News from around the World
- Learn how to protect your business from a health and safety crisis
- RoSPA hosts forum to make occupational road risk a priority
- FOCUS – Untangling the web: Finding health and safety information online
- UK Future funding: Financing mesothelioma research by Dr Penny Woods
- Latest posters and research reports from the Health and Safety Laboratory in the UK
- Life after personal protective equipment is possible
- ISO is failing the standard test
- Quick Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers
- USA Signs Memorandum of Understanding to Advance Nanotechnology Research
- Mental health problems: An invisible vulnerability by Mandy Rutter
- Event: PPE Conference 2014 – The European Lead Market for Protective Textiles and Clothing
- Event: ARCH 14 – the International Conference on Research on Health Care Architecture
- Event: Developing Evidence-based Responses to Vulnerability in Society
- Event: SENN2015 – International Congress on Safety on Engineered Nanoparticles and Nanotechnologies
- Event: AICHE 2015
- Event: ArbeitsSicherheit Schweiz 2016 – 6th Fair Trade for Occupational Safety, Health Protection & Health Promotion in the Workplace Facts & Figures
- Event: Radiological Emergency Planning – Terrorism, Security and Communication
- Event: 21st Nordic Research Conference on Safety (NoFS)
- A date for your diary: European Week, 20-24 October 2014
- EUROSHNET Conference in 2015 in Seville
- 1.3 million UK tradespeople at risk from dangers of asbestos
- ASA code for advertising electronic cigarettes
- US NIOSH Announces National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) 2015
- Estimating the cost of accidents and ill-health at work: A review of methodologies
- EU OSHA European Good Practice Awards – Healthy workplaces manage stress
- Working for heart health – World Heart Day is on 29th September 2014
- Scoping study for a foresight on new and emerging occupational safety and health (OSH) risks and challenges
- ECHA provides advance notice on substances being considered for risk management
- Pulmonary fibrosis asbestos link found
- Hazardous drugs in healthcare
- ILO Director-General: Labour inspections key to fighting undeclared work
- Safety and Risks of Engineered Nanomaterial (ENM)
- Lean and the Working Environment
Learn how to protect your business from a health and safety crisis
Company bosses and their employees can learn a step-by-step guide to protecting themselves and their business from a health and safety crisis.
Legal, insurance and psychology experts will join forces to explore the implications of a workplace incident on a company’s operations, managers and workers.
They will all appear at an event being hosted by the Northern Ireland Branch of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Branch chair Richard McIvor said: “The committee decided to develop an event from a practical perspective which highlighted what to expect if a serious incident happens – what are the legal and insurance implications, and how do you help employees in the aftermath?
“We want to reinforce the message that companies should have strong leadership, employ systems and procedures that prevent something happening in the first place. But by the same token, we want delegates at this event to take away knowledge so they have a better understanding of the wider implications should an unfortunate situation arise – and the need for contingency planning.”
HSENI chief executive Keith Morrison will give an opening address on leadership and successful health and safety management, and the strategic health and safety challenges facing Northern Ireland over the next few years.
He said: “I very much welcome this IOSH event which will bring health and safety professionals, employees, managers and senior managers together with a range of knowledgeable and influential speakers to debate the crucial issues around avoiding, managing and learning from workplace incidents.”
Delegates will also hear a first-person account of the impact of a workplace incident, before the experts then use the scenario of an accident on a construction site to explain how to manage any arising situations.
It will include an explanation of police powers and legal issues, what to expect from insurers and how best to deal with workplace stresses which result from any such incidents.
The event aims to contribute towards IOSH’s belief that forward-thinking organisations which invest in a culture of care experience improved reputation, resilience and results.
It will take place at Riddell Hall, in Belfast, on Tuesday 18 November 2014 and is aimed at company directors, senior managers, employees and health and safety professionals.
RoSPA hosts forum to make occupational road risk a priority
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) recently hosted a forum of key stakeholder representatives and experts to help re-energise the management of occupational road risk (MORR) as a key risk management priority for UK plc.
More than 30 leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of road safety gathered at London’s St Bride Foundation where presentations were heard from three researchers – Nicola Christie and Heather Ward, from University College London, and Shaun Helman of the Transport Research Laboratory.
The trio were authors of an independent strategic review of MORR, which was commissioned by RoSPA with funding under the RoSPA/BNFL Scholarship Scheme, and discussed findings including data, interventions and policy initiatives.
They focused on issues surrounding data on the scale, severity and causes of work-related crashes, the lack of detailed studies on interventions and the lack of awareness of MORR outside higher-performing organisations.
Delegates also took part in workshops at the event, which was funded by distribution and outsourcing firm Bunzl, to discuss the way forward for tackling MORR, ways to get more organisations involved and how to embed good practice.
Roger Bibbings, RoSPA’s partnership consultant, who chaired the event, said: “The forum was a great success and the delegates really got involved and came up with several innovative ideas on how to progress this important agenda.
“MORR is the single biggest work-related safety issue for almost all UK businesses, with about a third of deaths on the road involving someone driving for work, so it is an issue which cannot be ignored.
“We hope that the event will have inspired everyone involved to think harder about ways in which they can enhance their influence and reassert the importance of MORR as a major element of health and safety at work.
“Much progress has been made, although in recent years it has been more difficult to maintain momentum for change. But if we continue to stick at it and work more closely together, there is major scope for further reducing casualties as well as the costs – both human and financial – which work related road crashes impose on families, businesses, communities and the wider economy.”
RoSPA launched its pioneering MORR campaign in 1996, being the first organisation to reveal occupational road risk as the hidden killer on Britain’s roads.
To find out more about the strategic review of MORR, visit www.rospa.com/safety-training/on-road/driving-at-work
FOCUS – Untangling the web: Finding health and safety information online
Sheila Pantry OBE
Ever wondered if your usual occupational safety and health (OSH) sources are validated, authoritative, up-to-date and available whenever you need access?
Since the advent of the internet around 20 years ago many people now firmly believe that online information is all out there and is free of charge. While it is useful that information can easily be made available direct from an author anywhere in the world through the internet, there are many other major checks that are needed before online OSH data and information can actually be used to help successfully manage OSH risks in the workplace.
Sometimes duty holders fail to understand how the information is actually produced, who is writing and editing it, who is checking to see if it is up-to-date and if it contains accurate content that can be relied on.
UK Future funding: Financing mesothelioma research by Dr Penny Woods
In the UK 20 Trades people die every week from mesothelioma these include 8 joiners, 6 electricians and 4 plumbers.
Those working in health and safety will most likely be aware that asbestos can be a major hazard if it is disturbed. However, how many people know that the biggest cause of work-related death is the deadly asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma? The cancer causes one in five work-related deaths and kills around 2,500 people a year in the UK, making us the worst affected country in the world.
With no cure or effective treatments available most people die within three years of diagnosis, many within months. It is estimated that around 60,000 people will die from this disease over the next 30 years unless new treatments are discovered. Despite this, research into mesothelioma is disproportionately underfunded in comparison to diseases that kill a similar number of people, such as skin cancer.
If we are to save people who are at risk of developing mesothelioma in the future this needs to change.
But how are we going to fund this research without burdening the taxpayer? There is a solution. Insurers pay out millions every year in compensation to people with mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos at work. Just a tiny percent of the estimated £11 billion insurers are expected to pay out in compensation in the future – something as small as 0.05 per cent every year – would help create a sustainable research fund that could revolutionise mesothelioma care in this country. It would even save insurers millions. With mesothelioma patients living longer, healthier lives as a result of better treatments found through research, compensation pay-outs would be significantly reduced.
We are urging anyone concerned about the welfare of those affected by this dreadful disease to write to their MP – their voice could help cut the number of deaths in the future. For more details please visit www.blf.org.uk
More information: https://sm.britsafe.org/future-funding-financing-mesothelioma-research
Latest posters and research reports from the Health and Safety Laboratory in the UK
- Noise and hand-arm vibration posters
- The Noise and Vibration Partnership Group have produced two new posters on excessive exposure to vibration and noise.
- Safer sites – targeted inspection initiative September 2014
- “Health as well as safety” is the message during this year’s Construction Initiative as poor standards and unsafe practices on Britain’s building sites are targeted. From 22 September until 17 October, HSE Construction Inspectors will carry out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.
- Make an impact – Influence safety management with a career in HSE
- The work we do at the HSE has a positive and far-reaching impact on UK industrial safety. Explore this site to learn more about the Specialist roles we’re offering.
- RR1015 – Assessment of the safety features of adapted plastic fuel container spouts
- In undertaking the consolidation of existing petroleum legislation HSE is considering including guidance on the use of fuel containers with spouts or spout adapters that prevent flashback. There are several types on the market; HSE wishes to understand how these spouts may benefit user safety during use and in the event of petrol related accidents.
- RR1018 – Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) in the welding environment
- The Electromagnetic fields Directive was adopted in June 2013. Member States are required to bring into force any laws, regulations and or administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive by July 1st, 2016. This research report considers various types of welding and the requirements of the Directive.
- RR1014 – Reducing the risk of kick injury during the shackling and sticking of cattle in abattoirs
- The purpose of this report is to investigate the shackling and sticking tasks, in order to find ways to eliminate or reduce the risk to the operator by redesigning the work task.
- RR1013 – Research to determine the incidence, prevalence and relative risk of ill health due to chemical exposure in the chemical and downstream oil industry sector
- This project identified seven data sources from which to assess ill health problems potentially associated with exposure to harmful chemicals in the chemical and downstream oil industry. Interrogation of these sources allowed insight into the range and type of ill health previously, and currently, associated with certain exposures.
- RR1010 – Standardisation of the measurement of capture efficiency of on-gun extraction for welding
- Inhalation of welding fume is recognised as being a threat to workers’ health due to the development of occupational illnesses such as welding fume fever and asthma. Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) is an effective method to control exposure and previous work has indicated the merit of the use of on-gun extraction systems.
Life after personal protective equipment is possible
Construction firms should think about removing the risks on site before they cocoon their workers in protective clothing and other safety gear, a top construction health expert has said. Scott Schneider, the director of occupational health at the US union-backed Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA), said: “There’s no doubt that PPE [personal protective equipment] helps keep workers safe, but it may not be the best solution and certainly shouldn’t be the only solution.”
Construction firms should think about removing the risks on site before they cocoon their workers in protective clothing and other safety gear, a top construction health expert has said.
Scott Schneider, the director of occupational health at the US union-backed Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA), said the emergence of zero accident programmes at firms is “commendable”, but added “too often the first solution proposed to achieve this goal of zero injuries is to put all workers in personal protective equipment (PPE).”
Explaining the flaws in this approach , he said: “Personal protective equipment is at the bottom of the hierarchy of controls for a reason. It is the least reliable form of protection. It can be uncomfortable, may not offer complete protection and workers don’t like wearing it. It also shifts the burden of protection from the employer, who by law must provide a safe workplace, to the worker.”
He added: “The hierarchy of controls says first you should attempt to eliminate the risk. Where that is not possible you can reduce it by changing the substances or processes used. And only when all else fails, do you resort to engineering or administrative controls or personal protective equipment. Shouldn’t it be our goal to protect workers in such a way that no one needs to wear PPE to be safe? It may sound far-fetched, but zero PPE is not an impossible dream.”
Better design of work processes and equipment, substitution of hazardous substances and improved job planning could eliminate or minimise the risks, he indicated. “By challenging ourselves to focus on zero PPE as a goal, we could make the industry safer as a whole and make safety easier for millions of construction workers.
“It may sound unrealistic, but it can happen if we unhook ourselves from our attachment to PPE. There’s no doubt that PPE helps keep workers safe, but it may not be the best solution and certainly shouldn’t be the only solution.”
ISO is failing the standard test
Standards underpinning safety management at work should be a good thing, right? Right – but only if they are good ones. And the draft standard cooked up by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), warns ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow, is far from good.
For full report see www.ituc-csi.org/iso-is-failing-the-standard-test
Quick Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers
US DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2014-150
Driving a truck is a very demanding job. Lack of sleep makes it more difficult to meet the demands of the job and increases your risk for drowsy driving and vehicle crashes. This could mean the difference between stopping with a vehicle just in front of your bumper, or with it in your seat.
USA Signs Memorandum of Understanding to Advance Nanotechnology Research
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York. NIOSH and CNSE will work together to advance research and guidance for occupational safety and health in the nanoelectronics industry and other settings where workers are potentially exposed to engineered nanomaterials.
The partnership between NIOSH and CNSE will serve as a platform for occupational safety and health research as well as educational and business initiatives leading to the development of new risk management guidance, recommendations, and findings relating to the potential human health impacts of exposure to nanomaterials.
“This collaborative effort provides the opportunity to revolutionize our understanding of the occupational health implications of nanomaterials and help NIOSH achieve its mission to protect worker health by providing good risk management and guidance to the nanomaterials industry,” said Dr. Howard. “NIOSH and CNSE have partnered since 2010 and I am delighted that we will continue to work together on this important research.”
Since 2010 NIOSH and CNSE have worked in partnership on research that supports NIOSH’s nanomaterials safety efforts. In 2012, NIOSH and CNSE collaborated to hold the “Safe Nano Design Workshop” at the Albany NanoTech Complex. Resulting from the workshop were guidelines for the safe synthesis of nanoparticles and associated products through the approach, “Prevention through Design” where occupational hazards of nanomaterials or risks from exposure to them are minimized early in the design process. Additionally, NIOSH included CNSE nanomaterials research in its 2014 report, The State of the National Initiative on Prevention through Design.
CNSE is the world leader in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, and nanoeconomics. CNSE represents the world’s most advanced university-driven research enterprise, with more than $20 billion in high-tech investments and over 300 corporate partners.
NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. To learn more about NIOSH’s nanotechnology initiatives, visit: www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech. More information about NIOSH can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh.
Mental health problems: An invisible vulnerability by Mandy Rutter
One of the most common and perhaps most invisible forms of vulnerability among employees relates to mental health and the impact of long-term stress. While HR and line managers are not expected to be experts in mental illness, fostering a workplace culture of openness is key.
Around one in 100 people in the United Kingdom has a specific and diagnosed mental health problem, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or chronic depression, according to data from the Mental Health Foundation; and approximately 20% of us will experience a more common mental health problem at some point in our lives, including anxiety, depression, panic disorders and phobias. This may well be an underestimate, given the difficulties in capturing accurate figures.
The Equality Act of 2010, which draws together previous pieces of legislation around discrimination by gender, race, age, sexuality and disabilities of any kind, is the relevant legislation employers need to be aware of to deal with mental health issues in the workplace. Essentially, employers must not treat a disabled person less favourably than any other employee, including during recruitment and redundancy processes.
