Thismonth’s newsWork-lifebalanceLengthyand frequent travel away from home, and changes in travel dates affectingfamily plans, can negatively affect workers’ spouses and children, puttingextra strain on families and contributing to extra worker stress, research hasfound. The study of staff at Washington DC’s World Bank Group suggestedpractices that take into consideration family activities and give greaterleeway to staff may help. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2002; 59: 309-322Workersunhappy with long hoursWorkersare becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their long hours, according to asurvey by the Economic and Social Research Council. Out of 2,500 people, only16 per cent of male professionals and managers said they were completelysatisfied with their hours, compared with 36 per cent in 1992. NHSworkers’ healthBetterpublic health among NHS workers will be at the centre of debate in September ata conference being run by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Theconference, at the Harrogate International Centre between 10 and 13 September,will be on the theme of “empowering public health”. Details areavailable from the website www.cieh.org.Stressand angina link is spuriousMakinga link between higher stress levels and angina in cases of people admitted tohospital may not be valid. A study of 27 workplaces in Scotland found therelation between higher stress, angina, and some categories of hospitaladmissions probably resulted from the tendency of participants reporting higherstress, to also report more symptoms. “The data suggest that associations between psychosocialmeasures and disease outcomes reported from some other studies may bespurious,” it added. BMJ 2002; 324: 1247 Dockyardcompany finedAdockyard company has been fined £10,000 after failing to ensure the health andsafety of two casual employees who were overcome by paint fumes while workingin the hull of a hopper barge. The company, A&P Falmouth, also had to paycosts of £6,627.40.CorrectionApologiesare due to Greta Thornbory for a mistake that crept into her article onterrorism in the June issue of Occupational Health. Mention is made of howquickly toxins can spread. However, it is of course micro-organisms thatspread, not toxins. We are happy to put the record straight.RefrigerantsafetyAfree leaflet designed to prevent injuries and ill-health from refrigerantchemicals used in air-conditioning systems in motor vehicles has been publishedby the Health and Safety Executive. Safe working with vehicle air-conditioningsystems can be used as a poster for display in motor vehicle repair garages andother associated places. It can be ordered by calling 01787 881165 or online at www.hsebooks.co.ukHealthand safety reporting increasesReportingon health and safety among FTSE-100 companies increased from 47 per cent in1995 to 60 per cent last year, the Health and Safety Commission says. But thequality of reporting varies greatly, with some firms simply confirming theircommitment to comply with the law. HSC chairman Bill Callaghan has called forcompanies to be more transparent in their reporting processes.OH records During the morning forum discussion, an interesting question was raised onthe feasibility of passing employees’ OH records to their next employer, in thesame way a doctor can pass on a patient’s medical notes to a new GP. Onedelegate recommended handing employees a copy of their own OH notes when theyleft. Jane Lewis commented that this is sensible advice, because givingindividuals the responsibility to hold their own records falls within therequirements of the Data Protection Act. Sickness absence Employers generally underestimate the true cost of sickness absence,according to a recent report by income protection insurance companyUnumProvident. Presenting the results, Dr Peter Dewis, director of medicalservices for the company, said that while long-term absence accounts for only aminority of spells of absence, it may account for 75 per cent of the totalcost. www.unum.co.ukLynn Faulds Wood The association’s patron Lynn Faulds Wood chaired the Symposium. She lefther award-winning television presenting career to run the charity Beating BowelCancer after being diagnosed with the disease in 1991. Comments are closed. NewsOn 1 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.