News from around the World
- Using validated and authoritative information contained in OSH UPDATE and FIREINF electronic online services will ensure that you have the correct guidance and advice... find out more...
- Healthy Workplaces Film Award 2013
- German database on chemicals now available in English
- National Asthma Awareness Month in the USA
- Eurofound publishes new comparative research on restructuring in SMEs in Europe: Understanding restructuring in SMEs in Europe
- New EU-OSHA report looks at the whole-school approach to OSH and education
- Fire and Blast Information Group - Technical Meeting on "Risk Management of Ageing Facilities: Best Practice"
- New regulations on preventing sharps injuries in the UK healthcare sector
- A+A 2013 Exhibition in Düsseldorf, 5-8 November 2013
- The forthcoming 33rd International Congress - Safety and Health at Work, A+A, 5-8 November 2013
- Raising awareness of work-related accidents and ill health on UK's Workers' Memorial Day
- Employee attitudes represent greatest challenge for social care professionals implementing health and safety policies: NASHiCS research
- Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning after an emergency
- Positive Psychology at Work - Towards flourishing workplaces
- US CSB Deploys to Massive Explosion and Fire on 17 April 2013 at Fertilizer Plant Near Waco, Texas, USA
- Occupational health specialist is the new IEHF President
- Taking into Account Employee Health and Well-being During Organizational Changes
- Draft report on Chevron Refinery Vapour Cloud Release and Fire
- First FABIG Technical Meeting in Korea covering "Explosion and Fire Risk Control in Various Industries" on 15 May 2013 in Busan
- EU Project Paves Way to Prevent Occupational Skin Diseases in European Hairdressing
- Improve your sleep and protect your heart
- MEWPs for Managers course goes global
Using validated and authoritative information contained in OSH UPDATE and FIREINF electronic online services will ensure that you have the correct guidance and advice... find out more...
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Healthy Workplaces Film Award 2013
Documentary films competing for the Healthy Workplaces Film Award will be nominated by the festival management from the films selected for the official programme of DOK Leipzig. As an added reward, 1,000 copies of the winning film will also be produced in a selection of 8 EU languages by EU-OSHA and distributed across Europe. Directors are invited to submit their films by 10 July 2013.
The film should deal with risks that people face at their workplace (such as physical, chemical, mechanical or psychosocial risks). It could also deal with workers' rights, workplace health and safety or the effects of political and economic change on the way we work. Another focus could be on sectors playing an important part in the economic, cultural and political life in Europe (i.e. education, agriculture, construction, health care); or on groups facing particular challenges, such as migrant workers, women, disabled workers, young workers and ageing workers. The Healthy Workplaces Film Award is given to an authored creative and artistic documentary, fostering debate and discussion among European citizens on the importance of safety and health at work. The film should have a specific point of view that convinces the jury by its compelling storytelling, strong characters and excellent filmmaking skills regarding camera work, sound and montage.
The winner of the Healthy Workplaces Film Award shall grant EU-OSHA the right, free of charge, to
- place a trailer or an excerpt of the winning film of up to five minutes and stills (pictures) on the EU-OSHA website, in press releases or in the EU-OSHA newsletter.
- show and present the trailer or the winning film in its entirety at non-public and non-commercial events organised by EU-OSHA and its network of Focal Points in EU 28, EEA, and candidate and potential candidate countries.
- produce 1,000 DVDs including subtitles in a selection of European languages of the winning film and to grant EU-OSHA the non-exclusive, non-commercial and non-theatrical license right to distribute the DVDs in the above mentioned network and to other official partners.
In return, the rights for the subtitles can be obtained by the filmmaker/rights holder of the winning film free of charge for further use. Among the 1,000 DVDs produced, 200 will be reserved for the filmmaker/rights holder for their own promotion needs. Further details shall be discussed between EU-OSHA and the award winner.
German database on chemicals now available in English
The German IFA has launched a new database within GESTIS: the GESTIS DNEL Database: www.dguv.de/ifa/GESTIS/GESTIS-DNEL-Datenbank/index-2.jsp
This database has been set up on request and with specialised support of the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions.
According to the REACH Regulation DNELs or "Derived No-Effect Levels" are deduced levels of exposure below which a chemical substance should not adversely affect human health. DNELs have to be established by manufacturers and importers under their own responsibility and are published by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
The reported DNELs are not immediately visible on ECHA's website, being located in the registration entry for the substance concerned in a sub-chapter. The GESTIS DNEL Database of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) aims to simplify searches for workplace-related DNELs, as they could serve as a tool for occupational risk assessment.
GESTIS is a joint project of the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions aimed at establishing and using a network of centralised and decentralised files on harmful substances.
GESTIS is maintained by the Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA, Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance). At present, GESTIS comprises eight central databases operated at the German Social Accident Insurance (Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV):
- GESTIS-database on hazardous substances, contains information for the safe handling of chemical substances at work, e.g. health effects, necessary protective measures and such in case of danger (incl. First Aid).
- ISi information system for safety data sheets, to provide public authorities, emergency services and the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions with access to the most comprehensive and up-to-date repository possible of safety data sheets for chemical products.
- GESTIS - Analytical methods, contains validated lists of methods from various EU member states described as suitable for the analysis of chemical agents at workplaces.
- GESTIS - International limit values for chemical agents (OELs), a collection of occupational limit values gathered from various EU member states, Australia, Canada (Ontario and Québec), Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States
- GESTIS DNEL Database
- Under the EU REACH Chemical Regulation, a manufacturer registering substances under REACH must state assessment metrics which serve as a basis for the corresponding protective measures. Deduced levels of exposure below which a substance does not adversely affect human health are described as "derived no-effect levels" (DNELs).
- GESTIS - Wissenschaftliche Begründungen (criteria documents)
- GESTIS-DUST-EX, important combustion and explosion characteristics of more than 4000 dust samples from virtually all sectors of industry
- Exposure database MEGA, "Measurement data relating to workplace exposure to hazardous substances" - MEGA is a compilation of data gathered through atmospheric measurements at workplaces.
It also provides access to the International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSC), which contain essential information for the safe handling of chemical substances at the workplace.
National Asthma Awareness Month in the USA
Asthma is one of the most common lifelong chronic diseases. There are almost 26 million people living with asthma. The disease affects the lungs, causing repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing.
Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma successfully to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes. Successful asthma management includes knowing the warning signs of an attack, avoiding things that may trigger an attack, and following the advice of your healthcare provider. Using what you know about managing your asthma can give you control over this chronic disease.
When you control your asthma, you will breathe better, be as active as you would like, sleep well, stay out of the hospital, and be free from coughing and wheezing. To learn more about how you can control your asthma, visit CDC's asthma site.
Eurofound publishes new comparative research on restructuring in SMEs in Europe: Understanding restructuring in SMEs in Europe
Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) make up more than 99% of European businesses and account for about two thirds of private sector employment. SMEs are subject to change as large businesses, but public and policy discussions on restructuring is mainly focused on large-scale restructuring because of the greater immediate effects, often neglecting specific characteristics and needs of SMEs. Eurofound has carried out comparative research to highlight the challenges facing restructuring in SMEs in Europe, specifically in the area of policy and support measures. This package of research, which includes a database of 85 company case examples, is presented to members of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.
Restructuring in SMEs is less visible and less publicised than that in larger firms, which makes headlines almost on a daily basis. Yet, SMEs are the backbone of the European economy, accounting for more than 99% of European enterprises and about two-thirds of private sector employment. Restructuring is likely to have different manifestations in SMEs than in larger firms and until recently little has been known about the details of restructuring in SMEs and its outcomes.
Eurofound has now carried out an EU-wide research study which investigated the relevance of different forms of restructuring for SMEs, the drivers of change, the main characteristics, success factors and constraints of SME restructuring as well as the effects of restructuring on companies and employees. The research found that internal restructuring, business expansion and (avoiding) bankruptcy/closure are the most common forms of restructuring in SMEs, and restructuring in SMEs tends to be carried out in a reactive, unplanned way and without formal restructuring plans.
Restructuring in SMEs is driven by a combination of company external and company internal factors, hardly ever by a single event. While company external factors are in general the same as for large firms, the company internal factors are very specific for SMEs. These are related to the strong role of the owner/manager in the firm, and the limitations in terms of human resources and financing, and the often prevalent dependency on a few key clients and suppliers.
Common for SMEs is that once restructuring is underway, decisions are taken quickly and flexibly. The owner/manager has a core role in SME restructuring, supported by various internal and external stakeholders. It is not common for staff representatives to be involved, however, as the majority of SMEs have no formal staff representation structure.
The research findings suggest that policymakers should consider improvements in the support services to SMEs, by offering more comprehensive packages, easier access through one-stop-shops, reframing eligibility criteria; and prioritising access to finance, and the anticipation of change within the company.
An overview report, with an executive summary, national reports from all 27 EU Member States and a database with 85 company cases, is available: www.eurofound.europa.eu/emcc/labourmarket/restructuringsme
For further information, contact Måns Mårtensson, Eurofound's media manager | Eurofound, Loughlinstown House, Wyattville Road, Dublin, Ireland D18 | Email: email@example.com | Tel: +353-1-204 3124 | Mobile: +353-876-593 507
The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite European Union Agency, whose role is to provide research knowledge and expertise in the area of social and work-related policies. Eurofound was established in 1975 by Council Regulation Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1365/75 of 26 May 1975, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:01975R1365-20050804:EN:NOT
New EU-OSHA report looks at the whole-school approach to OSH and education
To equip young people with the right OSH skills, knowledge and attitudes, risk education should be embedded in the school curriculum, starting at nursery-level. A Whole-School Approach to OSH integrates risk education and school safety and health management throughout the school's activities and the way it functions, making them part of school life. It also actively involves staff and pupils in school safety management. The approach improves both risk education and the learning environment for staff and pupils.
EU-OSHA has released a report that presents and analyses in-depth cases focused on implementing the whole-school approach.
The report also discusses the inclusion of risk education and school safety management in a broader 'combined' whole-school approach which covers topics such as health education and promotion, the prevention of violence and bullying to staff and pupils, and sustainable development and environmental issues.
Fire and Blast Information Group - Technical Meeting on "Risk Management of Ageing Facilities: Best Practice"
Half day event - 4th June 2013 - Broadway House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NQ, UK and via LIVE WEBCAST (Registering for the webcast enables live viewing of the meeting and subsequent access to a video recording of the event)
Half day event - 5th June 2013 - Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, AB24 3UE, UK
- FABIG Members: Free
- Non-members: £350 (excluding VAT) per person for the London or Aberdeen events
- £200 (excluding VAT) per person for the Webcast event
Please register for the event online at www.fabig.com/events
Alternatively, please contact Jane Burrell at SCI | Tel: +44 (0) 1344 636 525 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New regulations on preventing sharps injuries in the UK healthcare sector
New regulations to control the risks posed by needles and other 'sharps' in healthcare The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations will come into force on 11 May 2013. Northern Ireland will introduce equivalent regulations on the same date.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is introducing the new regulations to implement a European Directive. They will supplement the existing health and safety legislation that already requires employers across all sectors to take effective action to control the risk from sharps injuries.
Employers and contractors working in the healthcare sector will be required to:
- Have effective arrangements for the safe use and disposal (including using 'safer sharps' where reasonably practicable, restricting the practice of recapping of needles and placing sharps bins close to the point of use)
- Provide the necessary information and training to workers
- Investigate and take action in response to work related sharps injuries
Martin Dilworth, an HSE policy advisor in biological hazards, said:
"Sharps injuries are a well-known risk in the healthcare sector. Medical sharps contaminated with an infected patient's blood can transmit pathogens that cause more than 20 diseases, including hepatitis B and C, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
"The new regulations are there to help minimise these risks, and we're publishing free guidance to help the healthcare industry understand its responsibilities."
- The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. For more information about the work of HSE, visit www.hse.gov.uk
- The source European Directive for these regulations is 2010/32/EU implementing the Framework Agreement on the prevention from sharps injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector which was adopted on 10 May 2010
- The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/645/made
A+A 2013 Exhibition in Düsseldorf, 5-8 November 2013
Style and protection are becoming more compatible all the time. Modern protective clothing and work wear combine both style and function. Purchasing decision-makers from different industries and companies of all sizes can satisfy themselves of this at the A+A 2013 exhibition in Düsseldorf, the leading international trade fair and conference on personal protection, operational safety and health in the workplace on 5 - 8 November 2013. With over 1,600 exhibitors from about 60 countries, it is one of the most important market platforms in the world for work wear, including for example the ever more popular sector of corporate fashion/image wear.
More and more industries, trades and service companies are choosing protective clothing and work wear inspired by fashion, with the aim of sharpening up their brand image and brand management for the internal and external representation of their company.
For further information on latest trends in the field of corporate fashion/ work wear find enclosed one specialist article.
Information online: www.AplusA.de
The forthcoming 33rd International Congress - Safety and Health at Work, A+A, 5-8 November 2013
From 5-8 November the International Congress of A+A - Safety and Health at Work - will be held for the 33rd time at the Düsseldorf Congress Center. The organiser, Basi, invites all experts to use the four congress days to gather information on and discuss the complete spectrum of current issues in safety, health and ergonomics.
In 60 lecture series presented at the Congress running concurrently with the A+A trade fair, 350 high-calibre experts from political, research and practical fields concerned with safety and health at work will discuss current developments in society, reform projects in national and European policy, technical and organisational innovations as well as the latest scientific findings. 5,000 delegates are expected to attend the Congress. The partner country of A+A 2013 is Turkey. This is why the Turkish Labour Minister Faruk Celik is expected to be present at the opening event.
Mega Theme "Work and Health"
The "Work and Health" theme currently enjoys as much public attention as ever. Especially stress, psychological strain and disorders as well as the "burn-out syndrome" as a focal health problem (at least in Germany) are nearly omnipresent in the media but also in politics and business.
The public visibility of occupational safety and health themes does not always correspond to their "real" importance for prevention. In its "Stressreport Deutschland 2012" the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) has now submitted facts and figures for this theme on the basis of a survey of the employed conducted jointly with the Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BiBB) in 2011/12. 58% of the in total 20,000 people polled mentioned multi-tasking as a job profile requirement followed by pressure to perform (52%), repetitive work processes (50%) and disruptions at the workplace (44%). Workers perceived time pressure and the pressure to perform as constituting a particular burden for them (34% of those polled). The "Stressreport" also narrows down the on-going restructuring activities in modern working life as a particular focus of pressure. In the opinion of those polled, however, the level of psychological strain as a whole has remained almost unchanged since 2006.
Principal Event and Global Marketplace for Prevention
With its two strands - congress and trade fair - A+A is the principal meeting point and global marketplace for this field of activities. And this is also its unique selling point.
The A+A Congress addresses all central safety, health and ergonomic issues. Of particular cross-disciplinary importance are the events on the Joint German Occupational Safety and Health Strategy (GDA), on occupational medical care and safety consulting but also on the ergonomic design of working time and work organisation, on the importance of standardisation in health at work, on the importance of prevention for securing a skilled workforce in view of demographic change and finally also on gender-sensitive safety at work. In 2013 there will be a special focus on "Health" including mental stress and disorders.
Raising awareness of work-related accidents and ill health on UK's Workers' Memorial Day
The UK united in quiet reflection on Sunday, 28 April - Workers' Memorial Day - to remember thousands of lives lost or affected due to workplace accidents or ill health.
The day also coincides with the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which is marked by the International Labour Organization to help raise awareness of occupational accidents and diseases around the world.
Workers' Memorial Day is an internationally recognised event which gives people across the world the chance to remember those who were killed or seriously injured while doing their job or who suffered work-related ill health, such as asbestos-related conditions.
There are dozens of permanent memorials to lost workers around the UK, some commemorating high-profile disasters which claimed the lives of many workers and others remembering lesser-known accidents in which a few people were killed. There have been many more accidents that are not officially marked and are only remembered by grieving families, colleagues and employers.
To raise awareness of the memorial sites, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents' National Occupational Safety and Health Committee (NOSHC) initiated the creation of a website to provide comprehensive information about them. The site, which was launched in 2010, can be accessed via www.rospa.com/occupational-safety/conferences-events/workers-memorial-day. It includes details of the locations of memorials from plaques to pillars, as well as photographs, details of temporary commemorative sites, links to other sources of information and a diary of events.
In addition to work-related fatalities due to accidents, of which there were 173 in Britain in 2011/12 (not including an estimated 600 deaths due to work-related road accidents), there are many thousands of early deaths every year due to past exposure to hazardous working conditions. Millions of working days are also lost each year due to work-related injury and ill health. For example, in Britain in 2011/12, 27 million days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury, with the annual cost to society of workplace injuries and ill health (excluding cancer) estimated at £13.4 billion in 2010/11.
Roger Bibbings MBE, RoSPA's occupational safety adviser, said: "In 2011/12, more than 12,000 people died prematurely as a result of work-related health damage and a staggering 1.1 million working people suffered from an illness caused or made worse by work. We should never forget the massive impact which these individual tragedies have on families who, as a result, suddenly find themselves grieving or having to care for an injured loved one.
"The list of memorials on our website is just a small step towards acknowledging this loss to society and a reminder that RoSPA still has much to do to deliver its mission, which is to 'save lives and reduce injuries'. At a time when we are all under pressure, let us hope that Workers' Memorial Day can provide the added impetus needed to ensure that good health and safety management is not just maintained, but extended to all workplaces throughout the UK."
Sheila Pantry OBE, a member of RoSPA's NOSHC and creator of the memorial website, said: "Accidents, incidents and ill health are sadly still everyday features in the workplace, so the importance of continuously repeating the health and safety message cannot be overstated. Workers' Memorial Day and this website are important ways of communicating that message."
To have a memorial listed, email Sheila Pantry at email@example.com.
RoSPA's mission is to save lives and reduce injuries.
Employee attitudes represent greatest challenge for social care professionals implementing health and safety policies: NASHiCS research
Employee attitudes represent the greatest challenge for social care professionals in implementing health and safety policies, according to research conducted by the National Association for Safety and Health in Care Services (NASHiCS). When asked to rate by greatest difficulty, over a fifth (20.9%) highlighted employee attitudes, compared with just over a tenth (10.9%) marking operational and practice, and under 5% (4.7%) staff skills and training. The association polled 300 professionals in the social care sector by email in April 2013, in advance of its Learning and Development Forum on June 20 in Manchester.
Other key findings include:
- Almost a third (31.7%) report that financial resources devoted to health and safety are being reduced.
- Nearly one in ten (8.9%) do not provide accident statistics, and a fifth (20%) do not provide accident investigation reports, for senior managers.
- A total of 8% find health and safety compliance guidance 'confusing'.
- Over 85% (85.4%) rate the impact of negative publicity surrounding the sector as challenging (65.9% Somewhat challenging; 19.5% Significantly challenging.)
- Fire safety tops the list of health and safety concerns (57.1%). Followed by: medication errors (19%), challenging behaviour (14.3%); Legionella (4.8%); scalding (2.4%) and nutrition (2.4%).
Comments Chris Jackson, national chairman of NASHiCS:
This research suggests some interesting but worrying trends.
First, that employee attitude problems rate so high in comparison with possibly more obviously 'fixable' problems such as operational processes and skills training. This suggests possible weaknesses in both recruitment processes and people management, and a need for further questioning of the efficiency of these systems.
Second, that there appears to be an information gap in many organisations, where senior management are not receiving appropriate frontline reports regarding health and safety incidents. Not only that, but a further finding is that less than a fifth (17.9%) of CEOs/Directors are involved in back to the floor visits, again suggesting that they may be lacking knowledge of the 'real' situation and are relying on reports which are short of important details.
Third, although the figure is just 8%, that a significant number of professionals find health and safety policy confusing. This is a concern given the emphasis that the Health and Safety Executive has recently put into providing guidance. Additionally, respondent comments supporting the ranking of fire safety as top concern indicate that this is a major area of confusion.
Finally, that malnutrition ranks low on the list of concerns indicates a need for greater understanding of the way in which nutrition impacts on wellbeing health and safety.
A number of these issues will be addressed at the Learning and Development Forum. Key sessions tackle fire safety, emotional intelligence, malnutrition and standards. Additionally, a presentation by Margaret Flynn, serious case review chair of the Winterbourne View Castlebeck investigation, will provide insights into the broader spectrum of health and safety issues.
More information: Charlotte Martins, NASHiCS | Tel: 07968 316576 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning after an emergency
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled.
Every home should have at least one working carbon monoxide detector. The detector's batteries should be checked at least twice annually, at the same time smoke detector batteries are checked.
When power outages occur during emergencies such as hurricanes or winter storms, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper and to poison the people and animals inside. Every year, more than 400 people die in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning.
CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO.
How to Recognise CO Poisoning
Exposure to CO can cause loss of consciousness and death. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.
Important CO Poisoning Prevention Tips
- Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
- Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine outside an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
- Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
- If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.
- If CO poisoning is suspected, consult a health care professional right away.
Positive Psychology at Work - Towards flourishing workplaces
Date and venue: 25-29 August 2013, Hotel Arkipelag, Åland, Finland
Course leaders: Senior Researcher Jari Hakanen and Team leader Salla Toppinen-Tanner, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Positive psychology as an approach especially in relation to work-life - work engagement, leadership issues, flourishing teams and innovativeness.
How to develop successful workplaces in which work tasks and social relationships at work at the same time provide people with best opportunities for self-fulfilment, growth and good performance?
What are the ways to enhance individual resources and motivation at workplaces e.g. via leadership so that employees will be creative, innovative, engaged, committed and productive at their work?
Some important concepts of positive psychology research - for example servant leadership, resilience in teams, healthy organizations, and work engagement - will be taken up on this course. The added value of positive psychology on workplaces in practice will be discussed.
Focus will also be on practical measures and positive interventions building on the job and personal resources. The course aims to facilitate research as well as practice from a positive psychology perspective by:
- Outlining theoretical relationship and associations between these concepts
- Proposing and discussing methodological issues and effective and innovative intervention strategies.
US CSB Deploys to Massive Explosion and Fire on 17 April 2013 at Fertilizer Plant Near Waco, Texas, USA
A large investigation team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is deploying to the scene of a massive fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Plant located in West, Texas, north of Waco, USA that occurred on
Local emergency officials have told the CSB of a large number of injuries and destroyed buildings in the town.
The investigative team will be led CSB Western Regional Office Director Don Holmstrom and is scheduled to arrive in Texas Thursday afternoon.
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.
Occupational health specialist is the new IEHF President
Firefighters, miners and sonographers are just some of the professionals that Dr Richard Graveling has helped over the years, using his ergonomics expertise to advise on working conditions. Now Richard takes on an additional challenge when he became the President of the Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors (IEHF) on 15 April 2013.
Richard is one of the most senior researchers at the Edinburgh-based scientific centre of excellence, the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) which he joined almost 35 years ago while it was part of the National Coal Board (NCB). IOM became an independent organisation consultancy in 1990 and has a worldwide reputation for independent authoritative research and providing advice on occupational health issues to employers, through its consultancy division.
He has over 30 years of research experience, much of it in his primary areas of expertise of musculoskeletal disorders, heat stress and PPE (personal protective equipment). In 2009, because of his contribution to the PPE field, he represented IOM when the IOM consultancy was awarded, the top ergonomics honour of the President's Medal. This was in recognition of the organisation's work helping to develop better personal protective equipment and ensuring that ergonomic challenges to make PPE less intrusive and more wearable, were being tackled.
Richard said: "My early years with IOM in the coal mining industry provided me with many challenges as an ergonomist and with the demise of the industry (which is currently back in the news), I decided 25 years ago to stay with the IOM in its move to independence and moved to our main offices in Edinburgh. This proved to be a good decision, as the combination of the challenges of applying ergonomics in new industries, combined with the benefits of living in a vibrant capital city - with the Scottish countryside close at hand - has served to keep me in Edinburgh ever since."
His knowledge from ergonomics studies, of how work factors can impact on the workforce and cause or contribute to ill-health, has meant that he is regularly called on to be an expert witness in the UK courts where he has to evaluate, summarise and present research knowledge to a non-scientific audience. This ability to convey complex ergonomics findings in an accessible way has also resulted in Richard writing a steady stream of articles for specialist publications over the years.
He takes over as President from current incumbent Jon Berman at the Institute's AGM which takes place on Monday 15 April, the first day of the Ergonomics Human Factors conference (15-18 April) in Cambridge. This four day conference attracts speakers from all over the world and involves some of the country's leading ergonomics/human factors professionals presenting their latest research across industries from transport to health.
Richard, who is a Fellow of the IEHF, added: "I have been a member of the IEHF since my early days at the IOM as part of the NCB. Ergonomics is an important issue not just in connection with health at work, although that is my field of work. With the support of the IOM, I look forward to contributing further to the work of the IEHF in promoting awareness and understanding of ergonomics to the widest possible audience."
For further information:
- IEHF communications officer Amanda Bellamy | Tel: 01509 234904 or 07877743509 | Email: email@example.com
- Richard Graveling | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors was founded in 1949 as The Ergonomics Research Society and was then known as the Ergonomics Society up until 2010. It is the professional body for practitioners in the field of ergonomics and human factors, with an international membership in excess of 1600. Its aim is to promote the awareness, education and application of ergonomics in industry, commerce, public sector and government. To locate an ergonomics consultant, see the Consultancy Register on the home page of the website www.ergonomics.org.uk
Taking into Account Employee Health and Well-being During Organizational Changes
Course held on 28-30 October 2013, Vilvorde Course Centre, Charlottenlund (near Copenhagen), Denmark / Course leader Professor Karina Nielsen, University of East Anglia, UK
- Policy recommendations at national, organizational and individual level to manage healthy organizational change processes
- The importance of job security during organizational change
- Mechanisms by which employee health and well-being may be maintained during organizational change
- Intervention methods that may improve or maintain employee health and well-being during organizational change
This course focuses on the links between organizational change and employee health and well-being and on the possible avenues for managing organizational change processes in a way that prevent deterioration in employee health and well-being.
Concrete cases will be presented, and different methods on how to manage organizational change taking into account employee health and well-being at the individual, group, leader and organizational level will be discussed. The small, interactive nature of the course will ensure that there is time for discussion and active participation. Participants will have the opportunity to present their own experiences.
Researchers, representatives from companies, occupational health consultants, and representatives from the social partners will be brought together to discuss the challenges of managing organizational change in a way that ensures employee health and well-being.
Human resource managers, occupational health professionals and researchers.
Address: Vilvorde Conference Centre, Vilvordevej 70, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark
More information: www.niva.org/courses
Draft report on Chevron Refinery Vapour Cloud Release and Fire
Missed opportunities to apply inherently safer design, failure to identify and evaluate damage mechanism hazards, and the lack of effective safeguards culminated in the vapour cloud release and massive fire that occurred at the Chevron refinery on August 6, 2012, a draft report by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has found.
The investigation team concluded that enhanced regulatory oversight with greater worker involvement and public participation are needed to improve oil refinery safety.
The report, subject to a Board vote at a CSB public meeting in Richmond on Friday, 19 April 2013, notes that Chevron repeatedly over a ten-year period failed to effectively apply inherently safer design principles and upgrade piping in its crude oil processing unit that was extremely corroded and ultimately ruptured on August 6, 2012. The ensuing release of hydrocarbons endangered 19 workers who narrowly escaped from a vapour cloud before it ignited, causing a fire that sent a plume across the area. 15,000 people sought medical treatment in the weeks following the accident.
The CSB investigation team proposed to the Board urgent recommendations, including that at all its refineries, Chevron perform damage mechanism hazard reviews and ensure safeguards are in place to control identified hazards. Reporting of process safety indicators to enable more effective oversight by federal, state, and local regulatory agencies is also urgently recommended.
The refinery is located in the city of Richmond; a Contra Costa County community located about ten miles northeast of San Francisco. A series of recommendations are proposed to the mayor and city council of Richmond, and the Contra Costa County supervisors, aimed at strengthening the local Industrial Safety Ordinance and driving the risk of major accidents as low as reasonably practicable.
The report recommends the governor and legislature of the State of California create a multi-agency program for all California oil refineries to improve the public accountability, transparency and performance of process safety programs. And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was urged to assist the state to monitor the effective implementation of programs designed to improve oil refinery safety and disclosure requirements the CSB is recommending to the state and local agencies.
CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said, "Improved worker involvement, company transparency, and public participation are needed to prevent these major industrial accidents. Our findings and recommendations are directed immediately at the accident in the Bay Area, but we believe they apply to all refineries, chemical plants and general industry. There is a national need to base safety principles on inherently safer designs and applying effective safeguards to control damage mechanisms such as sulfidation corrosion. And we find that to prevent chemical accidents, regulatory agencies must maintain sufficient professional expertise to effectively oversee these highly technical industries."
The CSB investigation team determined that although Chevron policy calls for the use of inherently safer technology in design and upgrades, the company has been implementing changes - such as the critical metallurgy of piping - without any documented, thorough analysis of the proposed inherently safer solutions. The investigators wrote, "Without such a review, the material selected cannot be analyzed to determine if it is the best inherently safer solution for the process in order to minimize risk." The report continues, "Chevron has repeatedly failed to implement the proposed inherently safer recommendations." Had this been done, the investigation team concluded, the accident could have been prevented.
For more details see the interim report that focuses on mechanical integrity issues and effective accident prevention safeguards, but this accident also implicates organizational and regulatory issues that are still under investigation. The CSB is working on a final report, anticipated later this year, that will present key additional findings and recommendations as well as addressing emergency planning and reporting, emergency response, and safety culture.
First FABIG Technical Meeting in Korea covering "Explosion and Fire Risk Control in Various Industries" on 15 May 2013 in Busan
FABIG are pleased to announce that FABIG Technical Meetings will now also be held in Korea. These meetings will be organised in addition to the UK meetings for the benefit of the FABIG Membership. This first Technical Meeting in Korea is a half day event covering "Explosion and Fire Risk Control in Various Industries" held on Wednesday the 15th of May 2013 in Busan, Korea.
The programme comprises the following:
- Welcome Address and Technical Committee Members Appointment
- Prof. Jeom Kee Paik - KOSORI
- Introduction to FABIG
- Dr. B. A. Burgan - SCI
- Explosions and Fires in Offshore Oil & Gas Facilities
- Dr. J. Czujko - NOWATEC E&C
- Explosions and Fires in Petrochemical Plants
- Mr. Y. H. Lee, P.E. - Air Product Korea
- Fires in Nuclear Power Plants
- Mr. Doo Chan Choi - Korea Fire Protection UBIS
- Fires in High-rise Building
- Prof. Jun Ho Hwang - KOSORI
The event will start with lunch and registration at 12.00 pm and the presentations will take place between 13.30 pm and 17.00 pm.
