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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

November / December 2015

ILO Forum agrees principles of regulation for call centre and telecom services employment

A tripartite meeting at the ILO looks to improve regulation of work relationships in a rapidly changing industry.

Employment relationships in the contact centres and telecommunications services need to be better regulated, an ILO forum on the industry has concluded. Innovative social dialogue approaches and mechanisms are also required to ensure workers in the industry enjoy the labour protections to which they are entitled.

The forum agreed on “the need to define and implement legislation to regulate non-standard forms of employment,” Forum Chair and head of the Legal Department of the Latvian ministry of Welfare, Edgars Korčagins, told ILO News.

The meeting, the Global Dialogue Forum on Employment Relationships in Telecommunications Services and in the Call Centre Industry, aimed to find areas of consensus on how best to underpin future policy making and related social dialogue in the sector.

Further support was given to “intensified and improved” workplace inspections and a need to promote workers’ rights including for workers in non-standard forms of employment to enjoy the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Worker and employer representatives at the forum also supported the conclusion that more data collection and analysis of employment practices in the field is necessary.

Korčagins added that the meeting acknowledged there are many categories of workers in contact centres and telecommunications services, including those who appreciate the flexibility of non-standard employment relationships and others who would prefer a standard relationship.

“I think these conclusions will allow all of these categories of workers to benefit, no matter what their preferences are,” he said.

The forum was held at the ILO in Geneva on 27-28 October 2015. Its recommendations will be submitted to the ILO governing body for final approval.

Event: Hazardex 2016

24-25 February 2016 – Holiday Inn, Wood Lane, Beechwood, Runcorn WA7 3HA, UK

The conference programme will concentrate on the experiences of end-users in the oil and gas sector, both upstream and downstream, energy, chemicals and other process industries where hazardous areas exist and safe operational procedures must be adopted. There will be a strong contribution from regulators, safety consultants and industry associations, as well as detailed standards and legislation updates directly from those responsible for creating them. The exhibition, running alongside the conference, will feature specialist companies that supply products or services to the safety and hazardous area sector.

London Fire Brigade issues ‘hoverboard’ safety warning on Back to the Future Day

On the day ‘the future’ finally becomes the present London Fire Brigade (LFB) are warning ‘hoverboard’ owners to keep an eye on their new gadget whilst it is charging.

In Back to the Future II, mad scientist Doc Brown took Marty McFly to 21 October, 2015, where people travelled using flying cars and kids owned hoverboards.

The film’s prediction of the iconic hoverboard was not far from the truth given the recent rise in popularity of self-balancing scooters.

Two incidents in two weeks

But LFB are warning owners of this year’s must-have device to not leave them charging unattended, after being called to two fires in two weeks involving personal transporters that were on charge.

On 11 October 2015, four fire engines and around 20 firefighters attended a fire in the bedroom of a flat in Southwark which involved an electric uni-cycle that was on charge.

The occupant discovered the fire after hearing a loud ‘bang’ and fortunately was able to evacuate uninjured.

Just days earlier two men had escaped via a first floor window from a fire at a house in Morden, after a ‘banging’ noise alerted them to a blaze in a room where a hoverboard had been charging.

The Brigade’s fire investigation experts have sent the devices involved in both fires for further testing.

BBC Watchdog investigation

BBC Watchdog raised concerns about the plugs being supplied with some hoverboards that did not appear to be a standard British plug.

Their investigation found the plugs did not have fuses and could be at risk of overheating, exploding and catching fire.

Charlie Pugsley, Head of Fire Investigation at the Brigade, said: “The cause of both fires is still under investigation whilst the devices are tested at our lab, but as both incidents involved personal transporters that were charging at the time of the fire, we’d urge people to especially keep an eye on their devices whilst they are on charge.”

Electrical safety

Many electrical fires can be avoided by following a few simple steps such as never using imitation electrical chargers or unplugging appliances when you are not using them.

LFB electrical safety page has further information

RoSPA health and safety awards reaches 60-year milestone

The UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident’s (RoSPA) prestigious health and safety awards will be marking a milestone next year when it reaches its diamond anniversary.

The RoSPA Awards will be celebrating 60 years of presenting highly-regarded and sought after accolades to businesses and organisations which have shown commitment to accident and ill-health prevention.

The 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.

Preparations for next year’s event are under way, with the entry process now open for the 2016 awards round.

Open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas, the RoSPA Awards recognise organisations’ commitment to accident prevention in the workplace. Running parallel to these awards will be the Guardian Angel Awards – based on a nomination process and designed to recognise individuals who have worked tirelessly to promote safety in their workplace or community.

Presentation ceremonies for the internationally recognised RoSPA Awards will once again be held in London, co-located with the Safety and Health Expo 2016, as well as in Birmingham and Glasgow. They will take place at ExCeL Exhibition Centre London on June 21, the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on 13-14 July 2016 and the Hilton Glasgow on 15 September 2016.

Thousands of winners and their guests will attend RoSPA’s daytime ceremonies and evening gala dinners to receive their accolades.

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of awards and events, said: “It is a great achievement for the Health and Safety Awards to have reached the 60-year milestone and is a ringing endorsement of the thousands of businesses and organisations that have committed to continuous improvement in accident and ill-health prevention.

“Not only are the RoSPA Health and Safety Awards internationally recognised but they have fast become the most sought after accolade by organisations from every sector.

“It gives businesses and organisations a platform from which they can prove their ongoing commitment to raising health and safety standards. We look forward to welcoming all of our award winners next year.”

The majority of awards are non-competitive and mark achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels. Gold medals, president’s awards and orders of distinction are presented to organisations sustaining high standards over time.

Competitive awards go to the best entries in 22 industry sectors including construction, healthcare, transport and logistics, engineering, manufacturing and education.

There are specialist awards for workforce involvement, occupational health, environmental management and fleet safety, and a trophy for the best organisation operating or based in Scotland. RoSPA’s top accolade is the Sir George Earle Trophy.

A free e-book, designed to guide organisations new to the awards through the application process by helping them choose the right award to apply for and giving top tips on achieving gold and beyond, is also available. To sign up for the e-book visit

To enter for a non-competitive occupational health and safety achievement award, entrants need to register at by January 8, 2016, for the Birmingham and London ceremonies and April 29, for the Glasgow ceremony.

All organisations wishing to enter for a competitive industry sector or specialist award must register by January 8, 2016. Early registration discounts are available for those registering by December 9.

Headline sponsor for the awards will be NEBOSH – the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health – for the 11th consecutive year.

For more information about the RoSPA Awards, or to register for the 2016 scheme, visit

Continuing decline in Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults – United States, 2005–2014

There is a need to fully implement proven population-based interventions to successfully reduce smoking. A combination of tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws, high impact media campaigns, and easy access to quitting assistance are critical to reducing cigarette smoking and smoking-related disease and death.

Cigarette smoking among U.S. adults declined from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 16.8 percent in 2014, including a full-percentage-point decline during 2013–2014 alone. This indicates marked progress toward achieving the Healthy People 2020 goal of reducing cigarette smoking prevalence to 12 percent or less. However, in 2014, 40.0 million U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers, and cigarette smoking remains higher among males, adults aged 25–44 years, multiracial persons and American Indian/Alaska Natives.

Cigarette smoking rates also remain higher among persons who have less education; live below the federal poverty level; live in the Midwest; are insured through Medicaid or are uninsured; have a disability or limitation; or are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Among daily smokers during 2005–2014, the proportion who smoked 20–29 cigarettes per day (CPD) declined from 34.9 percent to 27.4 percent, and the proportion who smoked ≥30 CPD declined from 12.7 percent to 6.9 percent.

NIVA Education Newsletter 3/2015

Soon the ongoing year will come to an end. We have been keeping busy during this year by organizing courses, renewing our visual image, marketing and, in addition, moving our office to new premises in the Helsinki area.

I hope that you have seen the programme for 2016. There are many interesting courses and some new topics on the agenda. We will continue to work along the lines of advanced level courses, high quality arrangements, nice venues and time for networking during the courses.

For us the planning of year 2017 has already started. If you have ideas for NIVA courses, please let us know! We are constantly looking for new, interesting course topics.

The most convenient way to propose a course:

Birgitta Forsström, Director, NIVA

Event: Safety Promotion

14-18 March 2016 – Krapihovi, Tuusula (Helsinki region), Finland

The objectives are to give the participants up-to-date information on accidents and their prevention and on success factors in safety promotion. Special attention is given on the proportion of human factors, and safe behaviour resilient work processes and work environment. What that means in safety research traditions? Basic concepts will be explained and discussed. The focus is in methodological issues. Good research practices will be explored.

Target group: participants are a multidisciplinary group, for example, engineers, psychologists, social scientists, physiologists, medical doctors, authorities, consulting firms, or safety experts

Course outline

This course is the second of the two course weeks. The total work effort for the complete course is seven credit units. In addition to the two course weeks, the participants need to read a set of articles and write a study protocol for their own project during the time between the course weeks. They will then have an opportunity to present their protocols on the second week. There is a group exam at the end of the second week covering both course weeks and the articles read between the weeks. NIVA will provide a certificate indicating the amount of work the course required. Participants can use the certificate as a part of their PhD studies.

The course is suitable also for people who use the results of safety research. In this case, the participant can choose to take part only in the course weeks. Such people may represent authorities, consulting firms, or safety experts in other companies. These participants will also receive a certificate of attendance on the two course weeks.

The objectives are to give the participants up-to-date information on accidents and their prevention and on success factors in safety promotion. Special attention is given on the proportion of human factors, and safe behaviour resilient work processes and work environment.

Course leader: Tuula Räsänen, PhD, Senior Specialist, Human factors work and safety, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH)

Event: Social Media and Wikipedia for Dissemination

5 April 2016 – 7 April 2016 – Helsinki Congress Paasitorni, Helsinki, Finland

Using and Measuring Social Media and Wikipedia for Dissemination, Engagement and Impact

Social media has the power to make a huge difference for our safety and health organizational missions. A well-organized social media program will significantly increase the number of people learning about our efforts, spreading the word, and supporting our organizational brands and its goals. Co-organized by ICOH.

Course leader: Max Lum, Ed.D. MPA, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, US

Event: Pain and work

19-21 April 2016 – Thon Hotel Opera, Oslo, Norway

This course will help participants understand the consequences of pain for work ability, sickness absence and exit from working life.

Course Leader: Stein Knardahl, National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Norway

Event: AIHce 2016

21-26 May 2016 – Inner Harbor Baltimore, USA

AIHce is the one conference you won’t want to miss. Add AIHce 2016 to your calendar today, and plan to participate in the best science-based IH/OH education, networking opportunities, and social events to expand your professional network. Additionally, we are pleased to feature one of our most exciting Opening Session speakers to date: Adam Steltzner (the guy who landed the Curiosity Mars rover)!

We’re putting the finishing touches on the technical sessions and program, and registration will open in early December.

Nearly a third of people are bullied at work, says the UK TUC

Research published by the TUC shows that nearly a third of people have been bullied at work.

The poll – carried out by YouGov for the TUC and released today to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week – reveals:

Looking at the effects of workplace bullying, nearly half (46%) of people say that it has an adverse impact on their performance at work, and the same proportion believe it has a negative effect on their mental health. More than a quarter (28%) say it has a detrimental effect on them physically, and around one in five (22%) have to take time off work as a result of being bullied.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “There is no place for bullies in the modern workplace.

“Bullying causes stress and anxiety and can have long-term effects on victims’ physical and mental health. No one should have to leave their job because of bullying.

“If bullies are allowed to dominate a workplace, wider office morale and productivity suffers too. Employers must have a zero-tolerance policy. Too many are simply ignoring bullying behaviour and failing to support staff.

“Union reps play a crucial role in stopping bullying. We need strong unions in the workplace to combat unacceptable behaviour and protect workers.

“Anyone worried about bullying at work should join a union, to get their voice heard and their interests represented.”

The TUC has published new advice on what to do if you feel you are being bullied at work. The guidance suggests that you:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,738 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25 and 26 October 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

The new TUC guidance about bullying is available at

The new TUC guidance for union reps is available at

Pilots want clear no fly zones over conflicts

Pilots are calling for accurate information about where it is safe to fly to be shared by nation states and operators worldwide. The demand from the UK pilots’ union BALPA is in response to the full report into the shooting down of the passenger jet Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014. A total of 298 people died, including 15 crew.

BALPA said pilots take their responsibility to protect passengers very seriously and want clear direction from the UN on how safe routes are, particularly when close to or above conflict zones.

The union said it was encouraged by the setting up of a system to share information worldwide but now wants all countries to help make it work. Following MH17, authorities heeded BALPA’s call for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to take the lead in decision-making regarding overflying areas of conflict. The union said this work must develop to enable nation states to share knowledge for the good of all air operators, their passengers and crew.

Landells, flight safety specialist at BALPA, said: “Pilots want to make every flight safe and comfortable for passengers and need cast-iron information to ensure where they are flying is safe. Passengers and pilots want an open and uniform level of safety, not one that is decided in secret and in different ways by airlines and countries.”

He added: “This new system for sharing information is in its infancy and the UK is leading the way in making it happen. Now the aviation community worldwide needs to work together to share information. We would like ICAO and the UN to use their influence to encourage all nation states to take advantage of this unique resource to ensure the safety of the travelling public worldwide.”

BALPA news release:

European regulation really is good for you

The June 2015 report of an evaluation of Europe’s workplace safety directives which the European Commission had hoped to keep under wraps until at least next year has been published online, seemingly by mistake. TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson last week revealed the study’s key findings based on an opinion on the report published online by the EC workplace safety committee.

But the full report only became available for public scrutiny after the Irish employers’ organisation IBEC put the document on its website in what the TUC has called “an apparent mistake”. As indicated earlier by the TUC, the report finds that EU safety laws are coherent, and effective and there is no evidence they are a burden. The report also notes: “Strong evidence suggests that employee representation has noticeable influence on the proportion of establishments performing risk assessments and an even more pronounced impact on other key requirements.” It proposes that the EU should adopt all ILO conventions on safety, echoing a call in the TUC’s manifesto on health and safety last year.

According to Robertson, the report is “a bit weak” on occupational health, but in a cautiously worded section “does seem to recommend regulation” on stress. It also calls from beefed up enforcement, noting “it is clear that legal requirements and inspection are key determinants in explaining why establishments develop OSH [occupational safety and health] policies and take OSH action, so there is a need for a strong effort in this area.”

According to TUC health and safety expert Hugh Robertson, while the recommendations are limited “the overall report is a strong weapon that demolishes all the government’s rhetoric about European health and safety regulation being a ‘burden’. We should use it.”

Health and safety statistics: Key figures for Great Britain (2014/15)

Full report:

Health and Safety Statistics Annual Report for Great Britain 2013/14
Health and Safety Executive, October 2015, 28 pages

Recent Research reports from the UK Health and Safety Laboratories

RR1067 – Case studies to demonstrate the practical application of the Leadership and Worker Involvement Toolkit (LWIT)

This research explored the use of the toolkit by five construction small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to gain an understanding of how it is applied in practice. The findings from this research provide insights for HSE and industry on how to encourage construction SMEs to improve leadership and worker involvement in health and safety.

RR1066 – The use and non-use of seat belts in the operation of forward tipping dumpers

A proportion of forward tipping dumper (FTD) operators choose to operate without wearing a seat belt, increasing their risk of death or serious injury should the machine overturn. This research aimed to better understand the reasons why some FTD operators choose not to wear their seat belt.

RR1064 – Investigation into exposure when the visor of air fed RPE is raised during spraying

Air-fed visors (AFV) are used within the motor vehicle repair trade for protection against exposure to isocyanate paints. It is common practice for paint sprayers to flip-up the visor of their AFV immediately after spraying. The aim of this project was to determine the reduction in protection and potential increase in exposure when the visor is lifted.

HSE funded research projects:

Process and Fire Incidents Training Course

23-24 February 2015 – Buxton, UK

This two-day course is designed to introduce delegates to lessons learned from a number of significant or high profile incidents involving fires or chemical processes.

Drawing on the wealth of investigation experience within HSL to provide detailed histories of incidents, key outcomes of the investigations and examples of how investigation and follow up research has led to improvements in safety.

There will be significant practical demonstration content in the course where you will witness live experiments.

What will the course cover?

Who should attend?

Senior managers, safety professionals, health and safety managers, insurers, trade union representatives.

Contact: HSL Training & Conferences Unit, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 9JN, UK | Email: | Tel: +44 (0)1298 218806 | Fax: +44 (0)1298 218822

EU Biocides Regulation (EU BPR) – The Biocidal Products Committee adopts 7 opinions

The Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) met for the twelfth time from 30 September to 1 October 2015. The adopted opinions concern, and support the approval of, the following active substance and their product-types (PTs):

One opinion was adopted in line with Article 75 (1)(g) on sulfuryl fluoride.

In addition, 4 other opinions are expected to be adopted following a written consultation:

Further information can be found in the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) news item. The EU Commission will consider these opinions and the decision to approve these active substances. Please note this process will take a few months.

Details of previous BPC active substance approval opinions can be found on the ECHA website

Biocides Manual of Decisions (MoD) becomes obsolete – European Court of Justice decision on products with indirect effects on the target organism and scope of EU BPR

Under the Biocidal Products Directive (BPD) where the scope of the legislation was unclear, issues were discussed at the EU level. When the EU Commission finalised decisions on scope issues, these are included in the BPD Manual of Decisions (MoD).

However as the EU Biocides Regulation (EU BPR) has been repealed and replaced the BPD, the guidance provided in the MoD is now obsolete.

The EU Commission confirmed in their paper "New authoritative guidance in the meaning of Article 15 of Regulation (EU) No 1062/2014" that the MoD is obsolete as of 1 October 2015.

More information:

Event: Europlatform

22 September 2016 – Vienna

The Europlatform access rental conference will take place on 22 September 2016 in Vienna, Austria.

Now into its tenth year, Europlatform has established itself as an essential event for managers and senior executives in the rental industry. The one-day conference is organised by IPAF, with Access International as media partner.

“Europlatform has built a tradition of attracting top-level speakers and offers a fantastic opportunity to hear and learn from some of the best minds in access rental,” said Tim Whiteman, IPAF CEO.

A networking event will take place on the evening of 21 September, at a venue to be confirmed in central Vienna – the “city of music” on the Danube River known for its historical buildings and monuments, Baroque castles and gardens.

More details on the event venue, registration fees and sponsorship opportunities will be added shortly at

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