Jones said: "Rushing the process is unhelpful - people need time to comment and provide proper analysis. It's not our health and safety laws that are the problem, but situations where they're misinterpreted or misapplied."

IOSH supports several areas for change:

  1. Consolidation and removing of redundant areas of regulation
  2. Trialling an agreed national enforcement code to help consistency
  3. Continuing with the 'myth-buster challenge panel'
  4. Improvements to guidance and clarity of regulations, without lowering standards
  5. Better public communications and risk education

IOSH also recently submitted an alternative 10-point action plan to improve RIDDOR.

"Our safety record compares well in Europe, but we are still failing too many workers. Figures show that in 2011-12, 173 people were killed at work, 1.1 million people suffered from a work-related illness and there were 212,000 serious injuries - this illustrates just how crucial it is to keep good health and safety as the cornerstone of all our working lives," Mr Jones added.

ASH welcomes EU plans for larger health warnings

Proposals to strengthen tobacco control measures within the European Union have been formally adopted by the EU Commission. A revised Tobacco Products Directive was submitted to the Commission by EU Health Commissioner, Tonio Borg which will now be debated by the European Parliament.

The draft Directive includes mandatory large pictorial health warnings covering 75% of the packs (both front and back) compared to the current minimum requirement of 30% on one surface and 40% on the other. It also proposes a ban on ultra-thin cigarettes that have been marketed at women, and restrictions on certain flavourings that make smoking more palatable.

Although the Directive does not explicitly call for plain packaging of tobacco it would enable Member States to adopt such a measure.

Commenting on the proposals, ASH Chief Executive, Deborah Arnott, said:

"There is a lot to welcome in the proposed updated Directive in particular the mandatory requirement for larger pictorial health warnings and mandatory picture warnings on the front of the pack. However, there is a great deal of detail in the Directive which we will need to examine more closely.

We are encouraged that, despite efforts by the tobacco industry to scupper the Directive, there should be sufficient time for it to be considered and passed by the current EU Parliament."

Eurofound publishes a study on sustainable work and the ageing workforce

A new study of Eurofound, based on the fifth European Working Conditions Survey, examines the ways older workers perceive the sustainability of their work, taking account of differences between workers in terms of age, occupation and gender.

In addition, the working conditions of the ageing workforce across Member States of the European Union are compared.

Read the executive summary and the full report.

3rd International Strategy Conference on Occupational Health and Safety: Networking as a driving force for a culture of prevention

6-8 February 2013, Dresden, Germany

The goal of the 3rd International Strategy Conference is to foster the national and international networking of stakeholders from other policy areas in order to promote the development of a culture of prevention.

Focussing on specific topics, the conference will see you form personal and professional relationships with people you would otherwise tend not to work with directly or have perhaps never spoken to before.

The 2011 Strategy Conference identified three priority topics for discussion at this year's event:

The majority of the stakeholders invited are involved in the following policy areas:

The 3rd International Strategy Conference is an important preparatory step on the path towards the XX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work - Global Forum for Prevention, which is due to take place on the 24-27 August 2014 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Organisers

The conference is being organised by the DGUV in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Social Security Association (ISSA), the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), the International Association of Labour Inspection (IALI), the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) and the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA).

Conference language will be English.

www.dguv.de/iag/veranstaltungen/strategiekonferenz/2013/index-2.jsp

European Quality of Life Survey 2012

Eurofound publishes its 3rd European Quality of Life Survey (3EQLS): 'Impacts of the crisis on Europe's citizens - Trends in quality of life': Declines of quality of life in all EU Member States, alarming levels in some, survey says

Declines of over 20% in levels of optimism and happiness are reported in some countries across the EU and over a third of people indicate a deterioration in their financial situation over the past five years. These results, from Eurofound's third European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) published today, largely reflect - with some interesting exceptions - the economic reality, with highest optimism levels reported in Denmark, Sweden and lowest levels in Greece, Italy, and Portugal. Trust in key public institutions, governments and parliaments has also fallen significantly across the European Union, with the largest declines obvious in those countries facing the most serious economic difficulties, such as Spain and Greece.

The survey results paint a comprehensive picture of life experienced by Europe's citizens over the last five years of the economic crisis. Since the last survey in 2007, more people who had good income and were in good quality housing are now struggling with unemployment, debts, housing insecurity and access to services. The survey also highlights that it is harder for many people to make ends meet: 7% report 'great difficulty' making ends meet, with large differences between Member States, ranging from 22% in Greece to 1% in Finland.

When asked to whom they would turn to urgently borrow money, most Europeans (70%) would ask a member of their family or a relative for a loan. Another 12% would ask a friend, neighbour or someone else, while 8% would turn to a service provider or institution. One out of ten (10%) report they would not be able to ask anybody; this was particularly true among people in the lowest income quartile (15%). Overall, 8% of people in the EU have been unable to pay back informal loans according to schedule.

In the EQLS, European citizens rate their life satisfaction at 7.1 on average on a scale from 1 to 10. Denmark still tops the scores in terms of life satisfaction and happiness while Bulgaria and Hungary report the lowest life satisfaction scores. There is no difference in life satisfaction levels between men and women, but those aged between 50-64 show lowest levels of satisfaction, as do people unable to work, the unemployed and single parents. Throughout, the role of the family remains important as a pillar of support.

People rating their health as 'good' or 'very good' have significantly higher life satisfaction and happiness than the average, and subjective well-being declines with worsening health status. Most Europeans say their health is good or very good (64%). Nevertheless, 9% report having bad or very bad health, with a higher proportion for women (10%) than for men (8%).

The social situation in the European Union today represents a complex and complicated story, and the European Quality of Life Survey offers an analysis of the multidimensional nature of quality of life.

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite EU Agency which provides social partners, governments and EU decision makers with relevant, timely and unbiased research results so that the lives of European citizens can be improved.

The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is an established tool for documenting and analysing quality of life in the EU. It explores issues pertinent to the lives of European citizens, such as employment, income, education, housing, family, health, work-life balance and perceived quality of society. The survey measures resources and living conditions through objective and descriptive indicators but also consistently includes the subjective dimension 'where people's feelings are treated as paramount'.

Fieldwork for the 3rd European Quality of Life Survey in the 27 Member States took place from September 2011 to February 2012, with most interviews being completed in the last quarter of 2011.

3rd European Quality of Life Survey: http://eurofound.europa.eu/surveys/european-quality-of-life-surveys-eqls/european-quality-of-life-survey-2012

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.

Work-related road traffic accidents should be reported by employers to help cut the number of people killed or injured while driving for work. With hundreds of people still dying on UK roads each year while at work, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) reiterated its call to Government during Road Safety Week 2012.

As the UK's largest organisation for health and safety professionals, IOSH wants the Government to include work-related road traffic accidents (RTAs) in the national accident reporting system (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995).

Richard Jones, head of policy and public affairs at IOSH, said: "In our latest response to the RIDDOR consultation, we have again called for the Government to make serious injuries and deaths from work-related road traffic accidents reportable under RIDDOR.

"Employers have clear duties under health and safety legislation in this country to manage work-related health and safety risks, which will include their occupational road risks. Employers who do not ensure employees can drive safely for work are as much at fault as those who don't ensure employees can use workplace machinery safely."

According to latest provisional figures from the Department of Transport, in the year ending June 2012, 24,870 people are estimated to have been killed or seriously injured on the roads in the UK. In 2010 the Government estimated that 24 per cent of serious injuries, and 30 per cent of road deaths could be linked to work-related road traffic accidents.

Mr Jones added: "It's vital employers manage their occupational road risks just as they would any other health and safety risks, through good planning and by implementing sensible, proportionate precautions. As well as preventing enormous human suffering, it also makes good business sense."

IOSH supports actions that can help reduce the work-related death toll on our roads. For more information about reducing occupational road traffic accidents visit the IOSH website and view case study success stories used in the IOSH Li£e Savings campaign.

In October IOSH submitted a response to the Health and Safety Executive Consultation on the 'Proposal to revise the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995' calling on the Government to consider incorporating work-related RTAs into RIDDOR.

Australia: Action urged on workplace bullying

An Australian parliamentary inquiry into workplace bullying has urged the government to set up a national service to provide practical advice on bullying and how to deal with it. The service would include a hotline where both employees and employers could receive help to prevent and resolve cases of bullying. The inquiry by a standing committee of the House of Representatives received more than 300 written submissions, mainly from workers who had experienced the problem first-hand.

Other recommendations of the committee's report, 'Workplace bullying: We just want it to stop', include providing online training packages for employers and on-site help for workplaces where bullying is known to be rife. Workplace relations minister Bill Shorten, who established the inquiry, said bullying is a serious workplace safety issue and he will consider the recommendations quickly. 'One thing I do know, is that workplace bullying is a real issue,' Mr Shorten said. 'Repeated unreasonable conduct which leaves people feeling disempowered and unhappy is absolutely not to be accepted. There needs to be zero tolerance for workplace bullying, so I think that this parliamentary committee is getting a positive issue up on the national stage.'

The committee's chair, Amanda Rishworth, said: 'We discovered throughout the inquiry that prevention and early intervention is critical. A chief concern of witnesses was the lack of clarity about what to do and where to go for help.' The committee singled out 'psychologically abusive group behaviour' in which workers banded together to try to drive a worker from their workplace as of particular concern. The phenomenon, known as 'mobbing', was most prolific in teaching and nursing, it said.

https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/risks-newsletter/risks-2012/risks-584-1-december-2012#tuc-21729-20

Bangladesh: Managers arrested after deadly factory fire

Three managers at a Bangladeshi clothing factory have been arrested and accused of locking a main gate of the facility hampering people trying to flee a 24 November inferno that killed more than 100 workers and left at least 200 injured. The arrest of the mid-level managers at Tazreen Fashions , situated in the industrial zone of Asulia, about 30 kilometres north of Dhaka, did not stop the continued protests of thousands in the capital city on 28 November, as many mourned and called for a full investigation into what happened. Local media have claimed 124 workers died.

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, attempted to distance itself from the clothing factory, saying it was no longer authorised to produce merchandise for the company. 'A supplier subcontracted work to this factory without authorisation and in direct violation of our policies. Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier,' a company statement said. Questions, however, are still being asked about Walmart's oversight of its supply chain.

Al Jazeera reported that Tazreen was given a 'high risk' safety rating after a May 2011 audit conducted by an 'ethical sourcing' assessor for Walmart. Walmart spokesperson Kevin Gardner said that the company should have conducted another inspection by August 2012 and that it is not clear 'if that inspection had been conducted or whether the factory was still making products for Walmart.'

Tazreen Fashions Ltd is a subsidiary of the Tuba Group, a major Bangladeshi garment exporter whose clients also include multinationals Carrefour and IKEA. Monika Kemperle, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL, the global union federation covering the garment sector, said only strong unions 'will be able to stop the ruinous competition at the cost of fire and building safety and therefore at the cost of workers and their families. Together trade unions will have more power at multiple levels to put pressure on governments, employers and international brand owners.'

https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/risks-newsletter/risks-2012/risks-584-1-december-2012#tuc-21729-21

ITUC: HIV/AIDs Must Not Drop Off the Global Agenda

As the world is still confronted with one of the biggest crisis ever, International Trade Union Confederation ITUC urges governments to keep the fight against HIV/AIDS high on their agenda and the global community to take actions to accelerate the eradication of the pandemic. Although significant progress was made over the last years, in 2011 there were still 2.5 million newly infected people.

The unprecedented level of inequalities among and within countries has a direct impact on the pandemic: Sub-Saharan Africa, with 23.5 million infected, remains the continent most affected, and the number of AIDS-related deaths is rising in regions such as Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

Only half of those living with HIV/AIDS have access to adequate treatment. The poor, especially in developing countries, often lack access to basic health services. "We must achieve universal access to health care, and all people living with HIV/AIDS must be able to receive adequate treatment," said Sharan Burrow, ITUC GS. "Putting in place effective and universal social protection floors is not only a matter of protecting human lives, it is also the only sustainable way out of the crisis," She added.

Trade unions support the "Getting to zero" objective (i.e., zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS-related deaths). The world of work has an essential contribution to make to the global HIV response, should it be on prevention, non-discrimination or access to treatment.

The ITUC will continue playing a leadership role in the response to HIV and AIDS and aligning trade union activities to the reality of the pandemic.

The statement: www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/2012_ituc_statement_for_world_aids_day_final_prfd.pdf

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

2 New Research reports from IRSST, Canada

Dusts in Traditional Bakeries

A new study published by the IRSST (Quebec Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute) characterize the dusts in the air of traditional bakeries in terms of total dusts (Dt), inhalable fraction (Fi), and respirable fraction (Fr), and analyse data on the particle size distribution of flour dusts generated during operations using flour. During the 1920s and 1930s, several scientists identified flour as the causal agent of baker's rhinitis and asthma. Since then, this relationship has been backed up by epidemiological and environmental studies. Some studies have also identified allergenic components of flour, including alpha-amylase. Nowadays, flour is documented as a causal agent that can induce a type of occupational asthma, often called baker's asthma.

From the researchers' observations, the main exposure risk factors in a traditional bakery are:

To download the document, please visit: www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-characterization-of-dusts-in-traditional-bakeries-r-760.html

Characterization of Dusts in the Food Seasonings Sector

This study published by the IRSST Quebec Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute) characterize the airborne dusts in establishments producing spice- and aromatic-herb-based seasoning mixtures in terms of total dusts, inhalable and respirable fractions, and the particle size distribution of the dusts generated during various operations.

Spices and aromatic herbs contain organic substances (also called active substances) that can cause irritation or that have an allergenic potential for the respiratory system or the skin. The effects of these substances, such as capsaicin, are mentioned in numerous scientific publications. The literature relating to the spice and aromatic herb sector reports skin effects, occupational asthma and other respiratory problems. Seasoning and spice grinding, mixing and packaging operators are exposed to rather high dust concentrations.

To download the document: www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-characterization-of-dusts-in-the-food-seasonings-sector-r-761.html

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Leadership and Occupational Safety and Health: Case studies and literature review from the European Occupational Safety and Health Agency

A new EU-OSHA report looks at the corporate leadership factors on which success depends. It reviews the existing literature on OSH leadership and analyses the results of 16 case studies from companies across the EU identifying success factors and examples of good OSH leadership, such as innovative approaches and the role of stakeholders.