News from around the World
- New global protocol to fight forced labour
- Record low sickness absence destroys “sickies” myth in Britain
- Cancer chemicals still in hairdressing products
- “It has arguably saved more lives than any other legislation” writes Daily Telegraph journalist Philip Johnston on the 40th Anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
- ITUC Global Rights Index shows workers’ rights under threat despite public support for strong labour laws
- Over Half of Adults Have Looked Online for Medical Information
- Carcinogenic Substances – Exposure Profile of Canada, Quebec Workers
- FABIG publishes findings of Buncefield explosion mechanism project
- Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association Annual Report 2013
- UK Widespread support for raising taxes on tobacco
- Workingonsafety.net – 7th International Conference
- Fire Information Group (FIG UK) Seminar “Mind the Gap in Fire Information: Update 2014”
- TUC calls for safety reps to be “eyes and ears”
- Safety and health outcomes associated with Ageing and Work
- Updates from US NIOSH Centers of Excellence to Promote a Healthier Workforce
- ASHRAE Continues Work on Legionellosis Standard: Fourth Public Review Draft Slated for Summer
- Maritime Union demands greater maritime safety
- The European mHealth Conference: Challenges and Opportunities for mHealth in Europe
New global protocol to fight forced labour
A new global protocol to fight forced labour, adopted this week by the International Labour Organisation, will accelerate action against modern slavery.
The private sector is responsible for 90% of the estimated 21 million victims of forced labour, reaping some US$ 150 billion from some of the most severe forms of exploitation in existence today.
92% of the government, employer and worker delegates at the ILO Conference voted in favour of the protocol, which the ILO describes as bringing one of its longest-standing instruments, Convention 29, “into the modern era”. Qatar, which is under the spotlight for using forced labour to build the 2022 World Cup infrastructure, abstained from the vote.
Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “This week the world learned that a huge slice of the global seafood market is based modern slavery in the Thai fishing industry. This is just one part of a much bigger picture of vicious exploitation in global supply chains. The new ILO protocol must revitalize action to end forced labour, and we are putting those who make money from slavery on notice that the international trade union movement and our allies will chase them down and bring them to account.”
People trapped in forced labour today are most likely to be migrants, indigenous peoples or other disadvantaged groups working in agriculture, construction, domestic work, fisheries and other sectors where union organizing is restricted or repressed.
“Governments need to show leadership in cleaning up global supply chains, and in ensuring that those who are most marginalized and whose work is concealed from view can be empowered to throw off the shackles of oppression. We’re looking to all governments to ratify this protocol and put it to work without delay,” said Burrow.
The adoption of the protocol, and an accompanying recommendation, is the culmination of two years of international campaigning by a coalition of trade unions and other civil society groups.
Record low sickness absence destroys “sickies” myth in Britain
The TUC has said latest figures from a business group showing workplace sickness absence is at a record low disproves the myth that Britain has a “sickie culture”. A survey of 330 firms by the manufacturers’ group EEF showed overall levels of absence reached a record low of 2.1 per cent, equal to 4.9 days per worker per year. The report adds there has been a marked increase in mental health problems affecting the workforce. And, noting that long-term sickness absence has increased, it says the government’s “fit note” programme is failing to do what it is designed to do – to get people back to work. Commenting on the EEF survey findings, TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson said:
“Once again sickness absence is a record low having fallen consistently over the past 15 years. This shows that the idea that Britain has a “sickie-culture” is a complete myth and that, instead many workers continue to go to work even when ill. In fact there is growing concern over the level of presenteeism, which is where workers go into work when they are unwell, either because of commitment to their job or under pressure by management.” He added: “The increase in stress-related ill-heath shown in the report may be a result of this, but it does show the need for much more to be done to reduce levels of stress in the workplace and also to support those with stress-related conditions.”
Cancer chemicals still in hairdressing products
Chemicals in products used to colour or wave hair could be the cause of higher levels of bladder cancer observed in hairdressers, researchers have concluded. A study published online in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine on 9 June linked frequency of dye and perm use to raised levels of carcinogens found in hairdressers’ blood. Previous studies have linked dye chemicals to increased risks of bladder cancer in exposed workers. In the new study, Swedish researchers set out to measure long-term exposure to known and suspected carcinogenic aromatic amines among hairdressers.