The law in this case sees ‘impairment’ due to a mental health condition as a form of disability, which doesn’t have to mean a diagnosed clinical condition. Under the Act, employers must not discriminate on the grounds of disability and must also make reasonable adjustments to work practices and conditions in response to requests for support from employees.
While this may appear straightforward, in practice, mental health at work is a complex area that requires well-informed and thoughtful management. All employees clearly need to remain capable of doing the job they’ve been appointed to, however, having a mental health problem can cause disruptions to work performance.
More information: https://sm.britsafe.org/mental-health-problems-invisible-vulnerability
Event: PPE Conference 2014 – The European Lead Market for Protective Textiles and Clothing
18-19 November 2014, Brussels, Belgium
Organised by Euratex, ESF, ETSA, Textile ETP, Enprotex Foundation The event follows in the tradition of the 2 preceding successful conferences in 2008 and 2011 and will provide a 360° view on all major aspects driving innovation in the Personal Protective Equipment sector in Europe.
It will bring together thought leaders from all stages of the PPE value chain including procurers and end users from across Europe. The event is supported by all major trade federations of the PPE value chain in Europe and the European network of public procurers of PPE. It will represent an excellent networking opportunity with a less commercial focus than a trade fair and a less technical scope than a scientific conference.
More information: www.textile-platform.eu/ppe-conference2014
Event: ARCH 14 – the International Conference on Research on Health Care Architecture
19-21 November 2014, Espoo Finland
On behalf of Aalto University, we would like to invite you to the International Conference ARCH 14 on research on Health Care Architecture.
The amount and quality of research on Healthcare Architecture has grown rapidly in recent years. However, there are still many questions for which good knowledge is lacking. The commission therefore both is to make existing international research knowledge available as well as carrying out research projects focusing more specifically on the healthcare situation in a variety of contexts.
The conference is realized in collaboration with the Nordic Research Network for Healthcare Architecture. It will take place in Aalto Design Factory, Betonimiehenkuja 5, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland.
It is a joint event between Aalto University, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) and National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL International).
The conference aims to bring researchers and practitioners from across disciplines and countries to discuss the following themes:
- Healthcare reform processes
- Green care – supportive environments
- Resilient social and health care
- Usability of healthcare facilities
More information: https://blogs.aalto.fi/arch14conference
Event: Developing Evidence-based Responses to Vulnerability in Society
15 December 2014, Riverside Innovation Centre, University of Chester, UK
The University of Chester is offering a series of keynote Evidence Informed Public Policy lectures and symposia exploring the development of inter-disciplinary evidence-based, outcomes-focused research across the education and the public services
The first symposium in the series focuses on policy development in the delivery of preventative and protective services in the area of civil emergencies, (routine and infrequent) arising from manmade or natural events and confirmed contributors include:
- Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor Peter Holland
- Professor Rob Hulme and Dennis Davis, University of Chester
- Jason Thelwell, CFOA Information Lead Officer
- Nadia Al Soubini, Senior Risk Management Analyst
Event: SENN2015 – International Congress on Safety on Engineered Nanoparticles and Nanotechnologies
12-15 April 2015, Helsinki, Finland
Finnish institute of Occupational Health welcomes you to Helsinki, Finland, on 12-15 April 2015 to join the 2nd “International Congress on Safety of Engineered Nanoparticles and Nanotechnologies – SENN2015.
SENN2015 is a great forum for reporting and sharing the latest knowledge on the safety of engineered nanomaterials and nanotechnologies. We warmly recommend you to attend the congress if you are interested in:
- Nanomaterial identification and classification
- Exposure, transformation and life cycle
- Hazard mechanisms
- Risk assessment and management
More information: www.ttl.fi/PARTNER/SENN2015/Pages/default.aspx
Event: AICHE 2015
31 May 2015 – 5 June 2015, San Antonio, Texas, USA
The American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exposition (AIHce) is considered the most important event of the year among occupational and environmental health and safety professionals.
Thousands are expected to convene in San Antonio, Texas, USA at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center (HBGCC) for six days of world-class education and networking opportunities.
Event: ArbeitsSicherheit Schweiz 2016 – 6th Fair Trade for Occupational Safety, Health Protection & Health Promotion in the Workplace Facts & Figures
22-26 June 2015, Berne, Switzerland
For further information www.arbeits-sicherheit-schweiz.ch/content/index_ger.html
Event: Radiological Emergency Planning – Terrorism, Security and Communication
27-31 July 2015, Boston, USA
This challenging program uses practical tools to prepare participants from all sectors to plan for and respond to radiological events, whether at the state, local, or individual facility level.
Brings together leaders in emergency planning to explore methodologies for creating comprehensive and integrated emergency response plans for radiological events. Drawing from decades of direct experience, Harvard School of Public Health faculty, guest speakers, and participants share practical tools and guidelines based on their successes and failures in preparing for, responding to, and communicating about radiological emergencies.
Participants examine criteria and requirements for creating an effective emergency plan, expand their ability to effectively communicate with the media and public during crisis situations, and medically manage casualties of a radiological incident.
Who Should Participate
This course is designed for anyone involved in emergency planning, response, or recovery in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. Health physicists, public safety professionals, and first receivers and responders will also find this program beneficial.
