Skip to content

Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

August 2016

  1. International Labour Organisation (ILO) reorganises
  2. Sitting kills?
  3. ECETOC/Cefic LRI Workshop reports on the role of epigenetics in reproductive toxicity
  4. Micro and small enterprises more at risk of injury and ill-health than larger organisations
  5. Event: Global Tunnels Safety and Fire Protection 2016
  6. Safety in the storage and handling of steel and other metal stock, 2nd revised edition
  7. New UK Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) Research Reports
  8. OSHwiki article in the spotlight: Reviewing research of supply chain influence on OSH
  9. Event: Safety and Risks of Engineered Nanomaterials (ENM)
  10. Event: Taming Tigers – Safety Excellence in Engineering Masterclass
  11. Events: HSE Inspectors’ Guide to...
  12. HSE launches a new engineering partnership
  13. USA NIOSH asks American OSH Practitioners “Where do you get your information?”
  14. US CDC adds The Bahamas to interim travel guidance related to Zika virus
  15. It’s all about the dress – and whether it’s safe
  16. Oil rig rescue highlights need to reinstate rescue vessels
  17. HSE will investigate possible UK asbestos imports
  18. EMF Directive – Workplace health and safety in electromagnetic fields
  19. Helping GB Work Well Strategy – what it means for work related stress!
  20. Slovakia took over the Presidency of the European Council from the Netherlands on 1 July 2016
  21. Research supports targeting enzyme group to treat autoimmune diseases
  22. ECETOC Workshop explores the role of chemical activity in environmental risk assessment within the context of mode of action
  23. Event: Improving safety by integrating lessons from undesirable events into design and operation
  24. Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL) events
  25. Event: RM³ – Understanding and Using the Risk Management Maturity Model (RM³)
  26. Event: Human factors in action – doing more with less
  27. FIRE Magazine Events
  28. BRE Fire Research Conference: Wireless Fire Detection, Open-Plan Fire Safety, Pilot Sprinkler Schemes
  29. Musicians to check safety performance
  30. Brexit schedule is key to work well-being and safety
  31. Union provides HIV well-being app for seafarers
  32. Australia: Firm liquidated to escape work death fine
  33. Manchester: EU Commissioner Moedas reassures UK researchers and launches €8.5 billion EU work programme for 2017
  34. ORR’s Annual Health and Safety Report of Performance on Britain’s Railways: 2015-16
  35. Event: FIG UK Seminar “Mind the Gap in Fire Information: Update 2016”
  36. A new revision of BIF 2 Fire Sprinkler Systems in Dwellings has been published
  37. Event: Fire Sprinkler 2016 Conference and Exhibition
  38. Event: Pandemics and Infection Control – Meeting Tomorrow’s Threats and Challenges Today
  39. New HSE inspectors celebrate success at NEBOSH Graduation
  40. Event: CSSE 2016 Professional Development Conference
  41. Society of Occupational Medicine setting up a specific new group
  42. The challenge of safety and health in micro and small enterprises: What can be done?
  43. Innovative workplace safety and health practices and rehabilitation strategies
  44. US NIOSH – New reports
  45. Events: Premiere of INOS+H Expo in New Delhi from 6 to 8 March 2017

International Labour Organisation (ILO) reorganises

The ILO has integrated many of its existing technical projects into five flagship programmes, designed to enhance the efficiency and impact of its development cooperation with constituents on a global scale.

One of the five is devoted to health and safety, the Global Action for Prevention on Occupational Safety and Health.

In addition, the programme will concentrate in particular on construction and agriculture and on workers working under conditions which make them more vulnerable to injury and disease.

Sitting kills?

High amounts of sedentary behaviour have been associated with increased risks of several chronic conditions and mortality. However, it is unclear whether physical activity attenuates or even eliminates the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting.

The authors of this recently published research examined the associations of sedentary behaviour and physical activity with all-cause mortality.

Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonised meta-analysis of data from more than 1 million men and women
by Professor Ulf Ekelund and others

ECETOC/Cefic LRI Workshop reports on the role of epigenetics in reproductive toxicity

Epigenetics is a term used to describe relevant biological processes for the regulation of gene transcription in cells which are not associated with changes in the DNA sequence or alterations in the genetic code itself. Thus epigenetics can change a cell without changing the genetic code. For example all cells in the body have the same genetic code but some become specialised skin cells, liver cells, brain cells etc. The epigenome decides this cell specialisation by controlling gene silencing and activation and defining where and when their expression takes place. Thus epigenetic change is a normal and healthy process occurring throughout life and is responsible for an organism’s ability to adapt to a changing environment. However, external factors might influence or disturb these processes and if epigenetic changes occur in an abnormal fashion, they may result in disease.

Building on the success of an earlier ECETOC workshop in December 2011: Epigenetics and Chemical Safety (See ECETOC Workshop Report no. 23), this November 2015 workshop brought together scientists from around the world to discuss and explore if environmental exposure-induced epigenetic changes that occur during foetal development in utero as a response to external factors such as chemical exposure, might be responsible for diseases in adults. The ability to understand and measure epigenetic changes occurring in the developing embryo offers the possibility of predicting and preventing disease states in later life. Experts from a range of disciplines including epidemiology, toxicology, epigenomics and regulatory science met over two days – first to share knowledge and then to brainstorm research needs in the field.

The Workshop offered ideas and suggestions for applied research to address this question. These are being pursued through the CEFIC Long Range Research Initiative (LRI).

The findings of the Workshop have been published as ECETOC Workshop Report no. 30: The Role of Epigenetics in Reproductive Toxicity.

Micro and small enterprises more at risk of injury and ill-health than larger organisations

Research by EU OSHA shows that workers in micro and small enterprises (MSE’s) are more at risk of injury and ill-health than larger organisations. Given that on average half of the European workforce is employed by such enterprises, this is a significant finding.

The report does highlight the variety of SME’s: sometimes high performing and rewarding for workers, but alternatively can have a preponderance of poor-quality jobs undertaken by workers with low skills.

Event: Global Tunnels Safety and Fire Protection 2016

16-18 November 2016 – Amsterdam, Netherlands

As you know, the issue of tunnel safety and fire protection has been addressed by many conferences in the past, so it is important, to also discuss advanced topics that are fresh and which will benefit all attendees.

Key Topics Include:

Safety in the storage and handling of steel and other metal stock, 2nd revised edition

This 93 page revised guidance by the UK Health and Safety Executive is aimed at directors, owners, managers and supervisors and pays particular attention to the most common hazards, including (un)loading of delivery vehicles, storage systems, workplace transport, mechanical lifting and injuries from sharp edges.

New UK Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) Research Reports

RR1081 – Review of Small Wind Turbine Construction Instructions and specifically for Structural Supports and Foundations

This research investigated the possible role of weaknesses in small wind turbine construction instructions in the potential for structural collapse associated with the structural supports and foundations.

RR1082 – The effectiveness of HSE’s regulatory approach: The construction example

This project has examined the effectiveness HSE’s approach to regulation of the construction sector since 2001. HSE provided a catalyst for change – utilising its unique information on the industry and expertise in understanding reasonably practicable control to support risk creators in their control of these risks.

OSHwiki article in the spotlight: Reviewing research of supply chain influence on OSH

Supply chains are nothing new to businesses, nor are the attempts to influence supply chains to improve profitability and market position. Yet changing business practices such as the increasing use of IT or the flexibility in work structures also directly and indirectly affect supply chains. Prof David Walters of Cardiff University and Prof Philip James of Oxford Brookes University Business School have investigated whether there is reliable evidence showing the link between supply chains and health and safety (OSH) measures at work in an OSHwiki article.

Walters and James start from the two common assumptions of how supply chains influence OSH: first, that poorer working conditions can be caused by, among others, complex and fragmented relationships between businesses and supply chain subcontractors or the weakening power of trade unions; second, that in some cases OSH conditions may improve due to powerful players at the top of the supply chain setting certain policies and practices.

This article outlines the main findings of Walter’s and James’ review, namely that there is not as much evidence as thought on the effects of supply chains on OSH management and performance. This leads the authors to argue that a mismatch between policies on how supply chains can be used to improve OSH and evidence to support this claim exists. The authors also conclude that the influence of supply chains on OSH varies due to a range of factors – from regulatory pressures to the length and trust of working relationships between buyers and suppliers.

Want to read more of the insights? Read the full article on supply chains and OSH issues:

Event: Safety and Risks of Engineered Nanomaterials (ENM)

25-27 October 2016 – Imperial Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark

Engineered nanomaterials offer enormous potential in many areas of technology. The safety of ENM is the key to the success of the industry, because without customers’ confidence, nanotechnology has no future.

Main topics:

Event: Taming Tigers – Safety Excellence in Engineering Masterclass

9-10 November 2016 – Health and Safety Laboratory, Buxton, Derbyshire

Engineering or project managers aspiring to become future senior leaders within high-risk industries should attend this Health and Safety Executive in collaboration with Manchester University Conference to be held at the Health and Safety Laboratory, Buxton, Derbyshire.

One of the biggest challenges facing the engineering leadership community in high-risk industries is delivering value to the business. Given that safety and risk management is and should be the highest priority how can businesses deliver safe design / operations AND maintain competitive advantage?

Learning Outcomes:

Events: HSE Inspectors’ Guide to...

As a business owner, senior manager or Health and Safety professional, wouldn’t you like to know what a visiting HSE Inspector is looking for, how they prioritise risk and how they interpret Health and Safety regulations?

Now you can get the answers – and more – from the Inspectors themselves at these events to be held at the Health and Safety Laboratories.

HSE launches a new engineering partnership

An engineering partnership made up of various trade association and representatives from HSE has been set up to enable the engineering industry, particularly SME’s, to engage, influence and inform HSE. The aim of the forum is to work together to improve health and safety standards within the engineering sector and to support the delivery of HSE’s strategy: Helping GB Work Well strategy aligning with the key themes, including tackling ill health and supporting SME’s.

The Engineering partnership will promote good standards of health and safety practices within engineering industries and act as a focal point for the sharing of information relevant to the engineering sector from all partnership members.

If you have any thoughts on the partnership, or want to get involved, please contact them at

USA NIOSH asks American OSH Practitioners “Where do you get your information?”

CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training receives NIOSH funding under a competitively awarded cooperative agreement that supports an extensive research program in occupational safety and health for the building industry. CPWR-supported researchers pursue original research in fields such as safety culture and climate, engineering controls for airborne silica and welding fumes, and the increasing use of engineered nanoparticles in construction materials, to name just a few. In recent years their r2p (“research to practice”) program has expanded efforts to share these findings with practitioners in the field.

More information:

United States CDC is working with other public health officials to monitor for ongoing Zika virus‎ transmission and has posted a Zika virus travel notice for The Bahamas. Local transmission of Zika has been reported on the island of New Providence, which includes the capital city of Nassau. CDC has issued travel notices (level 2, “practice enhanced precautions”) for people travelling to destinations with Zika.

More information:

It’s all about the dress – and whether it’s safe

The TUC is investigating gender-related problems associated with workplace dress codes and personal protective equipment (PPE). The TUC probe comes after reports of blatant sexism related to work clothing, including stipulations to wear high heels or lose your pay and the provision of ill-fitting, unsuitable PPE for women workers.

A survey this year by the union Prospect found just 29 per cent of women reported that the PPE they wear at work was designed for women. The TUC initiative comes as a House of Commons Select Committee prepares to publish its report on dress codes at work. The union body wants to hear of examples where employers or manufacturers have failed to address the issue of gender in the design or purchase of PPE and any problems this caused. The TUC is also keen to hear examples of good practice, agreements and policies.

More information:

Oil rig rescue highlights need to reinstate rescue vessels

The grounding of a 17,000-tonne oil drilling rig carrying 280 tonnes of diesel last week highlights the need to reinstate axed Emergency Towing Vessels (ETV), the union Nautilus has said. The union was speaking after the Orkney-based Herakles – Britain’s only remaining ETV, operated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) – was deployed to assist the Transocean Winner rig which ran aground on the Western Isles of Scotland on 10 August 2016 after breaking from its tug in heavy seas.

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch has begun an inquiry into what happened as the semi-submersible platform was being towed from Norway to Malta. It is understood that from Malta, the rig was to be taken to a yard in Turkey to be scrapped.

More information:

HSE will investigate possible UK asbestos imports

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to launch a formal investigation into the possibility of illegal asbestos imports to the UK. The move came after UK unions and asbestos victims’ and campaign groups told the regulator illegal imports into Australia by Yuanda Australia PTY Ltd were only exposed as a result of union vigilance, and queried whether Yuanda UK could have obtained asbestos-containing materials for use in the major UK construction projects with which it is involved.

More information:

EMF Directive – Workplace health and safety in electromagnetic fields

Measurement solutions from Narda Safety Test Solutions give certainty in the workplace over the whole bandwidth conforming to Directive 2013/35/EU – simple, quick, and reliable.

Since 1st July 2016, all EU member states are required to have implemented Directive 2013/35/EU for the protection of persons from electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the workplace in national laws. As a result, companies throughout Europe must now ensure that employees are not exposed to fields greater than the exposure limits, some of which have been newly defined.

This requires monitoring and minimizing risk through preventive measures where necessary. Narda Safety Test Solutions develops and produces powerful, intelligent measuring equipment for the demanding measurement tasks needed for this.

These precision instruments from the specialist for EMF measurement make it possible for those responsible to record all the field values relevant to a safety assessment complying with the directive in real time without too much effort. The high quality range comprises wideband and selective measuring devices as well as robust radiation protection monitors that form part of a set of personal protection equipment (PPE).

For example, the devices automatically detect the least favourable exposure levels from the biophysical viewpoint in difficult mixed EMF situations in multi-frequency environments. They can then display the result directly as a percentage of the applicable permitted limit value, making interpretation quick and sure.

Helping GB Work Well Strategy – what it means for work related stress!

The HSE work-related stress (WRS) team is developing a programme of work to underpin HSE’s new strategy – Helping Great Britain work well – to raise awareness of the harm, costs and preventability of work-related ill health. The Strategy places a focus on tackling ill health as a priority theme and highlights that prevention is more cost-effective and produces more business benefits than intervening when a person is suffering from ill health. In the case of stress this can a be long-term problem. HSE statistics show that the average sickness absence period for stress related illness is 23 working days and the total cost to industry and the country has been estimated at about £5.2 billion.

The programme of work will include; refreshing HSE’s work related stress website and other related guidance; updating our evidence base; extending our industry stakeholder engagement; increasing awareness of work related stress (WRS) and promoting the Management Standards approach to tackling WRS across all GB sectors.

HSE is planning to make greater use of HSE e-bulletin and e-community audiences as a source of both evidence gathering (via surveys, inviting new case studies etc) and testing/commenting on any new products and guidance. As a first step, they are reviewing the WRS guidance (leaflets and website) and are looking for your help!

HSE would like to ask you just three questions:

  1. How do you want or prefer HSE to communicate with you?
  2. How can HSE improve the current guidance – particularly with regard to the website and tools HSE provide? And
  3. Is there anything missing from the information HSE currently give that would be a useful addition?

If you would like to contribute, please do so via HSE “contact us” email route. To help HSE understand a little bit more about your organisation, you may wish to complete the questions, but don’t feel you have to!

Slovakia took over the Presidency of the European Council from the Netherlands on 1 July 2016

The Programme of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union is based on four priorities:

The Slovak Presidency begins at a time when the Union is facing unprecedented challenges: the result of the UK Referendum calls for discussion on the future of the Union, the continuing migration crisis raises questions concerning the integrity of the Schengen area, the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels have highlighted weaknesses in the area of internal security and the consequences of the economic and financial crisis are still affecting the economies of the EU Member States.

This work is being done within the framework of priorities agreed with the Council of the European Union by the three Presidencies for the period between January 2016 and June 2017 – the Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta. The 18-month programme of the Presidencies trio has the priorities growth, jobs, freedom, security, justice, energy union and a stronger EU in the world.

For the next six months, the Slovak Presidency aims to make significant progress on boosting entrepreneurship and job creation. This includes promoting a climate in which SMEs thrive to “help open up the potential for the Union to generate further growth and create jobs”.

The trio programme also states: “Unemployment is a major concern in most Member States. Proposals which help tackle unemployment and which open up opportunities for European citizens will be a key priority. Particular attention will be paid to initiatives in the area of youth, long-term and structural unemployment, as well as full access to the labour market.”

It continues: “The three Presidencies are determined to work together on the forthcoming Labour Mobility Package removing the remaining obstacles to EU mobility with the aim of smoothing the effect of future economic shocks, supporting fair competition and fair labour standards and in so doing contribute to the shared objective of decent work.”

On issues relating to social and work-related policies, Eurofound is cooperating with the Slovak Presidency.


Research supports targeting enzyme group to treat autoimmune diseases

New research from the University of Dundee, and funded by Arthritis Research UK and the MRC, has shown that targeting a specific group of enzymes could be a viable strategy for treating autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis and multiple sclerosis, which affect millions of people.

Autoimmune diseases develop when the immune system, which defends the body against disease, is convinced that our healthy cells are foreign. As a result, the immune system then attacks the healthy cells.

Researchers led by Dr Simon Arthur in the School of Life Sciences at Dundee examined the way that a drug called dimethylfumarate (DMF), which is licensed in the UK as Tecfidera, works. DMF is primarily used to treat multiple sclerosis but has also been shown to be an effective treatment for psoriasis, both of which are autoimmune diseases.

The team found that DMF is effective because it blocks the action of a particular group of enzymes called E2s, some of which are active in inducing inflammation.

“This is significant because previously the pharmaceutical industry has been sceptical lupus about the viability of targeting these enzymes as a means of treating diseases,” said Dr Vicky McGuire, lead author on the study.

“We have found that DMF is actually already targeting these enzymes with very positive results. This follows on from previous research from the University’s School of Life Sciences that showed that another drug, BAY 11-7082 also works by inhibiting E2 enzymes. However, unlike BAY 11-7082, DMF is approved for clinical use.”

Dr Arthur added, “This suggests that more selective inhibitors of E2’s may be well tolerated and validates these enzymes as targets for future drug development.”

Dr Stephen Simpson, director of research and programmes at the charity Arthritis Research UK, said he was excited by the results of the study they cofounded. Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and psoriatic arthritis can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, causing extreme pain and fatigue that can make even everyday tasks incredibly difficult,” he said. “We welcome this research in helping identify pathways in these types of conditions that may offer targets for new and effective treatment”.

The results of the research are published in Nature’s Scientific Reports.

ECETOC Workshop explores the role of chemical activity in environmental risk assessment within the context of mode of action

In a nutshell:

At its most basic level, chemical risk assessment involves an assessment regarding both the toxicity and exposure mechanisms associated with a specific chemical. It is well understood that the toxic effects of a given chemical depend on the dose (how much), frequency of exposure (how often), and the route by which the chemical enters the body. Mechanisms that influence toxicity and exposure of chemicals are governed by thermodynamics. As such, understanding these mechanisms can be useful in identifying chemicals that represent unacceptable risks to humans and the environment.

Recently there have been a number of studies that have aimed at demonstrating that chemicals that interact with biological systems through relatively weak and reversible hydrophobic interactions to cause non-specific baseline toxicity, or ‘narcosis’, are associated with a narrow range of internal body concentrations (2-8 mmol/kg). Alternatively, the same information can also be expressed based on the concept of a dimensionless thermodynamic chemical activity, of between 0.1 to 0.01. The chemical activity concept is attractive in that it is possible to compare the chemical activity of a chemical, or mixture of chemicals, not only between different biological organisms, but also between various environmental media, such as air, water, soil, and sediment. Consequently, the concept of chemical activity provides a relatively simple and coherent framework for shaping the study of toxicity pathways and assessing risks for both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

To date the use of the chemical activity concept, however, has largely been targeted at interpreting acute toxicity data for chemicals with non-specific, or baseline toxicity. Concerns related to long-term exposures of low concentrations of individual chemicals, and chemical mixtures, however, are increasing. There is thus a need for an improved basis for assessing the risks associated with chronic exposures. Given the appeal of chemical activity as an integrating concept for baseline toxicants, it would be of interest to assess the utility of the concept to chronic toxicity of baseline toxicants as well as to the acute toxicity of chemicals with more specific modes of action.

ECETOC in collaboration with RIFM organised a two-day workshop to assess the feasibility and applicability domain of the chemical activity concept within chemical risk assessment. The workshop reviewed the use of chemical activity as an applied tool for assessing the environmental risks of neutral hydrophobic chemicals known to act as baseline toxicants, and worked towards identifying data gaps. The workshop report summarises a research strategy defined to address existing data gaps needed to expand the applicability domain to miscible and ionisable organic chemicals with specific modes of action, and application of the concept to chronic toxicological endpoints.

A description and findings of the workshop is available in ECETOC Workshop Report No. 29: Defining the role of chemical activity in environmental risk assessment within the context of mode of action: Practical guidance and advice.

The Executive Summary and free PDF of the report are available at

Event: Improving safety by integrating lessons from undesirable events into design and operation

14 & 15 September 2016 – Aberdeen and London (and via webcast)

FABIG is pleased to inform you about their forthcoming event will be a half-day Technical Meeting covering “Improving safety by integrating lessons from undesirable events into design and operation”. It will be held on Wednesday 14th September 2016 in Aberdeen and on Thursday 15th in London & via Webcast.

This meeting is expected to take place between 12.15 pm and 17.00 pm (UK time).

The event programme is currently being finalised and more information will be provided shortly at

Some spaces for additional presentations so please contact us if you or your colleagues are interested in giving a presentation.

Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL) events

What makes the Health and Safety Executive’s Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL) health and safety training different to many other course providers is the scientists and safety experts who deliver the training. They are not only trainers; they are specialists working daily in research and incident investigation.

HSL aim is to ensure all your training needs are met in full.

For the full list of HSL training courses please visit HSL website or email

Event: RM³ – Understanding and Using the Risk Management Maturity Model (RM³)

14-15 September 2016 – London

HSL is delighted to be collaborating with ORR to deliver training on RM³. HSL’s comprehensive understanding of RM³ and best practice in the field of health & safety risk management across a range of industries, along with our knowledge of regulation puts us in the best position to help you to implement RM³ effectively and achieve excellence in H&S risk management.

The course will cover:

Event: Human factors in action – doing more with less

6 December 2016 – London, UK

Establishing the business case for human factors is crucial during a time when the demand for industry-wide efficiencies and cost-effective strategies is intensified. Investing in and maintaining a comprehensive human factors approach to safety performance is an important step towards ensuring your business retains its competitive edge. But how is this achieved?

This conference, organised in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF), will bring together Human Factors, HSE and Process Safety specialists and practitioners to participate in cross-industry learning, and to engage in a dialogue about the ways in which businesses can drive up standards and promote excellence within high-hazard industries.

Attend this conference to learn and share ideas about:

FIRE Magazine Events

Congress on Reimagining the Emergency Services: From integrated governance to integrated service delivery, 16 November 2016

The third Congress convened by FIRE magazine will bring together all three emergency services to start this discussion with a view to developing a new blueprint for an integrated service delivery model for the emergency services.

Professional Development

Entries for the third Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards on 2 December 2016 are open.

BRE Fire Research Conference: Wireless Fire Detection, Open-Plan Fire Safety, Pilot Sprinkler Schemes

A rundown of presentations from the UK BRE Fire Research Conference, which also covered false fire alarms, loss-prevention standards, large-scale fire testing and fire resistance/safety of compartmentation in roof voids, among other topics.

Musicians to check safety performance

Live performance risk assessments take time and bring their own set of stresses, the UK Musicians’ Union (MU) has said. But it hopes a new, free online tool will take the worry out of risk. The Online Interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA), which was developed by the European Agency (EU-OSHA) and has tailored versions for sectors including ‘live performance’, provides a simple checklist that can be supplemented by the user and has other interactive functions.

More information:

Brexit schedule is key to work well-being and safety

Two safety bodies are urging the government to publish a schedule for exit negotiations so that employers can develop plans that will assure the safety, health and well-being of their workforce in the short to medium term.

The British Safety Council (BSC) and the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) have written a joint letter to prime minister Theresa May, warning: “Uncertainty over the future work status of EU nationals in the UK is already causing anxiety and stress, which could adversely impact on the mental health of affected individuals.”

More information:

Union provides HIV well-being app for seafarers

Seafarers can now access up-to-date information and guidance about HIV/AIDS on their mobile devices, thanks to a new well-being app launched by the global transport workers’ union federation ITF.

ITF maritime co-ordinator Jacqueline Smith said: “Seafarers – like many transport workers – are particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. We hope this app will help them understand more about the disease and be able to find information quickly and easily, whether they’re at sea, in port or at home. We want to help seafarers keep themselves and their families safe.”

More information:

Australia: Firm liquidated to escape work death fine

The operators of an Australian recycling company have sought to escape penalties for the death of an employee by shutting down the business and resurrecting it under another name. Australian Box Recycling [AB Recycling] – listed as a cardboard recycler for major high street retailers – was found guilty of grave safety violations that led to the 2014 death of worker Steve Bower.

A slew of deadly defects in the construction and configuration of a four-metre-high box-stacking lift caused it to come crashing down under a 240 kg load, crushing Mr Bower to death at a Melbourne warehouse. The company was found guilty by a County Court jury and fined Aus$ 800,000 (£455,000) in criminal penalties. But the operators of AB Recycling put the company into voluntary administration after the investigation by safety regulator WorkSafe, and there now appears no chance it will pay up.

More information:

Manchester: EU Commissioner Moedas reassures UK researchers and launches €8.5 billion EU work programme for 2017

EU Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas has acknowledged current uncertainty among researchers in the UK and stressed that “for as long as the UK is a member of the European Union, EU law continues to apply and the UK retains all rights and obligations of a member state. This of course includes the full eligibility for funding under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.”

More information:€85bn-eu-work-programme_en

ORR’s Annual Health and Safety Report of Performance on Britain’s Railways: 2015-16

Britain’s railways are currently the safest they have ever been, but there is still room for improvement. We saw a broadly consistent level of safety performance in 2015-16, building on the results of the last few years. For the first year ever, there were no workforce fatalities.

There was evidence of top-level safety improvements, particularly around reductions in harm at level crossings and among the workforce, but also a few slightly worsening trends, including high levels of earthwork failures and an increase in harm to passengers at stations.

The progress of the last decade has been built on a shared commitment by industry leaders, managers, workers, trade unions, government and ourselves to improve risk management. This year saw the publication of a unified mainline railway health and safety strategy, a key milestone which we endorsed fully. It identifies improvements to the maturity of the industry’s collective risk management including important health issues, such as worker health and wellbeing.

More information:

Event: FIG UK Seminar “Mind the Gap in Fire Information: Update 2016”

Wednesday 26 October 2016 starting at 13.15, Imperial Hotel, Senate Room, Russell Square, London

This seminar is kindly sponsored by Lane, Jefferies & Associates Ltd and Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

CPD points awarded

12.30 – 13.15


13.15 – 13.25

Introduction by Chair Sheila Pantry OBE

“Updating Mind the Gap in Fire Information”

Setting the scene – FIG UK and fire information worldwide

13.25 – 14.00

Jon Pagan Director of Fire Services IFC

Vested interests also where to keep up to date in information

14.00 – 14.35

Dr Barbara Lane, Arup

Fire safety and high rise buildings/structures also where to keep up to date in information

14.35 – 14.50


14.50 – 15.25

Fire research into practice in 2016 and beyond ... robots in the fire scene … also where to keep up to date in information

Dr James Glockling, Technical Director Fire Protection Association

15.35 – 16.05

Charlie Pugsley Head of Fire Investigations LFB

Trends in fires and also 150 years of LFB

16.05 – 16.35

Martin Shipp, Forthcoming President of the IFE

16.35 – 1645


Summing up – Chairman

17.00 – 18.00

Refreshments and Networking in The Imperial 1st Floor Bar

To book a place or for any further information contact Sheila Pantry OBE, Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, 85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Email: |

A new revision of BIF 2 Fire Sprinkler Systems in Dwellings has been published

The revised document underlines the case for the wider use of sprinklers in dwellings and in particular to ensure the safety of vulnerable members of society. It also contains information on the more recent 2012 BRE report on the cost benefit analysis of fitting sprinklers in residential premises and the lessons learnt from the increasing number of residential installations particularly Callow Mount and the Sheffield Low Rise projects.

The BIF outlines the implications of the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales Measure) 2011 and associated guidance and includes a number of case studies. The information contained within the BIF will be useful for BAFSA members in discussions with potential clients and for those non-members seeking information on the potential use of sprinklers to protect those living in residential accommodation

Event: Fire Sprinkler 2016 Conference and Exhibition

16 November 2016 – Cardiff

This is the most important date in the BAFSA calendar in 2016 – when the BAFSA Fire Sprinkler Conference & Exhibition will be held at the fully sprinklered, sleek and modern 5 star St David’s Hotel & Spa Cardiff.

This one day conference will have a packed programme of Plenary Sessions and Workshops. Education, heritage, sleeping risks and protecting the vulnerable are subjects which will feature in the programme, all to be presented by experts in their chosen field.

BAFSA’s biennial conference seeks to bring in-depth knowledge and experience, technical updates, standards and case studies regarding water-based automatic fire suppression to an audience of BAFSA members, local authorities, facilities managers, architects and fire safety engineers and the wider fire community.

Event: Pandemics and Infection Control – Meeting Tomorrow’s Threats and Challenges Today

Wednesday, 14th September 2016 – Central London

A new influenza pandemic continues to be recognised as one of the greatest threats facing the UK. Whilst influenza pandemics have been relatively infrequent over the past century, a new pandemic could surface at any time, such as the emergence in 2009 of the H1N1 Swine Flu Influenza Pandemic.

Furthermore, the UK Government Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) issued in July 2013 a revised guidance to support and revise the local multi-agency pandemic plans (Preparing For Pandemic Influenza: Guidance for Local Planners) whilst PHE, as the expert national public health agency, published in August 2014 the Pandemic Influenza Response Plan to clarify its role (based on the PHE Pandemic Influenza Strategic Framework).

This special symposium offers an invaluable opportunity for emergency planners, infection prevention and control teams, influenza pandemic preparedness leads, health services, local authorities, and other key stakeholders to examine the resilience of the current framework for pandemic preparedness and explore what more still needs to be done.

Delegates will also:

New HSE inspectors celebrate success at NEBOSH Graduation

The first new UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors awarded the NEBOSH Diploma in Regulatory Occupational Health and Safety celebrated their achievement at the NEBOSH Graduation Ceremony held at the University of Warwick recently.

The inspectors gained a brand new vocational Diploma designed solely for HSE inspectors. Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, former Chair of HSE, congratulated the diplomates in her role as Guest of Honour.

During his address, NEBOSH Chair Sir Bill Callaghan also praised the work done by the HSE: “I am sure everyone here today is aware of the huge difference HSE inspectors make to health and safety in Britain. NEBOSH is delighted to have been selected to develop an accredited Diploma qualification for all new HSE inspectors and we are very proud to welcome the first of you to achieve this.”

The event was attended by over 230 diplomates from around the world, including safety, health and environmental professionals from Bahrain, Ghana, India, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, Russian Federation, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the United Kingdom.

Sir Bill continued: “Your qualification is highly valued. Employers, in particular, feel reassured that the knowledge you have gained and, crucially, your ability to apply this knowledge, has been thoroughly put to the test.”

Event: CSSE 2016 Professional Development Conference

18-21 September 2016 – Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver, British Columbia

The PDC offers a number of keynote presentations, half-day workshops, and concurrent sessions. Attending the CSSE PDC is an excellent way to earn certification maintenance points as well. Beyond the educational aspect of the conference is the networking and sharing of lessons learned with fellow safety practitioners that set the CSSE’s PDC apart from other conferences. There are endless opportunities to network through breaks, lunches, and social events.

Attending the CSSE’s Professional Development Conference enhances prevention and safety knowledge and skills, which enables safety practitioners to provide better service and prevention planning for their companies and employees/clients.

Society of Occupational Medicine setting up a specific new group

The Society of Occupational Medicine is setting up a specific group for international members, or UK members with an interest in international occupational health. The group will meet 4 times a year online (or by teleconference), with a dedicated face to face meeting at the annual conference. The group aims to plan and facilitate professional and social collaboration between members around the international practice of occupational medicine, and create a voice within SOM e.g. by:

They also wish to highlight this development to international students in Diploma courses in the UK to encourage networking. Dr Will Ponsonby in the first instance has agreed to be chair, supported by SOM.

The challenge of safety and health in micro and small enterprises: What can be done?

In a project looking at micro and small enterprises (MSEs) – the size group most at risk of occupational accidents and ill-health in Europe – EU-OSHA identifies how policies, strategies and practical solutions can improve the occupational safety and health (OSH) in these enterprises.

The results of the first phase of this project have been published, highlighting that MSEs experience poor outcomes in terms of working conditions and work-related health effects. The report also identifies the main challenges MSEs are facing in making efficient OSH arrangements.

A high-level seminar brought stakeholders together to discuss these findings and the role of MSEs in the economy, as they account for almost 99% of enterprises in Europe.

Innovative workplace safety and health practices and rehabilitation strategies

EU-OSHA analysed workplace practices for safety and health at work, and reviewed the latest literature on rehabilitation and return-to-work strategies, as part of a European Parliament pilot project on the safety and health of older workers.

These reports identify what measures are being taken, and what measures give positive and sustainable results. They also identify barriers to the successful implementation of such measures, and the support needed to overcome these barriers.

More reports on the pilot project will be published later in the year.

US NIOSH – New reports

Investigators Design Experimental Engineering Control for Silica Dust

Silicosis is an irreversible, but preventable, occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of respirable crystalline silica dust (RCS). Each year, millions of workers, primarily in construction, sandblasting, and mining, are at risk of silicosis (and lung cancer) from exposure to RCS. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) investigators study how to prevent workers’ exposure to this serious health risk. Recently, they developed a novel engineering control, called the NIOSH mini-baghouse retrofit assembly, to help control RCS released from sand moving machinery on oil and gas extraction sites. Below, study lead author Barbara M. Alexander, Ph.D., P.E., C.I.H., NIOSH engineer and industrial hygienist, explains how the experimental tool works.

During the process known as hydraulic fracturing, workers use special equipment that injects fluid under high pressure into a drilled well to break apart the rock formation and release the oil and gas. Typically, the fluid primarily contains water, sand or a similar substance, and treatment chemicals. Using pressurized air to transfer sand from delivery trucks into sand movers generates RCS, which then disperses into the air.

Workers face a significant health risk from inhalation of RCS during hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas extraction tasks. At hydraulic fracturing sites, NIOSH investigators identified concentrations of respirable silica that were 10 to 50 times over the permissible limits set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. NIOSH research has identified at least seven sources of airborne RCS release at oil and gas extraction sites during hydraulic fracturing.

New Laboratory Method Evaluates Vibrations From Hand-held Riveting Tools

When considering aircraft worker safety, the most visible jobs – pilot, air traffic controller, security screener – often come to mind. In truth, however, worker safety begins long before takeoff. During aircraft construction and maintenance, workers attach layers of sheet metal to airframes using hand-held tools called bucking bars. Used with air-powered riveting hammers, bucking bars enable workers to set rivets into predrilled holes in aircraft and other products. The problem is that bucking bars, like most powered hand tools, transmit vibrations, which increase the risk of injuries and disorders to the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and bones of the hands. Although manufacturers have introduced new types of bucking bars designed to reduce risk, their effectiveness is unclear because there is no standardized method to measure their transmitted vibrations.

Obstructed Breathing More Common in Certain Jobs

Airway obstruction, which can signify lung diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was more common among workers in construction and oil and gas extraction than in other industry, investigators at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported after analyzing results from a nationwide survey. These findings underscore the importance of monitoring the lung function of workers in high-risk jobs.

A major contributor to disability and death, lung disease is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Although lung diseases such as asthma and COPD have genetic influences, hazardous occupational and environmental exposures have important causative roles. Consequently, preventing these exposures can help to prevent disease. Previous research has suggested that workers in certain jobs with exposure to vapors, gases, dust, and fumes are more likely than other workers to develop airway obstruction. Non-occupational exposures such as tobacco smoking, exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, and exposure to other forms of air pollution can also increase risk. Research identifying work-related factors in airway obstruction is vital to better recognize this risk, enable those who already have the disorder to receive treatment, and prevent future cases.

Study Finds Increase in ALS Among Former Flight Attendants

A new study by NIOSH and federal partners found that former flight attendants were significantly more likely to die of the disease ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, compared to people in the general population.

Flight attendants often have the opportunity to travel the world, but working on aircraft may increase certain health risks. Last year, a study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that pregnant flight attendants might be at higher risk for miscarriages. A new study by NIOSH and federal partners has found that former flight attendants were significantly more likely to die of the disease ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, compared to people in the general population. It is important to note, however, that this was an observational study, which shows only associations, not causes.

Also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS involves progressive deterioration, or neurodegeneration, of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary movement. The cause of ALS is unknown, although environmental factors may play a role in some cases.

In this study, investigators looked at deaths from neurodegenerative diseases among 11,311 former U.S. flight attendants between 1953 and 2007. The flight attendants were predominantly white females who had worked as a flight attendant for an average of 6 years. Investigators found that nine former flight attendants died of ALS, which is more than double the rate in the general population. No increase in deaths from other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and dementia, occurred. In addition, the length of time spent as a flight attendant did not appear related to ALS risk. Due to the study’s observational design and the relatively small number of deaths from ALS, further research is necessary to confirm the findings.

Events: Premiere of INOS+H Expo in New Delhi from 6 to 8 March 2017

Trade fair for occupational safety and health accompanies ISSA’s Indian health and safety conference “Vision Zero”

A+A, the world’s leading fair with congress for safety, security and health at work is now extending its portfolio abroad to include the Occupational Safety + Health Exhibition INOS+H Expo thereby opening up new markets for Indian exhibitors and export-oriented companies that have their focus on this booming country on the sub-continent.

The trade fair will run for the first time from 6 to 8 March 2017 at the Vigyan Bhavan Exhibition Centre in New Delhi, in parallel with the occupational safety conference of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) “Vision Zero”. Forming the focal points of the exhibition will be Safety at Work / Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Health Promotion and Security Management at Work. These are themes that are gaining ever increasing importance in India’s current economic climate and as a market and investment destination for foreign companies.

“A joint commitment to occupational safety is a key element of economic relations between India and Germany. The Indian State of Maharashtra as well as the National Safety Council have been collaborating since 2010 with German Social Accident Insurance (Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung – DGUV) and the Employers’ Liability Insurance for the Construction Industry BG BAU. This has hugely improved working conditions, particularly in the Indian construction industry. With the INOS+H Expo’s focus on personal protective equipment and working safely at heights together with our partner ISSA we offer a sectoral platform unique in the region where experts can exchange ideas and new market shares can be fostered and created in India. Forming an ideal supplement to the trade fair will be the concurrent “Vision Zero” conference,” explains Birgit Horn, the Director and Global Head at Messe Düsseldorf for the A+A event portfolio.

With above-average economic growth and increasing income of $ 5,410 GDP per capita working conditions are also undergoing change in this, the second most populous country in the world with its 1.25 billion inhabitants. For instance, Minister of Labour Narendra Singh Tomar announced strategies for improving working conditions and the health of workers and families – strategies which are being supported by Germany as a trading partner. With its growth potential India is an interesting market for international suppliers of protective items. Furthermore, many international firms produce in India that in turn expect the usual safety standards and technical regulations for occupational safety. These are positive pre-requisites for Messe Düsseldorf and its subsidiary Messe Düsseldorf India to deepen occupational safety expertise in India. These trade fair organisers are cooperating with the International Social Security Association (ISSA) to jointly organise and hold INOS+H, Indian Occupational Safety + Health Expo, in New Delhi. Here the ISSA features the following sections: Prevention in the Chemical Industry, Electricity, Gas and Water, Prevention in the Construction Industry as well as in the Transport Sector.

The global A+A event portfolio includes the successfully established events:

All information on INOS+H Expo (6 to 8 March 2017) is available online at:

Contact for INOS+H Expo:

In Düsseldorf: Mrs Miriam Schellkes, e-mail: | Tel: +49(0)211 45 60-77 33

In India: Mr Saurabh Chopra, e-mail: | Tel: +91(0)11 48 55 00 65.

The next A+A will be held in Düsseldorf from 17 to 20 October 2017. Information at:

Martin-Ulf Koch/Larissa Browa, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, Press Department | Tel: +49 (0) 211 45 60 -549/ -444 | Fax: +49 (0) 211 45 60 -87 549 | E-mail: