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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

May 2019

  1. Event: FIG UK Mind the Gap Seminar 2019 update celebrating the 31st Anniversary of The Fire Information Group UK
  2. Commercial interests’ ruse in Sea King asbestos scandal
  3. Average shopworker faces violence over 20 times a year
  4. Two hurt in massive Port Talbot steelworks explosion
  5. Climate-proofing work
  6. HSE Safety Alert: Platform Lifts (vertical lifting platforms or lifts for people with impaired mobility)
  7. HSE Safety Alert: Change in Enforcement Expectations for Mild Steel Welding Fume
  8. HSE Research and Consultancy news
  9. Latest publications from Eurofound
  10. Australia: Unions welcome Labor pledge on work fatalities
  11. France: Study confirms link between work and suicides
  12. Global: New safety campaign in paper and packaging
  13. USA: Needlestick Risk in City Police Department Greatest During Searches
  14. USA: Risk Perception Key to Workplace Safety and Health
  15. USA: Fatal Electrical Injuries of Contract Workers
  16. Phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to end UK contribution to global warming says the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC)
  17. Event: Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK
  18. Event: Latest Fire Safety Standards from the Hackitt Review and how these will be implemented
  19. Event: ISMA Annual Conference – ISMA 2019
  20. Event: EEMUA Annual Storage Tanks Seminar
  21. Work cancer risk warning to tyre and rubber workers after government safety cuts
  22. New guidance released to prevent inland water drownings
  23. Wellness programmes at work don’t, well, work
  24. Longer work hours lead to more and more serious injuries
  25. CITB sets out solutions to “Big Six” skills challenges for the construction industry

Event: FIG UK Mind the Gap Seminar 2019 update celebrating the 31st Anniversary of The Fire Information Group UK

Thursday, 10 October 2019, 13.00 – 17.00 followed by a reception, Senate Room, 9th Floor, Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London

This seminar is kindly sponsored Lane, Jefferies & Associates Ltd and Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd and Burgoynes Management. Other sponsors are being sought.

Draft Programme

Timing includes Questions/Answers in each speaker’s session

12.15 – 13.00


13.00 – 13.30

Introduction by Chair Sheila Pantry OBE BA FCLIP, IOSH Lifetime Achievement Award winner 2013
FIG UK – Looking back – Looking forward and New ways of working
Setting the scene
Worldwide Fire, health and safety information sources – including new topics, research and developments
Where to keep up to date
Confirmed as speaker

13.30 – 14.15

Dr James L D Glockling, BEng PhD MIFireE Technical Director, Fire Protection Association, Director RISCAuthority
Recent Fire Research including fires in thatched roofs. Also, where to keep up to date in information
Confirmed as speaker

14.15 – 15.00

Chris Jones, Chairman, Chair, Waste Industry Safety & Health Forum, Director of Risk Management and Compliance, Cory Environmental
Waste Industry and fires – current and future work. Also, where to keep up to date in information
Confirmed as speaker

15.00 – 15.20

Tea/Coffee Break

15.20 – 16.05

Steve McGuirk, CBE, QFSM, DL, MA BA (Hons), BSc, FIFireE, Chairman, Fire Service Research and Training Trust (FSRTT), formerly Chief Fire Officer, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Services
What the FSRTT does and how it can help those working in the fire industry – also where to keep up to date in information.
Confirmed as speaker

16.10 – 16.55

London Fire Brigade staff member, Fire research and investigations
- including new topics, different types of fires
- future ways of working using the technologies available, e.g. drones, robots
- and perhaps including reference to Sherlock, the LFB dog
- also where to keep up to date in information on these topics
Confirmed as speaker

16.55 – 17.00

Summing up – Chairman

17.00 – 18.00

Speakers and delegates are welcome to the free Networking drinks and nibbles party in The Imperial Hotel 1st Floor Bar

Seminar 2019 delegate fees

Delegates – £60 each

FIG UK Members – £50 each

FIG UK Retired members – £20 each

For Bookings and further Information from FIG UK Co-ordinator, Sheila Pantry, OBE, BA, FCLIP, IOSH Lifetime Achievement Award winner 2013

Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, 85 The Meadows, Todwick, Sheffield, S26 1JG, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Email:

More information:

Commercial interests’ ruse in Sea King asbestos scandal

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is hiding behind ‘commercial interests’ in refusing to provide information about the asbestos scandal involving the maintenance of its Sea King helicopter fleet, Unite has said.

