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News Archive

July 2013

  1. Staying ahead by 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...
  2. RoSPA and Sportscover join forces to improve safety in the sport and leisure industry
  3. Slow motion on European safety strategy
  4. Top pregnancy doctors say safety first with chemicals
  5. ICOH Statement: Global Asbestos Ban and the Elimination of Asbestos-Related Diseases
  6. FIM Expo Comes to Scotland
  7. 2,923 more chemicals registered by industry under REACH
  8. Emergency Health & Safety Tip: Stay Healthy During and After a Wildfire
  9. 10-13 March 2014 – Staying well and engaged – young workers and sustainable work life
  10. 8-9 September 2013 – IOSH National Safety Symposium 2013 – Tools for your toolbox, skills for your future
  11. Stress Network Conference, 23-24 November 2013, Birmingham
  12. 7th Working on Safety Conference (WOS2014)
  13. Differences in working time remain large across Europe
  14. New CLH public consultation launched on hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde and bupirimate will end on 16 August 2013
  15. US EPA Warns Against Use of Refrigerant Substitutes That Pose Fire and Explosion Risk
  16. IFPO Technical Trophy Competition 2013
  17. We need to get a grip on the rapid changes affecting the world of work says ILO Director General Guy Ryder
  18. Arizona wildfire near Yarnell, USA kills 19 firefighters
  19. Priorities for OSH research in Europe: 2013-2020: New report from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
  20. 25-26 September 2013 - The UK Emergency Services Show
  21. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Health Threat from Wildfire Smoke
  22. ASH welcomes MHRA's decision to license e-cigarettes
  23. US Chemical Safety Board Deploying to Accident at Williams Olefins Plant in Geismar, Louisiana
  24. More evidence needed on claims made for e-cigarettes, says TUC
  25. Blueprint sets out UK Waste Industry's safety drive
  26. Eurofound launches report on work organisation and employee involvement in Europe: Involving employees at the workplace pays off in higher levels of work performance
  27. Master in Occupational Safety and Health from the ILO Training Centre in Turin, Italy
  28. NEBOSH and APS announce new partnership

Staying ahead by 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...

Want to know the latest fire, health, safety and environmental information without too much effort? Limited budget? Short of time? Not many experts around you? In this fast moving world it is essential to have quick access to validated, authoritative and constantly updated information collections. Much time is spent these days searching the Internet for validated and authoritative information often resulting in out-of-date sources being retrieved.

Health, Safety, Environment and Fire information collections OSH UPDATE and FIREINF brought together and maintained by information specialists are one sure way of getting good quality data.

As new research and new ways of working, with the attendant alterations in products, services and technology developments means that no-one, especially those responsible for fire, emergencies and preparedness in workplaces of all kinds, should be without the latest information.

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.

Searchers should also be aware that the myth abounding in the world that “everything is published on the Internet and is free” is just NOT true!

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RoSPA and Sportscover join forces to improve safety in the sport and leisure industry

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has partnered with Sportscover in a bid to boost quality and safety across the UK’s sport and leisure industry.

RoSPA, the UK’s leading accident prevention charity, and Sportscover, established in 1986 as a worldwide specialist sports and leisure insurer which has an insurance syndicate at Lloyd’s of London, will collaborate on safety campaigns, policy and industry initiatives.

A key focus will be on identifying emerging risks leading to injuries and accidents in the sector to create a better understanding of what is at the root of these problems and how to tackle them.

RoSPA also hopes the partnership will encourage the sport and leisure industry to embrace its ethos of being “as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible”.

Sportscover and Active (Sportscover’s leisure brand) policy holders will benefit from priority access to RoSPA’s risk management information and services, including a helpline offering free water and leisure health and safety advice and support following accidents and deaths, as well as preferential rates on RoSPA consultancy, membership and playground inspections.

David Walker, RoSPA’s leisure safety manager, said: “Sportscover is a trusted name with an expert insight into sport and leisure management in the UK and abroad, which shares RoSPA’s commitment to improving safety.

“We are confident that this partnership will help spread the benefits of good risk management and high quality expertise across the sector with the help of Sportscover’s huge reach of clients, whether it be individual participants, coaches, instructors, facility operators, event organisers or indeed national governing bodies.”

Paul Thomas, business development director at Sportscover, said: “We are delighted to be working with RoSPA. Its name is synonymous with health and safety in the sectors we accommodate through our Sportscover and Active product range.

“We have enjoyed considerable dialogue with RoSPA during the past 18 months and it has become clear that the partnership will be of considerable benefit to both parties and, more importantly, our existing and prospective policyholders. We continue to look forward to assisting RoSPA in their mission to improve safety.”

RoSPA, which has nearly 100 years of expertise, is dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries by preventing accidents at leisure, at work, on the road, in the home and through safety education.

For more information about RoSPA’s leisure safety work, visit For more information about Sportscover Group, visit:

Sportscover is one of the world’s leading sports and leisure insurance services groups with offices in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai, and the Pacific Islands. Using a worldwide broker network, Sportscover specialises in accident, liability, property, contingency and travel insurances for sport and leisure. Sportscover’s main underwriting operations comprise Sportscover Underwriting Ltd, Syndicate 3334, Sportscover Australia Pty Ltd, Sportscover Europe Ltd., Sportscover Insurance Ltd, SCI Capital Ltd.

RoSPA’s mission is to save lives and reduce injuries

Slow motion on European safety strategy

Belated moves to introduce a Europe Union workplace health and safety strategy for 2013 and beyond have been initiated by the European Commission, after concerted pressure by unions. But unions remain concerned that the bureaucratic consultative process will bring further delays and that the Commission is adopting an increasingly regulation averse stance that could send Europe in a more dangerous direction.

Commenting on the 31 May 2013 announcement of the consultation, TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson said: ‘There is an urgent need for a new European strategy and this consultation, rather than bringing one forward, actually delays it. Had the Commission worked with the European employers and unions in 2011 to develop a strategy as was recommended, it could be agreed by now.’ He added: ‘We will however be contributing and asking for a strong regulatory approach to the problems of work organisation, stress, working time, carcinogens and other causes of the high level of occupational disease that we find in the EU at present.’

Judith Kirton-Darling, confederal secretary of the Europe-wide union federation ETUC, said: ‘Finally, we see that the Commission has recognised the need to address health and safety at work, but where is the new strategy? Where is the response to the deterioration of working conditions and intensification of work? The EU must address these crucial questions urgently.’

Top pregnancy doctors say safety first with chemicals

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has concluded pregnant women may want to ‘play it safe’ and avoid chemicals found in many common industrial and household products. The RCOG says its paper on the issue is informing women and filling a void – until now, there has been no official advice for pregnant and breastfeeding women to turn to.

The report authors note it is impossible to give an accurate assessment of risk. But they say exposure to considerable amounts of environmental chemicals has been linked to adverse health effects in women and children, including pre-term birth, low birth weight, congenital defects, pregnancy loss, impaired immune development, as well as impairment of fertility and reproduction in both the mother and child in later life. The report did not comment directly on the potentially much higher exposures to suspect chemicals pregnant women may encounter in the workplace.

More information:

ICOH Statement: Global Asbestos Ban and the Elimination of Asbestos-Related Diseases

After a large consultation, large discussion, several comments among ICOH working groups, members of the ICOH Board and NGOs’ representatives, the ICOH President, Dr. Kazutaka Kogi, approved the ICOH Statement on “Global Asbestos Ban and the Elimination of Asbestos-related Diseases”.

The International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) calls for a global ban on the mining, sale and use of all forms of asbestos and the elimination of asbestos-related diseases. To accomplish the elimination of asbestos-related diseases, we urge each and every individual country to implement a total ban on production and use of asbestos. We also urge complementary efforts aimed at primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of asbestos-related diseases through country-specific “National Programmes for Elimination of Asbestos-Related Diseases” in line with ILO and WHO guidelines.

Malignant asbestos-related diseases include lung cancer, mesothelioma and cancers of the ovary and larynx.[1] There is sufficient evidence that amphibole asbestos (e.g., crocidolite) and serpentine asbestos (e.g., chrysotile) both cause malignancies of the lung, pleura and peritoneum.[1] Non- malignant asbestos-related diseases include asbestosis and pleural abnormalities such as pleural thickening, pleural calcification and pleural effusion.[2]

International consensus has recommended that a total ban on production and use of all forms of asbestos is the best way to eliminate the occurrence of asbestos-related diseases. In 2006 WHO stated that the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop using all types of asbestos.[3] The ILO Resolution on Asbestos, 2006, calls for eliminating the use of asbestos and identifying and properly managing asbestos currently in place as the most effective means to protect workers from asbestos and to prevent future asbestos-related diseases and deaths.[4] By government decision, a number of countries have already adopted a universal ban on all types of asbestos based on recognition of the substantial human and economic burden of diseases caused by asbestos. Some other countries have banned the use of amphibole asbestos, predominantly crocidolite, but have not banned the use of chrysotile. As there is sufficient evidence by the International Agency on Research on Cancer (IARC 2012) that chrysotile causes malignancies of the lung, pleura and peritoneum, amphibole-only bans are inadequate; asbestos bans need to include chrysotile as well.

Some countries have banned the production and/or use of asbestos-containing industrial products, but have continued to mine, sell and export asbestos. This is an unacceptable policy and should be reconsidered by those countries. In order to be effective, a total ban on production, use and export of all forms of asbestos should be achieved in every country.

Even after a total ban on production and use of asbestos is achieved, occupational exposures to asbestos will persist due to the continued presence of asbestos from prior use in building materials and durable machinery/equipment. Workers who carry out maintenance, demolition and removal of asbestos-containing materials will thus continue to be at risk. Therefore a set of protective measures must be implemented to optimize effective prevention. The adoption of a total ban on all use of asbestos and products, equipment and materials containing asbestos implies a need to follow up the implementation of the ban with supplementary regulations and national programmes for ensuring the elimination of all use of asbestos and the required protection from exposure to asbestos. This includes, as appropriate, the review of legislation and regulatory systems regarding trade and the protection of consumers and external environment.

Primary prevention involves ensuring control of exposures to airborne asbestos fibres, monitoring concentrations according to established standards and reporting exposure levels to appropriate authorities. There is no exposure level below which asbestos-related disease risk can be totally eliminated. To minimize asbestos exposure, reference exposure limits (i.e., threshold limit values or occupational exposure limits) should adhere to international norms.

Complying with these limits will reduce, but not totally eliminate, the risk of asbestos-related diseases. Exposed workers should be informed about their working conditions and associated hazards, and provided with appropriate respirators. While respirators should not be relied upon as the sole means of routinely limiting exposure to asbestos fibres, workers provided with them should be trained for their proper use, and encouraged to wear them when warranted. Adequate fitting, changing of filters, sanitary storage and maintenance of respirators are also required for optimal protection. Licensing or authorization procedures need to be considered to ensure safe handling, repair, maintenance and demolishing operations. Ambient air levels at the boundary of demolition sites adjacent to residential areas should be strictly monitored and kept below exposure limits. Proper and safe handling of asbestos-contaminated waste is essential. Finally, in view of the synergistic effect of smoking and asbestos exposure on lung cancer risk, smoking cessation programmes are essential for all workers currently and previously exposed to asbestos.

Secondary prevention includes medical monitoring of exposed workers, early diagnosis and individual case management to prevent disease progression. Secondary prevention is not effective for mesothelioma and is not yet proven to be effective for lung cancer among asbestos exposed workers, but workers identified with early asbestosis can be transferred away from further exposure with the intent of slowing progression of their disease. Malignant and non-malignant asbestos-related diseases can be diagnosed according to established guidelines.[2,5]

Tertiary prevention includes medical intervention and public health services to limit disease-related disability and help workers affected by asbestos-related diseases to cope with chronic effects of their disease. Appropriate medical care and rehabilitation for the diseases and their potential complications, including immunization against pulmonary infections, should be provided. After disability and impairment evaluation, just compensation and disability benefits should also be provided, as warranted.

Individuals with asbestos-related diseases should be reported to authorities and public health registries. Public health surveillance of asbestos-related diseases, in particular malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural abnormalities, can help track progress towards eliminating asbestos-related diseases and may identify where further primary prevention efforts are needed. Public health surveillance of reported exposure levels can also be used to target enhanced primary prevention.

Achieving a worldwide ban on the mining, sale and use of all forms of asbestos and the elimination of asbestos-related diseases will require that physicians and occupational health personnel responsibly and persistently express their concerns, raise awareness and take necessary action regarding the need to prevent asbestos-related diseases. Recognizing the urgent need for coordinated actions, ICOH will continue to foster global and national collaboration in this endeavour, promoting the engagement of ICOH members in training occupational medicine and health professionals in competencies needed to support comprehensive national efforts to eliminate asbestos-related diseases.


[1] IARC, WHO. Asbestos (Chrysotile, Amosite, Crocidolite, Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthophyllite). IARC Monographs, Volume 100C, 2012.

[2] American Thoracic Society Documents. Diagnosis and Initial Management of Nonmalignant Diseases Related to Asbestos. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2004; 170: 691-715.

[3] World Health Organization. Elimination of asbestos-related diseases. WHO/SDE/OEH/06.03. September 2006.

[4] International Labour Organization. Resolution concerning asbestos, 2006.

[5] Asbestos, asbestosis, and cancer: the Helsinki criteria for diagnosis and attribution [consensus report]. Scand J Work Environ health 1997; 12: 311-316.

FIM Expo Comes to Scotland

The Fire Industry Manufacturers’ (FIM) Expo goes north of the border this autumn, taking in the delights of Murrayfield Rugby Stadium, Edinburgh. Taking place on 25th September this is the third FIM Expo since its inception in 2012.

Organised by the Fire Industry Association (FIA), FIM Expo features many of the UK’s leading fire detection and alarm manufacturers and focuses on showcasing the latest products and developments in this sector of the industry.

This event is a new road-show style event that provides an intimate forum for networking as well as finding out what’s new in fire detection. With around 25 exhibitors, FIM Expo is for anyone working in this area, giving them access to all the key manufacturers in one location on one day.

FIM Expo is open from 10.00 to 17.00 on Wednesday 25th September and is free to attend. To register go to and choose Events.

For general information on the event visit

2,923 more chemicals registered by industry under REACH

By the second REACH deadline of 31 May 2013, 9 084 registration dossiers have been submitted by 3 215 companies to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The final number of successful registrations and substances submitted will be available in early September when all dossiers have been processed. Detailed registration statistics are published on ECHA’s website.

Registrations were received from 26 EU Member States and three EEA countries, with the highest percentages coming from Germany (31%), the United Kingdom (12%), Italy, France and the Netherlands (each 8%).

2 923 more substances have now been registered for the 2013 deadline. Additionally, 696 substances that had already been registered for the previous deadline were registered by new companies that joined the previous registrants. The most hazardous substances in this tonnage band had to be registered already for the 1 December 2010 registration deadline.

Most of the substances were registered by groups of companies working together in joint submissions (82%). The joint submissions have one lead registrant and, on average, 2.9 members.

