News from around the World
- How Do You Talk About Workplace Motor Vehicle Safety?
- Action needed to combat home and leisure accidents, says UK RoSPA CEO Errol Taylor
- Can Drones Make Construction Safer?
- Event: The Role of Fire and Rescue Authorities in Ensuring Public Safety – Strengthening Collaboration, Driving Transformation and Enhancing Effectiveness
- Event: HiAP 2018 – A Strategy for Improving Population Health
- Event: Occupational Hazards and Reproductive Health
- Event: 2018 Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference
- Event: RAD 2018 Conference – Sixth International Conference on Radiation and Applications in Various Fields of Research
- Robot News from USA NIOSH, OSHA and the Robotic Industries Association Establish Alliance
- £15 million boost to UK mental health research
- EU Biocides Regulation 528/2012 (EU BPR) – Update to ECHA Biocides Guidance available
- TUC promotes union role in fire safety
- ONR appoints new Chief Nuclear Inspector
- US Online Training – NFPA 70E: Electrical Safety in the Workplace
- USA: Deadly rise in US asbestos imports
- USA: Statement from Chairperson Sutherland – News Conference on Ongoing Arkema Investigation
- A healthy workplace for all ages
- Event: Conference Work and Cancer
- Workplace injury and ill health cost Britain £14.9 billion in 2016/17
- Action on Smoking and Health welcomes inquiry into electronic cigarettes
- Proposal to restrict hazardous substances in tattoo inks and permanent make-up
- Employers Undermining UN Treaty Discussion on Multinational Companies
- ECHA will have six sessions at SETAC Europe in Rome 13-17 May 2018
- London Fire Brigade (LFB) ‘butts’ into vaping campaign
- IPAF welcomes the introduction of updated British standards regarding the safe use of MEWPs and MCWPs
- Highly Sensitive Measurements of the Passage of Nanometric Contaminants Through Protective Gloves, Using Medical Imaging
- French bureau recommends tighter vehicle fire safety
- Investigation of German coach fire
- New employees are most at risk of having a workplace accident
How Do You Talk About Workplace Motor Vehicle Safety?
The USA NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety (CMVS) is taking up the challenge of communicating to employers and workers about the risks of driving for work and how to avoid motor vehicle crashes. Crash risk affects workers in all industries and occupations, whether they drive tractor-trailers, cars, pickup trucks, or emergency vehicles, and whether driving is a primary or occasional part of the job. Because of the diversity of these work settings, one size does not fit all when it comes to either research or communication. Striking a balance, the US CMVS prioritises workers who are at highest risk for crashes and injuries – truck drivers, emergency responders, and oil and gas workers – while at the same time accommodating the wide range of other employers and workers who need motor vehicle safety information.
Research from the CMVS feeds directly into recommendations for policy and practice. Taking the time to understand the work environment – for example, organisational dynamics, work patterns, and employment arrangements – helps us to ask the right questions and increases the chances that our findings will reduce crashes and injuries. Throughout a research project, we engage with participating companies, employers and their organizations, workers and their representatives, and others who have an interest in the work. We come to understand the attitudes that shape safety practices, the barriers and incentives to making change through motor vehicle safety interventions, and the specialized language that will make our communications credible. Our interaction with the law enforcement community is a good example of this at work. The CMVS is developing a motor vehicle safety messaging toolkit for law enforcement officers, the tone and language of which reflects what motivates police to adopt safe driving habits. Qualitative data from interactions with law enforcement officers by a NIOSH researcher and health communicator, in addition to a review of the toolkit by a police department, informed the “others first” perspective woven throughout toolkit messaging.
More information: www.cdc.gov/niosh/enews/enewsv15n7.html
Action needed to combat home and leisure accidents, says UK RoSPA CEO Errol Taylor
A warning has been issued over the alarming rise in the number of serious accidents happening in the home and at leisure, as part of RoSPA’s latest Annual Review.
Chief executive Errol Taylor speaks of the “relentless and largely unnoticed” increase in accidents in these environments, in the RoSPA Annual Review 2016/17 – RoSPA’s centenary year – which was published on 14 November 2017.
