The newsletter of the Fire Information Group UK (FIG UK)
Edited by Sheila Pantry, OBE
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
This Newsletter contains:
- News from around the World
- Diary of Events
- New documents that may be of interest
- Abbreviated minutes of the FIG UK Meeting held on 19 September 2019
- Dates of Next Meetings
News from around the World
FIG UK Seminar held 10 October 2019: Keep up with the latest information and developments in the fire world, by Sheila Pantry OBE
On the 10th October 2019 the Fire Information Group UK (FIG UK) held the annual seminar to help members keep up to date with some of the latest developments in the wider fire world.
The speakers discussed a wide of range topics and details of their presentations can be found on the FIG UK website.
The programme included the following:
- Introduction by Chair Sheila Pantry OBE BA FCLIP, IOSH Lifetime Achievement Award winner 2013. FIG UK – Looking back – Looking forward and new ways of working. Setting the scene. Worldwide Fire, health and safety information sources – including new topics, research and developments and where to keep up to date.
- Dr James L D Glockling, BEng PhD MIFireE, Technical Director, Fire Protection Association, Director RISCAuthority talk was on Fire Research into Practice and Recent fire research including fires in thatched roofs. Also, where to keep up to date in information.
- Chris Jones, Chairman Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH), Director of Risk Management and Compliance, Cory Environmental discussed WISH fire guidance and tests – Reducing fire risk at waste management sites including Waste Industry and fires – current and future work. Also, where to keep up to date in information.
- Alasdair Hay, CBE QFSM MBA MCIPD MIFireE, Chairman, Fire Service Research and Training Trust described What the FSRTT does and how it can help those working in the fire industry – also where to keep up to date in information. See Fire Service Research and Training Trust.
- David Lane, MIFireE, AssocRINA, FRIN, Director of Training Events, Skybound Rescuer explained about the Missions in the use of Drones (UAS / RPAS) for Public Safety and Search and Rescue (SAR) – Future ways of working.
FIG UK membership available, visit: https://www.figuk.org.uk/form.html
Your duties to protect the health and safety of people affected by your work will not change with Brexit.
HSE’s guidance, health and safety made simple: the basics for your business, will help you to comply with the law.
You should continue to manage risk in your business in a proportionate way.
HSE has made minor amendments to regulations to remove EU references but legal requirements will remain the same as they are now. Health and safety standards will be maintained.
For full details visit https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit
Event: Electrical Product Safety Conference 2019
28 November 2019, Church House Westminster, London.
Shortlisted Applicants Announced for the Safety Innovation Award 2019 – Electrical Safety First created the Safety Innovation Award to recognise excellence of product safety initiatives within the industry. Following the success of last year’s award at our Product Safety Conference, we invited applications from organisations that have developed an innovative product or project that has or will make a demonstrable difference to improve consumer safety. We were overwhelmed by the quality of entries we received and after much deliberation are pleased to announce our shortlisted applicants for this year’s award: Electrolux Plc, Neo Mosudisa, Panduit Europe Ltd, Vodafone Group Services Limited.
All shortlisted applicants will deliver a short presentation to our panel of judges to demonstrate why their innovation should win the Safety Innovation Award.
The winner and runner up will be announced at our Product Safety Conference which is taking place on Thursday, 28th November 2019 at Church House Westminster, London.
Event: EU Fire Safety Week 2019 will take place for the first time on 18-21 November 2019 in Brussels, Belgium
“The vast majority of residential fires are preventable”, says Mike Hagen from the European Fire Safety Alliance. Therefore, EU Fire Safety Week will bring together the fire safety community and its regulators through a 4-day programme to take stock on technology, regulation and programmes and propose an EU action plan to reduce fires and their impact in Europe.
Europe suffers from 4,000 fire deaths per year but there is no solid data where and how these deaths occur. This makes it difficult to design regulation and prevention programmes. All starts from the availability of a good statistical database on fire in Europe.
Prevention programmes exist in Europe and elsewhere to improve fire safety. No single solution can solve all problems – we need an integrated, holistic approach covering fire protection, detection and rescue embedded in an overall culture of safety. It is important to organise an exchange of good practices to accelerate learning.
EU Fire Safety Week aims to raise awareness on fire safety, involve stakeholders, coordinate efforts, formulate recommendations and engage policy makers.
If you are working on fire safety as a regulator, as part of civil society, as a solution provider or in academia, firefighting or standardisation, here’s how to keep in touch with us:
- And join the EU Fire Safety Week: November 18 to 21, 2019 in Brussels.
- Engage with #EUFSW on twitter.
- If you have ideas for a workshop during EU Fire Safety Week, make contact through the website: www.eurofsa.org
European Fire Safety Alliance Newsletter
Share your knowledge ….