The team assessed blood samples from 295 female hairdressers, 32 regular users of hair dyes and 60 people who had not used hair dyes in the past year. Overall, levels of aromatic amines did not differ significantly between the three groups. However, in the hairdressers, their weekly levels of aromatic amines called o-toluidines and m-toluidines were shown to correspond with the number of permanent light hair colour treatments they applied to clients. Higher concentrations of o-toluidines were also associated with use of a hair-waving product. Toluidines have been shown to cause bladder cancer in chemical workers. The researchers say products should be evaluated to determine if they still contain aromatic amines. They also recommend that hairdressers should minimise exposures by wearing gloves and by doing any tasks that cannot be performed wearing gloves – such as cutting hair – before any dyes or perms are applied.
Gabriella M Johansson and others. Exposure of hairdressers to ortho- and meta-toluidine in hair dyes, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, published online first – 9 June 2014.
“It has arguably saved more lives than any other legislation” writes Daily Telegraph journalist Philip Johnston on the 40th Anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
As the UK prepares to mark the 40th anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act this summer, the Daily Telegraph has published an incisive article acknowledging the importance of the Act.
Philip Johnson notes that forty years on, the Act has achieved what it set out to do, which is to insist upon high standards of health and safety in places of work. All we need do now is to apply the law with the common sense that inspired it in the first place.
This is an extract from Philip Johnston’s opinion piece, which you can read in full on the Telegraph website.
“Health and safety has become synonymous with nanny statism, interfering jobsworths, ludicrous litigation and risk aversion. And yet the Health and Safety at Work Act, which is 40 years old this summer, has arguably saved more lives than any other piece of legislation, including the ban on drink driving or the compulsory wearing of seat belts in cars. It may well have reduced deaths by 5,000 or more.
“So how did an Act that was by any measure a milestone in social reform turn into one of the most disparaged statutes of recent times? Partly it has to do with the way the law is interpreted – and often wrongly blamed for absurd restrictions imposed on perfectly innocuous practices. But it also reflects an absolutist view that it is possible to avoid accidental injury or death, rather than simply to reduce the circumstances in which they might occur.
Readers of the blog by HSE Chair Judith Hackitt will recognise the sentiment. A post in January this year reads: “This year will mark 40 years since Health and Safety at Work Act received Royal Assent. Arguably it is one of the best pieces of legislation on the statute books – although we know it is often misunderstood and misinterpreted. It has protected millions of British workers, and driven sharp reductions in incidents of occupational death, serious injury and ill health.”
You can read the rest of Judith’s blog.
Also visit www.historyofosh.org.uk
ITUC Global Rights Index shows workers’ rights under threat despite public support for strong labour laws
1,951 trade unionists faced violence and 629 were unlawfully detained for collective action in 2013
Corporations, using their power over governments, are attempting a co-ordinated global attack on workers’ rights, including the right to strike, according to new analysis from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) presented at the 103rd International Labour Conference in Geneva on 4 June 2014.
The ITUC Global Rights Index found that while the right to strike is recognised in most countries, laws and practices in at least 87 countries exclude certain types of workers from the right to strike.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC, said governments are acting in favour of big business – not their people who overwhelmingly support labour rights. The ITUC Global Poll 2014 measuring the opinion of the general public in fourteen countries found 75 percent of people supported the right to strike.
“Despite strong public support for the right to strike, 37 countries in the last 12 months imposed fines or even imprisonment for legitimate and peaceful strikes.
“Governments and employers can no longer hide their attacks on workers’ rights after a ranking of 139 countries against 97 indicators in the ITUC Global Rights Index exposes the best and worst of labour conditions around the world,” said Sharan Burrow.
The new ITUC Global Rights Index will be presented to government, employers and workers groups at the ILO today. The index is drawn from the ITUC’s real-time survey database of violations which also shows rising levels of violence faced by workers and their unions.
- In 2013, 1,951 trade unionists faced violence and 629 were unlawfully detained for collective action.
- Union leaders were murdered in ten countries including Cambodia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Mauritania, Egypt and Benin.
- The highest number of murders in a single country took place in Colombia where 26 trade unionists were killed in 2013, an increase of eight worker deaths from the previous year.
