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News Archive

October 2013

Contents
  1. European Union Healthy Workplaces Summit 2013
  2. Annual UK drowning figures revealed at the UK RoSPA water safety seminar
  3. Latest funded UK Health and Safety Executive Research reports
  4. BS ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information technology, Security techniques, Information security management systems, Requirements
  5. Eurofound publishes draft report on minimum wages in Europe
  6. Registration numbers granted to 9,030 REACH 2013 registrations
  7. ChemView
  8. US research reports on younger drivers and vehicle age
  9. HSE Med 2014 Summit
  10. OSH UPDATE and FIREINF – your primary sources of information
  11. Save the date for FABIG Event – “Managing Hazards in Extreme Operating Conditions”
  12. UK HSE unveils changes to reporting requirements
  13. UK Site workers lead the way in fitness stakes
  14. HSE new publications
  15. Many innovations for emergency services personnel at the A+A 2013 – When it gets hot, the right protective clothing is especially important
  16. Enter now to win an International Award for Powered Access in historic Windsor, UK
  17. Research report published on the substitution costs of hazardous chemicals
  18. Chemical exposure at work poses worst pregnancy risk
  19. Event – 51st meeting of the CIS network (ILO) at the International Training Centre of the ILO
  20. The ITUC launches a special website for this year’s October 7 World Day for Decent Work (WDDW)
  21. More lives to be saved from “silent killer” with CO law change, says RoSPA Scotland
  22. The Triennial Review of HSE
  23. Critics of EU chemical policy had industry ties
  24. Unions continue container safety campaign
  25. British Foundation targets Trades people with Asbestos Awareness Campaign
  26. GreenRoad Launches Fuel Management and Vehicle Health – Building Holistic View of Driver and Vehicle
  27. The European social model, a key driver for competitiveness
  28. Event: Indoor climate and Health: Building dampness and use of Energy in Buildings
  29. Event – IPAF runs show and tell sessions at BICES
  30. Nickel: An Essential Material to Address Sustainability Challenges
  31. The Board of Appeal annuls an ECHA decision
  32. US EPA Evaluates Flame Retardants Including a Safer Substitute for HBCD
  33. Action needed to cut death toll from accidents in Northern Ireland say RoSPA and the UK Public Health Agency (PHA)
  34. Child labourer numbers falls by a third since 2000
  35. Final report of the second REACH enforcement project is now available
  36. Event – REACH SMEs Workshop
  37. NASC 2013 Safety Report launched
  38. Event – Staying well and engaged – Young workers and sustainable work life

European Union Healthy Workplaces Summit 2013

Bilbao, Spain 11-12 November 2013

The closing event of Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2012-13 Working Together for Risk Prevention will take place on 11-12 November 2013 at the Bizkaia Aretoa conference centre in Bilbao, Spain.

This summit will bring together leading European experts and decision-makers to exchange good practice and discuss future strategies on how to involve workers, managers and other stakeholders to improve safety and health at work.

Highlights of the event will be an address by EU Commissioner László Andor on the current state of play and future of occupational safety and health at work in Europe and a panel discussion with European social partners, official Campaign partners and winners of the European Good Practice Awards on the main lessons to be drawn from this Campaign. Three workshops dedicated to good practices in management leadership and worker participation, benchmarking in occupational safety and health and successful networking and campaigning will bring an interactive element to the event.

And finally, the Agency will also give a short preview of the forthcoming Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2014-15 to be launched in April 2014 and which will focus on managing work-related stress and psychosocial risks.

The event is open to press.

European Good Practice Awards

Annual UK drowning figures revealed at the UK RoSPA water safety seminar

The number of people accidentally drowning in the UK has dropped by nearly nine per cent in a year to 371 deaths in 2012, latest figures reveal.

More than half of deaths from accidents or natural causes continued to be in inland waters, such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs (203), while drowning at the coast or in a harbour, dock, marina or port accounted for a third (124), according to new data from the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF).

The NWSF’s Water Incident Database (WAID), which breaks down drownings by activity, age and location type, reveals that more than a fifth of fatalities (84) were in the 50-65 age group, many while involved in activities such as sub aqua diving, swimming and angling.

Meanwhile, the under-19s accounted for 12 per cent of deaths (43), of which more than half were teenagers aged 15 to 19 (25) who predominantly got into difficulties in rivers or at the coast or beach. In the youngest age bracket of four and under, seven children drowned, two while in a bath.

Figures were revealed at the National Water Safety Seminar hosted by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents at a recent conference.

David Walker, a member of the NWSF and RoSPA’s leisure safety manager, said: “While the figures for 2012 are encouraging, we must not get complacent, especially given the prolonged heatwave we had this year.

“There’s much more that could be done to save lives and improve water safety. That’s why the main focus of the National Water Safety Seminar will be to create a consensus for a national drowning prevention strategy in order to further reduce the number of deaths.”

Professionals covering sea, beach, inland, swimming pool and watersports safety including from the Royal Life Saving Society UK, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and the Amateur Swimming Association used the seminar to discuss how best to tackle key issues, such as increasing the number of schoolchildren who can swim the minimum requirement of 25 m.

In 2011, 407 people drowned from accidents or natural causes in the UK, with 219 of these (54 per cent) at inland waters. In this year, water-related deaths for children and young people up to the age of 19 reached 47 and nearly half of these – 22 deaths – were in the 15 to 19 age group, and predominantly in a river or lake.

A full copy of the UK Water-related Fatalities 2012 report can be viewed at: www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/waid/info/waid_fatalincidentreport_2012.pdf

Latest funded UK Health and Safety Executive Research reports

RR988 – Ventilation of enclosures for removal of asbestos containing materials

When removal of high-risk asbestos-containing materials takes place, the work should be carried out inside a specially constructed ventilated enclosure to prevent the spread of asbestos outside the work area. The aim of this research project was to investigate the factors that affect the containment potential of temporary ventilated enclosures.

RR979 – Reproductive hazards literature search: Summary

The aim of this work was to establish a current picture of the main documented factors that may be associated with reproductive health, relevant to UK workers. The approach taken was to assess published reviews of literature on reproductive health and gender for workers in the UK, including chemical hazards, as well as other factors.

RR982 – Real time measurement of dichloromethane containing mixtures

Dichloromethane (DCM), also known as methylene chloride, is typically used as a component of proprietary paint strippers. The aim of this project was to determine the suitability of commercial, real-time (direct-reading), portable gas detectors to monitor DCM in the presence of other volatile organic compounds typically found in paint strippers.

RR980 – Generation of flammable mists from high flashpoint fluids: Literature review

This report provides a survey of the recent literature on flammable mists and pulls together information that will be useful in developing a HAC methodology for explosive mist atmospheres. It focuses on the three fundamental issues: mist flammability, mist generation and mitigation measures.

www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm

BS ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information technology, Security techniques, Information security management systems, Requirements

This internationally acclaimed standard for information security management has been revised and released on 1 October 2013. Since their conception in the early 1990s, globally recognised standards in Information Security have grown in rigour and recognition. So have information security threats and the best ways to manage them.

To reflect current best practice, BS ISO/IEC 27001:2013 provides specific recommendations to help you establish your own Information Security Management System (ISMS), monitor its performance and implement improvements where necessary.

