Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

February 2014

Contents
  1. UK TUC’s Work Your Proper Hours Day is on 28 February 2014
  2. Victory for child health as UK Parliament approves standard packs law and end of smoking in cars with children
  3. Good health and safety saves lives and protects people from serious injury and illness in the workplace
  4. Compound from mould linked to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
  5. Institution of Occupational Safety and Health – Annual Competition
  6. Two new major publications will soon be launched by the ASFP
  7. Event: Occupational Skin Diseases
  8. Event: Occupational Hygiene and the New European Chemical Legislation
  9. Revision of the International Fire Code (IFC) and International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) commended by the chairperson of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB)
  10. Event: Final programme for “Dispersion and Explosion Characteristics of Large Vapour Clouds” (Buncefield Explosion Mechanism JIP – Phase 2)
  11. News from the USA: CDC and Million Hearts Recognize 2013 Hypertension Control Champions
  12. Event: Fundamentals in Industrial Ventilation and Practical Applications of Useful Equations
  13. European Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2014-2015: Managing stress and psychosocial risks at work starts 7 April 2014
  14. Event: Working Hours and Health
  15. ILO investigates UK’s pared back inspection system
  16. World Cancer Day: Crisis of cancer impact worldwide exposed
  17. Seminar on Beyond Safety Culture: Improving behaviours in your organisation
  18. RR1002 – Review of standards for thermal protection PPE in the explosives industry
  19. UK Pilots want better helicopter safety regulation
  20. MPs urged to act on offshore helicopter safety
  21. US OSHA releases new resources to protect hospital workers and enhance patient safety
  22. USA Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC): A National Model Swimming Pool and Spa Code
  23. FABIG Event: “Dispersion and Explosion Characteristics of Large Vapour Clouds”
  24. CEN and CENELEC cooperate with societal stakeholder organizations to provide easier access to information about standardization
  25. The Janus face of the ‘New ways of Work’: Rise, risks and regulation of nomadic work
  26. New Canadian report on Control Banding Method for Selecting Respiratory Protection Against Bioaerosols
  27. IRSST Fact Sheet – Carcinogens in workplaces
  28. New IOSH ‘OSH Research Community’ website

UK TUC’s Work Your Proper Hours Day is on 28 February 2014

If staff who regularly work unpaid overtime did all their extra hours from the start of the year they wouldn’t get paid until 28 February 2014.

Now in its tenth year, Work Your Proper Hours Day is a light-hearted campaign that celebrates the unsung – and unrewarded – hours that staff put in to help their employers and boost the UK economy.

On the last Friday of this month, the TUC will urge bosses to let their staff take a proper lunch hour and to leave work on time. Managers are being encouraged to lead by example and work their proper hours too.

Last year, the TUC found that one in five employees across the UK regularly worked unpaid overtime, worth over £28 billion to the economy. Teachers, legal managers and finance professionals were most likely to do unpaid overtime – with half all employees in these jobs regularly working extra hours for free.

This year Work Your Proper Hours Day will look at whether the recent recovery in the labour market has led to a rise or a fall in the number of unpaid hours as more people join the workforce. The TUC will also highlight which jobs and regions of the UK do the most unpaid overtime.

Victory for child health as UK Parliament approves standard packs law and end of smoking in cars with children

MPs and health campaigners are celebrating a major Parliamentary victory today, after the House of Commons backed new legislation to help prevent children from starting to smoke and protect them from second-hand smoke.

Today, the House of Commons agreed a raft of Lords amendments to the Children and Families Bill, to give the Health Secretary the power to bring in Regulations:

The Bill also includes an amendment prohibiting proxy purchasing of tobacco.

Standardised packaging of cigarettes and other tobacco products is intended to make starting to smoke less attractive to children and young people. Among existing adult smokers, two thirds report that they began to smoke before the age of 18, and almost two fifths before the age of 16. Standard packs will have no tobacco branding apart from the name of the product in a simple typeface, and will be covered in written and graphic health warnings and advice on quitting.

In a 2010 survey about one child in five reported often being exposed to smoking in cars. Children are particularly vulnerable to second-hand smoke as they have smaller lungs and less developed immune systems. Smoke in cars is particularly dangerous, as children are confined and smoke concentration often reaches very high levels.