The European Fire Safety Alliance (EuroFSA) shares national knowledge and innovations on international level. It is an independent alliance of fire professionals and prevention specialists that does not support any individual fire safety product, technology or commercial organization.
EuroFSA is an authority on fire risk, based on a strong statistical evidence base. It does research, support and encourage research, studies and reports that highlight the dangers from fire in the home and support their widespread availability. It focuses on sharing knowledge and delivering strong scientific relevant consistent messages on home fire safety.
Regular stakeholder meetings
A core group of influencers on fire science and fire safety nurtures and motivate a worldwide network/group of stakeholders and leaders. This strong professional network is motivated and informed through regular stakeholder meetings and contacts.
The core group is formed by – Elie van Strien, former Chief Fire Officer (NL), – Krzysztof Biskup, former Director Scientific & Research Centre for Fire Protection (PL),– Chris Addies, Pres. Federation of European Fire Officer Associations (B),– Rene Hagen, professor of Fire Safety (NL),– Mike Hagen, former Deputy Chief Fire Officer (UK) and Rob Baardse, Executive Director Dutch Burns Foundation (NL)
EuroFSA welcomes the support of all individuals, organisations and technical partners who can participate and contribute in EuroFSA aims and ambitions. Join EuroFSA network! EuroFSA will keep you informed about the latest developments in fire safety and the network meetings.
Contact EuroFSA to receive EuroFSA newsletter: https://www.europeanfiresafetyalliance.org
Mental health ‘is a trade union issue’
The shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis has highlighted the positive role of trade union workplace reps in supporting members experiencing mental health problems. Speaking on the 10 October World Mental Health Day, the Usdaw general secretary said his union’s ‘Time for Better Pay’ survey of over 10,000 workers found that 63 per cent report that financial worries are having an impact on their mental health. He said the survey also ‘laid bare’ the issues that working people are facing as a result of low pay, short and zero hours contracts and insecure work. Lillis said: “Mental health is a trade union issue. Cuts to in-work benefits; rising living costs; wages falling in value; shorter working hours; redundancies, along with industry-wide cuts to budgets and staffing levels have left members feeling overstretched, overworked and undervalued.”
He added: “Our ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign seeks to tackle these deep-seated problems so many workers are facing… Usdaw is also training and resourcing our reps to help members who are struggling to cope and they are doing a great job.” The union leader concluded: “Usdaw’s ‘It’s good to talk’ campaign provides the union’s workplace reps with advice and resources to support members experiencing a common mental health problem such as depression or anxiety.”
Journalists’ union NUJ is also campaigning on mental health issues at work. “The NUJ will continue to campaign for more open, inclusive and humane workplace cultures and calls for media organisations to develop workplace interventions, training and commit resources to support those in mental distress,” it said.
More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/risks-919-19-october-2019#_Toc22294087
Mental health sick leave rises for emergency workers
Data from 57 fire, police and ambulance services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has revealed the number of staff who took time off due to mental ill-health rose by a third between 2014 and 2018. The figures obtained by the BBC show fire and ambulance services reported an increase in the number of staff taking mental health-related absences – such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and other stress – while police saw a slight drop in the last year after four years of rises. The figures released to the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act show more than 5,000 police officers, serving with 29 out of the UK’s 48 forces, took time off sick for mental health reasons during 2018/19, compared with just over 4,300 in 2014/15. Just over 2,700 ambulance staff took time off at nine of the UK’s 15 services in 2018/19, compared with just under 1,700 five years earlier.
There were 837 firefighters who took time off for mental health reasons at 19 out of the 49 services in the UK, compared with 608 in 2014/15. Dr Jennifer Wild, a consultant clinical psychologist at the University of Oxford, said PTSD and depression were the “most common” mental health problems affecting emergency service staff. She said this was due to “repeated exposure to and the cumulative effects of trauma” combined with other stresses such as “long shifts and unsocial work hours.” Matt Wrack, general secretary at the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said the “stigma” around mental health meant the figures would only represent those who were comfortable disclosing their distress to their employers. He said: “This might only be a fraction of those affected.”
More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/risks-919-19-october-2019#_Toc22294090
Diary of Events
5-8 November 2019 – A+A 2019 International Trade Fair for Safety, Security and Health at Work
12-13 November 2019 – Healthy Workplaces Summit 2019: ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances’
13-14 November 2019 – Innovations in Tunnels 2019
Plus 15 November 2019 Tour of Mont Blanc
“Latest Trends & Innovative Ideas Within Tunnels” – EnigmaCG’s Annual Conference on Innovation in Tunnels: Construction, Maintenance, Safety and Fire Protection touches on all aspects of a tunnel. Innovation and the emerging of new technologies that go along with a tunnel will always be highly sought after to ensure that not just newly developed but also existing tunnels adhere to these best practices.
13-14 November 2019 – 12th Fire Safety and Science Congress
Arnhem – The Netherlands
As promotors of the 12th Fire Safety and Science Congress, we are delighted to invite you on the 13th and 14th of November 2019 in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Our goal is to connect fire prevention with firefighting and science with practice. On this seminar fire safety and fire engineering specialists and senior fire officers from different countries will gather to exchange experiences concerning fire safety awareness.
Contact: The Instituut Fysieke Veiligheid (IFV, Institute for Safety), Netherlands | https://www.ifv.nl/congressen/Paginas/Congres-Fire-Safety-and-Science-2019.aspx
21 November 2019 – Health and Safety Worker Engagement and Leadership in the Waste and Recycling industry
Innside Manchester Hotel, M15 4RP, UK
Free to attend WISH event
Contact: Lynsey Mann, Chair of the WISH Worker Engagement group | Lynsey.Mann@gmb.org.uk | Tel: ++ (0) 20 3028 2319 | https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wish-worker-engagement-and-leadership-in-health-and-safety-conference-tickets-68590081781
10-11 December 2019 – Open Course First Aid for Mental Health Qualification
Organised by Heather Beach’s The Healthy Work Company. These are Level 2 Ofqual regulated assessed qualifications through Highfield Qualifications and the two days will provide you with two qualifications:
- Introduction to Mental Health Awareness
- Introduction to First Aid for Mental Health
These knowledge-based qualifications which are internationally applicable have the following key learning outcomes:
- Introduction to mental health, mental ill health and wellbeing including the Keyes continuum.
- Self-care and resilience
- Introduction to the principles of first aid for mental health including boundaries of the role
- How to recognise mental distress in self and others
- Promoting a well culture at work
Learners need a good level of English and must be 16 or over. ID must be presented.
The course is to be held at the H10 hotel near Waterloo and all refreshments are provided.
New documents that may be of interest
Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Particles among Firefighters and Police Investigators
Sjöström, Mattias; Julander, Anneli; Strandberg, Bo; Lewné, Marie; Bigert, Carolina
Annals of Work Exposures and Health, Volume 63, Issue 5, June 2019, Pages 533-545
The main aim of this study was to assess dermal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and airway exposure to PAHs, volatile organic compounds (VOCs; benzene and 1,3-butadiene), and particles among firefighters (FFs) and police forensic investigators (PFIs) in Sweden.
Effects of aerial ladder rung spacing on firefighter climbing biomechanics
Peter Simeonova, Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV, USA
This study investigated the effects of aerial ladder rung spacing on firefighter climbing biomechanics. Ten female and 9 male firefighters ascended and descended instrumented ladders with rungs spaced at 356 mm (current design) and 305 mm in a laboratory setup. The climbing tests were performed at five ladder slope and handrail conditions: 30 degrees with low (305 mm) and high (914 mm) handrails, 52.5 degrees with and without a low handrail, and 75 degrees without a handrail. Foot and hand forces and body movements were recorded and used to calculate joint moments of the upper and lower body. Reduced rung spacing resulted in reduced foot forces, reduced hand forces, and reduced ankle transverse moment. It was also associated with increased climbing speed for female climbers, and increased ankle vertical overshoot. The results indicate that reduced rung spacing on aerial ladders may lead to lower biomechanical stress; better climbing efficiency and safety; and reduced climbing speed disparity across sexes.
Fire Investigation for the Company Officer
Munson, Cliff; Bingham, Reed
Fire Engineering Books, November 2019, ISBN 9781593704872, 151 pages
Fire Investigation for the Company Officer is intended to supplement the approach to the challenges and problems faced by company commanders on the fireground.
Many fire department company officers and future company officers lack training in the science of fire investigation and a successful fire investigation often depends on the initial actions of the engine or truck company commander. This book provides company officers with tools to preserve a fire scene and conduct a preliminary investigation as to the cause of the fire and possibly identifying witnesses, victims and even suspects. It will also make a great text for teaching fire investigation classes.
Numerical Investigation on the Influence of Length-width ration of Fire Source on the Smoke Movement and Temperature Distribution in Tunnel Fires
Ji, Jie; Tan, Tiantian; Gao, Zihe; Wan, Huaxian; Zhu, Jiping; Ding, Long
Fire Tech, May 2019, Vol. 55, No. 3, 963-979
The behaviours hot and toxic smoke in tunnel fires hot and toxic smoke in tunnel fires is important to the engineering applications of fire protection systems. The shapes of fire source may affect the characteristics of smoke movement in tunnels. The behaviours hot and toxic smoke in tunnel fires hot and toxic smoke in tunnel fires is important to the engineering applications of fire protection systems. The shapes of fire source may affect the characteristics of smoke movement in tunnels.
Abbreviated minutes of the FIG UK Meeting held on 19 September 2019 at the Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London
Sheila Pantry OBE
Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd
Burgoyne Management Ltd
Boat Safety Scheme (BSS)
FDS Consult Ltd
Lane, Jefferies & Associates Ltd
Adair Lewis Fire Safety Management
London South Bank University, Explosion & Fire Research Group
Building Research Establishment (BRE) Compliance Team
Sheila welcomed everyone.
Minutes of the 14 March 2019 meeting were accepted.
Sally Walsh, FIG UK Treasurer circulated the latest Accounts.
Alyson Warner, FIG UK Auditor will be auditing the FIG UK accounts for the last year in due course.
FIG UK has four new members – FIG UK warmly welcomes the following:
From Arup, London – James Griffith, Richard Waites, Molly Atkin.
From Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC) – Phil Baugh – Local Authority Fire Engineer
The FIG UK Members’ directory on FIG UK website contains contact details.
Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, architects, consultants and technical specialists, working across every aspect of today’s built environment. Together Arup help their clients to solve their most complex challenges – turning exciting ideas into tangible reality as we strive to find a better way and shape a better world.
Phil Baugh has had a long experience in the fire industry – his career includes serving in the fire and rescue service and currently is Sandwell MBC Local Authority Fire Engineer.
Sally stated that FIG UK 2019 membership fees have been received. The FIG UK financial position is good. It was AGREED to not to ask for a membership fee for 2020.
5. FIG UK Seminar 10 October 2019
Latest Update on the 2019 Seminar by Sheila Pantry – organiser of the FIG UK seminars informed that all Speakers are in place; Imperial Hotel booked, ticket prices have been set for our 31st FIG UK Seminar – Mind the Gap 2019 in that any FIG UK Member and up to a total of 3 delegates from one organisation would be subsidised by £20 each person. Urgent Publicity for the Seminar is still needed. All we need are more delegates!
Sheila asked all FIG UK members to send out the Seminar information to everybody they know.
We need to let people know about the seminar by the end of September to ensure we have at least 25 delegates + speakers.
Sheila will send invitations from her long list of fire and fire related contacts.
Sally offered that Burgoynes will provide pens for the delegates’ packs.
6. Round Table discussions
Sheila Pantry, Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd asked if the FIG UK Members present with access to checking the journal details would each take a short list of Fire and related journals list that is on the FIG UK website to help bring it up to date. Paula, Alyson and Sally and her colleagues all agreed that they would help Sheila in the updating. A message will be sent shortly to all FIG UK Members informing them when the updated list is mounted on www.figuk.org.uk. If anyone has a favourite journal please send Sheila details of journal title, publisher details including full address, telephone, email, website plus frequency of publication.
Dave Washer, Canal and River Trust updated the information he had spoken about at the March 2019 meeting re CO is a major concern and that there have been 5 fatalities in the last 3 years in boats with inboard petrol engines. The Boat Safety Scheme has introduced a new Carbon monoxide (CO) leaflet including warning about charging up phones etc while the canopies are up preventing the CO being able to dissipate. CO alarms rarely used. New campaign is targeting hire craft. In terms of fire escape, the locking of rear entrances by padlock is a problem. Constantly having discussions with boat owners on all aspects of boats and safety.
Paula McCrudden, Hawkins – busy in the office on a wide variety of topics.
Sally Walsh, Burgoynes has now got the London Information Centre back in working order after a major redecoration session.
Alyson Warner is now a volunteer worker for Information for the Disabled organisation
Sheila Pantry is pleased to pass on the news that after a lapse of meetings in 2018 of the Fire Research and Statistics User Group (FRSUG) that three very useful meetings have been held in 2019.
Sheila is a member and attends meetings and always reports on the FIG UK activities as well as running both FIG UK and the FRSUG web sites. For information on FRSUG activities and papers presented in the past see website www.frsug.org
She is also a long time Member of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents National Occupational Health and Safety Committee and draws attention the strategic activities of RoSPA that last year celebrated its Centenary. See www.rospa.com for the wide areas of work covered during the current year.
Sheila’s company’s OSH UPDATE + FIRE collection of 26 validated and authoritative databases is arguably one of the most comprehensive electronic service in fire, occupational safety and health, environment and all aspects of the wide range of today’s workplaces.
Currently contains over 1,155,473 records including 115,187 full text documents. See the OSH UPDATE + FIRE newsletter. Anyone needing up to date and a budget friendly priced, constantly updated collection are welcome to a free 15 days trial www.sheilapantry.com/interest
7. Dates of next FIG UK meetings
Christmas mini meeting and meal at 2-5 pm on Wednesday, 11 December 2019… more details will follow about the location.
FIG UK’s first formal meeting next year is at the London Fire Brigade HQ, 169 Union Street London on 4 March 2020 starting at 1 pm. Please remember to have your lunch before the meeting, we do not now offer to provide lunch. Please put these dates in your 2019 and 2020 diaries.