The new standard is written using the high level structure that will be common to all new management system standards. This will allow easier integration when implementing more than one management system within your organisation.

BS ISO/IEC 27001:2013 is less prescriptive, allowing greater flexibility on how requirements are satisfied, thereby giving organisations greater freedom to implement requirements in a manner best suited to them.

The document allows you to see where you can simplify your current information security management practices or adopt new practices that are more natural to the needs and culture of your organization. If you are introducing an information security management system for the first time, the new standard ensures you are following today’s best practice from the start.

BS ISO/IEC 27001:2013 requirements can be used to prepare your organisation for third party audits and certification purposes.

Taking into account the experiences of users who have implemented or sought certification to ISO/IEC 27001:2005, the new standard offers a more flexible, streamlined approach intended to ensure more effective risk management.

A number of changes to the security controls listed in Annex A have been made to ensure the standard is current and consistent with the new BS ISO/IEC 27002:2013.

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. 1 Scope
  3. 2 Normative references
  4. 3 Terms and definitions
  5. 4 Context of the organization
  6. 5 Leadership
  7. 6 Planning
  8. 7 Support
  9. 8 Operation
  10. 9 Performance evaluation
  11. 10 Improvement
  12. Bibliography

More information and to order

Eurofound publishes draft report on minimum wages in Europe

New Eurofound report evaluates potential impact of a coordinated EU minimum wage policy

Although minimum wages are set at national level and the EU has no competences on this matter, there is an on-going debate about the possibility of coordinating minimum wage policy across Member States, for instance by setting a common threshold of 60% of the median wage in each country. In the majority of EU Member States, minimum wages are set by government regulation. Germany together with Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden are the exceptions. In these countries minimum wages are set by collective bargaining agreements.

A new Eurofound report evaluates the potential impact of such a common minimum wage threshold estimating the number of workers potentially affected. The use of a common metric allows the evaluation and comparison of the existing systems and levels of minimum wages in Europe in a highly illustrative way. The country that stands out the most in this exercise is Germany.

According to this simple accounting exercise, Germany would be the EU country where a larger proportion of the workforce would see their wages increase with the establishment of a common EU threshold of 60% of the median (almost one in four German workers would be affected). The reason is, of course, that the share of low-paid workers in the German labour market is among the highest in the EU (relative to the median in each country).

In a majority of EU Member States, minimum wages are established by government regulation. Germany belongs to a second category of countries, in which minimum wages are directly established by collective agreement on a sector-specific basis. If we compare the German results with those of other countries in the same category (i.e. with collectively agreed minimum wages), the contrast is even more striking. Whereas in most countries with collectively agreed minimum wages the impact of establishing a common EU threshold would in quantitative terms be very small (since very few workers currently earn less than 60% of the median wage), in Germany it would be the largest of all. This is because in most cases, collectively agreed minimum wages tend to be associated with wage distributions with fewer low-paid workers except in the case of Germany. According to these results, therefore, Germany is an outlier not only in terms of the levels of low pay (and consequently, in terms of the large potential impact of an EU minimum wage policy), but also in terms of the functioning of the system of minimum wage setting (which does not seem to produce the same outcomes as in other countries in the same category).

Draft report: http://eurofound.europa.eu/news/news-articles/other/draft-documents-on-minimum-wage

For further information, contact Måns Mårtensson, Media manager, The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), Loughlinstown House, Wyattville Road, Dublin, Ireland D18, Ireland | Email: mma@eurofound.europa.eu | Tel: +353-1-204 3124 | Mobile: +353-876-593 507

Registration numbers granted to 9,030 REACH 2013 registrations

Registration numbers have been granted to 9,030 dossiers that were submitted by the second REACH registration deadline on 31 May 2013. This corresponds to 2 998 more substances being registered under REACH. ECHA is publishing the non-confidential information from these dossiers on its website.

According to the REACH Regulation, ECHA has three months to perform completeness checks on all registrations for phase-in substances submitted in the last two months before the registration deadline. The aim of the completeness check is to ensure that all required elements have been included in the registration dossier. The three-month period ended on 31 August and ECHA has managed to perform the completeness check for all dossiers submitted by the second REACH registration deadline.

The dossiers that have not received a registration number are cases where the registrant has to resubmit their dossier following a request for further information from ECHA and cases which will be rejected because of non-payment of the related fees.

Companies submitted in total 770 testing proposals in 376 dossiers. Of those, 563 were proposals to test on animals in order to fulfil the REACH information requirements listed in Annex IX. The Agency will evaluate all dossiers which include testing proposals relevant to Annex IX by 1 June 2016. All tests proposed on vertebrate animals will be subject to public consultation.

In addition, the Agency received 301 confidentiality requests in 254 dossiers. The majority of claims concerned safety data sheet information, which includes the name of the company, the registration number and information on the uses of the substance. ECHA will assess all confidentiality claims before accepting them. The non-confidential information from all of the 2013 registrations will be added to the registered substances online database by the end of the year.

By the end of August, ECHA has received 45 million Euros in registration fees from companies submitting dossiers for the 2013 deadline. ECHA’s estimation for such fees in its 2013 budget was 31 million Euros.

Registrants are reminded to maintain and update their dossiers also after receiving the registration number, for example when new information is available. Companies should also keep checking their REACH-IT account for any communication from ECHA.

http://echa.europa.eu

ChemView

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a web-based tool, called ChemView, to significantly improve access to chemical specific regulatory information developed by EPA and data submitted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). “This online tool will improve access to chemical health and safety information, increase public dialogue and awareness, and help viewers choose safer ingredients used in everyday products,” said James Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The tool will make chemical information more readily available for chemical decision-makers and consumers.”

The ChemView web tool displays key health and safety data in an online format that allows comparison of chemicals by use and by health or environmental effects. The search tool combines available TSCA information and provides streamlined access to EPA assessments, hazard characterizations, and information on safer chemical ingredients. Additionally, the new web tool allows searches by chemical name or Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number, use, hazard effect, or regulatory action. It has the flexibility to create tailored views of the information on individual chemicals or compare multiple chemicals sorted by use, hazard effect or other criteria. The new portal will also link to information on manufacturing, processing, use, and release data reported under the Chemical Data Reporting Rule, and the Toxics Release Inventory.

In the months ahead, EPA will be continuously adding additional chemicals, functionality and links. When fully updated, the web tool will contain data for thousands of chemicals. EPA has incorporated stakeholder input into the design, and welcomes feedback on the current site.

By increasing health and safety information, as well as identifying safer chemical ingredients, manufacturers and retailers will have the information to better differentiate their products by using safer ingredients.

In 2010, EPA began a concerted effort to increase the availability of information on chemicals as part of a commitment to strengthen the existing chemicals program and improve access and usefulness of chemical data and information. This included improving access to the TSCA inventory, issuing new policies for the review of confidential business information claims for health and safety studies, and launching the Chemical Data Access Tool. Today’s launch of the ChemView provides the public with a single access point for information that has been generated on certain chemicals regulated under TSCA.

View and search ChemView: www.epa.gov/chemview

US research reports on younger drivers and vehicle age

The NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety has released two new fact sheets to help young drivers stay safe on the job. These fact sheets, one for employers and the other for parents and young workers, present case reports and provide learning points and crash prevention recommendations for young drivers, parents, and employers. Information on federal and state laws is also provided, as well as additional resources.

