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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

July 2015

Working time convergence in the European Union is at a stand-still

The gap between collectively agreed working time in the EU15 Member States and the more recent Member States remains large, as does the actual working time and collectively agreed paid annual leave entitlements. Eurofound’s new Developments in collectively agreed working time 2014 report covers several issues related to the length of working time in the European Union and Norway in 2014. It examines average weekly working hours set by collective agreements, both economy-wide and for five specific sectors: chemicals, metalworking, banking, the retail trade and public administration. Banking recorded the shortest average agreed normal working week at 37.6 hours and retail recorded the longest agreed weekly working hours at 38.4 hours.

Collective bargaining plays an important role in determining the duration of working time in most of the 28 Member States of the European Union, though to a lesser or sometimes negligible extent in some of the Member States that have joined the EU more recently. The nature and extent of this role also differs widely across countries, with bargaining at different levels – mainly sectoral and company level – playing more, or less, important roles.

The average collectively agreed weekly working time in the European Union of 38.1 hours did not change between 2013 and 2014. In both years, the working week also remained, on average, 30 minutes shorter than the EU28 average in the EU15 Member States, and more than 90 minutes longer in the more recent Member States.

Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK were the only countries registering changes in 2014. While Slovakia and the UK registered an increase of 0.1 hours per week in 2013, they had a decrease of 0.1 and 0.3 hours, respectively, in 2014. Spain recorded a collectively agreed weekly working time that was 0.5 hours higher in 2014 than in 2013, adding to the increase of 0.3 hours registered between 2013 and 2012. Sweden registered an increase of 0.1 hours in the same period. These changes did not affect the estimate for the EU28, which remains at 38.1 hours in 2014, the same as in the three previous years. France remains the country with the shortest average collectively agreed working week (35.6 hours).

Actual weekly hours worked by full-time employees were longer than the average normal collectively agreed working week in 20 of the 29 countries analysed in this report. Full-time employees in Romania reported the longest actual weekly working hours in their main jobs in 2014: 41 hours, the same as in 2012 and 2013. They were followed by their counterparts in Luxembourg (40.9 hours), the UK (40.9 hours), Portugal (40.4 hours), Germany (40.3 hours) and Poland (40.2 hours). Employees in Finland and France worked the shortest hours (37.3 hours). This was 3.7 hours less or the equivalent to 4.3 weeks a year by their counterparts in Romania.

In the EU28, the actual working week was 39.5 hours in 2014, the same as in 2013; this was about 1 hour and 24 minutes more than the average agreed working hours. In the EU15, the working week was 39.3 hours, about 1 hour and 48 minutes longer than the agreed hours. In the NMS13, the working week was 40.1 hours, about 24 minutes longer than the average agreed working hours. Collectively agreed paid annual leave entitlements stood at 25.1 days across the EU. These were slightly higher in the EU15 countries (26.4 days) and considerably lower in the more recent Member States (21 days).

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite European Union Agency, whose role is to provide knowledge in the area of social and work-related policies. Eurofound was established in 1975 by Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1365/75.

For more information about Eurofound and its work, and free access to all their data and findings, visit their website.

USA Contact Lens Health Week – 24-28 August 2015

USA CDC’s Healthy Contact Lenses Program is pleased to announce exciting new additions to their website in preparation for the second annual Contact Lens Health Week, August 24-28, 2015.

Contact Lens Health Week 2015 has been moved to August to coincide with “back to school” health promotion efforts. The theme for this year’s observance is Healthy Habits Mean Healthy Eyes, and it targets teenage contact lens wearers, their parents, and eye care providers. Messages and materials are also suitable for contact lens wearers of all other ages.

Visit their website for new Contact Lens Health Week 2015 materials:

For more information and resources for promoting healthy contact lens wear and care throughout the year, visit

EPSC Presentations at ACHEMA

Earlier in June 2015, European Process Safety Centre (EPSC) attended the ACHEMA global chemical engineering forum and trade fair, maintaining a stand at the fair to display a physical model of SIL3 overfill protection and to distribute their freely available guidance, position papers, and reports.

This was the first time that EPSC had exhibited at the show – a good opportunity to meet familiar faces from the process safety community in Europe, and to introduce EPSC’s activities to interested visitors.

EPSC staff and member representatives were given an opportunity to present at the forum, and attendees were shown the systems and methods used at Total to control corrosion under insulation, as presented by Paul de Bruyn, and a detailed overview of the process safety management system at BASF, as given by Dr. Hans Schwarz.

These presentations, and an introduction to EPSC are available.

Promoting Process Safety in the Middle East – Health and Safety Forum

A new safety event taking place in the United Arab Emirates intends to promote world-class best practice in health and safety, integrating modern HSE management into businesses and business culture in the region.

European Process Safety Centre (EPSC) has become a strategic partner of the Health and Safety Forum event, recognising the opportunity to promote process safety excellence in many industry sectors, including oil and gas, and transport and storage of hazardous materials.

The Middle East Health & Safety Forum will bring together all stakeholders from governments, regulators, industry leaders and solution providers to create a platform for knowledge sharing, best practice discussions and solution finding. It will include a mix of presentations, panel discussions, networking and twelve targeted workshops.

For full information see the event listing below, or the event website.

Process Safety Education Feature – University of Aberdeen Process Safety MSc

The University of Aberdeen now offers a one year academic course with a central component of managing risk in process industries, both from a technical and operational perspective. The course is aimed at the oil and gas sectors, but teaches concepts applicable to any process industry, including process design, risk identification and management, fluid dynamics, consequence modelling for loss of containment, and human factors engineering.

The course is open to students graduating with a relevant engineering degree.

Further information can be found at the course web page:


The tenth European Congress of Chemical Engineering is to be held on 27/09/2015 - 01/10/2015 in Nice, France. Held alongside it will be the partner events for the congress, ECAB3 and EPIC5, the European Congress of Applied Biotechnology, and the European Process Intensification Conference. The four days of the congress will see presentations and exhibitions on a vast array of industrial chemistry topics.

Invited as keynote speaker, European Process Safety Centre (EPSC) Operations Manager Lee Allford will be attending to speak on the auditing of process safety. The presentation is to be based on EPSC work, which includes a member survey of practices in auditing, the results of which was used to produce an updated best practice guidance report. The highlight of this work is to see how auditing is applied among modern European industry, and how lessons learned from high impact accidents have driven strengthening of process safety audit programs.

For complete information, including programme and registration options, see the event website here:

Hundreds of gongs handed out at RoSPA Awards

Over 2,000 people will descend on Birmingham next week to celebrate the biggest event in the health and safety awards calendar – the RoSPA Awards.

Dating back 59 years, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Occupational Health and Safety Awards scheme is the largest and longest-running programme of its kind in the UK, and one of the most prestigious in the world in any discipline.

Hundreds of organisations from across the globe will be represented at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, UK on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 14 and 15 2015.

Hundreds more have already been handed out to those striving to make their workplaces the safest in the world, in a ceremony which took place at London’s ExCeL on June 16, while there will be a further ceremony on September 17 at the Hilton, Glasgow, Scotland – such is the size of the scheme.

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA’s chief executive, said: “The RoSPA Awards are a key fixture in the health and safety calendar and showcase organisations’ ongoing commitment to maintaining a glowing health and safety record and culture.

“Our awards encourage the raising of accident and ill health prevention standards across the board and those who have gained recognition for their achievements, particularly during tough economic conditions, raise the bar for other organisations to follow, inspiring them to do likewise.”

The RoSPA Awards programme recognises commitment to accident and ill health prevention and is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas. It looks at entrants’ overarching health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

RoSPA awards mark achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels. Organisations maintaining high standards can win gold medals, president’s awards and orders of distinction. Presentations are also made for more than 20 sector-specific awards, which recognise excellence in specialist areas such as the management of occupational road risk (MORR).

RoSPA will also be honouring its Guardian Angels – individuals who go above and beyond to improve the safety of others.

Headline sponsor for the awards will be NEBOSH – the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health.

See for more information about the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards.

Hazardex 2016 International Conference – call for papers

There is a call for papers, inviting all to contribute to the Hazardex 2016 International Conference which will be taking place in Runcorn, Cheshire, UK, on 24th & 25th February, 2016.

Anyone with technical knowledge of experience in one of the conference themes is invited to submit a paper proposal for consideration by the content committee. The deadline for submissions is the 2nd October 2015.