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November 2019

Council of the EU welcomes the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work

The Council calls on the EU Member States to pursue a human-centred approach to the future of work.

The Council of the European Union has adopted conclusions welcoming the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work and calling on the EU Member States to continue their efforts to ratify and apply the ILO Conventions and Protocols, and step up efforts to promote decent work.

It “notes with great satisfaction” the human-centred approach of the Declaration and that it provides global guidance for shaping the future of work by addressing both the opportunities and the challenges relating to the changing world of work.

The Council conclusions The Future of Work: the European Union promoting the ILO Centenary Declaration, which were proposed by the Finnish EU Presidency, find that by pursuing its mandate the ILO has helped to mitigate social unrest and improve social justice. Conscious of the fact that many of the challenges related to the future of work are global, the Council of the EU also emphasizes the need for a global vision of the future of work.

More information: https://www.ilo.org/brussels/press/press-releases/WCMS_725022/lang--en/index.htm

News from the European Chemicals Agency

https://echa.europa.eu/-/echa-weekly-13-november-2019

Public consultations on applications for authorisation launched

ECHA is looking for comments on 19 applications for authorisation covering 30 uses of:

Authorisation granted for one use of potassium dichromate

The European Commission has granted authorisation for one use of potassium dichromate (EC 231-906-6, CAS: 7778-50-9) to Wesco Aircraft EMEA, LTD., with a review period expiring on 21 September 2024.

New substance evaluation conclusion published

A new substance evaluation conclusion document is now available on ECHA’s website for ethylene carbonate (EC 202-510-0, CAS 96-49-1), added to the CoRAP list in 2018 and evaluated by Latvia.

Webinar: REACH information requirements for nanomaterials – material published

The webinar explained what a nanoform is, how to build a set of similar nanoforms and how to fulfil data requirements for their characterisation. It also introduced new IUCLID fields for reporting nanoforms with practical examples.

CLP: New intention to harmonise classification and labelling

An intention has been received to harmonise the classification and labelling of 9-octadecenoic acid (Z)-, sulfonated, potassium salts (EC 271-843-1, CAS 68609-93-8).

Biocides: Want to keep using peroxyoctanoic acid?

The identity of the substance peroxyoctanoic acid (EC -, CAS 33734-57-5), which is a substance in the Review Programme for the use in disinfectants and algaecides not intended for direct application to humans or animals (product-type 2), veterinary hygiene (product-type 3), or the food and feed area (product-type 4) has been redefined to reaction mass of peracetic acid and peroxyoctanoic acid.

List of notifications updated

An updated list of those substance and product-type combinations for which a compliant notification for inclusion in the Review Programme has been made is available. It also includes the names of the notifying companies to help you collaborate when submitting an application for approval of the active substance and to help avoid unnecessary testing on animals.

Waste: SCIP database on hazardous substances in articles workshop

80 participants joined us in Helsinki and 300 followed online to discuss and share information on the practical implementation of our upcoming SCIP database on hazardous substances in articles. The workshop covered:

Identification of lead components to include exposure scenarios in the safety data sheet for mixtures

Working with the Lead Component IDentification Method (LCID) in the framework of the Exchange Network on Exposure Scenarios (ENES) has been exemplified. A project report is now available, documenting the experience, providing criteria for choosing among the options for exposure scenario inclusion, and illustrating the outcome with seven mixture safety data sheet examples. The report is relevant for Chapter 7 Identification of Lead Components of the method’s Practical Guide only.

Exchange Network on Exposure Scenarios meets in November 2019

The Twelfth Exchange Network on Exposure Scenarios (ENES12) takes place on 21 November 2019 in Brussels. It will focus on demonstrating what can be achieved with the available supply chain communication tools developed under ENES. 150 representatives from industry (registrants, distributors, downstream formulators and end users), Member States, the Commission services and ECHA will participate. The final agenda and more information is available on the event page.