Paul Burstow MP (Lib Dem, Sutton and Cheam), chair of the All Party Group on Smoking and Health, said:

This is the most important step forwards for tobacco control since the end of smoking in workplaces in 2006. A powerful cross-Party campaign in both the Commons and Lords has triumphed over a well-funded and mendacious campaign by the tobacco industry and its front groups. Children will be protected from tobacco industry marketing and from smoking in cars. The regulations to put these new powers into effect cannot come soon enough.

Bob Blackman MP (Con, Harrow East), Secretary of the APPG said:

I am proud to have been able to work with colleagues from all Parties in the Commons to win this great victory for child protection and public health. Stopping children from starting to smoke should not be a Party issue. It should be the common concern of everybody who wants to see the next generation grow up without the terrible toll of death and disease that comes from smoking.

Kevin Barron MP (Lab, Rother Valley), APPG Vice Chair said:

This has been a good day for Parliament, and a great day for the health of children across the UK. The cause of tobacco control has brought together politicians from across the Commons and Lords to press the Government into taking action. Today we have helped ensure that children will not be exposed to other people’s smoke when in private cars, and that they will be protected from tobacco industry marketing. These are votes of which every MP and Peer involved in this campaign can be proud.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health, added:

I congratulate parliamentarians from all Parties and the crossbenches in both Houses of Parliament. This campaign could not have been won without their persistence and their willingness to work across Party lines to force the Government to act. I also would like to thank all those organisations, healthcare professionals and members of the public who worked so hard to make standardised tobacco packaging and the ending of smoking in cars a reality.

Contact: Deborah Arnott | Tel: 020 7404 0242 | www.ash.org.uk

Good health and safety saves lives and protects people from serious injury and illness in the workplace

This is why responsible employers invest in health and safety advice – they understand their moral and legal duty to protect those working for them:

Compound from mould linked to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) grantees report that an organic compound emitted by mould might be linked to Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases in humans. Studies have found evidence that several environmental agents, especially pesticides, are possible risk factors for Parkinson’s disease, but this is the first naturally occurring environmental agent identified as a potential risk factor.

Exposure to fungi has been linked to movement disorders, as well as loss of balance and coordination, but the mechanisms involved in these health effects are unknown. To find out more about the possible toxicological effects of fungal volatile organic compounds associated with indoor environments, the researchers screened a variety of fungal toxicants using fruit flies. The volatile fungal semiochemical 1-octen-3-ol emerged as one of the most potent agents they tested. 1-octen-3-ol is commonly emitted by molds and is responsible for much of the mouldy odour associated with fungal colonization.

Parkinson’s disease is associated with the loss of neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. The researchers found that low levels of 1-octen-3-ol reduced dopamine levels and caused dopamine neuron degeneration in the fruit flies. Genetic and cell culture studies revealed that 1-octen-3-ol most likely exerts toxicity by disrupting dopamine handling. The agent also increased loss of dopaminergic neurons through interactions with genetic variants of the vesicular monoamine transporter, which is involved in dopamine biosynthesis.

Fungal-derived semiochemical 1-octen-3-ol disrupts dopamine packaging and causes neurodegeneration
Inamdar A. A.; Hossain M. M.; Bernstein A. I.; Miller G. W.; Richardson J. R.; Bennett J. W.
2013. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110(48):19561-19566.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24218591

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health – Annual Competition

Call for bids – closing date for applications is Wednesday 26 March 2014 to apply for funding

The IOSH Research Committee is developing a long term research strategy. This year we are inviting researchers to submit proposals (written in English only please) for high quality research that will support us, and our stakeholders, in providing an evidence base for effective OSH (occupational safety and health) research.

We will always consider any proposal that aims to support IOSH’s strategic vision of a world of work which is safe, healthy and sustainable. However this year we are particularly interested in the following:

Read more about the research grants we’ve awarded.

Two new major publications will soon be launched by the ASFP

The first is the 2nd Edition of Ensuring Best Practice for Passive Fire Protection and the second the 5th Edition of the Yellow Book – Fire Protection for Structural Steel in Buildings.

Both publications will be showcased on the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) stand at FIREX at ExCeL London from 17-19 June 2014.

In the meantime if you would like a free download of the exiting version of either document go to http://asfp.associationhouse.org.uk/default.php?cmd=213

Association for Specialist Fire Protection, Kingsley House, Ganders Business Park, Kingsley, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 9LU | Tel: +44 (0)1420 471612 | www.asfp.org.uk

Event: Occupational Skin Diseases

5-9 May 2014

Venue: Scandic Neptun, Bergen, Norway

Occupational skin diseases continue to be an important group of work-related diseases. Good knowledge of the causative chemicals and other causes of these diseases, as well as the exposures and risk factors in different occupations are important in clinical diagnostics, therapeutics, and prevention.

