UK Health and Safety Executive

Sheffield, United Kingdom

UK Health and Safety Executive

Sheffield, United Kingdom
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Day N.C.,UK Health and Safety Executive
Risk, Reliability and Safety: Innovating Theory and Practice - Proceedings of the 26th European Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2016 | Year: 2017

Road freight accounts for around three-quarters of all domestic freight moved in the UK. In 2014, UK-registered light goods vehicles (LGVs) and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) moved 140 billion tonne kilometres of domestic freight and 7 billion tonne kilometres of international freight (Department for Transport 2015). Almost all companies operating in the UK will have goods delivered or dispatched by road, and often the operation will be time-critical. © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, London.

Dewhurst I.,UK Health and Safety Executive | Renwick A.G.,University of Southampton
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology | Year: 2013

Thresholds of Toxicological Concern (TTCs) have been used in the risk assessment of chemicals to which humans are exposed at very low levels. TTC values were developed using data from rodent cancer bioassays and from oral chronic and sub-chronic toxicity studies for non-cancer effects. The workshop assessed the adequacy and fitness for purpose of the TTC approach and the potential for future modifications of critical aspects. The current TTC value for cancer was considered adequate and fit for purpose because it is derived by linear extrapolation from the lowest TD50 for each compound in the largest available rodent carcinogenicity database. The database on non-cancer endpoints was considered adequate and fit for purpose because the chemical domain, the distributions of NOAELs and the calculated TTC values are comparable across different databases. Application of the TTC approach gives conclusions compatible with the risk assessment approaches currently used by international advisory committees. The workshop recognised the desirability of developing better tools to assess the comparability of the chemical domain covered in different toxicological databases, and the need to develop an internationally acceptable framework and databases for updating the aspects critical to application of the TTC approach. © 2012 ILSI Europe.

Atkinson G.,UK Health and Safety Executive
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries | Year: 2017

The majority of very large vapour cloud explosions occur in such low wind speeds that vapour flow is gravity-driven. The rate of stripping (or detrainment) of heavy gas by the wind is so low that almost all of the gas released remains in a gas “blanket”, which typically slumps in all directions around the source. Such gravity-driven flammable clouds may extend many hundreds of metres from the source in all directions without significant dilution: their development cannot be assessed with conventional windy dispersion models. Previous work on the basic problem of gravity-driven vapour transport on a flat open surface is reviewed. Existing methods suffer from a number of deficiencies including arbitrary specification of current height and velocity and the neglect of surface friction. A new method of analysis is presented. Close to the source the flow can be calculated from the initial conditions at the source by integration of momentum and continuity equations. Entrainment of fresh air and friction increase the stability of the flow (Richardson number) and the rate of dilution declines towards zero. When the Richardson number approaches unity the current becomes critical and further out from the source the flow is under downstream control. The new method is used to calculate the total dilution of a vapour cloud before entrainment of fresh air is completely suppressed. This determines whether clouds are flammable at long-range. The effects of surface roughness, bund height, vapour density etc. are described. Predictions are compared with data from incidents. © 2017

Brereton P.,UK Health and Safety Executive
Proceedings of the INTER-NOISE 2016 - 45th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering: Towards a Quieter Future | Year: 2016

A forestry woodchipper has been used to produce a model noise declaration according to the requirements of European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and Outdoor Noise Directive 2000/14/EC. Harmonised noise test code BS EN 13525:2005+A2:2009 was used to determine emission sound pressure level and peak sound pressure level. Withdrawn standards specified the Outdoor Noise Directive were used to determine the guaranteed sound power level. Testing to achieve meaningful and reliable noise emission values was difficult. The emission sound pressure test produced noise and peak noise higher than found when chipping logs or brash during normal use of the machine. The sound power tests to specified withdrawn standards were subject to greater uncertainty than those conducted according to their current equivalents. Emission sound pressure information was found likely to be useful to potential purchasers as a description of noise risk and for comparing the noise risk of competing machines. © British Crown copyright 2016.

Patel J.,UK Health and Safety Executive
Proceedings of the INTER-NOISE 2016 - 45th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering: Towards a Quieter Future | Year: 2016

Machinery supplied within the European Economic Area must comply with the noise requirements of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC so that it can be used without putting persons at risk. For noise, the key requirements are that machinery must be designed to reach the lowest noise level achievable and be supplied with noise emission data. The noise emission declarations provided in over 60 instruction manuals for orbital and random orbital sanders were assessed against the noise requirements of Directive 2006/42/EC. Although the majority of instructions reviewed were for sanders that had gained a presumption of conformity through application of harmonised standards, none included information that fully complied with the noise requirements of Directive 2006/42/EC. Noise test codes for sanders determine the sound power level, from which the emission sound pressure level is calculated. Over half the instruction manuals reviewed provided emission sound pressure levels that were on average 9 dB lower than noise levels measured at the operator's ear during real use. Noise emission declarations provided in sander instruction manuals generally underestimate real use levels. Consequently, it is considered highly likely that users will have insufficient information to understand what control measures are necessary to mitigate the risks from noise for these tools during real use. © British Crown copyright 2016.

News Article | October 7, 2016

If you're a night owl but decided to work a day shift because of the possibility of developing breast cancer while working during the night, it's time you reconsidered that. An assessment back in 2007 suggested that the effect of night shift work on the body is probably carcinogenic, influencing the incidence of breast cancer in women. However, data from three recent studies and a review published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute show that, on the contrary, night shifts have little or no influence on the occurrence of breast cancer. Ruth Travis and colleagues from the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University followed 800,000 women in their three large-scale UK studies. The purpose of the researches was to examine and identify the risks of night shift work. The three studies involved 522,246 participants in the Million Women Study, another 22,559 women who participated in the EPIC-Oxford study and 251,045 UK Biobank volunteers. The subjects answered questions regarding their shift work, then they were followed for incident cancer. There was no increased risk of breast cancer development due to working at night, not even long-term night shifts, according to these studies. The study was funded by the UK Health and Safety Executive, along with Cancer Research UK and the UK Medical Research Council, and it analyzed data from 10 separate previous researches conducted in the UK, the United States, China, Sweden and the Netherlands. The researchers compared breast cancer risks for women who didn't work night shifts to women who did for long periods of time, up to 20 or even 30 years. The comparative analysis reported that there was little or no difference between the breast cancer incidence of the two groups of subjects. "We found that women who had worked night shifts, including long-term night shifts, were not more likely to develop breast cancer, either in the three new UK studies or when we combined results from all 10 studies that had published relevant data," explained Travis, lead author of the research. The incidence of developing breast cancer for women who had worked any night shifts was found to be 0.99, while the one for women who worked 20 or more years was 1.01 and the combined relative risks for those who have done night shifts for more than 30 years was 1.00. Approximately 14 percent of the women in the United Kingdom worked night shifts at least once, while 2 percent have done this for more than two decades. The study was conducted as, in the UK, there are more than 53,000 women annually diagnosed with breast cancer, out of which an average of 11,500 die every year because of the disease. This problem is especially serious in the UK, where 27,000 women are being denied affordable breast cancer treatment. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Harding A.-H.,UK Health and Safety Laboratory | Darnton A.J.,UK Health and Safety Executive
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2010

Background: Ascertainment of asbestosis and mesothelioma from underlying cause of death underestimates the burden of these diseases. The aims of this study were to estimate the true frequency of asbestosis and mesothelioma among asbestos workers in Great Britain (GB), and to identify factors associated with the risk of death with these diseases. Methods: The GB Asbestos Survey was established in 1971 to monitor long-term health outcomes among workers covered by regulations to control asbestos at work. Asbestosis and mesothelioma cases were defined by multiple cause of death, and were ascertained by identifying asbestos workers on the GB Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Registers. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated; the risks of asbestosis and mesothelioma were modeled with Poisson regression analysis. Deaths to the end of 2005 were included. Results: There were 15,557 deaths between 1971 and 2005 among the 98,912 workers. Altogether 477 asbestosis and 649 mesothelioma cases were identified. The SMR for all causes was 1.42, for asbestosis 51.3, and for mesothelioma 13.5. In multiply adjusted analysis, age, sex, job, and birth cohort were significantly associated with asbestosis and mesothelioma. For asbestosis year of first exposure, and for mesothelioma latency, were also statistically significant. Conclusions: The asbestos workers experienced high mortality from all causes, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. There was some evidence that the risk of asbestosis and mesothelioma was lower in later birth cohorts and among those first occupationally exposed to asbestos more recently. Due to the long latency of both diseases, further follow-up is required to confirm these trends. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Frost G.,UK Health and Safety Laboratory | Darnton A.,UK Health and Safety Executive | Harding A.-H.,UK Health and Safety Laboratory
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2011

Objectives: Workers in the asbestos industry tend to have high smoking rates compared to the general population. Both asbestos exposure and cigarette smoking are recognized risk factors for lung cancer mortality, but the exact nature of the interaction between the two remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of smoking and smoking cessation among asbestos workers in Great Britain (GB) and investigate the interaction between asbestos exposure and smoking. Methods: The study population consisted of 98912 asbestos workers recruited into the GB Asbestos Survey from 1971, followed-up to December 2005. Poisson regression was used to estimate relative risks of lung cancer mortality associated with smoking habits of the asbestos workers and to assess whether these effects differed within various categories of asbestos exposure. The interaction between asbestos exposure and smoking was examined using the Synergy (S) and Multiplicativity (V) indices, which test the hypotheses of additive and multiplicative interaction, respectively. The proportion of lung cancers among smokers attributable to the interaction of asbestos and smoking was also estimated. Results: During 1780233 person-years of follow-up, there were 1878 deaths from lung cancer (12% of all deaths). Risk of lung cancer mortality increased with packs smoked per day, smoking duration, and total smoke exposure (pack-years). Asbestos workers who stopped smoking remained at increased risk of lung cancer mortality up to 40 years after smoking cessation compared to asbestos workers who never smoked. The effects of smoking and stopping smoking did not differ by duration of asbestos exposure, main occupation, age at first asbestos exposure, year of first exposure, or latency period. The interaction between asbestos exposure and smoking for asbestos workers was greater than additive [S 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-1.6], and the multiplicative hypothesis could not be rejected (V 0.9, 95% CI 0.3-2.4). For those asbestos workers who smoked, an estimated 26% (95% CI 14-38%) of lung cancer deaths were attributable to the interaction of asbestos and smoking. Conclusions: This study emphasizes the importance of smoking prevention and cessation among those who work in the asbestos industry. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.

Low A.,UK Health and Safety Executive
Journal of Hospital Infection | Year: 2011

Disinfectants (including sporicides) used in the healthcare setting fall within the scope of the European Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC). The active substances used in these products will be evaluated as part of an EU wide review programme, to determine whether they can be used in biocidal products without undue risks to humans, animals and the environment, and that these products will be effective. Following the review of an active substance, biocidal products containing the active substance will become subject to regulatory controls in all EU Member States. This paper discusses how the Directive operates, both through the review programme and the authorisation of biocidal products at the Member State level, together with the requirements to provide data on the efficacy of both the active substances and end-use biocidal products. © 2010.

Loizou G.D.,UK Health and Safety Executive
Frontiers in Pharmacology | Year: 2016

The exponential growth of the Internet of Things and the global popularity and remarkable decline in cost of the mobile phone is driving the digital transformation of medical practice. The rapidly maturing digital, non-medical world of mobile (wireless) devices, cloud computing and social networking is coalescing with the emerging digital medical world of omics data, biosensors and advanced imaging which offers the increasingly realistic prospect of personalized medicine. Described as a potential "seismic" shift from the current "healthcare" model to a "wellness" paradigm that is predictive, preventative, personalized and participatory, this change is based on the development of increasingly sophisticated biosensors which can track and measure key biochemical variables in people. Additional key drivers in this shift are metabolomic and proteomic signatures, which are increasingly being reported as pre-symptomatic, diagnostic and prognostic of toxicity and disease. These advancements also have profound implications for toxicological evaluation and safety assessment of pharmaceuticals and environmental chemicals. An approach based primarily on human in vivo and high-throughput in vitro human cell-line data is a distinct possibility. This would transform current chemical safety assessment practice which operates in a human "data poor" to a human "data rich" environment. This could also lead to a seismic shift from the current animal-based to an animal-free chemical safety assessment paradigm. ©2016 Loizou.

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