EU-Worker information and consultation: Commission starts consultations with the Social Partners on consolidation of three Directives
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on May 19, 2015.
The Commission is consulting the EU level social partners (representatives of employers and employees) in order to obtain their views on the possible direction of European Union action aimed at strengthening the coherence and effectiveness of the existing EU legislation on worker information and consultation at national level. This legislation consists of three Directives respectively on collective redundancies, transfers of undertakings and a general framework for information and consultation of workers.
DE-REACH- Articles - Requirements for Producers, Importers and Distributors-BAuA brochure translated into EN
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on May 13, 2015.
In the case of articles, questions arise under the REACH Regulation about how to differentiate between the term article and the terms substance and mixture. In addition, companies that produce or supply articles have obligations to inform their recipients, who can be processors, distributors, users of articles or consumers. In certain cases, they also have obligations towards the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). This brochure provides information on the various obligations of producers, importers and suppliers of articles under the REACH Regulation and provides a number of answers to the question of when an object is a substance or a mixture and when it is an article.
EU-OSHA webpages about REACH and OSH
EU - ECHA workshop on the use of REACH/CLP information at industrial sites
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on May 12, 2015.
At a workshop held in Helsinki on 16-17 April 2015 stakeholders discussed how information generated through the REACH and CLP processes can be used to promote the safe use of chemicals at industrial sites. The objectives are to explore how the data generated by REACH and CLP can support companies in complying with their obligations under other legislations, how that use of information can be improved and how to increase the awareness of industrial users of chemicals on the REACH/CLP data. A case study has been developed for a hypothetical company dealing in a line of business that has obligations under the legislations considered. The process covers surface treatment of metals (electroplating). The case study was chosen to exemplify a typical process that utilise chemicals and where the learnings can be applied to a wide range of industries.
Presentations included a perspective of the Senior Labour Inspectors Committee (SLIC) CHEMEX on OSH/REACH interface issues with a focus on practical issues at the workplace by David Green (SLIC Chemex working Group)
Mutualia rewards the best pictures on Prevention of Occupational Safety Hazards
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on May 08, 2015.
Mutualia organises the 12th Edition of the Photography Contest on Prevention of Occupational Hazards.
The spirit of this competition is to highlight with photographs the prime importance of Occupational Risk Prevention in all aspects: risk situations, good practice messages to workers, employers, youth, society in general. The ultimate goal of the contest is to raise awareness against workplace accidents and achieve together safer work environments.
Participation is free and open to everyone over 18 years, amateur or professional.
The competition has three awards:
• First prize: 1.200 €
• Second prize: 900 €
• Third prize: 600 €
The deadline for submissions ends on May 31st 2015.
OSHwiki goes multilingual: Work-related skin diseases article in the spotlight
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on May 07, 2015.
This month we highlight the OSHwiki article ‘Work-related skin diseases’ available in both English and Hungarian, and with your help even more languages in the future. Skin diseases are among the top three registered occupational diseases in Europe. The article explains the various kinds of skin disorders workers may be at risk of, including those from exposure to chemical substances or those from exposure to extreme temperatures or radiation.
This entry also provides information on prevention. In order to prevent and treat skin disorders it is essential that workers and employers be aware of the risk factors in the workplace and ensure the application of appropriate safety and health measures. This includes implementation of workplace prevention plans tailored to each individual situation and use of proper protective equipment.
You can learn more about the risk factors, how to identify disorders and implement prevention measures by reading this month’s OSHwiki article in the spotlight, ‘Work-related skin diseases’. This is one of the growing number of articles in more than one language on the OSHwiki platform. If you think having articles in your own language would be useful, why not register as an OSHwiki contributor and share your own articles or translate others.
INT- IARC evaluation of five organophosphate pesticides
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on May 06, 2015.
A Working Group of 17 experts from 11 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization on 3–10 March 2015 to review the available published scientific evidence and evaluate the carcinogenicity of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides: diazinon, glyphosate, malathion, parathion, and tetrachlorvinphos. A summary of the final evaluations together with a short rationale have now been published online in The Lancet Oncology, and the detailed assessments will be published as Volume 112 of the IARC Monographs.