Target group: Dermatologists, occupational physicians, occupational hygienists, chemists and other scientists working in the field of occupational dermatology and contact allergy.

Course leader: Kristiina Aalto-Korte is chief physician in occupational dermatology and leader of the Control of Hypersensitivity Diseases team in the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and adjunct professor in the University of Helsinki.

Registration deadline: 2 March 2014

Siv Jansson, Course coordinator, NIVA, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FI-00250 Helsinki | Direct +358 30 474 2488 | Fax +358 30 474 2497 | Mobile +358 43 8241 696 | Email: siv.jansson@ttl.fi | www.niva.org

Event: Occupational Hygiene and the New European Chemical Legislation

19-22 May 2014

Venue: Conference Hotel Sannäs Manor, Porvoo, Finland

To give up to date, practical information concerning REACH and other relevant new legislation for everyone working in the field of occupational hygiene or related areas.

Implementation of the European Union regulation of registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (1907/2006), known as REACH, and other changes in European legislation concerning chemicals pose a challenge, among others, to workplaces.

Course leader: Milja Koponen, Specialist Research Scientist, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH).

Target group: Occupational hygiene professionals, safety experts, safety representatives, safety engineers, chemical industry, authorities (chemical surveillance, labour inspection).

www.niva.org/courses

Revision of the International Fire Code (IFC) and International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) commended by the chairperson of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB)

Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, chair of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) commended the International Code Council (ICC) and its members for revising the International Fire Code (IFC) and International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) to prohibit the unsafe practice that killed six workers in a tragic explosion at the Kleen Energy power generation facility in Middletown, Connecticut, USA

Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “All of us at the CSB were pleased to learn that the 2015 International Fire and Fuel Gas Codes prohibit the conduct of ‘gas blows,’ an inherently unsafe pipe cleaning methodology. We commend the ICC for this tremendous step forward.” ICC’s action aligns with a similar prohibition developed by the National Fire Protection Association, acting on a CSB urgent recommendation.

On February 7, 2010, contract personnel at Kleen Energy, a natural gas-fueled power generation plant then under construction, were conducting an operation known as a “gas blow,” whereby large quantities of natural gas are forced through piping at high pressure to remove any debris that could damage the turbine upon startup. The gas and debris were released to the atmosphere, accumulated in a congested area and ignited, triggering a massive explosion that killed six and injured at least fifty.

The CSB concluded that the practice of using flammable gas to clean piping is inherently unsafe, and that alternative non-flammable methods, such as blowing with compressed air, are efficient and readily available.

The ICC is a non-profit association whose model codes and standards are used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. According to the ICC, the IFGC and IFC are in use or adopted in more than 40 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

“ICC’s actions reflect an important shift in industry good practice,” said Chairperson Moure-Eraso, who noted that the 2015 IFC and IFGC will likely acquire the force of regulation in coming years, as state and local jurisdictions move to adopt them. “The strong actions by both ICC and NFPA on fuel gas safety blaze a trail for regulatory action by OSHA on this topic.” The CSB recommendation for OSHA to develop a fuel gas standard have not yet been acted upon.

Dr. Moure also expressed the CSB’s appreciation that the 2015 IFC requires cleaning and purging operations to comply with the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 56: Standard for Fire and Explosion Prevention During Cleaning and Purging of Flammable Gas Piping Systems. Developed in response to an urgent recommendation from the Board, the NFPA 56 standard provides safety requirements for a variety of fuel gas processes, including cleaning of gas piping and purging gas equipment into or out of service.

A 2009 explosion at the ConAgra Slim Jim plant in North Carolina, which the CSB investigated, occurred when new gas piping was purged into service and gas was vented inside a building. New NFPA requirements adopted in response to CSB urgent recommendations prohibit this practice.

In addition to commending the 2015 IFC’s prohibition of inherently unsafe gas blows, Chairperson Moure-Eraso praised the IFC’s new requirements for hot work operations involving storage tanks holding flammable or combustible liquids.

“The CSB continues to learn of serious injuries and fatalities resulting from the ignition of flammable vapors or liquids during hot work,” said Dr. Moure-Eraso. He cited as an example the Board’s investigation of an explosion at the DuPont Yerkes facility near Buffalo, New York, that killed one contractor and seriously injured another.