Foreign and domestic participants from organizations with the following functions are likely to attend:
- Nuclear or energy-industry regulatory bodies
- Homeland security and emergency management agencies
- Defense or military organizations
- Departments of health
- Power generation, especially nuclear power generation
- State and local emergency agencies
- State radiation control agencies
Event: 21st Nordic Research Conference on Safety (NoFS)
25-27 August 2015, Finland
The theme of the NoFS2015 is: Global megatrends – effects on safety.
This conference is unique as it gathers safety researchers and practitioners from across various disciplines, i.e. work, leisure, traffic, suicide, home – on land, sea and air, etc. and with participants from all the Nordic countries and guests from other parts of the world.
The main organizer of the NoFS2015 is the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH).
The aim of the NoFS2015 conference is to exchange experiences and research results, discuss professional safety related issues and establish contacts to other colleges in the Nordic countries. This conference has greatly contributed to the development of the academic and professional environment for safety and accident prevention in the Nordic countries.
A date for your diary: European Week, 20-24 October 2014
It is not long now until the European Week for Safety and Health at Work is upon us. The Week is set to be full of awareness-raising events and activities for you to take part in.
The focus is on the current Healthy Workplaces Campaign “Healthy workplaces manage stress”.
Get involved and discover simple, practical tools and guidance for managing psychosocial risks and stress in the workplace.
EUROSHNET Conference in 2015 in Seville
“Improving the quality of working life – A challenge for standardization, testing and certification” is the title of the 5th European Conference on Standardization, Testing and Certification in the Field of Occupational Safety and Health. The conference is to be held in Seville (Spain) from 14 to 16 October 2015 by EUROSHNET, the European network for occupational safety and health experts.
The conference will focus on how we can create the necessary conditions for continual improvement of the quality of working life in a changing world. What contribution can be made by standardization, testing and certification? What pitfalls must be avoided?
The conference is aimed at manufacturers and users of products, European and national authorities, OSH experts, standards organizations, and other stakeholders in OSH.
The first announcement and details of the programme and registration can be found on the conference website at www.euroshnet-conference.eu
1.3 million UK tradespeople at risk from dangers of asbestos
UK Health and Safety Executive launches a new safety campaign as an average of 20 tradespeople die every week from asbestos related diseases.
Tradespeople, including construction workers, carpenters and painters and decorators, could come into contact with deadly asbestos on average more than 100 times a year according to a new survey commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
As well as illustrating how often tradespeople can be exposed to asbestos, the survey revealed some common myths believed by those at risk, with 1 in seven (14 per cent) believing that drinking a glass of water will help protect them from the deadly dust and one in four (27 per cent) thinking that opening a window will help to keep them safe.
Only a third (30 per cent) of those asked, were able to identify all the correct measures for safe asbestos working, whilst more than half (57 per cent) made at least one potentially lethal mistake in trying to identify how to stay safe.
Twenty tradespeople, on average, die every week from asbestos related diseases.
Asbestos can be found in walls and ceilings, or the structure of a building, as well as a host of other places like floor tiles, boilers, toilet cisterns, guttering and soffits.
It can be disturbed by basic maintenance work like drilling holes and sanding and once disturbed, the microscopic fibres can prove lethal if breathed in, causing lung disease and cancer.
The research, undertaken by Censuswide in September 2014, shows that while more than half (53 per cent) knew that asbestos could be in old buildings built before 1970, only 15 per cent knew that it could still be found in buildings built up to the year 2000.
And although many of those surveyed could pinpoint some asbestos-containing materials, others were clueless, with only 19 per cent recognising it could also be hidden in common fixtures such as toilet seats and cisterns.
To encourage tradespeople to think about asbestos on every job so they are prepared to deal with the danger, HSE has launched a new safety campaign. Mark Harper, Minister responsible for Health and Safety, launched the campaign at the TradePoint store in Cricklewood. TradePoint is supporting the campaign by distributing asbestos safety kits to tradespeople through their stores across Great Britain.
A key feature of the campaign is the creation of a new web app for phones, tablets and laptops that helps tradespeople easily identify where they could come into contact with the deadly material as they go about their day-to-day work and gives them tailored help on how to deal with the risks.
Mark Harper, Minister responsible for Health and Safety, said:
The number dying every year from asbestos related-diseases is unacceptably high. Despite being banned in the construction industry, asbestos exposure remains a very serious risk to tradespeople. This safety campaign is about highlighting the risks and easy measures people can take to protect themselves. We hope the safety kits and the web app will encourage people to be aware of the risks, think twice, and take precautions to stay safe.
Philip White, HSE’s Chief Inspector for Construction, said:
Asbestos is still a very real danger and the survey findings suggest that the people who come into contact with it regularly often don’t know where it could be and worryingly don’t know how to deal with it correctly, which could put them in harm’s way. Our new campaign aims to help tradespeople understand some of the simple steps they can take to stay safe. Our new web app is designed for use on a job so workers can easily identify if they are likely to face danger and can then get straight forward advice to help them do the job safely.
Former electrical consultant Simon Clark, who in 2012 was diagnosed with mesothelioma – the life-threatening and aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos – when he was just 52, said:
When I was younger I didn’t think of the dangers of asbestos and I must have been exposed to it frequently. Since being diagnosed, I’ve had to give up my work and let some of my employees go – which is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is vitally important that everybody knows when they might be exposed and takes the correct steps to protect themselves.
To download the web app please visit www.beware-asbestos.info/news
ASA code for advertising electronic cigarettes
The new advertising code for electronic cigarettes published by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for implementation on Monday, 10 November 2014 is sensible and comprehensive, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) believes.
ASA which is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media.
ASH is pleased that the ASA has taken on board many of our recommendations, in particular to strengthen the prohibition on marketing communications that promote associations with tobacco and tobacco brands. We are also pleased that all radio ads will require central copy clearance, which is already in effect the case for TV ads.
We are disappointed, however, that celebrity endorsement and free samples are not prohibited as we had proposed and the impact of this decision needs to be monitored carefully.
ASH strongly supports the decision to review the rules after 12 months. Advertising regulation needs to keep pace with changes in the market. Electronic cigarettes are a relatively new product, which has seen dramatic growth in sales and rapid expansion of advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:
ASH welcomes the new rules governing the advertising of electronic cigarettes which should bring clarity to the regulatory process and ensure that advertising will in future be in the best interests of public health. We are also pleased that in recognition of the rapid evolution of this market there will be a further review of the rules after twelve months.
Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: www.ash.org.uk/about-ash
ASH receives funding from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.
- New rules for the marketing of e-cigarettes. CAP and BCAP’s Joint
Regulatory Statement. ASA October 2014.
- ASH’s response to the consultation on the marketing of e-cigarettes: www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_914.pdf
Contact: Deborah Arnott, ASH 020 7404 0242 (w) or 07976 935 987 (m)
US NIOSH Announces National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) 2015
US National Institute for Occupational safety and Health (NIOSH) will hold the sixth National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS 2015) on 19-21 May 2015, at the Camp Dawson Training Center in Kingwood, West Virginia, USA.
Joining NIOSH as symposium co-sponsors are the American Society of Safety Engineers, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, the National Safety Council, and the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research.
NOIRS is the only national forum focused on the presentation of occupational injury research findings, data, and methods. The theme for NOIRS 2015 is “Advancing Occupational Injury Research through Integration and Partnership.” The symposium will provide opportunities to:
- share findings and experiences aimed at preventing traumatic occupational injury through research and prevention,
- foster collaboration among intramural and extramural researchers and others from a wide variety of scientific disciplines and prevention perspectives,
- showcase innovative and state-of-the-art approaches to occupational injury research and prevention,
- demonstrate the effectiveness of transferring research results to the workplace for prevention, and
- advance the goals of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Traumatic Injury Program.
Previous NOIRSs have led to successful collaborations, such as one begun after the first NOIRS in 1997. NIOSH, BJC HealthCare, West Virginia University, and the Washington University School of Medicine formed a highly productive research partnership lasting more than 10 years.
The partnership focused on safe patient-handling and -movement and slip, trip, and fall prevention in healthcare workers. Results of an intervention evaluation of a “best practices” program for safe patient-handling showed that the program was highly effective in reducing injury, and a business case was developed that showed that the program’s costs were recovered in less than 3 years. The study won numerous awards for scientific excellence and innovation, on the basis of independent evaluation by outside experts, and led to congressional testimony highlighting the value of the program for worker and patient safety.
A follow-up study to evaluate a “best practices” program for prevention of slips, trips, and falls included NIOSH, BJC HealthCare, Washington University School of Medicine, the Finnish Institute for Occupational Health, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, the Veterans’ Health Administration, and Johns Hopkins University. Results of a study at three acute care hospitals demonstrated significant reductions in slip, trip, and fall injuries and also won numerous NIOSH and CDC awards.
This is just one example of the kinds of successful collaborations that can result from face-to-face meetings among researchers from different organizations and disciplines. Partnering allows NIOSH to leverage scarce resources and also provides opportunities to showcase effective research-to-practice impacts. NOIRS 2015 will include oral and poster presentations describing research studies, methods, and findings related to traumatic occupational injury. The areas that we expect to address reflect the full range of problems that occupational safety professionals are tasked to solve today, spanning all industry sectors. We seek new methods, approaches, and technologies that will help us to reduce and eventually eliminate the costly, persistent hazards that continue to take too great a toll among workers. At the same time, our stakeholders also look to us for research to anticipate and meet new challenges associated with the ongoing dramatic changes in today’s dynamic work environments and increasingly diverse workforce.
Visit the NOIRS 2015 web pages for information about the symposium, including abstract submission (Call for Abstracts page) and registration (Registration page).
The Call for Abstracts includes a list of research areas that we’re particularly interested in covering at the symposium. Deadline for abstract submission is December 1, 2014.
There is no registration fee for NOIRS 2015.
Additional inquiries may be made at email@example.com.
Estimating the cost of accidents and ill-health at work: A review of methodologies
What is the real price to pay for not investing in occupational safety and health? Many studies have previously tackled this question by evaluating the costs of poor or non-existent safety and health at work. This report by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work reviews a selection of these studies and analyses the estimating methods used by each. It focuses on five different types of cost – productivity, healthcare, quality of life, administration and insurance – that emerge as a consequence of poor occupational safety and health and how these costs affect four types of stakeholders – workers, employers, government and society. The report goes on to recommend how these costs should be estimated in the future to best inform policy-makers.
Estimating the cost of accidents and ill-health at work: A review of methodologies
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2014
EU OSHA European Good Practice Awards – Healthy workplaces manage stress
The closing date for the Good Practice Awards is coming up fast!
The EU OSHA Good Practice Awards 2014–15 aim to highlight leading examples of companies or organisations actively managing stress and psychosocial risks at work.
The deadline for submissions is 6 October 2014.
Organisations of all sizes can enter and there are two categories, one for organisations employing fewer than 100 workers and one for those employing 100 or more.
Entries are welcome from employers, workers and intermediaries such as social partners, safety and health professionals and practitioners, and those providing assistance and information at the workplace level.
For full details on entry criteria and how to enter, visit www.hse.gov.uk/stress/european/good-practice-awards.htm
Working for heart health – World Heart Day is on 29th September 2014
A global event that every year aims to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke, the world’s leading cause of death. This year the focus is on creating heart-healthy environments, particularly in the workplace so that it doesn’t contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. Many of us spend half of our waking day at work and eat at least one third of our calories while we’re there, including lunch and snacks.
So here are some tips to help keep your heart in tip-top condition at work.
Squeezing a little here and there
- Spend less time behind the steering wheel. Park your car further away and walk the rest of the journey. Get off the bus one stop earlier and stride the last part. Try cycling or running to work once or twice a week. Buddy up with a colleague to commute to keep you motivated, and don’t forget to take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Most jobs involve a lot of sitting, making it more difficult to keep your physical activity levels up. Research shows that short walking breaks could be beneficial as they will get those leg muscles moving, help clear your head, give you fresh ideas and also keep stress levels down. Walk over to somebody’s desk instead of calling, offer to make a tea round, take regular trips to the water cooler, use the toilets on a different floor if possible, and stand while talking on the phone.
- Organise a Fit Friday with fun sports activities or zumba. Organise “walk and talk” meetings within your building or outside or have regular “Stand up for your heart” breaks for your team. Use your lunch break to stretch your legs or do a dance class.
- Ask your employer about the tax efficient cycle to work scheme or subsidised gym or swimming membership, and grab the opportunity before or after work or during your lunch break.
Working on that hunger in a heart-friendly way
- Eating well at work is as important as your successful career so avoid grabbing unhealthy foods and impulse eating especially when stressed. Plan your week with healthy packed lunches and snacks from home. Choose wholemeal bread, pasta and wraps and be creative with fillings by using healthier spreads, houmous, beans, colourful vegetables, lean meat, tinned oily fish and fresh salads. Soups are a great choice to go with your lunch if you have a microwave on site. If you rely on the canteen, choose wisely and always read the food labels.
- Ask your employer to keep healthier snacks in the vending machine such as dried fruits, unsalted nuts, healthier cereal bars. Keep a bag of nuts and seeds and a tin of fruit juice in your bag or drawer to beat the mid-morning and afternoon munchies.
- It is easy to drink many cups of tea or coffee at work, so cut down the sugar in your drink and use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk. Avoid sugar-loaded fizzy drinks and keep hydrated with a glass of water instead.
- Don’t get tempted with cakes, biscuits and sweets, often brought in by colleagues. Why not take the initiative and bring exotic fruits or packs of dried fruits instead. Organise a “Try something different day” like a jungle challenge where colleagues bring in unusual and exotic fruits or international dishes to sample.
- If your work includes business lunches, choose dishes with lean meat and oily or white fish options served with salad or jacket potatoes. Go for low-fat salad dressings and watch your portion size, especially with desserts.
World Heart Day 2014 is about “Heart choices not hard choices” to keep your heart fit and healthy in your work environment. Be aware of heart disease, its risk factors and what you can do to work against this big killer so you live a healthier happier longer life.
For more information and advice about healthy living, contact Heart Research UK on 0113 297 6206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Scoping study for a foresight on new and emerging occupational safety and health (OSH) risks and challenges
This report describes the methodology and findings of a scoping study examining emerging trends and areas of future concern in OSH and their potential for a future large-scale foresight study. A literature review, telephone interviews, online surveys and a consultation of expert opinion were carried out to identify and assess the suitability of these topics for study. Topics were ranked in terms of importance based on factors such as frequency of mention, the scale of the issue, priority given by stakeholders and likelihood of occurrence. Topics identified for further consideration were impact of ICT on OSH, trends in human resources management and the impact of the financial crisis on OSH.
Scoping study for a foresight on new and emerging occupational safety and
health (OSH) risks and challenges
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 11 September 2014, 70 pages
ECHA provides advance notice on substances being considered for risk management
From now on, ECHA’s website gives advance notice on the substances being considered by authorities for regulatory risk management, together with the routes that are being considered. The routes are for example harmonised classification and labelling, authorisation or restriction. The information is useful for many stakeholders, including manufacturers and importers of chemicals, downstream users and civil society.
Pulmonary fibrosis asbestos link found
Many cases of a common lung disease that were assumed to be of no known cause are in fact the result of exposure to asbestos, UK scientists believe. Researchers from Imperial College London found a correlation between death rates in England and Wales from the known asbestos-related conditions asbestosis and mesothelioma and from “idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis” (IPF).
In findings presented to the European Respiratory Society (ERS) international congress in Munich, they warn that at present people with a history of asbestos exposure may be missing out on appropriate care, as they are not currently able to access new treatments for IPF.
According to the researchers, asbestosis is the name given to the lung fibrosis developed by people with a known history of exposure to asbestos; IPF is an identical condition, just without the asbestos association being made. Their analysis of Office of National Statistics data revealed national and regional correlations between the three diseases. This supports the theory that a proportion of IPF cases are due to “unknown” exposure to asbestos. They also identified high rates of IPF deaths in particular regions in the North West and South East of England with a history of shipyard work and potential exposure to asbestos dust.
Lead researcher Dr Carl Reynolds from Imperial College London said: “The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that a proportion of IPF cases are likely to be caused by unknown exposure to asbestos. More research is needed in this area, particularly as patients known to have asbestos exposure are not currently considered to be candidates for new treatments for IPF and this may be inappropriate.”
Hazardous drugs in healthcare
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the US government’s occupational health research agency, has published an updated dangerous drugs listing to accompany its guide to the hazards posed to healthcare workers by the medicines they administer.
The new list is a supplement to its 2004 guide Preventing occupational exposures to antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs in health care settings. In the introduction to the updated drugs list, NIOSH notes: “Hazardous drugs include those used for cancer chemotherapy, antiviral drugs, hormones, some bioengineered drugs, and other miscellaneous drugs.”
It adds: “The actual risk to health care workers depends on what is done with the drugs – how they are manipulated, how often they are handled, and what type of engineering controls and personal protective equipment (PPE) are used.”
ILO Director-General: Labour inspections key to fighting undeclared work
Guy Ryder urges EU member states to ramp up steps to support formalization of the informal economy, spotlighting specific action for tackling undeclared work.
The informal economy absorbs about half of the workforce worldwide and it has not decreased significantly during recent decades, said Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Speaking to EU member states at an international conference on “How to Make Formal Work Attractive“ that took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, Ryder said the labour inspectorate has both an enforcement and preventive role in addressing undeclared work.
We firmly believe that policies to address undeclared work must be balanced, combining incentives and deterrence, said Ryder, outlining such measures as curtailing administrative burdens for businesses, tax credits and reducing social insurance fees—as well as labour inspections.
According to the ILO Director-General, ILO Convention No. 81 on Labour Inspection, ratified by all EU Member States, gives a solid foundation for consolidated action against fraud at the national and regional levels. Social dialogue is also vital in achieving compliance, while tripartism has also proven to be a key avenue for ensuring policy coherence, he added.
During the two-day conference in Vilnius (September 17-18), participants discussed measures to deal with formalizing the informal economy, which in Europe often takes the form of undeclared work. It refers mainly to lawful work that is not declared to the public authorities in order to reduce labour costs and evade taxation.
A high incidence of informality is a challenge not only for decent work but also for inclusive development, said Ryder, adding that it has a negative impact on government revenues and fair competition in national and international markets.
The ILO has been working with the EU to address this issue, for example by creating a platform against undeclared work and by providing a set of recommendations for improving compliance with registration obligations and protecting undeclared workers.
Ryder said the transition to the formal economy was a priority for the ILO, pointing to a standard-setting item which was on the agenda of the International Labour Conference this year. This is crucial and ground-breaking work that will enlarge the ILO’s ability to advance its values and standards by reaching out to the most vulnerable, he said.
During his two-day trip to Vilnius, Ryder met the Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, the Minister of Social Security and Labour Algimanta Pabedinskienė, as well as representatives of the country’s employers’ and workers’ organizations.
Safety and Risks of Engineered Nanomaterial (ENM)
10-12 November 2014, Copenhagen Island Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark
The course on Safety and Risks of Engineered Nanomaterial (ENM) aims to provide the key-issues related to ENM, especially the current knowledge about their health effects and also about the challenges of risk assessment and risk management.
Registration deadline: 8 October 2014
Lean and the Working Environment
18-21 November 2014, Vilvorde Conference Centre, Denmark
The course on Lean and the Working Environment concerns a new concept “lean” with a goal to understand how lean can be used in the development of sustainable production processes. The topics include e.g. business and employee interests in sustainable production processes and lean as well as lean and the working environment and the health of employees.
Registration deadline: 7 October 2014