Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

September 2015

Contents
  1. Mental health in the world of work: Report from BAuA
  2. ILO welcomes G20 priority of boosting growth, jobs and reducing inequalities
  3. A coffee in the evening turns the body clock back by around an hour
  4. New insight into the cost of cancer for employers
  5. Event: International Conference on Global Emergency Preparedness and Response
  6. Event: Chemical Safety Board to convene on 30 September 2015 public meeting in Houston to vote on investigators’ findings on fatal accident at DuPont La Porte facility
  7. Scottish lecturers get new stress busting tool
  8. Travelling for work ‘is work’, European court rules
  9. Poland’s CIOP Innovative polymer materials for respiratory protection against new risks
  10. International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Backs UN Migrant Call
  11. UK and USA Researchers develop novel test which can tell how well a person is ageing
  12. CSB to Hold Interim Public Meeting in Houston, Texas, September 30, 2015
  13. 15 per cent increase in people working more than 48 hours a week risks a return to ‘Burnout Britain’, warns TUC
  14. Mental health in the world of work: Report from BAuA
  15. European Commission publication of Risk Assessment
  16. Ministry of Manpower Singapore and Great Britain’s Health and Safety Executive sign agreement on closer ties and shared learning
  17. Ergonomics 5 day course
  18. Event: FIG UK Seminar – Fake chargers and other fake goods that are fire hazards
  19. UK TUC expresses concern over new bullying research
  20. Rethinking Public Health Workforce
  21. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Releases TSCA Assessment Documents for Flame Retardant Chemicals
  22. Event: NIVA course on the Economics of OHS
  23. Event: Age Management – Life Course Approach calls for Diversity Management: 8th International Conference
  24. Events: HSL Training Courses in London
  25. Nearly all contact lens wearers in US survey report risky eye care behaviours that can lead to eye infections
  26. China: Disasters take a huge toll on workers
  27. Philippines: Rescued fishers launch ‘worker safe’ boats
  28. UK Independent watchdog slams government trade union proposals as “not fit for purpose”
  29. UK Fork Lift Truck Association Safety Month Safetember: see danger, speak up!
  30. HSE Biocides News
  31. Government agrees high level principles for stewardship regime for rodenticides
  32. Engineering Institute (EI) Model code of safe practice Part 15: Area classification for installations handling flammable fluids (commonly known as EI 15)
  33. Events: October 2015 Training Courses at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Buxton, Derbyshire, UK
  34. New Publication: Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Safety Alert Bulletin FOD 2-2015, 21 July 2015
  35. Event: Noise and Vibration Measurement, Assessment and Mitigation in the workplace – what is similar what is different?

Mental health in the world of work: Report from BAuA

Early retirement as well as incapability to work caused by mental-health problems are increasing. It could not be ruled out that characteristics of the working environment have an influence on this development. However, a sound mental health is of importance for permanent and successful participation in the labour market. It will be an essential challenge for socio-political actions to design humane work in such a way that mental impairment is avoided and mental health is promoted.

Accordingly, BAuA currently conducts the project “Mental Health in the Working World” which was started in 2014 with a term of three years. The project aims at a broad and scientifically well-grounded description of the current state of research in the field of mental health in the working environment. In doing so, not only potential hazards but also health-promoting features will be considered in accordance with the overall concept of humane work design.

The project consists of three phases. The initial phase is almost finished; more than 20 working condition factors have been examined using the method of “Scoping Reviews”. With its broad approach, this method is ideally suited to summarize existing research results and to identify current research gaps. In the second phase, which will start in late 2015, symposia will take place for a discussion and consolidation of the project results with well known scientists.

In the third and final phase, BAuA will discuss the obtained results with occupational safety and health specialists and with representatives of the social partners in order to identify implementation options in the occupational safety and health arena.

For more information please contact: Jutta Friederizi Friederizi.Jutta@baua.bund.de

ILO welcomes G20 priority of boosting growth, jobs and reducing inequalities

The ILO Director-General highlighted ministers’ agreement to undertake a mix of policies using “wage-setting mechanisms, institutions for social dialogue, social protection systems, employment services and active labour market policies.”

“G20 labour and employment ministers’ strong commitment to tackling inequalities as well as creating better jobs, more inclusive societies and stronger economic growth is significant and timely,” said International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder at the close of the G20 meeting in Ankara.

Ministers identified the long-term trend of rising inequalities in many G20 economies as having a negative impact on current and potential growth and being inconsistent with G20 leaders’ goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth. They also recognized that this trend has often been associated with slow wage growth when compared to productivity gains and a decline or stagnation in the labour income share in some of the G20 countries.

G20 labour and employment ministers adopted a communiqué Creating quality jobs for all, investing in skills and reducing inequalities to promote inclusive and robust growth.

More information: www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/how-the-ilo-works/multilateral-system/WCMS_398830/lang--en/index.htm

A coffee in the evening turns the body clock back by around an hour

Researchers have found that drinking the equivalent of a double espresso three hours before going to sleep can turn back our body clock by around an hour, a finding that could have important implications for a range of sleep conditions.

Researchers from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the University of Colorado have, for the first time, shown that caffeine directly affects the body clock by delaying a rise in the level of the hormone melatonin, the main sleep hormone released by the body to make us feel sleepy.

To discover the effect caffeine has on the body clock, the US scientists from the University of Colorado studied five people to see when melatonin starts to appear in saliva. Each person lived in the lab for 49 days without a clock or any knowledge of external light to tell them if it was night or day.

They were then given caffeine, the equivalent of a double espresso, or a placebo three hours before they went to sleep and were exposed to dim or bright light (the bright light acted as a control as it also delays the human circadian clock) to find out when the surge in melatonin occurred.

In those who were given the caffeine, their melatonin levels rose around 40 minutes later than those given the placebo.

To understand the mechanisms underpinning this change, the UK based researchers at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology added caffeine to human cells in the lab and found that it also delayed their built-in circadian rhythm. They found that caffeine affects adenosine receptors which are found in all cells, and by reducing the levels of this protein on the cell surface it minimised the delay that caffeine would normally produce.

Dr John O’Neill, joint lead researcher at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, said: “The effect of caffeine on sleep and wakefulness has been long established, but its impact on the underlying body clock has remained unknown. These findings could have important implications for people with circadian sleep disorders, where their normal 24 hour body clock doesn’t work properly, or even help with getting over jet lag.

“Our findings also provide a more complete explanation for why it’s harder for some people to sleep if they’ve had a coffee in the evening – because their internal clockwork thinks that they’re an hour further west. By understanding the effect caffeinated drinks have on our body clock, right down to the level of individual cells, gives greater insight into how we can influence our natural 24 hour cycle – for better or for worse.”

The body clock, or circadian rhythm, operates in every single cell in the body, turning genes on and off at different times of the day to allow us to adapt to the external cycle of night and day. Disruption of this, from shift work or regular jet lag, can increase the risk of various cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

The study was funded by the MRC and the Wellcome Trust and is published in Science Translational Medicine.

New insight into the cost of cancer for employers

Being given a cancer diagnosis is devastating, however an early detection of cancer can make all the difference when it comes to employees and employers.

A new web tool has been developed which will allow an organisation to assess the financial savings of introducing company-paid early detection of cancer.

The free Cancer Impact Calculator follows claims by Cancer Research UK that nearly half the UK population are expected to suffer from the disease at some point in their lives. Over 100,000 UK employees are diagnosed with cancer every year and these numbers are on the rise.

The calculator – developed by Check4Cancer with Health At Work Wellness Actuaries (HAW) – is based on current data on the risk of cancer among people of working age in the UK.

Taking information on the levels of undiagnosed cases across different cancer types, this actuary model draws on insights from cancer specialists into the stages of tumour growth and post-diagnosis treatments.

It also takes into account the costs involved, likely levels of workplace absence, longer-term treatment and survival rates.

Average figures are used on normal absence rates, presenteeism costs, average death and private medical benefit costs and typical turnover rates.

Based on these data inputs, the model projects future outcomes for everyone tested over a 10-year period, comparing the tested individual to someone that has not been tested. This provides the basis for clearer decision-making on approaches to mitigating the impacts of rising numbers of cancer cases in the working population.

Case study

Accountancy and advisory firm BDO trialled the Cancer Impact Calculator and found an estimated saving of £1.66 for every £1.00 invested in cancer checks.

Debbie Thomson, head of operations said: “The health and wellbeing of our people is vitally important to us. Cancer is a horrific disease which affects so many people which is why we decided to bring in early detection cancer screening.

“Screening provides our people with significant preventative health benefits as well as peace of mind and the calculator proves the commercial value of introducing this benefit. This benefit will be introduced for our people in January 2016 and forms part of our developing wellbeing agenda.”

Early detection

Professor Gordon Wishart, Professor of Cancer Surgery at Anglian Ruskin University and Medical Director at Check4Cancer, said: “Early detection is critical for both cancer survival and limiting the need for, and extent of, treatment.

“The Cancer Impact Calculator enables organisations to get a straightforward indication of what that means in financial terms, and how they and their staff can benefit from an investment in cancer detection.

The web tool is backed up by a more tailored service, using detail from organisations on total headcount, gender, age, population with private medical cover, as well as their specific circumstances in terms of absence, death and medical benefit costs (as a multiple of pay), staff turnover and most appropriate types of screening.

Based in Cambridge, UK with close links to Cambridge University Hospitals and its pioneering medical community, Check4Cancer has become the leading provider of awareness resources and early detection services for the most widespread cancers to employers across the UK either in their workplace or in one of its clinics. The service has helped close to 25,000 employees to understand their personal risk, and identified more than 100 cancers that may otherwise have gone undetected.

The Cancer Impact Calculator is being made available by Check4Cancer.

Event: International Conference on Global Emergency Preparedness and Response

Vienna, Austria, 19-23 October 2015, Conference ID: 45986 (CN-213)

This conference is being organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in cooperation with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the European Commission (EC), the European Police Office (Europol), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), INTERPOL, the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development (OECD NEA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and to provide an opportunity to exchange information and share experiences in EPR, discuss challenges, and identify key priorities in further improving readiness for nuclear and radiological incidents and emergencies.

Objectives

The conference will provide a forum for networking and exchange of information and experiences, and will promote effective preparedness as a key to efficient response. In particular, it will bring together officials responsible for EPR, experts in nuclear safety and nuclear security, emergency responders as well as relevant stakeholders in order to achieve the following:

It will also provide opportunities to refresh and update knowledge in specific areas of EPR, discuss challenges and priorities in EPR in round table discussions and to visit the IAEA’s IEC.

Further details: www-pub.iaea.org/iaeameetings/45986/International-Conference-on-Global-Emergency-Preparedness-and-Response

Event: Chemical Safety Board to convene on 30 September 2015 public meeting in Houston to vote on investigators’ findings on fatal accident at DuPont La Porte facility

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) will convene a public meeting on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, in Houston, Texas, at The Hilton Americas – Houston Hotel from 6 to 9 p.m. CDT to hear and vote on investigators’ findings and safety recommendations from the November 2014 chemical release at the DuPont La Porte facility that killed four workers.

Three other DuPont workers were injured in the industrial accident when 24,000 lbs. of methyl mercaptan, a highly toxic chemical used to make insecticide, filled an enclosed building where crews had been trying to clear clogged pipeline.

At the meeting, the Board will release the investigators’ analysis of what went wrong and vote during the meeting on a broad set of safety recommendations to protect workers and the public from a recurrence of such an accident.

At an earlier public hearing in July 2015, investigators expressed concern about the safety processes DuPont had in place for all its plants. They noted that this was the third fatal accident at a DuPont facility and that during this investigation smaller releases of toxic chemicals took place at La Porte and other DuPont sites. DuPont is one of the largest and oldest chemical companies in the world.

Vanessa Allen Sutherland, the new CSB chairperson, said, “The CSB team investigating this tragic accident has produced comprehensive safety recommendations that the Board will take up in Houston. We will push for changes to safeguard both those who work with these chemicals and those who live in nearby communities, not just in La Porte but at sites across the country. I am encouraged that my fellow Board Members have immersed themselves in the report so that we may have a productive meeting.”

Three hundred workers were employed at the site, where the production of the insecticide Lannate has been shut down since the accident. Crews had been trying for several days to restart production in an enclosed and unventilated building where two rooftop fans were not working. Toxic vapors that escaped through open valves killed two workers and two more who tried to come to their rescue.

After DuPont received a staff draft of the proposed safety recommendations in June 2015, the company agreed to hold off plans to restart the La Porte facility in August 2015.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required, but to assure adequate seating attendees are strongly encouraged to pre-register by emailing their names and affiliations to meeting@csb.gov.

The meeting will also be webcast live and without charge. Details about the webcast will be available at www.csb.gov closer to the time of the meeting.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

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

For more information, please contact Public Affairs Specialist Shauna Lawhorne at public@csb.gov or by telephone: (202) 384-2839.

Scottish lecturers get new stress busting tool

A Scottish union has launched a new toolkit to help university lecturers combat work-related stress. The University Lecturers’ Association (ULA), part of the union EIS, is distributing the kit to members and university human resources departments. The union says the kit was produced in response to “some worrying issues” identified in its health and wellbeing survey. This found that 93 per cent of EIS-ULA members reported experiencing some level of work-related stress and 33 per cent of lecturers stated that they felt stressed all the time.

The union says lecturers are increasingly working during evenings, weekends and holiday periods. The toolkit sets out employers’ responsibilities in protecting their employees from workplace stress along with advice on how members can identify potential hazards which may be causing stress and highlights strategies which can be implemented to address problems.

EIS-ULA president, Dr Vaughan Ellis, said: “This toolkit is a valuable resource which will allow university lecturers to be more aware of potential hazards and how best to manage their workload to ensure they have a healthy work-life balance.” He added: “Reducing workplace stress will not only improve members’ health and wellbeing, but will also help foster a sound environment for learning and teaching, which is in the best interests of staff and students alike.”

EIS news release

Travelling for work ‘is work’, European court rules

The TUC has welcomed a ruling by the European Court of Justice on working time and a worker’s travel between their home and a client. The ruling affects workers with no ‘fixed or habitual’ place of work. It requires a worker’s travel time between home and their first and last customer appointments in a working day to be considered in relation to the 48 hour maximum working week introduced under the Working Time Directive. The ruling does not affect people’s daily commute to their normal place of work.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Many bosses are already fair-minded about travel time for journeys to customers. But this sensible ruling will prevent unscrupulous employers opening up a loophole to force some staff to work upwards of 60 hours a week.” UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This case rightly demonstrates that mobile workers must be paid for all their working time. This judgment is bound to have a significant impact in the UK, particularly on home care workers.”

Veronica Nilsson of the Europe-wide union federation ETUC said: “The European Court of Justice have dealt a blow against the exploitation of workers. This is good news for many home care workers, repair and maintenance staff and other mobile workers.” The case was brought by a Spanish trade union on behalf of workers at Tyco, a fire and security equipment company. UK business lobby groups expressed dismay at the ruling.

https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/risks-2015/tuc-risks-720-19-september-2015f#_Toc430253199

Poland’s CIOP Innovative polymer materials for respiratory protection against new risks

Nanoscale engineering is one of the most rapidly growing areas of research in material science. Advantages associated with the use of nanomaterials base on the fact that they have a number of specific properties that are essential for a practical use. Currently the most common nanomaterials used for industrial purposes are nanopowders with a particle size less than 100 nm. Their inclusion into the structure of various materials results in significant change of their mechanical, optical, hygienic, physical and chemical properties. Unfortunately, epidemiological studies on the harmful effects of nanoparticles on the human body indicate that there is a need for effective protective equipment that could be used for their safe handling and disposal. Special attention should be paid to the problem of nanoparticles’ filtration efficiency of respiratory protective devices. The basic filters used in such devices are made of filtering nonwovens that usually do not provide a sufficient respiratory protection against nanoaerosols. Therefore, it is crucial to develop innovative polymeric materials that could be used for the construction of respirators protecting against airborne nanoparticles.

The research on this subject was recently conducted within the POIG.01.01.02-10-08/09 project entitled: “Innovative polymeric material and carbon-protecting nanoparticles, vapors and gases”.

A new method to improve filtration efficiency of nanoparticles of the nonwoven fabric was developed. It was achieved by adding modifiers to the molten polymer (polypropylene or polycarbonate) during the production of nonwoven in the melt-blowing process. Developed modified filtering materials have been used in the construction of reusable filtering half-masks.

As a result of the project, two new designs of fiber-forming head, and two new methods for modification of the filtering nonwoven materials have been developed and filed as patent applications to the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland.

Acknowledgements: This publication draws on the results obtained as part of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy (OP IE) 2007–2013, Priority 1: “Research and development of modern technologies,” Measure 1.1 “Support for scientific research for the development of a knowledge-based economy,” Submeasure 1.1.2 “Strategic programmes of scientific research and development”; as well as on the OP IE Project 01.01.02-10-018/09 entitled: “Innovative polymer and carbon materials for protection of the respiratory system against nanoparticles, vapours and gases.”

More information: Agnieszka Brochocka Ph.D. (Eng.) | agbro@ciop.lodz.pl

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Backs UN Migrant Call

The ITUC has backed a UN call for Europe to accept, initially, up to 200,000 migrants and for European countries to work together to handle the massive inflow of people from the Middle East and Mediterranean. UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has called for a common strategy, based on responsibility, solidarity and trust.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, “This is not only a crisis for Europe; it is a global crisis. With some two million refugees already in Turkey, the world is faced with the biggest migration movement in 70 years, as people flee armed conflict and abject poverty. Until the basic reasons that people are forced to flee their homelands are resolved, the migratory pressure will continue to grow. Ordinary people, as individuals and through their unions, community and faith groups and sports clubs are showing the way to politicians – solidarity and compassion must be the guiding principles in this as in any other humanitarian crisis.”

Speaking for the European Trade Union Confederation, the ETUC, General Secretary Bernadette Ségol said, “Europe must share the burden equitably, and recognise that simply closing borders is not only wrong, but will not stem the flow. Ultimately, the answers lie beyond Europe’s borders, and we call on European leaders, and the international community, to work together to tackle the root causes of this unprecedented flow of people.”

“It is encouraging that several European countries are showing their preparedness to accept substantial numbers of people fleeing persecution and war. Others need to follow their example, and ensure that the new arrivals are able to integrate fully in their new countries, including with the right to decent jobs,” Burrow said. “The failure of the Gulf States, which are the world’s richest and are deeply engaged in conflicts in the Middle East, to accept a fair share of refugees, is simply deplorable.”

The ITUC is calling for the G20 leaders to take responsibility for global solutions at their November Summit. “Equally, global leaders need to work together to end the conflicts, particularly in Iraq and Syria, which are driving the migration crisis,” added Burrow.

The ITUC represents 176 million workers in 162 countries and territories and has 328 national affiliates.

Follow us on the web: www.ituc-csi.org

UK and USA Researchers develop novel test which can tell how well a person is ageing

A new molecular test, which can indicate how well a person is ageing, could transform the way ageing is approached in medical research by assessing a person’s ‘biological age’ rather than the number of years they have lived.

The findings, published today in Genome Biology, could help improve management of age-related disease by identifying people most at risk of diseases affected by age, as well as improve the way anti-ageing treatments are evaluated.

The seven-year collaborative study at King’s College London, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Duke University in the USA, used a process called RNA-profiling to measure and compare gene expression in thousands of human tissue samples. Rather than looking for genes associated with disease or extreme longevity, the MRC-funded researchers discovered that the ‘activation’ of 150 genes in the blood, brain and muscle tissue were a hallmark of good health at 65 years of age. The researchers were then able to create a reproducible formula for ‘healthy ageing’, and use this to tell how well a person is ageing when compared to others born the same year.

The researchers found an extensive range in ‘biological age’ scores of people born at the same time indicating that a person’s biological age is separate and distinct to his or her chronological age.

Importantly, a low score was found to correlate with cognitive decline, implying that the molecular test could translate into a simple blood test to predict those most at risk of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias and suitable for taking part in prevention trials.

A person’s score was not, however, found to correlate with common lifestyle-associated conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, and is therefore likely to represent a unique rate of ageing largely independent of a person’s lifestyle choices.

The researchers say their findings provide the first practical and accurate test for the rate at which individual bodies are ageing. If this is the case, it could lead to numerous insights in research because ‘age’ is a critical factor in almost every area of medicine.

At the same time, the molecular test could enable more suitable donor matching for older organ transplants and could also provide a more efficient way of determining if an animal model of ageing is suitable to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-ageing treatments.

However, the study does not provide insight into how to improve a person’s score and thus alter their ‘biological age’. While a low score could be considered as ‘accelerated ageing’, an important aspect of the work suggests that ageing does not now need to be defined only by the appearance of disease.

Lead author of the study, Professor James Timmons at the Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at King’s College London, said: “Given the biological complexity of the ageing process, until now there has been no reliable way to measure how well a person is ageing compared with their peers. Physical capacity such as strength or onset of disease is often used to assess ‘healthy ageing’ in the elderly but in contrast, we can now measure ageing before symptoms of decline or illness occur.

“We now need to find out more about why these vast differences in ageing occur, with the hope that the test could be used to reduce the risk of developing diseases associated with age.”

Dr Neha Issar-Brown, programme manager for population health sciences at the MRC added: “Whilst it is natural for our bodies and brains to slow down as we age, premature ageing and the more severe loss of physical and cognitive function can have devastating consequences for the individual and their families, as well as impact more widely upon society and the economy. This new test holds great potential as with further research, it may help improve the development and evaluation of treatments that prolong good health in older age.”

This research was funded by the MRC, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (EU/EFPIA), the Wallenberg Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

The paper, entitled A novel multi-tissue RNA diagnostic of healthy ageing relates to cognitive health status by Timmons et al, will be published in Genome Biology.

CSB to Hold Interim Public Meeting in Houston, Texas, September 30, 2015

Board will Consider Recommendations Stemming from Fatal Accident at DuPont La Porte Facility

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced that it will convene an interim public meeting on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, in Houston, Texas, where the CSB’s board members will consider safety recommendations resulting from a November 15, 2014, fatal chemical release at the DuPont La Porte facility.

The accident at DuPont’s La Porte facility, located east of Houston, killed four workers and injured three others when methyl mercaptan, a toxic chemical used in the company’s insecticide manufacturing process, was released.

CSB Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland said, “The CSB team investigating this tragic accident has produced safety recommendations that the Board will consider during our public meeting in Houston. This will be my first public meeting since commencing my tenure as chairperson in August. The Board anticipates communicating results of our investigation and our recommendations to the family and friends of the victims, members of the community, and of course to DuPont. I want the community to know the Board is committed to keeping the investigation on schedule with the goal of preventing a similar accident from occurring at the DuPont facility and at other sites across the country.”

The CSB’s investigation into the November 15th accident is still ongoing, the September 30th interim meeting will include a vote on proposed safety recommendations related to the start-up of the unit where the four fatalities occurred.

At the meeting, CSB investigators will present their findings and proposed recommendations. The presentation will include an animation depicting the events that led to the tragedy.

The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. at a downtown Houston Hotel, to be decided. The meeting is free, open to the public and will include a comment period prior to the Board’s vote. The meeting is expected to conclude at approximately 9:00 p.m.

Pre-registration is not required, but to assure adequate seating attendees are strongly encouraged to email their names and affiliations to meeting@csb.gov.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

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

For more information, please contact Public Affairs Specialist Shauna Lawhorne at public@csb.gov.

15 per cent increase in people working more than 48 hours a week risks a return to ‘Burnout Britain’, warns TUC

The number of people working excessive hours has risen by 15 per cent since 2010, according to a new TUC analysis published 9 September 2015.

The number of employees working more than 48 hours per week has now reached 3,417,000 – up by 453,000 since 2010 – following more than a decade of decline in long hours working.

Regularly working more than 48 hours per week is linked to a significantly increased risk of developing heart disease, stress, mental illness, strokes and diabetes. Illnesses caused by excessive working time put extra strain on the health service and the benefits system, as well as impacting on co-workers, friends and relatives. Many people are working unpaid overtime and at least a million report that they want to cut their excessive hours.

All areas of the UK have seen an increase in the number of long-hours workers. Yorkshire and the Humber has seen by far the biggest increase with 30 per cent (279,000) more employees working over 48 hours a week in 2015 than they were in 2010.

Workers in Wales (22 per cent increase) and London (21 per cent increase) have seen the next biggest increases in long hours working, followed by the East Midlands (18 per cent increase) and the North West (17 per cent increase).

Those working long hours are still disproportionately men (2,544,000 men compared to 873,000 women in 2015) but the number of women working 48 hour plus weeks has increased by 18 per cent since 2010, compared to a 15 per cent increase in the number of men.

The growth in long hours has impacted differently on various industries. The biggest increases have been in mining and quarrying (64 per cent), agriculture, fishing and forestry (43 per cent), accommodation and food services (36 per cent), health and social work (32 per cent) and education (31 per cent).

The TUC says that the government should reassess its negative view of the EU Working Time Directive, which has been brought into UK law and stipulates a 48 hour working week. Many long hours employees report that they feel pressured to ‘opt-out’ from the 48 hour limit as a condition of employment (individual opt-outs are currently allowed by law). The ‘opt-out’ should be phased out over a few years.

Despite a growing workforce, the existing working time rules have helped to reduce long hours from 3.9 million (17 per cent) in Spring 1998 to 3.3 million (13 per cent) in 2007 and 3.0 million (12 per cent) in 2010. But the number has since increased and is back to 3.4 million (13 per cent). There is now a strong sense that the existing rules are too weak to beat the long-hours culture, leaving too many people stuck in ‘Burnout Britain’.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Britain’s long hours culture is hitting productivity and putting workers’ health at risk. Working more than 48 hours a week massively increases the risk of strokes, heart disease and diabetes.

“We need stronger rules around excessive working, not an opt-out of the Working Time Directive. David Cameron will not convince people to vote yes in the EU referendum if all he’s offering is ‘Burnout Britain’.”

Mental health in the world of work: Report from BAuA

Early retirement as well as incapability to work caused by mental-health problems are increasing. It could not be ruled out that characteristics of the working environment have an influence on this development. However, a sound mental health is of importance for permanent and successful participation in the labour market. It will be an essential challenge for socio-political actions to design humane work in such a way that mental impairment is avoided and mental health is promoted.

Accordingly, BAuA currently conducts the project “Mental Health in the Working World” which was started in 2014 with a term of three years. The project aims at a broad and scientifically well-grounded description of the current state of research in the field of mental health in the working environment. In doing so, not only potential hazards but also health-promoting features will be considered in accordance with the overall concept of humane work design.

The project consists of three phases. The initial phase is almost finished; more than 20 working condition factors have been examined using the method of “Scoping Reviews”. With its broad approach, this method is ideally suited to summarize existing research results and to identify current research gaps. In the second phase, which will start in late 2015, symposia will take place for a discussion and consolidation of the project results with well known scientists.

In the third and final phase, BAuA will discuss the obtained results with occupational safety and health specialists and with representatives of the social partners in order to identify implementation options in the occupational safety and health arena.

For more information please contact: Jutta Friederizi | Friederizi.Jutta@baua.bund.de

European Commission publication of Risk Assessment

The Official Journal of the European Commission carries the new document ‘Risk Management Capability Assessment Guidelines’.

For the full text see Official Journal of the European Commission, 2015, C261, pages 5–24

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2015.261.01.0005.01.ENG

Ministry of Manpower Singapore and Great Britain’s Health and Safety Executive sign agreement on closer ties and shared learning

HSE’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Richard Judge, met with Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Singapore’s Permanent Secretary, Loh Khum Yean, to commit to working together to drive world-class innovation, science and specialist expertise around health and safety in both countries.

A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been agreed, marking a commitment between the two organisations in a partnership to share knowledge, experience and facilities in pursuit of excellence in work-related health and safety and to support economic growth in both countries. The agreement provides a framework for the UK and Singapore to share scientific and regulatory knowledge, experience and good practice and develop joint initiatives to promote excellence.

President Tan of Singapore visited the UK in October 2014, where he acknowledged the economic advantages for both nations in building strong relationships, particularly in cutting edge research, science and technology.

Permanent Secretary Loh Khum Yean said: “This marks the beginning of a long-term partnership in which Singapore and the UK can learn from each other and build world-class knowledge through joint research programmes.”

MOM works closely with the Workplace Safety and Health Council and the Workplace Safety and Health Institute to improve WSH standards in Singapore.

Dr Richard Judge said: “Between our two countries, we have a wealth of valuable research, technology and science underpinning our regulatory systems. By working together, we can combine our world-class knowledge and learning and ensure both countries can take the lead in developing sustainable, healthy and safe working environments, as our economies evolve and new technologies develop.”

Ergonomics 5 day course

28 September – 2 October 2015, Buxton, UK

Every year, 35 million days are lost to British industry as a result of accidents and ill health caused by work activities. A large number of these accidents are due to a lack of thought and planning concerning the use of our everyday systems.

The course provides the ergonomics theory and techniques used to maximize the design of the tools, tasks and workplaces for improved comfort, safety and performance of the workforce. The techniques cover both the physical and psychosocial aspects of a workplace design, following relevant HSE guidance and approaches to assess and reduce risks.

What will the course cover?

Who should attend?

The course is suited to all who have an interest in workplace ergonomics and wish to understand more about possible interventions that could be made to assess and improve worker comfort, safety and performance. No previous ergonomics or MSD experience is required.

www.hsl.gov.uk/health-and-safety-training-courses/ergonomics

Event: FIG UK Seminar – Fake chargers and other fake goods that are fire hazards

Thursday, 17 September 2015, 3.30 pm, Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London WC1B 5BB

Fire Information Group UK (FIG UK) Mind the Gap Update 2015 Seminar on fake chargers and other fake goods that are fire hazards talk is being given by Andrew Vaughan-Davies, London Fire Brigade Investigation Team and is being held on Thursday, 17 September 2015 starting at 3.30 pm in the Imperial Hotel Senate Room, Russell Square, London WC1B 5BB.

At the end of the talk there will be a question and answer session and discussion before delegates partake of a networking drinks / nibbles event which will be available in the Imperial Hotel’s Bar Barella area on the first floor of the Imperial Hotel. This event is included in the cost of the ticket.

CPD certificates will be available on the day.

Cost per delegate is £25.00 which must be paid for by 31 August 2015. FIG UK members and IFE members are offered delegate rate of £20.00. Hurry to book your place… bookings coming….

Booking

If you are attending please book your place as early as possible by telephoning Sheila Pantry on 01909 771024 or by sending an email to sp@sheilapantry.com

An invoice will be sent to you for payment – all bookings must be paid for by 31 August 2015.

More details

Watch Manager Andy Vaughan-Davies has worked for the London Fire Brigade for 28 years and has been a full time member of the fire investigation team for 18 years.

Andy’s duties include identifying patterns and trends, while progressing fire investigations, particularly in regard to white goods and electrical appliance fires. As a result of these investigations, in-depth research has been carried out into several key areas including fires involving refrigeration insulation, capacitor failures leading to ignition and of course the hazards surrounding counterfeit chargers.

These detailed investigations involve liaising with manufacturers and the appropriate Trading Standards Authority. Investigations are also carried out in conjunction with the Brigade’s Scientific Advisors and feed into the community safety and prevention work the Brigade conducts, in order to help protect the people of London.

Andy holds a strong belief that to contribute to the prevention of fires and public safety, the fire investigation sector has a crucial role to play and a responsibility to supply quality data. Seminars such as those organised by Fire Information Group UK provide an excellent opportunity to share this knowledge within the sector, which should ultimately help to reduce risk.

www.figuk.org.uk/conferences/2015

UK TUC expresses concern over new bullying research

Commenting on research published on 20 August 2015 by lawyers Slater and Gordon, which reveals that one in five workers have witnessed others being bullied at work, Trades Union Centre (TUC) General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Office bullies must be banished from the workplace. The stress and anxiety felt by victims can make them physically ill, lose all self-confidence and mean that they dread coming into work. No-one should be put in this position.

“Employers who fail to tackle bullying will pay a price too. Staff who are bullied are more likely to take more time off because of the stress caused by their harassment and will be less productive at work.

“Every organisation needs to have an anti-bullying policy, and every manager should ensure that there is zero-tolerance of bullying either by line managers or workmates.

“This research shows why people should join a union to ensure they are treated fairly at work.”

www.slatergordon.co.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2015/08/most-people-have-experienced-bullying-at-work

Rethinking Public Health Workforce

15 million workers including the fire service, pharmacists and postal workers could form part of the ‘wider public health workforce’.

A new UK Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) report outlines plans for a range of different occupations, including the fire service, cleaners and hairdressers, to support efforts to improve the public’s health. With only 40,000 people estimated to be part of the core public health workforce, and in light of the crisis in lifestyle health issues, Rethinking the Public Health Workforce includes estimates for professionals delivering public health outside of core healthcare settings:

The report builds on the findings of a separate paper, Understanding the Wider Public Health Workforce.

The emergency services have been very proactive in introducing a new public health focus to their work, e.g. the fire service undertakes some 670,000 safe and well checks each year.

Success stories include the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), which has introduced a wide range of programmes such as the Fire and Falls Prevention Service. Through more integrated working, fire crews and falls teams have been able to identify those at risk of falls and/or fire and refer them to the appropriate services. This has yielded impressive results: between September 2014 and January 2015, GMFRS delivered 602 home safety checks, 37% of which were identified as at risk of falls and 52% of these had their details passed to the Falls Prevention Service.

The West Midlands Fire Service has also had success with its Aurora youth development programme – a 10 to 12 month programme aimed at those aged between 12 to 17 years who are already young offenders and at risk of becoming a young offender or not in education, employment or training. Of those who completed the course, four attended full time sixth form, four attended mainstream school and all students ceased offending by the end of the programme.

Gary Taylor, assistant chief fire officer of West Midlands Fire Service, said the report ‘recognises firefighters’ unique position to help people – especially the most vulnerable – to improve their health and wellbeing. Our firefighters are trusted and respected, and visit thousands of residents every year in their own home. Tackling health inequalities is now a key part of our long-established prevention work. We understand the clear links between the risk of house fires and issues such as smoking, mental health, alcohol and substance misuse, and poor housing. It makes sense for firefighters to be involved in tackling these health issues as a long-term investment in reducing the risk of fire.’

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service has introduced a Making Every Contact Count pilot, with firefighters trained to deliver the ‘3 As’ – Ask, Advise, Assist. So far, there has been an increase in the knowledge of firefighters and in their confidence to deliver these interventions.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Releases TSCA Assessment Documents for Flame Retardant Chemicals

As part of the Agency’s ongoing efforts to more fully understand the potential risks associated with flame retardant chemicals, EPA has reviewed four structurally similar flame retardant chemical clusters. Americans are often exposed to flame retardant chemicals in their daily lives. The chemicals are widely used in products such as household furniture, textiles, and electronic equipment. Many flame retardant chemicals can persist in the environment, and studies have shown that some may be hazardous to people and animals.

EPA is announcing the availability and opening of a 60-day public comment period for three Problem Formulations and Initial Assessments, and a 120-day comment period for a Data Needs Assessment document for one of the clusters. These assessments were conducted under the Toxic Substances Control Plan (TSCA) Work Plan assessment effort.

Problem Formulations and Initial Assessments: The goal of these assessments is to identify scenarios where further risk analysis may be necessary. The documents address the likely exposure and hazard scenarios to workers and consumers based on current production, use, and exposure information for the following flame retardant chemical clusters.

Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), also known as Brominated Bisphenol A, cluster – used as flame retardants in plastics/printed circuit boards for electronics.

Chlorinated Phosphate Esters – used as flame retardants in furniture foams and textiles.

Cyclic Aliphatic Bromides/Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) cluster – used as a flame retardant in extruded and expanded polystyrene foams (EPS/XPS), polystyrene (PS) products.

Data Needs Assessment: This document addresses the Brominated Phthalates (TBB and TBPH) cluster of flame retardants that are used in polyurethane foam products. EPA reviewed previous assessments and identified critical gaps in toxicity, exposure, and commercial mixtures data. The data needs assessment is intended to guide the collection of additional data and information.

Visit http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/riskassess.html for a pre-publication copy of the Federal Register Notice, a list of the flame retardant chemical clusters, a fact sheet with key questions and answers, and additional information on the TSCA Work Plan effort. The due date for submitting comments will be included in the published version of the Federal Register Notice, expected in the next week or so.

Event: NIVA course on the Economics of OHS

17-19 November 2015, Scandic Uplandia, Uppsala, Sweden

Want to learn more about the Economics of OHS?

Join the NIVA course in Uppsala and brush up your memory with the following topics:

The course will be held on a level that is also comprehensible for non-economists and participants are encouraged to bring their own data for analysis during the workshops.

Visit www.niva.org to read more and register.

Event: Age Management – Life Course Approach calls for Diversity Management: 8th International Conference

5-8 October 2015, Hämeenkylän kartano, Vantaa (Helsinki area), Finland

Age management should no longer focus on one particular age group, but adopt more comprehensive life course approach, recognizing increasing diversity, i.e. age diversity, multiple roles during work life, such as parenting and care duties, and challenges in work ability, during work life course.

Main Topics

Course leader

Marjo Wallin, specialized researcher, Ph.D., Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH)

More information and registration: www.niva.org/courses

Events: HSL Training Courses in London

The Health and Safety Laboratory UK is offering the following courses:

Behaviour Change: Improving Health and Safety Performance – 22-23 September 2015

Our Behaviour Change course will provide you with an understanding of why workers take risks, covering the many factors that influence behaviour. It will also highlight the strengths and weaknesses of traditional behaviour modification strategies for correcting ‘unsafe’ behaviour.

COSHH Training – Practical Assessment and Control – 22-23 September 2015

Over two days this course gives detailed and practical training on carrying out COSHH assessments and, crucially, putting the assessment into practice to control substances.

www.hsl.gov.uk

Nearly all contact lens wearers in US survey report risky eye care behaviours that can lead to eye infections

One-third of contact lens wearers sought care for potentially preventable eye problems

Almost all of the 41 million estimated contact lens wearers in the United States may be engaging in at least one behaviour known to increase their risk of eye infections, according to a report published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly one-third of contact lens wearers who participated in a national survey reported going to the doctor for red or painful eyes related to wearing contact lenses.

More than 99 percent of survey respondents reported at least one risky behaviour. The majority of wearers reported:

Each of these behaviours has been reported in previous studies to raise the risk of eye infections by five times or more.

An online survey was administered to a sample of contact lens wearers to determine how often contact lens wearers engaged in behaviours that could put them at risk for an eye infection. CDC collaborated with the Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) group, a multi-university group of researchers, to conduct the survey. A separate survey was used to estimate the number of contact lens wearers – about 41 million adults. Taken together, the survey results indicate that millions of Americans could be at risk for serious eye infections because of poor contact lens hygiene behaviours.

“Good vision contributes to overall well-being and independence for people of all ages, so it’s important not to cut corners on healthy contact lens wear and care,” says CDC Medical Epidemiologist Jennifer Cope, M.D., M.P.H. “We are finding that many wearers are unclear about how to properly wear and care for contact lenses.”

To prevent eye infections, contact lens wearers should:

August 24 through 28, 2015, marks the second annual Contact Lens Health Week. To celebrate the week, CDC is promoting its campaign for contact lens and eye health, developed in collaboration with doctors, public health, eye care industry, and regulatory partners. By focusing attention on good contact lens hygiene steps, CDC hopes to help reduce the risk of eye infections and complications in people who wear contacts.

For more information on preventing eye infections and proper contact lens wear, please visit: www.cdc.gov/contactlenses

China: Disasters take a huge toll on workers

Two massive explosions and the subsequent inferno around a warehouse in the industrial city of Tianjin on 12 August 2015 killed over 100 workers and injured several hundred more, including local residents. At least 21 firefighters are believed to be among the dead, with many more reported missing. It is believed the final death toll could exceed 200. The explosions, which were visible from space, occurred when a storage facility containing hazardous chemicals caught fire, setting a chain reaction. Chemicals involved in the explosion at the port in north China included calcium carbide, sodium cyanide, potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate and sodium nitrate.

Chinese media reported that at least one member of staff from Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics, which owns the warehouse, has been arrested. Campaign group Australia Asia Worker Links (AAWL) said this is the latest of a succession of deadly incidents in China. A few days earlier, a landslide buried the accommodation quarters at a coal mine in the central province of Shaanxi, killing at least 12 workers. At another coal mine in the province of Guizhou a fire killed another 10 workers. AAWL noted: “While the appalling safety record of China’s coal mine industry is well known, the widespread suppression of independent trade unions, a profit at all costs system, and widespread corruption has created a lethal environment for millions of workers across all industries in China.”

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace commented: “What we have witnessed over the last few days is just the tip of the iceberg. Just this year 13 other explosions have occurred in the provinces of Jiangsu, Fujian and Shandong according to media reports. In fact, as recent as last month an explosion hit a chemical plant in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing spreading to three other chemical tanks nearby. What lies beneath the surface is years of negligence in regards to hazardous chemicals policies and their implementation.”

https://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/risks-newsletter/risks-2015/tuc-risks-716-22-august-2015#_Toc427918557

Philippines: Rescued fishers launch ‘worker safe’ boats

Five months after internationally coordinated union action secured the release and repatriation of 43 fishing crew detained in Indonesia and abandoned by Philippines tuna giant Citra Mina (Risks 700), the Citra Mina Workers’ Union and its allies have celebrated the launch of three newly built fishing vessels owned and operated by the union. After returning to the Philippines, the abandoned crew testified at a Congressional hearing on human rights violations by Citra Mina.

With Citra Mina refusing compensation, the union secured funds from the integrated livelihood programme of the government’s Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) to finance the construction of the boats. The boats were built by the 43 returned fishing workers and will be crewed by them as part of the ‘Worker Safe’ tuna campaign to make workers’ rights, decent working conditions and workers’ health and safety integral to the sustainability of the tuna industry in the Philippines.

The Citra Mina Workers Union, which is affiliated to the global foodworkers’ union IUF through the Food & Beverage Workers’ Council of the national union federation SENTRO, continues to fight for the reinstatement of union leaders and members dismissed nearly two years ago for exercising their human right to join a union.

IUF news report

UK Independent watchdog slams government trade union proposals as “not fit for purpose”

The Regulatory Policy Committee – an independent body appointed by the government which verifies the costs and savings of proposed changes to businesses and civil society – has slammed the government’s trade union proposals impact assessments as “red – not fit for purpose”.

The RPC found that the government had not made the case for any changes in the law on trade union picketing and protest – including proposals to make unions give 14 days’ advance notice of whether their members will use Twitter or Facebook during protests. They said that “there is little evidence presented that there will be any significant benefits arising from this proposal” and “the definition of the problem currently appears weak and must be substantiated”.

On agency workers being allowed to replace striking workers, the RPC found that the government’s impact assessment undermines its own central assumption, as “it provides reasons why it might be more beneficial to the employer to take the short-term costs associated with a strike instead of seeking temporary workers”.

And the RPC suggested that the government had been too hasty in pushing through their proposals, and called on the government to consult further – including specifically with those unions and employers affected by the additional 40 per cent threshold requirement for industrial action.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said “The government’s trade union bill threatens the basic right to strike – and it’s being rammed through with unseemly haste, without a proper case being made.

“We’re pleased that the Regulatory Policy Committee has exposed the lack of consultation and the unfair imposition of excessive red tape on unions and employers. This is an opportunity for the government to take a step back, recognise that they were wrong, and drop these proposals which threaten the democratic right to strike.”

https://www.tuc.org.uk/union-issues/trade-union-bill/workplace-issues/independent-watchdog-slams-government-trade-union

UK Fork Lift Truck Association Safety Month Safetember: see danger, speak up!

On average, lift trucks are involved in about a quarter of all workplace transport accidents.

The Fork Lift Truck Association are holding National Fork Lift Truck Safety Month in September to raise awareness of the dangers involved in using fork lift trucks and to stress the importance of common sense measures that can make lift trucks safer and more efficient.

HSE’s Website has valuable information on Vehicles at Work including:

HSE Biocides News

EU Biocides Regulation 528/2012 (EU BPR) – In-situ generated biocidal active substances

HSE has published information on the provisions, including transitional measures and the requirements of Article 95, for in-situ generated active substances under the EU Biocides Regulation 528/2012 (EU BPR).

EU Biocides Regulation 528/2012 (EU BPR) – Article 95 deadline

As highlighted by Article 95 Special Edition of the biocide e-bulletin, Article 95 of the EU BPR does not prohibit use of stocks of biocidal products that have already been supplied before 1 September 2015. HSE’s Article 95 web page has been updated to reflect this information and includes some examples indicating when the phase out dates for use may be, depending on the status of the active substance(s) under the biocides review programme.

EU Biocides Regulation 528/2012 (EU BPR) – New assessment report for Imidacloprid

The assessment report for Imidacloprid (EC 428-040-8) has been revised. Specifically, the value for the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) has changed. If you have applied or will apply for authorisation to use Imidacloprid in your product, you need to take the new data into account in your risk assessment.

ECHA Public consultation – proposal for Harmonised Classification and Labelling (CLH)

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has invited interested parties to comment on a proposal for harmonised classification and labelling (CLH) for

The detailed proposal can be viewed on the ECHA website and the public consultation lasts for 45 days. Comments should be submitted to ECHA using the dedicated web form by the date shown on ECHA website.

Please respond direct to ECHA and not to HSE.

Updated CLP Guidance document

ECHA has updated the Introductory Guidance on the CLP Regulation (EC Regulation 1272/2008 on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures). This update takes into account the full entry into force of the CLP Regulation and the end of the transition period for labelling mixtures.

Withdrawal of the General Industry Charge

Legislation enables HSE to collect fees and charges from those placing biocidal products on the market. This is to recover costs that arise from work it does under the EU Biocidal Products Regulation No 528/2012. Until April 2015, this was done under the Biocidal Products (Fees and Charges) Regulations 2013. However, these regulations have been revoked and the costs are now dealt with under the Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) Regulations 2015.

When HSE consulted on the Fees and Charges regulations in 2013, we set out our intention to review the requirement in those Regulations for an Annual Charge (commonly known as the General Industry Charge or GIC).

The review led to a decision to withdraw the GIC and the legal changes to bring this about were made through the Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) Regulations 2015. As a result:

The final year in which HSE collected the GIC was 2014 (for the period 1st April 2013 to 31 March 2014)

In Northern Ireland similar arrangements will apply. Here HSE has collected the GIC on behalf of HSENI and changes enabling withdrawal of the GIC are also being made.

Please note: Activities for which a fee is payable remain unchanged.

If you have any questions about this change please email: chemicalsconsultation@hse.gsi.gov.uk

Government agrees high level principles for stewardship regime for rodenticides

A cross-government ‘Oversight Group’ has agreed a set of high-level principles to assist industry in developing stewardship regimes to control the use of rodenticides.

Regulatory risk assessments concluded that the outdoor use of First and Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (FGARs and SGARs) present a higher level of risk to animals such as predatory birds and mammals, than would normally be considered acceptable. As a result, outdoor use of these rodenticides would normally be banned.

http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/government-agrees-high-level-principles-for-rodenticides-stewardship-regimes

Engineering Institute (EI) Model code of safe practice Part 15: Area classification for installations handling flammable fluids (commonly known as EI 15)

Recognised internationally as being the de-facto guidance for calculating hazardous areas in the petroleum industry. This new (4th edition) has been significantly updated from the 3rd edition.

Providing a demonstrable methodology for determining hazard radii, and applicable to all installations handling flammable fluids. EI 15 gives guidance on the classification of regions around equipment handling or storing flammable fluids, and a basis for both the correct selection of fixed electrical equipment and the location of other fixed sources of ignition in those areas.

Updates from the 3rd edition include:

4th edition, June 2015, ISBN 978 0 85293 717 4

Non-member price: £160.00. EI member price: £120.00

https://www.energyinst.org/technical/safety/ei-15-hazardous-area-classification

Events: October 2015 Training Courses at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Buxton, Derbyshire, UK

CIEH Conversion from Level 3 Award in Training Principles and Practice (TPP) to Level 3 Award in Education and Training (EAT) course – 23 October

Contact: HSL Unit | Tel: +44 (0)1298 218806 | Email: training@hsl.gsi.gov.uk | www.hsl.gov.uk/health-and-safety-training-courses

New Publication: Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Safety Alert Bulletin FOD 2-2015, 21 July 2015

HSE has become aware that a number of manufacturers/suppliers are marketing an extendable scaffold loading bay gate that does not satisfy legal requirements or applicable standards when in some configurations. When extended the loading bay gate, which forms part of the edge protection on a scaffold, is not robust enough to fulfil this function and is therefore not suitable and sufficient to comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005. This safety notice applies to all similar types of loading bay gate as described below.

The loading bay gates subject to this safety notice originate from a variety of manufacturers/suppliers and comprise two panels made up of tube and mesh (see photo 1). One panel section is fixed length and the other is telescopic and can be adjusted to the required width of the loading bay. This allows a width adjustment from approximately 2300 mm to approximately 3900 mm. The mesh infill spans the full width and height of each panel. There is no horizontal mid rail. This loading bay gate design is reported to be available in steel and in aluminium.

Full text: www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/loading-bay-gate.htm

Please pass this information to a colleague who may have this Product/Equipment or operate this type of system/process.

Event: Noise and Vibration Measurement, Assessment and Mitigation in the workplace – what is similar what is different?

The Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists are pleased to announce that Marion Burgess AM, FAAS, MSc (Acoust) will be presenting a series of seminars in titled “Noise and Vibration Measurement, Assessment and Mitigation in the workplace – what is similar what is different?”

The procedures for measurement and assessment of noise in the workplace, noise exposure limits and mitigation measures have been well established for some decades. The assessment of the companion hazard of vibration exposure in the workplace has, until recently, been left to the experts because of the sophistication of the equipment and the lack of legislation relating to vibration exposure standards. However that is now changing. There is now a range of instrumentation specifically designed for measurement of human vibration in the workplace.

Safework Australia has released fact sheets on hand arm and whole body vibration. Into the future we can expect that there will be legislation for exposure limits similar to those applicable in European Countries.

This seminar will comprise an overview of the measurement and assessment of noise and of vibration in the workplace. Examples of equipment to be used for these measurements will be available for hands on demonstrations and discussions on procedures. The assessment for human vibration will be outlined and the guidelines for exposure limits discussed. The options for mitigation at the source and personal protection will be summarised. Two case studies, one less complex and one very complex, will be used to highlight the application of the measurement, assessment and mitigation in the workplace.

Seminars will be held throughout September in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.