“We are very pleased that the 2015 International Fire Code essentially codifies the seven key lessons developed by the CSB in our 2010 hot work safety bulletin. The 2015 IFC requires consideration of alternatives to hot work, the analysis of potential hazards and methods of hazard control, the use of combustible gas detectors in and around the area, the use of hot work permitting systems, the training of employees and contractors, and the provision of safety supervision. All of these are essential to promoting the safe conduct of hot work,” he said.

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.

The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.

Event: Final programme for “Dispersion and Explosion Characteristics of Large Vapour Clouds” (Buncefield Explosion Mechanism JIP – Phase 2)

4-5 March 2014

Venues: London and Aberdeen

FABIG’s forthcoming event will be a full day Technical Meeting covering “Dispersion and Explosion Characteristics of Large Vapour Clouds”. It will be held on Tuesday 4th March 2014 in London & via Webcast and on Wednesday 5th in Aberdeen and will disseminate the results from Phase 2 of the Buncefield Explosion Mechanism JIP.

Please note that the schedules for the London/Webcast and Aberdeen events are slightly different. As such, please go to www.fabig.com/events for the full schedules and registration.

Programme:

The following presentations will be given:

Fees:

Please note that only FABIG Members can register for the webcast.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Members of most engineering institutions can count FABIG events as CPD. Attendance certificates are issued to delegates upon request.

Guillaume Vannier, FABIG Project Manager

News from the USA: CDC and Million Hearts Recognize 2013 Hypertension Control Champions

Diverse practices, health systems achieve high blood pressure control rates of more than 70 percent. HHS’ Million Hearts initiative recognizes nine public and private practices and health systems across the country for success in achieving excellent rates of high blood pressure control.

Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Fewer than half of those have it under control and are at risk of having heart disease or stroke, two of the leading causes of death and disability for Americans. The Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge is designed to identify practices, clinicians, and health systems that have worked with their patients to successfully reduce high blood pressure and improve heart health. CDC co-leads the Million Hearts initiative with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“These practices have set up systems that work for patients and for providers. They use evidence-based guidelines and protocols, team-based care, electronic reminders to track patients’ progress, and recognize high-performing staff,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “By following their lead, we can help millions more Americans with high blood pressure get control. Controlling blood pressure saves lives and prevents disability from avoidable heart attacks and strokes.”

Read more

Event: Fundamentals in Industrial Ventilation and Practical Applications of Useful Equations

7-11 April 2014 – ACGIH 4 1/2-day educational event

Location: DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Cincinnati-Blue Ash, 6300 E. Kemper Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Presented by ACGIH and its renowned Industrial Ventilation Committee.

Registration and Course Information: www.acgih.org/events/course/FundPrac_Apr14.htm

Course Content

This course covers both basic and advanced topics related to industrial ventilation including:

Accreditation

This course contains 32 hours of instruction and may be eligible for ABIH CM credit. See the ABIH website (www.abih.org) for CM credit criteria. The course may also qualify for 3.2 BCSP Continuance of Certification (COC) Points for Certified Safety Professionals. Certificates of Completion will be presented at the conclusion of the course.

Further course information including pricing and to register: www.acgih.org/events/course/FundPrac_Apr14.htm

Can’t make these dates? Register for our September course: www.acgih.org/events/course/FundPrac_Sept14.htm

To contact ACGIH, send a message to meetings@acgih.org

ACGIH, 1330 Kemper Meadow Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45240 | Tel: 513-742-2020 (Customer Service)

European Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2014-2015: Managing stress and psychosocial risks at work starts 7 April 2014

Stress is the second most frequently reported work related health problem in Europe and, along with other psychosocial risks, is thought to account for more than half (50/60%) of all lost working days. A poor psychosocial work environment can have significant negative effects on workers’ health.

Promoting the management of work-related stress and psychosocial risks, and thereby preventing their significant negative effects for workers, employers and governments, is the key aim of this campaign. Effectively tackling psychosocial risks creates a work environment in which workers stay healthy, the workplace culture is more positive, and, consequently, business performance improves.

Psychosocial risks occur in every workplace, but even with only limited resources they can be successfully assessed and managed. This campaign provides support and guidance for workers and employers in managing work-related stress and psychosocial risks, and promotes the use of practical, user friendly tools to facilitate this.

Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress is a pan-European campaign, coordinated by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). Healthy Workplaces Campaigns are the largest of their kind in the world and are significant drivers for change and improvement in workplace safety and health. Everyone’s concern. It’s good for you. It’s good for business

Who can take part?

Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress invites all organisations and individuals at local, national and European levels to take part.

The campaign is open to: all employers in the public and private sectors; managers, supervisors and workers; trades unions and safety representatives; all organisations and individuals dedicated to improving safety and health.

How can you get involved?

You can get involved in the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2014/15 by:

www.healthy-workplaces.eu

Event: Working Hours and Health

19-23 May 2014

Venue: Majvik Congress Hotel, Kirkkonummi, Finland

Course leader: Research Professor Mikko Härmä, MD, PhD, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Shift work and working hours are related to a wide range of public health problems ranging from disturbed sleep and accidents to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. Most of the published reviews on shift work and health underline the need to improve the quality of the published studies.

The focus of the course will be on the current knowledge, conduction and interpretation of research on the area of working hour and health and secondly, on the use of correct working hours and countermeasures to promote the health of shift workers.

Please visit http://niva.org/occupational-health-and-safety-courses for more information.

The course will be held at Majvik Congress hotel, for more information on the course venue, please visit www.majvik.fi/en

The registration fee is 600 Euros (including teaching and course material).

Contact: Katja Pekkarinen, Course coordinator, NIVA | Tel: +358 30 474 2498 | Email: katja.pekkarinen@ttl.fi

ILO investigates UK’s pared back inspection system

The UK government has been asked by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to explain its decision to abandon preventive health and safety inspections in most workplaces. The move follows a complaint from the TUC, which told the global labour standards body the new inspection regime does not comply with ILO standards.

ILO has also taken up the union body’s concerns about the potentially damaging effect of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ‘fee for invention’ scheme, which critics say could drive problems underground as firms fear a bill if they draw issues to the attention of the watchdog.

Also on ILO’s radar is the government’s claim that “the system of labour inspection continues to apply to all workplaces”, something the TUC told ILO is untrue. ILO’s Committee of Experts on international labour standards has asked the UK government to provide “detailed information” on “the functioning of the new targeting and intelligence system and the selection process of workplaces liable to inspection, including the involvement of the social partners in this process.”

It wants to know how HSE can ascertain the safety performance of firms not subject to inspections. The government has also been asked to report “on the impact of these reforms”, including on the number of “infractions detected”, on HSE inspection visits and resources and on the number of workplace injuries and occupational diseases.

Report of the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of International Labour Standards 2014

World Cancer Day: Crisis of cancer impact worldwide exposed

New UN Agency report shows cancer is now the world’s biggest killer – with the number of cases set to explode in coming years

On World Cancer Day 2014, a new global cancer report compiled by UN Agency, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) shows:

“The rise of cancer worldwide is a major obstacle to human development and well-being”, comments Dr Christopher Wild, Director of IARC. “These new figures and projections send a strong signal that immediate action is needed to confront this human disaster, which touches every community worldwide, without exception,” stresses Dr Wild.

The World Cancer Report 2014 confirms that inequality exists in cancer control and care globally. The number of deaths due to the disease amongst the world’s poor is growing at a faster rate than previously expected. Specifically, by 2025 almost 80% of the increase in the number of all cancer deaths will occur in less developed regions.

Unlike the developed countries, a large proportion of cancers in developing nations are caused by infections, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), which accounts for more than 85% of all HPV-related cancer cases. As these countries increasingly adopt a more western lifestyle we are witnessing increasing levels of smoking, alcohol use and a lack of physical activity – all known risk factors for cancer.

Low- and middle-income countries are most at risk of cancer overwhelming their health systems and hindering economic growth, as they have the least resources and infrastructure to cope with the predicted levels of disease escalation. Worryingly, according to the World Health Organisation, only 50% of low- and middle-income countries have operational National Cancer Control Plans.

“Governments must recognise the growing cancer burden in their country. The new figures from IARC show that the incidence of cancer globally will continue to grow unless we recognise the threat and act on it now. On World Cancer Day, we demand that Governments around the world move to stop the millions of predicted, needless and premature deaths caused by cancer by developing and implementing a national plan which includes proven preventive and early detection measures”. Urges Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

With spiralling care and treatment expenditure, poor and wealthy nations must all contribute in the fight against cancer. Currently almost 4.2 million people per year die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years) due to the disease across the world. Unless decisive action is taken to develop practical strategies to address cancer, this is projected to increase to well over five million premature deaths per year by 2025.

Practical solutions to reduce premature deaths must have prevention as their cornerstone. These include:

The release of the World Cancer Report underpins the 2014 World Cancer Day theme ‘Debunk the myths’. The data shows that the world cannot afford to sit back and continue to let the global cancer burden grow. For more information on how to get involved, please visit: worldcancerday.org.

Source: www.worldcancerday.org/press-release-wcd-2014

Seminar on Beyond Safety Culture: Improving behaviours in your organisation

Wednesday, 5 March 2014, Aberdeen

This practical and interactive safety culture seminar, delivered by highly experienced psychologists and human factors specialists, will equip you with an awareness of:

Who should attend ‘Beyond Safety Culture’:

A full programme and online booking form can be found on the HSL beyond Safety Culture seminar page. Alternatively, you can email HSL Training or call 01298 218806.

RR1002 – Review of standards for thermal protection PPE in the explosives industry

The suitability of PPE for use against different thermal challenges is often described by way of compliance with British, European or Internationally agreed standards. The review compared the range of test standards currently used for flame protective PPE for both general industrial use and specialist PPE for motor racing and fire fighting tasks with the thermal challenge expected from a range of explosive events.

Disparity has been found between the levels of challenge required to pass the test standards and the level displayed by the burning explosive materials – these practical challenges have been found to be significantly higher, causing levels of heating and burning which would produce significant injury to individuals wearing some types of PPE under certain circumstances.

The report by the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) recommends that harm models consider the effect of damage to the respiratory system; that further work is undertaken to better understand the performance of modern materials in an explosives environment; and that PPE should be tested against a representative explosive challenge as part of the process that dutyholders undertake in order to determine its suitability for use.

Full report: www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr1002.pdf

UK Pilots want better helicopter safety regulation

Britain’s pilots’ union has called for a judicial review to probe helicopter safety problems in the UK sector of the North Sea. MPs on Westminster’s transport select committee heard concerns about the safety of offshore flights in Britain’s oil and gas industry had heightened as a result of the Super Puma crash off Shetland in August 2013 in which four oil workers were killed – the fifth incident involving helicopters in the British sector in four years, leading to 20 deaths.

Captain Colin Milne, of the helicopter affairs committee of pilots’ union BALPA, warned the decision to make the European Aviation Safety Agency the “overarching authority” for aviation safety in Europe could lead to a reduction in Britain’s “gold standard” approach to helicopter operations in the North Sea. Capt Milne said a judicial review into offshore helicopter safety was needed to examine the amount of control exercised by oil companies on helicopter flights and the role of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in policing offshore safety in the aviation sector. He told MPs: “What pilots want is that they operate at a high minimum level and that can only be enforced by the CAA as the regulator. We want an independent and strong and well-resourced regulator.” Committee chair Louise Ellman MP said after the hearing: “Five serious accidents in four years is a matter of grave concern. We want to find out how to improve that record.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/risks-2014/tuc-risks-640-1-february-2014#_Toc378943444

MPs urged to act on offshore helicopter safety

The union Unite has told a committee of MPs that offshore workers want reforms to helicopter safety after a series of serious incidents involving 20 fatalities. The union said over 50 per cent of offshore workers who participated in Unite’s Back Home Safe consultation said they were not confident in the safety of offshore commercial helicopter transfers to installations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), with 77 per cent stating that confidence declined over the last year.

The House of Commons’ transport select committee inquiry into helicopter safety took evidence from offshore trade unions and industry bodies in Aberdeen on 27-28 January. The inquiry was set up after last year’s Super Puma crash off Shetland which killed four people. Since 2009, five serious incidents involving Super Puma helicopters offshore have seen 20 people lose their lives.

Commenting before he gave evidence to the committee, Unite regional industrial officer John Taylor, said: “Helicopter transfers are the only efficient means of transferring workers to and from offshore installations but the industry and the operators have a moral obligation to make these transfers as safe as possible in order to get its people back home safe.”

He added: “We believe our modest proposals for changes to helicopter seating configuration, improved on-board lighting, survival training and personal safety equipment present an opportunity to address this problem, not as a panacea but as a means of better protecting lives should a major incident occur and we hope MPs on the committee support this.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/risks-2014/tuc-risks-640-1-february-2014#_Toc378943443

US OSHA releases new resources to protect hospital workers and enhance patient safety

The United States Department of Labour’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) recently launched a new educational Web resource, www.osha.gov/hospitals, which has extensive materials to help hospitals prevent worker injuries, assess workplace safety needs, enhance safe patient handling programs, and implement safety and health management systems. The materials include fact books, self-assessments and best practice guides.