Scientific committees at year end – agendas available

The agenda of the upcoming meetings of the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) and for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) are online. RAC meets from 25 to 28 November and from 3 to 5 December 2019; SEAC from 26 to 28 November and 3 to 5 December 2019.

Event: SFPE Symposium – Fire Protection Engineering Solutions for Cultural and Heritage Sites

3-4 June 2020, Rome, Italy

The world has been astonished by the destructive fires that have occurred recently at the Brazilian National Museum in September 2018, Notre Dame in April 2019, and Shuri Castle in Okinawa, in October 2019.

SFPE is organizing a symposium in Rome to discuss adequate fire protection engineering solutions that should be adopted to avoid future catastrophic fires.

Join industry leaders and cultural organizations from across the world on June 3-4, 2020 at Istituto Superiore Antincendi, and help in the protection of our cultural and heritage sites.

More information on registration coming soon!

SFPE, 9711 Washingtonian Blvd, Suite 380, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, USA Tel: +1 301-718-2910

Event: FABIG-EPSC Full-day Technical Meeting

16 December 2019, London, UK & Webcast

Fire and Blast Information Group (FABIG) with the European Process Safety Centre (EPSC) is jointly organising  this event.

The following presentations will be given:

More information: www.fabig.com/events

Monday, 25 November 2019; 10:00 am – 11:00 am Eastern Time; 04:00 pm – 05:00 pm CEST

Presented by Karl Wallasch, Dipl.-Ing., CEng

High-rise residential towers are becoming more common globally. Traditional fire safety codes do not address specific fire safety concerns for tall and super tall buildings. Some code development has taken place to address residential buildings with height of more than 30 m or 50 m.

The practical application and development of fire safety strategies for high-rise residential towers often require the use of modern fire engineering techniques.

This presentation will outline basic guidance applicable for high-rise residential towers in the U.K. and Germany. A comparison of the different fire safety philosophies between both countries will be made to show different approaches taken based on the same case study. This includes comparison of evacuation strategy, compartmentalization, compartment sizes, internal fire spread, fire brigade access and facilities, fire safety systems etc. The presentation includes furthermore highlighting of possible future trends in the design of fire safety strategies for high-rise residential towers.

Register: https://www.sfpe.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1299048

Event: Equal Pay Day

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Commenting on Equal Pay Day, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“This is the day when women effectively stop getting paid for the rest of the year compared to men. Working women deserve so much better.

“The next government must deliver real change for women. We want tougher employer action to close the gender pay gap, flexible work from the first day in the job, better maternity and paternity pay, a new law to prevent sexual harassment and new laws to end pregnancy and maternity discrimination.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/next-government-must-deliver-real-change-working-women-says-tuc

Employers have a legal duty to remove, or control, risks as far as is reasonably practical. That includes the risk of work-related stress. Failure to do so can make an employer liable to fines and penalties, and even to criminal prosecution.

This means that employers have a duty to actively consider stress within ‘risk assessments’ and to take action to eliminate and manage it. More about stress can be found on the HSE webpages. The HSE has published Management Standards on how to do this, and there is joint TUC/HSE guidance on how to use the Standards in the workplace. The employer does not have to use the HSE’s Management Standards, but if stress in a workplace is an issue, they must seek to eliminate it and be able to demonstrate that there are policies and practices to control, minimise and mitigate work-related stress.

As with all health and safety concerns union reps should seek to deal with work-related stress through ‘normal channels’, such as a health and safety committee, dialogue with the employer, negotiations, and grievance hearings. Interventions by an enforcement authority should be the next step for a union after other approaches to remedy an issue have failed.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/responding-harmful-work-related-stress

Stress ‘tsunami’ could engulf working people

Excessive workloads, low pay and a lack of control over the job are among factors threating to engulf workers in a ‘tsunami’ of work-related stress, the UK TUC has warned.

TUC head of safety Laurie Heselden, commenting as new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures showed work-related stress, depression and anxiety is at a record high, said: “The new health and safety demon is work-related stress and unions are meeting it head-on.” He said one neglected factor contributing to the increase in stress has been a sharp decline in pay.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/risks-922-9-november-2019#_Toc24017825

Grenfell fire inquiry is yet to target the ‘true culprits’

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) should not take the blame for the “impossible” circumstances that hindered the Grenfell Tower rescue operation, the UK firefighters’ union FBU has said.

The union was commenting on the publication of the report of the first phase of the inquiry into the tragedy, in which 72 residents died. Inquiry judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick wrote that the lack of a plan to evacuate residents was a “major omission” and more lives could have been saved had the “stay-put” policy been rescinded sooner.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The Inquiry’s interim report must finally be a turning point for fire safety in the UK. Warning after warning from previous fires were ignored; central government must now take responsibility for ensuring that recommendations are applied nationwide, not just in London; this has never simply been a matter for the London Fire Brigade. That change can only be achieved by establishing a new, credible and accountable body responsible for fire and rescue service policy in the UK.” He stated the inquiry’s priorities had been wrong. “The Inquiry’s structure prioritises scrutiny of firefighters, who did everything that they could to save lives, over investigating the critical issues of public safety that led to the fire and caused it to spread in such a disastrous manner. Before any firefighter arrived that night, Grenfell Tower was a death trap. Firefighters that night acted bravely in impossible circumstances, many of them repeatedly risking their own lives to save others.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/risks-922-9-november-2019#_Toc24017833

New UK building safety watchdog Dame Judith Hackitt will be able to levy big fines

The UK government has said it intends to create a powerful new Building Safety Regulator.

The former chair of the Health and Safety Executive, Judith Hackitt, has been enlisted to steer the development of the new body. Dame Judith previously led the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, in the wake of the Grenfell disaster. The government indicated the new regulator will oversee the design and management of buildings, with a strong focus on policing the new regime for higher risk buildings.

It said the regulator will have the power to take quick and effective action, imposing heavy fines, when designers and contractors fail to comply. New building duty holders will be required to demonstrate a building’s safety through a new system of gateway points during design and construction, and through a safety case regime during its occupation.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/risks-922-9-november-2019#_Toc24017834

University fined after researchers exposed to sensitisation risk

The University of Edinburgh has been fined for failings which led to two animal research workers, who were already sensitised to laboratory animal allergens (LAA), being put at risk of adverse health effects as a result of further exposures.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how the researchers both began work at the University of Edinburgh in 2003. Both declared that they were already allergic to rodents around the time of taking up their positions. Over the years both continued to work with rats and were exposed to various levels of LAA, a respiratory sensitiser.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/risks-922-9-november-2019#_Toc24017836

New diesel exhaust fume risk prevention guide

A new resource “to help workers protect themselves from dangerous diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEEs)” has been launched by IOSH, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

IOSH notes: “DEEEs can cause lung cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The card advises people working with or around diesel-powered equipment or vehicles to turn off engines if not needed, use tailpipe exhaust extraction systems, use workplace air extraction, wear a mask, and get trained.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/risks-922-9-november-2019#_Toc24017839

Australia: Bosses could face work suicide ‘manslaughter’ charges

Negligent bosses in the Australian state of Victoria could face up to 20 years in jail and multi-million dollar fines over the suicide deaths of ‘brutalised’ workers under a proposed workplace manslaughter law.

The Victorian state government says the proposed laws will cover deaths caused by mental injuries, including trauma from bullying or other forms of abuse sustained on the job, as well as accidents and illnesses caused by unsafe workplaces. The new legislation will apply to employers in public and private companies whose negligence resulted in a death of an employee, whether by providing a dangerous workplace or failing to provide appropriate mental support.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/risks-922-9-november-2019#_Toc24017841

Australia: Mental illness is fastest growing workplace hazard

Mental illness is the fastest growing workplace hazard in Australia and costs hundreds of billions per year, new research has concluded.

A Productivity Commission draft report spells out the immense cost of mental illness. National union federation ACTU welcomed the commission’s recommendations on workers’ compensation, including no-liability treatment for mental health injuries and claims. The union body also expressed approval for the commission’s call for improvements in the role of the workers’ compensation system in rehabilitation and return-to-work for workers suffering a psychological injury.

A survey conducted by the ACTU this year found that more than 60 per cent of respondents had experienced mental ill-health because their employer had failed to manage psychosocial hazards in their workplace. The same survey found that almost half of respondents felt their employer was unprepared to support workers experiencing mental health issues in the workplace.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/risks-922-9-november-2019#_Toc24017842

Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Phase 1 Report

Report of the Public Inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017

Chairman: The Rt Hon Sir Martin Moore-Bick

Published: 31 October 2019

The Chairman has published his Phase 1 report and provided a statement.

Please note that the Phase 1 report contains content and images that some may find distressing.

https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/phase-1-report

UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) releases annual injury and ill-health statistics for Great Britain for 2018/2019

The number of injuries and incidents of ill-health in workplaces across Great Britain is still too high, new statistics show.

The annual report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) includes statistics for work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, enforcement action taken, and the associated costs to Great Britain.

Figures show that around 581,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries in 2018/2019, with 1.4 million workers suffering from work-related ill-health.

The statistics, compiled from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and other sources, illustrate that in Great Britain in the 2018/2019 period there were:

The estimated economic cost to Great Britain totalled £15 billion in 2017/2018.

There have been no significant changes to industries in which there is a higher risk of sustaining an injury while at work, with construction and agriculture still amongst the high-risk sectors.

Despite Great Britain continuing to be one of the safest places to work, the reported figures highlight there are still areas to be improved upon to prevent fatalities, injuries and ill-health. The figures highlight the scale of the challenge HSE currently faces in making Britain a healthier and safer place to work.

More information: https://press.hse.gov.uk/2019/10/30/hse-releases-annual-injury-and-ill-health-statistics-for-great-britain

All together for the European Fire Safety Week: 18-21 November 2019

For its very first European Fire Safety Week will gather, from the 18th to 21st November 2019, a myriad of activities related to fire safety. Under the umbrella of the European Fire Safety Alliance, a large range of stakeholders are organizing an international congress, education seminars, conferences and meetings with Members of the European Parliament. The European Fire Safety Week will start with the Award Ceremony and the launch of an Exhibition in the European Parliament.

Fire Safety touches all European citizens. 5,000 people die because of fire each year. Many more persons are injured. The European Fire Safety Alliance initiates the European Fire Safety Week to raise awareness among policymakers and stakeholders on this issue.

“We believe that most of the European fire victims in the home are preventable! Many individuals, industry and organisations from the professional fire sector will share creative, pragmatic and successful initiatives to reduce fire risk during this first European Fire Safety Week. This first step to combine knowledge and best practices will lead to a European approach that will save lives.” – Elie van Strien, Chair of the European Fire Safety Alliance.

The European Fire Safety Week will start with the 12th International Congress Fire Safety & Science in Arnhem, followed by a large meeting of European Fire Officers associations in Copenhagen. From the 18th to the 21st, 4 days of high-level conferences will take place in Brussels. Days are shaped by 4 main themes: Community Fire Safety, Building Fire Safety, Electrical Safety & Energy Transition, Furniture Fire Safety & Smoke Spread in residential buildings. In parallel in Antwerp, the International Safety & Education Seminar will gather to exchange experiences concerning fire safety awareness. Themes like research, focus on target audiences, communication, innovation and behavioural change including overseas experiences will be presented and discussed.

The outcome of the European Fire Safety week will be consolidated into a report that will pave the way for the next two years. This major piece of work will be presented to the European Parliament in March 2020 to secure further progress in Fire Safety. The European Fire Safety Week and the report to be issued in March 2020 will contribute to the Fire Information Exchange Platform, initiated by the European Commission in 2017.

More information: https://www.europeanfiresafetyalliance.org/european-fire-safety-week

UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Fire Safety advice and guidance

Most fires are preventable. Those responsible for workplaces and other buildings to which the public have access can avoid them by taking responsibility for and adopting the right behaviours and procedures.

This section on HSE’s website covers general advice on fire safety and also provides guidance on substances that cause fire and explosion.

https://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/fire.htm

Event: Electrical Safety & Energy Transition – Preparing Buildings for a Safe Energy Transition

20 November 2019, L42, Rue de la Loi 42, 1040 Brussels, Belgium

The conference will focus on electrical safety in buildings, discussing the key challenges ahead linked, in particular, to decarbonisation. Electricity is poised to play a predominant role in our buildings and clean, decentralized technologies will multiply electrical uses and transform electrical installations in our homes. What are the successful measures for minimising electrical hazards and fires in dwellings and what conditions enable a safe energy transition for buildings?

This event should be attended by representatives from the electrical value chain, from manufacturers, to distributors and installers, electrical safety experts, building technologies experts, consumer and tenant interest representatives, fire brigades, insurance companies, and policymakers covering energy and building legislation.

Full details: https://www.europeanfiresafetyalliance.org/european-fire-safety-week/program/day-3

Event: The Future of Gas III (Safety Excellence in Energy Series)

12-13 February 2020, IET Austin Court, 80 Cambridge Street, Birmingham B1 2NP

Clean energy is a top priority for the UK. This year the government legislated to commit the country to reach net zero carbon target by 2050. Moving to low carbon energy sources is essential if this is to be achieved and will also increase the UK’s energy security and resilience. In addition, the UK’s international standing and ability to negotiate trade deals would be enhanced and reduce the UK’s reliance on energy resources from overseas.

The government’s Industrial Strategy highlights clean growth as one of the four grand challenges combined with the UK’s ambition to boost economic growth while delivering our decarbonisation commitments. Through its role as independent regulator and leader in the health and safety system, HSE is helping to enable this to happen safely, building public assurance and acceptance of new and novel technology and energy sources.

Partnership and collaboration are key to the successfully development of the evidence base to underpin the future health and safety systems for hydrogen technology. The evidence generated by HSE’s science and research centre in Buxton supports this ambition, by using this unique, interdisciplinary capability to help enable the healthy and safe deployment of new technologies at pace.

To support this HSE is pleased to announce the third annual Future of Gas Event (Future of Gas III) as part of the Safety Excellence in Energy Series. This event brings together keynote speakers from industry, government, research and standards-making to share knowledge, insight and current thinking and overcome the health and safety challenge of innovating and regulating this growing area of new technology.

Back by popular demand and following on from last year’s event, this conference will bring together a high calibre of speakers presenting their views on how decarbonisation can really happen in the UK and the importance of the future of the gas system to achieve this. New projects will be discussed and updates, new learning and developments from current projects looking at partial and full decarbonisation of the gas supply will be showcased.

In addition, we will be bringing insights from the transport sector and international views on the future of gas on a global level. We will also touch upon the role of CCUS as part of a future energy system.

More information: https://www.hsl.gov.uk/health-and-safety-training-courses/future-of-gas-iii-(safety-excellence-in-energy-series)

UK HSE announces Waste and recycling inspection underway

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is calling on all those working in the waste and recycling industry in the UK to pay closer attention to how they manage workplace risk as they announce the latest inspections.

Inspections at organisations across the country have now started during October 2019.

HSE have a range of free guidance to help you prepare for these inspections and manage workplace risks.

The priorities are to reduce the number of:

HSE informs that you can receive their latest campaign news by subscribing to updates on campaigns website.