“The weight of evidence of abuses of workers’ rights for case hearings and the ILO supervisory mechanism is growing.
“The legal analysis undertaken to rank countries includes ILO data and is an important analysis for governments to review their standing on workers” rights in law and practice,” said Sharan Burrow.
“Alongside trend data on public support for core labour rights, governments have been put on notice to tame corporate power and act in the interests of their citizens,” said Sharan Burrow.
The ITUC Global Poll 2014 found
- 77 percent of people support laws that protect workers’ health and safety.
- 94 percent support laws that establish and protect a decent minimum wage.
- 89 percent support laws that give workers the right to collective bargaining.
- 88 percent support laws that give workers the right to join a union.
A report with regional analysis from Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa and snapshots of 82 countries from the 139 country database will be presented to governments, employers and worker groups in Geneva.
The ITUC Global Rights Index presents carefully verified information from the last 12 months in an easy-to-use format so that every government and business can see how their laws and supply chains stack up.
The real-time base surveying violations in laws and practices of workers’ rights in 139 countries is available.
The ITUC Global Rights Index rates countries from one to five according to 97 indicators, with an overall score placing countries in one to five rankings.
- 1 – Irregular violations of rights: 18 countries including Denmark and Uruguay
- 2 – Repeated violations of rights: 26 countries including Japan and Switzerland
- 3 – Regular violations of rights: 33 countries including Chile and Ghana
- 4 – Systematic violations of rights: 30 countries including Kenya and the USA
- 5 – No guarantee of rights: 24 countries including Belarus, Bangladesh and Qatar
- 5+ – No guarantee of rights due to breakdown of the rule of law: 8 countries including Central African Republic and Somalia.
- Report – ITUC Global Rights Index: The worst places in the world for workers
- Video: Human and trade union rights
- Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org | +32 479 06 41 63
Over Half of Adults Have Looked Online for Medical Information
More than half of adults in the UK have used a search engine to look for medical information, according to a new online survey commissioned by Health-on-Line.
The YouGov poll, which quizzed people on how often they visit their doctors and which alternatives they use, revealed that 53% have used internet search as a source of medical information, while 47% have used an online medical resource.
Over three-quarters (78%) of those who have used the internet or a smartphone / tablet app to get medical information said it was the fastest option.
Although qualified doctors and pharmacists would be the most popular sources of medical information, used by 76% and 64% respectively, the findings suggest that web-based resources are growing in popularity, particularly among the younger generation.
The 18 to 24-year-old age group were the least likely to visit a doctor (67%) or pharmacist (47%) and the most likely to use online medical resources (64%), as well as being the most likely to use social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter as a source for medical information (4%).
Of those who have used the internet or a smartphone/tablet app to find medical information, the majority (78%) say it is the fastest way to find what they need, while just under a third (31%) say they like to use online resources no matter what the problem. Some 14% said using the internet is less embarrassing than talking to a doctor – although just 7% believe that the information they find online is likely to be highly accurate.
However, it’s not just the internet fuelling the trend for self-diagnosis. Home medical equipment, such as pulse monitors, are also more affordable and widely available, and more than a third (38%) of respondents online agreed that as this technology improves, people will be less inclined to visit a GP in the future.
“The internet has put more information than ever in the hands of patients: not only about symptoms and their possible causes, but also as a tool for locating hospitals, making appointments and interacting with doctors,” said Fiona Carter of Health-on-Line.
“However, it’s vital to make sure patients still contact trained medical professionals about any health problems they have; self-diagnosis can be unhelpful or even dangerous in some cases.”
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,347 UK adults (aged 18+). Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th – 27th February 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
Carcinogenic Substances – Exposure Profile of Canada, Quebec Workers
The Canadian Quebec organisation IRSST just published the first report that estimates Quebec workers’ exposure to carcinogens. This document is a significant contribution to knowledge in this area, and the findings should be of use to anyone interested in this problem.