The new fact sheets are available on the NIOSH website:

NHTSA’s report on age and model year of vehicles involved in fatal crashes can be found at: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811825

HSE Med 2014 Summit

21-22 January 2014 in Florence, Italy

A two-day Summit will specifically analyse the Health, Safety and Environmental issues in Mediterranean countries including Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria.

The recent bonanza led more and more oil and gas companies to initiate business in the region. For the first time in the Mediterranean Sea, risk management key topics will be thoroughly discussed, along with the EU and MENA regulatory environment. They will allow to better understand the growing HSE challenges such as loss of lives and how to avoid environmental hazards.

IRN has agreed with FABIG to offer a 15% discount to all members wishing to register for the summit. Just use discount code HSE1 at the point of registration.

Please visit www.hsemedsummit.com for more information.

Ricardo Simms – Senior Manager | ricardos@irn-international.com | www.irn-international.com

OSH UPDATE and FIREINF – your primary sources of information

Keep up-to-date easily 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…

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

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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.

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Save the date for FABIG Event – “Managing Hazards in Extreme Operating Conditions”

4th & 5th December 2013 in Aberdeen and London

FABIG’s forthcoming event will be a half day Technical Meeting covering “Managing Hazards in Extreme Operating Conditions” held on Wednesday 4th December 2013 in Aberdeen and on Thursday 5th December 2013 in London & via Webcast.

The programme is currently being finalised and there are still some slots available for additional presentations. As such, please contact us if you would like to contribute a presentation to this event.

It is expected that the event will start with lunch and registration at 12.30 pm and the presentations will take place between 13.30 pm and 17.20 pm (UK time).

More information will be provided shortly at www.fabig.com/events

UK HSE unveils changes to reporting requirements

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has formally implemented changes to simplify the mandatory reporting of workplace injuries for businesses.

Changes to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 clarify and simplify the reporting requirements, while ensuring that the data collected gives an accurate and useful picture of workplace incidents.

The change affects all employers – including the self-employed. New web-based information and guidance is now available on the HSE website at: www.hse.gov.uk/riddor

The main changes are in the following areas:

There are no significant changes to the reporting requirements for:

How an incident at work is reported and the criteria that determine whether an incident should be investigated remain the same.

Commenting on the impact of the changes, Dave Charnock, HSE policy lead for the revisions to RIDDOR, explained: “Reporting under RIDDOR is a legal requirement for companies. RIDDOR reports, along with all other complaints and information received by HSE, will continue to be examined in conjunction with our Incident Selection Criteria to determine the need for investigations – this is not something new.

“It will not alter the current ways to report an incident at work. The principles of what must be recorded remain largely unchanged – everything that is reportable must also be recorded (other than gas events), together with over-3-day lost time accidents.

“The aim is to simplify and clarify reporting requirements, whilst ensuring that a useful supply of information is retained, to provide sufficient data for HSE and others to act in a risk-based manner, and to enable European and international obligations to be met. The proposed changes will facilitate improved reporting of such information, whilst not requiring businesses to provide information that is either not used or could be better obtained from other sources.”

http://press.hse.gov.uk/2013/hse-riddor-reporting-changes

UK Site workers lead the way in fitness stakes

Construction workers are among the fittest people in the country getting more than six times the amount of exercise recommended by the NHS

The news blows apart the old myth of unhealthy builders living on a diet of bacon sandwiches and never-ending cups of tea,

A study from Direct Line for Business showed tradespeople typically exercise for 16.4 hours each week – over six times the NHS’ minimum recommendation of 2.5 hours exercise per week.

The research shows found that 41% of builders, plumbers and carpenters complete more than ten hours of physical activity a week at work.

One in four claimed to complete more than 20 hours a week and the average for all tradespeople was 11.7 hours per week.

Construction workers also keep fit outside of work with an additional average of 4.69 hours of physical activity through working out at the gym and sport.

The research also found that Britain’s 2.8 million tradespeople have considerably healthier diets than originally thought, with only one in fourteen claiming they consistently eat more than their recommended daily allowance.

Jazz Gakhal, Head of Direct Line for Business said: “Tradespeople are helping to nurse this country’s economy back to health.

“This research shows that, despite the sometimes negative publicity that surrounds the lifestyle of tradespeople, they are actually setting a great example to the public with their active daily routines.”

Sonia Ayadi, Nutritional Therapist practitioner at Harley Health, said: “This research by Direct Line for Business is long overdue.

“As we become more aware of our diet and general health, and with the government constantly raising awareness of healthy eating (i.e. five a day fruits and vegetables), tradespeople have always been amongst the most active workers when compared to the typical office-based professional.

“Indeed tradespeople will often need support with their diet to make sure they eat enough nutritious foods to sustain their energy levels throughout the day.”

www.constructionenquirer.com/2013/10/02/site-workers-lead-the-way-in-fitness-stakes

HSE new publications

Farmwise: Your essential guide to health and safety in agriculture

There are persistently high rates of fatal incidents and work-related ill health in the agricultural industry. This guidance is designed to help everyone working in the industry achieve good standards of health and safety and reduce injuries and ill health by identifying causes, eliminating hazards and controlling risks.

This updated second edition is for employers, employees and the self-employed. It covers the management of health and safety, as well as outlining the specific risks of agricultural and horticultural work, giving easy-to-follow, practical advice to keep you safe and healthy at work.

Farmwise
HSE Books, HSG107 (Third edition), 2013. ISBN 978 0 7176 6579 2

www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg270.htm

Maintaining portable electrical equipment

Do you have control over or use portable electrical equipment in the workplace? This guidance is for managers, electricians, technicians and users and gives sensible advice on maintaining portable electrical equipment to prevent danger. It covers equipment that is connected to the fixed mains supply or a locally generated supply.

It outlines a recommended maintenance plan based on a straightforward, inexpensive system of user checks, formal visual inspection and testing.

For low-risk environments please refer to Maintaining portable electric equipment in low risk environments in the first instance.

This guidance has been updated to clarify what the legal requirement for maintenance of portable electrical equipment means in practice. The table of suggested frequencies has been updated and now includes clearer information for all types of business including construction.

Maintaining portable electrical equipment
HSE Books, HSG107 (Third edition), 2013. ISBN 978 0 7176 6606 5

www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg107.htm

Many innovations for emergency services personnel at the A+A 2013 – When it gets hot, the right protective clothing is especially important

There are always extreme situations in which emergency services personnel distinguish a fire, save lives or subdue the consequences of natural disasters. In order for them to survive a situation unharmed themselves and still be able to provide the best performance possible, suppliers of protective clothing and protective equipment are continuously working on improvements. Trade visitors from the areas of fire brigades, technical relief organisations, or industrial disaster prevention can once again find everything to satisfy their needs at the beginning of November at the A+A 2013 in Düsseldorf, the leading international trade fair for personal safety, security and health at work which will accommodate around 1,600 exhibitors takes place on 5 – 8 November 2013.

www.aplusa-online.com

Enter now to win an International Award for Powered Access in historic Windsor, UK

Entries are now open for the International Awards for Powered Access (IAPAs) 2014, jointly organised by Access International, Access Lift & Handlers and IPAF. The IAPA awards ceremony and dinner, and the IPAF Summit conference, will be held on 3 April 2014 at the Beaumont Estate Hotel in Windsor, near London in the UK.

The IAPAs are the premier event celebrating best practice and excellence in the powered access industry, attracting full-capacity audiences of around 450 each year. This is the sixth time that the awards are being held.

Participants do not have to be an IPAF member to enter for an award. The categories, open to all companies and individuals in the powered access industry, are:

There are two categories designed for IPAF member companies and individuals only:

The judges are looking for professionalism and good business practice, innovation and forward thinking, quality, and client satisfaction. The basic criterion is simple – the judges want all entrants to tell them why they believe their company, project or product is special and why it deserves to win an award in a particular category.

“The IAPAs are hotly contested and this year, the organisers have raised the bar by tightening the judging criteria and streamlining some award categories,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “We encourage manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and equipment users from all over the world – anyone who believes they should win an award – to submit an entry.”

Euan Youdale, editor of Access International, added: “We have worked hard to make the awards even more relevant to the industry and re-written the entry forms to make them easier to complete. If you or your company has achieved something outstanding this year, then I urge you to help make the IAPAs a great success by entering one or more of the award categories. I look forward to seeing your submissions.”

Companies and individuals can enter themselves or nominate others. They can submit entries for more than one award, and more than one entry per category, should they wish. There is no charge for entering. Awards are for activities undertaken and for products launched in 2013. The deadline for entries is 20 December 2013.

Questions on the awards can be directed to Euan Youdale, editor of Access International, on +44 (0)1892 786214 or euan.youdale@khl.com

The independent judging panel comprises industry experts with long-standing experience in the business and will be announced shortly. Judges are excluded from entering their company for any awards. Entries must be submitted in English using the official entry form available at www.iapa-summit.info

Also on this website is more information on sponsorship, dinner bookings and the venue. Book dinner tickets now and register for the IPAF Summit at www.iapa-summit.info

Research report published on the substitution costs of hazardous chemicals

ECHA has published a report on the results of research into the estimation of abatement costs for six substances of concern. The aim is to provide lessons to Member States and companies in support of their own work on assessing substitution costs.

In 2011, ECHA commissioned six studies to estimate the costs of substituting a range of substances of concern. The objective of the work was to improve capability in the assessment of substitution costs, to develop some of the theoretical and methodological aspects specific to hazardous chemicals and to understand what barriers there might be to useful estimation.

ECHA’s experience from processing restriction cases has demonstrated that robust substitution cost estimates have the potential to aid decision-making when regulating hazardous chemicals. The report provides a step forward in understanding the special characteristics of substitution cost assessment in the field of hazardous chemicals. The learning points will be useful for Member States and companies who work on restriction dossiers or authorisation applications.

ECHA’s review of the research findings, along with the individual substance case study reports, is now available for download on the ECHA website.

Further information: https://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/research-report-published-on-the-substitution-costs-of-hazardous-chemicals

Chemical exposure at work poses worst pregnancy risk

The evidence that exposure to chemicals in pregnancy leads to adverse reproductive and developmental health outcomes is ‘sufficiently robust,’ medical experts have warned, with the risks highest for those exposed at work. A report this week from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) urges doctors to push for stricter policies to better identify and reduce exposure to chemicals that prove truly risky.

During the first prenatal visit, ACOG wants doctors to ask mothers-to-be about their exposure to chemicals. Doctors should also ask about work during that first visit, the committee advised.

The report warns: ‘Women with occupational exposure to toxic chemicals also are highly vulnerable to adverse reproductive health outcomes.’ But it’s not just about women and pregnancy, the report noted, with a father’s exposures also relevant. ‘Obtaining a patient history during a preconception visit and the first prenatal visit to identify specific types of exposure that may be harmful to a developing fetus is a key step and also should include queries of the maternal and paternal workplaces,’ the report said. ‘Prenatal exposure to certain chemicals has been documented to increase the risk of cancer in childhood; adult male exposure to pesticides is linked to altered semen quality, sterility, and prostate cancer; and postnatal exposure to some pesticides can interfere with all developmental stages of reproductive function in adult females, including puberty, menstruation and ovulation, fertility and fecundity, and menopause.’

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists committee opinion, number 575, October 2013

Event – 51st meeting of the CIS network (ILO) at the International Training Centre of the ILO

11-12 November 2013

The meeting will take place on 11-12 November 2013 at the ILO International Training Centre (ITC) in Turin. Representatives of all CIS centres – regional, national or collaborating – are invited to this important event for the future of the network.

The main objective of the 51st meeting is to review and modernise the terms and conditions governing the participation of agencies, institutions and organizations in the CIS network of national and collaborating centres, as a means to improve its functioning and ensure further development.

For over 50 years CIS has been coordinating the activities of the network. New network functioning modalities will likely call for an enhanced role of the CIS centres in its governance and undertaking of key activities. Building on last year’s meeting, the discussions in the 2013 meeting will aim at making this a reality in the coming years.

www.ilo.org/safework/cis/WCMS_218494/lang--en/index.htm

Contact: cis@ilo.org

The ITUC launches a special website for this year’s October 7 World Day for Decent Work (WDDW)

Trade unions and other groups holding events on the day can use the site to download WDDW materials, get updates and upload information about their October 7 plans as well as live updates, photos and videos during the events themselves. Momentum is building for this year’s WDDW, with the ITUC Regional Organisation for the Americas, TUCA, already calling on all its affiliates to mobilise under this year’s theme “Building Workers’ Power”.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “The World Day for Decent Work is a day when working people, their unions and their supporters across the world mobilise for decent jobs for all with respect for workers’ rights. We are aiming to exceed last year’s total of 424 events in 74 different countries and press home the demands of working people and their families to governments, employers and the international institutions.”

www.ituc-csi.org/world-day-for-decent-work

More lives to be saved from “silent killer” with CO law change, says RoSPA Scotland

A new law making carbon monoxide (CO) alarms compulsory in Scottish properties will save lives in the fight against the “silent killer”, says The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in Scotland.

From 1 October 2013, new building regulations in Scotland will mean all new-build properties must be fitted with CO alarms. The law will also require houses, hotels, guest houses and care homes to have an alarm installed at the same time as a new boiler or gas appliance.

The move aims to prevent deaths from the deadly gas, known as “the silent killer” because it cannot be seen, heard, smelt or tasted. Cases are commonly caused by faulty or badly-serviced gas appliances and other fossil fuel-burning systems.

CO poisoning kills at least 50 people every year in the UK and leads to more than 1,100 hospital admissions. Latest figures from Health Protection Scotland show there are around two accidental deaths every year, and there were 135 people admitted to hospital as a result of toxic effects of the gas between 2008 and 2010.

Carlene McAvoy, RoSPA Scotland’s community safety development officer, said: “Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly but this change in the law, making CO alarms compulsory, will help to save many lives.

“Building companies, property owners, landlords and gas engineers will all play their part in ensuring that these life-saving alarms are fitted into more homes and hotels across Scotland.

“At this time of year, many people begin to switch on their heating, so it is important to remember that gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed, maintained or ventilated could cause CO poisoning.”

Accident prevention charity RoSPA has been working with Gas Safe charity to send 10,000 families across the UK a free CO detector as part of the Be Gas Safe scheme, and promotes precautions to prevent CO poisoning on its website, www.rospa.com.

Vital information to reduce the risk of CO poisoning include:

More advice on CO safety can be found at www.carbonmonoxidesafety.org.uk.

The Triennial Review of HSE

The Triennial Review of the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is part of a wider government commitment to reform the landscape for public bodies with the aim to increase transparency and accountability, to cut out duplication, and to discontinue activities that are simply no longer needed: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/public-bodies-reform

The specific purpose of the Triennial Review of HSE is:

The review is led by Martin Temple, EEF Chair to report to Minister for Employment.

The call for evidence ran from June – July 2013: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/triennial-review-of-the-health-and-safety-executive. DWP’s Triennial Review Team are currently working with Martin Temple to analyse the responses and draft the report.

DWP intend to publish a single report in late 2013 (this will be laid in Parliament) and will be available on gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/triennial-review-reports

Critics of EU chemical policy had industry ties

Seventeen scientists who launched a high profile attack on plans in Europe to regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals have past or current ties to regulated industries. An investigation by Environmental Health News (EHN) revealed that of 18 toxicology journal editors who signed a controversial editorial, 17 have collaborated with the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, tobacco, pesticide or biotechnology industries. Some have received research funds from industry associations, while some have served as industry consultants or advisers. EHN says the stakes are high in the controversy because it involves the European Union’s strategy to regulate hormone-altering chemicals – the first attempt in the world to do so. The new rules would have sweeping, global ramifications because all companies that sell a variety of products in Europe would have to comply.

EHN says the editorial – published in 14 scientific journals from July to September – ‘has created a firestorm in Europe among many scientists and regulators.’ The paper, whose lead author is toxicologist Daniel Dietrich, criticised a leaked draft proposal by Europe’s environment Directorate-General that recommends a precautionary approach, which could lead to the ban of some commonly used chemicals. Dietrich is a former adviser for an industry organisation funded by chemical, pesticide and oil companies that lobbies the European Commission on endocrine disruptors.

Other scientists immediately queried the writers’ motives and undisclosed ties to industry, calling the editorial criticising a policy proposal an ‘unusual initiative’ for science journal editors. ‘I was very surprised by the editorial. I thought it was emotional and non-specific, a mixture of science and policy, and with too many errors,’ said Åke Bergman, an environmental chemistry researcher at Stockholm University. A rebuttal, published in the journal Environmental Health, was signed by Bergman and 40 other scientists with no declared conflicts of interest. They wrote that they were ‘concerned that the Dietrich editorial appears to be intended as an intervention designed to impact imminent decisions by the European Commission.’ The editorial ‘ignores scientific evidence and well-established principles of chemical risk assessment’ related to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, they wrote.

Another rebuttal signed by 104 scientists and editors of journals was published last week in the journal Endocrinology. Scientist Philippe Grandjean, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Environmental Health, has also urged Dietrich and colleagues to correct their ‘lapse’ of disclosure of competing interests in their editorial.

https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/risks-2013/risks-624-28-september-2013#tuc-22633-14

Unions continue container safety campaign

The global transport workers’ union – The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has pledged to continue the struggle for container weight safety after what it described as a missed opportunity to reduce the risk of harm to transport workers and members of the public. ITF was speaking out after the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) sub-committee on dangerous goods, solid cargoes and containers decided to reject mandatory weighing of packed shipping containers.

ITF has sought to amend the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to make the checks mandatory, but the sub-committee opted for a compromise. This allows governments to either choose what ITF describes at the ‘gold standard’ of mandatory weighing or to verify the weight by adding together the different constituent parts of a container load at unspecified times and places along the transport route.

ITF president and dockers’ section chair Paddy Crumlin said: ‘This was the ideal opportunity to finally bring in a system which would lessen the risk that unweighed and misdeclared containers pose to dockers, seafarers, truck drivers, the general public and the environment. Instead we have a compromise that in some countries will put in place a process that is likely to be bedevilled by the obvious questions: who will certify, when, and how?’ He added: ‘It must be made a legal requirement that containers are weighed and weighed accurately, and there must be repercussions for those who misdeclare. That’s what we’re campaigning for because anything less just isn’t good enough.’

https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/risks-2013/risks-624-28-september-2013#tuc-22633-20

British Foundation targets Trades people with Asbestos Awareness Campaign

The British Lung Foundation (BLF) week beginning 23 September 2013 launched ‘Take 5 and Stay Alive’, a major campaign designed to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos amongst tradespeople.

Every week on average 20 tradesmen (6 electricians, 4 plumbers and 8 joiners) die in the UK from exposure to asbestos making it the single greatest cause of work-related deaths. [1]

Although it is now illegal to use asbestos, this ban was only imposed in 2000 – meaning any building built or renovated before then could contain asbestos. Research shows that there is a worrying lack of information and training amongst small employers and sole traders, with workers not seeing it as a big risk or worrying about losing jobs and money if they raise concerns, and not knowing how to identify asbestos and what to do if they find it. [2]

When disturbed and inhaled, asbestos fibres can cause a range of illnesses, including the terminal chest cancer mesothelioma. The tiny invisible particles stick to clothes, meaning that as well as risking their own lives, workers can be unknowingly putting their family members, colleagues and friends at risk.

The BLF’s Take 5 and Stay Alive campaign aims to ensure tradespeople have the knowledge to act safely and responsibly, ensuring they can identify asbestos and determine what type it is, and assess whether they have the training and equipment to deal with it safely.

British Lung Foundation Chief Executive Dr Penny Woods said:

“Twice as many people die from asbestos-related illnesses than on the roads each year in Britain. [3] It’s the biggest work-related killer, and the numbers of deaths associated with it are rising each year. Sole traders and people working for small companies are often under particular pressure to take jobs and deliver quickly, and this can sometimes put them at particular risk of asbestos exposure.

“But it’s not just tradespeople putting their own lives at risk. If asbestos is disturbed the particles can affect others too, and we know several women who have died after years of washing their husbands’ contaminated overalls.

“Our Take 5 and Stay Alive campaign aims to give tradespeople the tools to act responsibly. We want to ensure they can identify asbestos wherever and in whatever form it might be present, and know how to deal with it safely. Our message is simple – taking just five minutes to assess the situation could save your life, and keep your family, friends, clients and business safe from exposure to potentially fatal asbestos dust.”

Visit https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/asbestos-related-conditions/take-5-and-stay-alive to find out more.

Taking risks with asbestos. What influences the behaviour of maintenance workers? (Health and Safety Executive report 2007) All Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Health and Safety: Asbestos in Schools, The Need For Action. 2012. Page 4

The Joint Industry Board (JIB) for the electrical contracting industry is raising awareness of asbestosis and related diseases with the help of an electrical contractor currently living with the condition. In a short video now available online, JIB member and Electrical Contractors’ Association past president Alan North describes the symptoms he suffered and his experiences since he was diagnosed earlier this year with mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by asbestos. Visit www.jib.org.uk/alans-story to find out more.

The British Lung Foundation is the only UK charity fighting to help the 1 in 5 people in the UK affected by lung disease. The charity provides support and information to improve the everyday lives of people with lung disease. We also campaign for better diagnosis, treatment and prevention for now and the future. For further information, please visit www.blf.org.uk or call the BLF Helpline on 03000 030 555.

[1] www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos

[2] Taking risks with asbestos. What influences the behaviour of maintenance workers? (Health and Safety Executive report 2007)

[3] All Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Health and Safety: Asbestos in Schools, The Need For Action 2012, Page 4, www.gmb.org.uk/assets/media/documents/APPG_report_2012.pdf

GreenRoad Launches Fuel Management and Vehicle Health – Building Holistic View of Driver and Vehicle

GreenRoad, the leader in driver behaviour management, today added fuel management and vehicle health to its award-winning driver behaviour and safety solution. The new features round out GreenRoad’s comprehensive suite for fleet productivity, which includes idling management and advanced GPS tracking as well as best-in-class driver behaviour and safety.

The vehicle health module helps managers predict and avoid expensive malfunctions and service disruptions by providing real-time, remote visibility into critical indicators, such as oil pressure, engine temperature and battery voltage. The fuel module tracks and reports fuel consumption and miles per gallon, complementing GreenRoad’s proven approach to improving fuel economy and emissions reduction by changing driver behaviour.

Both modules leverage the powerful, easy-to-use exception management tools in GreenRoad’s web console, including real-time alerts, an automated to do list, intuitive dashboards, clickable drill-downs, trend analytics and configurable reports. Vehicle health alerts are also highlighted on a simulated dashboard for each vehicle and on the live fleet location map, giving managers complete information about their fleet’s status at a glance.

Transdev, one of the largest public transport operators in Europe, will be deploying the vehicle health function by the end of 2013. According to Mike Mullins, technical director at Transdev, “GreenRoad has truly grasped the importance of effectively communicating vital data about driving and vehicles. Vehicle health will be critical as we better manage our fleet of vehicles to reduce maintenance costs. Combined with our use of GreenRoad driver behaviour to cut risk and reduce fuel consumption, the result is improved passenger satisfaction and major savings in operational expenses.”

“The GreenRoad difference has always been that we make it easy for drivers and fleet managers to translate data into action,” said John Dimmer, UK Programme manager. “By integrating new data sources into our management console, we’re extending this to a broader set of operations. Data analysis, effective communication and best practices make GreenRoad fleets the safest and most fuel-efficient on the road.”

GreenRoad demonstrated its new features at Coach and Bus Live 2013, 2-3 October 2013 stand T46.

GreenRoad raises the bar for driver behaviour and safety standards, resulting in significantly reduced fleet operating costs. GreenRoad telematics and innovative software improve driver behaviour, manage vehicle health and monitor fuel consumption. Customers enjoy savings as fleet crash expenses are cut by 60%, maintenance by 20% and insurance by 15%. Proven results are derived from a large portfolio of fleets covering more than 6 billion trip-miles tracked worldwide.

Contact: Rachel Postlethwaite | rp@breakawaycom.com | Tel: +44 7949 883636

The European social model, a key driver for competitiveness

The European social model is more important than ever to help tackle the jobs crisis in Europe, participants were told at the joint EU agencies and European Parliament event on the European social model and competitiveness in Brussels on 25 September 2013. The European social model relies on partnership, trust and consultation for finding fair and productive solutions. Enshrined in the EU treaties, social dialogue is an integral part of the system. The recurring question debated at the event was whether Europe can afford its social model and still be among the most competitive economies in the world.

‘The theme of the seminar is most appropriate’, said Xavier Prats Monné, Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture, European Commission, in his opening keynote speech. ‘The essence of the European social model is not just that solidarity and social protection are a good thing in themselves, but that, in order to achieve higher rates of employment, sustainable growth and competitiveness, the European Union must protect social integration and combat discrimination’.

‘The work and contributions by the four EU agencies are more important than ever in these times of economic and employment crisis. We are overwhelmed by negative economic studies and reports in the media but, as policymakers, we need more evidence-based policy recommendations on employment creating measures and fewer aspirational statements of further austerity measures, said Pervenche Berès, Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, European Parliament.

‘Europe needs to repair its business model,’ said László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission. ‘Solidarity within EU Member States can only be strengthened if solidarity between Member States improved. Therefore, there is an urgent need to step up social partners contribution to social dialogue debate, to provide a stable, transparent input required to the EU semester.’

Christian Lettmayr, Acting Director of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) stressed that vocational education and training is essential for Europe’s competitiveness. He demonstrated how Europe must get the best out of its people in order to be competitive, calling on companies to increase work-based learning by taking on more apprentices. Enterprises have to become learning organisations, he added.

Christa Sedlatschek, Director of European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) outlined that good health and safety is good for business, and safe and healthy workplaces are indeed more productive. She argued that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and microbusiness will create jobs and drive the economy, and that health and safety is an integral part of running a business independent of size.

Madlen Serban, Director of European Training Foundation (ETF) provided clear evidence that improved education and training in the neighbouring countries of the EU enhances employability, competitiveness and entrepreneurship.

Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Director of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) provided compelling research findings that there is no inherent trade-off between a fair and a competitive society,

Four EU agencies – Cedefop, ETF, Eurofound and EU-OSHA – and the EP Employment and Social Affairs Committee joined forces on 25 September 2013 to examine and highlight how each one is contributing to a strengthened European Social Model – in its own unique way. Assessing how exactly the European Social Model can contribute to increased competitiveness, the Agencies provided different perspectives in the context of the current crisis. Considering the challenges for Europe’s businesses, workers and young people, the Agencies personal approach to a better and more sustainable future for the Europe of tomorrow.

For more information about the 4 EU Agencies and their work, contact:

Eurofound, Loughlinstown House, Wyattville Road, Dublin, Ireland D18, Ireland

Event: Indoor climate and Health: Building dampness and use of Energy in Buildings

31 March 2014 – 4 April 2014, Uppsala, Sweden

The indoor environment is the environment where we spend more than 90% of our time, at home, at work or during transport. More than half of the workforce in modern society works in non-industrial workplaces such as schools, offices, day care center, and hospitals.

Objectives

The intention is to provide the best state-of- the-art knowledge concerning risk assessment and management of indoor climate problems, with a focus on technical aspects as well as health aspects of energy use in buildings and building dampness.

The course will present multidisciplinary state-of-the-art knowledge with contributions from occupational health and safety professionals, industrial hygienists, microbiologists, building engineers, HVAC engineers, public health officers and indoor environment scientists.

Course leader: Dan Norbäck, Associate professor, Uppsala University, Sweden

Katja Pekkarinen, Course coordinator, NIVA, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FI-00250 Helsinki | Direct: +358 30 474 2498 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497 | Mobile: +358 43 8241 698 | katja.pekkarinen@ttl.fi | www.niva.org

Event – IPAF runs show and tell sessions at BICES

15-18 October 2013, Beijing, China

IPAF will run “show and tell” demonstrations of how mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) can make work at height safe and productive at the BICES exhibition in Beijing, China from 15 to 18 October 2013. The IPAF stand is about 100 square metres and is in the outdoor area E215. IPAF will also be at the CEA UK Pavilion at stand A0416.

The IPAF stand at BICES highlights the safe and productive use of MEWPs. It will feature IPAF members including Airo, Dingli, Genie, JLG, Manitou, Mantall and Sinoboom, who will show the latest MEWPs and give visitors the chance to tap expertise on selecting the right equipment for temporary work at height.

IPAF will also run “show and tell” segments of about 20-30 minutes each to illustrate why MEWPs are one of the safest ways to work at height. Show times will be listed at www.ipaf.org/events

In addition, IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman will participate in the rental panel discussion at the International Rental Conference that will be held in Beijing on 14 October. IPAF is a supporting sponsor of the conference. Details are at www.khl.com/irc

Nickel: An Essential Material to Address Sustainability Challenges

The Nickel Institute has released a new report ‘Nickel in Tomorrow’s World: Tackling Global Challenges’ which highlights how nickel contributes to technologies for a more sustainable society and economy, to meet the needs of a growing global population.

Nickel’s versatility and robustness mean that it is an ideal material to provide solutions for energy, transport, food and clean water as well as meeting other key sustainability challenges.

Nickel metal is tough, malleable and highly-resistant to corrosion. Nickel-containing materials such as stainless steel have a long lifespan and require less maintenance than many alternative materials. Nickel is light and can reduce the overall weight of products, reducing the energy required for their production and operation. In addition, nickel retains its value at end-of-life, making it well-suited for recycling and reducing the waste stream.

Tim Aiken, Nickel Institute President said, “Some of society’s greatest challenges include reducing energy consumption and assuring access to safe food, clean water and advanced healthcare for citizens. The Nickel Institute’s latest publication is part of our ongoing commitment to educate and inform our stakeholders on the essential role nickel plays in industrial applications to address these grand challenges.”

https://nickelinstitute.org/en/MediaCentre/Publications/NickelinTomorrowsWorld.aspx

The Board of Appeal annuls an ECHA decision

The Board of Appeal has annulled an ECHA decision because it failed to appropriately consider the Appellant’s interests when partially rectifying a contested decision. The Board of Appeal has remitted the case to ECHA for re-evaluation.

In appeal case A-007-2012, following a compliance check under the dossier evaluation procedure, ECHA issued a final decision requiring the Appellant to submit certain information related to the substance identity of the registered substance. During the course of the appeal proceedings ECHA’s Executive Director partially rectified the contested decision by, amongst other things, extending the deadline for the Appellant to submit the required information from two to three months.

The Board of Appeal found that in this particular case, as in practice the Appellant had only three days to comply with the rectified version of the contested decision once it had been notified to it, ECHA omitted to appropriately consider the Appellant’s rights and interests. The Board of Appeal concluded that this constituted an infringement of the principle of good administration and consequently remitted the case to ECHA for re-evaluation.

Further information: https://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/board-of-appeal-s-press-release-the-board-of-appeal-annuls-an-echa-decision

US EPA Evaluates Flame Retardants Including a Safer Substitute for HBCD

As part of its ongoing efforts to promote the design and use of safer chemicals, today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a draft report on alternatives to a flame retardant chemical, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), which has persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic characteristics. The findings in the report can help manufacturers identify safer alternatives to the use of HBCD in polystyrene building insulation.

“While EPA continues to support much needed reform of the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA is taking steps now to address the public’s concern with certain flame retardant chemicals, including making information available to companies to help them make decisions on safer chemicals,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The conclusions in this report are enabling companies who choose to move away from HBCD to do so with confidence that the potential for unintended consequences is minimized.”

The Design for the Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessment draft report, developed with stakeholder and public participation, describes the uses of HBCD with an overview of life cycle and exposure information. The report identifies two viable chemical alternatives for use in polystyrene building insulation, in addition to a list of substances that are not currently expected to be viable. One of the alternatives, a butadiene styrene brominated copolymer, is anticipated to be safer than HBCD and is currently in commercial production in the U.S. Alternative materials are also identified in the report.

In March 2013, as part of a broader effort to address flame retardant chemicals, EPA identified 20 flame retardants for risk assessment under the TSCA work plan. This includes developing full risk assessments on four of these chemicals, including HBCD. EPA will use the information from these full assessments to better understand chemicals with similar structures and characteristics. If EPA identifies potential risks, the agency will evaluate and pursue appropriate risk reduction actions. EPA will begin development of these risk assessments later this year and anticipates making the draft risk assessments available for public comment and peer review in 2014.

To further assist companies in selecting safer chemicals, EPA recently launched ChemView, a web-based tool designed to provide the public and decision-makers with a single access point to a wide array of chemical data, like the results of the HBCD alternatives assessment, that can help companies make decisions on developing and using safer chemicals in the products they manufacture.

A copy of the draft HBCD report can be found at: www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/hbcd/about.htm

Information on EPA’s planned risk assessments on flame retardants can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/assessments-tsca-work-plan-chemicals

ChemView can be accessed at: https://java.epa.gov/chemview

Action needed to cut death toll from accidents in Northern Ireland say RoSPA and the UK Public Health Agency (PHA)

RoSPA (the UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) is calling on politicians and health professionals in Northern Ireland to tackle the scourge of accidents as new figures show that accidental deaths have been rising and that they are now at the top of the list of preventable causes of early death.

The figures published by the safety charity reveal that in Northern Ireland, accidents vie with intentional self-harm as the leading cause of preventable premature death until the age of 60. Accidents account for 23 per cent of preventable years of life lost (PrYLL) in this age group in Northern Ireland, which, coincidentally, is the same percentage as for the population of England and Wales.

Accidents cost the lives of an average of 500 people every year in Northern Ireland and tackling this issue needs to be a priority for everyone. This will be the message to delegates today at the launch of Northern Ireland’s Big Book of Accident Prevention at the Stormont Estate, which will hear from experts from the Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland (PHA), which funded the document, to help bring the issue of accident prevention to the heart of the government.

The document sets out how investing in prevention can help to save lives, reduce injuries and lessen the burden on families, local communities, accident and emergency departments, the wider health and social care services and the economy as a whole.

The foreword by Dr Eddie Rooney, chief executive officer at the PHA, describes the scale of accidents as “a huge burden” on society as a whole and “a public health issue which can be prevented”.

Aside from the human cost, accidents cost Northern Ireland society an estimated £4.3 billion every year, with home and leisure accidents accounting for £2.7 billion of this cost.

While road deaths have fallen over the last decade, fatal home and leisure accidents have risen and are set to increase by a further third over the next 15 years.

Young children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to accidents in the home.

Errol Taylor, deputy chief executive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “Acting on accident prevention is both inexpensive and effective, not only in saving lives that would otherwise be lost prematurely – but in helping to relieve the huge pressure on the NHS, particularly on A&E departments. In the Big Book of Accident Prevention, we showcase some of the excellent accident prevention work that is being done in Northern Ireland and argue that more should be done.

“There has never been a better time to increase the investment in accident prevention and it should be made a higher priority in Northern Ireland.”

RoSPA aims to circulate the book widely among health and community professionals to raise awareness of the causes and to reduce the prevalence of accidental deaths.

Dr Eddie Rooney, chief executive officer at the PHA, said: “Accidents continue to be a principal cause of premature, preventable deaths in Northern Ireland, with the most vulnerable in our society being at the greatest risk. As well as the impact on the individual, accidents place a huge burden on families, local health and other public services and the wider community.

“However, we know that accidents are a public health issue which can be prevented. Identifying and removing the cause, or reducing the exposure to the cause, can prevent accidents happening. I am committed to continuing to work in partnership with RoSPA and other stakeholders to ensure that people in Northern Ireland have the best chance of living, working and thriving in a safe environment.”

Ita McErlean, home safety manager at RoSPA Northern Ireland, said: “Each year, far too many families in Northern Ireland are left enduring the heartache of losing a loved one in an accident.

“In 2011, 458 people lost their lives in accidents including nine children under the age of 15. What’s more we now know that accidents are right at the top of preventable causes of early death and this is something that needs to change.

“Helping people to make their own safety decisions by looking after themselves and others is what accident prevention is about and our new document is essential reading for anyone whose responsibility is to ensure that public health is delivered effectively.”

Accident prevention initiatives set out in the book are: home safety check schemes; young drivers’ initiatives; a carbon monoxide campaign and a farm safety programme.

The document is available as a free download from RoSPA’s website. It follows the publication of the Big Book of Accident Prevention, which was sent to every member of every health and wellbeing board in England.

Child labourer numbers falls by a third since 2000

A new report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), says that the number of child labourers worldwide has declined by one third since 2000, from 246 million to 168 million. But ‘Marking progress against child labour’ warns even the latest improved rate of decline is not enough to achieve the goal of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016 – agreed by the international community through the ILO.

The latest ILO estimates, published in the lead-up to the Global Conference on Child Labour, which takes place in Brasilia next month, show that most of the progress was made between 2008 and 2012, when the global number fell from 215 to 168 million. More than half of the 168 million child labourers worldwide are involved in hazardous work. The current number of children in hazardous work stands at 85 million, down from 171 million in 2000.

ILO director-general Guy Ryder said: ‘We are moving in the right direction but progress is still too slow. If we are serious about ending the scourge of child labour in the foreseeable future, then we need a substantial stepping-up of efforts at all levels. There are 168 million good reasons to do so.’ Constance Thomas, director of the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), said: ‘No one can take sole credit for this result, as many have helped draw attention to the negative impacts of child labour on economic growth, the future of societies and the rights of children. However, the ILO’s role in leading the fight against child labour, through its standards and supervisory system, advice, capacity building and direct action, deserves special mention.’ Global unions have argued consistently that children should be in education, not work, and have supported schools projects.

Final report of the second REACH enforcement project is now available

The REACH enforcement Forum’s second enforcement project focused on REACH and CLP obligations of downstream users.

Of a total of 1181 companies inspected, 67% did not comply with one or more provisions of these legislations indicating compliance needs improving. Some recommendations can be found in the project report.

Further information including access to the report is available on the ECHA website.

Event – REACH SMEs Workshop

10-11 December 2013

This workshop in Brussels offers an opportunity for SMEs to exchange and discuss with other REACH actors.

To register your interest to participate, you need to complete a short survey by 18 October 2013.

Only 50 participants will be selected and travel expenses and accommodation of SME participants will be reimbursed.

NASC 2013 Safety Report launched

National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has launched its 2013 Safety Report – documenting the statistics for scaffolding safety in 2012 for all 201 NASC contracting member companies, covering some 14,098 operatives.

The annual NASC report contains accident statistics over a three day and (new for the 2013 report) seven day period, together with a comparison of NASC accident data with industry statistics supplied by the HSE. It provides details of injuries and fatalities, and causes and analysis of accidents and injuries to operatives, third parties, and members of the public. The report also covers NASC safety support and guidance, advice, membership criteria and objectives, prefaced by an uncompromising statement from the current NASC President, Rob Lynch, of Lyndon Scaffolding

NASC Safety Report statistics show that there was one fatality in 2012 (the first since 2004) and that slips, trips and falls are still the major cause of accidents and injuries in the industry, making up 34% of all accidents and injuries. This is the 10th consecutive year that slips, trips and falls have been in the number one accident and injury spot.

Further analysis reveals that Scaffolders are also still the most at risk (52% of accidents), followed by Labourers (25%), Trainees (10%), Advanced Scaffolders (8%), Supervisors (3%) Drivers (3%), and Managers (0%) – and the 21-30 age group is most at risk, with more reported incidents than any other age range.

Encouragingly, the report also reveals that the total number of injuries reduced from 145 in 2011 to 134 in 2012, and that manual handling injuries decreased significantly from 37 to 17, a reduction of 54%.

Falls from height accidents increased from 27 to 32 in 2012, whilst falls from ladders remained static at five incidents, and there were three falls from vehicles recorded in 2012, down from 2011.

Rob Lynch, NASC President said: “The NASC has one dominating and overriding purpose – to improve the safety of scaffolding. By this we mean the safety of those erecting and dismantling, those working on the scaffold and those people who may be impacted by the scaffold.”

Mr Lynch added: “The NASC’s annual safety report is just one step in the right direction. By recording and sharing the problems we have had, we can focus our efforts on those areas needing most improvement. The NASC is proud of the part it has played in raising the bar for safe scaffolding. The expectations are incomparably higher now than they were at the millennium; just consider how far we have come and the vast volume of guidance and advice issued.”

In conclusion Mr Lynch encouraged all scaffolders – members and non-members – and scaffold users, to review the report and use it to direct their safety drives each year.

Meanwhile, Adrian Rooney, Chairman of the NASC Health and Safety Committee, said: “The NASC Safety Report has yet again shown that the efforts and commitment shown by member companies – and above all those who work on committees and groups to produce safety guidance, training and associated literature, are succeeding.

“We have, yet again, seen a fall in overall figures for accidents/incidents, despite an increase in the number of operatives. But most heartening is the correlation between member figures and those for our industry as a whole – which shows that NASC members continue to outperform the industry.

“The NASC Health and Safety Committee works tirelessly to produce best practice guidance for the industry which is accepted as a main contributor to making our industry safer for all.”

NASC Managing Director, Robin James said: “Once again, our annual Safety Report has revealed some interesting and positive statistics and provided engaging analysis, which we can use to help raise standards and levels of safety in the scaffolding and access industry.”

To obtain a digital PDF copy of the NASC 2013 Safety Report please visit www.nasc.org.uk/safety_reports, or contact NASC directly for a hard copy. And to obtain details about becoming an NASC member and to find out more about the NASC – the scaffold industry guidance trade body organization – visit www.nasc.org.uk or email: enquiries@nasc.org.uk.

NASC is the national trade body for access and scaffolding in the UK – producing industry guidance for scaffolding contractors, their operatives and their clients.

Contact: NASC (National Access and Scaffolding Confederation), 4th Floor, 12 Bridewell Place, London, EC4V 6AP | Tel: 020 7822 7400 (International calls: +44 20 7822 7400) | Fax: 020 7822 7401 (International calls: +44 20 7822 7401) | E-mail: enquiries@nasc.org.uk | www.nasc.org.uk

Event – Staying well and engaged – Young workers and sustainable work life

10-13 March 2013, Oslo, Norway

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

Topics:

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

Katja Pekkarinen, Course coordinator, NIVA, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FI-00250 Helsinki | Direct: +358 30 474 2498 | Fax: +358 30 474 2497 | Mobile: +358 43 8241 698 | katja.pekkarinen@ttl.fi | www.niva.org