The pesticides tetrachlorvinphos and parathion were classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B); for the insecticide malathion, there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and prostate cancer; for the insecticide diazinon, there was limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and lung cancer; for the herbicide glyphosate, there was limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Tetrachlorvinphos is banned in the European Union. In the USA, it continues to be used on livestock and companion animals, including in pet flea collars. Parathion use has been severely restricted since the 1980s. All authorized uses were cancelled in the EU and the USA by 2003. Malathion is currently used in agriculture, public health, and residential insect control. It continues to be produced in substantial volumes throughout the world. Workers may be exposed during the use and production of malathion. Diazinon has been applied in agriculture and for control of home and garden insects. Production volumes have been relatively low and decreased further after 2006 due to restrictions in the USA and the EU. Glyphosate currently has the highest global production volume of all herbicides. The largest use worldwide is in agriculture. The agricultural use of glyphosate has increased sharply since the development of crops that have been genetically modified to make them resistant to glyphosate. Glyphosate is also used in forestry, urban, and home applications.
EU Agencies renew action to tackle migrant death crisis
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on Apr 29, 2015.
International SOS Foundation and Prevent: "Return on Prevention: Cost-benefit analysis of prevention measures for business travellers and international assignees”
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on Apr 28, 2015.
A new study commissioned by the International SOS Foundation and published by Prevent reveals the benefits of implementing pre-travel health checks and malaria prevention measures for business travellers and international assignees.
The research shows how organisations who take measures to mitigate the health and travel security risks associated with business travel and international assignment are not only meeting their moral and legal responsibilities; they are also making a wise commercial investment.
“This study proves there are tangible commercial incentives to investing in preventive programmes, in addition to fulfilling an organisations duty of care. Implementing quality, appropriate pre-travel health and malaria programmes can save lives and cut costs. Businesses should not ignore these findings.” remarks Laurent Fourier, Director of the International SOS Foundation.
To determine how the benefits of implementing a travel health prevention strategy significantly outweigh the operating costs, two specific programmes have been analysed:
- A medical check programme for travellers and international assignees aimed at identifying pre-existing medical issues before assigning employees to a foreign country to identify general and work-related health problems before the assignment begins. This analysis showed that $1 invested returns a benefit ranging from $1.6 (minimum scenario) to $2.53 (maximum scenario).
- A malaria prevention programme aimed at employees travelling and working in malaria-risk regions. Employees are given information before departure and receive prophylaxis medication and other technical protection means such as mosquito-nets, insecticide sprays and repellents as well as a malaria curative kit. This programme reduced the occurrence of fatal cases by 70%. The benefits also outweigh the costs in the case of this programme: For each $1 invested, the return was estimated at $1.32.
Watch live the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards ceremony
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on Apr 27, 2015.
Watch live the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards ceremony, to be held at the Latvian Presidency Conference on Occupational Safety and Health in Riga.
NL - Statistics on Occupational Diseases 2014
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on Apr 24, 2015.
'Statistics on Occupational Diseases 2014' is a report compiled by the Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases (NCvB) and commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW). The report aims to provide an overview of the incidence of occupational diseases and their distribution within the sectors and occupations in the Netherlands in 2013. In addition to statistical data, the report also includes a description of the scientific and social developments relating to the various categories of occupational diseases.
6th Resilience Engineering Symposium – Lisbon 22th - 25th June 2015
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on Apr 22, 2015.
Resilience Engineering Association (REA) organises the 6th edition of the Symposium on Resilience Engineering. The event will take place in Lisbon from 22th to 25th June to exchange knowledge about Managing resilience and learning to be adaptable and proactive in an unpredictable world.
Prior to the Symposium, a special day will be organized for young talents (master and PhD students) working in the area of resilience engineering. On this day, students will have the opportunity to present their work to experienced faculty.
Paris - Expert workshop on e-tools - Summary
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on Apr 21, 2015.
The Expert workshop on e-tools organised in October 2014 in Paris was a one day event coodinated by EU-OSHA to discuss about “e-tools” and their implementation in the field of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH).
The evolution of computer technology and Web use practices explains the development of more and more online interactive tools (“e-tools”) and the occupational health and safety sector is no stranger to this trend/evolution. Many OSH actors have already shown interest in the possibilities offered by new technologies and have over the last years developed such e-tools. These tools are mainly developed with the aim to facilitate compliance with legislation or foster a health and safety culture.
The Summary of this workshop is available now
You can also read and share the presentation via Slideshare
NL - TNO Summary “Overview of Dutch working conditions 2014”
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on Apr 21, 2015.
The research organisation TNO brings out “Overview of Dutch working conditions 2014”. The summary, about the findings presented in the Arbobalans 2014, is organised around the following themes: description of the Dutch working population, key figures on the quality of the work, sickness absence, accidents at work and occupational diseases, psychosocial working conditions, preventive policy and sustainable employability.
Call for entries - DOK Leipzig Documentary Film Festival 2015
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on Apr 16, 2015.
The 58th edition of the DOK Leipzig Documentary film Festival will take place this year from October 26th to November 1st.
As every year, EU-OSHA collaborates in this festival presenting the Healthy Workplaces Film Award, a prize that honours the best documentary film on work-related topics with a 5.000€ reward and the production of 1,000 DVDs including subtitles in a selection of European languages.
You can submit your documentaries, animation and animated documentaries and for the first time interactive projects on the Dok Leipzig Website from 16th April to 13th July.
Find out more about EU-OSHA´s Healthy Workplaces Film Award 2015.
Managing psychosocial risks in the private security sector
By European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from News. Published on Apr 16, 2015.
The private security sector can sometimes be a dangerous line of work. People employed in this field are regularly exposed to psychosocial risks. These can include third party violence, job insecurity, and strenuous mental and emotional workloads. But tools exist to help employers minimise risks and keep their staff healthy and motivated. By identifying psychosocial risks and implementing measures to tackle stress, employers of private security staff will be able to reduce costs, prevent absenteeism, and avoid dips in productivity. The private security sector is growing. Companies and governments are increasingly subcontracting their security services and private security staff are employed to provide protection to their clients. This often means protecting buildings and businesses from theft or burglary, both during and after business hours.
It also means closely monitoring surveillance cameras, patrolling premises, or even being assigned to protect particular individuals. Each role involves different pressures relating to emotional and mental workloads. Those responsible for public or national security, such as airport security staff may face even greater job pressure.
The sector can be a pitfall for stress stemming from a myriad of psychosocial risks, according to a training manual on preventing occupational hazards in the private security sector prepared by the Confederation of European Security Services (COESS), together with the trade union UNI Europa. Firstly, competition for contracts in the sector is quite high, with staff often unaware if they will be kept on or not when a contract is reallocated. This lack of job security is a key source of stress. Another key pressure is monotony, especially for staff working nights or alone. Drowsiness and mental exhaustion resulting from the need to remain alert and vigilant for long hours can compromise a worker’s ability to react – and thus the safety of themselves and those they are hired to protect.
Ambiguous roles are another psychosocial risk typical of the sector. Private security staff normally don’t have authority beyond that of an ordinary citizen, yet in many cases they are put into the compromising position of being asked by employers or clients to take on the authority usually reserved for law enforcement. In addition to this, feelings of fear, confrontational work situations, risk of assault, and, in some cases, previous traumatic experiences are also serious issues.
Fortunately, there is a tailored Online Interactive Risk Assessment tool available to help private security workers and their employers assess and deal with occupational safety and health risks and particularly, with psychosocial ones. Developed by EU social partners, once adapted to each country, private security companies could use the tool to identify risks for their staff by getting them to think about what psychosocial pressures they will face or whether employees have received proper training.
Once risks have been identified the tool directs users to control and prevention measures and implementation assistance, and ultimately suggests solutions that can be tailored to the company. Some sample solutions include implementing a stress prevention policy and the provision of training for employees to help them better manage their mental and emotional workload.
By following best practice and enacting the necessary preventative measures, private security companies can do much to mitigate psychosocial risks. With the correct workplace design, training programmes and support network staff are more likely to remain healthy and motivated. This will in turn result in a safer and more productive work environment which is good for staff, companies and customers.
You can find out more about this and other Online interactive Risk Assessment tools (OiRA) online, or visit the campaign website to access other practical tools designed to manage stress and psychosocial risks in the workplace.