The union has been campaigning for the past year for the MoD to contact the estimated 1,000 workers who undertook maintenance on Sea King helicopters since 1969. This follows the discovery that many of the components in the helicopter contained asbestos. Some of those components remained part of the aircraft even after a modification programme in 2006.

In what Unite described as ‘a shocking security failure’, the MoD has been forced to admit that it does not have a central record of the workers who had undertaken the maintenance work. Much of the work was undertaken by contractors rather than by MoD staff. The government has failed to response to repeated Unite requests for information on how it intends to contact workers who may have been exposed to the potent human carcinogen, most recently citing commercial interests.

More information:

Average shopworker faces violence over 20 times a year

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has released ‘shocking’ statistics from its annual survey that show UK shopworkers were verbally abused, threatened or assaulted an average of 21 times last year. The union says whilst not all shopworkers suffer to this extent, some experience much higher levels of abuse, threats and violence.

Usdaw’s Freedom from Fear Survey shows that during 2018, almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of UK shopworkers experienced verbal abuse, 40 per cent were threatened by a customer and there were 288 assaults every day.

More information:

Two hurt in massive Port Talbot steelworks explosion

Two people have been hurt in an early hours’ explosion at Tata’s biggest steelworks plant in the UK.

Residents living near the Port Talbot plant in south Wales spoke of hearing a “massive” blast shortly after 03:30 BST on 26 April. Tata Steel said the explosion came from a train used to carry molten metal. The firm posted on Twitter: “We can confirm two of our employees were slightly injured when there was a spillage of liquid iron while it was travelling to the steel plant. All fires have now been extinguished. A full investigation has begun.”

The explosion was heard as far away as Bridgend, 14 miles (22 km) from the blast. Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock said the incident “raises real concerns about safety at the works.” In a twitter post he wrote: “It could have been a lot worse. Grateful as always to the emergency services for their rapid and effective response. Tata Steel Europe must conduct a full review, to improve safety.”

More information:

Climate-proofing work

The ITUC has launched a global workplace action to demand that employers engage with workers and their unions to set in motion plans to climate-proof their operations. From now until 26 June 2019, the Climate-Proof Our Work (#cPOW) push will see workers start the conversation with their bosses.

“It is crunch time, and we need to see employers taking concrete steps and to know what steps they will take. Our future depends on it, and we need every single workplace and enterprise to pull its weight. If employers are serious about climate change, we are with them; if not, then unions will demand that they get serious,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

Working people are on the front lines of climate change. As nine of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2005, the urgency is clear. Already 83 million climate-related refugees have fled from disaster and have lost livelihoods. A further 72 million jobs are threatened by temperature increases. Climate action is needed from workplaces to parliaments. Every contribution matters, and urgent and ambitious action is needed.

“We need to take a good hard look at the business models that got us to this point. ‘Green washing’ will not cut it this time; passing off responsibility will no longer be accepted. The international labour movement is committed to addressing climate change. Working people have a common concern: will their job, as it is, stand the test of the transition? If not, what steps are needed to ensure that it does? If done properly through dialogue and negotiation between employers and unions with the necessary support from governments, this opens the door to realising just transitions and taking on the existential task that is before us. The costs and consequences of inaction are incalculable,” said Burrow.

More information:

HSE Safety Alert: Platform Lifts (vertical lifting platforms or lifts for people with impaired mobility)

Risk of falls from height to employees/workers and members of the public.

This Safety Notice is aimed at:

Information is provided for maintenance companies on:

Safety devices are designed to prevent doors from opening unless the platform lift is at a landing.

Tampering with safety devices may allow the doors to open when the platform/lift car is not at the landing. This could result in a significant risk to the users of falling from height or being crushed.

More information:

HSE Safety Alert: Change in Enforcement Expectations for Mild Steel Welding Fume

There is new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer that exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans. The Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen.

With immediate effect, there is a strengthening of HSE’s enforcement expectation for all welding fume, including mild steel welding; because general ventilation does not achieve the necessary control.

More information:

HSE Research and Consultancy news

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is evolving the way it supports organisations. To help you better distinguish between the different types of support they offer they have extended the HSE brand

Their core offer remains unchanged: they will continue to provide Guidance and Research on their main website to help you comply with your obligations under health and safety law.

However, they also offer a range of other products and services that you may wish to invest in to help with your management of health and safety.

HSL products and services are now offered under the HSE brand. These include:

Latest publications from Eurofound

Working conditions in a global perspective

Job quality is a major focus of policymakers around the world. For workers, the enterprises that employ them and for societies, there are benefits associated with high-quality jobs, and costs associated with poor-quality jobs. This report – the result of a pioneering project by the International Labour Organization and Eurofound – provides a comparative analysis of job quality covering approximately 1.2 billion workers in Europe, Asia and the Americas. It analyses seven dimensions of job quality: the physical environment, work intensity, working time quality, the social environment, skills and development, prospects, and earnings, finding both important differences and similarities between countries. By analysing positive and negative aspects of job quality in different countries and societies, the report provides a way to look beyond national explanations, to see how some groups of workers are affected more than others and understand the particular issues for women workers around the world – in support of evidence-based policymaking to improve job quality.

More information:

Working conditions and workers’ health

This report uses European Working Conditions Survey data to examine working conditions and their implications for worker’s health. Ensuring the sustainability of work in the context of ageing populations implies a greater number of people in employment who can remain in the workforce for longer. The report examines the interplay between work demands – which carry an increased risk of exhaustion – and work resources – which support workers in greater engagement and well-being. The findings indicate that physical risks have not increased but remain important, while emotional demands have increased, underlining the growing importance of psychosocial risks at work. Changes over time suggest that although the risk of poor health is concentrated in certain occupations, those occupations traditionally considered to be protected are increasingly exposed to risks that are likely to affect workers’ health and well-being.

More information:

Australia: Unions welcome Labor pledge on work fatalities

Australia’s opposition Labor Party (ALP) has said if successful in this month’s general election it will include a country-wide industrial manslaughter offence in workplace health and safety legislation.

The move has been welcomed by unions, which said it marks a ‘systemic shift’ in how the country will view the responsibility of employers for the safety of workers, and how courts will address the loss of life in Australian workplaces.

Under the current system, employers in most state and territories who are proved to be responsible for the deaths of any of the 200 Australian workers who die due to workplace incidents every year face at most a fine. Many employers write off the cost of these penalties on their insurance. Industrial manslaughter laws will give courts the full range of options where an employer is found to be responsible for the death of a worker. National union federation ACTU said stiffer penalties, including the prospect of serious time in jail, will act as a more effective deterrent and help to ensure that those responsible for workplace fatalities are treated just as any member of society who is found culpable for a death.

More information:

Almost 1-in-25 workers in France consider suicide each year, with more than a third blaming work for their desperation, research has found.

The study published in the Bulletin épidémiologique hebdomadaire (BEH) reported 3.8 per cent of the French population in employment has considered suicide in the course of the past twelve months. The bulletin, which is published by a French public health agency, said that in 2017, 4.5 per cent of the female population and 3.1 per cent of the male population reported suicidal thoughts, or 3.8 per cent overall. In more than a third of cases, working and employment conditions were stated as being the cause. The most important factor was fear of losing the job, followed by verbal threats, humiliation and intimidation at work.

More information:

Global: New safety campaign in paper and packaging

Workers in the pulp, paper, graphical and packaging sectors, represented worldwide by the global unions IndustriALL and UNI, have kicked off a year-long campaign around the three fundamental worker rights needed to make work safe.

These ‘3Rs’ are: The Right to Know – workers must know the hazards and risks in their workplace; The Right to Act, or the right to refuse unsafe work without punishment; and The Right to Participate in the safety programmes and structures that manage safety in the workplace.

More information:

USA: Needlestick Risk in City Police Department Greatest During Searches

Police work can pose many dangers, including work-related exposure to blood and other potentially infectious body substances through needlestick and other related injuries. But when and how do these kinds of injuries occur?

A recently published NIOSH study in the American Journal of Infection Control found that needlestick injuries and other exposures to body substances in one city police department were infrequent but most likely to occur during pat-down and personal property searches. The research also appeared in a NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations (HHE) report. Investigators looked at police department injury reports in a large city in Ohio, in response to a request from the city’s risk management office through the NIOSH HHE program. The police department comprised approximately 1,000 sworn police offers and 125 civilian workers. Using information from a large database within the city’s safety department, the investigators described the type of needlestick injuries and other exposures from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2016, and calculated how often they occurred per year.

More information:

USA: Risk Perception Key to Workplace Safety and Health

A recent study of 1,334 workers from 20 mine sites found that miners who avoid risk were less likely to experience near-miss incidents, according to a paper published in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries.

Why is it important to know about near-miss incidents? Previous NIOSH research showed that the likelihood of future injury may increase with the number of near misses. A near miss, otherwise known as a “close call,” is an occurrence that could have caused harm but did not. In high-risk occupations, near-miss incidents must be reported. Risk management, including near-miss reporting, serves as an integral part of workplace safety and health, particularly in hazardous industries such as mining and chemical processing.

Near-miss reports do not necessarily reveal the role that workers’ attitudes play in risk-related behaviour. To understand this relationship, NIOSH researchers recently surveyed mine workers to compare their attitudes towards risks and their feelings of personal control over events – defined as “locus of control” – with their individual likelihood of risk avoidance. Researchers found a strong relationship between near misses and attitudes toward risk and locus of control.

More information:

USA: Fatal Electrical Injuries of Contract Workers

Since 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has collected data on fatal work injuries of contract workers as part of its annual USA Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). The attention to contract worker deaths has coincided with a rise in the employment of contract workers and various temporary work arrangements more generally, in turn, prompting questions about health and safety programs and practices for this workforce.

This National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report draws on CFOI data to examine fatal electrical injuries of contract workers over the five-year period from 2012 through 2016. Electrical hazards are present in a variety of work environments, but their danger may not always be recognized by employees, particularly those working in unfamiliar work settings or who lack electrical safety training. Information about how these deaths occur is useful for prevention activities and for clarifying who these workers are and where additional electrical safety training and education efforts are needed. In addition to the CFOI data, NFPA report also includes descriptions of fatal electrical injury incidents involving contract workers from fatality investigation summaries conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). By illustrating specific injury events, these summaries offer brief case studies of some of the factors that may influence injury occurrence and can act as a guide for education and prevention.

Full report:

Phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to end UK contribution to global warming says the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC)

The UK can end its contribution to global warming within 30 years by setting an ambitious new target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said on 2 May 2019.

Ten years after the Climate Change Act became law, now is the right moment to set a more ambitious goal. Achieving a ‘net-zero’ target by the middle of the century is in line with the UK’s commitment under the Paris Agreement; the pact which the UK and the rest of the world signed in 2015 to curb dramatically the polluting gases that cause climate change.

Scotland has greater potential to remove pollution from its economy than the UK overall, and can credibly adopt a more ambitious target of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2045.

Wales has slightly lower opportunities than the UK as a whole, and should adopt a target for a 95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

This is a crucial time in the global effort to tackle climate change. Global average temperature has already risen by 1 °C from pre-industrial levels, driving changes in our climate that are apparent increasingly. In the last ten years, pledges to reduce emissions by the countries of the world have reduced the forecast of global warming from above 4 °C by the end of the century to around 3 °C. Net-zero in the UK would lead the global effort to further limit the rise to 1.5 °C.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has emphasised the vital importance of limiting further warming to as low a level as possible and the need for deep and rapid emissions reductions in order to do so.

The CCC’s recommended targets, which cover all sectors of the UK, Scottish and Welsh economies, are achievable with known technologies, alongside improvements in people’s lives, and should be put into law as soon as possible, the Committee says.

Falls in cost for some of the key zero-carbon technologies mean that achieving net-zero is now possible within the economic cost that Parliament originally accepted when it passed the Climate Change Act in 2008.

More information:

Event: Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK

13-19 May 2019

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 13-19 May 2019 on the topic of body image – how we feel and think about our bodies.

What is Mental Health Awareness Week?

The Mental Health Foundation is the UK’s charity for everyone’s mental health. With prevention at the heart of what they do, and its aims and how they are addressing the sources of mental health problems.

MHF has over 70 years of experience and expertise working towards a world with good mental health for all.

Read more about MHF’s innovative programmes, national campaigns and transformative mental health research see

Event: Latest Fire Safety Standards from the Hackitt Review and how these will be implemented

14 May 2019, Central London, UK

Jeremy Pocklington, Director General – Housing from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will be joining Sir Ken Knight along with many other expert speakers to share the latest updates on the Hackitt review and recommendations on fire safety standards and building regulations at the Westminster Briefing event in Central London on 14th May 2019.

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.

More information:

Event: ISMA Annual Conference – ISMA 2019

8 November 2019, London, UK

ISMA (International Stress Management Association) conference in 2019 will be the concluding highlight of International Stress Awareness Week, with International Stress Awareness Day itself taking place on Wednesday 6th November and many other events and activities during the week, including a Stress Fair, On-line Global Stress Summit, and national Stress Helpline.

Every year in the UK, an estimated 17 million days are lost to stress, anxiety and depression [Mental Health Foundation].

Some people cope with stressful situations better than others, mainly due to being more resilient. These people thrive whilst others around them crumble under pressure. But the good news is that resilience is not a fixed entity and isn’t something that a person is blessed with, or not. It can be taught and the workplace is an ideal place for people to learn how to build their resilience.

ISMA’s annual conference will be led by thought leaders from around the world and will address:

Discover proven interventions that can be implemented immediately back to the workplace.

More information:

Event: EEMUA Annual Storage Tanks Seminar

28 November 2019, Chester, UK

“Twenty Five Years of EEMUA 159”.

For 25 years ‘EEMUA Publication 159: Above ground flat bottomed storage tanks - a guide to inspection, maintenance and repair’ has been accepted by operators and regulators worldwide as a picture of what ‘good practice’ looks like, acting as a bridge between standards in wide use, such as BS 2654, API 620 and API 650, DIN 4119-1 and -2, CODRES, G0801 and EN 14015.

This seminar will look at the changes in build standards that have occurred over the life of the publication, how practice has changed, and what the future might hold for the industry.

Attendance is free of charge for delegates from EEMUA member and associate companies. For members and associates registering on the website for the first time, please note that there is an additional validation step. In this case, we recommend registering for the event only after the ‘Welcome to EEMUA’ communication has been received. This will ensure that once logged in you will have free entry to the event.

Non-members can take advantage of an early bird rate, available until 3rd October 2018. A standard rate of £300 will apply to all non-member registrations made after the deadline.

Limited spaces are available to delegates from higher education establishments, i.e. staff and full time students, at a reduced rate. All delegates from higher education establishments will be required to provide us with confirmation of their status accordingly, e.g. copy of student ID card, personnel ID card, etc.

Full details:

Work cancer risk warning to tyre and rubber workers after government safety cuts

New evidence confirming a cancer risk to tyre and rubber workers may go ignored because of government safety deregulation and cuts, the union Unite has warned.

The union was commented after research published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine revealed that workers in the tyre and rubber industry remain at significant risk of developing cancers caused by exposure to N-nitrosamines and rubber dust.

Unite, which represents thousands of workers in the industry, says it is unable to properly address the new health concerns as there is no longer an effective body where it can raise such issues. It charges that this “is a result of the Conservative government’s attacks on safety laws.”

More information:

New guidance released to prevent inland water drownings

With around two-thirds of drowning deaths in the UK happening at inland waters, safety charity RoSPA has released a new book with guidance and advice on how to manage sites to help prevent tragedy.

Between 2012 and 2016, 1,029 people died in accidental drownings in the UK’s inland waters, which includes sites such as rivers, reservoirs, canals, lakes, lochs, harbours, ponds and streams.

Each individual location will pose its own particular risks and challenges, yet there is more that can be done to prevent people from drowning at these sites.

Aimed at those with responsibility for land adjoining inland waters, such as risk managers, land managers and facilities managers, RoSPA’s Safety at Inland Waters aims to help improve water safety by helping to inform decisions on risk and safety.

More information:

Wellness programmes at work don’t, well, work

A new Harvard University study suggests that the increasingly popular workplace wellness programmes yield unimpressive results and don’t leave workers in better health. The authors say their findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, raise questions about the effectiveness of these programmes offered by 80 per cent of large US employers via an $8 billion workplace wellness industry.

The analysis, the first peer-reviewed, large-scale, multisite randomised controlled trial of a workplace wellness programme, shows that people who worked at sites offering the programme exhibited notably higher rates of some healthy behaviours, but no significant differences in other behaviours compared to the control group.

The programme had no significant effects on outcomes including 27 self-reported health and behavioural measures such as employees’ overall health, sleep quality and food choices; 10 clinical markers of health; 38 measures tracking spending and utilisation for doctor’s visits, medical tests, procedures and prescription drugs; and three employment outcomes - absenteeism, job tenure and job performance.

More information:

Longer work hours lead to more and more serious injuries

The longer your working week, the more likely you are to be injured or killed on the job, a new study has found.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago looked at reported work-related injury figures in the US mining industry between 1983 and 2015, together with production, employment levels and working hours data. US employers in the mining industry are required to report work-related injuries and illnesses to the government mines safety regulator MSHA where they ‘require medical treatment or results in death or loss of consciousness or inability to perform all job duties on any workday after the injury or temporary assignment to other duties or transfer to another job’.

The study authors concluded: “In this study, we found that factors associated with change, lack of routine, small mine operations and being new at the mine were associated with injuries occurring during long working hours relative to injuries occurring through the first 8 hours. Furthermore, incidents occurring during long working hours were more likely to result in a death or incidents involving multiple injured workers. This finding is disturbing given that US miners continue to work extended shifts with an average in excess of 47 hours per week, unlike the general US workforce where average work hours have declined to 38.5 hours per week. In this study, we observed a steady annual increase in the proportion of injuries occurring during long working hours that mirrors a trend reported internationally as more mining operations move towards longer shifts.”

More information:

CITB sets out solutions to “Big Six” skills challenges for the construction industry

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has set out its plans to help the industry meet critical skills challenges and secure its future workforce.

CITB’s business plan for 2019-2021, published on 2 May 2019, responds to industry’s demands for it to become more strategic and better focused.

The plan outlines the ‘Big Six’ skills challenges, based on research and insight from construction employers across Great Britain.

They include:

With an ageing workforce and the potential of losing EU workers, the industry critically needs a new generation of skilled, motivated workers. So CITB is launching a nationwide careers campaign that will attract and inspire many more recruits from all walks of life.

More information: