Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

March 2019

Contents
  1. HSE launches Annual Science Review to mark British Science Week
  2. Event: Building a Safer Future seminar
  3. Working people are united in diversity
  4. Dame Judith Hackitt confirmed to give an update on the Hackitt review at the Building a Safer Future event
  5. RIDDOR news
  6. Are we reaching the limit of what can be reasonably protected?
  7. Event: Tackling Rogue Drones – Combating Misuse, Implementing Effective Crisis Management Strategies and Promoting Responsible Drone Ownership
  8. CIP New website
  9. US NIOSH Total Worker Health book is now available for pre-order
  10. RoSPA presents its national accident prevention strategy at LGA conference
  11. US Study Focuses on Community to Improve Worker Health
  12. US Research: Computer Simulation Helps Manufacturing Company Improve Safety and Health
  13. HSE Safety Alert
  14. Friday, 8 March 2019 – This International Women’s Day, ITUC says let’s call time on gender-based violence
  15. Press for Progress! International Women’s Day 2019
  16. Event: The Health and Safety Event
  17. Event: The Fire Safety Event
  18. Event: Building a Safer Future Seminar
  19. Event: Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes
  20. Event: Safety & Health Expo 2019
  21. Annals of Work Exposures and Health special issue
  22. Event: EU-Safety2019
  23. Event: Fire Information Group (FIG UK) Mind the Gap Seminar
  24. Advance notice for World Congress on Safety & Health at Work 2020
  25. Launch of British Safety Council’s new campaign: Time to Breathe
  26. UN Environment Assembly: Unions Call for Action on Plastics Pollution, Toxic Chemicals and Marine Pollution
  27. Apprenticeships
  28. Timely Asbestos essentials and guidance from the HSE
  29. Drug testing is not the answer to work problems
  30. Pilots pleased as government sees sense on drones
  31. News from the USA: Opioids in the Workplace
  32. News from the European Chemicals Agency
  33. Long working hours linked to depression risk

HSE launches Annual Science Review to mark British Science Week

The UK Health and Safety Executive has launched its Annual Science Review focusing on the work scientists and engineers do to support HSE’s regulatory activities.

HSE has over 850 science and engineering experts who use applied science, engineering and analysis to make a difference to the world of work.

This year’s Science Review also shows the technical and forensic support HSE provides to the investigation of workplace fatalities and other serious incidents.

It’s packed with case studies including how HSE’s work informs the safe use of desktop 3D printers in schools, international modelling of potential chlorine incidents at major hazard installations and supporting the development of the Space Industry Act.

The review uses the example of mental ill health to illustrate how HSE’s science and evidence strategy works. This area is an area of concern since one in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point and HSE’s statistics suggest that 15.4 million working days were lost in Great Britain due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017/18.

More information: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2019/03/15/hse-launches-annual-science-review-to-mark-british-science-week

Event: Building a Safer Future seminar

29 April 2019, London, UK

The Fire Protection Association can confirm that Tom Roche will be discussing the impact of Grenfell from a commercial property insurer perspective at their Building a Safer Future seminar.

Tom is assistant vice president and senior consultant in the international codes and standards group at FM Global, sharing knowledge and expertise to influence building codes and loss prevention standards. Tom is also secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance, and active protection director for the Fire Sector Federation.

Early-bird price: £225 + VAT offer ends Friday 29 March (Full price will be £245 + VAT after this date). Fire Protection Association Members receive a further 10% discount on bookings.

Seminar programme

Dr Jim Glockling – Technical Director, The Fire Protection Association
Building Information Modelling (BIM) and resilient buildings

Graham Watts OBE – Chief Executive, Construction Industry Council
Creating the competency framework

Nick Coombe – Protection Vice Chair, National Fire Chiefs Council
How will the enforcement regulation landscape evolve?

More information: https://www.thefpa.co.uk/training/training-courses_detail.building-a-safer-future-london.html

Working people are united in diversity

Unions strive for a world of shared prosperity and free of discrimination, in which all people can live and work in dignity. On International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) issues a rallying call for solidarity to triumph over hate.

“The world needs everyone’s talents, yet so many people’s opportunities are limited by prejudice and discrimination. Divide and conquer has forever been the approach of the powerful to subdue working people. Wealth concentration in the hands of a few is now off the charts, and we will not let divisive agitation distract us from keeping our focus on addressing growing inequalities. People progress has never been achieved on the terms of the elite. We will challenge discrimination at every corner. United we can turn the tide and put people, not corporate greed, back in the driving seat,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

Racialised people face discrimination in the world of work. Employers are discriminating against people of minority and ethnic backgrounds in recruitment, pay and in career progression. Occupational segregation sees people from racialised groups over-represented in jobs that are badly paid and with higher exposure to exploitation.

These are the most visible consequences of racial discrimination, but more insidious forms of racism are no less damaging. The psychological burden of being unjustly undermined at work has devastating effects on individuals and their families that are not easily captured by figures.

The structural role and impacts of racism also need urgent attention. Institutional racism affects the lives and opportunities of people by limiting their chances at school, employment prospects, representation in government and by exposing them to discriminatory treatment at the hands of law enforcement.

More information: https://www.ituc-csi.org/United-in-Diversity-International-Day-for-the-Elimination-of-Racial-Discrimination

Dame Judith Hackitt confirmed to give an update on the Hackitt review at the Building a Safer Future event

The next event in the Westminster Briefings series on building regulations and fire safety is entitled ‘Building a Safer Future: The Next Steps for Building regulations and Fire Safety’ on 14 May 2019 in London. Joining Dame Hackitt in the line-up of speakers includes Sir Ken Knight and the MHCLG who will be giving guidance on the implementation plans and timescales for the changes.

Guarantee your place now to receive the most up-to-date information on the government’s plans and recommendations. your organisation will be one step ahead by learning lessons and good practice from the Early Adopters Group with practical guidance on taking forward the review’s recommendations.

Key issues to be addressed:

More information: www.westminster-briefing.com/Building_Regulations_Fire_Safety

RIDDOR news

The UK Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) requires employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (the Responsible Person) to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences.

These reports simply let the relevant enforcing authority know that an incident has occurred so they can identify where and how risks arise, and whether they need to be investigated. This allows the enforcing authorities to prioritise their work helping dutyholders understand what they need to do to manage risk in the workplace. For guidance on what, and how, to report, visit www.hse.gov.uk/riddor

The suite of RIDDOR forms is being refreshed, moving to a more modern platform to improve user experience and give an enhanced look and feel. Reporting requirements remain unchanged.

A feature of the new forms is that once a report has been submitted to the RIDDOR database an email copy will no longer be automatically sent by the system to the notifier email address.

If required, the notifier has the opportunity to download a copy of their form at the point of submission, otherwise a copy will not be received.

Occupational disease, Dangerous Gas Fitting, Dangerous Occurrence, Dangerous Occurrence Offshore and Injury Offshore forms have now launched: www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/report.htm

The final two forms – Flammable Gas and Injury – will go live by end April 2019.

Are we reaching the limit of what can be reasonably protected?

Dr Jim Glockling, Technical Director, The Fire Protection Association (FPA) asks, after the Ocado warehouse fire, whether we are reaching the limit of what can be reasonably protected.

The Ocado warehouse fire is a stark reminder of the instantaneous impact that fire can have on a major business, its operations, and share price. Automated warehousing facilities present significant fire protection challenges as a result of very high storage densities, limited access, electronic conveyancing systems, high racking and cold storage requirements.

With (unconfirmed) information emerging that the Ocado warehouse was sprinkler protected, this sad event will no doubt prompt a thorough investigation as to the circumstances that might have led to the protection system being overwhelmed. Sprinkler system failures are very rare events; they are specifically designed to offer levels of resilience far in excess of any other suppression technology, and millions are spent every year around the world ensuring that installation and design rules keep abreast with modern day challenges and storage methods.

Although the majority of sprinkler actuations result in the extinguishment of the fire, their design remit is to stop the development of a fire, hold it at a manageable size, and support fire and rescue service (FRS) intervention – ensuring structural integrity of the building and supporting tenable conditions – for a predefined period of time until it is manually extinguished by the firefighters.

More information: https://www.thefpa.co.uk/about/news/news_detail.are-we-reaching-the-limit-of-what-can-be-reasonably-protected.html

Event: Tackling Rogue Drones – Combating Misuse, Implementing Effective Crisis Management Strategies and Promoting Responsible Drone Ownership

30 April 2019, Central London, UK

In 2018 the Government amended the Air Navigation Order 2016 in an attempt to curtail increasing drone misuse. The height at which a drone can legally fly was limited to 400 feet and their distance from airports restricted to 1 kilometre. At the start of the year the Government also published a new report in which a number of additional police powers were announced.

Despite significant shifts in the Government’s approach to addressing drone misuse, three quarters of British adults maintain safety and privacy concerns surrounding drone use (ComRes, 2016). This symposium offers a range of stakeholders from central government, local authorities, transport authorities and police forces with a unique opportunity to assess existing legislative and regulatory measures to tackle drone misuse and promote responsible ownership.

Delegates will:

View the brochure, including full event programme: www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/events/JD30-PPE

CIP New website

CIP specialise in stocking and publishing a range of health and safety and environmental manuals, DVDs, books and report forms from all of the leading specialist publishers including the HSE, Construction Skills and CIRIA for construction professionals, Architects, Designers, Civil Engineers and Specialist Consultants.

For new books and DVDs releases visit: https://www.cip-books.com

US NIOSH Total Worker Health book is now available for pre-order

NIOSH are happy to announce that the edited volume, Total Worker Health, is now available for pre-order and will be available for release on July 9, 2019. As the first-ever, singular volume on Total Worker Health, it brings together the relevant literature on the theory, research, and practice on integrative prevention strategies to ensure the safety, health and well-being of working people. Contributors to this volume represent thought leaders dedicated to highlighting the links between work and worker safety, health, and well-being. The hope for this volume is to influence organisational trailblazers who understand that building a culture of health is an essential best business practice.

Book Highlights

To pre-order your copy of the book visit the APA website: https://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4316192

Please consider this book as your state-of-the-art reference to advancing worker safety, health and well-being and share its release with your colleagues.

As the Total Worker Health program continues to strengthen the evidence base for Total Worker Health approaches, NIOSH looks forward to sharing the latest scientific research dedicated to advancing worker safety, health, and well-being.

RoSPA presents its national accident prevention strategy at LGA conference

The UK Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) presented its national accident prevention strategy at a flagship conference on public health.

The safety charity talked to delegates at the Local Government Association (LGA) annual public health conference and exhibition in London about Safe and active at all ages: A national strategy to prevent serious accidental injuries in England.

The strategy seeks to address the rising number of accidental deaths in England and the heavy toll these place on the health and social care services, as well as the personal heartache that serious unintentional injury can cause. It aims to achieve a step-change in the delivery of evidence-based accident prevention programmes across England, promote safe and active lives and reduce the burden of serious accidental injury on society.

The strategy’s 25 recommendations for action address the major dangers faced by people across their life course, from birth to older age, and wherever they may find themselves – in their own homes, at work, in education, on the road, or during leisure pursuits.

More information: https://www.rospa.com/media-centre/press-office/press-releases/detail/?id=1621

US Study Focuses on Community to Improve Worker Health

Workplaces can play a large role in improving worker health, resulting in improved community health. But, how can workplaces and communities interact to influence the overall health of workers? Can workers in precarious work arrangements, often characterized by low wages and few or no benefits, rely on their communities to help them in protecting and promoting safer and healthier work? How can communities help their residents create opportunities for healthier work?

Using the holistic Total Worker Health® (TWH) concept, which acknowledges risk factors related to work that contribute to health problems previously considered unrelated to work, NIOSH-supported researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public health are exploring how to implement safer and healthier approaches to work that extend into the community. They are engaging with local neighbourhoods, especially those with residents in precarious work, to find ways to improve worker health at the community level. To identify what works, they are using a community health survey, focus groups, interviews, and an approach called concept mapping. This approach creates a visual representation of participants’ thoughts about and priorities between health and work.

By engaging directly with communities and the workers within them, researchers can continue to raise awareness of the relationship between communities, work, and health, as well as develop new TWH interventions. As the project continues, the next step will include intervention mapping, which plots evidenced-based interventions to specific community needs.

More information is available:

US Research: Computer Simulation Helps Manufacturing Company Improve Safety and Health

How do manufacturing companies know the best and safest way to design workplaces and assign tasks? Ideally, injuries and illnesses should be prevented, but historically companies have adjusted their workplace policies, practices and procedures after an injury or illness occurred.

In a NIOSH-supported study at the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health, researchers tested the role of computer simulation in promoting workers’ well-being by designing safer work. Known as digital human modelling, the simulation can help predict behaviour and hazards and evaluate work design, without putting workers at risk or creating costly physical mock-ups.

Researchers partnered for one year with a manufacturing company to examine digital human modelling in a real-world setting, according to the study published in the journal IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors. The company manufactures window and door assemblies with about 400 hourly workers, and has a safety program that includes daily facility walkthroughs and task evaluations performed by the safety manager.

More information: https://www.ishn.com/articles/110450-computer-simulation-helps-manufacturer-improve-safety-health

HSE Safety Alert

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a safety alert about platform lifts (vertical lifting platforms or lifts for people with impaired mobility).

Platform lifts (vertical lifting platforms), like traditional passenger lifts, provide access between floors. Platform lifts are hydraulically, or electrically powered. Usually, they operate over two to three floors. They typically rely on hold to run operation and operate at slower speeds than conventional passenger lifts.

HSE is aware of a number of incidents involving tampering with safety devices or inappropriate maintenance of door switches or unlocking zone bypass switches during maintenance.

Combined with deterioration of the doors and their hinges, landing doors have opened when the platform/lift car is not at that landing. This resulted in people potentially accessing the lift well when the lifting platform was not at the same floor level/landing. This has resulted in members of the public or workers falling down the open lift well or becoming trapped beneath a descending platform.

Full safety alert: www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/platform-lifts.htm

Friday, 8 March 2019 – This International Women’s Day, ITUC says let’s call time on gender-based violence

Gender-based violence blights the lives of millions of women. It excludes women from the world of work and often stigmatises them within their communities.

Globally, 818 million women have experienced violence and harassment. This is quite simply unacceptable. The situation is even worse for women who are further marginalised and discriminated against because of race, class, caste, disability, gender identity, migrant status, indigenous status, or age.

Gender-based violence also costs businesses billions in terms of lost productivity, reputational damage and litigation. European Union estimates put the productivity cost of sexual harassment alone at 26 billion euros – or 1.5 per cent of its GDP.

The revelations of #MeToo and similar movements have put the issues of gender equality, sex discrimination and gender-based violence firmly in the public eye and on the political agenda. Yet we are seeing a determined backlash, with discriminatory and misogynistic populist movements challenging democratic societies, whilst discrimination and inequality continue to characterise and even shape our world of work, relegating women to lower positions of power and authority, lower pay, low quality jobs and precarious working conditions.

Every woman should have the basic right to a working environment free from violence and harassment, whatever the form of her contractual relationship, whether she works in the formal or informal economy, or in a rural or urban setting.

The world of work can also play a key role in supporting victims of domestic violence to stay in work and to have the financial security and independence to enable them to leave abusive relationships.

An international labour law to address violence and harassment in the world of work is urgently needed. Such a law could transform working conditions for women by ensuring that violence is not part of the job.

Join the demand for an international labour law to call time on gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work.

Press for Progress! International Women’s Day 2019

By Sheila Pantry OBE

Right now is a great and important time in history to do everything possible to help forge a more gender-balanced world. Women have come a long way, yet there’s still more to be achieved. As the world heads toward International Women’s Day 2019, step-by-step planning is underway to celebrate women’s achievements and tenaciously challenge bias.

The International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. How will you help make a difference?

Read this month’s OSHWORLD FOCUS for the full article.

Event: The Health and Safety Event

9-11 April 2019, NEC, Birmingham, UK

From 9-11 April 2019 British Safety Council will host a series of seminars at the Health and Safety Event, to be held at the NEC in Birmingham.

Participants will explore topics such as ‘legislative trends in health and safety’, ‘health issues in the modern workplace’ and ‘leadership and culture in the workplace’.

Speakers include Neal Stone, Policy Advisor, McOnie Agency, Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum, Phil Bates, ISO 45001 Development Committee Member, and Lawrence Waterman, Chairman, British Safety Council.

More information: https://www.healthandsafetyevents.co.uk/event

Event: The Fire Safety Event

9-11 April 2019, NEC, Birmingham, UK

Fire Safety Event offers an unparalleled agenda of free CPD accredited educational content across two lecture theatres.

Seminars are delivered by leading industry experts, government officials, lawyers and manufacturers.

More information: https://www.firesafetyevents.com/event

Event: Building a Safer Future Seminar

29 April 2019, Cavendish Centre, London, UK

This seminar will look at the implementation plan and how safety standards and regulations are changing in the wake of Grenfell.

Featuring industry experts, this event will talk through the implementation plan and how this affects industry, stakeholders, and residents of tall buildings and how we can ultimately work together to promote fire safety.

Learning outcomes:

More information: https://www.thefpa.co.uk/index.cfm?originalUrl=training/training-courses_detail.building-a-safer-future-london.html

Event: Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes

16 May 2019, Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre, London, UK

With almost 150 delegates already registered to attend this event we have been astounded by the amount of interest shown so far. If this is for you why not book your place(s) today or ask us to hold you any places while you await the funding.

This conference will bring together F/HEIs, public, private, NHS, voluntary and third sector service providers; service users and mental health professionals to review progress made in addressing MH on campus’, share best practices and develop their approach to improving student mental health outcomes. Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes will examine how policy can be developed to provide support for HEIs and students; reviewing the impact of HE reforms and existing cultures on student experience and mental health.

More information: https://openforumevents.co.uk/events/2019/improving-student-mental-health-outcomes

Event: Safety & Health Expo 2019

18-20 June 2019, Excel, London, UK

Have you registered for at Excel UK yet? If not, you’re in danger of missing the opportunity to advance your skills and knowledge in the health and safety landscape – and so much more:

More information: https://www.safety-health-expo.co.uk

Annals of Work Exposures and Health special issue

Annals of Work Exposures and Health will produce a special issue of the journal to showcase work presented at the 8th Occupational and Environmental Exposure of Skin to Chemicals (OEESC) conference.

The conference will take place 16-18 September 2019 in Dublin, Ireland.

All accepted abstracts presented at the conference (either oral or poster) will be eligible for submission in an appropriate format, be that full research paper or short communication. The themes of this year’s OEESC conference include:

The journal has previously supported the OEESC conference and collated a virtual issue of dermal-themed papers.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 March 2019.

Please visit the conference website for more details on the conference itself and to submit an abstract. As long as the papers are presented at the conference, they can be submitted to the journal at any time before 30 October 2019.

All submissions will be subject to the usual requirements of the journal, including full peer review.

More information: https://www.oeesc.com

Event: EU-Safety2019

3-4 October 2019, Luxembourg

Organised by Eurosafe in collaboration with the Luxembourg Institute of Health, this conference builds on the series of European Injury Prevention Conferences successfully organised over the past decades by EuroSafe and the success of the World Safety Conferences attended by a large European contingent.

EU-Safety2019, which will be held in Luxembourg from 3-4 October 2019, will bring together European and international stakeholders and practitioners in injury prevention and safety promotion to exchange, debate and discuss the latest results in injury research, policies and practices. The main theme of the 2019 event is “Research for enhancing impact of strategies and actions”.

The Programme Committee is looking forward to receiving abstracts for short paper presentations for the break-out sessions of the Conference.

Deadline for abstract submissions: 1 April 2019

More information: https://sites.lih.lu/eu-safety-2019

Event: Fire Information Group (FIG UK) Mind the Gap Seminar

10 October 2019, Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London

Fire Information Group (FIG UK) annual Mind the Gap Seminar offers a half day seminar with six speakers. CPD credits awarded.

Put the date in your diaries or calendars. Always very popular. Finishes with a free of charge Networking party.

Programme details are being finalised, speakers include:

In 2018 FIG UK celebrated its 30th anniversary!

More information: https://www.figuk.org.uk/conferences/2019

Advance notice for World Congress on Safety & Health at Work 2020

4-7 October 2020

The World Congress on Safety & Health at Work opens its doors every three years. This time it is Canada’s turn to welcome the world.

The XXII World Congress on Safety & Health at Work will be held in Toronto, Canada from October 4-7, 2020. Join us for a unique gathering of global prevention leaders in a welcoming, world class Canadian city.

Check out our first programme announcement to see what we are planning. We will have an innovative and interactive programme featuring top speakers on leading topics. You will enjoy networking opportunities that will grow your global knowledge and connections, and social events including a Canada Night celebrating Canada’s beauty, culture and diversity.

Registration is open! Sign up for the XXII World Congress on Safety & Health at Work now and save up to $100.

Don’t miss out on news about the Congress. Sign up for updates through our website.

More information: www.safety2020canada.com

Launch of British Safety Council’s new campaign: Time to Breathe

Very little has been done to address the risks of air pollution for those who work near congested roads. Outdoor workers have a right to clean air. BSC is launching the Time to Breathe campaign, to call for better protection. They’re offering Canairy, the world’s first free mobile app designed for outdoor workers and their employers.

Join BSC on 12 March 2019 in Oxford Circus, London to make some noise and raise awareness of the risk to outdoor workers, together we can make a difference.

More information: https://www.britsafe.org/awards-and-events/events/campaign-events/2019/time-to-breathe-campaign

UN Environment Assembly: Unions Call for Action on Plastics Pollution, Toxic Chemicals and Marine Pollution

International trade union bodies attending the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi this week are calling for an urgent global effort to tackle marine waste, plastics pollution, hazardous substances and toxic waste.

A joint statement of the ITUC, ITUC-Africa, IUF and ITF stresses the links between environmental protection, decent work and poverty eradication as well as the potential of green technology to contribute to gender equality and human rights.

“Millions of people depend on oceans and seas for their livelihoods, and the food they produce is increasingly contaminated by microplastics, threatening food security, jobs and the marine environment. We are also demanding national laws, within a global framework, to prohibit and remove hazardous substances and protect workers and consumers. Governments need to accept to their regulatory responsibilities, and stand up to chemical corporations which delay and frustrate the replacement of toxic chemicals that cause cancer and other disorders with alternatives that don’t cause death and disease at work and in the community,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

This week’s preparatory sessions of the UN Environment Assembly, the world’s highest-level environmental decision-making body, will be followed a high-level segment of the meeting from 11-15 March 2019.

Read the joint trade union statement

Apprenticeships

When employing a young person under the age of 18, whether for work, work experience, or as an apprentice, employers have the same responsibilities for their health, safety and welfare as they do for other employees.

This UK Health and Safety Executive guidance will help young people and those employing them understand their responsibilities.

Covers: Health and safety made simple; The basics for your business; Work experience

Introducing young people to the world of work can help them understand the work environment, choose future careers or prepare for employment. We need young people to be offered opportunities to develop new skills and gain experience across the world of work.

For more information see www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople

Timely Asbestos essentials and guidance from the HSE

Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000 and causes around 5,000 deaths every year.

Whether you are a tradesperson, building owner, licensed contractor, or a member of the public, HSE website offers advice and guidance on what you need to know.

HSE’s Asbestos essentials publication covers the action needed to reduce exposure to an adequate level.

Failure to comply can result in prosecution, as shown by a furniture company being sentenced for failing to prevent exposure to asbestos at its factory.

More information: www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos

Drug testing is not the answer to work problems

Drug testing at work is not a substitute for a good drugs and alcohol policy nor does it tell employers what they need to know, the TUC has said.

Launching new guides on drug testing at work and on workplace drug and alcohol policies, TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson said despite efforts to market drug testing at work the approach isn’t proving popular with UK firms “for the simple reason that it does not tell the employer what they need to know, which is whether someone is working unsafely because of drug use regardless of whether the substance is illegal or not. After all, with the exception of alcohol testing, what a drug test does not do is measure someone’s level of impairment.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-887-2-march-2019#_Toc2175932

Pilots pleased as government sees sense on drones

The government is to extend the drones exclusion zone around airports to meet a limit recommended from the outset by the pilots’ union BALPA.

The move comes after drones sightings in December 2018 and January 2019 led to flight cancellations at Gatwick and Heathrow airports. The tightened legislation will ban drones from flying within 5 km of Britain’s airport runways – a significant expansion of the current no-fly zone. “The enlarged zone will better protect the UK’s airports from those misusing drones, and will come into force on 13 March 2019,” the government said. Work to progress a new Drones Bill is also underway and will be introduced in due course, the government announced.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-887-2-march-2019#_Toc2175936

News from the USA: Opioids in the Workplace

The US is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. Opioids (including prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl) killed more than 47,600 people in 2017, more than any year on record. 37% of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. (Source: NCHS)

Understanding the Epidemic

95% – In 2017, 95% of the 70,067 US drug overdose deaths occurred among the working age population, persons aged 15-64 years. It is unknown how many were employed at the time of their death.

4.3% – According to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUSH), an estimated 4.3% of respondents age 18 years or older reported illicit opioid use in the past year. An estimated 66.7% of these self-reported illicit opioid users were employed full- or part-time.

25% – The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that overdose deaths at work from non-medical use of drugs or alcohol increased by at least 25% annually between 2013 and 2017. The 272 workplace overdose deaths reported in 2017 accounted for 5.3% of occupational injury deaths that year, as compared to 1.8% in 2013. It is unknown how many of these deaths were caused by opioids specifically.

14.8 days – Workers with a current substance use disorder miss an average of 14.8 days per year, while the subset with a pain medication use disorder miss an average of 29 days per year. This is in contrast to an average of 10.5 days for most employees, and an average 9.5 days for workers in recovery from a substance use disorder.

More information: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/opioids/data.html 

News from the European Chemicals Agency

https://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/echa-weekly-6-march-2019

REACH data compliance needs to improve

ECHA has published its annual evaluation report, delivering updated statistics on evaluated substances and registration dossiers and giving advice to registrants on how to improve the information they provide on chemicals.

Authorisations granted for two uses of chromium trioxide

The European Commission has granted authorisations for two uses of chromium trioxide (EC 215-607-8, CAS 1333-82-0) to Hansgrohe SE. The expiry date of the review period is 14 February 2031.

ECHA has launched 18 new public consultations on testing proposals. The deadline for comments is 15 April 2019. There are currently 23 open public consultations on testing proposals.

Guidance on Annex VIII to CLP – poison centres notifications

The first version of Guidance on harmonised information relating to emergency health response – Annex VIII to CLP is now available on ECHA’s website.

The document explains the provisions of Article 45 and the new Annex VIII to the CLP Regulation and provides duty holders with practical advice on how to comply with their obligation to submit information on the hazardous mixtures they place on the market.

Guidance on labelling and packaging according to CLP updated

The updated version of Guidance on Labelling and Packaging in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 takes into account the changes brought to the CLP Regulation by Annex VIII, including the introduction of the unique formula identifier (UFI), a new labelling element required for hazardous mixtures. It also contains new practical examples of the labelling of co-axial cartridges.

Consultation on harmonised classification and labelling

ECHA is looking for comments on the harmonised classification and labelling proposals for the following substances:

The deadline for comments is 3 May 2019.

New proposals and intentions to harmonise classification and labelling

The proposal to harmonise the classification and labelling of 2-ethyl-2-[[(1-oxoallyl)oxy]methyl]-1,3-propanediyl diacrylate; 2,2-bis(acryloyloxymethyl)butyl acrylate; trimethylolpropane triacrylate (EC 239-701-3, CAS 15625-89-5) has been submitted.

An intention to harmonise the classification and labelling of perfluoroheptanoic acid (EC 206-798-9, CAS 375-85-9) has also been received.

How to notify PIC exports to the UK after UK’s withdrawal from the EU

To cover exports taking place in the first 35 days from the date of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU if no withdrawal agreement is in place, a temporary procedure has been made available.

Long working hours linked to depression risk

Working very long hours – 55 plus a week – is linked to a heightened risk of depression in women, a study has found.

The observational study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health also found working weekends is associated with an increased risk in both sexes. The paper noted the expansion of the global and gig economies has driven the need to work outside standard ‘office’ hours – a factor that has been associated with poorer physical health.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-887-2-march-2019#_Toc2175945