The Labor Inspection Department of the Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Security announced that for the purpose of harmonization with the European Regulation (EU) 2016/425 on personal protective equipment, it has prepared new draft Regulations, expected to become effective on April 21, 2018, at which time the Essential Requirements (Personal Protection Equipment) Regulations of 2003 (PI 315/2003) will be abolished. Comments were due by July 31, 2017.
A new provision prohibiting vaping in certain workplaces is being added to the internal regulations of companies in France with more than 20 employees. Specifically, the use of electronic cigarettes (vaping) in premises with workstations, closed and covered and used for collective use, is prohibited from October 1, 2017. Although it will be prohibited to vaporize in common areas, it is not banned in individual offices. The employer must put in place signage on the prohibition of vaping. Failure to do so may result in imposition of a penalty. The act of smoking electronic cigarettes in the workplace in violation of the prohibition may also be subject to a fine.
British Columbia is consulting on proposed occupational exposure limits (OELs) based on the New or Revised 2013, 2014 and 2015 ACGIH TLVs. WorkSafeBC is proposing new or revised OELs for 20 substances, which include: acetone; butane, all isomers; glycerin mist; and naphthalene. WorkSafeBC also proposes a withdrawal of the OEL for Ethylidene norbornene. Comments must be submitted by 4:30 p.m., September 1, 2017.
Sleep as a Part of Workplace Wellness: Over the past few decades, workplace wellness programs have increasingly taken root in workplaces around the world. However, sleep, which along with diet and exercise is one of the pillars of health and wellness, receives relatively little attention by employers and workplace wellness programs.
This is a costly oversight. The National Sleep Foundation states that highly fatigued workers are 70% more likely to be involved in accidents.
Catastrophes due to fatigue include:
Lack of sufficient sleep can cause:
The study ‘Why Sleep Matters – The Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep’–quantified economic losses due to lack of sleep among workers in the U.S, UK, Canada, Germany, and Japan. It found the following:
To improve sleep outcomes, employers are recommended to recognize the importance of sleep and the employer’s role in its promotion: design and build brighter workspaces; combat workplace psychosocial risks; and discourage the extended use of electronic devices.
Poor sleep is linked to deviant behavior in the workplace—ranging from avoiding work and leaving early or arriving late, to rudeness, vandalism, and violence. (There was found to be a very narrow difference between sleep amounts for deviant and non-deviant behavior: people who slept fewer than six hours nightly were more likely to demonstrate deviant and unethical behavior the next day, compared to people who slept more than six hours.)
On the other hand, getting sufficient sleep increases job satisfaction while also reducing job-related stress. One large study showed sleep-deprived workers perceived their jobs as more demanding, felt they had less control in their work, and perceived their workplaces were less socially supportive. These employees also had higher stress levels.
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Why Sleep Matters to Every Workplace, February 26, 2016 at http://www.mentalworkout.com/blog/2016/02/26/why-sleep-matters-to-every-workplace/.
Sleep, Performance & the Workplace-National Sleep Foundation, at https://sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/sleepcarecenters/Sleep_Performance_the_Workplace.ppt.
The study used a large employer-employee dataset and data on sleep duration from the five countries to quantify the predicted economic effects from a lack of sleep among its workforce. http://www.rand.org/randeurope/research/projects/the-value-of-the-sleep-economy.html.
Lost Sleep is Costing Japan’s Economy Billions, by Keiko Ujikane, February 15, 2017, Bloomberg at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-15/lost-sleep-is-costing-japan-s-economy-billions.
 Lack of sleep costing UK economy up to £40 billion a year, by Rebecca Clarke, November 30, 2016, HR Review, at http://www.hrreview.co.uk/hr-news/lack-sleep-costing-uk-economy-40-billion-year/102670. Why Sleep Matters: Quantifying the Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep, Rand Corporation at http://www.rand.org/randeurope/research/projects/the-value-of-the-sleep-economy.html.
Why Sleep Matters: Quantifying the Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep, Rand Corporation at http://www.rand.org/randeurope/research/projects/the-value-of-the-sleep-economy.html.
Huffington Post The Social and Behavioral Costs of Sleeplessness to the Workplace
By Dr. Michael J. Breus, March 15, 2016 at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/the-social-and-behavioral-costs-of-sleeplessness-to-the-workplace_b_9443162.html.
Starting from July, to the end of October 2017, the Jiangsu Administration of Work Safety will carry out large scale, all-industries, general work safety inspections, covering all production entities and high population facilities. For corporations, the inspectors will specifically focus on the enforcement of both federal and local work safety laws and regulations, work hazard control and remediation efforts, emergency response management, and work safety education and training.
Starting on August 1, 2017, the Shandong Hazardous Chemicals Management Measures will officially be implemented in Qingdao, with a focus to remediate the high frequency of incidents in recent years. The implementation will focus on work safety training for entities and entity workers in hazardous chemicals industries, strict application of existing laws and regulations regarding hazardous chemicals, encouragement for better monitoring, and broadening of legal actions against rule breakers.