Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

April 2018

Contents
  1. International Workers’ Memorial Day – ‘Reinvigorated’ global union safety campaign launch on 28 April
  2. Pupils and staff at violence risk
  3. UK Academy schools failure to manage asbestos exposed
  4. Cancer common at work, but workers’ rights often are not
  5. New warning on asbestos deaths linked to site work
  6. IPAF outlines consultation on virtual reality and platform simulators
  7. Korean president urged to stop Samsung Vietnam abuse
  8. Pakistan: Anger at new spate of mine accidents
  9. USA: The 9/11 rescuers who died a day apart
  10. Zimbabwe: Tobacco work is harming children
  11. On Your Feet Britain
  12. UK Health and Safety Laboratories (HSL) training courses in April and May 2018
  13. Event: Annual Global Asbestos Awareness Week launches
  14. ECHA – the European Chemicals Agency News
  15. Event: eHealth Revolution and Changing Work
  16. ASH to present new data on e-cigarettes to Science and Technology Select Committee
  17. Diversity is key to expanding frontiers of future science, says renowned space scientist at ECETOC 40th anniversary celebration
  18. Stressed-out psychologists demand mental health funding in the UK
  19. Support staff in schools stressed out by staff cuts
  20. Event: Mental Health 2018 – Delivering the Five year Forward View
  21. ITUC Launches Migrant Worker “Recruitment Adviser” Platform
  22. Running an event safely
  23. The Planning Portal now includes health and safety information
  24. Event: Workers Memorial Day – 28 April 2018
  25. Allan St. John Holt Memorial Lecture
  26. Event: British Safety Council offers “Mental Health: Manage the Conversation”
  27. US CDC’s National Report on Exposure to Environmental Chemicals: Updated Tables March 2018
  28. News from US NIOSH

International Workers’ Memorial Day – ‘Reinvigorated’ global union safety campaign launch on 28 April

Figures establishing a sharp rise in work-related deaths worldwide show why unions worldwide are to renew and reinvigorate their campaign for safer, healthier, decent work, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has said.

A briefing from the global union body, published ahead of the 28 April International Workers’ Memorial Day, points to latest International Labour Organisation (ILO) figures which revise their global estimate of the annual toll of work-related fatalities and occupational disease deaths from 2.3 million to 2.78 million.

Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the ITUC, said this figure “is an under-estimate. Work associations with diseases are missed, either by accident or design, and for whole categories of conditions no-one is counting the bodies.” In the new briefing, Burrow writes that ITUC will on 28 April ‘reinvigorate’ its global health and safety campaign. “It is not just about asking for improvements. It is about having the collective voice and industrial power to demand them,” she notes. “Early priorities are escalating the drive for a global ban on asbestos and renewing the zero occupational cancers campaign. Addressing the diseases of despair, including work-related suicide and mental illness, are high on the priority list.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-844-14-april-2018-1#_Toc511227726

See also www.ilo.org/safework/events/safeday

Workers’ Memorial Day:www.sheilapantry.com/memorial

History of Occupational Safety and Health: www.historyofosh.org.uk

Pupils and staff at violence risk

Pupils and school staff are being put at risk as a result of the failure of some schools to share information about violent and disruptive pupils, UK teaching union NASUWT has said.

The union said “in too many cases adequate risk assessments are not undertaken of pupils who persistently display high levels of aggression and violence in school. Even where such assessments are made, the details are often not shared or passed on to staff, particularly when pupils move schools. Eleven per cent of teachers surveyed by the NASUWT say they have been subjected to physical violence by pupils in the last year. The union survey also found 15 per cent report having received threats of physical violence by pupils. Over half (52 per cent) have been subjected to verbal abuse from those they teach.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-844-14-april-2018-1#_Toc511227714

UK Academy schools failure to manage asbestos exposed

The continuing presence of asbestos in the majority of schools and academies is a national scandal – putting the lives of pupils and staff at risk, unions have warned.