Geert Dancet, Executive Director of ECHA, said “This second REACH deadline is yet another milestone on the journey towards the safe use of chemicals in Europe. Overall, the registration process worked well and industry responded actively to the 2013 registration deadline, although a significant number of lead registrants registered in the final days, which has put some members under unnecessary time pressure. I congratulate all successful registrants on their hard work. I would also like to remind companies that complying with REACH does not end at registration. It’s only the start.”

The exact number of registered substances and registration dossiers will be available in early September when all the dossiers have been processed. In most of the pending cases, ECHA is waiting for the companies to pay their registration fees. ECHA will make the non-confidential information from most of the 2013 registrations publicly available by the end of the year.

Since the start of REACH in 2008, a total of 6 598 substances have been registered. The last REACH registration deadline for substances manufactured or imported in the EU at or above one tonne a year is 31 May 2018.

The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment as well as the competitiveness and innovation of industry through the safe use of chemicals.

Further information

The press conference web stream recording will be published later on ECHA’s website.

Emergency Health & Safety Tip: Stay Healthy During and After a Wildfire

Protecting yourself and your loved ones from smoke and other health hazards is very important during a wildfire. So is safely securing the area after a fire.

Only go into a damaged home or apartment if authorities say it is safe. Don’t eat, drink, or breathe in anything that has been near the fire’s flames, smoke, soot, or water used to put the fire out.

10-13 March 2014 – Staying well and engaged – young workers and sustainable work life

Venue: National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI), Oslo, Norway

How do early working life exposures influence risk of MSD’s and what preventive measures should be introduced?

The course aims to give participants knowledge on risk factors for accidents and reduced health in young workers. Practical interventions to reduce these risk factors will also be introduced. Factors that are likely to inspire and motivate school stay and continuous participation in working life will also be discussed.

Research into safety, as well as risk factors for reduced health, will be used as examples to illustrate the important basal demands on work to keep the young worker healthy. In addition, efforts will be made to penetrate factors that may be important to promote health and motivation during the early working career. This includes meaningful, varied and relevant jobs, but also indirect factors such as education and the activities and actions within other spheres of life beyond the workplace.

Main Topics

Course leader: Bo Veiersted, MD, PhD, National Institute of Occupational Health, Norway

8-9 September 2013 – IOSH National Safety Symposium 2013 – Tools for your toolbox, skills for your future

The Nottingham Belfry, Mellors Way, Nottingham, NG8 6PY, UK

Contact: IOSH |

Stress Network Conference, 23-24 November 2013, Birmingham

The national Stress Network’s annual conference is to take place from 23-24 November 2013. This year’s event has the theme: ‘Are health and safety cuts the right medicine?’ Keynote speaker Professor Phil Taylor of Strathclyde University will make a presentation on ‘Performance management, the new workplace tyranny’.

Also contributing is GMB national safety officer John McClean. The organisers say workshops ‘will provide a good opportunity to learn about the impact of adverse treatment of workers and the effects of the dismantling of essential health and safety legislation.’

Stress Network conference, Saturday, 23-24 November, Hillscourt Conference Centre, Rednal, Birmingham B45 8RS |

7th Working on Safety Conference (WOS2014)

Learning from the past to shape a safer future will be held in Scotland from 30 September to 3 October 2014. The first announcement flyer is now available.

More details will be available from November 2013, and online early registration will be available from 01 February to 15 June 2014. To express your interest and register for regular updates, please email

The event is organised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health on behalf of an international network of decision-makers, researchers and professionals responsible for the prevention of accidents at work.

Differences in working time remain large across Europe

(Dublin, Ireland): The average collectively agreed weekly working time in the European Union, including Croatia, stood at 38.1 hours in 2012, the same as for the EU27 in 2011, according to Eurofound’s latest annual working time update. The working week was on average 30 minutes shorter in the pre-2004 EU15 countries and over 1 hour and 30 minutes longer in the new Member States. The new report provides a snapshot of working time developments in the European Union and Norway in 2012 as agreed between the social partners by collective agreements. The combined total of agreed annual leave and public holidays in the EU varied from 40 days in Germany to 28 days in Estonia – a difference of over 2 working weeks.

Collective bargaining plays an important role in determining the duration of working time in most of the 28 Member States of the European Union, though to a lesser or sometimes negligible extent in some of the Member States that joined the EU since 2004, the NMS13. This annual report provides a general overview of collectively agreed working time and any major developments taking place in 2012, and it includes data from Croatia, a Member State of the European Union from 1 July 2013, and Norway.

Belgium, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK were the only countries registering changes between 2011 and 2012. Slovakia continued in a decreasing trend whereas Spain halted an upward trend: both countries registered a fall of 0.1 hours in collectively agreed weekly hours. Sweden and the UK registered an increase of 0.1 hours per week, while Belgium recorded the highest increase, of 0.2 hours per week.

The report also looks at the average normal weekly working hours for full-time workers as set by collective bargaining in three sectors representing the manufacturing industry, services and the public sector – metalworking, banking and local government. The banking sector recorded the shortest average agreed normal weekly working hours from the three in the EU, with 37.6 hours, followed by the local government sector, with 37.8 hours, and metalworking, with 37.9 hours.

