News from around the World
- Eurofound launches report on work organisation and employee involvement in Europe: Involving employees at the workplace pays off in higher levels of work performance
- EU-OSHA releases online guide to OSH Campaigning
- ECETOC report offers guidance for the inclusion of non-extractable residues (NER) in the risk assessment of chemicals
- NEBOSH course in Mandarin "enjoyable and valuable"
- US NIOSH Recommends Exposure Limit for Carbon Nanotubes, Nanofibers
- Eurofound publishes comparative research on undeclared work in Europe during the economic recession: Europe is winning the war on undeclared work
- UK Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) comment on UK Government smoke free homes and cars campaign
- LIFELINES ONLINE June 2013 Issue
- Safe Work Australia has released a draft model Code of Practice for Managing Risks in Stevedoring which is now open for public comment
- Australia's WorkCover NSW has made available an innovative after-hours safety programme for small businesses in the Shoalhaven
- Lighting, Visual Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Implications course
- From Canada - Guide for Safe Use of Isocyanates - An Industrial Hygiene Approach
- Learn where to find validated and authoritative information in these one stop shops OSH UPDATE and FIREINF electronic online find out more...
- Tuning in to the rhythm of your heart
- Join 3E Company for an EH&S Webinar: Nanomaterial Regulation Requirements in the U.S., Canada, and Europe
- Webinar: Practical Heat Stress Management Using the ACGIH TLV for Heat Stress and Strain
- Eurofound publishes new comparative research on restructuring in SMEs in Europe
- Introduction to the Seveso III Directive
- ADCO-Machinery open Workshop on the NOMAD survey "Quiet machinery - Higher competitiveness and better health"
- WHO Global Plan of Action on Workers' Health (2008-2017): Baseline for Implementation - Global Country Survey 2008/2009
- India's Construction Giant accredited to deliver NEBOSH International General Certificate courses
Eurofound launches report on work organisation and employee involvement in Europe: Involving employees at the workplace pays off in higher levels of work performance
Research shows that employee involvement can support employers' objectives to raise levels of work performance and can also enhance the quality of employees' lives at work. However, new data from Eurofound shows only about a quarter of employees in Europe (27%) are working in high involvement organisations, casting doubts over the ambitious Europe 2020 strategy aimed at attaining 'smart' growth through the development of higher-quality jobs in higher value-added industries and 'inclusive' growth in which all citizens have access to high-quality employment opportunities. The report was presented at the International Helix Conference 2013 in Linköping, Sweden and is available online below.
Innovations in work organisation have the potential to optimise production processes in companies and improve employees' overall experience of work. In the EU27 overall, however, most of the workforce is in organisations that provide very limited opportunities for employees to participate in decision-making, either in their immediate job or in relation to wider organisational issues affecting their work. While 38% of employees were in low involvement organisations in 2010, just 27% were in high involvement organisations, with 35% in organisations that offer intermediate levels of involvement. The broad pattern was very similar for both men and women.
Given the importance of a highly skilled workforce for economic growth, the need to develop systems of work organisation to foster employee motivation and well-being is likely to become increasingly important to the policy agenda. The research found that higher levels of employee involvement are more likely to be found in companies with relatively advanced technology and a more skilled workforce.
There were marked differences between countries in the control that employees can exercise over their work tasks, their involvement in wider organisational decision-making and the likelihood that they work in a high involvement organisation. The Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland and Sweden) had the highest levels of involvement, while the Southern countries (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain) and the East-South countries (Bulgaria and Romania) had particularly low levels of involvement.
The research analysis found that there was also a strong association between the level of employee involvement and the opportunities for informal and formal learning at work. Nearly 60% of employees in high involvement organisations had received training in the previous 12 months compared to just over 42% of those in low involvement organisations. Greater involvement was also associated with stronger employee motivation in terms of commitment to the work task and to the wider organisation. Those reporting that work organisation is motivating performance rose from 47% in low involvement to 76% in high involvement organisations.
It also found that greater opportunities for involvement in decision-making were associated with higher levels of psychological well-being - for both men and women. It was also consistently related to fewer physical symptoms of stress. There were clear benefits in terms of working and employment conditions from being employed in an organisation that provided greater scope for involvement in decision-making.
At present, relatively little is known about the prevalence of employee involvement across the EU and the factors that encourage it. The extent to which employee involvement leads to mutual benefits for the employee and employer is also controversial. The report Work organisation and employee involvement in Europe draws on data from Eurofound's fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) of 2010 to investigate these issues and to strengthen the evidence available.
The Work organisation and employee involvement report: www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas/workorganisation/innovation.htm
For further information, contact Måns Mårtensson, Eurofound's media manager, Eurofound, Loughlinstown House, Wyattville Road, Dublin, Ireland D18 | Tel: +353-1-204 3124 | Mobile: +353-876-593 507 | Email: email@example.com
EU-OSHA releases online guide to OSH Campaigning
Discover how to run successful OSH campaigns with EU-OSHA's new Online OSH Campaign Toolkit.
The guide features practical examples of various communication tools with tips and tricks to their use and implementation in an OSH campaign.
OSH campaign toolkit: https://osha.europa.eu/en/tools-and-publications/osh-campaign-toolkit
ECETOC report offers guidance for the inclusion of non-extractable residues (NER) in the risk assessment of chemicals
There is general agreement that the formation of non-extractable residues (NER) in soil or sediment can have a significant impact on a chemical's behaviour in the environment and it is therefore important that they should form an integral part of the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of chemicals. However, the significance of NER and exactly how they should be considered in ERA remains unclear. There are two contrasting views of the role of NER. On the one hand, NER represents a hidden fraction of the original chemical capable of subsequent release and potentially causing harm. On the other hand, NER represents an effective and safe method of rendering the chemical innocuous and allowing slow degradation in the bound state to products that pose no harm. These contrasting views remain and guidance on how to incorporate information on NER into environmental risk assessment is lacking.
This ECETOC task force has established a scheme to be used in the environmental risk assessment of NER. The task force has, where possible, suggested trigger values and provided further guidance on how to incorporate NER into ERA. The scheme includes a Tiered approach and has used case studies to demonstrate how it may be used as a practical approach to incorporating NER into the ERA of chemicals. Whilst the task force has developed this scheme, knowledge gaps remain where further work is required and these have been highlighted in the report.
This report has been developed in conjunction with the ECETOC Technical Report no. 117 in which an extraction methodology has been developed to determine the bioavailability of compounds to the appropriate test organisms for the particular environmental compartment.
Published as ECETOC Technical Report no. 118: Development of interim guidance for the inclusion of non-extractable residues (NER) in the risk assessment of chemicals, the report is freely available and can be downloaded via www.ecetoc.org/publications
NEBOSH course in Mandarin "enjoyable and valuable"
The first ever NEBOSH course and assessment to be set in the Mandarin language has taken place in Shenzen, China.
Participants from a range of industry sectors in China, including Oil and Gas, Food, Manufacturing and Occupational Health took the course, which lasted for five days.
The course was presented by British Safety Services (BSS) Steve Burke, who was assisted by bilingual trainers, all of whom are experienced health, safety and environmental (HSE) specialists.
Subsequent evaluation by BSS revealed a 93% satisfaction rating for presentation and 92% for programme structure. Feedback comments from participants included "excellent", "enjoyable" and "valuable".
NEBOSH Chief Executive, Teresa Budworth, said: "Our Health and Safety at Work qualification provides employees with vital knowledge which enables them to help their employers reduce accidents and control costs. Making it available to non-English speaking participants simply extends our reach and creates more safe places to work.
"China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia are where Mandarin is most commonly spoken. They are also now among the fastest growing and successful economies in the world. This is a very important region for NEBOSH and for health and safety."
Demand for further courses has meant that several more are now planned for the coming months by BSS.
Director of British Safety Services, Steve Burke added: "We are delighted to have run this first NEBOSH course in Mandarin. We know this Mandarin course is proving to be especially popular as it provides a natural progression route to the NEBOSH International General Certificate syllabus. We look forward to helping raise the profile of NEBOSH and health and safety standards in the region."
As well as English and Mandarin, the NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work qualification can be taken in Arabic and Russian.
Further information about NEBOSH's Health and Safety at Work qualifications can be found at www.nebosh.org.uk/hsw
The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) was formed in 1979 and is an independent examining board and awarding body with charitable status. NEBOSH offers a comprehensive range of globally-recognised, vocationally-related qualifications designed to meet the health, safety, environmental and risk management needs of all places of work in both the private and public sectors.
Courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications attract around 35,000 candidates annually and are offered in nearly 500 course providers around the world. NEBOSH examinations have been taken in over 100 countries. NEBOSH qualifications are recognised by the relevant professional membership bodies including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
Contact Julia Whiting, Communications and Marketing Manager, NEBOSH, UK | Tel: +44 (0)116 263 4724 | Mob: +44 (0)7850 204072 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
US NIOSH Recommends Exposure Limit for Carbon Nanotubes, Nanofibers
US NIOSH has released recommendations that occupational exposures to carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs) be controlled to reduce a potential risk of certain work-related lung effects.
CNTs and CNFs are man-made elongated particles made of sheets of pure carbon that are about a thousand times smaller than a human hair.
Read more at www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-04-24-13.html
Eurofound publishes comparative research on undeclared work in Europe during the economic recession: Europe is winning the war on undeclared work
A wide range of policy approaches and measures introduced in all EU Member States over the past five years have had a significant impact on preventing businesses and people from engaging in undeclared work, new research from Eurofound has found. It recorded an incremental decline in the size of the undeclared economy from declared economy from the equivalent of 22.3% of GDP in 2003 to 18.4% by 2012, although with big differences between countries. Eurofound launches today a comprehensive package of research comparing approaches and measures on how EU Member States, Croatia and four EU candidate countries, have tackled undeclared work since the onset of the economic recession in 2008, at a hearing in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels, Belgium.
Two contrasting views exist regarding what happens to the size of the undeclared economy in times of economic crisis. One is that it grows relative to the declared economy, with firms and households seeking to save on costs. The other is that the undeclared economy declines due to the lower demand for undeclared labour because of less money being available, and undeclared work being substituted by 'flexible' and cheaper declared labour.
Since the publication of Eurofound's previous reports on how undeclared work is being tackled in the 27 Member States of the European Union and Norway five years ago, the ongoing recession took hold. The aim of this report is to provide an updated overview of the policy approaches and measures that have been implemented to tackle undeclared work during the interim period, in the EU27 Member States, Croatia and the four EU candidate countries. This report also provides pointers of potentially good practice policy measures.
By 2010, 27 out of the 30 countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland had implemented policy measures to help prevent businesses and people from and people from engaging in undeclared work from the outset. 19 of out these countries were using measures to enable the transfer of undeclared work into the declared realm, and 20 of these had adopted commitment measures to try to facilitate a greater commitment to 'tax morality'. However, the range of measures implemented remained relatively narrow.
The majority of policy approaches and measures to tackle undeclared work that have been introduced across the EU27 over the past five years were designed to detect and punish non-compliance. However, while it remains the dominant approach across the majority of Member States, there has been wider take-up of an enabling approach since the onset of the recession. This approach provides encouragement and incentives for people and businesses to join the formal economy.
By 2012, the average size of the undeclared economy across the EU27 was equivalent to 18.4% of GDP, although this varied significantly between Member States, ranging from 7.6% in Austria to 31.9% in Bulgaria. The research concluded that most of the Member States with relatively large undeclared economies in 2012 are either east- central European or southern European Member States. Those with below-average undeclared economies, meanwhile, are largely west European and Nordic Member States. This signals a clear north-south and east-west divide within the EU27 concerning the relative size of the undeclared economy.
Who is being affected by this decline depends on where one is in the EU27. The research found that in Nordic countries, those in declared work who have traditionally topped up their earnings using the undeclared economy, are suffering more than others from the decline of the undeclared economy during the current recession. In southern Europe, the unemployed are suffering most from this decline. This is also the case in western and east-central Europe, and the EU27 as whole. Even when unemployed people get undeclared work, it is less well paid and the annual income from it is lower than that earned by employed people engaged in such work.
The overview report on undeclared work in the EU27 and Norway, and the overview report on undeclared work in Croatia and the four EU candidate countries, plus national reports from the same, and a database with 186 cases of good practice, is available: www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas/labourmarket/undeclared-work.htm
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
Eurofound - a tripartite European Union (EU) agency - provides expertise on living and working conditions, industrial relations and managing change in Europe.
UK Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) comment on UK Government smoke free homes and cars campaign
ASH welcomes the launch of a campaign by Public Health England to raise awareness of the harm caused by secondhand smoke and to encourage people to make their homes and cars smokefree.
Up to 5 million children across the UK are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke in the home resulting in over 300,000 UK GP consultations and about 9,500 hospital admissions for illnesses including respiratory disorders, middle ear disease, meningitis, cot death and asthma.
But it's not just children who would benefit from smokefree environments. Adults too are at risk from secondhand smoke exposure. Following implementation of the 2007 public places smokefree law there was a significant reduction in the number of admissions to hospital for heart disease, equivalent to 1200 fewer emergency admissions. Other research revealed a 4.9% reduction in admissions to hospital for asthma among adults which can also attributed to the positive impact of the smokefree law. This equates to around 1900 fewer emergency admissions for asthma in each of the first 3 years after the law was introduced.
A parliamentary inquiry into smoking in private vehicles called on the Government to hold a consultation on the range of policy measures available to reduce the harm of smoking in cars.
ASH Chief Executive, Deborah Arnott, said:
The evidence is clear: exposure to secondhand smoke causes serious illnesses and sometimes even death in both adults and children. To further minimise these health risks smokers should be encouraged to quit and everyone should make their homes and cars smokefree.
- Deborah Arnott | Tel: 020 7404 0242 | Mobile: 07976 935 987
- Amanda Sandford | Tel: 020 7404 0242
LIFELINES ONLINE June 2013 Issue
The 2013 June issue of LIFELINES ONLINE (Vol. X, No. 1) is available at the Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA) website
These are the headlines:
- Dust, Climate Change Lead to Valley Fever Spike
- Silica Competent Persons: What Should They Know?
- Minimize the Risks of Methylene Chloride
- Feds Shine Light on Hospital Price System
- Review: Processed Food Makes Its Case (sort of)
- Fresh versus Dried Blueberries
- Surveillance: Focusing Our Efforts
- Quitting Smoking Adds Years to Your Life
- Labor History Re-Runs in Bangladesh
- New Faces at the LHSFNA
- Health Care Reform Updates
Also, please note that back issues of LIFELINES ONLINE - as well as their print magazine, LIFELINES - are posted for online viewing. The LIFELINES ONLINE archive and LIFELINES archive are fully searchable, so you can find the articles that relate to your topic of interest.
As always, they look forward to your feedback and comments on their website and LIFELINES ONLINE.
Steve Clark, Communications Manager, Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America, 905 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
Safe Work Australia has released a draft model Code of Practice for Managing Risks in Stevedoring which is now open for public comment
To submit a comment, the following steps are recommended:
- Read the materials available for public comment.
- Fill in a Cover Sheet. This is compulsory.
- Download the Response Form Template and fill in with your comments.
- Send both the Cover Sheet and Response Form to firstname.lastname@example.org
A Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on the model Code will be released for comment at a later date if required by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.
An FAQ page is also available. Public comment will close on Friday July 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm AEST.
Australia's WorkCover NSW has made available an innovative after-hours safety programme for small businesses in the Shoalhaven
For the months of June and July, local businesses can take advantage of an after-hour appointment with a WorkCover inspector and receive work health and safety guidance.
WorkCover's Nowra District Coordinator, John Patton said that businesses with up to 20 full time workers can avail the programme. Rebates of up to $500 were available to anyone who participates in the programme.
"Many small businesses can be time and resource poor, making prioritising safety a challenge," said Mr Patton.
"The Small Business Assistance After-Hours Program gives local businesses the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a WorkCover inspector and receive advice and assistance on how to make their business more productive, healthy and safe.
"Meetings are held at WorkCover's Nowra office, enabling attendees to get away from workplace distractions and focus on how they can make their businesses safer.
"Inspectors can discuss a range of issues including work health and safety management, workers compensation and risk management.
"Any business that participates in the program may also be eligible for a rebate of up to $500 to help purchase and install safety improvements through our Small Business Rebate Program."
Mr Patton also said that those who are not able to make an after-hours appointment may book a visit to their workplace from the WorkCover Safety Bus in June and July.
"There have been a number of changes to NSW work health and safety and licensing laws recently," said Mr Patton.