He says that this has happened while scientific, evidence-based approaches to accident prevention have seen huge strides made in the arenas of road and workplace safety, and would like to see the same approaches taken to address other areas of concern.
RoSPA, in partnership with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, has helped the NHS to adopt the Emergency Care Data Set, which it is hoped will provide a better understanding of the causes of injuries to people attending A&E departments.
Can Drones Make Construction Safer?
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) often called drones are increasingly used for military, recreational, public, and commercial purposes. UAVs have the potential to prevent injury and death in the construction industry where nearly 1,000 workers died in 2015. Advancements in UAV technology could help reduce construction-related injury and death from falls, toxic chemical exposures, electrical hazards, or traumatic injury from vehicle and equipment collisions.
As is the case with other emerging technologies, occupational safety assessments of UAVs lag behind technological advancements. UAVs may create new workplace hazards that need to be evaluated and managed to ensure their safe operation around human workers. A recent paper from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Construction and Worker Safety describes the four major uses of UAVs, including their use in construction, the potential risks of their use to workers, approaches for risk mitigation, and the important role that safety and health professionals can play in ensuring safe approaches to their use in the workplace.
While the article provides a wealth of information on the major uses of UAVs, this blog focuses on UAV use in construction. The commercial segment of the $100 billion UAV market is predicted to be the fastest growing between 2016 and 2020, with the construction industry accounting for the largest share of the growth. By 2025, the U.S. commercial UAV sector is forecast to surpass five billion dollars in investments.
More information: https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2017/10/23/drones-construction
Event: The Role of Fire and Rescue Authorities in Ensuring Public Safety – Strengthening Collaboration, Driving Transformation and Enhancing Effectiveness
9 January 2018, Central London
Key speaker: Peter Holland CBE, Former Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor, Home Office
In addition to coordinating an emergency response to the Grenfell Tower fire, including the announcement of an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, the Government is proceeding with the ambitious reform agenda for FRAs outlined in The Policing and Crime Act 2017. This programme seeks to build capability, improve efficiency, increase public confidence, and further enhance local accountability, by placing a ‘duty of collaboration’ on the three emergency services and empowering PCCs to assume governance of FRAs where a robust local business case has been made. HMIC is moreover becoming a single inspectorate for policing and fire, charged with ensuring services are as professional, effective and efficient as possible.
However, considerable challenges exist in simultaneously managing fire risk, realising government ambitions, and reassuring the public against the backdrop of the Grenfell Tower catastrophe. Central funding to all fire and rescue services in England is scheduled to drop to £864 million by 2019-20 (FBU, 2017). The Public Accounts Committee Enquiry into the Financial Sustainability of Fire and Rescue Services (April, 2016), not only criticised poor understanding, “of the potential impacts of future funding reductions on fire and rescue services”, but also sought to counter any conflation of collaboration with efficiency concluding that, “it is not yet clear to what extent such (co-responding) projects represent value for money”.
With an interim report on the Government review into building regulations and fire safety due at the end of 2017, and Essex’s Roger Hirst recently announced as the first PCC to take charge of a FRA, this symposium will offer FRAs, local authorities, the police service, housing associations, and the health sector with a timely and invaluable opportunity to engage with government reforms and formulate strategies towards collaboration and public safety. It will also provide all stakeholders with an opportunity to highlight good practice and identify areas where they need to improve.
More information: www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/events/IA09-PPE
Event: HiAP 2018 – A Strategy for Improving Population Health
6 February 2018, RSM, London
Health in All Policies (HiAP) is an approach to policies that systematically and explicitly takes into account the health implications of the decisions we make; targets the key social determinants of health; looks for synergies between health and other core objectives and the work we do with partners; and tries to avoid causing harm with the aim of improving the health of the population and reducing inequity.
This conference will ensure that attendees are informed about the health, equity, and sustainability consequences of various policy options during their policy development process, allowing them to improve the health of all people by incorporating health considerations into decision-making across sectors and policy areas.
The HiAP 2018 conference is not focusing on public health taking over the remit of other areas, but about ensuring that through the transference of best practice methodology there is a common understanding of health and health inequalities across councils, NHS settings and community care.
Delegates will engage a range of partners from government and local government and stakeholders with an aim to work together to improve health and health equity and, at the same time, advance other goals, such as educational attainment, improved housing and green spaces, environmental sustainability, promoting job creation and economic stability.
More information: http://hiap.govconnect.org.uk
Event: Occupational Hazards and Reproductive Health
16-19 April 2018, Quality Hotel View, Malmö, Sweden
Reproductive health receives much attention in the general population, especially relative to conditions that may impact negatively on fertility and pregnancy. Even if most inhabitants of reproductive age hold a job in the Nordic countries, we know little about the work environment relative to reproductive function and the topic does not receive much attention by the work authorities.
This course aims update knowledge on occupational reproductive health hazards required for understanding and preventing risks to pregnancy and fertility, as well as providing insight into the possibilities for further study within this field. Adverse pregnancy outcomes owing to exposures during pregnancy are main topics at the course, together with male and female fertility, developmental disorders, and long-term effects of pre- and perinatal exposures. The course will focus on assessment, identification and management of occupational risks to reproductive health, interpretation and use of research data in risk assessment, and on a range of chemical, physical, and psychosocial risk factors. Risk communication and legislation and policies to protect workers' reproductive health will also be addressed, and we will discuss factors that predict absence from work.
More information: https://niva.org/course/occupational-hazards-reproductive-health
Event: 2018 Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference
23-26 April 2018, Cincinnati, Ohio USA
The 2018 Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference (TRAC) will be a 4-day meeting focusing on topics in risk assessment principles and practice. The conference provides attendees with an overview of current research, methodologic, and practice issues that are the focus of risk assessment efforts in various Federal agencies, academic institutions, industry, and other organizations.
The Plenary session, on the first day of the main conference, and specific workshops on risk assessment methodologies held on the days before and after the two main conference days, comprise TRAC 2018. A detailed agenda and conference registration information are forthcoming.
Also featured is a poster session, with trainee competition and prizes, for which the poster abstract deadline is March 12, 2018. The poster session is designed to provide participants the opportunity to share their work in a focused, collegial environment. We invite poster abstract submissions that have been submitted in the previous year at other relevant conferences to stimulate discussion in the more focused environment of TRAC.
More information: http://toxicologyandriskassessmentconference.org
Event: RAD 2018 Conference – Sixth International Conference on Radiation and Applications in Various Fields of Research
18-22 June 2018, Metropol Lake Resort, Ohrid, Macedonia (FYROM)
Invitation for participation
RAD Conferences gather people from various fields of research (natural science, medicine, environmental protection, engineering, …), representing the right choice for biologists, chemists, physicists, medical doctors, environmental protection specialists, electrical engineers and many others who are in a way connected with ionizing and non-ionizing radiations, as well as other areas related to them.
Please look at the Conference topics, and we are absolutely sure you will find some interesting topic(s) that correspond to your scientific interests. However, we also encourage everyone whose work is not directly related to the listed topics to send us the abstract(s) and participate in RAD 2018 Conference. Also, you are welcome to participate without sending abstract(s)!
Up to 3000 characters long abstract(s) (including spaces), without figures, equations, tables and references, could be entered via the abstract portal at the ABSTRACTS page. You can import and change your abstract(s) until the abstract submission deadline (November 30, 2017). The last saved version of the abstract(s) will be kept.
RAD 2018 organizers encourage the authors to write full papers for the Conference Proceedings, although it is not obligatory! All papers will undergo a fair peer-review process, and only the papers which pass that procedure can be accepted for publication in the Conference Proceedings (a DOI number will be assigned to each published paper). Moreover, the best-marked papers, upon the permission of the corresponding author(s), will be published in the newly-established, open access, and peer-reviewed scientific journal: Radiation and Applications in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Medical Sciences, Engineering and Environmental Sciences.
Goran Ristic, Chairman of RAD 2018 Conference | www.rad2018.rad-conference.org
Robot News from USA NIOSH, OSHA and the Robotic Industries Association Establish Alliance
In October 2017, NIOSH, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) established a new Alliance to address workplace safety and health issues related to traditional industrial robots and emerging collaborative robots.
More information: https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/ria/ria.html
£15 million boost to UK mental health research
Mental health research will receive a huge £15 million boost following the announcement of two new schemes to stimulate expertise, innovation and collaboration in the field. £10 million has been awarded to the MRC as part of the government’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to help researchers harness the power of health data for mental health research. In addition, £5 million has been dedicated by the MRC for therapeutic target validation, to help improve the hunt for better treatments for a wide range of mental health conditions.
Mental health problems have a huge impact on the UK’s health, wealth and wellbeing. An estimated one in six of us are affected by mental illness each year in the UK and it costs the economy £70-100 billion annually as a consequence of lost productivity, time off work, social benefits and health care. Strengthening mental health research to minimise its burden on us as individuals and as a society is a key priority for the MRC. It’s crucial that we develop our understanding of the risk and trigger factors for mental illness, how it progresses over a lifetime and develop better, tailored interventions.
EU Biocides Regulation 528/2012 (EU BPR) – Update to ECHA Biocides Guidance available
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have published an update to the Guidance on the BPR: Volume III Human Health, Assessment and Evaluation (Parts B + C) to add a new section (Section 5) concerning Estimating Dietary Risk from Transfer of Biocidal Active Substances into Foods for Non-professional Uses.
TUC promotes union role in fire safety
The TUC has published new fire safety advice for trade union representatives in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.
The union body says there are between 15,000 and 20,000 fires in non-residential buildings every year in the UK. Last year 2,000 of these fires were in industrial premises, more than 5,000 were in shops or similar commercial sites, while almost 2,000 were in schools or hospitals. Union health reps have a key role to play in fire safety, says the TUC, and should challenge employers to treat all aspects of fire safety, including prevention, as more than just a ‘tick-box exercise’. The TUC guidance sets out the law around fire safety, explains what is required from a thorough fire safety assessment, and looks at how to implement fire safety policies that will prevent and protect workers. There’s also a checklist for reps on what to look out for in terms of fire safety when they carry out their workplace inspections. The TUC believes workers in high-risk office blocks will have particular concerns about fire safety, following June’s Grenfell Tower fire. If not managed properly, high-rise buildings pose additional risks in terms of their construction and escape routes.
ONR appoints new Chief Nuclear Inspector
On 30 October 2017 The Office for Nuclear Regulation has appointed Mark Foy as its new Chief Nuclear Inspector.
The Chief Nuclear Inspector will lead ONR’s regulatory activity, and is essential to ensuring the success of our work and our drive to be a world-class regulator. The appointment has been made with the approval of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in consultation with Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy ministers.
ONR’s Chair, Nick Baldwin CBE said:
“I’m delighted to appoint Mark to this crucial role at ONR. His combination of personal integrity, technical and regulatory knowledge and personal leadership skills made him an excellent candidate for the highest regulatory role in ONR and he was the panel’s unanimous choice.”
“His expertise will be invaluable in regulating a nuclear industry that is responding to new challenges and increasing demands and ensuring effective enforcement and independent regulatory decision-making. Mark will work closely with the Board and Chief Executive to take forward our published strategy to 2020 and beyond.”
Mark’s 30-year career has been spent working across the civil and defence nuclear industry, half of it as a nuclear regulator. For the last four years he has been a Deputy Chief Nuclear Inspector working on some of ONR’s most significant programmes including Sellafield, decommissioning, defence and civil reactors.
US Online Training – NFPA 70E: Electrical Safety in the Workplace
The US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has six individual courses that introduce the safety-related work practices and procedures that employees, supervisors, and owners need to understand to avoid electrical tragedies on the job.
USA: Deadly rise in US asbestos imports
Asbestos imports to the US nearly doubled in 2016, reversing a long-term decline, latest figures have shown.
Data from the Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission estimate that 705 metric tonnes of raw asbestos were imported last year, compared to 343 metric tonnes in 2015. The US Geological Survey reported asbestos imports came from Brazil and Russia. The only remaining user of raw asbestos in the US is the chloralkali industry, which uses it to “manufacture semipermeable asbestos diaphragms.” Much of the surge in imports in 2016 came in the fourth quarter of the year, following the passage of the revamped Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Lobbyists from the American Chemistry Council, acting at on behalf of the chloralkali industry, are now pushing for an exemption from the new chemical safety law that would allow it to continue to import and use asbestos.
USA: Statement from Chairperson Sutherland – News Conference on Ongoing Arkema Investigation
15 November 2017
I would like to provide an update on the CSB investigation of the fires which occurred at the Arkema plant, in Crosby, Texas, USA as a result of Hurricane Harvey in August. Our investigation is ongoing, but I would like to provide an update on what we have learned about the events leading up to the fires. I’m joined today by our Investigator in Charge, Mark Wingard.
Our investigation of this type of disaster is somewhat new ground for the CSB. You may recall, however, that as Hurricane Harvey was approaching the Gulf Coast, a number of the industrial facilities in the region were making plans to shut down all or part of their operations. That’s when we re-issued a safety bulletin about startup activities. Based on our investigative history, we know that quick shut downs and startups are opportunities that can expose these systems to greater risk, which if not carefully managed, can result in a major industrial incident. There are a significant number of chemical plants and refineries that lie within the direct path of major storms like Hurricane Harvey. Many of these plants and facilities are all interconnected. So, a major disaster in one facility can have a cascading effect on fuel and other commodity productions and storage, which can be disruptive to the regional and national economy.
There are major lessons to be learned from this event that can be shared within the industry to better prepare for future severe weather and environmental events. In a few moments, I’m going to play a short animation that will show how the events unfolded in Crosby over the course of the storm. But let me provide a brief update of our investigation to date. A two member team deployed to Houston on September 5, 2017 and arrived on-site September 6, 2017.
The team photo-documented the site, identified evidence of interest, and had initial company meetings. The CSB remained on site over the following two weeks in order to collect evidence and conduct site interviews. The last week of October the team conducted interviews at Arkema’s corporate headquarters in Pennsylvania. At this time, the team has concluded interviews and activities at the Crosby site.
As you can see from the timeline we are releasing today, the water rose so rapidly at the Arkema site, that the first combustion occurred less than 72 hours after flooding commenced. The facility was not prepared for such heavy rainfall which led to a rapid flood rate. Facilities across the Gulf Coast experienced similar problems. As tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico increase in frequency or intensity, it is imperative that facilities have effective emergency response procedures in place. The backup generators at Arkema were elevated 2 feet off the ground, whereas the flooding exceeded 3 feet in the vicinity of the generators.
There is a valuable lesson that facilities in the Gulf and elsewhere should note: Reassess continuity of operations plans and worst case scenario assumptions. Plan and plan again. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of safety by thinking that it can’t/won’t happen here. We hope to share additional, more comprehensive lessons in the near future.
More information: www.csb.gov/arkema-inc-chemical-plant-fire-
A healthy workplace for all ages
Two of the most neglected groups of employees are young people under 18 and older workers.
The last week of October is European Health and Safety Week and HSE was raising awareness of the need for safe workplaces for all ages. Take a look at our dedicated website sections below to ensure these workers have their health and safety needs met.
Event: Conference Work and Cancer
14-15 November 2017, Brussels, Belgium
The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) will organize a conference on Work and cancer in Brussels (International Trade Union House, Boulevard du Roi Albert II, 5) on 14-15 November 2017.
The conference will focus on cancer related to work and will bring together the stakeholders (social partners, policy makers, academics, etc.) to take stock of what is being done and what is needed at European Union level to prevent occupational cancers. The revision of the current EU legislation, the role of occupational exposure limit values, the human, societal and economic costs of work-related cancer and the emerging risks to reproductive health will be amongst the topics on the agenda.
Active simultaneous interpretation will be provided into and from English and French.
More information: https://www.etui.org/Events/ETUI-conference-Work-and-cancer
Workplace injury and ill health cost Britain £14.9 billion in 2016/17
The annual statistics for health and safety at work in Great Britain have been released. The figures cover work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, costs to Britain and enforcement action taken.
Key figures for Great Britain (2016/17)
- 1.3 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
- 2,542 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2015)
- 137 workers killed at work
- 609,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey
- 70,116 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
- 31.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
- £14.9 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2015/16)
View and download the statistics: www.hse.gov.uk/statistics
Action on Smoking and Health welcomes inquiry into electronic cigarettes
The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on 25 October 2017 announced an inquiry into electronic cigarettes.
Public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) welcomed the news. ASH Chief Executive Deborah Arnott said:
ASH is pleased that the Committee has launched this timely inquiry, and we look forward to submitting evidence in response. This is a fast moving market and it is crucial that any policies on e-cigarettes are based on the best available evidence. While e-cigarettes are helping smokers quit they are not a stand-alone solution to the tobacco epidemic and it’s important that the evidence is considered in the context of tried and tested policies such as taxation and regulating tobacco marketing, that have been driving down rates of smoking for many decades.
Proposal to restrict hazardous substances in tattoo inks and permanent make-up
Together with the competent authorities of Denmark, Italy and Norway, ECHA has prepared a restriction proposal to reduce the risks caused by hazardous substances contained in some tattoo inks. These include some substances already banned in cosmetics but also additional substances.
Due to the growing popularity of tattoos and no harmonised control in the EU on tattoo and permanent make-up inks, ECHA was asked by the European Commission to assess the chemical-related risks associated with the inks, the need for Union-wide action, and the relevant socio-economic impacts. ECHA asked Member States if they wanted to be involved in developing the proposal and Denmark, Italy and Norway became co-responsible. In addition, Germany contributed significantly to the proposal. As a conclusion to this assessment, the dossier submitters have made the proposal for a restriction.
The aim of the proposal is not to ban tattoo inks or tattooing. Instead, the aim is to regulate specific hazardous substances present in tattoo inks so that they are safe for people.
The proposal suggests to restrict the intentional use or concentration limit of approximately 4 000 substances when contained in tattoo inks. These include those substances already banned in cosmetic products or subject to certain harmonised classifications, such as carcinogens or skin sensitisers. Only some of these substances have been found in tattoo inks, but they are included in the proposal to prevent their potential use as substitutes in the future. Most of the substances are also covered by the recommendation by the Council of Europe on tattoo inks (ResAP(2008)1 and its predecessor) on which seven Member States have based their national legislation.
Employers Undermining UN Treaty Discussion on Multinational Companies
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has criticised business representatives in a UN Conference in Geneva this week for trying to block progress towards a UN treaty which would bring the international operations of multinational companies under the rule of law.
The meeting, organised by the UN’s human rights office is working on the elements of the proposed “international instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises”.
Representatives from the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Organisation of Employers are effectively rejecting the very idea of a legally binding instrument.
More information: https://www.ituc-csi.org/employers-undermining-un-treaty
ECHA will have six sessions at SETAC Europe in Rome 13-17 May 2018
We are now looking for abstracts, presentations and posters to be shown on different topics that we will be presenting during the conference. If you have for example case studies about the following topics that you would like to get visibility for through us, let us know and submit your abstract to SETAC before 29 November 2017.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) ‘butts’ into vaping campaign
The Brigade welcomes Public Health England’s support for e-cigarettes as a key way to help smokers quit tobacco smoking to help reduce the number of smoking-related fire deaths.
According to LFB latest figures, smoking is the cause of over half of fire deaths in the home, but cigarettes only caused nine per cent of the total number of accidental blazes. These figures are even more startling as the number of Londoners who smoke has dropped from 18.2 per cent in 2012 to 15.2 per cent in 2016*.
The guidance comes as Public Health England (PHE) launches its month-long Stoptober campaign to encourage smokers to quit tobacco for good.
In October last year the Brigade changed their advice in line with health professionals and urged people to quit smoking to avoid the risk of dying or being hurt in a fire.
IPAF welcomes the introduction of updated British standards regarding the safe use of MEWPs and MCWPs
The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) welcomes the introduction of updated British standards regarding the safe use of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) and Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs).
The new British Standards (BS) 8460 and 7981 supersede the 2005 and 2002 versions respectively, which are withdrawn.
Some of the main changes to BS 8460 include enhanced guidance on risk management, loading and unloading machines, understanding new safety features and fall prevention during maintenance to machines. There is additional guidance on warning symbols and annexes in the standard on self-familiarisation and rescue plans.
The new MEWP standard takes into account the BS EN 280, which specifies design calculations, construction standards, stability criteria, safety, examination and testing requirements and was drawn up with the participation of HSE representatives and based on feedback from IPAF and its members.
Rupert Douglas-Jones, Technical & Safety Officer at IPAF, comments: “It became apparent to IPAF and our members that the existing BS 8460 and BS 7981 hadn’t been updated for well over a decade and as a result the changing nature of the industry and the technical and safety guidance had somewhat overtaken the standard published.
“Following extensive feedback and consultation we are pleased that important considerations such as risk management, loading and unloading, modern MEWP safety measures, decals and warning stickers, familiarisation and rescue plans have all been included in the new standard for MEWPs.
“The MCWP version also covers risk assessments, rescue plans and familiarisation, and includes example inspection, maintenance, and thorough examination checklists and a simplification of the terms and responsibilities relating to MCWP operations. Of particular significance in the MCWP standard is the table outlining specific training requirements, which IPAF can of course help operators comply with.”
BS 8460 is a full revision of the standard, and includes the following key changes:
- New safe use recommendations taking into account the latest edition of BS EN 280;
- enhanced recommendations for the risk management process;
- new sub-clauses concerning the loading and unloading MEWPs and for operating MEWPs near sources of electromagnetic radiation in telecommunications;
- added recommendations for identifying the implications of new safety features on machines, such as telematics, data-logging, load sensors and machine security;
- new recommendations for the prevention of falls while carrying out maintenance on the machine chassis/structure, the prevention of entrapment, and the operation of secondary guarding;
- changes to reflect recent legislation, e.g. the Construction Design and Manufacturing (CDM) Regulations 2015, and the replacement of HSE guidance CIS 58 with GEIS6;
- references to various guidance documents from the Strategic Forum for Construction, Plant Safety Group on ground conditions, medical fitness to operate construction plant, avoiding trapping/crushing injuries, and inspection and thorough examination;
- new definitions for “primary guarding”, “secondary guarding”, “user” and “deck-riding”;
- new informative annexes giving guidance on symbols for MEWPs, machine modifications and CE marking, and controls in addition to the platform controls; self-familiarisation; and giving an example of a rescue plan hierarchy.
The new MCWP British Standard supersedes BS 7981:2002, which will be withdrawn, and is also published on 31 October. The updated standard sets out guidance and recommendations to ensure that MCWPs are installed, dismantled, maintained, thoroughly examined and used in a safe manner, and includes these key changes:
- Greater detail on the implementation of a risk assessment;
- simplification of the responsibilities for the safe operation of an MCWP, including: The removal of the term “user” and its replacement with “operator”; the introduction of recommendations for the “appointed person (user)” and the “appointed person (supplier)”; the recommendation for a trained installer to remove and reinstall a top tie; and clarification of the role of the demonstrator.
- The replacement of “induction” with “familiarisation” and additional recommendations for familiarisation;
- additional recommendations for: Alteration; thorough examination, including examination following installation, reconfiguration and repositioning; the use of safety harnesses and the preparation of a rescue plan; record retention;
- a new table giving a mast climbing work platform training needs analysis;
- new example MCWP daily and weekly checklists and a new example checklist for thorough examination.
Tim Whiteman, CEO of IPAF, adds: “IPAF is delighted to see the launch of these new British standards, which every rental company and contractor should now review. These latest versions will make a positive contribution to safe operation and ensure MEWPs and MCWPs remain the safest ways of conducting temporary work at height.”
Highly Sensitive Measurements of the Passage of Nanometric Contaminants Through Protective Gloves, Using Medical Imaging
Polymer gloves, used by most workers in the field of chemistry, those in contact with pesticides and those who administer chemotherapy drugs in hospitals, are among the most widely used personal protective equipment (PPE) against chemical contaminants.
PPE effectiveness is measured according to the ASTM-F739 standard, but for less volatile molecules or for nanoparticles, the detection limits of the analytical techniques currently used are insufficient. Two previous research projects funded by the Canadian Research organization IRSST, 0099-7910 and 2013-0060, documented the difficulty of quickly and accurately quantifying the penetration and passage of nanoparticles through protective gloves.
This project aims to develop a new and highly sensitive test method to measure in real time the passage of nanometric contaminants through the polymers of protective gloves used as PPE.
More information: www.irsst.qc.ca/en/ohs-research/research-projects/project/i/5458/n/mesures-a-haute-sensibilite-du-passage-de-contaminants-nanometriques-a-travers-les-gants-de-protection-par-imagerie-medicale-2015-0084
French bureau recommends tighter vehicle fire safety
The French Environment Ministry’s transport accident investigation Bureau (BEA-TT) has published the official report into the accident and coach fire in which 41 died at Puisseguin, 23rd October 2015.
The main cause of the fire is identified as an unauthorised additional diesel fuel tank added behind the cabin of the lorry involved in the initial accident. The Bureau notes that “a violent fire started immediately after the collision. The coach was very rapidly filled with black toxic smoke and attacked by flames”. The Bureau makes five recommendations: the first concerns verification of additional fuel tanks, the second asks for tightening of fire performance of materials used in vehicles, and the three others concern smoke ventilation, exit and emergency lighting systems. The Bureau notes that the non-structural bodywork of the coach, seats, carpets, flooring and curtains were made of a range of inflammable materials including polymers, wood, textiles and foams; and that some of these are “very well combustible … and release strongly toxic gases”. The Bureau specifically recommends that “in the context of revision of the EEC-UNO regulation n° 118, to propose to reinforce requirements concerning fire resistance of materials used in vehicle construction, and to introduce new requirements addressing the toxicity released by combustion of these materials”. The Bureau notes that it already recommended tightening the fire performance of materials used in coaches following the 23rd February 2008 coach fire (A43, Marches en Savoie: recommendation to consider vertical rather than horizontal combustion where relevant) and the 31st July 1982 coach fire (Beaune, recommendation to apply ISO 37 95 or stricter to interior and seat materials). The legal representative of the majority of the accident victims, Maître Mescam, commented that “the fire safety standards in the coach were extremely low … around one bus a month burns in France … bus fire standards should be the same as in aviation, trains and shipping”.
“Accident de Puisseguin : un rapport critique les normes anti-feu dans l’autocar”, Libération, 8/8/2017 www.liberation.fr/france/2017/08/08/accident-de-puisseguin-un-rapport-critique-les-normes-anti-feu-dans-l-autocar_1588801
BEA-TT (Bureau d’Enquêtes sur les Accidents de Transport Terrestre, Ministry for the Environment) report “Puisseguin” (July 2017) www.bea-tt.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/puisseguin-r235.html
Investigation of German coach fire
Reports of the investigation following the German bus fire on the A9 motorway, Oberfranken, 3rd July 2017, suggest that the initial crash between the bus and a truck was caused by the bus driver’s inattention.
An electrical short-circuit in the front area of the bus then lit spilt fuel, and the bus was engulfed in flames very rapidly. 18 of the pensioners on the coach died, and another 30 were injured by the fire. The bus driver intervened to save many lives before himself dying.
Police indicate that the cause of the A9 coach accident is known” www.infranken.de/regional/hof/Schwerer-Unfall-auf-der-A9-in-Muenchberg-Reisebus-in-Flammen-Mehrere-Verletzte;art155656,2749126
New employees are most at risk of having a workplace accident
Workers are as likely to have an accident in the first six months at a workplace as during the whole of the rest of their working life says HSE.
Their guide to protecting new starters, with six steps to protect them, can be viewed here: www.hse.gov.uk/vulnerable-workers/new-to-the-job.htm