Exposure estimates were compiled for 38 carcinogenic substances listed in Schedule I of the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (designation C1, C2 or C3) and in the known or probable carcinogens list published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (groups 1 and 2A). The number of workers potentially exposed to each carcinogen was obtained by applying the percentages of exposed workers in a given industry, calculated from various data sources, to the number of people working in that industry in Québec according to the 2006 census data. The information on exposure was based on laboratory tests performed by the IRSST for the Réseau public de la santé au travail, the results from a number of special projects carried out by the IRSST, data from Santé-Québec’s survey on health and wellbeing (Enquête sociale et de santé 1998), Health Canada data on occupational radiation exposure, and exposure data compiled as part of the CAREX Canada project conducted by the University of British Columbia. For some carcinogens, the exposure data came from two French sources: the SUMER survey of occupational physicians by France’s Ministère du travail, and the MATGÉNÉ job exposure matrices developed by the Institut de veille sanitaire.
According to these calculations, the ten substances or conditions to which the greatest number of Québec workers are exposed are as follows: solar radiation (6.6%), night work or rotating shifts including night work (6.0%), diesel exhaust (4.4%), wood dust (2.9%), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (excluding diesel exhaust) (2.0%), benzene (1.7%), silica (1.5%), lead (1.3%), artificial ultraviolet rays (1.1%) and mineral oils (1.0%).
In several industries, over 20 different carcinogens are present; these industries include manufacturing, construction, other services except public administration, utilities, professional, scientific and technical services, and administrative, support, waste management and remediation services. Among the manufacturing industries with exposure to multiple carcinogens are non-metallic mineral products, transportation equipment, primary metals, chemicals and paper.
Based on these percentages, it is estimated that at least 230,300 Quebecers are exposed to solar radiation and more than 150,000 to diesel exhaust in their jobs. Over 50,000 are exposed to carcinogens in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing, and health care and social assistance.
Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), diesel exhaust, benzene and solar radiation affects most of the industries with a young labour force, including retailing, arts, entertainment and recreation, and accommodation and food services.
A breakdown of the data according to sex shows that more women are exposed to carcinogens in health care and social assistance (ionizing radiation, night work, artificial UV rays and solar radiation). Men are present in greater proportions in agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing, mineral extraction, oil and gas, construction, utilities, manufacturing and transportation and warehousing; these industries are characterized by exposure to solar radiation, wood dust, night work, silica, diesel exhaust, mineral oils and lead.
Despite their limitations, the estimates are useful indicators of the extent of Québec workers’ potential exposure to carcinogenic substances, mainly because this is the first portrait of its type based on data aggregated from various sources.
Because cancers take several years to develop and it can be difficult to establish a link between a cancer and a given occupational exposure, the best strategy is prevention. The preventive approach for exposure to carcinogens is the same as for any occupational hazard: anticipation, identification, assessment and control (through elimination at source, substitution and reduction of exposure), as well as informing and educating employers and workers about carcinogenic substances.
To download the report: www.irsst.qc.ca/en/-irsst-publication-carcinogenic-substances-r-830.html
FABIG publishes findings of Buncefield explosion mechanism project
The Steel Construction Institute’s Fire & Blast Information group (FABIG) has published its report in to the investigation into the 2005 Buncefield Explosion incident. Please see the following press release for further information, which I hope will be of relevance and interest to your readers.
The final report of a joint industry project which studied the Dispersion and Explosion Characteristics of Large Vapour Clouds is now available on the FABIG website. The work was undertaken following the investigation into the 2005 Buncefield explosion incident, which resulted in a large explosion and a huge fire leading to tremendous damage to the outlying area.
The work has led to the development of a methodology for estimating the size and concentration of a gas cloud following an accidental release of fuel from a storage tank. It has also resulted in a simple method for estimating the overpressure in the areas surrounding the gas cloud in the event of detonation of the cloud. These can be used in hazard assessment and to inform decisions on land use planning. The research has also generated a vast amount of experimental data that is suitable for the development and validation of computer models. The final report is in 2 volumes.
SCI is a key player in research and development of design guidance for hydrocarbon explosion and fire hazards. SCI’s work following the Piper Alpha disaster of 1988 led to publication of the Interim Guidance Notes for the Design and Protection of Topside Structures against Explosion and Fire and the establishment of FABIG (Fire and blast information group). SCI’s experience of managing large joint industry projects contributed to the decision to appoint them as project manager of this major joint industry project.
Sponsors: This project was jointly funded by BP, Health and Safety Executive (UK), Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras, Shell Research Ltd., Statoil, Total S.A., Le Ministère de L’écologie, du Développement Durable et des Transports (France), RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and The Environment, Netherlands). Testing and technical and contributions by Health and Safety Laboratory, Gexcon, DNV GL, Fluid Gravity and The Steel Construction Institute.
To download the report, visit: www.fabig.com
For more information contact: Melissa Barber, PR & Marketing, SCI | Tel: +44 (0)1344 636 583 | Email: email@example.com
Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association Annual Report 2013
Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA) is a legal entity whose membership consists of employers and employers’ associations. JISHA’s overall objective is to help prevent work-related accidents and injuries and protect the health of workers by promoting safety and health efforts undertaken by employers and employers’ associations, and by offering safety and health guidance and services. The number of work-related fatalities in Japan had the tendency to decrease in the long term, owing to the efforts of the concerned parties. However from 2010 to 2012 (last year) it has increased for 3 consecutive years. Thus, the number of casualties including the cases with lost worktime for four and more than four days was 119,576. Besides, the number of fatal accidents was 1,093, a 7% increase compared with the previous year. This is an extremely alarming situation. JISHA is concerned about the following trends of safety and health in the workplace: even though pre-emptive measures such as risk assessment (RA) have been widely spread, dangers and hazards in the workplace have diversified as production processes have become more varied and complex, and as new machinery, equipment and chemical substances have been introduced.
Furthermore, in some cases know-how in occupational safety and health has not been handed down well enough to younger workers, unskilled workers are not given adequate safety and health education / training, and other activities such as site patrols have not been conducted in the workplace, due to the retirement of the generation of workers that has sustained safety and health expertise or diversification of the employment types. Especially among the workplaces of small and medium-sized enterprises where the frequency of occupational accidents is higher than that of big enterprises, retail businesses and social welfare facilities of the tertiary industry with the increasing number of employees have more industrial accidents than ever.
UK Widespread support for raising taxes on tobacco
Britons are in favour of raising taxes on tobacco with a majority agreeing that tax should be increased by 5% above the rate of inflation.
To mark World No Tobacco Day which this year has as its theme: “Raise tobacco tax, lower death and disease”, ASH has released figures showing that support for increasing tobacco tax is high in Britain, a country with one of the highest rates of tobacco tax in the world.
In a YouGov poll commissioned by ASH, 53% of adults in Great Britain agreed with using tax to increase the price of tobacco products 5% faster than the rate of inflation each year. Only 20% disagree with this proposal.
Overall, 66% of adults support increasing the price of a pack of cigarettes with 17% opposed to the idea. Support is stronger among ex-smokers with 67% in favour and 14% against. Among current smokers, 20% favour raising the price of cigarettes while 61% disagree.
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH commented:
“A clear majority of people are in favour of higher taxes on tobacco. This is the most effective way of cutting smoking and ultimately saving lives.
However, despite repeated tax rises over many years, cigarettes are still more affordable now than they were in the 1960s. With clear public support, the Government should be more ambitious and increase tobacco taxes significantly above the rate of inflation.”
Action on Smoking and Health, 6th Floor, New House, 67-68 Hatton Garden, LONDON EC1N 8JY, UK | Tel: +44 (0)20 7404 0242 | www.ash.org.uk
Workingonsafety.net – 7th International Conference
30 September – 3 October 2014, The Westerwood Hotel, Scotland, UK
We are pleased to let you know that the preliminary scientific programme for the 7th International Conference of Workingonsafety.net is now available on the conference website. We had a fantastic number of abstract submissions this year which has enabled us to put together a varied and interesting programme. The conference will run over four days and will provide significant academic and research input from our eight keynote speakers and eighteen themed technical sessions. There will also be a number of social and networking events, including a Scottish cultural evening and a gala dinner with entertainment.
Our keynote speakers are now confirmed as:
- Graeme Collinson – Chair, IOSH Research Committee / Adviser Risk and Infrastructure, Government Office for Science
- Paul Haxell – Bovis Homes, UK
- Kirsten Jørgensen – Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
- Jean-Christophe Le Coze – INERIS, France
- Joy Oh – Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, The Netherlands
- Harry Shannon – McMaster University, Canada
- Adrian Suarez – European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
- Bob Wears – University of Florida / Imperial College London.
Book online now to benefit from our early bird discounted rate which is available until 15 June.
Sponsorship packages are available to book so if you’re interested in promoting your university or company to an international audience or in raising awareness of new research, products or services take a look at the sponsorship brochure.
We do hope you’ll be able to join us for another interesting and valuable event. For more information on the event – the venue and what to do in Scotland, the speakers and programme – please visit the conference website.
If you require any further information or if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.
Contact: Louise Appleby, WOS2014 Project Co–ordinator | Direct Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Direct Tel: +44 (0)116 257 3387 | Direct Fax: +44 (0)116 257 9287 | Website: www.wos2014.net
Fire Information Group (FIG UK) Seminar “Mind the Gap in Fire Information: Update 2014”
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 starting at 13.15 free of charge to invitees
Location: Imperial Hotel, Tudor Room, Russell Square, London
This seminar is kindly sponsored by the Fire Protection Association, Burgoynes Management Ltd, International Fire Consultants Ltd, Lane, Jefferies & Associates Ltd and Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
12.30 – 13.15
13.15 – 13.20
Introduction by Chair Sheila Pantry OBE
13.20 – 14.20
“Updating Mind the Gap in Fire Information” session – Setting the scene – FIG UK and fire information worldwide
Sheila Pantry OBE
Update on FRSUG – Fire Statistics User Group overview – recent work on various projects
Kirsty Bosley, Chair FRSUG
Fire and rescue incident data and statistics – the status quo and future evolution
Gavin Sayer, Head of Fire Statistics Team, Fire, Resilience and Emergencies Directorate, Department for Communities and Local Government
‘Saved from the Flames’, the history of the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire (SPLF)
14.20 – 14.50
Recent research on mass evacuation
Prof Ed Galea – University of Greenwich
14.50 – 15.05
15.05 – 15.35
Fire research into practice in 2014
Dr James Glockling, Technical Director Fire Protection Association
15.35 – 16.05
Wildfires and preparedness
Rob Gazzard, Forestry Commission
16.05 – 16.35
Marine fires and information
Dr Chris Foster, Burgoynes
Summing up – Chairman
Refreshments and Networking
To book a free of charge place or for any further information
Contact Sheila Pantry OBE, Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, 85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1909 771024 | Email: email@example.com | www.sheilapantry.com
TUC calls for safety reps to be “eyes and ears”
The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is depending more on complaints and “whistle-blowers” to compensate for the collapse in proactive inspections forced on it by the coalition government. According to figures obtained by law firm Pinsent Masons after making a freedom of information request to the HSE, more than 4,000 inspections were carried out by the Health and Safety Executive officers as the result of tip-offs and other intelligence gathering in the year to March 2014.
The figures is up by 18 per cent on the previous 12 months and up by 70 per cent since 2012. This however in no way compensates for the 11,000 net fall in the number of inspections caused by the wider changes in inspection policy. The HSE said “These are intelligence-prompted inspections where we have reason to suspect unsatisfactory health and safety standards.” However the number of complaints have been falling over recent years as people find it harder to contact the HSE with local contact numbers being removed from websites.
The TUC’s head of Health and Safety, Hugh Robertson said “The fall in inspection numbers and the increased reliance on complaints shows that the only people who can expose what is going on it the workplace is union health and safety representatives. While they must raise problems with the employer first, as a last resort they should be prepared to let the HSE know what is happening before someone is killed and injured. We cannot replace HSE inspectors, but we can act as eyes and ears”. He said that unions had been in discussions with the HSE about setting up a process to allow union health and safety representatives to give intelligence to the HSE and that was likely to be announced in the next few weeks.
Safety and health outcomes associated with Ageing and Work
Ageing affects a variety of health conditions and outcomes, including both chronic health conditions and likelihood of on-the-job injury. However, the exact nature of these relationships has only recently been better understood, and it is quickly becoming clear that appropriate programs and support in the workplace, community, or at home can help workers live longer, more productive lives.
Featuring the latest research, strategies and solutions for protecting and promoting the health of workers across their lifespans, NIOSH recently released the topic page, Healthy Aging at Work. As one of the first NIOSH topic pages to co-align with the existing Total Worker Health gateway page, it offers an integrated focus on chronic disease issues related to aging and includes simple strategies and workplace solutions for an age-friendly workplace.
The US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) offer some guidance and advice.
Updates from US NIOSH Centers of Excellence to Promote a Healthier Workforce
On 16-18 July 2014, the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (ORhwc) will host the Occupational Health Psychology Summer Institute in Portland, Oregon, USA.
This year’s theme is Advancing Theory and Practice in the Context of Total Worker Health and features leading regional, national, and international researchers and practitioners occupational health psychology, total worker health and safety research and practice.
ASHRAE Continues Work on Legionellosis Standard: Fourth Public Review Draft Slated for Summer
Nearly 40 years after Legionnaires’ Disease first gained public attention, the disease remains common throughout the world. Recent cases include outbreaks in Australia, Canada and the United States.
As a result, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) continues work on what would be the first set of standardized requirements specific to the building industry for management of the risks associated with amplified growth of and exposure to Legionella.
Standard 188P, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, currently under development, will identify risk factors for growth and exposure along with measures to mitigate that risk. The standard will help facility managers/owners understand how to evaluate the design and operation of their building water systems to reduce the risk of Legionellosis.
Tom Watson, chair of the Standard 188P committee, said he is optimistic that a fourth public review draft, which has been substantially rewritten from previous versions, will be approved methods to control exposure to the bacterium that could cause harm,” Watson said. “Effective design, maintenance and operational procedures that avoid amplification and dissemination and made available during the summer.
“The new version of the standard will provide the building community with reasonable and practical of Legionella are necessary throughout the life of a building to reduce the risk of the disease.”
Watson highlighted several changes that may be part of the upcoming public review draft. They include:
- Removal of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) terminology; some of the principles of the HACCP process may be included in the new draft
- Environmental Legionella testing considerations
- Revision of the standard to align with recently approved changes to the standard’s title, purpose and scope, chiefly around systematic management of risks associated with potential exposure to Legionella
Watson noted that standards under development are not available for use by anyone and proposed language is made available during public reviews for the purpose of commenting only.
“We recognize there is much interest in this standard and its requirements,” he said. “However, as the committee moves forward with writing the standard, the provisions in the current draft are subject to change between now and the final published version. Use of the technical details of the proposed standard could lead to actions and expenditures being taken that may not fall under the final requirements of the published standard.”
To learn more about actions regarding ASHRAE standards, visit www.ashrae.org/listserv. There, ASHRAE provides subscriptions to a variety of listserves, including one for Standard 188P, that enable interested parties to stay up to date with the latest news, publication offerings, and various other Society activities.
ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 50,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. More information can be found at www.ashrae.org/news.
Maritime Union demands greater maritime safety
The maritime union, RMT, have called for changes to the way that safety is regulated and enforced as an inquest opens into the deaths of six Russian sailors who died when their cargo ship the Swanland sank off the coast of Gwynedd in November 2011. Just two of the eight-man Russian crew survived when the MV Swanland sank as it carried quarry stone from a jetty near Llanddulas, near Colwyn Bay, UK. RMT has repeated its calls for those responsible to be prosecuted and for the Government to take action to prevent any repetition.
RMT Acting General Secretary Mick Cash said “The shocking and damning Marine Accident Investigation report into the avoidable and tragic sinking of the Swanland in the Irish Sea should have shamed our own government and the international maritime industry into urgent action but the practices that led to the events back in 2011 still continue to this day. This rusting death trap of a vessel had been flagged out to the Cook Islands and allowed to dodge the most basic of safety and maintenance regimes.
“The seafarers on board never stood a chance. Their lives were lost in the name of profit and greed. RMT continues to call for corporate manslaughter charges to be laid against those who sent these lads to their deaths, an end to flagging out and the dodging of safety regulations and action by the UK government to end the scandal of the ships of shame sailing out of British ports and in British waters.”
The European mHealth Conference: Challenges and Opportunities for mHealth in Europe
19 June 2014 – The Hotel, Brussels
Against the backdrop of the European Commission’s recent Green Paper on mHealth, this high-level one day conference will bring together top level stakeholders for an interactive cross-sectoral debate on the way forward in developing a European strategy to unlock the potential of mHealth, and the challenges and opportunities that it brings.
Further information contact Charlene Selmer on +44 (0)2920 783 024 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.mhealthconference.eu