"The WorkCover inspector will visit the business and provide practical advice on how these changes affect the workplace.
"I encourage all local small businesses wanting to learn more about work health and safety to contact the Nowra office and book an after-hours appointment or visit from the Safety Bus."
Lighting, Visual Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Implications course
13-15 November 2013, Balingsholm Conference Centre, Stockholm area, Sweden
Course leader: Professor Jörgen Eklund, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
Registration fee is 400 Euros (including teaching and course material).
Vision, visual ergonomics, and lighting are of importance for all work and especially in visually demanding tasks. Visual ergonomics affect, apart from the eyes, also muscle load in primarily neck and shoulders. The theme of this course is how lighting and visual ergonomics influences health, in particular musculoskeletal consequences and organizational performance. The aims are to summarize the current scientific knowledge and development trends in this field, to demonstrate related equipment and measurements, and to identify improvement opportunities and other preventive measures.
Contact: Annika Bärlund, Course coordinator, NIVA, Hwesinki, Finland | Tel. +358 30 474 2333: email@example.com
From Canada - Guide for Safe Use of Isocyanates - An Industrial Hygiene Approach
The IRSST just published a guide for safe use of isocyanates. The guide is intended for anyone working in the field of occupational health and safety. It is designed to educate, inform and raise awareness, and has no regulatory value. Readers will come to understand the chemical hazards associated with isocyanates and will be able to make informed decisions about ways to reduce exposure and possibly the incidence of occupational asthma. The guide is not a substitute for the information contained in Material Safety Data Sheets.
Isocyanates are a family of highly reactive, low molecular weight chemicals. They are widely used in the manufacture of foams, fibres, paints and varnishes, elastomers, etc. Moreover, isocyanates are increasingly used in the automobile industry, autobody repair, and building insulation materials.
Preventing exposure to isocyanates is a critical step in eliminating the health hazard. However, because of the wide range of isocyanates present in industry, and because their physical and chemical properties and the polymerization processes are so diverse, environmental assessment of exposure remains a challenge; hence the importance of an approach starting with anticipation (gathering of information on isocyanates) and ending with the implementation of controls and of means for evaluating the efficiency of those controls. In all cases, anticipation of the physical form of airborne isocyanates contributes to a full evaluation and implementation of effective control measures.
Learn where to find validated and authoritative information in these one stop shops OSH UPDATE and FIREINF electronic online find out more...
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These long established sources of information are offered by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd from the UK and are used daily by organisations, universities and individuals worldwide.
Why are you waiting? Join these users of OSH UPDATE and FIREINF that renew their subscriptions year on year.
Request a free of charge 15 day trial at www.sheilapantry.com/interest and check out for yourselves.
Tuning in to the rhythm of your heart
We've all felt our hearts flutter or skip a beat because of excitement, a scare or even love.
Normally our hearts beat quietly in the background at around 70 beats per minute, perhaps speeding up when we are under stress, excited or exercising, and slowing down when we sleep.
The UK Heart Rhythm Week runs from 3-9 June 2013 to raise awareness of disturbances to the heart's natural rhythm, a condition known as arrhythmia, which affects one million people in the UK. Most cases of arrhythmia are harmless but some do require treatment. Making healthy lifestyle choices however, can help prevent some cases of arrhythmia.
What is arrhythmia?
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm of the heart either in the form of a pause or as an irregular heartbeat that is faster or slower which sometimes affects how efficiently the heart pumps blood around the body, resulting in fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath or chest pain. A common form of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation can lead to blood clots that increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The build-up of cholesterol plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure, smoking, caffeine, excessive alcohol and some recreational drugs can also interfere with the normal beat of the heart. So to help your heart keep a healthy rhythm:
- follow a healthy heart diet which includes lots of fruit and vegetables and is low in saturated fat and salt;
- be sure to also keep active and take 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week;
- maintain a healthy weight and keep your waist measurement in check;
- avoid tobacco and second hand smoke;
- moderate your alcohol and caffeine intake and avoid stressful situations wherever possible.
So tune into your amazing heart muscle as it gets on with its job of beating more than two and half billion times in your lifetime and get into the rhythm of following a heart healthy lifestyle.
Join 3E Company for an EH&S Webinar: Nanomaterial Regulation Requirements in the U.S., Canada, and Europe
Tuesday, 13 August 2013, North America and Europe, duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
In recent years, nanomaterials have been a hot topic in various communities, including consumers, legislators, manufacturers and scientists. As with any new technology, along with the potential for breakthroughs in chemistry, medicine, electronics, energy, etc., nanomaterials could also bring potential for toxicity and environmental harm. With this potential for negative impacts, governments in the U.S., Canada and Europe have considered whether special regulation of nanomaterials is necessary.
As a forerunner in environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) regulatory information service, 3E Company proudly presents an overview of nanomaterial regulatory schemes in the U.S., Canada and Europe. James Lee, Regulatory Analyst for North America, will talk about the developments in the U.S. and Canada, and Scott Stephens, Sr. Regulatory Analyst for Western Europe, will discuss the European developments.
This webinar will highlight:
- Regulatory framework in three different jurisdictions
- Defining nanomaterials
- Nanomaterial regulation: from the past to present
- Different agencies' treatment of nanomaterials
- What is to come!
Don't miss this informative session!
The last day to register is August 12, 2013.
Webinar: Practical Heat Stress Management Using the ACGIH TLV for Heat Stress and Strain
LIVE on June 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT -04:00)
Presented by Thomas E. Bernard, PhD, CIH of the ACGIH TLVs for Physical Agents Committee
The ACGIH TLV for heat stress and strain is an excellent starting point for the evaluation and management of occupational heat stress. The evaluation scheme includes the effects of environment, work demands and clothing. The evaluation scheme also provides a basis for planning exposures and recovery. In addition, the TLV provides guidance on general and job specific controls. This webinar will demonstrate the use of the evaluation scheme that includes the trade-offs among wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), work demands and clothing requirements. The general controls including emergency response will be described along with the rationale. The range of engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protection will be placed in context for heat stress management. Among the job specific controls, there will be an emphasis on administrative controls that deal with exposure planning and recovery allowances.
This webinar contains 2.5 hours of instruction and may be eligible for ABIH CM credit. See ABIH website www.abih.org for CM criteria. This webinar qualifies for .15 BCSP (SP) Continuance of Certification (COC) Point for Certified Safety Professionals. Participants seeking confirmation of attendance for the webinar from ACGIH must attend the live webinar or view the archive and submit a final exam and evaluation. Certificates of Completion will be issued in a timely manner after receipt and completion of these items.
To attend this webinar, you must first register for it. Once you have registered, you will receive an email message confirming your enrolment status and information that you need to join the event.
Eurofound publishes new comparative research on 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, was recently 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.
Overview report, with an executive summary, national reports from all 27 EU Member States and a database with 85 company cases: www.eurofound.europa.eu/emcc/labourmarket/restructuringsme
For further information, contact Måns Mårtensson, Eurofound's media manager | Email firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +353-1-204 3124 | Mobile: +353-876-593 507
Introduction to the Seveso III Directive
A new Directive dated 24 July 2012 on the control of major accident hazards involving dangerous substances (known as Seveso III) was published on 24 July 2012 and will be written into domestic legislation which will come into force on 1 June 2015. It will amend and subsequently repeal the Seveso II Directive.
The Seveso III Directive is implemented in Great Britain through the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations and planning legislation which is the responsibility of the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.
These web pages, which will be updated as transposition of the Directive develops, include details of the main changes in the Seveso III Directive and how it will affect businesses and the emergency and planning authorities in the UK. There is also a "question and answers" section and a copy of a presentation about the new Directive which is designed to be used for familiarisation purposes and can be tailored to suit the user's needs.
A new Directive dated 24 July 2012 on the control of major accident hazards involving dangerous substances (known as "Seveso III") has been published. It and has to be implemented in the UK by 1 June 2015. It will amend and subsequently repeal the Seveso II Directive.
Seveso III addresses the consequences to the regulation of major accident hazard sites from changes to EU legislation on the classification, packaging and labelling of chemical substances and mixtures.
It strengthens a number of areas such as public access to information and standards of inspection and will continue to ensure a high level of protection to human health and the environment from major accidents involving dangerous substances.
The Seveso III Directive will be implemented through new COMAH Regulations which will come into force on 1 June 2015. The planning elements will be implemented through new planning legislation which will come into force on the same date. Planning legislation is the responsibility of the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.
If you have any queries about the Seveso III Directive they can be e-mailed to Seveso.III.Enquiries@hse.gsi.gov.uk
ADCO-Machinery open Workshop on the NOMAD survey "Quiet machinery - Higher competitiveness and better health"
Tuesday, 18 June 2013, Hotel Le Plaza, Bd Adolphe Max 118-126 Brussels 1000
It is a recognized fact that quieter machines result in:
- fewer cases of hearing damage,
- easier communications in factories,
- improved hearing of warning signals,
- a more motivated workforce,
- improved concentration over longer periods,
- fewer days lost to sickness from noise related stress and, consequently,
- lower noise-related costs for companies and for society.
When assessing the suitability of a machine, performance parameters like power output, speed and production rate come high in the list of selling/purchase parameters. These parameters are nowadays often widened to sustainability, energy consumption, recyclability, etc. Is noise emission considered?
The NOMAD survey was carried out jointly by 14 member states under the auspices of ADCO-Machines. NOMAD found that 80% out of the noise declarations reviewed in 1500 instruction manuals do not satisfy the requirements of the European "Machinery" and "Outdoor Noise" Directives. Is low noise emission a design objective of manufacturers?
Employers have legal duties to manage the noise exposure of workers and to consider low noise emission when purchasing or hiring equipment. They seldom use the noise emission data or ask manufacturers for this data. Doing so they miss out the social and economic benefits they can get from buying quieter machines. Is noise emission taken into account by users before buying a machine?
Manufacturers of machines and employers have clear legal duties to reduce and manage risks from noise but they are not the only players. Professional buyers, occupational health and safety experts, national authorities (labour inspectors and market surveillance bodies), Notified Bodies, standardisers and others also bear some responsibility.
To book a place or for further technical information, please contact:
WHO Global Plan of Action on Workers' Health (2008-2017): Baseline for Implementation - Global Country Survey 2008/2009
The report on the baseline for action on countries on workers' health is now available on the web. It presents the results of the 2008/2009 survey among 121 countries about their status vis-a-vis the actions under the WHO Global Plan of Action on Workers' Health (Resolution 60.26 of the World Health Assembly from 2007).
We would like to thank all of you who contributed to the data collection and the analysis and hope the results will be useful for your work.
Contact: Ivan D. Ivanov, MD, PhD Team Leader, Occupational Health Interventions for Healthy Environments Department of Public Health and Environment Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization, 20, avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27 | Tel: +41 22 791 2111 fax: +41 22 791 3111 | Tel. direct: +41 22 791 5532 | E-mail: email@example.com | www.who.int/occupational_health/en
India's Construction Giant accredited to deliver NEBOSH International General Certificate courses
India's largest technology, engineering, construction and manufacturing company Larsen & Toubro (L&T), has been accredited to deliver courses leading to the NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.
With an annual revenue that exceeds USD 13.5 billion and a workforce of 45,000 people, L&T was last year ranked the world's 9th most innovative company by Forbes International. L&T is one of the largest and most respected companies in India's private sector and is playing a vital role in nation building through design and construction of transportation, urban, marine, power and industry infrastructure.
Courses will be delivered to employees at L&T's Leadership Development Academy in Lonavala, near Mumbai in India.
At a function held recently, NEBOSH Chief Executive, Teresa Budworth and International Manager Stuart Naylor presented the accreditation certificate to Mr. S. N. Subrahmanyan, Member of the Board and Sr. Executive Vice President (Infrastructure & Construction), L&T.
Mr Subrahmanyan said: "We hope to extensively use this program to train a maximum number of people - staff, sub-contractors, workmen and integrate safety in every work we do, be it small or big, simple or complex, to make a significant reduction in accident rates."
Teresa Budworth commented: "We're delighted and proud to see our International General Certificate qualification become a fundamental part of the training and health and safety culture of such an important and respected employer in this region of the world."
NEBOSH's International General Certificate and its Academy training would be used to create health and safety "torchbearers" in L&T for creating a vibrant, positive and safe work culture. In addition to this 11 day certification programme, L&T has applied for accreditation to deliver three more courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications - Health and Safety at Work, Certificate in Construction Health and Safety and Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety.