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April 2019

Contents
  1. ITUC takes demand for a New Social Contract to the UN General Assembly
  2. Event: Building a Safer Future – The Next Steps for Building Regulations and Fire Safety
  3. Working at heights
  4. UK Accident Investigation Chiefs’ Council
  5. UK Farmers warned about Health and Safety concerns
  6. New campaign highlights the real impact of falls on loved ones
  7. The latest HSE research reports
  8. Full-time employees in the UK work two and a half weeks more a year than the EU average
  9. Nudging construction workers towards better sun safety behaviour – full IOSH report
  10. News from US NIOSH: Robotic Arm Tests Glove-Gown Protection in Healthcare
  11. News from ECHA: Registered substances mapped for regulatory action
  12. Event: On Your Feet Britain
  13. Event: Tackling Rogue Drones – Combating Misuse, Implementing Effective Crisis Management Strategies and Promoting Responsible Drone Ownership
  14. Event: The 3rd SFPE Europe Conference on Fire Safety Engineering
  15. Event: Firex International 2019
  16. Event: 13th Carbon Dioxide Utilization Summit
  17. Event: 10th Maritime Salvage & Casualty Response
  18. Event: Urgent and Emergency Care – Facilitating Patient Flow
  19. Event: 25th Maritime HR and Crew Management
  20. US NIOSH News
  21. It is April – Use Stress Awareness Month to ‘bounce back’
  22. A+A Specialist Article No. 1: Congress Respiratory Protection and Occupational Hygiene
  23. Every year on shifts ups heart disease risk 1 per cent
  24. Working nights linked to greater risk of miscarriage
  25. Sedentary work can kill you
  26. Risks from chemical cocktails ‘under-estimated’
  27. China: Death toll rises to 78 in chemical plant explosion
  28. Italy: Stop the exploitation of migrant farm workers
  29. Backing for UN convention on safety of journalists
  30. Tackling third-party abuse and harassment: A guide for trade union reps from the TUC
  31. Pilots warn drone operators not to fall foul of new laws
  32. More road safety training needed for young children, UK RoSPA research shows
  33. US NIOSH Advice: Responding to a Suspected Opioid Overdose
  34. RoSPA calls for permanent British Summer Time in wake of European Parliament vote

ITUC takes demand for a New Social Contract to the UN General Assembly

The United Nations has commemorated the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation with a debate on the future of work and how to deliver decent work for all.

Addressing the 193 member states of the UN General Assembly, ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow, said,” The challenges of today are as severe as the world saw in 1919. We face historic levels of inequality, a failed model of globalisation, increasing conflict and military spending, displacement of people at levels never seen before, a climate crisis and massive disruption from technology.”

The ITUC Global Poll reveals that 84% of the world’s people say the minimum wage is not enough to live on. Just 48% of women are in the workforce compared to 75% of men and the gender pay gap is stagnant at nearly 25%. More than 70% of people lack social protection.

“The magnificent vision of leaders 100 years ago and the social and economic successes built through the respect for the unique tripartite mandate of the ILO to establish a floor of global labour standards that would guarantee the dignity of work is floundering. Since the 1980’s we have seen further erosion of this social contract. And the model of global trade today has contributed to this deterioration,” said Burrow.

Full article: https://www.ituc-csi.org/ituc-takes-demand-for-a-new-social

Event: Building a Safer Future – The Next Steps for Building Regulations and Fire Safety

14 May 2019, Central London, UK

Dame Judith Hackitt will be joining Sir Ken Knight to share the latest updates on the Hackitt review and recommendations on fire safety standards and building regulations at the Westminster Briefing event.

Join us to discover how the new regulations and standards will be enforced, how the new comprehensive professional standards for the FRSs will be implemented and what changes will be put in place for fire safety advisors, inspectors and assessors.

Register now to guarantee your place at this important event and do not miss out on receiving the most up-to-date information on the government’s plans and recommendations for the fire services and construction industry.

Key issues to be addressed:

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

Working at heights

The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Working at Height Falls from height says that the single biggest cause of fatalities on site and in the workplace is still working from heights.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height seeks to understand the root causes of falls from height and propose effective, practical measures to reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities as a result of a fall from height.

The report “Staying Alive: Preventing Serious Injury and Fatalities while Working at Height” published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Working at Height: https://workingatheight.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Staying-Alive-APPG-REPORT.pdf

Find out more about APPG work and publications: https://workingatheight.info | Email: workingatheight@gkstrategy.com

UK Accident Investigation Chiefs’ Council

The Accident Investigation Chiefs’ Council (AICC) was formed to optimise coordination between the three accident investigation branches (the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, Marine Accident Investigation Branch and Rail Accident Investigation Branch) of the Department for Transport. The AICC coordinates the development of joint memoranda of understanding and other working arrangements with external agencies. It also focuses on improving the effectiveness, efficiency and resilience of the branches. More information about AICC governance is in the terms of reference.

Joint memorandums of understanding (MOUs):

More information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/accident-investigation-chiefs-council/accident-investigation-chiefs-council

UK Farmers warned about Health and Safety concerns

Farmers are being told they must pay closer attention to health and safety after HSE raises concerns over recent livestock handling incidents.

Each year a number of people are killed or injured in incidents involving cattle and HSE is reminding farmers that these incidents can be prevented.

HSE inspectors will be visiting farms to remind farmers of their duty to protect themselves, their workers and members of the public from the risks of cattle. If they are not inspectors will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements

Throughout the inspections, HSE will be reminding workers that when working with livestock, they should have the appropriate controls in place:

The focus on livestock is part of a programme of inspections over the next twelve months to ensure farmers are doing the right things to comply with the law and prevent death, injury and ill-health.

More information: https://press.hse.gov.uk/2019/04/15/hse-warns-farmers-of-livestock-risks

New campaign highlights the real impact of falls on loved ones

A new hard-hitting campaign highlighting the long-term, life-changing impact that falls can have on family and friends has been launched by The Ladder Association and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Falls from height are the single biggest cause of injury in the workplace, with 29,000 people reporting such an injury over the past five years, and the cost is estimated at £800 million. Meanwhile, falls in general are consistently the number one cause of hospital admissions from accidents.

The Get a Grip safety campaign features Abbi Taylor, whose father Jason Anker was paralysed after a fall from height when she was aged just three, and who talks openly about how her life with him has been profoundly affected.

As part of an emotional awareness-raising video and leaflet, Abbi says how he could not walk her down the aisle or dance with her on her wedding day, or play with or babysit his young granddaughter.

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of using ladders and stepladders safely, both at work and at home, reducing accidents and the heartache they cause for everyone.

More information: https://www.rospa.com/media-centre/press-office/press-releases/detail/?id=1628

The latest HSE research reports

RR1146 – Measuring and controlling emissions from polymer filament desktop 3D printers

This report describes initial research in a laboratory setting to a) measure emissions of particulates and volatile organic compounds from desktop 3D printers and b) investigate the effectiveness of control measures to reduce these printer emissions.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1146.htm

RR1130 – The National Population Database: overview and developments

This report gives: an overview of the current NPD; guidelines on using the NPD; and technical developments since 2008, including new population data layers and metrics, and the adoption of improved capabilities for automatic matching of datasets.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1130.htm

RR1129 – Buncefield investigation: dispersion of the vapour cloud

The Buncefield explosion on 11th December 2005 resulted in widespread damage to the surrounding area and huge fires involving large oil fuel tanks. This report examines the dispersion of the flammable vapour cloud.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1129.htm

RR1127 – Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013, Post Implementation Review: research with healthcare employers, managers and employees

The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 include a statutory requirement for a post-implementation review (PIR) to assess the effectiveness of the regulatory regime after they have been operational for a period of time.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1127.htm

Full-time employees in the UK work two and a half weeks more a year than the EU average

Workers in the UK are putting the longest hours in the EU, according to new TUC analysis published 17 April 2019.

Full-time employees in Britain worked an average of 42 hours a week in 2018, nearly two hours more than the EU average – equivalent to an extra two and a half weeks a year.

Britain’s “long-hours culture” is not having a positive impact on productivity, says the TUC. In similar economies to ours, workers are much more productive for each hour they work.

For example, full-time employees in Germany work 1.8 hours a week less than those in the UK but are 14.6% more productive. And in Denmark – the EU country with the shortest hours – workers put in over four hours less than UK workers, but productivity in Denmark is 23.5% higher.

The average full-time week in Britain has shortened by just 18 minutes over the past decade, nowhere near fast enough to close the gap with other countries. Even if the EU average stayed the same, at current rates of progress it would take 63 years for UK workers to get the same amount of free time as their European counterparts.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/british-workers-putting-longest-hours-eu-tuc-analysis-finds

Nudging construction workers towards better sun safety behaviour – full IOSH report

This Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) project tries to have a better understanding of the barriers to adopting sun-safe behaviours in the workplace and encouraging behaviours that ensure vitamin D sufficiency.

The study investigated whether the combination of short messages delivered through smartphones text messaging to construction workers together with appropriate organisational support can influence workers’ behaviour to reduce exposure to UV radiation among those at risk of excessive exposure, and increase exposure or promote appropriate dietary changes among those who are likely to receive insufficient sun exposure to synthesise Vitamin D.

This study highlights the pivotal role that the construction industry should play in leading sun safety on-site and in taking an initiative on workforce health and wellbeing related to vitamin D.

Full report: https://www.iosh.co.uk/Books-and-resources/Nudging-construction-research.aspx

News from US NIOSH: Robotic Arm Tests Glove-Gown Protection in Healthcare

A new test method using a special chamber and a robotic arm could help PPE manufacturers test new products for leakages at the glove-gown interface.

During recent disease outbreaks, most notably the 2014 Ebola epidemic, the importance of effective personal protective equipment (PPE) was emphasized once again. When designed and used properly, PPE can protect healthcare workers from potentially deadly infectious diseases and viruses, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, Ebola, and HIV.

In addition to proper use of PPE, especially while putting it on and taking it off, PPE must fit together seamlessly to protect the wearer. The problem is that the many parts of an ensemble – face and shoe coverings, gown, and gloves – are typically manufactured separately, often by different companies. A particularly vulnerable area is where the glove and gown meet: the glove-gown interface. This interface is considered one of the weakest areas because gaps can occur, allowing infectious fluids to seep through to the skin. Despite this concern, the glove-gown interface has received little research attention, so minimal guidance is available on how to prevent gaps. Furthermore, no standardized test currently exists to evaluate leakages in new products.

More information: www.cdc.gov/niosh/research-rounds/resroundsv4n10.html#a

News from ECHA: Registered substances mapped for regulatory action

The first report of the Integrated Regulatory Strategy presents a mapping of the universe of registered substances that are on the EU market. This information helps authorities to identify, plan and monitor the progress on identifying and regulating substances of concern.

The report visualises the work that ECHA (the European Chemicals Agency) and the Member States have done to transform the vast data generated under REACH into knowledge on which substances need further hazard information, further risk management measures or for which substances authorities can conclude that they are not a priority at the moment.

“Our work enables authorities to focus on activities that improve human health and the environment in Europe and make the European industry more competitive. We remind industry to further improve the compliance of their registration information, in particular for substances with a high potential for exposure and for which hazard data is currently lacking,” states ECHA’s Executive Director Bjorn Hansen.

Within the report, registered substances are divided into three main pools:

  1. High priority for risk management, covering around 270 substances. These are substances with an identified concern and for which further regulatory work is ongoing or can start based on currently available information.
  2. High priority for data generation and assessment, with around 1 300 substances of potential concern. Here further data needs to be generated or assessed to enable authorities to decide whether further regulatory risk management is needed.
  3. Low priority for further regulatory action at present. In this group, around 450 substances are considered as already sufficiently regulated and almost 500 substances have been concluded as low priority after assessment.

Currently, the focus is on the 4 700 substances registered above 100 tonnes. We have allocated already more than 40 % of these substances to the above pools of substances. The list of the substances will be published at the end of the year on ECHA website and will be updated as the work progresses.

However, authorities still need to clarify in which pool the remaining 2 700 substances belong. This uncertain area is what is left after more than 10 years of systematic screening, focusing on substances of high concern. ECHA foresees that a significant number of them will undergo compliance checks or substance evaluation in the coming years to generate the necessary information for priority setting and assessment. Authorities need to speed up work on this uncertain area and to shorten the time between identifying a concern and initiating risk management measures. In particular, action to harmonise the classification or action under other legislation should be taken faster.

More information: https://echa.europa.eu/-/registered-substances-mapped-for-regulatory-action

Event: On Your Feet Britain

26 April 2019

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, 26 April 2019.

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, 26 April 2019 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.

It’s FREE to sign up: http://onyourfeetday.com

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.

More information: https://www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/events/JD30-PPE

Event: The 3rd SFPE Europe Conference on Fire Safety Engineering

22-23 May 2019, Málaga, Spain

The SFPE conference is being hosted by the SFPE Spanish Chapter with support from our SFPE European Chapters.

SFPE’s conferences have established a reputation globally as the premier events for keeping abreast of advancements in fire safety engineering. Fire safety engineering is growing rapidly in many European countries. SFPE Europe has been addressing the regional needs to facilitate greater networking, collaboration, and exchange among fire safety engineering professionals as well as a pursuit of technical knowledge and education.

The Conference Keynote address is “Lessons from the Devastating Fires of 2017 in Portugal” by Professor Domingos Viegas, University of Coimbra. He was personally asked by the Portuguese government along with his team to analyse and report on these major events. Professor Viegas said, “these are events that should not be repeated, and there are many lessons that can be learned from them. I feel obliged to make this presentation so more people can be better prepared to face such devastating fires.”

More information: https://www.sfpe.org/mpage/2019Europe

Event: Firex International 2019

18-20 June 2019, ExCeL, London, UK

Discover the new seminar programme at FIREX International 2019.

Enhance your knowledge, stay on-top of critical developments and discover the products, solutions and ideas transforming the fire protection and life safety profession with FIREX International 2019’s comprehensive new seminar programme.

Hear from industry influencers on everything from the aftermath of the government’s Hackitt report to smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations, and stay in touch with the thought leadership at the forefront of the rapidly-changing fire safety landscape.

Plus, don’t miss the Tall Buildings Conference sponsored by Rockwool, running alongside FIREX 2019.

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

Event: 13th Carbon Dioxide Utilization Summit

11-12 September 2019, Calgary, Canada

ACI’s 13th Carbon Dioxide Utilization Summit 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. It will be taking place in Calgary, Canada on the 11th & 12th of September 2019, and it’s a one-time special edition of this event.

The two-day event will bring together senior experts from various CO2 emitting industries discussing sustainable, technological and commercial aspects of CO2 Utilization in Canada 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: https://www.wplgroup.com/aci/event/co2-canada

Event: 10th Maritime Salvage & Casualty Response

11-12 September 2019, London, UK

Recent “Grande America” and “Viking Sky” incidents have highlighted the vital role of the salvage industry in making deep seas a safer place for maritime navigation and the importance of salvage experts being both well prepared and readily available to deal with incidents in extremely challenging conditions.

With professional and timely responses, both incidents recorded only minor injuries and no fatalities, but they have added to the growing number of incidents which need to be studied and analysed to know how to deal with similar cases in the future most effectively.

The two-day conference will once again bring together senior executives and experts from salvage companies, technology providers, P&I Clubs, law firms and global regulators to discuss the latest challenges and developments making an impact on the industry.

You will hear latest case studies and expert views from senior level industry representatives and benefit from excellent networking opportunities.

More information: https://www.wplgroup.com/aci/event/maritime-salvage-casualty-response

Event: Urgent and Emergency Care – Facilitating Patient Flow

8 October 2019, Manchester, UK

Join senior NHS professional from across the country at the 6th Annual Urgent and Emergency Care: Facilitating Patient Flow conference where will examine in depth the aims of the long-term plan and how they will impact on urgent and emergency care delivery. Key areas of focus include:

The agenda will provide delegates with a greater understanding of how the long-term plan will shape the future of urgent and emergency care provision and discuss the opportunities and the challenges in providing a sustainable service that is reactive to demand.

More information: https://www.openforumevents.co.uk/events/2019/urgent-and-emergency-care-facilitating-patient-flow

Event: 25th Maritime HR and Crew Management

23-24 October 2019, London, UK

ACI’s 25th Maritime HR & Crew Management conference will focus on the importance of training, developing and meeting the social needs of crew in a cost-effective way to improve retention and efficiency of shipping operations. The role of the seafarer is changing as digitalisation advances and it is critical that crew are equipped to deal with this.

Agenda Topics for 2019

More information: https://www.wplgroup.com/aci/event/maritime-hr-crew-management-europe

US NIOSH News

New Video Available on the Dangers of Illicit Drugs, including Fentanyl for First Responders

US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) just released a new video to help emergency responders understand the risks and to communicate what they can do to protect themselves from exposure to illicit drugs. Using actual police body cam footage, the video shows what happens when an officer is exposed to illicit drugs like fentanyl and provides recommendations on how other officers and responders can prevent it from happening to them.

New Research from External Partners Available on NIOSH Opioids Webpage

NIOSH has a new webpage featuring opioid-related resources from its extramural grantees and other partners. On this webpage, you can find information on education, training, research, and surveillance data related to the prevention of opioid misuse and overdose in working populations.

It is April – Use Stress Awareness Month to ‘bounce back’

The month of April is Stress Awareness Month. Take a moment to ask yourself what causes YOU to feel stressed or uncomfortable?

Now think to yourself, is there something YOU can do to prevent this?

Much of what life throws at us is out of our control and unpredictable. Cars break down, trains run late, computer systems crash and people don’t always behave as you might expect.

We cannot change a lot of things and although not always that simple, accepting is one way of coping. But it’s also important to take a good look at the things we can change.

Read these wellbeing healthy tips on building your emotional and physical resilience. Because when you take control of your choices you can build up resilience against the risks to your mind, your body and your heart. Things you could look to control …

Kick start your day

Skipping meals will leave you feeling lethargic, unable to think clearly and irritable. It’s important to have a good breakfast and top up your energy for the day with regular meals and snacks. Go for some hearty rolled oats and top with some cheerful summer berries to avoid any ‘hangry’ moments.

Take a swap challenge

Caffeine, sugar, alcohol, nicotine and energy drinks provide a quick fix for many people but can make you feel anxious, on edge and disturb your sleep. Why not take on a challenge and see how much happier and calmer you could feel from swapping bad habits for healthier ones?

Keep your blood flowing

Being active can improve your physical response to stress and mental ability to rise to a challenge. Even a spot of cleaning or DIY has been shown to lift your mood. Help count towards your daily recommended activity.

Get some shut eye

Too little sleep can kick start stress hormones, drive up your heart rate and give blood pressure a squeeze. Switch off televisions, computers and mobile phones, open a window, and rest your mind. Music can help too, research suggests devoting at least 45 minutes in a relaxed position listening to music is the answer.

Keeping active, eating well and getting a good night’s sleep will not make problems go away, but it will give you the stamina and mental capacity to help deal with them calmly.

So take charge of what you can change today, and help your heart.

More information: https://heartresearch.org.uk

A+A Specialist Article No. 1: Congress Respiratory Protection and Occupational Hygiene

Smart Solutions and Individual Responsibility

Respiratory protective devices are getting modular, less heavy and more comfortable so that they can be used flexibly. After all, demographic change is also reflected in the workforce here. Today, more and more people work longer hours. Careful occupational hygiene in respiratory protection is a central issue – especially for fire brigades.

“We are increasingly challenged by the demographic change in site fire brigades and with people obliged to wear PPE in the industry,” says Siegfried Fiedler, Head of the Respiratory Protection Group at the Association of German Site Fire Services, and goes on to say: “As fitness decreases, a trend we also increasingly observe in young people, the requirements made on respiratory protection increase.” It is true that respiratory protective devices protect their wearers, but they also place an enormous physical strain on them. “The devices should have the lowest possible weight and a low breathing resistance,” says Fiedler.

And then there are users who have beards – also for ideological reasons – or who wear glasses. These interfere with the respiratory mask of the RPE since it may no longer seal the respiratory tract. Special hoods designed for air supply can remedy this. “There should also be as few prerequisites for using respiratory protective devices in shift operations,” demands Fiedler. Even today there is wide variety of options available for working with respiratory protection such as fan-assisted respirators, powered fresh air hose breathing apparatuses, ventilated encapsulated suits, lightweight self-contained breathing apparatuses, and ventilated booths.

Full article: https://www.aplusa-online.com/cgi-bin/md_aplusa/lib/pub/tt.cgi/Specialist_Article_No._1_Congress_Respiratory_Protection_and_Occupational_Hygiene.html?oid=18952&lang=2&ticket=g_u_e_s_t

Every year on shifts ups heart disease risk 1 per cent

Working shifts increases a person’s chances of developing heart disease, with every year spent in this working pattern causing a 1 per cent rise in the risk, according to a new study. The research published in the journal Occupational Medicine is the largest ever study focusing on the risk of ischaemic heart disease in shift workers.

Researchers analysed 21 studies that pooled together 320,002 participants with 19,782 cases of ischaemic heart disease. Shift workers were found to be 13 per cent more likely to develop ischaemic heart disease compared with day time workers. The study revealed there was a 0.9 per cent increase in the chance of developing ischaemic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, with every year spent in this working pattern.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-30-march-2019#_Toc4675126

Working nights linked to greater risk of miscarriage

Working two or more night shifts in a week may increase a pregnant woman’s risk of miscarriage the following week by around a third, a new study has found.

The prospective study published online in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine accessed payroll data on 22,744 pregnant women working in public services, mainly hospitals, in Denmark, and linked that with data from Danish national registers on births and admissions to hospital for miscarriage.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-30-march-2019#_Toc4675127

Sedentary work can kill you

Sitting or lounging around for long periods during the day could be the cause of almost 70,000 deaths in the UK and cost the NHS at least £700 million a year, new research has revealed.

Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University noted that a large proportion of the UK population have sedentary jobs and leisure activities. The team led by Queen’s University’s Leonie Heron made their calculations by estimating the amount of money spent by the NHS on type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and endometrial, colon and lung cancers over the financial year 2016/17 across the UK.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-30-march-2019#_Toc4675128

Risks from chemical cocktails ‘under-estimated’

The health risks associated with combined exposures to a range of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are ‘systematically underestimated’, a new study has concluded.

The European research project EDC-MixRisk is critical of the current assessment methods employed in the European Union on EDCs, a large group of chemicals linked to reproductive harm, cancer and other health effects. Researchers behind the project call for a shift in risk assessment to better reflect real-life exposure to multiple chemicals throughout life.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-30-march-2019#_Toc4675129

China: Death toll rises to 78 in chemical plant explosion

The death toll from an explosion in a chemical plant in east China’s Jiangsu Province has risen to 78.

The explosion on an industrial estate happened mid-afternoon on 21 March 2019 following a fire that broke out in the plant owned by Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co Ltd. At a memorial ceremony a week after the deadly blast, which also injured 600 workers, sirens blared and hundreds of people stood in silent tribute to the victims.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-30-march-2019#_Toc4675132

Italy: Stop the exploitation of migrant farm workers

A group of Italian doctors is calling for urgent action to stop the exploitation of thousands of migrants working in agriculture across Italy.

Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Dr Claudia Marotta and colleagues said more than 1,500 migrant agricultural workers have died did in the country as a result of their work over the past six years, while others have been killed by the so-called “Caporali” who are modern slave masters. The cause of the deaths ranges from murders, to ‘accidents’ to exhaustion.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-30-march-2019#_Toc4675133

Backing for UN convention on safety of journalists

Representatives from governments in every continent have joined journalists’ unions, editors’ groups, public broadcasters and media organisations in a united call for the United Nations to adopt a Convention on the safety and protection of journalists. The joint call came during the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Last year, on average, two journalists were killed every week – yet global journalists’ unions federation IFJ observes “impunity for crimes against journalists remains at 90 per cent.” Now a coalition involving the IFJ, media industry groups and press freedom campaigners have taken the demand for action to the heart of the UN’s Human Rights Council.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-30-march-2019#_Toc4675134

Tackling third-party abuse and harassment: A guide for trade union reps from the TUC

No one should be subject to harassment, abuse or bullying at any time, let alone at work. Yet half of all workers have experienced either bullying, sexual harassment, abuse, violence, or a combination of these, while at work.

We believe that all workers have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at work. Any form of abuse, harassment or bullying is unacceptable, whether from a colleague, from a manager or from a member of the public.

This guide looks at this issue of third-party abuse and harassment and explains:

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/tackling-third-party-abuse-and-harassment

Pilots warn drone operators not to fall foul of new laws

Pilots are reminding drone operators that they could face jail if they fly too close to airports.

New legislation that came in to force on 13 March 2019 sees the no-fly zone around airports increased from 1 km to 5 km and gives police greater powers to deal with those who ignore the rules. Pilots’ union BALPA, which had campaigned for the extended no drone zone, said transgressors could face hefty fines and prison sentences. The union is now calling for the government to put in place measures to protect helicopters which operate at low levels away from the protected zone around airports and in areas where drones are frequently flown.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-890-23-march-2019#_Toc3994307

More road safety training needed for young children, UK RoSPA research shows

At the start of the UK Family Safety Week – 4 April 2019 – new research has revealed that almost half (49 per cent) of children aged 6-11 have not received any form of pedestrian safety training in the past 12 months, despite road accidents being the leading cause of accidental death for children of that age.

Results from a new YouGov survey, commissioned by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), have revealed that 49 per cent of parents said their children have not had any guidance about how to be road safe.

The survey also revealed that nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) would like to see more practical pedestrian training being given to their children.

The latest accident figures from the Department of Transport demonstrate the need for further pedestrian safety training targeted at minors – 1,269 child pedestrians in the UK were killed or seriously injured in 2017.

Nick Lloyd, RoSPA’s acting head of road safety, said: “Our survey has highlighted a clear demand among parents for more road safety training to be delivered to primary school-aged children. Meeting this need becomes all the more urgent when we consider the level of child road injury rates.

“If we are to truly empower our children and their parents to commit to cleaner, active travel and healthier lifestyles, we have to make sure they feel safe as pedestrians. The best way to teach children the road safety skills they need is to deliver real-world, practical lessons, so we have designed a suite of resources for teachers and parents to enable them to do this.

“We want every child to have the opportunity to learn how to be a safe and confident pedestrian.”

Parents who would like to teach their children about road safety can find hints and tips, including the Green Cross Code, at www.rospa.com/FamilySafetyWeek

RoSPA also has a free road safety training pack for teachers, which aims to equip children at Key Stage 2 with the knowledge they need to be safe road users. It can be found at www.rospa.com/ChildTraining.

Family Safety Week was set up by RoSPA in a bid to help millions of people protect their loved ones from accidents – the number of one cause of preventable death.

US NIOSH Advice: Responding to a Suspected Opioid Overdose

Call 911 if an overdose is suspected. Even if the person experiencing an overdose wakes up or appears to have improved significantly after one or two doses of naloxone, emergency medical assistance is still necessary.

A medical professional should evaluate anyone who has experienced an overdose as soon as possible. Overdose symptoms may not fully improve or may quickly return after initial treatment with naloxone. Other medical complications also are possible. Note that an incapacitated individual’s symptoms may be unrelated to opioids.

Full advice: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/opioids/response.html

RoSPA calls for permanent British Summer Time in wake of European Parliament vote

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is calling for an end to Daylight Savings Time clock changes in order to prevent serious injury and death on the road.

The family safety charity supports the European Parliament proposal to stop the obligatory one-hour, twice-yearly clock change which extends daylight hours in the summer, but reduces usable daylight hours in winter evenings.

Each year, when the clocks go back in the autumn, there is a marked spike in the number of vulnerable road users killed and seriously injured. According to the Department of Transport, in 2017, pedestrian deaths rose from 37 in September to 46 in October, 63 in November, and 50 in December.

RoSPA chief executive Errol Taylor said: “Clock changes were first introduced in 1916 to reflect the needs of a nation at war. However, our priority now should be the prevention road accidents that cause serious injury and death.

“We know that the clock change kills people. During the working week, casualty rates peak at 8 am and 10 am and 3 pm and 7 pm, with the afternoon peak being higher. Road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings and worsening weather conditions.

“And it is vulnerable road users – such as children on their way home from school and cyclists – who would experience the most benefit. Currently, vulnerable road users have far higher fatality rates per billion passenger miles, and these rates increased for both pedestrians and motorcyclists in 2017. Anything we can do to bring these rates down has to be worth it.

“While we respect the views of those that want to keep the current system, we must not lose sight of the fact that lives are at stake.”

The benefits of a change to the current system also stretch far beyond road safety. The increased amount of daylight during waking hours means active travel will be encouraged, electricity bills will go down, tourist and leisure facilities will be accessible for longer, and older people who feel “curfewed” by darkness will be enabled to be outdoors for later.

For decades, RoSPA has been at the forefront of the campaign to give the UK an extra hour of evening daylight all year round.

In 2012, Conservative MP Rebecca Harris brought forward Private Members legislation entitled the ‘Daylight Saving Bill’ which called for a review of the potential costs and benefits of advancing time by one hour for all, or part of, the year. Despite enjoying considerable cross-party support, the passage of the Bill was blocked by a small number of MPs.