Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

March 2013

Contents
  1. The Impact of Fire on our Schools - The Second All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group / Zurich Mutual Seminar
  2. Mobile device use while driving more common in the US than in several European countries
  3. Eurofound publishes its European Jobs Monitor 2013 - A polarising crisis: higher paid jobs prove most resilient
  4. CO2 storage: putting the 'S' in CCS to be held on Thursday 18 April 2013, Energy Institute, London
  5. New USA CDC Vital Signs: Lethal, Drug-resistant Bacteria Spreading in U.S. Healthcare Facilities
  6. EU-OSHA is a network organisation
  7. International Women's Day
  8. WSO 26th International Environmental & Occupational Safety & Health Professional Development Symposium
  9. UK RoSPA joins call for better accident data in a bid to tackle the huge burden of injuries at A&E
  10. 2013 Process Development Symposium: Process Scale-Up and its Challenges
  11. Construction Workers' Exposure to Crystalline Silica
  12. Reform of the International Labour Organisation's Headquarters Organisational Structure
  13. Do you worry that you do not have good quality fire, occupational safety and health information to do your job safely and healthily?
  14. XVI International Conference NOISE CONTROL 2013 will take place in the Ryn Castle Hotel in Poland, May 26-29th, 2013
  15. Green Workplaces
  16. Work-related stress does not increase the risk of most common cancers
  17. Sale of the UK Fire Service College completed: The future of the college is secured as Capita take over the world class training facility
  18. 17-20 September 2013 - Course on Seeking Causes for Occupational Cancer
  19. News from Ergonoma: The largest presentation of ergonomic products and services in Europe in 2013!
  20. ILO publishes the annual report on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations 2013
  21. About one in five U.S. adult cigarette smokers have tried an electronic cigarette
  22. Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) publishes Guidance on Managing Safety Rules and Procedures
  23. US CDC-NIOSH Alert - Preventing Occupational Respiratory Disease from Exposures caused by Dampness in Office Buildings, Schools and Other Non-Industrial Buildings

The Impact of Fire on our Schools - The Second All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group / Zurich Mutual Seminar

22 April 2013 - Committee Room 14, Houses of Parliament, London, UK

The impact of fire on our schools - have we done enough? Can we continue to allow tens of thousands of our children's education to be disrupted by fire, parent's hopes and dreams shattered, teachers' classwork ruined and our communities seriously affected?

Delegates are advised to book early for the Seminar, as the event will likely be full.

http://parliamentaryperceptions.co.uk/events/the-impact-of-fire-on-our-schools

Mobile device use while driving more common in the US than in several European countries

Most U.S. drivers reported talking on their cell phone and about one in three read or sent text or email messages when driving, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study, published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, examined two specific types of self-reported distracted driving behaviours: cell phone use while driving and reading or sending text or e-mail messages while driving, among drivers aged 18-64 years in the United States and in seven European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom).

CDC researchers analyzed data from the 2011 EuroPNStyles and HealthStyles surveys and found that 69 percent of U.S. drivers talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed compared to 21 percent of drivers from the United Kingdom. The study also found that 31 percent of drivers in the United States reported that they had read or sent text messages or emails while driving, compared to 15 percent of drivers in Spain.

"The cell phone can be a fatal distraction for those who use it while they drive," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. "Driving and dialling or texting don't mix. If you are driving, pull over to a safe place and stop before you use your cell phone."

CDC researchers also looked specifically at U.S. drivers and found that in the 30 days before they were surveyed:

www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0314_driving_mobile_device_use.html

Eurofound publishes its European Jobs Monitor 2013 - A polarising crisis: higher paid jobs prove most resilient

More than four years after the onset of the economic and social crisis, there are five million fewer people in work in the 27 European Union Member States. Eurofound's second annual European Jobs Monitor report 'Employment polarisation and job quality in the crisis' finds that the destruction of employment during the crisis has been sharpest in mid-paying jobs, while sparing in large part jobs at either end of the wage distribution. Higher paid jobs in service sectors in particular have proved most resilient.

New well-paid employment has come primarily in knowledge-intensive service sectors, such as ICT, business consultancy, health and education. During the peak period of the recession (2008-2009), employment growth in well-paid jobs was concentrated in predominantly publicly funded service sectors, principally health and education, but has shifted to private sector services more recently (2011-12).

Some low-paid jobs have also increased employment - for example, cleaners and personal care workers in social work and residential care. In general, jobs in the lowest quintile have fared much better than those in the "shrinking middle". The majority of construction and manufacturing jobs are near or just below median pay levels and these have suffered the brunt of employment losses. As these sectors are predominantly male, the aggregate impacts of the crisis have been very different for men and for women.

Female job losses have been much more modest. Indeed, the recession can be seen as accelerating the catch-up process of women in the labour market, both in terms of employment numbers and access to higher layers of the employment structure. Women have increased their employment share, particularly in 'mid-paid' and 'good' jobs (those in the higher quintiles). In part, this has been because women are overrepresented in certain growing sectors such as health and underrepresented in declining sectors. But it also reflects higher levels of educational attainment by women at a time when qualifications are an even more important requisite for access to better quality jobs.

An alarming illustration of the damage caused by the crisis to the prospects of younger, labour market entrants is that over the last year more of the net EU growth in well-paid, third-level graduate jobs was accounted for by those in the post-retirement age group (65+) than by workers under 30.

More information: www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/htmlfiles/ef1304.htm

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

CO2 storage: putting the 'S' in CCS to be held on Thursday 18 April 2013, Energy Institute, London

This one-day conference will discuss the importance of CO2 storage as a critical step in establishing the commercialisation of carbon capture and storage in the UK.

Focussing on themes that are emerging from the CCS Cost Reduction Taskforce, speakers will examine the conditions needed for the storage of CO2 that will be vital for the future deployment of CCS projects.

Confirmed Speakers and topics

Ashley Ibbett
CEO, Office for Carbon Capture and Storage
CO2 storage strategy
Professor Stuart Haszeldine
Edinburgh University
Appraisal and certification: the path to certification
Ian Phillips CEng FEI
Director - CO2 Infrastructure, CO2DeepStore
Understanding long term behaviour: building confidence
Michelle Bentham
Senior Geologist, British Geological Survey
Multi-site planning: interaction and basin management
Dr Owain Tucker
Global Deployment Lead CCS & Contaminated Gas, Shell International Petroleum Company
Operational assurance and site management: a case study
Jason Golder
Senior Development Manager, The Crown Estate
From single site to cluster: a phased approach
George Day
Strategy Manager for Economics, The Energy Technologies Institute
The framework for storage: free market or planned economy?
Dr John Scott
Chief Risk Officer, Zurich Global Corporate, Zurich Financial Services
Risk and liability - who pays?
Allan Baker
MD - Global Head of Power, Societe Generale
Financing storage: think beyond the banks
Dr Ward Goldthorpe
Programme Manager Carbon Capture Storage and Gas Storage, The Crown Estate
The way ahead

Why attend?

Who should attend?

Management personnel from power generation, oil and gas companies, manufacturing and chemical industries, as well as contractors and consultants seeking to develop an understanding of this area.

www.energyinst.org/events/view/906

For more information, contact: Vickie Naidu | Tel: +44 (0)20 7467 7179 | Email: vnaidu@energyinst.org

New USA CDC Vital Signs: Lethal, Drug-resistant Bacteria Spreading in U.S. Healthcare Facilities

Drug-resistant germs called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, are on the rise and have become more resistant to last-resort antibiotics during the past decade, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report. These bacteria are causing more hospitalized patients to get infections that, in some cases, are impossible to treat.

CRE are lethal bacteria that pose a triple threat:

Currently, almost all CRE infections occur in people receiving significant medical care. CRE are usually transmitted from person-to-person, often on the hands of health care workers. In 2012, CDC released a concise, practical CRE prevention toolkit with in-depth recommendations to control CRE transmission in hospitals, long-term acute care facilities, and nursing homes. Recommendations for health departments are also included. CRE can be carried by patients from one health care setting to another. Therefore, facilities are encouraged to work together, using a regional "Detect and Protect" approach, to implement CRE prevention programs.

In addition to detailed data about the rise of CRE, the Vital Signs report details steps health care providers, CEOs and chief medical officers, state health departments and patients can take now to slow, and even stop, CRE before it becomes widespread throughout the country.

EU-OSHA is a network organisation

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work is a network organisation, with a "focal point" in each Member States as well as in European Free Trade Association (EFTA) States and candidate and potential candidate countries. This enables EU-OSHA to be more successful in the creation of healthier, safer, and more productive workplaces by permitting a greater sharing of information.

Nominated by each government as EU-OSHA's official representative in that country, the focal points are typically the competent national authority for safety and health at work and are primary contributors to the implementation of the EU-OSHA's work programmes.

Each focal point manages its own tripartite network comprising of government bodies and representatives from worker and employer organisations. This network provides input to the EU-OSHA's work and the mechanism to disseminate products and information to national stakeholders. In addition, the focal points are active in the planning and implementation of EU-OSHA campaigns as well as nominating national experts to the agency's groups and seminars.

More details and links to the various countries in the network: https://osha.europa.eu/en/about-eu-osha/national-focal-points

International Women's Day

Originally called International Working Women's Day, 8th of March has been celebrated for more than 100 years to recognise the role of women and their contributions to society.

Women make up 45% of the employed population in the European Union. But still too many workplaces are designed with a typical male worker in mind.

A 'gender sensitive' approach to health and safety at work is needed to make the working lives of women healthier, safe and more productive.

WSO 26th International Environmental & Occupational Safety & Health Professional Development Symposium

9-11 September 2013

WSO 26th International Environmental & Occupational Safety & Health Professional Development Symposium will be held in conjunction with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Extension, and OSHA Training and International Safety Education Institute

www.worldsafety.org/events/event/wso-26th-international-environmental-occupational-safety-health-professional-development-symposium

UK RoSPA joins call for better accident data in a bid to tackle the huge burden of injuries at A&E

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is joining the call for detailed injury data in a bid to tackle the huge burden of accidents at A&E.

According to the NHS, A&E attendances in England have doubled during the last 20 years to a record 21.48 million. This means that, on average, every person in England is now visiting A&E once every 2.5 years - and putting the NHS under enormous pressure.

The UK was once a world leader in injury data collection - until the Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System (HASS/LASS) was killed off in 2002.

And because patients are no longer asked about the circumstances that led to their injuries - establishing where they were and what they were doing - experts have been unable to fully understand the sharp rise in A&E attendances.

In 2011, serious injuries led to 1.28 million people being admitted to English hospitals. RoSPA estimates that the cost of unintentional injuries to UK society is at least £150 billion per year, of which home and leisure accidents account for £95 billion, road £30 billion and workplace £30 billion.

For this reason, RoSPA is joining the call for the European Union to provide the funding for the collection and analysis of detailed injury data.

The case for a better data collection system is contained in the policy paper: "The Need for a UK Accident and Injury Data System, Which Feeds into a Pan-European System"

www.rospa.com/campaigns-fundraising/current/injury-data

2013 Process Development Symposium: Process Scale-Up and its Challenges

11-13 June 2013

The Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus, Oak Brook, Illinois, USA

Contact: www.aiche.org/conferences/process-development-symposium/2013/registration-info

Construction Workers' Exposure to Crystalline Silica

The IRSST published a portrait of construction workers' exposure to silica. Researchers have developed a database on occupational exposure, thereby facilitating the identification of tasks and tools that most expose workers to silica, as well as the job designations with the highest risk.

The analysis identifies the tasks and tools that may expose workers to silica at levels above the regulatory level. These include sawing masonry pieces with portable masonry saws, roughening (bushhammering), cracking masonry pieces (hammer drills and jackhammers, on concrete or ceramic), tunnelling and grinding joints of brick or stone.

As for the occupations most exposed to silica, the study suggests that employees working underground as well as operators of heavy equipment for the drilling of tunnels form one group that could be exposed to concentrations exceeding the level prescribed by Quebec. Cement finishers, bricklayers, drillers, semi-skilled workers and skilled operators of heavy equipment used for milling roads are the second group exposed, on average, to levels above or near to the prescribed level.

However, the presence of silica in several of the basic materials used in the construction sector makes it difficult to envisage substitution as an approach to eliminating hazards at source. Technical means of controlling exposure, such as sprinkling and exhaust ventilation promote a significant decrease in the concentration of silica in the air, but they do not, according to data collected, comply with exposure limits. Researchers recommend optimizing these means, complemented by the use of respiratory protective equipment, improving the tuning and maintenance of tools and equipment, and adopting work methods that limit the emission of dust.

This research report is available at: www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-construction-workers-exposure-to-crystalline-silica-literature-review-and-analysis-r-771.html

Contact: Maura Tomi, M.Sc., Communication advisor, Communications and Knowledge Transfer Division, IRSST Quebec, Canada | Email: Maura.Tomi@irsst.qc.ca

Reform of the International Labour Organisation's Headquarters Organisational Structure

The Director-General, Guy Ryder, has announced changes in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) headquarters organisational structure in a report published 14 February 2013.

This is one component of a reform process designed to place the ILO in a better position to meet its constitutional objectives based on the Decent Work Agenda and is coherent with the direction given in the Organisation's 2008 Declaration on Social Justice for a fair Globalization.

The new structure also provides a platform for advancing other areas of the reform process, including the strengthening of field operations.

www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/who-we-are/ilo-director-general/WCMS_204939/lang--en/index.htm

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XVI International Conference NOISE CONTROL 2013 will take place in the Ryn Castle Hotel in Poland, May 26-29th, 2013

The conference is addressed to those involved in the problems of noise and vibration control in research and development, training, occupational safety and health management, protection of the working and natural environment.

Exhibition

Conference organizers would like to invite companies interested in presenting their products to take part in the exhibition. It will cover measuring apparatus, sound absorbing materials and equipment; sound insulating elements and enclosures, attenuators and computer software. Presentations of technical consultancy services and training courses will take place, too.

Deadlines

Conference languages: English and Polish (simultaneous interpretation into both languages).

All papers will be published in conference proceedings and in scientific journals covered by the Journal Citation Reports - the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (JOSE) and Archives of Acoustics, after they have been accepted for publication by the respective Editorial Boards.

More information: www.ciop.pl/28422.html

Green Workplaces

A guide for union representatives This ETUC guide provides advice on good practice from trade union activists across the European Union (EU) on how to get going on greening their workplaces.

It includes excellent examples on energy use, using fewer resources, recycling and green travel, plus a walkround checklist.

www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/green-workplaces/etuc-green-workplaces-network/green-workplaces-guide-union

The joint European individual-participant data meta-analysis of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) and University College London (UCL) shows that work-related stress does not cause the most common cancers. A previous study of this subject has given inconsistent results. These new results were published in the British Medical Journal at the beginning of February 2013.

The study followed 116, 000 people for an average of twelve years. During this time, five percent of these people developed some form of cancer. However, no association was found between work stress and the risk of the most common forms of cancer, i.e. colorectal, lung, breast or prostate cancers.

"It seems that work stress is not a significant risk factor for cancer. Although decreasing work stress would undoubtedly improve the well-being of the working population, it would most probably not have an effect on the emergence of cancer on a population level," says Katriina Heikkilä, Specialist Research Scientist at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH).

Possible indirect link between work stress and cancer

It is estimated that environmental risk factors play a part in ninety per cent of new cancers. The carcinogenic effects of many environmental and lifestyle factors, such as ultraviolet radiation and smoking, are well known. Exposure to chemicals or radiation at work may also cause cell changes leading to cancer. In contrast, the role of, for instance, psychosocial factors in the development of cancer is unclear.

Psychosocial stress may cause a physiological stress reaction or lead to a chronic inflammation process, which in turn is associated with cancer.

"An indirect link, connected to lifestyle factors, may also exist between psychosocial stress and the risk of cancer. Many risk factors of cancer, including smoking, excessive use of alcohol and obesity are more common among those suffering from stress than those with no stress," reports Heikkilä.

Possible risk factors of occupational cancer under study

The study does not rule out the possibility that work-related risk factors other than stress may also cause cancer. The association between shift work and breast cancer, for instance, is actively being researched.

The link between psychosocial work stress and the risk of cancer has been previously investigated, but results have been inconsistent. Most research to date has studied a relatively small number of participants and has often focused on a specific occupational group.

The study

The research team from FIOH and University College London studied the associations between work stress and risk of cancer as part of the European IPD Work Consortium. The research was carried out through individual-participant data meta-analysis. The data consisted of the register information of 116 056 people who were cancer free at the beginning of the study, from Finland, Sweden, Great Britain, France, Denmark and the Netherlands. During follow-up, 5 765 developed cancer.

Psychosocial work stress was measured in all studies with a questionnaire using a validated and harmonized job strain measure at the beginning of follow-up. The study accounted for the possible confounding effect on results of age, gender, socioeconomic status, smoking and use of alcohol.

Further information contact: Katriina Heikkilä, Specialist Research Scientist, FIOH, Finland | Tel. +358 43 824 4261 | Email: katriina.heikkila@ttl.fi

Sale of the UK Fire Service College completed: The future of the college is secured as Capita take over the world class training facility

Fire Minister Brandon Lewis announced on 28 February 2013 the completion of the sale of the Fire Service College to Capita. The minister said that the college has at long last been given the best possible chance to fully realise the huge potential for this world-class asset.

Mr Lewis said: "I believe that by freeing the college from the constraints of government ownership, a private sector owner like Capita will have the freedom to generate new business and provide the innovation and investment which the college needs to safeguard its long term future."

The project to sell the UK Fire Service College had 3 key objectives in mind, to:

These aims have all been achieved in the sale to Capita.

The sale represents a good deal for the taxpayer. The college has been sold to Capita for an enterprise value of £10 million. In addition, the department will share in any future profits from the development of college land and will receive further revenue from the sale of a number of houses previously part of the college estate.

More importantly, Capita has also committed to invest in a significant programme of infrastructure and transformation and is keen to ensure that training courses deliver improved value for money.

Taken together the sale of the college has the potential to deliver an estimated benefit of £30 million to the taxpayer in the first few years and at the same time secure the college's future.

Mr Lewis added: "I am particularly pleased that important partners, such as the Chief Fire Officers Association and the Local Government Association, have reacted positively to the sale, and I would like to wish Capita every success in realising their vision for the college."

Andy Parker, Capita's joint chief operating officer said: "We envisage that the college will become a pioneering facility for the fire service, other emergency services and related markets, such as defence, oil and gas. It will support professional development and host integrated scenario planning and live exercises for major incidents. Capita will also support national standards that will ensure consistency of training delivered at both a local and international level. Capita recognises the college as an establishment that offers great potential in enabling the emergency services to meet the demands of the future."

The Fire Service College has been a trading fund and executive agency of the department. Since it became a trading fund in 1992, it has never been able to pay a dividend out of operating profits. The government's response to Fire Futures on 12 April 2011 concluded that the college could achieve its full potential only if there was greater involvement from other sectors in its ownership, operation and governance.

The project considered 4 options for the future of the college:

Analysis of the 4 options showed disposal as a going concern to be the best option, and the only 1 which both removes from government ongoing financial risks of ownership of the college and preserves a national training college for the Fire and Rescue Service.

On 22 March 2012 ministers announced that the Fire Service College would be sold as a going concern to a private sector company to continue operating as a training centre. The sale process was launched on 10 April 2012.

Ministers announced Capita as the preferred bidder on 13 December 2012.

A full 'Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations' (TUPE) consultation has taken place with union representatives at the college.

17-20 September 2013 - Course on Seeking Causes for Occupational Cancer

This course to be held at Krusenberg Herrgård, Uppsala (right outside of Stockholm), Sweden will be lead by Professor Eero Pukkala, Finnish Cancer Registry, Finland. The course aims to give a comprehensive overview of associations between work and cancer, deepening the understanding of factors confirmed long time ago and giving insight to recent findings derived especially from the unique Nordic Occupational Cancer study (NOCCA). There are new knowledge related to even such well-known associations as the one between asbestos and cancers.

At the other end, the potential link between unknown associations such as nano-materials and cancer will be discussed. Also such cancer-causing factors as shift work are taken up during the course. Within this context, research methodology such as dose-response analyses based on job exposure matrices, and the meaning and interpretation of the findings will be scrutinized. Within this framework, the aim is also to share new knowledge related to occupational risk factors of cancer with persons who have not doing active research themselves but who are engaged in the diagnosing and preventing work related cancer.

Main topics

Target groups

Researchers on occupational cancer. Persons working in occupational health sector and/or interested in an overview on what is really known about occupation and cancer.

www.niva.org

News from Ergonoma: The largest presentation of ergonomic products and services in Europe in 2013!

From 5-8 November 2013, as part of A+A Dusseldorf 2013, Ergonoma Journal offers for the seventh time in 2013 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), A+A 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, A+A 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 A+A International exhibition.

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

Ergonoma Directory of Worldwide Ergonomics Suppliers

Our Directory of Worldwide Ergonomics Suppliers contains 895 entries from 201 companies in 21 countries in 86 categories, covering the whole range of Ergonomics supplies and services.

To access the Ergonoma Directory go to http://directory.ergonoma.com

Subscribe Ergonoma Journal (Paper magazine)

The European Ergonomics Health and Wellness at Work Quarterly Magazine, bilingual English/French, is read by more than 30,000 ergonomics, health and wellness at work managers in the 33 countries of Europe.

http://ergonoma.com/category/journal-en

You can also download or read for free Ergonoma Journal, from number 1 to number 30: www.ergonoma.com

ILO publishes the annual report on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations 2013

The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, whose work constitutes the cornerstone of the ILO's supervisory system on international labour standards, has just published its annual reports.

International labour standards are universal instruments adopted by the international community and reflecting common values and principles on work-related issues. While ILO member States can choose whether or not to ratify any conventions, the ILO considers it important to keep track of developments in all countries, whether or not they have ratified them.

Once a country has ratified an ILO convention, it is obliged to report regularly on measures it has taken to implement it. The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations is an independent body composed of legal experts charged with examining the application of ILO Conventions and Recommendations by ILO member States.

When examining the application of international labour standards the Committee of Experts makes two kinds of comments: observations and direct requests. Observations contain comments on fundamental questions raised by the application of a particular convention by a state. These observations are published in the Committee's annual report.

The Committee's annual report consists of three parts. A General Report, which includes comments about member states' respect for their Constitutional obligations and highlights from the Committee's observations; and a part which contains the observations on the application of international labour standards, and a General Survey.

General Survey

The Committee of Experts also publishes an in-depth annual General Survey on member States' national law and practice, on a subject chosen by the Governing Body. This year the General Survey focuses on Labour Relations and Collective Bargaining in the public sector.

These surveys are established mainly on the basis of reports received from member states and information transmitted by employers' and workers' organizations. They allow the Committee of Experts to examine the impact of conventions and recommendations, to analyse the difficulties indicated by governments as impeding their application or their ratification, and to identify means of overcoming these obstacles.

About one in five U.S. adult cigarette smokers have tried an electronic cigarette

In 2011, about 21 percent of adults who smoke traditional cigarettes had used electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, up from about 10 percent in 2010, according to a study released by the United States of America Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Overall, about six percent of all adults have tried e-cigarettes, with estimates nearly doubling from 2010. This study is the first to report changes in awareness and use of e-cigarettes between 2010 and 2011.

During 2010-2011, adults who have used e-cigarettes increased among both sexes, non-Hispanic Whites, those aged 45-54 years, those living in the South, and current and former smokers and current and former smokers. In both 2010 and 2011, e-cigarette use was significantly higher among current smokers compared to both former and never smokers. Awareness of e-cigarettes rose from about four in 10 adults in 2010 to six in 10 adults in 2011.

"E-cigarette use is growing rapidly," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH "There is still a lot we don't know about these products, including whether they will decrease or increase use of traditional cigarettes."

Although e-cigarettes appear to have far fewer of the toxins found in smoke compared to traditional cigarettes, the impact of e-cigarettes on long-term health must be studied. Research is needed to assess how e-cigarette marketing could impact initiation and use of traditional cigarettes, particularly among young people.

www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0228_electronic_cigarettes.html

Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) publishes Guidance on Managing Safety Rules and Procedures

Rules and procedures feature prominently in health and safety, but do not receive the thought and care needed to make the most of their contribution to risk control. This leads some organisations to regard risk control as nothing more than complying with rules thought up by experts and managers. They see the need for obeying rules as a foregone conclusion, leading them to impose rules without much thought. Organisations treat deviations from rules as violations and apportion blame accordingly. And when accidents occur, new rules are developed or existing rules are fine-tuned. The result is ever larger rule sets and procedure manuals that become too unwieldy for anyone to comprehend or use. This may be one reason for the negative perception some people have of health and safety.

Commissioned by the UK based Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the objectives of this research were to:

The research team carried out a literature search on the basis of 27 key words, in all relevant combinations, and tapped into 25 databases. This revealed an initial trawl of 301 relevant papers in the period since 1986. After reading the abstracts, the team reduced the number to 180.

The team produced a scientific review of the literature to present what can be concluded from experience-based and theoretical studies of rule-making and rule management from the diverse literature of safety science and related psychological, sociological and organisational fields. The literature review provided the theoretical 'state of the art' on rule use and management. The research team distilled this into a framework, consisting of nine steps, showing the generic process of rule management.

The team presented preliminary results to researchers at conferences, and at a workshop of senior safety practitioners, whose comments and suggestions were incorporated in all sections of the final report. Based on these discussions, the team developed guidelines for use by safety practitioners. These outline good practice in each step, as a stimulus for reviewing an organisation's rule management. The team also developed a brief intervention plan to help safety practitioners and consultants review and benchmark rule management systems. The intervention plan is included at the end of the guidance.

Safety rules and procedures: The evidence base by Health and Safety Technology and Management Ltd and University of Ballarat (2012)

www.iosh.co.uk/Books and resources/Safety rules and procedures

US CDC-NIOSH Alert - Preventing Occupational Respiratory Disease from Exposures caused by Dampness in Office Buildings, Schools and Other Non-Industrial Buildings

Office buildings, schools, and other non-industrial buildings may develop moisture and dampness problems from roof and window leaks, high indoor humidity, and flooding events, among other things. This CDC-NIOSH Alert contains recommendations regarding building design and use.

For this Alert, CDC defines "dampness" as the presence of unwanted and excessive moisture in buildings. Research studies have shown that dampness-related exposures from building dampness and mould have been associated with respiratory symptoms, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, and respiratory infections in research studies. Individuals with asthma or hypersensitivity pneumonitis may be at risk for progression to more severe disease if the relationship between illness and exposure to the damp building is not recognized and exposures continue.

Preventing Occupational Respiratory Disease from Exposures Caused by Dampness in Office Buildings, Schools, and Other Non industrial Buildings

www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2013-102/pdfs/2013-102.pdf