FABIG are pleased to inform you that this first meeting in Korea (only) is Free of Charge for both FABIG Members and Non-members.
Members of most engineering institutions can count FABIG events as Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Attendance certificates are issued to delegates upon request.
For more information, please contact: Guillaume Vannier, Project Manager, FABIG, SCI, Silwood Park, Ascot SL5 7QN | Tel: +44 (0)1344 636 525 | Fax: +44 (0)1344 636 570 | www.fabig.com/events
EU Project Paves Way to Prevent Occupational Skin Diseases in European Hairdressing
SafeHair 2.0 is an online learning and information platform about skin diseases and skin protection in hairdressing. It aims to help teachers to prepare lessons, students to learn about skin protection, and employees and employers to understand the risks and take appropriate measures. The site seeks to contribute to the prevention of occupational skin diseases in European hairdressing and to provide safer workplaces in the profession from apprenticeship onwards.
The project has been funded and initiated by the European Union.
Hairdressers in Europe are frequently affected by occupational skin diseases resulting from typical occupational exposure to water and chemicals. However a hairdresser´s work is also characterised by other risks like those related to ergonomic conditions or the risk of slips and trips. For preventing and managing risks EU-OSHA supports the development of online interactive risk assessment tools within the OiRA project. At the moment several national partners are working on such a tool for hairdressers. Cyprus has already published its tool. Belgium, Greece and Portugal follow soon.
SafeHair 2.0 can be accessed at: http://safehair.loungemedia.de/safehair/safehair-20.html
Improve your sleep and protect your heart
Do you manage to get a good night's sleep or are you one of the unfortunate ones kept awake by someone else's snoring? Sleep is as vital as food and water; when constantly disturbed it can cause hormone changes that increase the risk of developing heart disease, a stroke and other conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.
Around 3.5 million people in the UK snore, affecting the sleep of those around them, and a smaller proportion of people suffer from sleep apnoea where the airway is completely or partially blocked for 10 seconds or more. Both conditions are more prevalent in those who are overweight or obese as excess weight around the neck presses down on the windpipe.
National Stop Snoring Week ran from 22-28 April 2013 making this a perfect time to get into some positive lifestyle habits to promote good quality sleep and health hearts for the whole family.
- Keep a healthy weight and control your waistline. Reduce your portion size and eat a varied and balanced diet based on lots of fruit and vegetables, moderate amounts meat and dairy foods and small amounts of saturated fats, sugar and alcohol.
- Exercise regularly and fit 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity into each week - this means increasing your heart rate so you feel slightly breathless and a little warmer than normal.
- Take time out for quality relaxation and doing things you enjoy with people you care about
- If you smoke, give up immediately and don't be afraid to ask for support if you need it to help you stop.
- If you are concerned about your sleeping habits, chronic snoring, sleep apnoea or insomnia, visit your GP for advice.
If you or someone in your family is one of life's unfortunate snorers, think about the simple lifestyle changes you could make so you and your loved ones benefit from a healthy, happy sleeping routine that recharges those batteries.
For more information and advice about healthy living, contact Heart Research UK on or email email@example.com
MEWPs for Managers course goes global
IPAF's MEWPs for Managers training course is being launched around the world this year. Besides the UK and US versions, the course will now be available in German, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese.
IPAF's MEWPs for Managers course (MEWPs = mobile elevating work platforms) covers what managers need to know about using MEWPs on site, from planning the job and completing a risk assessment, to selecting the right equipment and mitigating all possible risks. The one-day course for managers includes topics such as health and safety regulations, accident prevention and control, personal protection equipment, and pre-use checks and maintenance. The course is about planning, supervising and effectively managing the use of powered access, and not about operating equipment. It ends with a written test that candidates must pass in order to obtain a certificate.
The course is targeted at project managers, foremen and supervisors working in a broad range of industries such as construction, facilities management, retail, airports and arboriculture. Companies who have had their employees complete the MEWPs for Managers course include Balfour Beatty in the UK, Monsanto in the US, and Odebrecht in Brazil and Venezuela.
"The safe and effective use of powered access equipment starts at management level," said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. "Quite often, the causes of MEWP accidents can be traced back to poor planning and management issues, rather than operator error or technical failure. MEWPs offer a very safe and efficient way to work at height, but managers need to be trained to plan the work and to select the right machine in order to make safe and productive use of the equipment."