News from around the World
- Protecting workers against cancer-causing chemicals
- UK Health and Safety Executive Centre for Shared Research
- Chemicals and EU Exit
- New reports from the USA NIOSH
- UK Implementation of new and revised Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs)
- New UK research shows importance of businesses managing their occupational road risk
- Health and Safety Executive News
- UK-led study marks shift towards genetic era in tackling TB
- US NIOSH Research Report: Characterising 3D Printing Emissions and Controls in an Office Environment
- Latest UK HSE Research Reports
- Event: 21st Ballast Water Management Conference
- Event: 12th Carbon Dioxide Utilization Summit
- Event: 6th EUROSHNET Conference on standardization, testing and certification in the field of occupational safety and health
- World Day for Decent Work, 7 October 2018
- ILO and the Netherlands to take joint action against child labour
- UK RoSPA’s OSHtober campaign to focus on driving for work
- UK Government is set to ban restaurant owners from taking a share of tips from their staff
- Dementia 2020 – Roadmap to Delivery
- Amazon responds to union pressure with wage increase, but still denies workers’ rights
- Legalising Cannabis in Canada: update
- Events: Asbestos – Managing asbestos in domestic and non-domestic premises
- Offshore wind industry maintains focus on health and safety alongside massive sector growth
- ECHA Biocides Day 2018
- News from the USA: New Motor Vehicle Safety Resources Available
- Get inspection ready!
- USA News: October is “National Protect Your Hearing Month”
Protecting workers against cancer-causing chemicals
Statement by European Commissioner Thyssen following the agreement between the EU institutions
On 11 October 2018, the European Parliament and the Council came to an agreement on the Commission’s second proposal to broaden the list of recognised cancer-causing chemicals in the workplace. With this agreement, 8 additional cancer-causing chemicals will be covered by the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive, including diesel exhaust. Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, welcomed the agreement with the following statement:
Today we took another important step in protecting European workers from work-related cancer. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council, reached an agreement on legislation covering a further eight cancer-causing chemicals, including diesel exhaust. This will ensure better protection for more than 20 million workers in Europe. Workers in the chemical, metal and car industry, professional drivers, construction workers and workers in the dock and warehouse sector, in particular, will benefit. At the same time, it will make our internal market simpler and fairer, with particular attention to help small and micro-enterprises comply with health and safety rules.
I extend my thanks to all parties who made this result possible, and would like to acknowledge in particular the efforts made by the Austrian Presidency and its predecessors on behalf of the Council, as well as rapporteur Claude Rolin and the shadow rapporteurs on behalf of the European Parliament.
I hope this agreement will be confirmed quickly, so we can make a real difference on the ground and prevent more than 100,000 cancer deaths over the next 50 years.
More information: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-18-6083_en.htm
UK Health and Safety Executive Centre for Shared Research
HSE has a longstanding history of supporting science and research to address a range of cross-sector health and safety issues.
Building on this heritage, the HSE Centre for Shared Research provides a platform to identify and co-fund applied research projects that are of interest to both industry and regulatory bodies.
Contributing partners can help to shape the research activity and get exclusive early sight of the results, allowing them to improve their management of emerging H&S challenges in their business, assured of alignment with HSE priorities.
The Centre runs a number of research projects. Each project begins with a recognised gap in knowledge that HSE and industry stakeholders see a need to fill, to help us understand and ultimately better manage health and safety challenges.
They then invite regulatory, industry and other stakeholders to discuss the idea in more detail, and put together a research project that will help improve our collective understanding and knowledge. The project is led by HSE experts, often making use of the facilities provided by our scientific laboratory in Buxton.
Industry and other stakeholders are then invited to contribute towards funding the research project. HSE also supports the projects financially. Typically, they will seek several sponsoring organisations to ensure we can undertake the best research to answer the H&S needs we’ve all identified.
More information: https://www.hsl.gov.uk/hse-centre-for-shared-research
Chemicals and EU Exit
How to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal
The following technical notices concerning the regulation of chemicals in the UK in a no-deal scenario were published on 12 October 2018:
- Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulation – Classifying, labelling and packaging chemicals if there’s no Brexit deal
- Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) – Regulating biocidal products if there’s no Brexit deal
- Plant Protection Products (PPP) regulation – Regulating pesticides if there’s no Brexit deal
- Prior Informed Consent (PIC) regulation – Export and import of hazardous chemicals if there’s no Brexit deal
- Regulation on mercury – Control on mercury if there’s no Brexit deal
- Regulating Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) – Control on Persistent Organic Pollutants if there’s no Brexit deal
A technical notice relating to the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals (REACH) was also published on 24 September 2018:
These technical notices set out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU without an agreement (‘no deal’), so they can make informed plans and preparations.
The Government remains committed to securing a negotiated outcome. Following the publication of the white paper for the future relationship on 12 July 2018, negotiations are continuing at pace to agree the terms of this future relationship alongside the Withdrawal Agreement. HSE is supporting this activity.
New reports from the USA NIOSH
Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program Update
Evaluation of Chemical Exposures at Two Vape Shops
HHE Program investigators found low levels of flavouring chemicals in the air and residual nicotine on commonly touched surfaces. We recommended the employer not allow vaping in the workplace with e-liquids that contain diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione and improving PPE use during work tasks involving nicotine or customers’ e-cigarettes.
Evaluation of a Thermal Drying Process at a Wastewater Treatment Plant
Although exposures to endotoxins and silica were low, HHE Program investigators found safety concerns in the plant and issues with PPE use and care. We provided PPE recommendations and suggested the employer work with the thermal dryer manufacturer to ensure that the equipment is working according to design and safely.
2017 Health Hazard Evaluation Program Annual Report
The NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program is pleased to share its 2017 annual report. Our report includes summaries of projects that were interesting and other highlights of our year. We hope the report stimulates conversations about who the HHE Program is and how we make a difference for the health and safety of employees throughout the United States.
Annual report: www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/pdf/2017-HHE-Annual-Report-Web-508.pdf
UK Implementation of new and revised Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs)
New workplace exposure limits for 31 substances have been introduced from 21 August 2018. This latest version of EH40 has been updated to include new and revised workplace exposure limits (WELs) introduced by the 4th Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELV) Directive.
It will guide those responsible for controlling exposure to hazardous substances at work.
You can find a list of the substances and the new limits in the updated HSE publication EH40/2005 Workplace Exposure Limits: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/eh40.htm
New UK research shows importance of businesses managing their occupational road risk
A new study into drivers working as part of the “gig economy” has laid bare the importance of businesses treating the management of occupational road risk as a mainstream health and safety work issue, says RoSPA.
The research by University College London revealed that 63 per cent of self-employed couriers or taxi drivers surveyed are not provided with safety training on managing risks on the road, while 65 per cent are not given any safety equipment.
The findings highlight mobile phones and apps, and time pressures as being among those issues which could cause an incident.
An estimated 25 to 33 per cent of road casualties are work-related, and in 2016 work-related crashes resulted in 529 deaths and 5,269 serious injuries, showing the vital importance of businesses providing their drivers with the proper training and resources.
Health and Safety Executive News
Protecting new workers
Workers are as likely to have an accident in the first six months at a workplace as they are during the whole of the rest of their working life.
People are at particular risk of injury when they are new to job as they may be unaware of existing or potential risks. Take a look at the advice to protect those new to a job, including six steps to protect new workers.
HSE also have guidance to help users and suppliers of agency/temporary workers, and those workers themselves, understand their health and safety responsibilities.
A haulage and waste processing business was recently fined after an agency worker’s hand was injured by a waste-sorting conveyor. Read the full story
Avoid hand-arm vibration
Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) comes from the use of hand-held power tools and is the cause of significant ill health.
HAVS is preventable, but once the damage is done it is permanent. It is a is serious and disabling disorder, and nearly 2 million people are at risk.
The HAVS website offers advice, good practice solutions and a collection of relevant resources. These include useful publications, such as Hand-arm vibration at work: a brief guide, which can be downloaded for free.
HSE are also running a two-day training course on HAVS on 3-4 December. Find out more.
UK-led study marks shift towards genetic era in tackling TB
A landmark study, part-funded by the MRC, may herald a quicker, more tailored treatment for the millions of people around the world living with tuberculosis (TB). UK researchers have shown how our understanding of TB’s genetic code is now so detailed that we can predict which commonly used anti-TB drugs are best for treating a patient’s infection and which are not.
The study is by far the largest of its kind, covering over 10,000 TB genomes from 16 equal partner countries around the globe. Its full findings were published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, and announced at the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on tuberculosis.
The study was led by the international CRyPTIC consortium based at the University of Oxford and facilitated by the United Kingdom government’s 100,000 Genomes Project. It revealed a much greater accuracy in predicting the susceptibility of the bacterium to anti-TB drugs than had been expected.
US NIOSH Research Report: Characterising 3D Printing Emissions and Controls in an Office Environment
3D printing or additive manufacturing allows users to “print” a variety of items, from airplane parts to prosthetic limbs. 3D printing is still a relatively new technology and there are many gaps in the information available about health and safety implications. As with many innovations, workers are the first groups exposed to potential hazards. Based on prior knowledge from air pollution research and industrial processes (e.g., welding) there are concerns over 3D printing emissions and their potential impact on workers’ health.
MakerBot, a Brooklyn-based manufacturer of 3D printers, has partnered with the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) Advanced Materials and Manufacturing field team to conduct measurements to characterize 3D printer emission rates. Several MakerBot 3D printer models and types of filament were evaluated. The thermoplastic filament materials used in the 3D printers at the time of the study included True Orange PLA (polylactic acid), True Yellow ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), and Slate Grey Tough PLA (impact-resistant PLA).
More information: https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2018/08/16/3d-printing
Latest UK HSE Research Reports
This report describes a new sensitive method for measurement of diacetyl based on the use of thermal desorption tubes for sampling and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for analysis.
This report reviews the impact of hypoxia on human physiology, behaviour, and cognitive function, in order to provide information about the potential occupational health risks arising from working in hypoxic atmospheres.
This report describes the targeted stakeholder consultation used to explore the workplace health priorities of frontline occupational health providers, workplace health and safety representatives, apprentices and young workers.
Event: 21st Ballast Water Management Conference
7-8 November 2018, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
ACI’s 21st Ballast Water Management Conference will once again bring together senior executives and experts from Shipping Companies, technology providers, leading associations and top service providers to discuss the latest challenges and developments making an impact on the industry. The 2017 event took place in Antwerp, Belgium and brought together industry professionals from organisations including BIMCO, Bocimar, Port of Amsterdam, DHI, Alfa Laval, Lloyd’s Register and many more. This year’s edition will look at the current state of the industry in…
Event: 12th Carbon Dioxide Utilization Summit
27-28 February 2019, Houston, Texas, USA
ACI’s 12th Carbon Dioxide Utilization Summit 2018 will follow on from our successful series of conferences focusing on the re-use of greenhouse gas CO2 and converting this into profitable sustainable and commercial materials.
The two-day conference brings together senior experts from various CO2 emitting industries discussing the sustainable, technological and commercial aspects of CO2 Utilization in North America and across the globe. With technology comparisons focusing on economic, environmental and social indicators, our panel of speakers will highlight knowledgeable insights into commercial application and development of technology and products.
More information www.wplgroup.com/aci/events
Event: 6th EUROSHNET Conference on standardization, testing and certification in the field of occupational safety and health
12-14 June 2019, Dresden, Germany
Call for papers extended until 31 October 2018
You intended to contribute a paper, but missed the deadline? No problem: The Organizing Committee has extended the call for papers until 31 October 2018 and look forward to receiving your abstracts on the following topics:
- Innovative solutions in tackling risks
- Smart and new technologies and workers’ safety
- Standardization, testing and certification: Keeping pace with change
- Future role of standardization, testing and certification in the European social system
Register for the conference now
Registration is now open at www.euroshnet.eu/conference-2019
The early-bird fee of 490 EUR applies until 31 January 2019.
World Day for Decent Work, 7 October 2018
Workers from around the world will be holding activities to mark the 11th World Day for Decent Work on 7 October 2018. International trade union confederation ITUC, which coordinates the event, says year’s global theme, ‘Change the Rules’, highlights the deeply entrenched injustice of the global economic system alongside shrinking democratic space and deteriorating labour rights in many countries, documented in the ITUC Global Rights Index.
“The rules are stacked against working people, and that is why we have unprecedented and destructive levels of economic inequality and insecurity while a small number of global conglomerates like Amazon amass incalculable riches for a very few,” said ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow.
“There is enough wealth in the world to meet the challenges of our time – creating decent work for all, ensuring universal social protection, tackling climate change and all the other things that need to be done to ensure that people can live in dignity on a sustainable planet. But the rules need to change. And to achieve that, we need to build workers’ power.”
For more information on the World Day for Decent Work, and to obtain examples of the logos, infographics and social media messages, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ILO and the Netherlands to take joint action against child labour
New partnership focuses on global supply chains in agriculture and mining.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Government of the Netherlands have announced plans to work together to help eliminate child labour in Africa, with a particular focus on global supply chains.
The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Sigrid Kaag, and ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, signed a letter of intent at a meeting held during the UN General Assembly in New York.
“I very much welcome this new partnership with the Netherlands. By stepping up the fight against child labour in Africa we can make a significant contribution to the global objective to end all forms of child labour by 2025,” Ryder said, adding that, “the Netherlands is one of the most committed supporters of fundamental principles and rights at work.”
UK RoSPA’s OSHtober campaign to focus on driving for work
RoSPA’s annual occupational safety and health campaign, #OSHtober, will this year focus on one of the most dangerous areas of everyday working life – driving for work.
Millions of vehicles are used for work every day – from lorries to bicycles. Driving for work contributes to far more work-related accidental deaths and serious injuries than all other work activities. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that more than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving for work.
Launching today, #OSHtober will provide tips, facts, statistics and free resources about safely driving for work throughout the month.
UK Government is set to ban restaurant owners from taking a share of tips from their staff
Commenting on the news on 1 October 2018 that the government is set to ban restaurant owners from taking a share of tips from their staff, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This decision is long overdue and is a victory for union campaigning. For too long managers have got away with stealing tips from staff. These new rules must be introduced quickly so that restaurant workers get what they’re owed.”
Dementia 2020 – Roadmap to Delivery
30 April 2019, London, UK
Now the most established annual Dementia conference in England – the Govconnect 2020 series now in its 4th year has provided the platform for discussion to shape a better policy in order to better deliver the commitments of the Dementia 2020 Implementation Plan.
Dementia 2020 – Roadmap to Delivery follows the strategy into its final year and will provide a recap of progress to date in realising the aims and objectives of the challenge. Following the 2018 review delegates will learn finalised plans from regular series contributors such as the Alzheimer’s Society Department of Health, NHS England & Public Health England amongst other stakeholders.
More information: http://2019.alzheimers2020.co.uk
Amazon responds to union pressure with wage increase, but still denies workers’ rights
Trillion-dollar corporate behemoth Amazon’s announcement that it will increase wages of its lowest paid workers shows that pressure from national and international unions is having an impact. However the company shows no sign yet of ending its systematic global anti-union strategy.
Sharan Burrow, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Secretary said “Amazon is a top-predator in the corporate greed stakes, and treats the men and women who work for it with no respect. From Jeff Bezos at the top, down to middle management, the company uses every trick in the book to stop its workers organising into unions to improve working conditions and bargain collectively for decent conditions and pay that reflects the full value of the work they do. Amazon has an appalling record on workers’ health and safety, and imposes work practices on them that would have been unacceptable 100 years ago, let alone today. Trade unions will keep up the pressure on this company until it changes its feudal corporate culture.”
While Amazon has announced wage increases for UK and US workers, unions are calling for increases for its entire global workforce.
More information: https://www.ituc-csi.org/amazon-responds-to-union-pressure
Legalising Cannabis in Canada: update
In Canada there have been many discussions about legalizing Cannabis. One of Canada’s experts on cannabis impairment, Dr. Charl Els (Occupational Psychiatrist) has assisted in the production of an educational video clip prepared on behalf of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC).
A position statement by the Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada (OEMAC) has also released. Visit https://oemac.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Position-Statement-on-the-Implications-of-cannabis-use.pdf
Events: Asbestos – Managing asbestos in domestic and non-domestic premises
25 October 2018 and 7 February 2019, HSE Buxton
This one-day course gives you the knowledge to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises to the standards required by Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR 2012). The course information is also applicable to the management of ‘domestic premises’, such as landlords’ duties for rented accommodation.
Many people now dying from asbestos-related diseases are tradesmen – people who work on and maintain buildings. Building operators and their management systems are under increasing scrutiny from enforcing authorities, their own staff, and the public.
CAR 2012 places a duty to manage asbestos on anyone who has control over the maintenance and repair of non-domestic premises. In practice, this means all workplaces that may contain asbestos. Whilst no duty under this regulation falls on operators of rented domestic premises, the same standards are useful in ensuring proper management.
Offshore wind industry maintains focus on health and safety alongside massive sector growth
Transparency in relation to offshore wind workforce safety and new improved guidance were both on the agenda at last month’s WindEnergy Hamburg 2018 conference.
The G+ Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation, comprising nine leading operators, published its Incident Data Report 2017, providing an overview of the health and safety performance of the G+ members’ offshore activity.
Despite five million more hours being worked by G+ members as activity grows, 46 fewer high potential incidents were reported than the previous year. The report also shows positive improvement in lagging indicators with an 8% reduction in the lost time injury frequency and a 14% reduction in the number of restricted work day incidents.
Given the dramatic pace of offshore wind capacity deployment and the height in individual turbines – some at more than half the height of the Shard in London – new Working at Height guidance, also published by the G+, provides invaluable good practice for those operating in potentially hazardous offshore wind environments.
ECHA Biocides Day 2018
The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) Biocides Day conference on 24 October 2018 is now full, but you are invited to take part online.
The programme features the hot topics in biocides, with speakers from the European Commission, Member States, industry associations, companies and ECHA.
You can watch the event live and ask questions online. A video recording will be available shortly after the event.
More information: https://echa.europa.eu/-/biocides-day
News from the USA: New Motor Vehicle Safety Resources Available
The US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Center for Motor Vehicle Safety recently published three new motor vehicle resources:
- NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety Fact Sheet – Did you know that the NIOSH is the only part of the U.S. federal government whose mission includes preventing crashes and the resulting injuries for all workers, not just a specific worker group?
- Vehicle Safety Program GIF – Learn four steps to build a workplace motor vehicle safety program. This animated image (GIF) from NIOSH will play in PowerPoint, on Twitter, and on electronic message boards.
- Driver GIF – Who’s at risk of a work-related crash? This animated GIF from NIOSH will play in PowerPoint, on Twitter, and on electronic message boards.
Get inspection ready!
This will be a nationwide inspection initiative and HSE will be ensuring construction firms and their workers know the risks, plan their work and use the right controls.
Get inspection-ready! Visit HSE’s website to refresh your knowledge about lung health and know your responsibilities.
In addition to HSE’s web advice and guidance, HSE Books publish a range of titles, including products and posters, that are industry or topic based and designed to educate and engage you and your workforce.
Look at the range of Construction and Occupational Lung Disease titles at the HSE Books website.
USA News: October is “National Protect Your Hearing Month”
A time to raise awareness about what you need to do to protect your hearing.
Loud Noises Damage Hearing – Loud noises can cause permanent hearing loss. And once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. Hearing loss from loud noise can be prevented.
About 70% of people exposed to loud noise never or seldom wear hearing protection. Learn what you need to do to protect your hearing.
Did You Know? Repeated exposure to loud noise over the years can damage your hearing – long after exposure has stopped.
This is just one of the many informative facts available on CDC’s National Center for Environmental
Health’s Hearing Loss website.
The site features detailed information on the following topics:
- “What Noises Cause Hearing Loss?”
- “How Does Loud Noise Cause Hearing Loss?”
- “How Do I Know if I Have Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise?”
- “How Do I Prevent Hearing Loss from Loud Noise?”
- “What If I Already Have Hearing Loss?”
Browse the pages to discover critical information you’re likely unaware of.
National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) Homepage, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Information concerning “National Protect Your Hearing Month” has been added. This information is featured in the Feature section of CDC’s website.
More information: www.nidcd.nih.gov/news/2018/october-is-npyhm