Actual weekly hours worked by full-time employees were longer than the average normal collectively agreed working week in 21 of the 29 countries analysed in the report. In the EU, full-time employees in Romania reported the longest actual weekly hours in their main jobs in 2012 – 41.2 hours, or 0.1 hours less than in 2011. They were followed by employees in Luxembourg (41.1 hours), the UK (40.8 hours), Germany (40.5 hours), Croatia and Cyprus (both 40.3 hours), and Bulgaria (40.2 hours). Employees in Finland worked the shortest hours (37.6). This was 3.6 hours less than their counterparts in Romania, or over 4.5 weeks of work in Romania in a full year.

Across the EU28, men worked on average 2 hours more than women. In the EU15, men worked 2.3 hours more per week than women; by contrast, in the NMS13, men worked around 1 hour and 30 minutes more than women. Again, these averages conceal more stark national situations: men’s actual weekly hours exceeded women’s by 3 hours or more in Ireland, the UK and Italy (3.6, 3.4 and 3 hours, respectively), by less than 1 hour in Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, and by less than 20 minutes in Bulgaria.

An important factor in the overall length of working time is the paid annual leave to which workers are generally entitled, the report points out. All 28 countries studied have a statutory minimum period of paid annual leave, and the average figure for the EU28, including paid leave and public holidays, stood at 35.1 days – 36.6 days in the EU15 and 30.3 days in the NMS13. The report reveals big differences between countries, with employees in Germany enjoying up to 40 days of leave in total in 2012, followed by employees in France and Italy (39 days), while other notably low-leave countries included Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, with 29 days, and Estonia with 28 days.

Taking into account the agreed weekly hours, the days of leave and the public holidays, in 2012, the average collectively agreed annual normal working time was approximately 1,712 hours in the EU28, 1,678 hours in the EU15, and 1,824 hours in the NMS13.

Report: Developments in collectively agreed working time 2012

New CLH public consultation launched on hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde and bupirimate will end on 16 August 2013

ECHA invites the parties concerned to comment on two proposals for harmonised classification and labelling (CLH) of hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde and the pesticide bupirimate. The public consultation will be open for 45 days and will end on 16 August 2013.

Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde is a multi-constituent substance which is widely used in the manufacture of various consumer products, such as cleaning products and detergents, cosmetics, scented products and room fresheners. The submitting Member State, Sweden, proposes classification for skin sensitisation.

Bupirimate is a pesticide approved under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market. The CLH dossier, submitted by the Netherlands, proposes classification for carcinogenicity, skin sensitisation and hazardous to the aquatic environment.

Neither of the substances have harmonised entries in Part 3 of Annex VI to the CLP Regulation.

The CLH reports and the dedicated web form to post the comments are available on the ECHA website. The comments received during the public consultation will be regularly published on the ECHA website during the 45-day consultation phase.

Further information:

US EPA Warns Against Use of Refrigerant Substitutes That Pose Fire and Explosion Risk

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is warning homeowners, propane manufacturers and sellers, home improvement contractors and air conditioning technicians of potential safety hazards related to the use of propane or other unapproved refrigerants in home air conditioning systems.

EPA is currently investigating instances where propane has been marketed and used as a substitute for HCFC-22 (R-22), a refrigerant that is widely used in home air conditioning systems.

Home air conditioning systems are not designed to handle propane or other similar flammable refrigerants. The use of these substances poses a potential fire or explosion hazard for homeowners and service technicians.

EPA is aware of incidents that have occurred both overseas and in the U.S. where individuals have been injured as a result of the use of propane and other unapproved refrigerants in air conditioning systems. We are investigating and will take enforcement actions where appropriate. Other names for these unapproved refrigerants include R-290, 22a, 22-A, R-22a, HC-22a, and CARE 40.

At this time, EPA has not approved the use of propane refrigerant or other hydrocarbon refrigerants in any type of air conditioner. Homeowners and technicians are strongly recommended to limit use of propane or other hydrocarbons to only those appliances specifically designed for these substances and that are properly marked to alert technicians that the equipment contains a flammable substance. EPA has approved the use of propane as a substitute refrigerant for R-22 in industrial process refrigeration systems and in new, stand-alone retail food refrigerators and freezers that are specifically designed to use flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants.

R-22 is being phased out of production and importation under the Montreal Protocol, an environmental treaty ratified by every country in the world designed to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of ozone depleting substances. EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program has already listed numerous refrigerants with improved environmental, health and safety profiles and continues to evaluate other refrigerants that can be used to replace R-22 and other ozone-depleting substances.

More information about the EPA's SNAP program:

More information about R-22a and alternatives for air conditioning:

IFPO Technical Trophy Competition 2013

Institute of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO), sponsored by Hochiki Europe Limited and supported by Sheila Pantry Associates Limited.

The Institute of Fire Prevention Officers, an international fire prevention and fire safety Institute, is pleased to announce the annual IFPO Technical Trophy Competition, sponsored by Hochiki Europe Ltd, a company distinguished by the experience and expertise of more than 80 years as one of the world's largest manufacturers and suppliers of industrial fire detection products. The competition is for the best Technical Paper or Essay, or Power Point Presentation on any fire related subject by an individual.

The winner will receive:

Entry subjects

To enable participants to formulate an entry, the following subjects are given as a guide.

  1. The Investigation of Fire?
  2. Fire and Disability?
  3. The Improvement of Fire Safety Training?
  4. Fire Equipment - is it just capital Expenditure on the wall?
  5. Fire Risk Assessment?
  6. Fire Prevention Education?

A copy of the General Rules of the Competition is below.

The closing date for entries is Friday 20th September 2013.

The competition is for the best submission by an individual of a technical paper or essay, or Power Point Presentation, on any fire related subject; fire engineering, fire prevention or fire science. It is sponsored by Hochiki Europe Ltd and supported by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.

The competition is open to any individual employed in the fire safety industry or to members of the general public with an interest in fire safety, and entries are not restricted to residents in the UK, the Competition is open to entries Worldwide.

Submissions from entrants fewer than 18 years of age at the submission closing date must be accompanied by written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Submissions must be in English, be no longer than 5,000 words and may be accompanied by diagrams or photographs. However, the judges reserve the right to reject any submission that contains excessive or unwarranted use of brand names.

There is no limit to the number of papers that an entrant may submit.

Papers can be submitted as hardcopy by mail, or can be emailed. The submission must be headed IFPO Technical Trophy Competition. Neither the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers; nor Hochiki (Europe) Ltd Limited; nor Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, can be held responsible for the safe arrival of submissions; regrettably, it will not be possible to confirm safe receipt of submissions or return submissions (including photographs and diagrams).

Submissions should be typed at on white A4 paper. Pages should be numbered, and the last page must also include the entrant's full postal address, email address, and daytime and evening telephone numbers.

The closing date for entries to be received by the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers is Friday, September 20th 2013.


Email Submissions to:


Entrants are responsible for obtaining any permission that may be necessary regarding the taking or inclusion of photographs, diagrams or the content of his or her paper or papers, and submissions will be accepted on the understanding that the entrant has sole ownership of the photographs or diagrams, or has obtained in writing any required permissions, and must state the author's references for any material they use which is not their own.

By submitting a paper, the entrant is agreeing to indemnify both the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers, Hochiki Europe Limited and Sheila Pantry Associates Limited of any potential claims or resultant actions arising from (but not limited to) breach of copyright, and that any legal action brought will revert to the entrant.

Entrants assign his or her own copyright to any submissions jointly to the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers, Hochiki Europe Limited and Sheila Pantry Associates Limited.

Any submissions, including the winner's details and photograph, may be used by all the organisations at any time following the competition. Details of the winning submission will be included in an appropriate edition of Fire Safety Professional magazine.

The Institute's Annual General Meeting will take place in London on 14th November 2013 and the winner will be notified in writing at least four weeks prior to the meeting. However, the winner must be prepared to travel to the event to receive the award entirely at his or her own expense.

A panel of judges will decide on the winning submission and the judges' decision is final. This panel will comprise members of the Institute's Executive Council who will recommend the winner to the Directors of Hochiki Europe Limited. Only the winner will be notified.

The competition is not open to employees, past or present, or family members of Hochiki Europe Limited, or to Executive Council members or elected officers of the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers.

The Organisers and Sponsors of this Competition operate an Equal Opportunities Policy.

The Organisers, Sponsors and Supporters of this competition are:

The Winning Entry for 2012 was a paper on Forest Fire Detection Systems by Struan Macgregor, Student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa.

We need to get a grip on the rapid changes affecting the world of work says ILO Director General Guy Ryder

The 102nd International Labour Conference opened with ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, outlining his vision for tackling the various challenges that are having an impact on workers, enterprises and governments around the world.

The world of work is being transformed more quickly and more deeply than ever before by rapid changes in demography and technology, growing inequality, poverty and the slow economic recovery, said Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization.

Speaking at the opening of the 102nd International Labour Conference, which took place from 5 to 20 June 2013 in Geneva, Ryder said that these issues pose challenges for achieving the goal of decent work for all.

"The most important question, the one asked everywhere and with growing urgency and sometimes alarm, is 'where are the jobs coming from?' and it is most frequently a question addressed to the situation of our young people."

Ryder outlined seven initiatives for a "forward-looking and strategic response" to the crisis, as he proposes in his report to the Conference, "Towards the ILO centenary: Realities, Renewal and Tripartite Commitment".

A Governance Initiative, he said, would continue the process of reform within the ILO, which began last year. A standards review mechanism would update and enhance the relevance of the body of international labour standards - the ILO's comprehensive system of instruments on work and social policy.

He also said that the ILO needs to engage more with enterprises.

"An organization which needs to connect better with the realities of business and respond better to business needs and realities, should be making efforts to engage with enterprises... Frankly, we come to this task very late. We should not delay further in setting about it," he explained.

He also highlighted four other proposals relating to green jobs, poverty reduction, women at work and the future of work.

Regarding the Green Initiative, Ryder said that the ILO needs to be centre-stage in international efforts to assure the long-term future of the planet.

"Whether we like it or not, production and consumption systems are crucial determinants of environmental sustainability and the world of work is going to have to make unprecedented efforts to reconcile its future with that of the planet," he stressed.

The ILO also needs to play the fullest role in putting an end to extreme poverty in the world by 2030, he said, and to "eliminate the danger that poverty anywhere constitutes to prosperity everywhere."

A Women at Work Initiative would aim to correct the "persisting and profound disadvantage faced by many women in the world of work". This, he said, is a necessary and good social and economic policy.

Ryder also proposed that an advisory panel on the future of work be established, which would draw up a report for discussion at the Organization's centenary Conference in 2019.

"Here at the ILO we have the mandate, we have the right actors and we are equipping ourselves with the means to make the world of work a better, more humane, kinder and fairer one in which all have a place and where all can have equal opportunity to realise their potential," he added.

During the two-week conference, delegates attending the ILC will discuss a broad range of issues, including employment, growth and social progress; domestic child labour; the situation in Myanmar; employment and social protection in an ageing world; strengthening social dialogue between governments, employers and workers; and promoting decent and green jobs.

Arizona wildfire near Yarnell, USA kills 19 firefighters

At least 19 US firefighters have been killed today 1 July 2013 battling a wildfire in central Arizona. They died while fighting the blaze threatening the town of Yarnell, about 80 miles (130 km) north-west of Phoenix, USA.

The fire was started by lightning on Friday and has spread rapidly to 2,000 acres (800 ha) amid high heat, low humidity and strong winds.

Arizona and other parts of the western US - including California - had near-record temperatures over the weekend.

It is the highest death toll for firefighters in a single incident since 9/11.

"We are heartbroken about what happened," US President Barack Obama said in a press conference in Tanzania on Monday. Earlier he called the deceased firefighters heroes.

Priorities for OSH research in Europe: 2013-2020: New report from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

As Europe experiences great economic, social and technological change, workplaces are also changing. Occupational safety and health (OSH) research is essential to address the gaps in knowledge of known, new or emerging risk factors to ensure safety, health and well-being in workplaces. This report identifies the priorities for OSH research in the coming years in order to promote priority setting at national level and facilitate better coordination of research activities and more efficient allocation of resources.

The focus is on four themes: demographic change; globalisation and the changing world of work; safe new technologies; and new or increasing occupational exposure to chemical and biological agents.

25-26 September 2013 - The UK Emergency Services Show

NEC, Birmingham, UK

The Emergency Services Show 2013 is organised by Broden Media, publishers of Emergency Services Times magazine and the EST Directory.

Contact Event Director: David Brown, Broden Media, Robert Denholm House, Bletchingley Road, Nutfield, Surrey RH1 4HW | E-mail: | Tel: +44 (0)1737 824010

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Health Threat from Wildfire Smoke

Do you live in a Wildfire Prone Area? Learn how to protect your health during a wildfire with these tips.

Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.

The Factsheet Advice just issued, gives information on how to tell if smoke is affecting you, know whether you are at risk and what to do and how to protect yourself.


ASH welcomes MHRA's decision to license e-cigarettes

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced that e-cigarettes sold in the UK are to be regulated by the MHRA.

The announcement complements the guidance issued last week by NICE which supports the use of licensed nicotine containing products (NCPs) to help smokers cut down and as a substitute for smoking, possibly indefinitely.

Once licensed by the MHRA, e-cigarettes and other NCPs will remain available for sale as over-the-counter medicines and healthcare professionals will be able to recommend them as nicotine replacement therapy. E-cigarettes will not be required to obtain a medicines licence until the European Commission's Tobacco Products Directive is agreed and transposed into UK law.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH said:

"ASH welcomes the MHRA's decision not to follow the lead of a growing number of other countries and ban e-cigarettes, but to regulate them instead. MHRA regulation can ensure that adult smokers can continue to be able to buy e-cigarettes as easily as tobacco, but promotion to children or non-smokers will be prohibited."

She went on to say:

"Smokers are increasingly choosing to use e-cigarettes. ASH estimates that around 1.3 million smokers and ex-smokers were current users in Spring 2013. Some of the e-cigarette companies are complaining that their products will have to meet medicines standards for efficacy and safety, but for smokers to be confident about the quality of the products they're buying such regulation is essential."

ASH briefing on e-cigarettes

ASH factsheet on e-cigarette use

Contact: Martin Dockrell on 020 7404 0242 (wk) or 07889 725 984 (m) or Deborah Arnott on 07976 935 987 (m)

US Chemical Safety Board Deploying to Accident at Williams Olefins Plant in Geismar, Louisiana

An investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has been deployed to the scene of a fire and explosion that occurred on Thursday June 13, 2013, at the William Olefins Inc, Plant located in Geismar, Louisiana.

The investigative team will be led by CSB Western Regional Office Director Don Holmstrom and is expected to arrive in Louisiana over the weekend.

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.

For more information, contact Hillary Cohen 202.446.8094 (cell) or Sandy Gilmour 202.251.5496 (cell).

More evidence needed on claims made for e-cigarettes, says TUC

Commenting on the announcement on 12 June 2013 that e-cigarettes are to be regulated, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: 'E-cigarettes may be a useful tool in helping smokers give up but we need proper evidence that this is actually the case, as well as more on their safety - not just statements from the companies which manufacture them.

'No-one should be using e-cigarettes at work in an attempt to get round the smoking ban. Not only should people have the right to clean air at work, allowing their use in places where smoking is no longer allowed will make it less likely that people give up. The danger is that many smokers will simply use e-cigarettes in addition to their usual tobacco ones, rather than instead of them.

'Reclassification of e-cigarettes should also happen now - we shouldn't have to wait for another three years for the change.'

The TUC's campaign plan can be downloaded from

Blueprint sets out UK Waste Industry's safety drive

A five-prong plan for driving down the number of people killed and seriously injured in the waste and recycling industry has been published.

The Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum has been working on its blueprint for better risk management since a landmark summit in February, and the final plan puts the focus on those areas where industry leaders agree action needs to be concentrated.

WISH's plan outlines 24 immediate action points under five strategic themes - providing strong leadership, involving the workforce, building competence, creating healthier and safer workplaces, and providing support for small and medium sized employers.

Key initiatives include the industry developing its own leadership standards, publishing new training materials on successful worker involvement, and work with customers to use their leverage to promote improved competence.

Chris Jones, WISH chair and Director of Risk Management and Compliance at Cory Environmental, said:

"WISH has been working to improve health, safety and welfare in waste and recycling for more than a decade, and we've made some good progress in that time.

"There's no shortage of desire in the industry to improve our record - this was clear from the summit in February and the amount of energy and commitment been shown in getting us to this point in publishing the blueprint.

"If the industry combines its efforts, contributes and supports the work needed then everything is achievable, and without unreasonable cost or burden. The more that take part in, and contribute to, the working groups that are being set up, the greater will be the knowledge base, the wider the experience and the lesser will be the burden upon everybody.

"We wanted this to be a sort of road map to healthier and safer industry - something that lets anyone in waste and recycling join us on a journey. There's a long road ahead but we're off in the right direction."

Graeme Walker, HSE's waste and recycling lead, said:

"This is a really important development in the drive for improved health and safety in the waste and recycling sector - it shows the industry's unequivocal commitment to reducing the number of people killed, injured or made unwell. We know from our experience in other sectors, such as construction, that long-term sustainable improvements rely on strong industry leadership and that is what we are seeing here."

Key figures from across the industry are being recruited to chair sub-groups to drive forward implementation the plan, which will be updated regularly.

WISH will continue to oversee the implementation and its members will acts as advocates in each of the subgroups.

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 is available:

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

Master in Occupational Safety and Health from the ILO Training Centre in Turin, Italy

Public and private sector organizations throughout the world are increasingly concerned with improving occupational safety and health (OSH). In both developed and developing countries, the rapid pace of technological change, combined with the persistence of unsafe or environmentally threatening working conditions, has served to focus attention on the need to create a safe, healthy working environment and to promote a new safety culture at the workplace.

Accordingly, the University of Turin, Italy, in partnership with the International Training Centre (ITC) of the International Labour Organization (ILO), is offering a Master course in Occupational Safety and Health. This one-year programme, to be held in English, includes an Internet-based distance learning phase, a face-to-face residential period on the ITC-ILO's campus in Turin followed by another distance phase for the preparation of the dissertation.

At the end of the master programme participants will be able to:

When: 1 October 2013 - 30 September 2014

Where: International Training Centre of the ILO, Turin, Italy

Deadline for applications: 30 June 2013

Contact: Mr. Félix Martín Daza | |

NEBOSH and APS announce new partnership

NEBOSH and the Association of Project Safety (APS) have announced a new partnership in order to promote competence in health, safety and risk management.

The partnership was confirmed through the signing of a memorandum at the Safety and Health Expo in Birmingham with NEBOSH Chief Executive Teresa Budworth and APS Head of Membership and Practice Greg Brown. Greg Brown said: "We are delighted at the opportunity to be working with NEBOSH to develop the practice of construction project risk management throughout the industry."

The agreement marks the formalising of the commitment to looking into areas of mutual co-operation. Teresa Budworth stated: "We are excited by the prospect of being able to encourage safer practice in project and risk management within the construction sector."

NEBOSH and APS are both committed to promoting competence within construction design and management. The NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety is established as a leading health and safety award for the construction industry, with over 12,000 successful candidates since 1989.

The Association for Project Safety (APS) is the largest multi-disciplinary membership body in the UK for individuals and organisations involved in the design, planning and managing of construction projects as defined in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 [CDM2007]. They are committed to shaping and sharing best practice in construction health and safety.

Recognition of NEBOSH qualifications as meeting the construction health and safety academic criteria for APS professional membership provides an indication of the co-operation already achieved.

The NEBOSH National and International Certificates in Construction Health and Safety meet the headline entrance criteria requirements for Construction Safety Associate membership (AaPS).

In addition holders of either the NEBOSH National or International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety and either the NEBOSH National or International Certificate in Construction Health and Safety meet the headline qualification entrance criteria requirements for Registered Construction Safety Practitioner (RMaPS).

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 | Tel: +44 (0)116 263 4724 | Mob: +44 (0)7850 204072 | Email: