News from around the World
- Profile of the Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive Judith Hackitt DBE
- Do you want to keep up-to-date in worldwide trends in occupational health, safety, hygiene, road safety, water safety, environment and the latest information?
- NEBOSH qualifications provide more opportunities around the world
- E-cigarette ads reach nearly 7 in 10 US middle and high-school students
- New Research report from the UK HSL: Health and Safety in Schools
- New US Research: Excess Sodium Intake Remains Common in the United States
- We can stop drug-resistant TB – if we act now says US CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden
- Events: Training Courses at Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL)
- Virtual Risk Manager Road Safety Alert: Northern Hemisphere Winter is here – travel safely!
- TUC calls on employers not to snoop on workers’ private emails
- Workplace Injuries Cost U.S. Businesses Nearly $62 Billion
- Event: Safety Promotion – from theory to best practical solutions
- REACH information from the European Chemical Agency (ECHA)
- Why the UK is one of the safest places to work and live!
- Australia: Historic ruling on safe rates for drivers
- Europe: Commission breached law on endocrine disrupters
- Qatar: Companies profiting as workers die
- Firefighters urge party goers not to lose their keys
- New Year, New You: Why stopping smoking is important at any age
- ILO welcomes new UNDP report that places decent work at the heart of sustainable development
- New ILO figures show 150 million migrants in the global workforce
- UK Health and Safety Laboratory Research Report RR1052 The effect of wearer stubble on the protection given by Filtering Facepieces Class 3 (FFP3) and Half Masks
- Funding award for Centres of Excellence in neurodegenerative disease research
- Influential leaders shape Great Britain’s future health and safety strategy
Profile of the Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive Judith Hackitt DBE
Dame Judith was appointed as Chair to the Health and Safety Executive in 1 October 2007 for a term of 5 years and reappointed in October 2012. She previously served as a Commissioner between 2002 and 2005.
She was made a Dame in the UK 2015/6 New Year Honours for services to health and safety and engineering in particular for being a role model for young women. She was awarded a CBE in 2006.
Dame Judith is a chemical engineer and graduated from Imperial College in 1975. She worked in the chemicals manufacturing industry for 23 years before joining the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) in 1998. She became Director General of CIA (from 2002-2005) and then worked in Brussels for the European Chemical Industry Association (CEFIC).
Dame Judith is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a member of council. She was President of IChemE from May 2013 to May 2014. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in July 2010.
Dame Judith is also a senior non-executive director and trustee of the Energy Saving Trust and a non-Exec director of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
Do you want to keep up-to-date in worldwide trends in occupational health, safety, hygiene, road safety, water safety, environment and the latest information?
Do budget constraints not allow you to buy all the journals, newsletters and documents that contain the latest information? Can you afford the time to search for the latest individual piece of OSH information, legislation and standards? No staff to search for this information? And no time yourself to spend hours searching for information?
Then this very affordable, very successful, long established Internet based service OSH UPDATE + FIRE, from the UK Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd is the answer for you. Powerful Internet publishing software delivers OSH UPDATE + FIRE that is regularly updated as new information is published.
OSH UPDATE + FIRE is an aggregation of 26 databases including those from UK RoSPA, UK Health and Safety Executive’s HSELINE, US National Institution for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSHTICS, Canadian Centre for Occupational Safety and Health European, Agency for Safety and Health at Work and MHAID major hazards database.
OSH UPDATE + FIRE that now contains over over 1,127,636 records linking to over 96,511 full text documents with over 350,450 pages, and is arguably the best collection of OSH and fire information in the world at the subscription price.
Annually about 8,000 – 10, 000 new items added per year.
OSH UPDATE + FIRE will keep you and your colleagues alerted to hot topics such as the health risks of nanotechnology, fire and rescue, wildland fires, corporate killing and corporate social responsibility, bio-terrorism, management of road risks, preparedness and business continuity, risk assessment plus all the usual workplace health and safety topics in all industry sectors.
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OSH UPDATE + FIRE is accessible via www.oshupdate.com
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NEBOSH qualifications provide more opportunities around the world
The UK based National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) are pleased to announce a new agreement between ourselves and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). BCSP sets and certifies technical competency criteria for safety, health and environmental practitioners in the United States.
The memorandum of understanding signed on the 15 December is a reflection of our organisations’ shared mission to preserve and improve health and safety in workplaces worldwide.
As a result of the agreement individuals who have earned either the NEBOSH National and/or International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety and meet the eligibility requirements of BCSP, can sit the examination to become a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) without taking the BCSP Associate Safety Professional Examination.
Likewise, a CSP may achieve the National or International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety without taking the related NEBOSH course, if they sit and pass the assessments.
Speaking after the signing Teresa Budworth, NEBOSH Chief Executive said
“As an organisation, we are always looking for ways to help our students take advantage of their NEBOSH qualifications, wherever they want to work in the world. For NEBOSH qualification holders wishing to work in the US or countries which adopt American standards, this is excellent news, because the dual certification of BCSP and NEBOSH will make them very attractive to employers.”
Dr. Treasa Turnbeaugh, CSP, ASP, CET, the CEO of BCSP added.
“This agreement is important as it provides more international opportunities for safety, health, and environmental certification. By providing skilled and knowledgeable safety professionals a method to enhance their careers, we advance the profession and that protects workplaces and the public.”
Further information about both organisations can be found below:
Zoe Goodwin, Senior Communications and Marketing Executive, NEBOSH, Dominus Way, Meridian Business Park, LEICESTER LE19 1QW, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 116 263 4730 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.nebosh.org.uk
E-cigarette ads reach nearly 7 in 10 US middle and high-school students
About 7 in 10 middle and high school students – more than 18 million young people – see e-cigarette advertising in stores, online, in newspapers and magazines, or on television and in movies, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report.
E-cigarette ads use many of the same themes – independence, rebellion, and sex – used to sell cigarettes and other conventional tobacco products. Advertising of tobacco products has been shown to cause youth to start using those products. The unrestricted marketing of e-cigarettes and dramatic increases in their use by youth could reverse decades of progress in preventing tobacco use among youth.
“The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “I hope all can agree that kids should not use e-cigarettes.”
Data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) show 68.9 percent of middle and high school students see e-cigarettes ads from one or more media sources. More youth see e-cigarette ads in retail stores (54.8 percent) than online (39.8 percent), in TV/movies (36.5 percent), or in newspapers and magazines (30.4 percent).
E-cigarettes typically deliver nicotine, which at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use. In 2014, e-cigarettes became the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, surpassing conventional cigarettes. During 2011 to 2014, current e-cigarette use among high school students soared from 1.5 percent to 13.4 percent, and among middle school students from 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent. Spending on e-cigarette advertising rose from $6.4 million in 2011 to an estimated $115 million in 2014.
New Research report from the UK HSL: Health and Safety in Schools
This research was commissioned by the UK Health and Safety Laboratory to explore the viewpoints of school staff responsible for managing day-to-day health and safety in schools. This study explored what guidance schools use to support their management of health and safety and, in particular, examined how HSE’s education-specific materials were used.
New US Research: Excess Sodium Intake Remains Common in the United States
Nearly all Americans – regardless of age, race, gender or whether they have high blood pressure (hypertension) – consume more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. That is the conclusion of a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
According to the latest findings, more than 90 percent of children and 89 percent of adults aged 19 and older eat too much sodium, that is, more than the recommended limits in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, not including salt added at the table. The newly released guidelines – which are developed around current scientific evidence and released every five years – recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day for people over the age of 14 and less for those younger. Evidence links excess sodium intake to high blood pressure and other health problems.
“The finding that nine of ten adults and children still consume too much salt is alarming,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “The evidence is clear: too much sodium in our foods leads to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Reducing sodium in manufactured and restaurant foods will give consumers more choice and save lives.”
CDC researchers analyzed dietary data from the 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) to calculate how much sodium Americans are eating. Nearly 15,000 people were included in this study.
We can stop drug-resistant TB – if we act now says US CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden
With a half million new cases each year, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is spreading around the globe. The world must act decisively. There can be no delay.
That is why on 22 December 2015 President Obama announced the National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis. It is a strong, unambiguous call for doctors, nurses, scientists, and health and political leaders worldwide to take rapid, focused action.
The danger MDR-TB carries is personal for me. I’ve personally overseen the treatment of more than 1,000 patients with MDR-TB, many of them with the even more dangerous extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB). In the course of treating others, I became infected myself – likely with a drug-susceptible strain still easily treatable with antibiotics – and have taken treatment for latent infection so likely will never develop the disease.
But I’ve seen first-hand the emotional and physical toll drug-resistant TB inflicts on each patient, on families and entire communities, and on front-line health care workers. I remember my patients with XDR-TB vividly. We cured one patient who, as a result of the intensive drug regimen needed to save his life, lost enough eyesight and hearing that he couldn’t go back to his job repairing watches and was dejected by the loss of his livelihood. TB respects no borders. That’s why I’m insisting that governments and public health officials worldwide take urgent action.
Nearly a third of the world’s population is infected with TB bacteria. In 1993, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared TB to be a global health emergency. Since then, intensified efforts to detect and treat TB have cut global TB deaths in half. Yet every day, 4,000 people still die of this curable disease – one every 20 seconds. Now MDR-TB threatens more lives and could reverse the hard-fought progress we’ve made over the past two decades.
Events: Training Courses at Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL)
Health and Safety Training Courses
- Human Factors in Accident and Incident Investigations – 2-3 February
- Ergonomics – 8-12 February
- Managing Work-Related Stress at an Organisational and Individual Level – 9-10 February
- Practical Management of Local Exhaust Ventilation Controls – BOHS Approved – 11 February
- Behaviour Change: Improving Health and Safety Performance – 16-17 February
- COMAH Onshore Major Hazards: New knowledge on flammable hazards – 23 February
- Process & Fire Incidents – 23-24 February
- Asbestos – Managing asbestos in domestic and non-domestic premises – 29 February
- Biosafety – concepts and working practices at Containment Level 3 – 29 February - 4 March
Machinery Series at HSL, Buxton
- Machinery Safety Basics – PUWER – 22 February
- Machinery Risk Assessment Essentials – 23 February
- Machinery Directive – 24 February
- Designing & Specifying Safety Related Control Systems – 25 February
Training Course in London
- The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) – An Introduction to the Role of the Principal Designer – 2 February
In-Company Training Available
If you have several colleagues interested in one of our courses, why not consider running it in-house?
Virtual Risk Manager Road Safety Alert: Northern Hemisphere Winter is here – travel safely!
With news of Arctic weather conditions being due to hit parts of the Northern Hemisphere this week, Interactive Driving Systems is providing the following winter driving tips.
Winter is one of the most dangerous times of year to travel, meaning that now is good time to focus on staying safe on the road – whether you are driving on work business or in your own time.
Ed Dubens CEO of Interactive Driving Systems said:
“For many of the fleets we work with winter is a critical time for the provision of their goods and services, meaning that their vehicles and drivers can sometimes find themselves on the road in the worst possible driving conditions. For this reason, we are urging organisations to be aware of and plan for the risks of winter driving.”
Eight winter driving tips from Interactive Driving Systems
We at Interactive Driving Systems are advising drivers to follow a few simple tips to make their journeys as safe as possible.
(1) Mobility and Journey management:
- Assuming that you absolutely have to travel, and there is no alternative, make sure your journey well planned.
- Check that your planned route is OK.
- Allow realistic travel times for the conditions.
- Ensure others are aware of your journey.
(2) Check your vehicle:
- Has been maintained/serviced and you have a good battery. Your battery has to work much harder in the winter (working lights and wipers, for example) and can fail completely with hardly any warning.
- Tyres have a good tread depth and are inflated correctly (including the spare).
- Cooling system contains antifreeze at the correct strength.
- Windscreen wipers and washers are working properly – in cold temperatures use high strength screen-wash.
- Lights are clean and working.
(3) Check the weather conditions:
- Look at local and national TV and Radio for travel and weather information.
- See that all your vehicle windows, mirrors and lights are clear from mist, frost and snow. Snow and ice reduce what you can see, and can be dangerous to other road users as it falls off your vehicle.
(4) In extreme weather conditions such as falling snow:
Ask yourself is my journey essential?
- Check to see if you have a full tank of fuel.
- Let someone know your destination and your expected time of arrival.
- Take a mobile phone if you have one, but remember you could break down in a ‘dead area’, so take warm high visibility clothing, hot drinks, food, boots, a torch and shovel as well – it could be a long walk to a phone.
(5) If you are out on the roads in poor conditions:
Use the main roads which have been salted as much as possible. Map of routes that Councils salt are normally available on their websites.
- Allow extra time for your journey.
- Avoid the rush hour to help reduce congestion.
(6) Generally, when driving in wintry weather:
Drive according to the conditions – on treated and untreated roads.
- Reduce speed in poor visibility, where there is snow, or if ice may have formed.
- Use the highest gear possible to help keep control of the vehicle and avoid harsh braking and acceleration.
- Maintain larger safer stopping distances – two seconds between vehicles is for good conditions! A wet road surface means you’ll take twice as long to stop, so you need to be at least four seconds behind the vehicle in front.
- Use dipped headlights in poor visibility and snow, so others can see you!
- Use rear fog lights in poor visibility but remember to switch them off when conditions improve.
- Watch out for other road users, including motorbikes, pushbikes, pedestrians and children, who may also be having difficulties in the conditions.
(7) If you do break down:
- If you get into trouble, stay with your vehicle if possible, until help arrives.
- If you do have to leave your vehicle, make yourself visible to others.
- If you have to abandon your vehicle, give local police the details and park safely to avoid obstruction to maintenance vehicles such as snow ploughs when they are trying to treat the roads.
(8) Advice for particular weather conditions:
Fog is especially a danger in autumn and winter, and is a major cause of collisions.
Slow down, keep your distance, and turn your lights on in fog.
- Drive very slowly using dipped headlights. Use fog lights if visibility is seriously reduced, but remember to switch them off when visibility improves.
- Don’t hang on the tail lights of the vehicle in front – this gives you a false sense of security and means you may be driving too close.
- Don’t speed up suddenly – even if it seems to be clearing, you can suddenly find yourself back in thick fog.
Ice, snow and slush drastically reduce the ability of your tyres to grip the road, which means that slowing down, speeding up, or changing direction all become hazardous. The trick to driving in these conditions is to be as smooth as possible.
- Drive slowly, allowing extra room to slow down and stop.
- It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road.
- Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin, manoeuvre gently, and avoid harsh braking and acceleration.
- To brake on ice and snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall, and use the brake pedal gently.
- If you skid, ease off the accelerator but do not brake suddenly.
Floods: It is best not to enter floodwater at all – if you can take an alternative route, do so. If you enter floodwater:
- Drive slowly in first gear, but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch – this will stop you from stalling.
- Go through the water one vehicle at a time.
- Avoid the deepest water, which is generally near the kerb. Don’t attempt to cross if the water seems too deep. Watch others!
- Remember – test your brakes a few times after you are through the flood before you drive at normal speed.
Be sure to give cyclists and motorcyclists extra room in bad weather.
- Dazzle from the low winter sun can be dangerous. Carry a pair of sunglasses in the car just in case it’s too low for the visor.
- It takes twice as long to stop on a wet road as it does on a dry one, and up to ten times longer in icy conditions.
Interactive Driving Systems wishes you safe and happy travels.
Dr Will Murray, Research Director, Interactive Driving Systems | Direct dial: +44 (0)115 846 2994 | Tel: +44 (0)1484 551060 | Mobile: +44 (0)7713 415454 | Email: email@example.com | Web: www.virtualriskmanager.net
TUC calls on employers not to snoop on workers’ private emails
Commenting on 13 January 2016 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that employers can read workers’ private email messages while they are at work, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“People should have a right to privacy in the workplace.
“Big Brother bosses do not get the best out of employees. Staff who are being snooped on are less productive and less healthy.
“It is essential that employers have clear policies on internet use so that people are not caught out.
“British workers put in billions worth of unpaid overtime every year. They should not be punished for occasionally checking private emails and going on social media.”
Workplace Injuries Cost U.S. Businesses Nearly $62 Billion
U.S. businesses spend more than a billion dollars a week on the most disabling workplace injuries according to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. Developed annually by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, the Index ranks the top 10 causes of serious, nonfatal workplace injuries and their direct costs.
Download the Index: http://image.email-libertymutual.com/lib/fe541570726d02757312/m/1/2016+WSI.pdf
Event: Safety Promotion – from theory to best practical solutions
14-18 March 2016, Krapihovi, Tuusula (Helsinki region), Finland
- The new flows in safety research. Safety research and safety critical sectors.
- Safety Culture.
- Home, leisure time and traffic accidents.
- Effective safety training methods – what are they?
You can earn ECTS credits by attending the course.
This course has also been accepted as a theoretical course (15 hours) demanded in the medical specialist education in the training programs of occupational health services, at the University of Helsinki in Finland.
Tuula Räsänen, PhD, Senior Specialist, Human factors, work and safety, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland.
REACH information from the European Chemical Agency (ECHA)
Survey finds laboratory capacity available for conducting EOGRTS
ECHA commissioned a study on global laboratory capacities to conduct extended one-generation reproductive toxicity studies (EOGRTS). In total, 22 laboratories were identified as capable of conducting these studies. It is estimated that for the years 2016, 2018 and 2020, these laboratories could deliver the following ranges of EOGRTS with basic study design: 88-114, 94-122 and 101-131. Regarding full study design, the ranges are 44-57, 49-63 and 61-79 for the respective years.
New guidelines for characterising hydrocarbon solvent substances
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published new guidance for characterising hydrocarbon solvents for assessment purposes. It aims to present a harmonised method for the characterisation of this group of UVCB substances (UVCBs: substances of Unknown or Variable composition, Complex reaction products or Biological materials). The guidance was developed through an OECD task force that included ECHA and the Hydrocarbon Solvents Producers Association (HSPA).
Compliance checks in 2015 – focus on substances that matter the most
In 2015, ECHA started applying its new compliance check strategy focused on checking the dossiers of substances that matter the most for the protection of people and the environment. This meant high-tonnage registration dossiers with important data gaps and with a high potential for worker, consumer or environmental exposure. ECHA checked the dossiers of 107 high priority substances for compliance. In most cases, we drafted a decision requesting the registrant for the missing information. More statistics will follow in the annual evaluation report in February 2016.
Calls for information
We highlight all new public consultations in this section. Consult the full list of open consultations on our website – currently 55 – and subscribe to their consultations RSS feed to stay up-to-date.
Lead and its compounds: restriction under consideration
ECHA is assessing the need to propose a restriction for the placing on the market and use of lead compounds to stabilise PVC and for the placing on the market of PVC articles stabilised with lead compounds (EC 231-100-4; CAS 7439-92-1). A call for evidence on this is open until
15 February 2016.
Harmonised classification and labelling
Public consultations on harmonised classification and labelling proposals for three substances are open for comments until 5 February 2016.
Why the UK is one of the safest places to work and live!
The UK history of occupational safety and health is being preserved in a website that shows over 200 years of development in all workplaces.
A law stipulating that women and children aged 13-18 could only work 63 hours per week in factories and another one setting out the first compensation structure for injured workers are listed on the website that charts more than 200 years of industrial history.
These two laws, from 1847 and 1897 retrospectively, are among many mentioned on the website, which shows how the UK has become one of the safest places in the world to work.
Already acclaimed in many parts of the world the History of Occupational Safety and health website www.historyofosh.org.uk is fast becoming an invaluable resource for students, academics, health and safety professionals and others with a general interest in industrial history, It sets out developments from the 1802 Factory Act to various regulation changes made by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in recent times.
It was launched to coincide with the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which is also Workers’ Memorial Day, the new site has taken shape over the past three years, in a project led by RoSPA’s National Occupational Safety and Health Committee (NOSHC).
Karen McDonnell, RoSPA’s occupational safety and health policy adviser, said:
“Contrary to what some might believe, the management of safety and health at work is not a 21st century phenomenon. With roots stretching all the way back to the turn of the 19th century, this is an area at the heart of the UK’s industrial history.
“Numerous pieces of legislation have come on to the scene over more than 200 years, covering a wide array of different industries, but their shared aim has been to ensure that workers can go home to their families safe and healthy at the end of each day.
“It is important to value the history of occupational safety and health, not just to honour its pioneers but to develop a sense of perspective about what needs to be done today to continue to tackle preventable harms associated with work, not just in Britain but around the world.”
Teresa Budworth, CEO of NEBOSH says “the site is an invaluable resource for those studying all aspects of occupational safety, health and fire in workplaces for their qualifications. It shows how we have developed systems and good practices over many years. Sheila Pantry, the site’s manager editor is a pioneer in her field of safety information. The site features the pioneering work of the first women factory inspectors. The site shoes how Safety professionals today stand on the shoulders of giants.”
The website provides a wealth of information for those wishing to track the development of occupational safety and health, be they studying for professional qualifications or carrying out other research. Covered on the site are: ‘Two steps forward, one step back’: A brief history of the origins, development and implementation of health and safety law in the United Kingdom, 1802–2014, written by David Eves CB, the HSE’s former deputy director general and chief inspector. There is also History of Occupational Safety and Health in Agriculture Development of the Agricultural Inspectorate (The Early Years), written by David Mattey, HM Chief Agricultural Inspector 1996-2000.
There is a continuously updated timeline; details of government reviews, majority of legislation, standards, inspectorates and notable people/organisations; lectures; a reading list; training; and related museums. Full text documents abound, including one very relevant document that is over 500 years old can be accessed via the website.
The project has been made possible thanks to support from Sheila Pantry OBE, Managing Director Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, the former head of the HSE’s Information Services who has compiled, designed, hosts, funded and continuously updates the website. Anyone with documents or contributions to make for the website should contact Sheila Pantry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is not the first time that RoSPA’s NOSHC has created a website to mark April 28. Its Workers’ Memorial Day website, launched in 2010, is still a must-visit site for information about memorials to those who have been killed or injured at work.
Australia: Historic ruling on safe rates for drivers
Global transport unions’ federation ITF has welcomed an historic ruling in Australia requiring firms to pay minimum safe rates to truck drivers. Australia’s Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal ruled on 18 December 2015 that drivers should be paid for waiting at depots, loading and unloading and for the time it takes to clean, inspect and service their trucks and trailers.
ITF says over 300 people die each year in truck-related crashes in Australia. It believes low cost contracts from wealthy retailers and manufacturers put pressure on drivers to cut corners by not maintaining their vehicles and to skip rest periods, speed and drive for longer than is allowed to meet unrealistic deadlines.
ITF road transport workers’ section chair and Australian Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) national secretary Tony Sheldon said the ruling is a victory in the fight to end carnage on Australia’s roads. He added that it showed what can be achieved by fighting through a trade union for safer jobs. In October 2015, employers, governments and employee groups at the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) backed a plan based on the Australian safe rates model to tackle the root causes of the high global death toll in trucking.
Europe: Commission breached law on endocrine disrupters
The European Court of Justice has ruled that the European Commission has not been quick enough in identifying and banning potentially harmful ‘endocrine disrupting’ chemicals, linked to cancer, reproductive and other adverse health effects.
The December 2015 ruling came in a case brought by Sweden on behalf of the Nordic states. The court said its finding that a European institution had “unlawfully refrained from laying down rules” was “comparatively rare”.
The Swedish government welcomed the ruling and called for work to begin on “identifying and phasing out endocrine disrupting substances”. In its judgment, the court said that EU legislation adopted in May 2012 envisioned steps being taken to set criteria for testing for suspected endocrine disruptors.
In May 2014 Sweden brought the case against the Commission, saying its efforts had come to a “complete standstill” and that illnesses caused by the chemicals could be costing hundreds of millions of Euros every year.
Environmental group ClientEarth said that the chemicals involved affect human reproductive function in both men and women, increased the incidence of breast cancer and cause abnormal growth patterns in children. Vito Buonsante, legal adviser for ClientEarth on toxic chemicals, said: “This is an unprecedented decision by the European Courts. They ruled that the Commission is illegally delaying a crucial decision to protect EU citizens and the environment.” He said the Commission’s process “is biased and there is no clear idea of when it will end. It must stop immediately. The Commission needs to start protecting the public, not the chemicals industry.”
The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union dictates that the Commission must now take the necessary measures to comply with the judgment.
Qatar: Companies profiting as workers die
A report from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) estimates that a $15 billion (£10.2 billion) profit will be made by companies working in Qatar on infrastructure for the controversial 2022 FIFA World Cup, using up to 1.8 million migrant workers as modern day slaves.
The report is critical of Qatar for failing to deliver changes to labour rights or compliance, and warns implicated construction companies, hotels, retail chains and UK and US universities of the cost of doing business in a slave state.
“Every CEO operating in Qatar is aware that their profits are driven by appallingly low wage levels – wages that are often based on a system of racial discrimination – and that these profits risk safety, resulting in indefensible workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC general secretary.
Using new data uncovered in Qatar’s own government statistics, the ITUC estimates 7,000 workers will die before a ball is kicked in the 2022 World Cup. “By analysing Qatar’s own statistics and health reports over the past three years, previous reports of 4,000 workers dying by 2022 are a woeful underestimate. The real fatality rate is over 1,000 per year, meaning that 7,000 workers will die by 2022. Qatar hospital emergency departments are receiving 2,800 patients per day – 20 per cent more from 2013 to 2014,” said the ITUC head.
Firefighters urge party goers not to lose their keys
UK London Fire Brigade are urging Londoners not to lose their keys following parties and celebrations over the festive season, as new figures show firefighters are called out 16 times a day to people locked in or locked out of their homes so far this year.
‘Locked out’ call outs have cost taxpayers more than £9.5 million over the last five years, with London’s fire crews attending 32,758 of the calls since 2011.
Firefighters have been to 5,798 ‘locked out’ calls this year (up to 11 December 2015) – over half (55%) of which were not deemed emergencies when firefighters arrived on the scene.
The Brigade have released these figures as part of the festive alcohol awareness campaign Eat, Drink and Be Safe.
The campaign is a collaboration between us, London Ambulance Service and Metropolitan Police Service and backed by GLA and the City of London.
Only dial 999 if ‘there is a real emergency’
Director of Operations Dave Brown said:
“Getting locked out can be a real pain, but you should not dial 999 unless there is a real emergency.
“We’re urging everyone to take care with their keys and this is something we’re particularly concerned about with the Christmas party season upon us.
“If you’re planning on having a few Christmas sherries, we’d urge you to leave a key with a friend or neighbour, rather than risk calling 999 and wasting emergency service time.”
As well as thousands of calls to people who have locked themselves in or out of their homes, the new figures also show the Brigade is called to free people from more unusual places like cemeteries, libraries, shops, toilets and cupboards.
Steffan George, from the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA), said:
“There are around 3,000 locksmiths in the UK so there’s really no excuse not to call one if you find yourself locked in or out.
“In most situations, a locksmith should be with you within an hour.
“It’s always advisable to contact a qualified and inspected locksmith, such as those vetted by the MLA.
“I’d even suggest storing the phone number of a local locksmith in your mobile in case you ever need it.”
Always attend an emergency
The Brigade says it will always attend if there is an emergency or if someone’s life is at risk, such as when people have collapsed behind locked doors or have locked their medication inside and need it urgently.
Firefighters are often called out when there’s a risk of a fire, such as when people have left cooking, irons, hair straighteners or candles on inside their homes and have then locked themselves out.
If on arrival at a ‘locked out’ incident, the firefighters find no evidence of a danger of fire, or life threatening circumstances, they will take no action to help the person to get into the locked property.
Eat, Drink and Be Safe WhatsApp alerts
Londoners can sign up to Eat, Drink and Be Safe WhatsApp alerts for free, helpful video hints and reminders from the capital’s emergency services directly to their phone.
Alerts will be sent throughout the Christmas party season a regular basis until New Years Day.
New Year, New You: Why stopping smoking is important at any age
Stopping smoking remains one of the most popular New Year resolutions and can be a life-saving decision for those who succeed. Quitting is often a challenge but the more often a person tries, the greater the chance of finally kicking the habit.
Whatever your stage of life, there are good reasons not to smoke.
Most smokers take up the habit in childhood, with around two-thirds of smokers starting before the age of 18. Among children who try smoking, between one half to two thirds are likely to become regular smokers, potentially paving the way to a life-long addiction. Children are 3 times more likely to start if they grow up in a household where adults smoke so when parents quit they are also increasing the chances of protecting their children from a lifetime of addiction.
Nowadays very few teenagers smoke regularly, partly due to the high cost. With premium brands costing over £9 a packet, most teens would sensibly choose to spend that on something more long-lasting such as clothes or cosmetics. But for those who do smoke, they should be aware that nicotine addiction can kick in after smoking just a few cigarettes. Once addicted, it’s hard to break the habit, and it can take 6 or more attempts before a person finally manages to quit for good.
Those who are trying to start a family should be aware that smoking adversely affects fertility for both sexes, making it harder to conceive. For women in particular, it’s important to try to quit before becoming pregnant and also to stay smokefree after the birth, since smoking increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and cot death.
During middle age and older age smokers may start to notice common health problems caused by smoking such as a chronic cough, shortness of breath or chest pains. These could be symptomatic of serious disorders such as bronchitis, emphysema or heart disease and should be a cue to get your health checked.
The risks of heart disease, cancer and respiratory disorders increase substantially in people who have smoked for 20 years of more. In addition, the diseases associated with older age such as dementia, arthritis and risk of blindness are also increased if a person smokes.
But it’s never too late to quit, even if you have already developed heart disease or lung cancer. For example, within a year of stopping smoking, the risk of a heart attack halves compared to that of a continuing smoker and survival rates for people with lung cancer are increased if they quit after diagnosis. Stopping smoking between the ages of 50-60 significantly improves a person’s quality of life.
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:
“Stopping smoking is the best way of improving health at any age and some health benefits can be felt immediately. It’s a good idea to speak to your GP or other health professional to get help to quit. It can be tough but once you’ve stopped you will never regret it.”
ASH’s top tips:
- Set a date – e.g. New Year’s Day – and mentally prepare for it.
- Get professional help. Smokers who quit by using local Stop Smoking Services and a nicotine substitute are up to 4 times more likely to quit than someone going “cold turkey”. Speak to an adviser well before your quit day so they can advise you on how to cope with any nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
- Tell family and friends of your intention so they can support you.
- Throw out any remaining cigarettes, lighters etc. on the eve of your chosen quit day.
- Understand what to expect. Nicotine withdrawal may make you restless, irritable and can interrupt sleep but these symptoms usually pass after a few days. Using nicotine replacement therapy or electronic cigarettes may help you cope with these symptoms.
- Make your home smokefree – not letting others smoke in your home will strengthen your resolve as well as ridding your home of toxic chemicals.
- Remind yourself of the health risks: smokers die on average 10 years younger than non-smokers
- Reward yourself for every day of being smokefree
- Be aware of triggers that might lead to relapse, e.g. places or times when you would usually smoke, and have a substitute to hand.
- Don’t give up giving up. If you do relapse, try again. It can often take several attempts to quit completely.
ILO welcomes new UNDP report that places decent work at the heart of sustainable development
Decent work and human development “mutually reinforcing”, says new analysis on improving quality of life.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has congratulated the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the launch of their report Rethinking Work for Human Development, strongly supporting its conclusion that “the Decent Work Agenda and the human development framework are mutually reinforcing.”
The report provides a wealth of analysis that will be extremely helpful as the UN development system, including the ILO, step up their efforts to support the Member States to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder has said “the report highlights that pressing global challenges require that growth must be accompanied by policies and actions that also tackle unemployment, underemployment, inequality and the denial of voice and rights.”
He added that “the ILO will do its part to promote the policy suggestions contained in the Human Development Report 2015 and looks forward to engaging in its wide dissemination. The report will also provide an important input to the Future of Work Initiative that I have launched as the centrepiece of the ILO’s activities to mark its centenary in 2019.”
The report is the latest in a long-running series which focuses on development as enlarging people’s choices or the richness of human lives, rather than narrowly on the richness of economies. Starting from this standpoint, it offers a refreshing and timely commentary on how important decent work is to people and to the transformation of the development process towards sustainability.
The ILO provided technical support, information and statistics to the writing team of the 2015 Human Development report.
New ILO figures show 150 million migrants in the global workforce
A new ILO statistical study provides estimates on labour migration, including regions and industries where international migrant workers are established and a special focus on migrants in domestic work.
Migrant workers account for 150.3 million of the world’s approximately 232 million international migrants, according to a new study by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The report, ILO Global Estimates on Migrant Workers, shows migrant workers account for 72.7 per cent of the 206.6 million working age migrant population (15 years and over). The majority – 83.7 million – are men, with 66.6 million women migrant workers.
Commenting on the report, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said: “This analysis represents a significant contribution by the ILO in supporting member States to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly in respect to targets within Goal 8 on protecting all workers, including migrant workers, and goal 10 on the implementation of well managed migration policies. Decision makers will now have real data on which to base their policies.”
UK Health and Safety Laboratory Research Report RR1052 The effect of wearer stubble on the protection given by Filtering Facepieces Class 3 (FFP3) and Half Masks
HSE Inspectors routinely come across workers with various degrees of stubble growth using respiratory protective masks, despite guidance to the contrary. This Health and Safety Laboratory research studied the effect of 0-7 days stubble growth on the protection given by FFP3 filtering facepieces and half masks.
Fifteen male volunteers took part, each testing four masks. For most, three different design FFP3 and one half mask were tested, selected from seven models of FFP3 and 2 half masks. Fit tests were carried out immediately after shaving and repeated six times during the following week, without further shaving.
Results showed that the effect on protection was quite specific to the mask/wearer combination. Protection could be significantly reduced where stubble was present, beginning within 24 hours from shaving, and generally worsening as facial hair grew. Statistical analysis predicted this could reach an unacceptable level for all of the masks tested.
While some individual wearers did grow some stubble without significantly reducing protection with some masks, this was unpredictable and it would not be practical to conduct the necessary testing to confirm this for every individual wearer.
The current guidance advising being clean-shaven in the area of the mask seal is justified.
Funding award for Centres of Excellence in neurodegenerative disease research
The Centres of Excellence in Neurodegenerative disease (CoEN) initiative, launched in 2010, funds collaborative research in the field of neurodegenerative disease, spanning age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Motor Neuron Disease. Under the third CoEN funding call, £3.6 m (€4.9 m, CA$ 7.4 m) has been awarded for 11 international ‘Pathfinder’ projects, constituting innovative and creative proof of principle studies which, if successful, will provide a step change in neurodegeneration research.
The awarded projects take a ‘high risk, high pay-off’ approach to identify and validate new potential drugs and develop innovative therapeutic approaches for the dementias. These projects bring together a wealth of resources and expertise from a number of research centres of excellence in different countries to tackle scientific questions that are vital to advancement within the field.
The number of excellent quality proposals that were a good fit to the call exceeded the funds available. Of the 11 awards, 7 involve MRC-supported Centres of Excellence (units and centres).
The funded projects are:
- Towards a unifying theory of Parkinson’s disease: Investigation of the biochemical and genetic role of Rab GTPases
- Dario Alessi (UK), Miratul Muqit (UK), Thomas Gasser (Germany)
- Protection of neurons in vitro and in vivo from Synuclein toxicity by molecular tweezers
- Erwan Bezard (France), Carlos Matute (Spain), Richard Wade-Martins (UK)
- Decoding Presymptomatic white matter changes in Huntington Disease (WIN-HD)
- Alexandra Durr (France), Sarah Tabrizi (UK)
- Synaptic correlates of learning and memory dysfunction analysed by super-resolution STED microscopy in the hippocampus in vivo
- Martin Fuhrmann (Germany), Daniel Choquet (France)
- GWAS in AD: focus on microRNA
- Sébastien Hébert (Canada), Jean-Charles Lambert (France), Luc Buée (France)
- BAFF/APRIL in the central nervous system
- Bertrand Huard (France), Stefan Lichtenthaler (Germany)
- Therapeutic targeting of impaired lysosomal flux in Alzheimer’s disease
- Cora O’Neill (Republic of Ireland), Rebecca Sims (UK)
- Novel control of MT5-MMP on amyloidogenic and inflammatory pathways: validation in human iPSCs from Alzheimer patients and potential therapeutic perspectives
- Santiago Rivera (France), Alexander Dityatev (Germany)
- Identifying effectors of mutant C9Orf72 ALS/FTD to combat neurodegeneration
- Kevin Talbot (UK), Georg Haase (France)
- Using C. elegans to understand seeding and spreading of tau aggregation
- Rebecca Taylor (UK), Della David (Germany)
- Mito-ND: Mitochondrial Neurodegeneration
- Massimo Zeviani (UK), Peter Heutink (Germany)
CoEN is an international initiative involving research funders in Belgium (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Flanders), Canada (Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CHIR)), France (Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)), Germany (Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE)), Ireland (Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)), Italy (Ministry of Health), Slovakia (Slovak Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport), Spain (Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) and the UK (Medical Research Council (MRC)). The aim of the initiative is to encourage collaborative research between recognised national centres of excellence in neurodegeneration research.
Six of the CoEN funding partners supported this third call for proposals: ANR (France), CIHR (Canada), DZNE (Germany), ISCIII (Spain), MRC (UK) and SFI (Republic of Ireland).
For further information please visit: the CoEN website.
Information about the CoEN funding partners: CoEN members.
Influential leaders shape Great Britain’s future health and safety strategy
Leading industry figures and other key influencers are being urged to have a say in shaping the future strategy for Great Britain’s health and safety system.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published six themes that the five-year strategy will cover, as it begins engaging the people and organisations it thinks can help the nations and regions of Great Britain work well.
HSE Chair Judith Hackitt said:
“We can be proud of the country’s record on work-related safety and health – it’s one of the best in the world. Making it even better is the challenge, so that we can all continue to help Great Britain work well. Getting risk management right is an enabler for productivity, innovation and growth, and is integral to business success as well as the wellbeing of workers.
“We’re starting a conversation with a wide range of influencers – including employers, workers, local and central government, unions, other regulators and key representative groups – because it’s important that this is a strategy for all, shaped by all.”
Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People, with responsibility for health and safety, said:
“In Government, we are determined to build a more productive Britain, one that rewards hard work and helps all to benefit from the opportunities of economic growth.
“It is essential that health and safety is part of that, supporting British employers in their ambition and supporting workers who want to get on.
“Taking sensible steps to keep workers safe and well is something that the best-run businesses do. It’s good for people, it’s good for productivity and it’s good for growth.”
More details on how people can join in will be released at www.hse.gov.uk/strategy in the coming weeks. Plans include events across Great Britain, digital discussion groups and a campaign hashtag: #HelpGBWorkWell
Britain has one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries at work in Europe. There has been a huge reduction in deaths and injuries at work in the 40 years since the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 was introduced – for example, 86 per cent fewer fatal injuries to employees in 2014/15 compared to 1974. But, in 2014/15:
- 142 people did not come home from work
- 611,000 more suffered a non-fatal injury at work
- 1.2 million working people were suffering from a work-related illness
- £14.3 billion was the cost to Great Britain of injuries and new cases of ill-health from current working conditions
- 27.3 million working days were lost to work-related ill health or injury
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Great Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.