Figures released by the Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) in conjunction with the campaigner Lucie Stephens and Rachel Reeves MP, reveal a ‘shocking disparity’ in asbestos management across Multi Academy Trusts (MATs). JUAC says this reinforces “the need for the government to take urgent action.” The data, gathered in Freedom of Information requests, included 54 reported asbestos exposure incidents in academies. But JUAC says despite “the many exposure incidents reported, the HSE [Health and Safety Executive] had only taken enforcement action in five MATs.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-844-14-april-2018-1#_Toc511227717

Cancer common at work, but workers’ rights often are not

More than half (53 per cent) of employees living with cancer do not know that their employer has a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments for them to return to work, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.

The charity’s latest estimates say the number of working age people living with cancer in the UK increased by almost 10 per cent between 2010 and 2015. The overall number of working age people with cancer in 2015 was estimated at 890,000. This represents a sharp rise from the previous estimate of 810,000 for 2010. The charity says working age people now make up over a third (36 per cent) of people living with a cancer diagnosis.

Macmillan’s ongoing campaign, ‘Cancer isn’t fair but your boss has to be’, aims to raise awareness amongst people with cancer of their rights at work. It says around one fifth (18 per cent) of people living with cancer who returned to work report facing discrimination in the workplace due to their illness.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-844-14-april-2018-1#_Toc511227721

New warning on asbestos deaths linked to site work

Nearly one in four UK construction workers believe they may have been exposed to asbestos fibres, placing them at higher risk of contracting deadly cancers later in life, a major safety organisation has warned.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the organisation for safety professionals, says with potentially half a million buildings containing this lethal mineral, employees across many sectors risk being exposed every day. It says this could continue “the trend of Britons having the world’s highest chances of dying from mesothelioma, the deadliest asbestos-related cancer.” The organisation was commenting after a survey it commissioned found a third of respondents had never checked the asbestos register before starting work on a new site – with nearly half unaware of the existence of a register. Almost one in five respondents said if they discovered asbestos they wouldn’t be sure what to do.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-844-14-april-2018-1#_Toc511227723

IPAF outlines consultation on virtual reality and platform simulators

A global consultation is to be launched by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) to establish the possibilities for powered access training and safety guidance afforded by new technology such as virtual reality and platform simulators.

VR is now a reality and IPAF’s worldwide network of almost 700 approved training centres are looking for guidance on how best to incorporate VR and the newest generation of simulators into training the more than 175,000 operators that obtain a PAL Card every year. IPAF will launch a major consultation exercise with all training centres to see how best the technology can complement IPAF’s existing training programmes.

For many years simulators have been used as an effective means of training pilots in both the military and civil aviation sectors, and have also been used to drill workers in high-risk environments such as the off-shore oil and gas industry. As the technology has become more sophisticated, mobile and affordable, the use of simulators and VR is becoming more established in the Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) realm.

IPAF’s mission statement is to promote the safe and effective use of powered access worldwide. With this in mind, IPAF believes the use of VR with simulators for training MEWP operators is a positive development and should be welcomed.

More information: https://www.ipaf.org/en/news/2018/01/ipaf-outlines-consultation-virtual-reality-and-platform-simulators

Korean president urged to stop Samsung Vietnam abuse

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has urged South Korean president Moon Jae-in to challenge labour abuses by Samsung in its factories in Vietnam.

In a letter to the Korean leader, ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow highlighted the risks to human and labour rights in the Korean multinational’s operations. She urged Moon Jae-in to engage Samsung management both in Korea and in Vietnam to address grievances and ensure that the company carries out human rights due diligence with respect to Samsung subsidiaries and suppliers. “Samsung’s track record of human and labour rights abuses has been exposed in nearly every country where they operate. From covering up the name of industrial chemicals that induce workers’ deaths and illness in the interests of ‘trade secrets’, to a no-union policy across its Asian electronics industry, Samsung relies on a business model that has lost its moral compass,” said Sharan Burrow.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-844-14-april-2018-1#_Toc511227728

Pakistan: Anger at new spate of mine accidents

A global union has condemned the ‘apathy and negligence’ behind a spate of worker deaths in Pakistan mines.

IndustriALL was commenting after six workers were reported killed on the night of 4 and 5 April after an explosion at a coal mine in the Sorab area of Kalat released poisonous gas, suffocating the miners. Quoting the chief inspector of mines in the Balochistan provincial government, a news report stated that the mine was operated illegally without the required licence from the government.

On 1 April 2018, an explosion at the Ali Mines in Jhelum District triggered a roof collapse, trapping six workers under the debris. According to reports from the All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions, two workers were rescued but the other four workers died in the incident. The Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation reported that on 27 March 2018 a miner was killed and another was rescued with serious injuries in a mine accident at the Sharigh Coal Mine area.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-844-14-april-2018-1#_Toc511227729

USA: The 9/11 rescuers who died a day apart

When Thomas Phelan and Keith Young died within a day of each other last month, in both cases it was as a result of cancer. But the underlying cause of the firefighters’ deaths, aged 45 and 53, was the event they both witnessed up close 17 years earlier: the 11 September 2001 attack on New York.

The names of Phelan and Young will not be added to the official tally of nearly 3,000 people killed in the attack. Their deaths were, however, a every bit as much the result of what happened at the World Trade Center that September morning. According to records maintained by the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York (UFANYC) union, theirs were the 172nd and 173rd deaths of firefighters to have occurred because of 9/11-related illnesses, and the sixth and seventh so far this year.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-844-14-april-2018-1#_Toc511227730

Zimbabwe: Tobacco work is harming children

Children and adults who work on Zimbabwe’s tobacco farms are facing serious risks to their health, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned.

A new report from the organisation says child labour and other human rights abuses on tobacco farms in Zimbabwe tarnish the tobacco industry. The comprehensive report details how children work in hazardous conditions, performing tasks that threaten their health and safety or interfere with their education. Child workers are exposed to nicotine and toxic pesticides, and many suffer symptoms consistent with ‘Green Tobacco Sickness’, nicotine poisoning from handling tobacco leaves. Adults working on tobacco farms in Zimbabwe also face these serious risks.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-844-14-april-2018-1#_Toc511227731

On Your Feet Britain

Take part in the national day when workers across Britain unite together and participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to #SitLess and #MoveMore at work on Friday 27th April 2018.

“Get up offa that thing”

The On Your Feet Britain Challenge dares you to take James Brown at his word and convert ‘sitting time’ to ‘standing time’. Follow some simple changes – it’s easier than you think:

So Friday 27th April 2018 is your chance to get the ball rolling and encourage your employees to take a stand. Team up with colleagues and see how much “sitting time” you can reduce on the day.

More information: http://onyourfeetday.com/britain/challenge

UK Health and Safety Laboratories (HSL) training courses in April and May 2018

HSE Training and Conferences is unlike any other training provider. Their courses are delivered by scientists and health and safety experts who work in research and investigations every day, for the benefit of industry and government. Their training is built around current real-world expertise and is fully aligned with the requirements of the regulator.

HSL run courses running across the UK, including London and at HSE’s purpose-built laboratory in Buxton, Derbyshire.

HSL can also offer a bespoke solution for companies, arranged either in-house or at the HSL laboratory facilities.

April 2018

May 2018

More information: https://www.hsl.gov.uk/training

Event: Annual Global Asbestos Awareness Week launches

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has launched the 14th Annual Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW), which runs until 7 April 2018.

The week-long event is dedicated to awareness and prevention, with each day featuring educational resources from various organizations in six different languages. The week culminates on April 7 with an online, worldwide candlelight vigil.

Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2018

Building on the issues of strength and collaboration, this year’s Global Asbestos Awareness Week will focus on:

More information: www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/archives/45306

ECHA – the European Chemicals Agency News

https://www.echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/echa-weekly-4-april-2018

“Are you in the correct SIEF”?

If you realise that the substance you pre-registered is clearly different from that of the other pre-registrants, you may want to join another substance information exchange forum (SIEF). This may also be the case if you find out that your substance is different during discussions on substances sameness.

It is important to remember that whether you find a more suitable SIEF or not, you must register your substance using the correct identifiers, which have to be consistent with the analytical data on your substance, even if they are different from the ones used in your pre-registration.

The lists of pre-registered and registered substances are useful tools for looking for a more suitable SIEF. Take a look at our Q&A for more advice.

REACH 2018 questions and answers – everything you want to know about registering successfully

19 April, 11:00-12:30 EET (Helsinki time)

Are you preparing to register for the 31 May 2018 REACH deadline? For useful advice and tips, join our Q&A session where you can ask our expert panel about all aspects of registration – from knowing your portfolio and finding your co-registrants to preparing and submitting your registration dossier.

Reminder: REACH-IT open 24/7

To help you prepare for the 31 May 2018 deadline, ECHA will keep the dossier submission and communication tool REACH-IT open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The tool may be closed on Monday mornings from 7:00 to 10:00 EET (Helsinki time) for scheduled maintenance.

Support through ECHA’s Helpdesk is available during ECHA’s business hours as usual.

Less than two months to go – over 18 000 registrations submitted

18 037 registrations have been submitted for 7 452 substances manufactured or imported in amounts from 1 to 100 tonnes per year. The most registrations have been filed from Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

Security is at the heart of the ECHA Cloud Services

The IUCLID Cloud for SMEs is as secure as any other ECHA service storing confidential business information, such as REACH-IT, R4BP and ePIC. Read more about the security aspects of the ECHA Cloud from our new security statement.

Your feedback invited on ECHA’s strategic priorities for the next five years

A public consultation has been launched on ECHA’s draft Strategic Plan for the next five-year period. By 2023, ECHA aims to become the main source of scientific knowledge and technical know-how on chemicals, serving a wide range of EU policies and stakeholders. The plan lists three strategic priorities that are to be achieved through the implementation of a set of administrative and regulatory actions.

ECHA welcomes your comments on the draft document for consideration when deciding on the Agency’s future direction and priorities.

Event: eHealth Revolution and Changing Work

18-20 September 2018, Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre, Espoo (Helsinki area), Finland

The way we think about work, organise work and communicate with each other is changing rapidly. The Internet and personal technologies create new health and safety service cultures and platform economies. During this course we will study current trends, developments and future perspectives. The course will consist of keynote speeches, workshops and participant presentations (optional).

Main topics:

1. Is digitalisation a solution or creating new problems in the work life?

2. How can ICT improve provision of safety and health services?

3. Do digitalization promote equity in health?

More information: https://niva.org/course/ehealth-revolution-changing-work

ASH to present new data on e-cigarettes to Science and Technology Select Committee

The UK Action on Smoking and Health (ASK) appeared before Parliament’s Science and Technology Select Committee to provide evidence for the Committee’s inquiry into e-cigarettes. New data from the charity was presented to the committee providing the most recent figures on the level of use and attitudes towards e-cigarettes.

The latest figures come from the annual ASH Smokfree GB survey completed in March by polling agency YouGov.

The new figures show that:

More information: http://ash.org.uk/media-and-news/press-releases-media-and-news/ash-to-present-new-data-on-e-cigarettes-to-science-and-technology-select-committee

Diversity is key to expanding frontiers of future science, says renowned space scientist at ECETOC 40th anniversary celebration

The key to expanding the frontiers of future science is ‘gender diversity’ and inspiring the younger generation, according to one of Europe’s leading space scientists, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

Speaking at the 40th anniversary celebration of the European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology and Chemicals (ECETOC) at the Bibliothèque Solvay in Brussels, Dr Aderin-Pocock said: “We need to find ways to inspire the next generation to be passionate about science, especially young girls, through positive role models and by communicating the ‘worlds of wonder’ that science reveals.”

Dr Aderin-Pocock continued: “Science today is not very attractive to the next generation. Unless we change that – and fast – we run the risk of scientific progress slowing down in the future.”

Founded in 1978, ECETOC has been a champion of scientific excellence and science-based decision-making in Europe. For the past four decades, it has provided a forum for top scientists from academia, government and industry to work together to develop and promote practical and realistic science-based solutions.

More information: www.ecetoc.org/mediaroom/diversity-key-expanding-frontiers-future-science-says-renowned-space-scientist-ecetoc-40th-anniversary-celebration

Stressed-out psychologists demand mental health funding in the UK

Applied psychologists in the NHS lobbied MPs this week with an urgent call on the government to deliver on its promise to boost mental health funding. Their union, Unite, said workers in the service are suffering from “plummeting morale” and “stress and strain.”

Unite said its recent survey revealed that morale among NHS workers has hit rock bottom, with 86.9 per cent of 3,112 respondents saying that workplace morale was worse or a lot worse than it was a year ago. The union said further 87.8 per cent said that increased work-related stress is to blame.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-842-24-march-2018-0#_Toc509404970

Support staff in schools stressed out by staff cuts

In the UK Teaching assistants, school librarians and lab technicians are facing a soaring workload as staff are cut and they are increasingly expected to teach, according to a National Education Union (NEU) survey of over 1,700 support staff members.

More than half (54 per cent) of respondents reported they are carrying out more tasks that used to be performed by teachers, such as marking pupils’ work and data entry. Six out of ten (60 per cent) said the number of support staff has decreased in their school. The cut in support staff places more pressure on the workload of the remaining support staff, NEU said.

Figures for secondary schools for 2016 show support staff numbers have declined by nearly five thousand compared to the previous year and by almost ten thousand compared to three years previously, while teacher numbers have fallen by six thousand since 2013.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-842-24-march-2018-0#_Toc509404972

Event: Mental Health 2018 – Delivering the Five year Forward View

19 September 2018, RSM, London

The independent Mental Health Taskforce published its Five Year Forward View in February 2016 which set out the current state of mental health service provision in England and made recommendations in all service areas.

In July 2016, NHS England published an Implementation Plan detailing how it will deliver the recommendations made by the Taskforce working with its partner arms-length bodies. The Plan presents the timeframes and funding for delivery of the programmes of work which will transform mental health services.

Mental Health 2018 – Delivering the Five year Forward View is an opportunity to consider progress of the Implementation Plan and monitor progress on its commitments to transform mental health services.

NHS England has established strong governance structures to oversee the work and to hold the health and care system to account for improving mental health services. Delivery partners across the system include Public Health England, Health Education England, the Care Quality Commission, NHS Improvement, the Department of Health and NHS Digital.

This conference will allow participants to hear from senior leaders from many of the key partner organisations involved in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

NHS England has established strong governance structures to oversee the work and to hold the health and care system to account for improving mental health services. Delivery partners across the system include Public Health England, Health Education England, the Care Quality Commission, NHS Improvement, the Department of Health and NHS Digital.

This conference will allow participants to hear from senior leaders from many of the key partner organisations involved in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

More information: http://mentalhealth2018.govconnect.org.uk

ITUC Launches Migrant Worker “Recruitment Adviser” Platform

The ITUC – International Trades Union Congress – has launched a new web platform to help protect migrant workers from abusive employment practices, by providing them with peer-to-peer reviews about recruitment agencies in their country of origin and destination.

The Recruitment Advisor, developed by the ITUC with support from the ILO Fair Recruitment initiative”, lists thousands of agencies in Nepal, Philippines, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and other countries.

The platform allows workers to comment on their experiences, rate the recruitment agencies and learn about their rights. Initially available in English, Indonesian, Nepali and Tagalog, it will be further developed in more languages.

Governments provided the list of licensed agencies and a network of trade unions and civil society organizations in all target countries, ensures the sustainability of the platform by reaching out to workers and speaking to them about their rights.

Public and private recruitment agencies, when appropriately regulated, play an important role in the efficient and equitable functioning of both the migration process and labour markets in countries of destination, by matching the right workers with specific labour needs and labour markets, as well as creating invaluable skills assets for countries and communities of origin when workers return home.

More information: https://www.ituc-csi.org/ituc-launches-migrant-worker

Running an event safely

Good planning and organisation is essential for putting on an event that is both enjoyable and safe.

Guidance for event organisers to help them manage the risks, ensuring the visiting public are not exposed to health and safety risks, is available on HSE’s website.

These Health and Safety Executive web pages provide a wealth of information on the various health and safety topics organisers will need to consider when conducting their risk assessments.

For organisers of events which attract large numbers of visitors, such as festivals and concerts, guidance on managing crowd safety at events is available.

More information: www.hse.gov.uk/event-safety

The Planning Portal now includes health and safety information

The Health and safety Executive (HSE) has worked with the Planning Portal and CONIAC to provide simple health and safety information for people thinking about having work done on their property...

Contractors, clients and other visitors to the interactive house on the Planning Portal can now find information and recommendations to help ensure work can be done safely and without causing ill-health. Common construction projects currently covered include roof work, basement excavation and loft conversion.

Getting your job done safely gives simple steps to health and safety, including links to HSE guidance.

The Planning Portal now includes health and safety information.

More information: https://www.planningportal.co.uk

Event: Workers Memorial Day – 28 April 2018

Each year, April 28 is designated as Workers’ Memorial Day, providing the opportunity to reflect on the many people who are killed, seriously injured or made ill while doing their jobs.

There are dozens of permanent memorials to lost workers around the UK, and many of them host ceremonies on April 28.

Some of the memorials commemorate high-profile disasters that claimed the lives of many workers and others remember lesser-known accidents in which one or two workers were killed.

In 2010, RoSPA’s National Occupational Safety and Health Committee initiated the creation of a website – www.sheilapantry.com/memorial – to provide comprehensive information about the memorial sites.

The website, put together by health and safety information expert Sheila Pantry, is updated regularly. It includes location information about a variety of memorials, as well as photographs, details of temporary commemorative sites, links to other sources of information and a diary of events.

Among the many permanent memorials listed on the website are those dedicated to victims of disasters at the Piper Alpha oilrig near Aberdeen, the Flixborough chemical plant in Lincolnshire and the Senghenydd mine in Wales.

Memorials added to the site include: the Six Bells Colliery Disaster Memorial near Aberdeeg in South Wales, which remembers 45 workers killed in a gas and dust explosion in 1960; Postman’s Park in the City of London, which remembers men and women who gave their lives while attempting to save others; and two memorials to Mathew Gilbert, who was killed during the construction of Heathrow Terminal 5 in 2005.

But it must be remembered that for every catastrophe involving multiple fatalities, there are hundreds more accidents for which there is no public memorial. Grieving families, colleagues and employers mark these accidents quietly.

A memorial day for workers – now observed in 19 countries – was first recognised in Canada in 1984.

Since 1989, trade unions across the world have organised events on or near April 28, which is the anniversary of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the USA. In 2001, the International Labour Organisation also declared April 28 as International Day of Action for Safety and Health at Work.

Workers’ Memorial Day was officially recognised in the UK for the first time in 2010.

To have a memorial listed on the website, email Sheila Pantry at sp@sheilapantry.com.

Allan St. John Holt Memorial Lecture

Allan St. John Holt, who died on 3 May 2007, devoted his life to improving the safety and health of people at work. He made a massive contribution to the professionalisation of the subject. As an original thinker, he was passionate, determined, principled and iconoclastic. He gave great encouragement to colleagues, helping many to move forward and expand their knowledge and contributions to occupational safety and health.

Find out more about the annual Allan St. John Holt Memorial Lecture

Event: British Safety Council offers “Mental Health: Manage the Conversation”

‘Manage the conversation’ is a 3-hour workshop which gives line managers the skills and confidence to help employees with their mental health.

Managers and supervisors are increasingly being approached by employees who are suffering with poor mental health. For many managers, this is a challenging prospect and they may be nervous about having such a conversation.

By the end of the workshop, line managers will be better equipped to listen to and talk with someone who feels that they need to share a problem regarding their mental health.

More information: https://www.britsafe.org/products/mental-health-manage-the-conversation

US CDC’s National Report on Exposure to Environmental Chemicals: Updated Tables March 2018

CDC’s Division of Laboratory Sciences released new data to the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, an ongoing biomonitoring assessment of the U.S. population’s exposure to environmental chemicals.

The Updated Tables, March 2018 provides nationally-representative biomonitoring data from CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that has become available since the publication of the Fourth Report in 2009.

The Updated Tables, March 2018 provides data for 346 chemicals, of which 38 are new and 176 have updated data since the Updated Tables, January 2017. This release includes previous updates to the tables, and provides new data for blood metals, phthalate metabolites, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In addition, serum per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were measured in a special sample of children ages 3 to 11 years, and metabolites of several organophosphate flame retardants are reported for the first time.

The Updated Tables, March 2018 and additional resources are now available on CDC’s National Exposure Report webpage.

News from US NIOSH

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/enews/enewsv15n12.html

Join Us in Celebrating Five Years of Stand-Downs in the Workplace to Prevent Falls in Construction

Spring season brings us an opportunity for renewal, rejuvenation, and change. This spring, employers and workers across the nation are once again committing to the revitalization of their construction worksites by participating in the fifth National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, May 7-11. If you are a construction contractor, employer, small or large business owner, site supervisor, foreman, health and safety professional, worker, or intermediary group, I invite you to join what has become an increasingly successful effort to prevent falls in construction.

In many workplaces, falls are a real, persistent, and preventable hazard. Given the nature of the work, the construction industry sees the highest frequency of fall-related deaths and serious, sometimes debilitating, injuries. Lack of fall protection remains the most frequently cited violation, while deaths and injuries from falls remain a notably preventable public health problem. Overall, about 341 deaths annually.

Promoting Hearing Health Across the Lifespan

A new MMWR reports on NIOSH efforts to promote best practices for hearing loss prevention for all persons whether on the job or off the job.

The article states that increasing awareness and reducing needless exposures to loud noise can help the public take appropriate steps to protect their hearing. Three strategies for hearing loss prevention include (1) turn it down, (2) walk away and (3) protect your ears.

NIOSH HHE on Occupational Hazards Associated with Harvesting and Processing Cannabis

A new MMWR summarizes a 2015 NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation that evaluate potential health and safety hazards associated with harvesting and processing cannabis at an outdoor farm. This HHE found that employees had exposures to highly repetitive work, most notably during hand trimming activities, which increase their risk for musculoskeletal disorders. NIOSH will continue to monitor and provide recommendations on the occupational hazards associated with the harvesting and processing of cannabis plants.

NIOSH Releases New Nanotechnology Workplace Design Recommendations

NIOSH recently launched four new products intended to provide options to companies for controlling possible exposure of their workers to nanomaterials on the job. The documents provide helpful recommendations on minimizing exposures during common processes and tasks, including the following:

New Fatigued Driving Prevention Tips for Oil & Gas Employers and Workers

Motor vehicle crashes cause over 40% of work-related deaths in the oil and gas extraction industry. Driver fatigue is a factor in some of these crashes. Download NIOSH employer and worker fact sheets that identify factors linked to fatigued driving and provide recommendations for keeping oil and gas workers safe on the road.