This ASSE Professional Development Conference session provides an update on trends in safety and health for Asian and European countries more proactive in regulation, research and enforcement. This paper is intended to provide resources and, where applicable, further information on country-specific safety and health initiatives, including Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.
The general trend throughout industrialized nations is a sharing and cooperation of research and legislation. The US, EU, UK, Australia, Japan, Korea, Finland and Canada, all recognized leaders in occupational health and safety, are using information technology to share this information across borders. This is seen in the buildup of content-rich national websites conveniently linked for ease of use by employers throughout the world. The EU has a research agenda, which puts it in the lead for research-based information on Occupational safety and health. This information is available in .pdf format on their website, found in the Resources section of this paper.
The following resources provide country-specific information on current safety and health regulatory issues and resources, trends and comments on recognition of Occupational Health and safety management systems. Each resource organization listed is the regulatory body for safety and health in the country, unless otherwise stated.
http://www.hse.gov.uk: This is the official website for the Health and Safety Executive in the United Kingdom. It oversees enforcement of health and safety regulations, and reports to the Health and Safety Commission. The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations, 2002, is currently a focus of awareness and enforcement in the UK. Although asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1985, there are many thousands of tons of asbestos still existing in buildings according to the Health and Safety Executive. The regulations are specific and duty outlined for building owners, contractors and tenants in the removal or movement of asbestos-containing materials in existing buildings.
Work Related Cell/Mobile Phone Use Policy: Cell/Mobile phone use is not illegal in the UK. This impacts employers who require employee use of mobile phones while driving for work. If it is determined that use of a mobile phone, required for work, contributed to a motor vehicle accident, the employer could be prosecuted. Therefore it is recommended that all employers have a Mobile Phone Policy. There have been no prosecutions since the legislation is very new. (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents - Driving for Work: Mobile phones; http://www.rospa.com/roadsafety/info/workmobiles.pdf)