“These new materials can help prevent hospital worker injuries and improve patient safety, while reducing costs,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labour for occupational safety and health. “At the heart of these materials are the lessons from high performing hospitals that have implemented best practices to reduce workplace injuries while also improving patient safety.”

“By fostering research to identify injury risk factors and safety interventions, steps can be taken to save costs and enhance service to the patients,” said Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The website’s materials on safe patient handling are designed to address the most common type of injuries hospital workers face, and hospitals can use these resources to protect their workers, improve patient safety and reduce costs. Hospital workers face serious hazards, including: lifting and moving patients, workplace violence, slips and falls, exposure to chemicals and hazardous drugs, exposures to infectious diseases and needlesticks. In 2012, U.S. hospitals recorded 250,000 work-related injuries and illnesses, almost 60,000 of which caused employees to miss work.

Nationwide, workers’ compensation losses result in a total annual expense of $2 billion for hospitals. Michaels was joined on a call announcing the resources by Howard, Dr. Lucian Leape, chairman of the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation, and Dr. Erin S. DuPree, chief medical officer and vice president of the Joint Commission Centre for Transforming Healthcare.

OSHA website www.osha.gov

USA Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC): A National Model Swimming Pool and Spa Code

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with public health and industry representatives across the United States to prevent drowning, injuries, and the spread of recreational water illnesses at public swimming pools and spas by building a Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC).

The MAHC will be a guidance document that can help local and state authorities make swimming and other water activities healthier and safer. The MAHC will serve as a model and guide for local and state agencies needing to update or implement swimming pool and spa code, rules, regulations, guidance, law, or standards governing the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and other treated or disinfected aquatic facilities.

www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/pools/mahc

FABIG Event: “Dispersion and Explosion Characteristics of Large Vapour Clouds”

Buncefield Explosion Mechanism JIP – Phase 2
4 & 5 March 2014 in London and Aberdeen

This event will be a full day Technical Meeting covering “Dispersion and Explosion Characteristics of Large Vapour Clouds”. It will be held on Tuesday 4 March 2014 in London and via Webcast and on Wednesday 5 in Aberdeen and will disseminate the results from Phase 2 of the Buncefield Explosion Mechanism JIP.

It is expected that the event will start with registration from 11.00 am with presentations taking place between 11.30 am and 17.00 pm (UK time).

Contact: Guillaume Vannier, FABIG Project Manager, FABIG, SCI, Silwood Park, Ascot SL5 7QN, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1344 636 525 | Fax: +44 (0)1344 636 570 | www.fabig.com/events

CEN and CENELEC cooperate with societal stakeholder organizations to provide easier access to information about standardization

CEN and CENELEC have launched a new section on their website as part of their ongoing efforts to encourage the widest possible range of stakeholders to get involved in standardization activities and help shape the content of European Standards. The ‘Societal Stakeholders’ Toolbox’ is aimed in particular at supporting the participation of organizations that are concerned with defending the interests of consumers, protecting the environment, and promoting the health and safety of workers.

Standards, which are documents that set out specifications and other technical information with regard to various kinds of products, materials, services and processes, can have significant impacts on the safety and well-being of consumers and workers, as well as on the wider society and the environment. Enabling organizations representing societal stakeholders to participate in the development of standards helps to ensure that all relevant concerns can be taken into account during the drafting process.

The ‘Societal Stakeholders’ Toolbox’ can be accessed directly from the homepage of the CEN-CENELEC website. It provides practical advice to organizations representing consumers, workers and environmental interests on where to find information about ongoing standardization activities and how they can contribute to the standards development process at national, European and international levels.

The toolbox has been developed by CEN and CENELEC in the framework of their ongoing collaboration with three umbrella organizations that represent the interests of specific interest groups within the European Standardization System. These organizations are: ANEC (the European consumer voice in standardisation), ECOS (European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardisation), and ETUI (European Trade Union Institute – Health and Safety Department).

At national level, many members of CEN and CENELEC are also cooperating with societal stakeholders organizations. Based on existing examples of good practice, CEN and CENELEC are encouraging all of their members (in 33 European countries) to support the active involvement of societal stakeholders in standardization activities and to facilitate this by providing relevant information on their respective websites.

The Janus face of the ‘New ways of Work’: Rise, risks and regulation of nomadic work

The Internet and the use of portable computers, mobile phones and tablets have increased the importance of ‘new ways of work’. This work, which is place- and time-independent, can lead to more autonomy and greater flexibility for workers, but it also carries serious physical as well as psychosocial risks according to this working paper.

The author of this report Jan Popma, senior researcher University of Amsterdam focuses on the hidden dangers of these new ways of working: techno-stress, techno-addiction, the blurring of boundaries between work and private life, burn-outs and overtiredness, safety risks and ergonomic problems.

The paper analyses the European legislation on safe and healthy working conditions and how it can be applied to this new way of working. Last, but not least, it underlines the importance of this new societal issue for workers’ representatives.

ETUI, Brussels, ISSN 1994-4446, ISSN 1994-4454 (PDF)
Jan Popma, senior researcher University of Amsterdam, 2013, 44 pages

www.etui.org/en/Publications2/Working-Papers/The-Janus-face-of-the-New-ways-of-Work-rise-risks-and-regulation-of-nomadic-work

New Canadian report on Control Banding Method for Selecting Respiratory Protection Against Bioaerosols

The IRSST (Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail) released a report on developing a control banding method for selecting respiratory protection against aerosols.

The proposed model consists of the four risk groups used in biosafety:

By cross-tabulating data, an assigned protection factor (APF) can be determined to help OHS practitioners select the appropriate respiratory protective equipment.

This model, which is based on control banding approaches applying to chemical pollutants and nanoparticles, has been validated by case studies that involve comparing the model’s proposed protection factors with existing recommendations for various risks, such as SARS, tuberculosis, anthrax, legionellosis.

Control banding is a technique used to guide the assessment and management of workplace risks. This technique is used to match a control measure (e.g., ventilation, engineering controls, containment, PPE etc.) to a range or “band” of hazards and exposures (e.g., skin/eye irritation, very toxic, carcinogenic, etc.). It was originally developed by the pharmaceutical industry as a way to work safely with new chemicals that had little or no toxicity information.

Report: www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-control-banding-method-bioaerosols-r-804.html

Contact: Maura Tomi, M. Sc., Communication advisor, Communications and Knowledge Transfer Division, IRSST, Quebec, Canada | Tel: + 1 514-288-1551 ext. 302 | Email: Maura.Tomi@irsst.qc.ca

IRSST Fact Sheet – Carcinogens in workplaces

Cancer is the primary cause of death in Québec and in the majority of industrialized countries. Carcinogenesis is a complex process, and researchers estimate that from 2 to 8% of cancers are work-related, depending on the country and cancer considered. In order to be able to prioritize research needs, it is necessary to have a status report in terms of Québec workers’ level of exposure to carcinogenic substances and the number of occupational cancers

This study will document the second aspect of the situation by estimating the number of cancers that could be work-related in Quebecers. Estimates will be produced for some twenty types of cancers using data published mainly by British and Finnish researchers.

Studies and Research Projects / Summary RR-796, Montréal, IRSST, 2013, 2 pages

www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-fact-sheet-carcinogens-rr-796.html

New IOSH ‘OSH Research Community’ website

The database will be home to research in the form of papers, articles, presentations and reports, and a place to showcase, share and discover not just published research but also ongoing and newly formed projects. The site works on the principle that you, the researcher, will register and upload your own material. Behind the scenes, we’ll approve this before it goes live to ensure quality and that the principal investigator has given their permission for its publication The site is free to access and for anyone just wishing to explore and search, there is no registration. If there are fees linked to any articles (for example, within journals behind pay walls), this will be clearly shown to the user from the onset. As a community platform for researchers and OSH professionals, the database is an important step to us, as IOSH champions evidence-based policy-making.

It is currently in its infancy, and as friends of IOSH, we’re inviting you to explore the site and upload any research you see fit. When we feel we have sufficient materials in the database, we’ll begin to advertise it to the world and wider OSH communities.

Please note that research doesn’t have to be commissioned or funded by IOSH. This is a sharing platform for all work, from all people and from all parts of the globe. To this end, there’s also a section for students to share their work. As a community platform for researchers and OSH professionals, the database is an important step to us, as IOSH champions evidence-based policy-making. It is currently in its infancy, and as friends of IOSH, we’re inviting you to explore the site and upload any research you see fit. When we feel we have sufficient materials in the database, we’ll begin to advertise it to the world and wider OSH communities.

‘OSH Research Community’: www.oshresearch.co.uk

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 1NN, UK | Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3100 (IOSH main reception) | Fax +44 (0)116 257 3101 (IOSH main fax) | www.iosh.co.uk