In this issue: 1) In memoriam - Joan Burton. 2) News from WHO - We would like to welcome Dr Aliya Kosbayeva who has joined the team at the WHO European Center for Environment and Health in the position of Technical Officer, Occupational Health and multiple environmental exposures and risks in Bonn, Germany. 3) WHO collaborating centres in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific regions deepen their networking and collaboration - WHO collaborating centres for Occupational Health in South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions met on 13 November 2013 in Manila, Philippines to share information on their work plans and activities, assess the progress in implementing the Worker's Health Global Plan of Action and regional frameworks for action on occupational health, and to recommend potential areas for future collaboration. 4) Iran provides an example of how universal health coverage is possible - The Iranian health system is based on primary health care and covers about 95% of the population. Publicly provided primary care services cover formal and informal small workplaces with less than 50 workers. In rural areas, basic health services are provided by community health workers in health houses supported by the general practitioner (GP) and occupational/environmental health technician from the rural health centre. 5) MiNDbank ...Mental health information at your fingertips - WHO MiNDbank: More inclusiveness Needed in Disability and Development, is a new WHO online platform. It holds key international resources and national policies, strategies, laws and service standards for mental health, substance abuse, health, disability, human rights and development. 6) News from WHO collaborating centres and partners - As many employees spend a significant amount of time at the workplace, it is important to ensure good postures to prevent MSDs. To meet the needs of the increasingly tech-savvy workforce, the WSH Institute has developed the ergo@WSH - a free mobile application on the iOS and Android platforms. By tapping on the camera function of the smart-phone, users can take a picture or video and perform instant analysis of their sitting and lifting postures. Users can receive tips on improving postures and relevant stretching exercises, monitoring changes in posture and health complaints over time. 7) Making the EU Clean of AsBestos (ABClean): An EU project for strengthening lifelong learning - One goal of the project is to set up collaboration between countries at different stages of awareness and actions about asbestos. There is a need to unify the needed information and to aim at elaborating a common training strategy transferable to other countries and open to new inputs. In the long run the information should be extended to the developing world to prevent exposure in countries still using asbestos. 8) Long working hours and health status among employees in Europe: the importance of family models and labour market policies - Although in recent years interest in health problems related to long working hours has increased, studies concerning the different areas of health are still scarce and have been focused on very long working hours, which are uncommon in Europe. Although the European Directive on Working Time set a limit of 48 hours on average weekly working time, a decade ago, the European Parliament discussed for a few months the possibility of increasing the limit to 60 or 65 hours per week. 9) A lost opportunity for a surveillance system on occupational risk implementation in Portugal - If any doctor suspects that a disease may have an occupational cause, s/he is required by Portuguese law to notify the National Center for Protection against Occupational Risks (NCPOR), an entity of the Social Security Institute with legal and technical autonomy. To date, this notification is made on a paper support basis and the form is not easily available at health services for doctors' use, which is one of the main reasons for under-notification. Other reasons are the lack of pre-graduate training of medical doctors in occupational health and lack of feedback from NCPOR to notifying doctors and competent authorities. In 2010, the development of a web interface design took place for occupational diseases (OD) notification to be included in the NCPOR restructuring process. In 2012, the new Social Security Institute direction undertook an overall restructuring and the NCPOR has become an administrative department lacking all legal and technical autonomy. 10) Tolerancia "cero" a la violencia en el lugar de trabajo - Me voy a permitir comenzar esta reflexión recordando a Leymann quien sostenía que "en las sociedades de nuestro mundo occidental altamente industrializado, el lugar de trabajo constituye el último campo de batalla en el que una persona puede matar a otra sin ningún riesgo de llegar a ser procesada ante un tribunal". 11) GOHNET - Working and living on board ships - Seafaring is still regarded as a high risk occupation due to the extraordinary working environment of the seafarers on board. Nowadays, more than 1.3 Mio. seafarers exist working under multicultural conditions on a big scale that can be scarcely found in working places ashore. Currently, shipboard crews are normally composed of a majority of South-East-Asian seafarers. Considering the long-lasting contract durations on board (among Asians 10 months on average), the seafarers have to adapt over long time periods to non-habitual socio-cultural conditions during working and leisure time in an unfamiliar, hierarchically structured environment. Exposures to hazardous substances (transported or used for machine operation) and UV-light are also important health risks aboard ships. 12) WHO upcoming conferences, publications, links, and website addresses.
Public-health; Health-programs; Health-services; Occupational-health; Occupational-health-programs; Racial-factors; Humans; Mental-health; Health-care; Asbestos-products; Asbestos-workers; Work-intervals; Work-analysis; Surveillance-programs; Behavior; Seaman; Sociological-factors; Hazards; Psychological-adaptation
Dr Evelyn Kortum, Interventions for Healthy Environments, Department of Public Health and Environment and Social Determinants for Health. World Health Organization