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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

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News Archive

February 2015

FIM Expo 2015 Goes to Wales

The UK Fire Industry Manufacturers’ (FIM) Expo is heading to Wales this Spring with a one-day stop on Wednesday, 15th April 2015 at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

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

With around 20 exhibitors, FIM Expo is for anyone working in this area, whether as an installer or maintainer of fire detection and alarm systems, a manager of such systems in commercial premises or as an architect or person specifying what type of fire protection systems should be installed in a building.

The event is a road-show that travels around the UK, providing an intimate forum for networking as well as finding out what’s new in fire detection. It is designed to give delegates access to all the key manufacturers in one location on one day.

As well as the exhibitor stands the FIA will be providing two complimentary seminars. First seminar will focus on the BS 5266 Emergency Lighting which aims to give all those involved in the process of design, maintaining, providing and installing of Emergency Lighting systems an overview of the standards and items that must be taken into consideration when dealing with Emergency Lighting systems. The second seminar will focus on Visual Alarm Devices & BS EN 54-23.

FIM Expo is open from 09.00 to 16.00 on Wednesday, 15th April 2015 and is free to attend.

First findings from EU-OSHA second Europe-wide survey of enterprises

A selection of the main findings from ESENER-2, the second edition of EU-OSHA’s flagship European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks, is now available.

Almost 50,000 businesses across Europe were surveyed on aspects of occupational safety and health (OSH), focusing on psychosocial risks and OSH management.

Respondents answered questions on the major risk factors in their enterprises and reported on how and why they manage them, as well as identifying barriers to prevention.

Event: FIREX International

16-18 June 2015 – London, ExCeL

FIREX is the industry’s only event connecting the global security and fire markets, and offers fire and security professionals access to leading global technology, solutions and knowledge to ensure life safety.

New for 2015, the event is moving halls to be alongside IFSEC. That’s right, the “F” is going back into IFSEC! This means that for visitors and exhibitors it will be one seamless event experience.

World Cancer Day: EU-OSHA report investigates identification and prevention of work-related cancer – 4 February 2015

The EU-OSHA report evaluates current assessment methods and highlights gaps in our present knowledge of occupational cancer risk factors and work-related cancer. It also provides recommendations on how we can fill these gaps to help us move closer to preventive measures.

World Cancer Day 2015 held on 4 February 2015 focused on raising awareness of detection, treatment and care. This report is a step towards improving both awareness and knowledge of occupational cancer.

The last drop before the bucket floods – the Netherlands checks its work-related stress

For one of Europe’s smaller countries, the Netherlands is doing big things for the Healthy Workplaces campaign. In a country of almost 17 million people, an estimated one million workers risk suffering from burnout associated with work-related stress. This ends up costing employers up to EUR 2.2 million annually. The ‘Check je werkstress’ (check your work-related stress) campaign aims to combat that by raising awareness about the need for additional measures against work pressure and stress for employees.

The campaign in the Netherlands, which is being implemented in close collaboration with the country’s Ministry for Social Affairs and Employment, has had some significant impact so far, especially in the media. For example, tailored factsheets and media materials were produced that feature country specific facts and figures that make reporting on the campaign easy for the national press. This also included the production of the Dutch Good Practices magazine that contains a revealing infographic as well as personal real life examples about work related-stress from well known public personalities in the Netherlands who are helping to boost awareness by acting as campaign ambassadors.

A big social media push is also helping to get the word out. Following the campaign launch, radio spots and media promotion encouraged people to visit a special Facebook page to share their experiences and direct them to further information on psychosocial risks and work-related stress on the website. A special short questionnaire was made available to help people literally ‘check their work-related stress,’ tying into the slogan of the Dutch campaign.

All of this promotion culminated in the ‘Check your work-related stress week’, which was held during the first week of November 2014. It featured the participation of over 50 companies that organised special actions such as ‘job swaps’ (where people switched roles with someone else for the day), lectures or lifestyle activities designed to make people think about the implications that work-related stress can have. The dedicated week also saw the announcement of the winners of the Dutch edition of the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards.

The week received lots of media attention including mention in all of the country’s top news broadcasts as well as panel discussions on several television talk shows with special guests such as the Dutch Minister for Social Affairs and Employment, Lodewijk Asscher, and former Olympic champion and cyclist, Leontien van Moorsel, who warned about psychosocial risks at work by publicly sharing her personal experience about having suffered a burnout.

“The national focus on the campaign during the ‘check your stress’ week and the media attention it received was even more successful than we had expected,” explained Dr Karen Oude Hengel, Campaign Manager. “It proves that our tailored media approach and social media activities really had a positive effect in getting the word out”.

Jos de Lange, National Focal Point Manager for the Netherlands, summed up by adding that, “we intend to build on the success and awareness the campaign had in 2014 by focusing on raising more awareness around specific topics in 2015, such as harassment, violence and aggression in the workplace.”

Canada’s WHMIS changing to incorporate GHS

Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), Canada’s national hazard communication standard, is changing to incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) – an internationally recognized standard for hazard classification and communication.

On 11 February 2015, the Government of Canada published the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR).

The new WHMIS, called “WHMIS 2015”, is based on the new requirements contained the HPR and HPA, as amended in 2014.

The original WHMIS, which remained virtually unchanged since 1988, is not being replaced but rather updated to align as closely as possible with the United States Hazard Communication Standard (2012).

The Government of Canada expects WHMIS 2015 to help strengthen worker health and safety, facilitate trade with the United States, and enhance the competitiveness of Canadian suppliers of workplace chemicals.

While WHMIS 2015 includes new harmonized criteria for hazard classification and requirements for labels and safety data sheets, the roles and responsibilities for suppliers, employers and workers have not changed. Health Canada and the federal, provincial and territorial occupational health and safety agencies will also retain the same roles and responsibilities established with WHMIS 1988.

A multi-phase transition period provides time to adapt to the regulatory changes. At the outset, manufacturers, importers and distributors of hazardous chemicals can comply with either the original WHMIS 1988 or the newly revised WHMIS 2015, incorporating the GHS.

Health Canada has worked in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) to develop and release helpful resources about WHMIS 2015. By visiting the CCOHS website, you may register and freely view fact sheets and e-courses entitled “WHMIS after GHS: An Introduction”, “WHMIS after GHS: How Suppliers Can Prepare”, and “WHMIS (After GHS) for Workers”. Information may also be found on Health Canada’s website at or at a new, nationally coordinated information portal

UK Regulations to prohibit smoking in cars when children are present finally passed into law

UK Members of Parliament (MPs) on 11 February 2015 have approved regulations that will forbid anyone smoking in a car when children are present. The measure will enter into force on 1 October 2015. This will go a long way towards protecting vulnerable children from the effects of tobacco smoke exposure which can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory disorders. According to the British Lung Foundation around 430,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke in their family car every week. A BLF survey in 2011 found that 86% of children said that they wanted action to be taken to protect them from cigarette smoke when they are in the car.

Prohibiting smoking in cars when children are present has widespread public support from smokers as well as non-smokers.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:

Generations of children have grown up protesting about having to put up with smoking in cars. Finally, their call has been heard and from October this year they will be protected by law. The next step is standardised plain packaging. The Government has committed to making this law, but to do so they need to get a move on and lay the regulations before Parliament without further delay.

Taken together, the regulations on smoking in cars and standardised packaging will help de-normalise smoking and protect children from this deadly addiction.

UK introduces impact assessment on standardised “plain” cigarette packs

The UK Government has published Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) The Introduction of Standardised Packaging for Tobacco HMRC’s Assessment of the Potential Impact on the Illicit Market. HMRC concludes that: “We have seen no evidence to suggest the introduction of standardised packaging will have a significant impact on the overall size of the illicit market or prompt a step-change in the activity of organised crime groups.” The impact assessment goes on to say: “Standardised packaging would not introduce any new risks to the UK illicit market”.

This supports the conclusion reached in the Independent Review conducted by Sir Cyril Chantler and puts to rest tobacco industry claims that standard packaging would cause an explosion in illicit tobacco.

Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at health charity ASH said: “The HMRC report confirms the conclusions of independent reviews of the evidence and pours cold water on tobacco industry arguments that standard packs would increase smuggling.”

Central America: Sugar cane worker disease is occupational

The strenuous working conditions endured by sugar cane workers in Central America is response for an outbreak of deadly kidney failure, a study has found. The Boston University study, which was part-financed by the industry, found a clear connection between the kidney destroying disease and the work these men are doing.

Over the past two decades, more than 20,000 people in western Nicaragua and El Salvador – mostly men and many of them in their 20s and 30s – have died of a mysterious form of kidney failure. “The decline in kidney function during the harvest and the differences by job category and employment duration provide evidence that one or more risk factors of CKD (chronic kidney disease) are occupational,” the study report concluded.

The study followed 500 sugar cane workers at one plantation, El Ingenio San Antonio in Nicaragua. The researchers found that the kidney function of field workers declined over the course of the six-month harvest. Sugar cane cutters and planters saw the sharpest drop. “Finding that one or more risk factors are occupational is important,” said Rebecca Laws of Boston University School of Public Health, lead author of the paper. “Before this, it was still sort of unknown whether the major risk factors were occupational or non-occupational.”

The researchers found that dehydration among workers with the most physically demanding job – cutting cane – could contribute to the illness. The sugar plantation tests workers’ kidney function at the beginning of each year’s harvest. Anyone who’s starting to show kidney failure isn’t hired back. The research, published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health (IJOEH), was part-funded by the Nicaraguan sugar industry, El Comite Nacional de Productores de Azucar, as part of the settlement of a complaint filed by ASOCHIVIDA, a group of some 2,000 former sugar cane workers suffering from kidney failure and their widows.

Event: Human factors application in hazardous installations conference

5-6 October 2015, Aberdeen, UK

This biennial 2-day conference returns in 2015, exploring the practical application of human factors in the management of major accident hazards (MAH) in the energy and allied process industries.

The event will focus on two key themes:

This conference, organised by the Energy Institute (EI)’s Human and Organisational Factors committee and the Stichting Tripod Foundation, will enable the learning and sharing of good practice between companies and industries, and offers excellent networking opportunities with delegates from around the world representing operating companies, suppliers, consultancies, and academia.

Call for abstracts deadline: 30 March 2015

IPAF to focus on machine pre-start inspections at Intermat in Paris – 20-25 April 2015

Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) are one of the safest ways to perform temporary work at height and the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is urging the industry to keep the use of this equipment safe by ensuring that pre-start inspections are done before starting any work. This is the message that IPAF is highlighting at the Intermat construction show from 20 to 25 April 2015 in Paris, France, at stand E5 G005.

In addition to demonstrations showing how to carry out a pre-start inspection, IPAF will feature its latest safety videos which provide visual tours of how to conduct pre-start inspections for scissor lifts (mobile verticals, 3a) and booms (mobile booms, 3b). Each video lasts about 10 minutes and is currently available in English (UK and US), German, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.

The not-for-profit Federation will also promote its range of resources on the subject of inspections, including the popular inspection key tags, which provide a handy reminder of points to cover for pre-start and workplace inspections. All inspection videos and resources can be found at

IPAF will also hold several member meetings during Intermat, including the IPAF Manufacturers’ Technical Committee meeting and Vehicle Mounted Manufacturers’ meeting. Details at

IPAF is a not-for-profit members’ organisation that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide. Members include rental companies, manufacturers, distributors and equipment owners.

International Powered Access Federation, Email: Berlinda Nadarajan, IPAF Information Officer | Tel: +44 (0)15395 66700 | |

Event: Bio Safety Laboratory – BSL-3 Operation & Maintenance Training

The University of California, Irvine is offering the BSL-3 Operations & Maintenance II course again this spring (6-10 April 2015). This very popular course is designed to keep Biosafety Officers, Facilities Management, BSL-3 Laboratory Management, BSL-3 staff and Design & Engineer Professionals up to date on BSL-3 facility operations.

Included again this year is an expanded discussion of the new national standard for BSL-3 verification (ANSI Z9.14) which will be taught by two ANSI Z9.14 committee members. This discussion will include a review of the standard, strategies for laboratory testing, interpretation of results and incorporation of findings into the facility risk assessment.

The week-long course topics also include training for BSL-3 emergency management, design and engineering review, decontamination strategies, preventative maintenance, interactive tours of BSL-3 laboratories and group exercises with participants solving BSL-3 facility design, engineering and operations issues. This course is offered in conjunction with the NIH National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP) twice annually and fills quickly.

The UC, Irvine BSL-3 Training Program offers integrated training courses for all BSL-3-associated personnel groups. Courses have been developed under continuous NIH funding since 2006.

Gary Landucci, Director, BSL3 Training & Development, Manager, Hewitt ABSL3 & Forthal Laboratories, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, 843 Health Sciences Rd., Hewitt Hall 3042, Irvine, CA 92697 USA | ++ 1 8244612 office | |

Event: Implementing and evaluating organizational interventions

27-29 April 2015, Hotel Copenhagen Island, Copenhagen, Denmark

Course leader: Professor Karina Nielsen, University of East Anglia, UK

As intervention research has become increasingly more common during the last decade, the need to learn how to evaluate such studies in a way that increases our knowledge about the how, why and for whom interventions work has increased.

On this course, you will be introduced to process evaluation including relevant frameworks, data collection and analysis. An important part of the course is the knowledge on how such information can be used to successfully plan, develop and implement organizational interventions.

Event: Improving the quality of working life – a challenge for standardisation, testing and certification

14-16 October 2015, Seville, Spain

Under the heading “Improving the quality of working life – A challenge for standardization, testing and certification”, EUROSHNET, the European network for occupational safety and health experts, will be holding the 5th European conference on standardization, testing and certification in the field of occupational safety and health from 14 to 16 October 2015 in Seville, Spain.

The focus of the event will be on the need to create conditions for improving the quality of working life in a rapidly changing world: How can standardization, testing and certification contribute?

Event: Implementing and evaluating organisational interventions

27-29 April 2015, Hotel Copenhagen Island, Copenhagen, Denmark

Course leader: Professor Karina Nielsen, University of East Anglia, UK

As intervention research has become increasingly more common during the last decade, the need to learn how to evaluate such studies in a way that increases our knowledge about the how, why and for whom interventions work has increased.