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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

September 2019

Airline industry ‘cloak of silence’ on toxic cabin air

The airline industry is deploying a ‘cloak of silence’ over toxic cabin air and fume events onboard jet airliners, the cabin crew union Unite has charged. Speaking at the International Aircraft Cabin Air Conference this week, Unite assistant general secretary for legal affairs, Howard Beckett, called on the airline industry to clean up its act by using safer oil to lubricate jet engines and to fit cabin air filters on planes.

The two-day conference at Imperial College in London, was told how Unite is currently supporting 51 high court actions against five UK airlines after independent expert evidence concluded the air in most commercial airline cabins can cause irreversible neurological damage and chronic illness among susceptible individuals. The union says the medical evidence used in the claims shows long term exposure to cabin air or to high dose ‘fume events’ can lead to pilots and crew members developing chronic ill-health and life-threatening conditions.

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UNISON move to protect gig economy workers

UNISON move to protect gig economy workers Porters, care workers, security staff and parking wardens are at greater risk of physical and verbal attack, injury or illness, because they work alone for long periods, the public service union UNISON has warned. Launching a new gig economy safety guide, it said that staff cuts, the growth of zero-hours contracts and an increase in the number of home care workers has led to the creation of a vulnerable and isolated workforce.

Government regulations haven’t kept pace with the changing workplace, leaving staff unprotected, the union said. UNISON said its guidance is the first union health and safety document designed to tackle the dangers faced by lone workers in the gig economy. It encourages employers to minimise lone working where possible and suggests how good health and safety management may reduce risks if staff have to work alone.

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Music teacher is UK TUC safety rep of the year

NEU’s Jenny Cooper is this year’s recipient of the TUC Safety Rep Award.

Jenny, a music teacher, says she is passionate about keeping her pupils and staff safe at her school. In a TUC video interview, Jenny said: “Everything should be seen and campaigned for through a health and safety lens.”

She first got the safety bug after an accident at the school where she worked.

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Scotland’s at-risk firefighters need more resources

The Scottish Fire and Rescue (SFRS) service must commit to year-on-year improvements to response, training, prevention, equipment and the creation of national standards, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said.

The union was speaking out as members of the Scottish parliament debated fire service reform. The union said after decades of gradual improvements, Scotland has seen fires, fire deaths, non-fire incidents, and false alarms all plateau in recent years, while the total number of incidents firefighters responded to increased again this year.

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London backs Unite’s blacklisting charter

In what it described as ‘a major boost’ to employment standards for construction workers in London, Unite has welcomed the London Mayor’s office signing the capital up to Unite’s Construction Charter.

The union said the charter requires that construction firms planning to work on Great London Authority (GLA) building projects will need to meet a set of high employment and safety standards. These include ‘the highest standards’ in respect of direct employment status, health and safety, standards of work, apprenticeship training and the implementation of nationally agreed terms and conditions of employment, the union said.

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Safety body calls for action on modern slavery

The government and businesses must do more to fight the ‘growing global scourge’ of modern slavery, UK safety professionals’ organisation IOSH has said.

The top safety officers’ group was speaking out after its new poll indicated there is now strong public support for action. IOSH found 63 per cent of people in Britain are concerned modern slavery is involved in products or services they use, 84 per cent want national awareness campaigns, and 76 per cent believe all organisations legally required to make modern slavery statements must say how they tackle it.

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BP fined after massive ‘extremely flammable’ crude release

Energy giant BP has been fined £400,000 for criminal safety failings after the release of more than three tonnes of ‘extremely flammable’ and ‘unstablised’ crude oil at the Sullom Voe terminal in Shetland.

The company admitted the safety offences at Lerwick Sheriff Court. The incident, during maintenance work in 2012, led to the crude oil being released from a pipe into the ground at high pressure. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which investigated the incident and prosecuted the company, said the leak “was not noticed for about 30-40 minutes.

During this time approximately 3.8 tonnes of extremely flammable, unstablised crude oil spilled on to the ground.” BP Exploration Operating Company Limited pleaded guilty to criminal breaches of the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 and the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974.

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Global: Report exposes multi-billion social auditing con

A new report has revealed how the multi-billion social auditing industry is using ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) to protect brand reputation and profits while aggravating the risks to garment workers.

The report, Fig Leaf for fashion: How social auditing protects brands and fails workers, published by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), examines the practices of major ‘corporate controlled’ social compliance initiatives, including Social Accountability International, WRAP, the FLA, and amfori BSCI, and the auditing firms, including Bureau Veritas, TÜV Rheinland, UL, RINA, and ELEVATE.

CCC says its report “clearly shows how the social audit industry has failed spectacularly in its proffered mission of protecting workers’ safety and improving working conditions. Instead, it has protected the image and reputation of brands and their business models, while standing in the way of more effective models that include mandatory transparency and binding commitments to remediation.”

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Pakistan: Unions pledge to continue fight for factory safety

Unions and workers, remembering the victims of a deadly fire seven years ago at the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan, have pledged to continue their fight for safety and justice.

On 11 September 2012, more than 250 workers were killed and over 50 were injured at the ready-made garment manufacturing factory in Karachi. To mark the anniversary, the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) and the Association of the Affectees of Baldia Factory Fire gathered at the site of the tragedy. Participants included a minister from the Sindh provincial government, survivors of the fire, family members of the victims, garment workers and social and political activists.

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USA: California sets safer standard for ‘gig’ workers

The global transport unions’ federation ITF is calling for a landmark law in California to be the inspiration for global rules that protect ‘gig’ workers from exploitation and abuse.

California’s ‘AB 5’ law makes it hard for employers to misclassify workers as independent contractors. ITF said companies typically do this as a means of avoiding their duty to provide basic rights, such as minimum pay, sick pay, overtime pay and paid leave.

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Events: UK TUC Courses for safety reps

Course dates now appearing at

Event: Book your place NOW at the FIG UK Seminar celebrating the 31st Anniversary of The Fire Information Group UK

Thursday, 10 October 2019, 13.00 – 17.00 followed by a reception

Location: Senate Room, 9th Floor, Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London

This seminar is kindly sponsored by Lane, Jefferies & Associates Ltd, Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd and Burgoynes.


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 Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH), 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

Alasdair Hay, CBE QFSM MBA MCIPD MIFireE, Chairman, Fire Service Research and Training Trust, 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

David Lane, MIFireE, AssocRINA, FRIN, Director of Training Events, Skybound Rescuer
Specialises in the use of drones for public safety. Mission is to optimise drone performance for all Emergency Services. The vision is to enable Emergency Services to save lives that could not be saved before.
Future ways of working using available technologies e.g. drones, robots.
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 Delegate Fees

Delegates – £60 each

FIG UK Members – £50 each less FIG UK discount £30 delegate

FIG UK Retired members – £20 each

3.5 CPD certificates will be available for those attending.


Bookings NOW BEING TAKEN 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:

Event: Novel Technological Innovations for Occupational Safety and Health

15 October 2019, CIOP-PIB premises, Warsaw, Poland

The objective of the conference is to present and discuss results of cutting-edge research on innovative solutions for safety improvement as well as exchange knowledge and experience among the leading European researchers in the field. The conference is aimed at researchers, practitioners, entrepreneurs as well as experts in occupational safety and health who are potentially interested in the development and implementation of novel technological innovations for OSH improvement.

The conference is divided into the following sessions – please see the conference programme for details:

The participation in the conference is free of charge. The registration is open until 30 September 2019.

The conference languages are Polish and English – simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

For more information Contact:

Event: The 11th British Safety Council Annual Conference – Health, safety and wellbeing in the modern workplace

16 October 2019, Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS, UK

The 2019 Annual Conference will give you the skills to tackle new challenges in health, safety and wellbeing. It’s the perfect way to ensure your organisation has a healthy and long-lasting wellbeing culture.

BSC will be holding a number of sessions from expert speakers on the day. Professor David Fishwick will be holding the keynote session on the statistics and impact of workplace health conditions. David is the Co-Director of the Centre for Workplace Health and Chief Medical Advisor for HSE. His discussion will involve how managers can intervene and make a difference within their organisation.

More information:

Event: ECHA Biocides Day for an insight into the current priorities for biocides in the EU

29 October 2019, European Chemicals Agency, Annankatu 18, 00120 Helsinki, Finland

The event takes place from 9:00 to 18:00.


The event is open to all, free of charge.

More information:

Event: NEBOSH HSE – Introduction to Incident Investigation – 1 Day Qualification

17 October 2019, Buxton, UK

The UK Health and Safety Executive 1-day qualification sets out not only the ‘why’ but also the ‘how’ of incident investigation.

If investigations fail to identify all of the causes of incidents, or they focus only on the individual involved, opportunities to improve work methods and improve risk controls may be lost.

The NEBOSH HSE Introduction to Incident Investigation equips learners to run investigations unaided, create and deploy action plans to help prevent recurrence or a more serious incident.

This stand-alone qualification is aimed at anyone who conducts investigations, such as supervisors and line managers. No specific previous training or qualification is needed.

Potential benefits include safer working methods, more effective controls and fewer incidents.

Other available dates:

More information:

UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Event: Two Day Biocides Efficacy Workshop

23-24 October 2019, York, UK

The course will provide a general overview of how to identify the correct efficacy data requirements for a product and, in some cases, how this may be different from the requirements for an active substance. It will also note the UK experience of the interpretation of requirements by other Member States. The course will then address how to generate and present appropriate data to meet these requirements. There will also be sections dedicated to some specific product types (or groups of product types) for which significant interest has already been expressed. There will be worked examples to help attendees to recognise common problems and best practice, as well as a number of discussion opportunities to allow attendees to raise key issues and ask questions.

The workshop will be held at the Chemicals Regulation Division in York, UK on Wednesday, 23 and Thursday, 24 October 2019. Registration will begin from 9:00 am. The workshop will start at 9:30 am on day one and finish around 3:30 pm on day two. The cost per delegate to attend the workshop will be £660 (plus VAT).

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