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Asian-Pacific Newsletter

Volume 17, number 1, May 2010

New emerging
Occupational health and
risks training
Asian-Pacific Newsletter
on Occupational Health and Safety
Volume 17, number 1, May 2010
Occupational health and safety training
3 Editorial
Published by François Eyraud, ILO, Turin
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A
4 Improving OSH at construction sites through a parti-
FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland
cipatory training approach: Experience of Bangladesh
Editor-in-Chief A.R. Chowdhury Repon, Bangladesh
Suvi Lehtinen

9 Work-related diseases – A challenge for occupational
Teemu Lindfors
health and public health training and practice
Jorma Rantanen, Finland
Linguistic Editing
Sheryl Hinkkanen 12 Occupational safety and health training programme:
A Malaysian perspective
Abdul Mutalib Leman, Fadzil Othma, Abdul Rahman
Liisa Surakka, Kirjapaino Uusimaa, Studio
Omar, Malaysia
The Editorial Board is listed (as of 1 December 2008)
on the back page. 14 The role of worker unions in occupational health and
safety at industry level
This publication enjoys copyright under Protocol 2 of Bambang Surjono, Indonesia
the Universal Copyright Convention. Nevertheless,
short excerpts of the articles may be reproduced 16 Developing OSH training systems – Challenges facing
without authorization, on condition that the source food enterprises in China
is indicated. For rights of reproduction or translation, Yuhang WANG, China
application should be made to the Finnish Institute of
Occupational Health, International Affairs, Topeliuk- 19 International Training Centre – training for the world
senkatu 41 a A, FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland. Teemu Lindfors, Finland
The electronic version of the Asian-Pacific Newslet-
20 Cardiovascular health and work on focus
ter on Occupational Health and Safety on the Inter-
Suvi Lehtinen, Finland
net can be accessed at the following address:
21 ICOH and training in occupational health
Suvi Lehtinen, Finland
The issue 2/2010 of the Asian-Pacific Newsletter deals
with Injury and disease reporting systems.

Asian-Pacific Newsletter is financially supported

by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the
World Health Organization, WHO (the US NIOSH
grant ”International Training and Research Support
of World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating
Centers in Occupational Health”), and the Interna-
tional Labour Office.

Photograph on the cover page:

A.R. Chowdhury Repon, Bangladesh

Printed publication:
ISSN 1237-0843 The responsibility for opinions expressed in signed articles, stu-
On-line publication: dies and other contributions rests solely with their authors, and
ISSN 1458-5944 publication does not constitute an endorsement by the Interna-
tional Labour Office, the World Health Organization or the Fin-
© Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, 2010 nish Institute of Occupational Health of the opinions expressed
in them.
Photo by ITCILO

Occupational safety and

health training

ack of knowledge and competence in technical level of their tasks and the economic
dealing with occupational hazards is sector of activity. For this reason, training ma-
one of the most important causes of terials and methods need to be adapted. OSH
occupational accidents and diseases. training for workers or other groups at the
Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) train- enterprise level (supervisors, foremen, sub-
ing is a vital instrument for extending knowl- contractors, etc.) needs to be closely linked to
edge and generating preventive attitudes and other preventive activities at the enterprise,
behaviours. This is why training on OSH is including risk assessment, risk control, acci-
an indispensable element for the prevention dent investigation or the supervision of safe
of occupational accidents and diseases. This systems of work, since these can determine
importance is recognized by the Internation- the contents and objectives of training. It is
al Labour Standards of the International La- important to keep in mind that OSH train-
bour Organization as one of the main areas of ing complements other measures to improve
action that must be included in the national working conditions and the environment, and
OSH policies. is not a substitute for these measures.
Many national OSH legislations include Other aspects, such as the level of literacy
OSH training as a worker’s and his/her rep- among workers in developing countries or the
resentative’s right, and as an employer’s duty. increasing number of migrant workers who do
Besides workers, other actors are also required not speak the language of the receiving coun-
to have OSH training in order to work as OSH try, also require special attention. In cases of
technical specialists, managers and supervi- this kind, it would be very appropriate to lim-
sors, or even as product manufacturers or ma- it the use of materials and methods based on
chinery/labour inspectors. The volume of peo- written communication and to favour meth-
ple who need OSH training in each country ods based on oral and visual transfer, making
requires an important institutional effort, in the training methods as practical and easily
order to stimulate and involve the public and understood as possible. Posters, documenta-
private actors of each country for this task. This ries or films, role-play and audiovisual pres-
effort requires encouraging and creating de- entations accompanied by explanatory discus-
mand by setting OSH standards, including the sions (using a simple and easily comprehen-
right to receive and the duty to facilitate OSH sible language) are often the most effective
training, as well as the enterprise’s duty to have techniques for communicating and instilling
staff specialized in OSH who conduct preven- OSH messages.
tive activities. It is also necessary to strengthen Finally, prevention of occupational acci-
the supply of information on OSH, correlat- dents and diseases is an important pillar in the
ed in quantity and quality to the needs of the development and consolidation of a preven-
country, by improving the knowledge base and tive culture in society. For this purpose, the in-
materials on OSH, increasing the availability troduction of OSH in the educational system
of training and training experts, and including is fundamental. It would be advisable to be-
the development of accreditation and certifi- gin even from basic education, when children
cation systems for training service providers would have the opportunity to acquire preven-
and those receiving training. tive attitudes, and then to continue through-
In general, training programmes at the en- out all levels of education and training, pay-
terprise level must include both the existing ing particular attention to OSH in vocational
and potential occupational hazards present training curricula.
in the work environment, must be focused on
their prevention and control, and must provide
protection from them. However, the training François Eyraud
of different groups must be integrated with Director
the capacities, functions and responsibilities International Training Centre of ILO
of each specific group, taking into account the Turin, Italy

Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17: • 3

Improving OSH at construction sites through
a participatory training approach:
Experience of Bangladesh
A.R. Chowdhury Repon, Bangladesh

ible employment practices and outsourcing of silica, asbestos etc. In addition, it is estimated
The construction sector entails a wide range labour in the construction industry has had a that 30 per cent of construction workers suf-
of economic activities and has a very poor negative impact at the level of social protec- fer from back pain or various other muscu-
health and safety reputation in the world of tion of construction workers (2). loskeletal disorders.
work, owing to the dirty, dangerous and diffi- According to the Building and Workers In recent years, the participation of wom-
cult nature of jobs. Work at construction sites International (BWI) report, at least 108,000 en workers in this sector has been increas-
is one of the most dangerous occupations in workers are killed on the spot every year at ing in many developing countries around the
both developing and industrialized countries. construction sites. The report also states that world. This is particularly true in the coun-
Construction is different from other industries construction sites account for 30 per cent of all tries of the South Asian region.
in a number of important respects. fatal injuries. This means that one person dies To make the construction sector safer,
According to the International Labour Or- every five minutes due to poor and/or illegal many approaches and initiatives are applied
ganization (ILO), 337 million occupational ac- working conditions (3). Moreover, statistical in different countries around the world to de-
cidents occur on the job annually, while the data from a number of industrialized coun- velop a preventive health and safety culture
number of people dying of different work-re- tries also indicate that construction workers and good practices to combat hazards and po-
lated diseases is close to 2 million (1). One in are three to four times more likely than other tential safety risks at construction sites. One
every six fatal accidents on the job occurs at workers to die from accidents at work. such effort is the Work Improvement in Small
construction sites. Each year a minimum of Many more workers suffer and die from Construction Sites (WISCON) developed on
60,000 fatal accidents occur at construction occupational diseases arising because of their the basis of the Participatory Action Oriented
sites all over the world. The increase in flex- past exposure to dangerous substances, such as Training Approach.

4 • Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:4–8

PAOT – An Action Tool towards able local knowledge, cooperation and
Promotion of Safe Work resources. The principles of the PAOT
are: it is built on local practice; it fo-
The Participatory Action Oriented cuses on sustainable achievements; it
Training (PAOT) is one of the popu- links local conditions with other de-
lar practical methods used to address cent work goals; it encourages sharing
the occupational safety and health of local experience, good examples and
hazards at workplaces and to support practices; it applies learning by doing;
workplace initiatives based on volun- and it focuses on positive aspects.
tary actions of self-help (4). This meth-
od also assists the principal actors at
Basic training method of PAOT
workplaces, i.e. workers and employ-
ers, to carry out immediate, low-cost PAOT training programme starts with
improvements in their working con- an exercise involving the use of an ac-
ditions by using local resources and tion checklist at workplaces. This is
positive ideas. PAOT has also been rec- followed by formal presentations/lec-
ognized in many Asian countries as tures on different key technical are-
a powerful tool for the promotion of as of PAOT (i.e. materials storage and
labour standardization, decent work, handling, machine safety, the physical
industrial relations and productivity environment, work station design and
at the workplace level. work tools, welfare facilities, environ-
mental protection, safety and health
organizations, etc.) and group work,
Brief history and development
development of an individual action
plan for work improvement, follow-
The participatory approach was basi- up development actions at workplac-
cally developed with the technical as- es (based on the plan of action pro-
sistance of the ILO. Its primary aim duced), collection of improvement ex-
is to improve working conditions at amples and sharing with others, and
small and medium-sized enterprises evaluation of actions through the new
(SMEs). PAOT was widely applied in plan of action.
the Work Improvement in Small En-
terprises (WISE) project in the Phil-
Recent development of PAOT in
ippines. This project was financially
different Asian countries
supported by the UNDP and techni-
cally assisted by the ILO. Since then, The Mekong Delta is known as the
the participatory work improvement place where PAOT (Participatory Ac-
programme at small enterprises has tion Oriented Training) originated. In
widely been known as WISE (Work January 2000, the Mekong Delta PAOT
Improvement in Small Enterpises). Dr. programme was planned by Dr. Ton
K. Kogi and Dr. T. Kawakami made Khai, Dr. Tsuyoshi Kawakami and Mr.
very important contributions to its Toyoki Nakao when they visited Can
development. Furthermore, the Japan Tho City. Since then, the programme
International Labour Foundation (JI- has been repeated nine times, and it
LAF) played an important, facilitat- has led to the development of many
ing role in promoting PAOT through fruitful PAOT training programmes
the Participation Oriented Safety Im- and grassroots networks on safety and
provement by Trade Union Initiative health issues in different Asian coun-
(POSITIVE) Programme developed tries (6). More than 200 participants
for trade union members active in (trade union leaders, employer repre-
safety and health efforts at the work- sentatives, NGO representatives work-
place (5). ing on health and safety issues, medical
In the PAOT concept, those who doctors, nurses, public health experts,
work by themselves understand their academics, etc.) from different Asian
work and develop practical solutions countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Thai-
to their problems. Since workers are land, Vietnam, Korea, Japan) have at-
so familiar with their daily work, they tended those programmes in the past
need practical opportunities to involve nine years and have started new PAOT
themselves in improvement of their activities in their own countries.
respective workplaces. The PAOT ap- As results of the collective ef-
proach helps the principal actors at forts over the past years, programmes
workplaces to start and increase their like WISCON (Work Improvement
self-help activities by exploring avail- in Small Construction Sites), WIND

Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010; 17:4–8 • 5

(Work Improvement in Neighborhood De- firms and 5,000 small and medium-sized con- this sector is comparatively weaker than those
velopment), and WIPE (Work Improvement tracting firms and real estate companies in in the country’s other sectors, for a couple of
for Protection of Environment) were born in the country are involved in the construction reasons. First, there is a weak institutional ca-
Vietnam, and these programmes were accept- business. The industry has expanded rapidly pacity to respond to the decent work issues.
ed by the local people smoothly and pleasant- over the past years as a result of the increase Second, there is a lack of collective bargaining
ly because the training tools were practical in infrastructure development programmes all at the national level and an absence of a tripar-
and easy to understand. WISH (Work Im- over the country. The industry is also spurred tite industrial relation structure at the national
provement for Safe Home) in Thailand and by growth of the real estate business in urban level. These are the main reasons. On the oth-
the [Glocal (Globalised localism) Relation- areas of Bangladesh, where building is car- er hand, employers in this sector (contractors
ship of Agricultural ImprovemeNts] by the ried out by the private sector. In the public and real estate development areas) are largely
OSHE in Bangladesh are good examples of and private sectors, construction activities are organized at the national level.
its achievements. undertaken through a contractual system. At
one end there are registered contractors who
High rates of occupational accidents
acquire a contract through open, selected or
Construction sector in Bangladesh and injuries
negotiated tenders. These are followed by a
At present, the estimated civilian labour force multitude of complex subcontracts for various The construction sector in Bangladesh is wide-
in Bangladesh is 46.3 million, of whom 22.2% components of the entire project. In Bangla- ly known as a ‘death trap’ due to its poor health
are female (7). The labour market is charac- desh, there is a growing number of construc- and safety record and the high rate of occupa-
terized by a high growth rate of the labour tion firms or companies involved in large-scale tional accidents occurring in the country each
force growth, low rates of employment, a pre- construction works as well as a huge number year. At Bangladeshi construction sites, ordi-
dominance of employment in agriculture fol- of small-scale subcontractors or subcontract- nary workers normally do their job according
lowed by the service sector, the existence of ing firms or enterprises at the plant level. to the instructions given by the contractors or
high underemployment, a low rate of female On the labour market, the construction subcontractors who employ them. Most of the
employment; squeezing of the public sector, sector is considered an informal sector, owing time, they work in an environment with high
growth in the informal sector and a high rate to the nature of employment and work pat- levels of noise, dust and fumes, insecure elec-
of working children. The ratio of the formal terns. The industry has tremendous economic tricity, dirty water, harmful gases, poor light-
versus the informal sector is 20:80. muscle but has kept its workers mostly unor- ing, lack of personal protective equipments,
Construction is one of the important la- ganized. However, according to the Depart- lack of a pure drinking water supply, and lack
bour intensive industries in Bangladesh. It ment of Labour of Bangladesh, there are six of toilet facilities.
plays a significant role in the domestic econo- registered industrial trade union federations An alarming number of construction
my. It provides direct employment for 1.5 mil- and 45 registered basic unions in Bangladesh workers in Bangladesh experience occupa-
lion people, which is equivalent to 3% of the working in the construction sector. These or- tional accidents, such as falling from the top
total economically active working population ganizations altogether represent about 10% of structures, injuries from sharp objects and
(aged 15 years and above). This estimate com- of organized workers in the country’s con- tools and electric shock. Moreover, they are
prises 1.4 million men and 104,000 women. struction sector. often affected by toxic materials or harmful
Besides government, more than 200 large In general, the trade union movement in gases. If an occupational accident occurs at
the workplace, the victim considers it per-
Table 1 sonal bad luck and the contractor or subcon-
Labour Force by employment in major economic sectors in Bangladesh tractor normally blames the victim for being
careless at work.
Sector Male Female Total Percentagel The industries in Bangladesh are mainly
governed by the Bangladesh National Building
Agriculture, forestry & fisheries 15,084,000 7,683,000 22,767,000 48.1%
Code of 2006 and partially by the Bangladesh
Trades, hotels and restaurants 7,366,000 454,000 7,820,000 16.5% Environment Conservation Act of 1995. These
Manufacturing 1,298,000 3,926,000 5,224,000 11%
actually include only a few regulations on safe-
ty and health issues. The Bangladesh Labour
Transport, storage and commu- 3,910,000 66,000 3,976,000 8.4% Act of 2006 applies in part to the construction
nication sector through the mobility of jobs and lack
Community and personal ser- 1,654,000 968,000 2,622,000 5.6% of permanent workplaces for the same con-
vices struction firms or establishments. In reality,
however, workers in this sector get very little
Health, education, public admi- 1,982,000 568,000 2,550,000 5.4% protection or benefit (health and safety issues)
nistration and defence from those laws, owing to weak enforcement
Construction 1,421,000 104,000 1,524,000 3.2% and lack of inspections.
With relation to setting up a Code En-
Finance and business services 619,000 126,000 745,000 1.6% forcement Authority under section 2.1 of
and real estate the Bangladesh National Building Code, the
Electricity, gas and water 73,000 3,000 76,000 0.2% Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and
Environment Foundation and the Bangladesh
Mining and quarrying 44,000 7,000 51,000 0.1%
Legal Aid and Services Trust jointly filed a
TOTAL 36,080,000 11,277,000 47,357,000 written petition in the High Court Division
on 27 January 2008 to readdress the failure of
Source: Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 2008
the government to establish an agency to en-

6 • Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:4–8

force the code, particularly the provisions relating to work-
ers’ safety issues. The petition argues that most workplace
deaths among construction workers would be prevented if
the obligations under the Code are enforced, more specifical-
ly those relating to measures to prevent falling from heights
and electrocution. At the initial hearing on the petition on
7 February 2008, the High Court of Bangladesh passed a
rule asking the respondents for a show-case explaining why
the government should not establish a Code Enforcement
Agency as duly required by the Bangladesh National Build-
ing Code of 2006 and also why it should not be required to
secure compliance with the safety and security provisions
of the Bangladesh National Building Code of 2006 at every
level of construction and demolition of any building. The
Court also requested the government to produce a report
on what steps it has taken so far to secure compliance with
the code in Dhaka and Chittagong. The Court allowed the
respondents four weeks to respond to their show-cause no-
tice. However, it has been over two years since this ruling
was handed down but, unfortunately, the respondents have
not yet come up with any reply.
Owing to the absence of proper monitoring of occu-
pational diseases and the lack of studies, the occupational
health status of the workers in this sector is mostly unknown.
It is assumed that a high number of construction workers
suffer from musculoskeletal disorders, silicosis and asbes-
tosis. Most workers in the construction sector lack proper
knowledge about the occupational safety and health (OSH)
issues and about their rights at workplaces.
A recent survey conducted by the Bangladesh Occupa-
tional Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE),
which monitored the news in sixteen leading daily newspa-
pers of Bangladesh, revealed that a total of 829 workers were
killed and 1,041 were critically injured by various occupa-
tional incidents at their workplaces across the country from
January to June 2009. Among these the highest number of and 102, respectively. Table 2 shows the causes of common
causalities (552) took place in the garment sector, followed occupational accidents in Bangladesh in 2007 and 2008.
by the transport (486) and construction sectors (95) (8).
Another survey report of the OSHE found that the total
Experience of the WISCON actions in Bangladesh
number of occupational deaths caused by motorized equip-
ments in the construction sector in 2008 and 2007 were 120 Considering the above reality in the construction sector,
the Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environ-
ment Foundation (OSHE) implemented a mini-project in
Table 2 2009 with support from the ILO. The mini-project title was
Causes of occupation-related deaths in the Construction Sector in Bangladesh “Actions for improvement of occupational safety and health
in 2007 and 2008 conditions in Bangladesh: special focus on construction sec-
tor”; its objectives were to build workers’ and employers’ ba-
Cause of death 2007 2008 Total sic capacity at construction sites by means of participatory
Electrocution 24 42 66 workplace safety improvement actions through WISCON
(Work Improvement at Small Construction Sites).
Falling from heights 26 37 63 The direct target groups were worker and employer rep-
Collapse of a wall 27 7 34 resentatives in the construction sector. The geographical
coverage of the project activities included Dhaka (the capital
Collapse of earth 14 14 28
of Bangladesh) and Chittagong (the country’s second big-
Asphyxiation 2 10 12 gest city). The key activities of the project were WISCON
training of the trainers, development of training materials
Hit by a falling object 6 2 8
in the local language, follow-up training at workplaces and
Crushed by an object - 7 7 sensitization of actions at the work sites. The technical ar-
eas on which the WISCON activities focused were materi-
Falling into a hole 2 - 2
als handling and storage, work at heights, work postures,
Miscellaneous 1 1 2 machine safety, the physical environment, welfare facilities,
Source: OSHE Survey Report 2007 and 2008
emergency preparedness, work organization, and safety and
health organizations.

Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010; 17:4–8 • 7

Achievements workers’ immediate, low-cost safety improve-
ment actions, contributes to improvement of
At macro level, the WISCON project activities social dialogue, helps to improve bilateral co-
in Bangladesh contributed to the successful in- operation on safety and heath issues between
troduction and promotion of the Participatory workers and employers, and helps to develop
Low Cost Safety training and OSH actions in collectivism for advancing the ‘Decent Work
the construction sector. It was also able to cre- Agenda’ at the workplace level.
ate sensitization and awareness of OSH issues
in the construction sector. References
At micro level, the WISCON project ac-
tivities gave rise to a group of new trainers 1. World of Work (the magazine of ILO), issue no.
63, August 2008.
on WISCON (8). In all, 2000 copies of the
2. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/sec-
WISCON Action Checklist were produced in tor/sectors/constr.htm.
the local language and 280 grassroots union 3. http://www.bwint.org.
members from different trade unions work- 4. Participatory Action Oriented Training, ECHO,
ing in the construction sector were sensitized August 2005.
5. POSITIVE Training Manual, Japan International
on participatory workplace safety improve-
Labour Foundation (JILAF), September 1999.
ment activities. The project activities there- 6. Background paper on Mekong Delta PAOT
fore meant the launching of a process of dia- program 10th anniversary, The Mekong Delta
logue on OSH issues between trade unions and PAOT Programme Management Committee, 28
employers organizations in the construction February 2010.
7. Labour Force Survey 2005–06, Bangladesh
sector and the formation of a local WISCON
Bureau of Statistics.
Trainers network. 8. Occupational Safety, Health and Environment
A field level evaluation has shown that Foundation (OSHE) Survey Report number 1
the participants who attended different ac- /2009.
tivities within the WISCON project presented
a good number of immediate initiatives fol- A.R. Chowdhury Repon
lowing the training period and implement- Executive Director
ed a good number of changes in the different Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and
Environment Foundation (OSHE)
technical areas addressed during the train-
44 F/6, West Panthapath (4th Floor)
ing, i.e. materials handling and storage, work
GPO Box- 2696
at heights, work postures, machine safety, the
physical environment and welfare facilities at

E-mail: oshe@agni.com, oshe@citech.net

Key lessons learned Web Address: http://www.oshebd.org

The Participatory Action Oriented Training

Photos by A.R. Chowdhury Repon
Approach, of which the WISCON is a good ex-
ample in the construction sector, encourages

8 • Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:4–8

Work-related diseases
– A challenge for occupational health and
public health training and practice
Photo by Suvi Lehtinen
Jorma Rantanen, Finland

The concept of work-related disease was origi-
nally defined by a WHO Expert Committee in
1985 (1). The Committee recognized the fol-
lowing conditions as work-related:
a. The classic occupational diseases, in which
the factors in work environment are pre-
dominant and essential in the causation of
b. Diseases caused by exposures from home
workers’ working processes to family mem-
bers or by worksite exposures to members
in the neighbourhood community
c. Multifactor diseases which, when occur-
ring in workers,
• may be partially caused by occupation-
al factors
• may be aggravated, exacerbated or accel-
erated by workplace exposures
• may impair working capacity.
The Expert Committee also stated that
work-related diseases are often more com-
mon than occupational diseases and deserve
adequate attention by the health services and
occupational health services.
The 1985 Expert Committee already rec-
ognized several groups of diseases which were
recognized as work-related, including:
a. Behavioural responses and psychosomat-
ic illnesses
b. Hypertension
c. Ischemic heart disease
d. Chronic non-specific respiratory disease
e. Locomotor disorders.

Current situation in the identification

respiratory disorders and musculoskeletal fective. The high prevalence of chronic non-
of work-related morbidity
disorders (2, 3). Due to their high preva- communicable diseases among workers, and
Since the 1985 Expert Committee, clinical lence, their work-relatedness is important particularly among older workers calls for
and epidemiological research has provided to recognize, as occupational causality pro- preventive actions in occupational health in
a great deal of new evidence on the work- vides avenues for effective prevention in the order to protect and maintain work ability
relatedness of the diseases recognized by the occupational settings. In principle, all occu- and avoid health and economy losses from
Committee and on several new diseases. The pational diseases can be prevented and the diseases among the productive fraction of
attribution by work varies widely depending risk of multifactorial work-related diseases population (5, 6).
on disease and type of work, as well as on (WRDs) can be reduced to a substantial ex-
local working conditions and health condi- tent (which does not always correspond di-
Examples of studies providing
tions of the community. A substantial part of rectly with the percentage of attribution) (4).
evidence of work-relatedness in the
work-related morbidity has been associated On the other hand, if the causal factors do
working population’s morbidity
with common non-communicable and com- expose workers at the workplace, the preven-
municable diseases prevalent among pop- tive, control and curative actions directed to A few examples of studies providing evidence
ulations, such as cardiovascular disorders, non-occupational settings may remain inef- on the work-relatedness of common non-

Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:9–11 • 9

Table 1. Diseases analysed for attribution by Nurminen and Karjalainen (2) 14% among working women. The largest gen-
der differences were found in lung cancer and
Diseases other respiratory diseases.
To put the work-related mortality in per-
Infectious and parasitic diseases Malignant neoplasms (site)
spective with other comparable risks in the
Tuberculosis Oral cavity
year 1996 for which the calculations were
Pneumococcal disease Pharynx
made, the total number of fatal traffic acci-
Diseases of the circulatory system Oesophagus
dents among the whole Finnish population
Ischemic heart disease Stomach
was 404. The estimated total number of work-
Cerebrovascular disease Colon
related deaths among the Finnish working
Diseases of the respiratory system Rectum
population was 1800, i.e. 4.5 times higher.
Pneumonia Liver and intrahepatic bile ducts
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Gall bladder
WHO global burden of occupational diseases
Asthma Pancreas
study (4)
Pneumoconiosis Nose and nasal sinuses
The World Health Organization has repeated-
Cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis Larynx
ly produced estimates for the global burden of
Diseases of the genitourinary system Lung and bronchus
diseases (5, 6, 7). In 2005, WHO estimated the
Chronic renal failure and nephritic syndrome Bone
contribution of 26 different occupational risk
Mental disorders Melanoma of skin
factors to global burden of diseases. The study
Vascular and unspecified dementia Other malignant neoplasms of skin
calculated both loss of healthy life years (DA-
Depressive episodes Mesothelioma (all sites)
LY) due to mortality and healthy life year loss
Nervous system diseases Breast
by morbidity (4). Five causal factors played a
Spinal muscular atrophy Uterus (cervix uteri and corpus uteri)
substantial role as attributors to the global dis-
Parkinson’s disease Ovary
ease burden: Workplace carcinogens, airborne
Alzheimer’s disease Prostate
particulates, hazards for injuries, ergonomic
Diseases of the digestive system stressors for back pain, and occupational noise
Urinary bladder
Gastric and duodenal ulcer exposure. The attribution by occupational ex-
Accidents and violent incidents posures to work-related morbidity measured
Hodgkin’s disease
Accidents as global burden to diseases and injuries is
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Homicides and injuries presented in Table 3.
Suicides The WHO study made a special assess-
ment of the work-related burden of two infec-
tious diseases and needle stick injuries among
Table 2. Attributions by occupational factors to total mortality of Finnish working population (2)
health personnel. The result ended with an es-
timate of 40% attribution of work to the risk of
Disease Attribution %
hepatitis B and C among health workers and
Circulatory system, all 12 2% attribution to HIV/AIDS.
Ischemic heart disease 17 The work-related share of all the assessed
Stroke 11 diseases was 1.5% of the total DALYs of global
Malignant neoplasms 8 burden of diseases (from all diseases and in-
Lung cancer 24 juries of world population). This figure, how-
ever, is probably a substantial underestimate
Respiratory diseases 4
due to the limited number of diseases calcu-
lated and due to difficulty in estimation of
Mental disorders 4 work-related attribution of several prevalent
Nervous system diseases 3 diseases, such as the major infectious epidem-
Accidents and violence 3 ics. There are also several other factors lead-
All work-related mortality 7 ing to likely underestimation; the majority of
the world’s workers are employed in small-
scale enterprises, agriculture, and the informal
sector which have low access to both health
communicable and communicable diseases related risks of mortality were assessed on the services in general and no access to occupa-
are briefly discussed here. basis of the FINJEM exposure matrix for var- tional health services at all. This implies that
ious occupational groups and wide research both general health events and particularly
Attribution of work to mortality of Finnish material providing evidence on related health occupational and work-related events remain
working population outcomes. Table 2 describes the diseases with largely unidentified, undiagnosed and unreg-
This study was one of the most extensive ef- substantial occupational attribution. istered. No reliable estimate for such under-
forts for analysis of the work-relatedness of The risk of work-related mortality was un- reporting is available, but it can be assumed
non-communicable diseases (2). The analysis equally distributed between genders: 10% of to be substantial.
calculated the attribution of work to mortality total mortality among men was work-related.
from 45 specific diseases in 9 disease catego- The respective figure for women was 2%. As International study of work-related acute
ries, including 26 malignant neoplasms (Table much as 86% of absolute cases of work-relat- heart infarction
1). The relevant occupational exposures and ed deaths occurred among working men and Cardiovascular disorders are the world’s

10 • Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:9–11

number one cause of death by non-commu- Table 3. Attributable fraction (%) by occupational factors to total burden of diseases of 7
nicable diseases. The work-relatedness of car- work-related health outcomes (4).
diovascular disorders has been shown in nu-
merous studies and associated to numerous Disease Men % Women % All %
risk factors such as several chemicals, physical
workload, unconventional working hours and Back pain 41 32 37
work stress. The latter source has caused also Hearing loss 22 11 16
a great deal of controversy particularly among COPD 14 6 13
employers. The Interheart Study of 26000 sub- Asthma 14 7 11
jects (11119 patients and 13648 controls) in Cancer of trachea, bronchus and lung 10 5 9
52 countries of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Leukaemia 2 2 2
Africa, Australia, North and South America Unintentional injuries 15 2 10
monitored the risk of acute myocardial infarc-
tion (MI) in relation to a number of psycho-
logical risk factors; work stress, home stress, Table 4. Odd ratios of acute myocardial infarction from various sources of permanent stress (8)
financial stress and life event stress (8). The
measurement of stress exposure was made
Source of stress Cases Controls Odds ratio (99% CI)
through a questionnaire covering the period Work 499 316 2.34 (1.86–2.93)
before infarction. The study found virtually Home 249 135 2.36 (1.75–3.17)
equally elevated risks (odds ratios 2.34 and General stress (work or home) 681 424 2.32 (1.93–2.80)
2.36, respectively) for permanent work stress Financial 1231 1190 1.33 (1.17–1.50)
and permanent home stress, while the other Life events (2 or more events) 1390 1304 1.51 (1.34–1.70)
sources of stress also played a role, but to a
much lower extent. The contribution of work
stress to MI risk was seen only among men, WRDs cause loss of work ability and life References
while other sources of stress contributed to the years, which is likely to be at least an order of
1. WHO. Identification and control of work-related
elevation of the risk also among women, but at magnitude larger than that of traditional occu- diseases. Report of a WHO Expert Committee.
a slightly lower level than among men. A dis- pational diseases. Very little research is, how- Technical Report Series No. 714, WHO, Geneva
tinct dose-response relationship was detected ever, available on registration, recognition, 1985.
between different “doses” of stress; “some of loss of work ability, economic loss, and pos- 2. Nurminen M, Karjalainen A. Epidemiologic
estimate of the proportion of fatalities related
the time”, “several periods” and “permanent”. sible compensation of work-related morbidity. to occupational factors in Finland. Scand J Work
The high incidence of cardiovascular dis- This is made by difficulty in the identification Environ Health 2001;27(3):161–213.
eases among working-age populations makes of work-related aetiology at the individual 3. Kivimäki M, Leino-Arjas P, Luukkonen R, Riihimäki
the work-relatedness aspect of this morbidity level. In the long run, work-related diseases H, Vahtera J, Kirjonen J. Work stress and risk of
cardiovascular mortality: prospective cohort study
extremely important. As it seems to be a sub- have often been early cases of forthcoming
of industrial employees. BMJ 2002;325:857–61.
stantial several percentage attribution of occu- officially recognized occupational diseases. 4. Fingerhut M, Driscoll T, Nelson D I, Concha-Bar-
pational factors to cardiovascular morbidity, it The most important management strat- rientos M, Punnett L, Pruss-Ustin A, Steenland K,
also has an important occupational and pub- egy of work-related diseases is prevention. Leigh J, Corvalan C. Contribution of occupational
lic health impact. Similarly the prevention of This requires identification of the occupa- risk factors to the global burden of disease – a
summary of findings. SJWEH Suppl 2005;no
these common diseases will get more support tional factors causing such diseases, stud-
for preventive programmes in occupational ies of their mechanisms of action and de- 5. WHO. The World Health Report 2002. Reducing
settings. The growing rates of work stress re- velopment of effective prevention strate- risks, promoting healthy life. Geneva 2002.
ported by surveillance studies throughout the gies. It is also important to keep in mind 6. WHO. The global burden of disease: 2004 update.
world make stress-related cardiovascular dis- the work-related aetiology in clinical and WHO Geneva, 2008.
7. Rodgers A, Ezzati M, Vander Hoorn S, Lopez AD,
orders even more important. Table 4 shows public health practices.
Lin R-B, et al. Distribution of Major Health Risks:
the odd ratios for various sources of perma- WRD morbidity constitutes a challenge Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study.
nent stress. to the training of both occupational health PLoS Med 2004 1(1): e27. doi:10.1371/journal.
personnel and the experts in the rest of the pmed.0010027
health service system, as well as those in so- http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/
Challenges of work-related diseases info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0010027
cial security. Knowledge on work-relatedness
to training and practices 8. Rosengren A, Hawken S, Öunpuu S, Sliwa K,
should be distributed in the basic education Zubaid M, Almahmeed WA, Blackett KN. As-
Work-related diseases (WRD) were recognized of health personnel, as well as proposals for sociation of psychosocial risk factors with risk of
as early as in 1985 by WHO as an important prevention and control. The WRDs are im- acute myocardial infarction in 11 119 cases and 13
648 controls from 52 countries (the INTERHEART
health impact of work, and numerous “can- portant not only from the occupational health
study): case-control study. Lancet 2004;364:953–
didate” WRDs were proposed by the WHO perspective. As they are often simultaneously 62.
Expert Committee. Since then, research has common diseases among the general popula-
produced much evidence on the work-relat- tion and the working population (which con- Jorma Rantanen
edness of several diseases, many of which are stitutes some 50–70% of the adult population Professor Emeritus
highly prevalent among working populations. in all countries), work-related morbidity is Chairman of Senate
The quantitative estimates give the scale for the also a significant public health challenge. This University of Jyväskylä
problem of WRDs as a part of the morbidity of requires close collaboration between training, Jyväskylä, Finland
working populations, and of the global burden education and practices of occupational health jorma.h.rantanen@gmail.com
of all diseases of the world population. and public health.

Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:9–11 • 11

Occupational safety and health training
programme: A Malaysian perspective
Abdul Mutalib Leman
Fadzil Othma
Abdul Rahman Omar

workers to understand the functioning of Examples of such programmes are working
Occupational safety and health (OSH) pro- safety management systems and compliance in confined spaces, a safety orientation course
vides a work environment which is conducive with legislation. They will then understand for construction workers, and lockout and tag-
to workers. Reasonable precautionary steps their own responsibilities and the necessary out with regard to electrical safety. Soft skill
are taken in order to ensure that workers are actions to be taken towards upgrading safe- training is often voluntary, involving the rec-
protected from injury or health hazards aris- ty and health at their respective workplaces. ommended types of training. Examples are
ing from their work activities. Safety measures Safety and health training is one of the tech- safety management courses, OSH commu-
and practices are undertaken to prevent and niques available for promoting OSH while at nication training, and training on the aware-
minimize the risk of loss of life, injury and the same time reducing the number of acci- ness of OSH hazards and worker behaviour.
damage to property and environment. Occu- dents. To foster efficient and effective training, Some of the programmes required for in-
pational safety and health was first implement- the Malaysian Government has constructed an house OSH training are orientation for new
ed in Malaysia some 130 years ago, towards OSH organization in the country. employees, supervisor and management train-
the end of the 19th century. The Department The Ministry of Human Resources has ing, on-the-job training, training for specific
of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) is been made responsible for managing OSH, hazards (i.e. laser safety, lockout and tag-out),
the only government agency responsible for under the advice of the National Council of training in standard operating procedures and
administering, managing and enforcing legis- Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH). skill training.
lation pertaining to OSH in the country. Its vi- The NCOSH functions in a policy advisory The National Institute of Occupation-
sion is to make all occupations safe and healthy and promotion capacity. The Department of al Safety and Health (NIOSH) was chosen
while also enhancing the quality of work life. Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) was as an example illustrating OSH training in
formed to focus on administration and en- Malaysia. The National Institute of Occupa-
forcement. The OSH services can be catego- tional Safety and Health was established as
Increasing OSH observance levels
rized into workplace monitoring and assess- a company limited by guarantee on 24 June
To ensure that workers’ safety, health and wel- ment, medical surveillance, medical treatment 1992 under the Ministry of Human Resourc-
fare are cared for, DOSH works to keep the and management, and rehabilitation services es, Malaysia. The NIOSH Board of Directors
occurrence of industrial accidents in Malaysia and return to work programmes. consists of individuals from the relevant gov-
low. To this end, the OSH Master Plan 2015 ernment agencies and industrial and union
was introduced. This plan sets out the direc- representatives; the Board prepares policies
Education and training programme
tion of OSH in the country. It serves as a guide and sets directions for the Institute in line
for working cohesively with stakeholders and Training is an integral part of OSH. The educa- with the agreed strategy. With the stated vi-
social partners, including government agen- tion and training programme involves several sion “to be the leading centre of excellence
cies, local authorities, labour unions, employer institutions, including the National Institute of in occupational safety and health”, NIOSH
associations, academic institutions and other Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the operationalized its strategic mission to read
non-governmental organizations. Construction Industry Development Board “The preferred partner in occupational safe-
The safety and health programme includes (CIDB), Nuclear Malaysia, higher education ty and health” in carrying out its functions,
four major elements that make up its basic institutions and NGOs such as the Malaysian which are the provision of training, consulta-
framework. Louis J. DiBerardinis (1) reported Society of Occupational Safety and Health tion services, dissemination of information,
that an effective occupational safety and health (MSOSH), the Malaysia Industrial Hygiene and conducting research in the field of OSH.
programme will entail: Association (MIHA) and the Federation of
• Management commitment and employee Manufacturing Malaysia (FMM). The private
Range of training programmes
involvement sector involved in OSH activities includes the
• Analysis of worksite hazards Social and Security Organization (SOCSO), The NIOSH training programme has received
• Hazard prevention and control the Employee Protection Fund (EPF) and in- recognition from DOSH, the regulatory body
• Safety and health training. surance companies. for OSH in Malaysia, as well as from industrial
The Hands on Guide OSH Manager Ma- associations, OSH practitioners, international
laysia (2) places the types of training into two counterparts and workers at large. Apart from
Occupational safety and health
broad categories, hard skill OSH training and ensuring the competency of registered spe-
soft skill OSH training. In general, hard skill cialists, NIOSH training has been extended
To ensure the success of any OSH programme, OSH training is usually mandatory. It entails to senior executives, safety and health com-
adequate and effective training must be im- the training required to ensure that workers mittee members, safety supervisors, general
plemented for all those responsible for OSH. are competent and qualified and that they ex- workers contractors, academicians and other
Training enables managers, supervisors and ecute certain tasks related to OSH hazards. interested individuals.

12 • Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:12–3

Table 1. Courses conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in 2006–2009.

Types of Courses 2009* 2008 2007 2006

Courses Partic- Courses Partic- Courses Partic- Courses Partic-
ipants ipants ipants ipants
Public programmes 161 2,535 125 2,114 94 1,420 88 1,397
Certificate/Competency programme 195 3,558 165 3,381 186 3,516 124 2,390
In-house programme 609 11,597 432 9,321 453 10,09 367 8,403
Trainer’s programme 19 258 21 281 38 467 29 327
Conference or seminar 24 3380 21 2,797 21 3,003 18 2,402
Safety Passport Programme 2,347 61,035 1460 39,927 1,046 27,780 1,009 26,615
TOTAL 3,355 82,363 2,768 71,941 2,321 59,972 1,635 41,534
*Amendment until December 2009

Number Training Programmes by year

of Courses programmes

2000 Programme (EDOSH) and the Master’s in Occupational
Safety and Health (MOSH) are jointly con-
1500 In-House
Programme ducted by NIOSH in collaboration with the

1000 Trainer´s Open University Malaysia (OUM) and Uni-
Programme versity Utara Malaysia (UUM).
500 Conference or
0 Safety Conclusion
2006 2007 2008 2009 Passport
Programme To-date, the amount of training has increased
linearly. The provision of training is based on
Figure 1. Training programmes conducted by the the National Institute of Occupational Safety training programmes, seminars and confer-
and Health from 2006 to 2009 ences. The number of participants involved
is also increasing linearly every year. Malay-
sia set up the OSH Master Plan 2015 as the
Number of Course participants by year target in order to minimize the number of
Participants Public
programmes accidents. At the same time, it aims to in-
Certificate/ crease the number of courses and public pro-
60,000 Competency grammes and emphasizes Occupational Safety
50,000 Programme
and Health training programmes.
40,000 Programme
30,000 Trainer´s References
Programme 1. L. J. DiBerardinis (Ed.). Handbook of Occupa-
20,000 tional Safety and Health. Wiley and Sons. New
Conference or
10,000 York, USA 1999.
2. CCH Asia Pte Limited. The Hands on Guide OSH
0 Safety Manager Malaysia. 2001
2006 2007 2008 2009 Passport
Year Programme
Abdul Mutalib Leman
Figure 2. Number of participants in courses conducted by the National Institute of Occupa- University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
tional Safety and Health from 2006 to 2009 86400, Parit Raja, Batu Pahat,
Johor, Malaysia
Tel: +607 4537776
Fax: +607 4536080
Training activities are broadly classified several multinational companies and inter- Email: mutalib@uthm.edu.my
into three main groups: the implementation of national industries located in Malaysia. For
training programmes, development and revi- example, NIOSH has conducted a safety pro- Fadzil Othman
sion of training modules, and monitoring and gramme with several companies, including National Institute of Occupational Safety and
evaluation of training activities. Table 1 shows Petronas, Osfam, TNB, Shell, Genting and BP Health (NIOSH)
the number of courses conducted by NIOSH Chemicals. These programmes conducted by Lot 1, Jalan 15/1, Section 15, 43650 Bandar Baru
and the number of participants in 2006–2009. NIOSH are organized at the certificate level. Bangi,
Several public and private institutions con- Selangor Darul Ehsan
duct these programmes at diploma and degree Malaysia
The NIOSH Safety Passport is widely known. level; there are even Master’s and Doctoral Tel: +603 87622100 (main line)
The course is conducted jointly with indus- degree programmes. However, the Executive Fax: + 603 89262900
tries. It is recognized and put into practice by Diploma of Occupational Safety and Health Email: fadzil@niosh.com.my

Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:12–3 • 13

The role of worker unions in occupational
health and safety at industry level
Bambang Surjono, Indonesia

Background rect result of long-term policies on workers’ The training is given in two steps:
involvement and a well-functioning tripar- a. The first step is the OH&S Training of
At the global level, according to the most re- tite mechanism. Trainers (TOT) POSITIVE Programme.
cent estimates of the International Labour Of- • Much of the action on safety and health This seminar takes four full days.
fice (ILO), about two million people die be- must be local, but much of the framework b. The second step is the OH&S Core Trainer
cause of their work every year (1). These work- must be global. Training (CTT) POSITIVE Programme,
related deaths represent only a small fraction This is both a moral and a practical neces- comprising three full days.
of the suffering caused. An estimated 160 mil- sity. Moral, because we cannot place a lower During each step of training, the partici-
lion people have work-related disease. Some value on workers’ lives in some parts of the pants visit a factory to observe good examples
355,000 fatal accidents take place every year. world than in others. Practical, because in of OH&S practice. A checklist prepared before
For every fatal accident at work, some 500– a global economy, we cannot allow safety the visit is used during the observation visit.
2,000 other non-fatal injuries occur, depend- and health to be undermined by false con-
ing on the type of work. Yet these workplace cerns about competitiveness. There are six technical aspects to be observed
tragedies rarely make the headlines. On both of these counts, the ILO’s Safe (3):
Fatalities and accidents are not bound to Work Programme is well placed to influence 1. Materials handling and storage
happen. They are caused. Cancer – caused, the global agenda. Representatives of the
for example, by asbestos, other carcinogen- world’s workers, employers and governments
ic dusts and chemicals, and ionizing radia- meet on equal terms within the ILO. Trade un-
tion – is the biggest reason for work-related ion rights are at the heart of its standard-set-
deaths (accounting for an estimated 32% of ting activities, as are health and safety. More-
work-related deaths), followed by circulatory over, the ILO is currently campaigning for
diseases – caused, for example, by night work the provision of decent work worldwide. It is
and shift work, stress, some chemicals and clear that decent jobs must also be safe jobs.
environmental tobacco smoke at workplaces
– (23%), accidents (19%) and communicable
Occupational health and safety
diseases (17%). The figures differ consider-
training by trade unions
ably in various parts of the world: accident
rates, for instance, are very high in the Asian To promote the role of trade unions in occu- 2. Change of work station
Tiger economies. pational health and safety activities in Indo-
nesia, the Confederation of Indonesian Trade
Union (CITU) has devised an OH&S training
The role of trade unions in OH&S
programme in cooperation with JILAF, the
Work accidents can be prevented if all stake- Japan International Labour Foundation. The
holders play an active role. Three points need training is called the OHS POSITIVE training
to be stressed here: programme. POSITIVE stands for “Participa-
• Enterprise management and commit- tion-Oriented Safety Improvement by Trade
ment have a key role. union InitiatiVE”. The POSITIVE programme
Companies that have an occupational safety was developed as a participatory training pro-
and health management system (OSH-MS) gramme for the promotion of occupational
set up according to ILO Guidelines (ILO- safety and health by trade unions (2).
OSH 2001) have better safety records and The basic principle of the programme is 3. Machine safety
better productivity records. participation. Seminar participants learn from
• The stronger the union, the safer the local good examples that have already been
workplace. put into practice in order to improve the work
Even the best occupational health and safe- environment. Attention is given to low-cost
ty regulations will have little impact un- improvement. By using an action checklist in
less the people concerned, the workers, are an actual workplace and discussing the results
able collectively to defend their interests. with their colleagues, union members receive
It is vitally important that workers are in- training that leads to activities improving oc-
volved in planning and running the com- cupational safety and health at the workplace.
pany OSH management system and have Follow-up activities are held, too; discussions
freedom of association. The high safety take place with the objective of supporting the
standard of Sweden, for example, is a di- workers’ continued activities.

14 • Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:14–5

4. Physical environment
Date Place Participants Type of training
Picture # 4 12–17 February 2006 Cipayung, Bogor 24 TOT
5–6 November 2007 Ciloto, Bogor 27 TOT
30 May–2 June 2008 Surabaya 26 TOT
31 October–4 November 2008 Cisarua, Bogor 24 TOT
2–5 June 2009 Batam 24 TOT
9–12 June 2009 Jogjakarta 24 TOT
13–16 November 2006 Bogor 17 CTT
28–30 August 2007 Cisarua, Bogor 14 CTT
4–6 June 2008 Cisarua, Bogor 23 CTT
18–20 November 2008 Tretes, Surabaya 20 CTT
5–8 February 2009 Cisarua, Bogor 23 CTT
5. Welfare facilities
16–18 November 2009 Bandungan, Semarang 14 CTT
20–22 November 2009 Batam 25 CTT

7. Training participants
Picture # 5

6. Environment protection

Picture # 6

presented when they come for the CTT train- companies have confirmed that the proposals
ing about six months after the TOT seminar were very valuable to them.
has been completed. Improvement of the As to the workers, their awareness of
working conditions benefits not only the OH&S at the workplace is increased through
So far CITU and JILAF have organized six workers; it is also beneficial to the employer in improvements carried out at the workplace.
Training of Trainer (TOT) seminars and seven terms of improved and increased productivity.
OH&S Core Trainer Training (CTT) seminars References
in Indonesia. The training has been given in Improvement of OH&S is based on these con- 1. Dr. Jukka Takala, Director, Safe Work, Interna-
tional Labour Office (ILO).- Originally in the UK in
some regions of Jakarta, East Java, West Java, siderations:
Hazards magazine for its International Workers
Central Java and in Riau Province, Batam Is- –– Facilitate immediate improvements Memorial Day.
land. There are about 120 Core Trainers who –– Learn from local good examples 2. http://www.jilaf.or.jp/English-jilaf/genpro/posi-
can provide training for Union members at –– Involve managers together through the vis- tive/about/index.html, retrieved 10 January 2010.
the workplace. ible benefits (good work results) and low- 3. Kazutaka K, Kawakami T. Trainer Guide for
OHS JILAF POSITIVE Program. The Institute for
CITU and JILAF started to run POSITIVE cost ideas
Science of Labour, Japan International Labour
training programmes in 2006 and they have –– Promote solidarity by group work. Foundation 2002.
continued until now. Each year at least two
set of OHS POSITIVE training seminars have On the last day of each training seminar, Bambang Surjono
been held. Above are data on the POSITIVE the participants have to present proposals for Vice General Secretary of Confederation of
Programme Training in Indonesia organized improvement to the company they have visited Indonesian Trade Unions
by CITU and JILAF in 2006–2009. on the first day of training. The management of Plaza Basmar 2nd Floor
the company visited is invited to the class, to Jl. Mampang Prapatan 106
follow the participants’ presentations. Most of Jakarta 12790
Results of training
the management representatives from the fac- Indonesia
The TOT seminar participants have to make tories visited have been very satisfied and have bambang_surjono@yahoo.com
improvements in OH&S conditions at their appreciated that the participants were able to
workplace. These improvements should be identify areas in need of improvements. The Photos by Bambang Surjono

Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:14–5 • 15

Photo by ILO

Developing OSH training systems

– Challenges facing food enterprises in China
Yuhang WANG, China

Development of food enterprises in From now on, development of the food in- –– it is easy to form a market monopoly in
China dustries in China faces both challenges and op- China;
portunities (4). Among the opportunities are: –– since the Opening-up Policy, foreign capital
Since the implementation of the Opening-up –– the State will invest more and more in sci- has been flowing into China’s food indus-
Policy in 1978, the food industries in China entific and technological modernization of tries, imposing heavy pressure on domestic
have developed in rapid strides. In 2009, the the food industries; food enterprises.
gross value of the industrial output of food –– the rapid economic development, indus-
industries reached 4.9 trillion RMB, an in- trialization, and urbanization give rise to
OSH situation of food enterprises in
crease of 14.6% on 2008; this is 6.6% higher greater market demand for food industry
than the average growth rate for industrial products;
output. Food industries in China account for –– globalization provides wider resource al- Food processing enterprises have certain ex-
about 20.4% of the increase value of indus- location for the food industries. tensive risks, as some chemical materials are
trial output (1). Food industries are closely used, there are occupational hazards, many
linked to the living quality and health of the The challenges facing the food industries in- flammable and explosive materials are present,
people, and they play a major role in absorb- clude the following: gigantic volumes of raw materials are stored
ing redundant labour in rural areas of China. –– the complicated international market has on site, logistics are on a large scale, many
There are more than 9.5 million workers em- intensified the competition for resourc- man-machine interfaces exist, and the new
ployed in food industries; this is about 17.9% es, markets, technology and intellectual processing project is proceeding very quick-
of the total formal employment (2). Devel- resources ly. All of these factors present comparatively
opment of the food industries has supported –– trade protectionism is rising; high risk levels to the food industries in China.
the development of agriculture and farmers, –– industrialized countries benefit from their According to incomplete statistics of the
increasing the farmers’ income and spurring dominant economic and technological po- State Administration of Work Safety, from
urbanization (3). sition; 2001 to 2009, 53 comparatively large-scale ac-

16 • Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:16–8

cidents (an accident causing more than three Table 1. Comparatively large-scale accidents from 2001 to 2009 in food
fatalities is called a comparative large-scale enterprises in China
accident in the Chinese occupational safety
legislation, and information on them are pub-
Year Accidents Fatalities
lished in real time on the official website) oc-
2001 3 10
curred in food industries and led to 253 fatali-
ties in total (traffic accidents are not includ- 2002 9 36
ed). These statistics mean that a comparatively 2003 4 21
large-scale accident occurs in Chinese food 2004 5 26
enterprises every second month (5), (see Ta- 2005 4 12
ble 1 and Figure 1). The figures on accidents 2006 5 28
causing one or two fatalities may be dozens 2007 10 58
of times higher than those for comparatively 2008 6 29
large-scale accidents, but there is a lack of reli-
2009 7 33
able data. From the point of view of the com-
Total 53 253
paratively large-scale accidents that occurred
in the past nine years, the same types of acci-
dents happen again and again; the food indus-
tries have not learned their lesson. Although 12 70
the level of risk in the food industries is not 10 60
as high as in the mining, chemical, and con-
50 Accident
struction industries of China, nevertheless the 8
food industries still have certain specific risks. 40 Fatality
Challenges in OSH training facing 20
food enterprises in China 2 10
A large number of small enterprises lack the 0 0
input of safety training








According to a White Paper of the Information
Office of the State Council (6), there are 450,000
food enterprises in China; most of them small Figure 1. The trend of comparatively large-scale accidents in food enterprises in
and medium-sized enterprises. A total of 80% China.
of them employ fewer than 100 people, and
77% fewer than 10 people. A large proportion
of the home-style producers cannot meet the According to the Migrant Workers Inves- properly, as they lack qualified trainers. Al-
safety standards at all (7). Owing to the intense tigation Report of the State Council in 2006, though some workers obtain safety training,
competition, the profit margin of food process- only 20% of the migrant workers can obtain their safety awareness and skills did not im-
ing enterprises is very low, and the gross profit short-term occupational training, 3.4% have prove remarkably (9).
margin is about 10–20%. To cut costs, many en- primary-level occupational training, 0.13% The corps of trainers cannot keep up with
terprises reduce their input in safety and health have intermediate-level level occupational the rapid pace of development of the produc-
protection and there is little capital to fund OSH training, and 76.4% have no occupation- tion process, technological modernization, and
training, which worsens the occupational safety al training at all. Thus the coverage of the equipment updates, and they cannot solve the
and health situation. safety training for the migrant workers is new problems and situations. Most of the train-
very low. ing materials are out-of-date and lack informa-
A large number of migrant workers lack safety Migrant workers usually have a short-term tion about the new situations, so the contents
awareness and skills contract with their employers and there is an of training are alienated from reality and do
Migrant workers (also called farm workers oversupply of migrant workers. For these rea- not provide the proper guidance. The training
in China) have become a major labour force sons, employers are not willing to invest in method is also stereotyped and has not been re-
during the industrialization and urbanization training for them. At the same time, migrant vised. Most training is done in the classroom,
process in China. They migrate from rural ar- workers lack safety protection awareness, nor through lectures and listening; this passive
eas to cities every year, and contribute great- do they actively participate in safety training and dull method also compromises the train-
ly to the development of society. But the mi- activities. It is therefore very common for them ing effect (10).
grant workers are poorly educated and have to work without safety training. Occupational safety and health has some
poor safety awareness. They do not have the common issues across industries, but there are
necessary safety protection ability. The result A lack of qualified trainers and targeted docu- also differences between different industries.
is great pressure on the occupational safety ments Some high-risk industries in China, such as
management. In the past years, more than half Some enterprises send their workers to occu- petrol and chemical, mining, and construction
of the work accidents and new cases of occu- pational training schools or organizations but industries, have developed training materials
pational diseases are suffered by the migrant then complain afterwards that the outcome of targeted to their individual characteristics. For
workers. Training for migrant workers is ur- training is useless. Many training programmes the food industries, however, no such efforts
gently needed to change the current serious do not match the real needs. Some training have been made and no corresponding mate-
OSH situation (8) in China. organizations cannot conduct safety training rials are available.

Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:16–8 • 17

A lack of relevant industrial authority

Photo by ILO
management on OSH issues
Mining, construction, and chemical industries
in China have their own individual industri-
al management authorities for occupational
safety and health issues. By contrast, the food
industries lack an industrial authority to man-
age the OSH issues.
There is a China National Food Industry
Association (CNFIA), founded in 1981, that
plays an important role in the development
of the industry’s economy, its scientific and
technological development, and fair compe-
tition. But the Association does not function
in OSH issues for the food industries. The
China Association of Work Safety, founded
in 2008, and the China Occupational Safety
and Health Association, founded in 1983, are
both general associations and do not have spe-
cific and professional activities involving the
OSH issues of the food industries.
Because of the lack of relevant industrial
authority management on OSH issues in the
food industries, it is hard to implement in-
dustry-wide training programmes, and it is
hard to guarantee the training performance.

Suggestions for developing OSH

training systems for food enterprises
in China
• The major factor hindering OSH training
in the food industries is the limited capital.
It is necessary to establish a mechanism to
balance the input from the government,
employer and employee organizations.
The government and employer organiza-
tion should shoulder more responsibilities
to build a training system that would cover
the OSH needs of the food industries. tance education and distance training on Food Quality Situation White Paper. Available at:
• It is essential to improve the safety aware- OSH, should be considered in order to de- http://www.gov.cn Accessed 17 August 2007.
7. Bureau of Economic Operations, National Devel-
ness of employers and employees by using crease the training cost and improve the opment and Reform Committee. Restraining Fac-
the popular media to disseminate safety effect. tors and Counter Measures for Food Industries
awareness. Everybody really needs to buy Healthy Development. Chinese Medicine 2007
into the concept of putting people first, car- References: Jun;7.
8. Sun Y. Five Problems of the Farmer Workers’
ing about life and caring for safety. They
1. Xinhua net. This year the gross value of industrial Safety Training. Labor Protection 2008;1:70.
must be motivated to learn safety skills and output of food industries reached 4.9 trillion RMB 9. Huang Y. In-service Training for Migrant Workers:
they must require higher safety conditions. in China. Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com Problems and Proposals. Journal of Shenzhen
• It is very important for China to have a lead- Accessed 21 November 2009. Polytechnic 2007;1:89–92.
ing organization that would pay close at- 2. The Central People’s Government of People’s Re- 10. Zhang Y, Wang Y, et al. Problems and Counter-
public of China. China Food Science and Technol- measures for Safety Training in China Enterprises.
tention to OSH issues for the food indus- ogy Development Report of 2007–2008. Available In Proceeding of the 14th Symposium on Occupa-
tries. Such an organization would coordi- at: http://www.gov.cn Accessed 7 April 2009. tional Safety and Health from Taiwan, Mainland,
nate with different stakeholders, develop 3. China Agro-product Processing net. The National Hong Kong and Macao. Xian, 2006.
a training plan, obtain the capital, organ- 11th Five Year Development Plan fo Agro-product
Processing Industries. Available at: http://www.
ize and conduct training programmes, and Yuhang WANG
csh.gov.cn Accessed 20 January 2007.
meet the specific safety and health needs of 4. Liu Z, Hu L. Status and prospects of food indus-
Deputy Manager
the food industries. tries in national economy development. Food and Work Safety Supervision Office
• The Government or employer organiza- nutrition in China 2009;3:23–25. China Agri-Industries Holdings Limited
tions should develop practical and target- 5. State Administration of Work Safety. Accidents Add:Rm02,17F,COFCO, Fortune Plaza,
Publish and Search System. Available at: http://
ed training materials and should train more NO.8 Chao Yang Men South St.
media.chinasafety.gov.cn Accessed at 10 August
and more qualified OSH trainers for the 2009.
Beijing, China 100020
food industries. 6. The Central People’s Government of People’s Re- Email:wang.yh@cofco.com
• New information technology, such as dis- public of China. Information Office Issued China Web:www.cofco.com

18 • Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:16–8

Training Centre
– training for
the world
Teemu Lindfors, Finland

Working conditions around the world are en and men to secure decent employment in and with Asia and the Pacific to strengthen
not equal. The conditions of work and even and income the capacity of governments, workers’ organ-
the basic rights of workers vary considerably • to enhance the coverage and effectiveness izations, employers’ organizations and other
between different countries. Many countries of social protection for all civil society bodies to solve problems, and to
around the world are making strong economic • to strengthen tripartism and social dia- devise policies and manage systems that pro-
progress while others are facing major chal- logue. mote decent work. In 2009, around 1,900 peo-
lenges. Regardless of the progress or slack- ple from Asian and Pacific countries took part
ness of the economy or political turbulence, in the Centre’s trainings. The trainings were
Participants and benefits
one should feel safe and equal at work. The held in Turin, in many different countries and
International Labour Organization (ILO) is The participants of trainings usually hold on-line. Each Regional Programme has differ-
devoted to advancing opportunities for wom- managerial or executive positions in minis- ent priority topics. For Asia and the Pacific the
en and men to obtain decent and productive tries, workers’ organizations, employers’ or- Centre concentrates on:
work in conditions of freedom, equity, secu- ganizations, enterprises, training institutions • labour migration
rity and human dignity. To further the goal or universities, etc. Many of the participants • youth employment
of decent work for women and men, ILO and are themselves trainers or trainers of trainers. • vocational training systems and skills de-
the Italian Government established the In- Through the Institute’s training, participants velopment
ternational Training Centre (ITCILO) in Tu- gain an in-depth understanding and practice • enterprise development and microfinance
rin, Italy in 1964, as an advanced vocational concerning international labour standards, • improvement of working conditions and
training institute. decent work, social protection, social dialogue productivity
and related development issues. They learn • industrial relations
to analyse common problems and challenges • child labour and forced labour.
Multinational training
and to find sustainable solutions. All are cho-
The Centre provides training and services that sen carefully to ensure the multiplier effect. Training itself is not a solution for prob-
develop human resources and institutional After their training, participants should ap- lems in decent work but it gives a key to en-
capabilities. Each year about 11,000 people ply their newly acquired insights and skills in hancement. By improving the skills and com-
from over 180 countries take part in the Cen- their work and pass them on. petence of individuals, the awareness of rights
tre’s training activities and events. Altogether The Centre has five Regional Programmes, and entitlements in work life increases. That
more than 450 programmes and projects are which include Africa, the Americas, the Arab is the purpose of the International Training
run every year. The Centre’s demand-driv- States, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe. The Centre.
en training portfolio consists of courses in Centre ensures that its activities are relevant
key work-related areas. The forms of training and expedient to local needs, goals and con-
are standard courses, tailor-made courses and ditions. Regional needs are monitored and Additional information and contacts:
comprehensive projects. To reach more and activities coordinated in cooperation with the International Training Centre of the ILO
more people, the Centre is using a series of field offices of the International Labour Or- Viale Maestri del Lavoro, 10
distance training programmes. Some of these ganization. The regional offices also help raise 10127 Turin, Italy
are complemented by face-to-face sessions. the funds that finance the Centre’s activities in E-mail: communications@itcilo.org
Through training, the Centre contributes to those regions. www.itcilo.org
achieving the ILO’s four strategic objectives:
• to promote and realize standards and fun- Course calendar:
Training in Asia and the Pacific
damental principles and rights at work www.itcilo.org/en/standard-courses-regist-
• to create greater opportunities for wom- The ILO’s International Training Centre works ration/course-calendar

Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:19 • 19

Photos by Suvi Lehtinen

Professor Pekka Puska discussed with symposium participants promotion

of cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular health
and work on focus
Suvi Lehtinen, Finland

NIVA, the Nordic Training Institute impact of psychosocial factors on mor-

in Occupational Health, together with bidity. We have evidence on temporali- Nordic Institute for Advanced Training
ICOH Scientific Committees on Car- ty of association, and dose-response re- in Occupational Health, NIVA
diology, Occupational Medicine, and lationship, but the complex multifacto-
Health Services Research and Evalua- rial relationships and confounding fac- NIVA is a Nordic training institute that operates under
tion in Occupational Health, organized tors still constitute a challenge. A new the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) and focuses on
a “Symposium on recognition, preven- comprehensive paradigm is needed. advanced training in occupational health. From 1982,
tion and control of work-related car- The “implementation gap” still re- in other words the year it was established, NIVA has
diovascular disorders” on 22–24 March mains wide and needs to be narrowed. been actively collaborating with the Finnish Institute
2010 in Espoo, Finland. Professor Jor- Besides research on new CVD haz- of Occupational Health.
ma Rantanen served as the moderator ards, efforts for effective use of existing The training curriculum has included more ‘tra-
of the Symposium. knowledge are warranted. Workplace ditional’ NIVA courses, such as the safety and OLS
In his opening keynote Professor is a promising arena for prevention of (Occupational Exposure Limits) courses, but also a
Pekka Puska, Director General of the both CVDs in general and work-relat- highly relevant course on nanotechnology and safety,
National Institute for Health and Wel- ed CVDs in particular. In such preven- and courses that link more closely to general develop-
fare in Finland, and President of the tion, strategies for developing work life ments within the labour market. Examples of the latter
World Heart Federation stated that to become more conducive to cardio- include such themes as the ageing of the workforce,
thanks to effective prevention pro- vascular health are crucial. employability of the handicapped, lack of workforce,
grammes, the incidence of cardiovas- The presentations made at the and the increasing cultural heterogeneity of the po-
cular disorders (CVD) is declining in Symposium will be published as Pro- tential workforce.
many industrialized countries. It is, ceedings, and used as background doc- The courses are highly international, and even
however, growing in the developing umentation for the sessions on this though most of the participants come from the Nord-
world. very topic in the ICOH2012 Congress ic countries, there are also participants from as far as
Work-related CVDs constitute a in Monterrey, Mexico. Russia, Asia, North America and Australia. The course
major burden to health and economies language is English which is likely to contribute to this.
of countries. In addition to traditional
cardiotoxic chemical and physical fac- More information on NIVA: www.niva.org
tors, the Meeting recognized the great

20 • Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010; 17:20

Photo by Suvi Lehtinen

ICOH and training in occupational health

Suvi Lehtinen, Finland

International Commission on Occupational just to ensure that the knowledge and skills of cupational medicine; Occupational toxicol-
Health (ICOH), founded in 1906, is a profes- experts in our field are continuously updated. ogy; Occupational health and development;
sional association of occupational health ex- The previous ICOH International Con- Occupational health for health care workers;
perts whose mission is to advance research, gress was successfully organized in March Occupational health in the chemical industry
training, and information on occupational 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa and prep- (MEDICHEM); Occupational health in the
health. In addition to scientific and profes- arations for the next, scheduled for 18–23 construction industry; Radiation and work;
sional activities, ICOH recognizes the pro- March 2012, to be held in Monterrey, Mexi- Reproductive hazards in the workplace; Res-
motion of professional ethics in all occupa- co (http://www.icohcongress2012.org/1024+/ piratory disorders; Rural health: agriculture,
tional health activities as its key global role. index.html), are well underway. The theme pesticides, and organic dusts; Shift work and
ICOH leadership has fostered professional of ICOH2012 in Monterrey is Occupational working time; Small-scale enterprises and the
ethics to become one of the themes in every Health for All: From Research to Practice. informal sector; Thermal factors; Toxicology
training event. of metals; Unemployment, job insecurity and
The biggest international training event health; Vibration and noise; Women, health
Scientific Committees
in occupational health is the triennial ICOH and work; Work and vision; Work disability
Congress. The ICOH International Congress ICOH has 35 scientific committees active prevention and integration; and Work organi-
makes an inventory of the most recent re- in various fields of occupational health re- zation and psychosocial factors.
search in various topics of occupational health search. They cover the following topics: Ac- For additional information, see: http://
and safety worldwide and provides platforms cident prevention; Ageing and work; Allergy www.icohweb.org/site_new/ico_scientific_
for workshops, seminars and meetings on and immunotoxicology; Cardiology in occu- committees.asp
implementation of good occupational health pational health; Education and training in oc- During the previous triennium, a total of
practices in various parts of the world. This cupational health; Epidemiology in occupa- 59 conferences organized by the ICOH Sci-
is extremely important because work life is tional health; Fibres; Health service research entific Committees were recorded and at least
changing rapidly and all experts working in and evaluation in occupational health; Histo- twice as many conferences during the same
the field of occupational health and safety ry of the prevention of occupational and en- period enjoyed scientific committee members’
sorely need continuous and life-long learn- vironmental diseases; Indoor air quality and contributions to various international and na-
ing. This is ICOH’s response to that need. In health; Industrial hygiene; Musculoskeletal tional meetings.
connection with the world congresses, as well disorders; Neurotoxicology and psychophysi- This wide selection of topics also indicates
as in many symposia and conferences, pre- ology; Occupational and environmental der- the multidisciplinary nature of occupational
and post-congress courses are also organized, matoses; Occupational health nursing; Oc- health and safety which is another challenge

Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:21–3 • 21

Photo by Suvi Lehtinen

Training activities
ICOH also organizes various training cours-
es in connection with national occupational
health and safety conventions, disseminates
information and produces position papers,
fact sheets, evaluations and guidelines for oc-
cupational health practices. One of the key
topics for recent training activities has been
the introduction and piloting of Basic Occu-
pational Health Services, BOHS, which is a
joint endeavour of WHO, the ILO and ICOH.
The aim of this approach is to survey the fea-
sibility of providing occupational health serv-
ices through primary health care in order to
increase the availability and accessibility of
for the training and education of occupational health professionals, and the professional inde- occupational health services to all workers of
health and safety experts. pendence of occupational health experts. The the world. This goal is included in the WHO
Each ICOH member in good standing can Code stipulates 26 different duties and obli- Global Plan of Action on Workers’ Health and
be a member of a maximum of three Scientific gations for occupational health professionals, also strived for in ILO Convention on Promo-
Committees of his/her own choice. guiding them in various practical activities ac- tional Framework for Occupational Safety and
In-between the ICOH triennial Con- cording to ICOH ethical principles. Health. The Global Network of WHO Col-
gresses, the Scientific Committees organize These guides cover the following areas of laborating Centres is preparing an extensive
symposia focusing on the topics of their own occupational health practice: programme to facilitate the production and
substance areas. The most recent examples • maintenance and upgrading of competence, dissemination of training materials and infor-
of these are the Conferences of EPICOH and including knowledge of conditions of work mation tools for development of occupational
MEDICHEM, organized a couple of weeks ago and scientific and technical knowledge health services worldwide.
in Taipei. Another example of ICOH training • advice on policies and programmes for im- As another example of its wide collabora-
activity organized in collaboration with NIVA, proving occupational health tive network, ICOH is co-sponsoring an in-
the Nordic Training Institute, is briefly de- • emphasis on preventive and promotion ac- ternational meeting that will be organized by
scribed elsewhere in this issue of the Asian- tions the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Pacific Newsletter. • follow-up on remedial actions in June 2011. The meeting is co-organized by
• provision of information on safety and WHO and the ILO. Several other co-sponsor-
health ing organizations will be involved. The meet-
Scientific Committee on Education
• protection and management of company in- ing entitled International Forum on Occupa-
and Training
formation, health surveillance, workers’ in- tional Health and Safety: Policies, profiles and
ICOH has recognized the importance of ed- formation on health examinations, employ- services, is scheduled for 20-22 June 2011, and
ucation and training of occupational health er’s information on health examinations, and is organized in Espoo, Finland.
and safety experts, as it has a specific Scientific protection of confidential health data The full list of ICOH-organized and -spon-
Committee for the topic. The aim of the Sci- • biological monitoring sored conferences, symposia and meetings is
entific Committee is to identify education and • health promotion available at: www.icohweb.org.
training modalities in occupational health that • protection of community and environment
can be used to improve the training of profes- • contributions to scientific knowledge, com-
ICOH National Secretaries
sionals. Sharing the knowledge learned with petent scientific judgement, integrity and im-
workers and managers is also of importance. partiality, professional independence, equity In order to facilitate the networking of ICOH
The Committee organized several events dur- • clause of ethics in employment contracts members at the country level, ICOH also
ing the previous triennium aimed at ensuring for occupational health personnel has a National Secretary in many countries,
the introduction and utilization of the most • record-keeping whose tasks include acting as a representative
recent new tools for education and training. • medical confidentiality of ICOH in his/her own country and dissemi-
E-learning in occupational health and dis- • collective health nating information that is useful and neces-
tance education demonstrating current mo- • relationship with health professionals sary for ICOH members. One of the tasks is
dalities and planning for global courses were • relationship with social partners also to provide relevant information to po-
also among the topics on the agenda. An in- • ethics promotion tential new members. For this purpose, the
ternational survey on occupational medicine • professional audits. National Secretaries report back on their ac-
training was co-sponsored by the Committee. tivities every year of the triennium. The situ-
The original ICOH Code is in English and ation after the first year of the current trien-
French. It has been translated into several oth- nium shows that there are several recent ex-
ICOH Code of Ethics
er languages (Spanish; Portuguese; Japanese; amples of combination of well-planned train-
The most important ICOH document is the Turkish; Italian; Chinese; Greek; and Finnish), ing activities and promoting occupational
1993 International Code of Ethics for Occu- thus contributing to training of occupational health by the ICOH National Secretaries in
pational Health Professionals, revised in 2002. health experts in many different countries. Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Czech
The Code defines the basic ethical principles for http://www.icohweb.org/site_new/ico_ Republic, Finland, France, Greece, India, Ire-
occupational health practice, the obligations of core_documents.asp# land, Italy, Nepal, Romania, Sweden, Turkey,

22 • Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:21–3

Ukraine and the United States, to mention the International Ergonomics Association,
just a few. The contact information of ICOH IEA. In addition, ICOH has signed a Memo-
National Secretaries is available at: http:// randum of Understanding with International
www.icohweb.org/site_new/ico_national_ Social Security Association, ISSA, the Interna-
secretaries.asp tional Association of Labour Inspectors, IA-
LI; and most recently with the International
Association of Rural Health and Medicine,
Collaborative links
IARHM. These collaborative links provide an
ICOH works in close collaboration with the excellent forum for strengthening each others’
Inter-Governmental Organizations, the ILO training and information activities.
and WHO as their NGO in official relations.
We also work together with other Non-Gov- Suvi Lehtinen
ernmental Organizations active in the field of Vice President
occupational health, such as the International International Commission on
Occupational Hygiene Association IOHA, and Occupational Health
EWIC 2010 - 12th
European Workshop
on Imagery and
Asian-Pacific Newsletter themes in 2010
The themes of the Newsletters to be published in 2010 are:
2/2010 Injury and disease reporting systems
3/2010 Informal sector Helsinki, Finland
Manuscripts addressing the above themes and other topics in the field of occupational health and 16–19 June 2010
safety are welcome. If you plan to submit a manuscript, kindly contact the Editorial Office in advance.
Readers may also send proposals on potential authors and articles.

Contact: The European Workshop on Image-

Ms. Suvi Lehinen, Editor-in-Chief ry and Cognition (EWIC) is a biennial
Asian-Pacific Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety meeting devoted to scientific study of
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health mental imagery and cognition.
Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A
FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland The core topic covered by the work-
E-mail: suvi.lehtinen@ttl.fi
shop is mental imagery in the visuo-
spatial and other sensory modalities:
auditory imagery, action and motor
imagery, and imagery processes and
interference. Other themes related to
cognitive mechanisms in the intersec-
tion of memory and perception are al-
so represented: working memory and
attention, crossmodal and haptic spa-
ce, spatial cognition and navigation,
language comprehension and problem
solving, and sensory and cognitive de-

Applied issues in imagery and cogni-

tion research will have their own ses-
sion, and a satellite symposium ”Safe-
ty in Traffic” will be held in the context
of the EWIC 2010.
The 12th EWIC is organised by the Fin-
nish Institute of Occupational Health
(Brain and Work Research Centre) and
the University of Helsinki (Cognitive

Contact address:


Asian-Pacific Newslett on Occup Health and Safety 2010;17:21–3 • 23

Editorial Board Le Van Trinh
as of 1 December 2008 National Institute of Labour Protection
99 Tran Quoc Toan Str.
Hoankiem, Hanoi
Ruhul Quddus K. Chandramouli VIETNAM
Deputy Chief (Medical) Joint Secretary
Department of Inspection for Factories and Ministry of Labour Gabor Sandi
Establishments Room No. 115 Head, CIS
4, Rajuk Avenue Shram Shakti Bhawan International Occupational Safety and
Dhaka-1000 Rafi Marg Health Information Centre
BANGLADESH New Delhi-110001 International Labour Office
INDIA CH-1211 Geneva 22
Licencing/Monitoring Tsoggerel Enkhtaivan
Industries Division Chief of Inspection Agency Evelyn Kortum
Ministry of Trade and Industry Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Technical Officer, Occupational Health
Thimphu Labour and Social Welfare Inspection Agency Interventions for Healthy Environments
BHUTAN National ILO/CIS Centre Department of Public Health and
Ulaanbaatar 210648 Environment
Yang Nailian Baga Toirog 10 World Health Organization
National ILO/CIS Centre for China MONGOLIA 20, avenue Appia
China Academy of Safety Sciences and CH-1211 Geneva 27
Technology Lee Hock Siang SWITZERLAND
17 Huixin Xijie Head, International Collaboration
Chaoyang District OSH Specialist Department Jorma Rantanen
Beijing 100029 Occupational Safety and Health Division ICOH, Past President
18 Havelock Road, # 03-02
Leung Chun-ho Singapore 059764 Harri Vainio
Deputy Chief Occupational Safety Officer SINGAPORE Director General
Development Unit Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Occupational Safety and Health Branch John Foteliwale Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A
Labour Department Deputy Commissioner of Labour (Ag) FI-00250 Helsinki
25/F, Western Harbour Centre Labour Division FINLAND
181 Connaught Road West P.O. Box G26
Hong Kong, CHINA Honiara