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International Diploma in
Occupational Health & Safety
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Element IA8 Regulating Health and Safety.

Learning Outcomes:
On completion of this element, candidates should be able to demonstrate understanding of the content
through the application of knowledge to familiar and unfamiliar situations and the critical analysis and
evaluation of information presented in both quantitative and qualitative forms.
In particular they should be able to:
1. Describe comparative governmental and socio-legal, regulatory and corporate models.
2. Explain the role and limitations of the International Labour Organisation in a global health and safety
3. Explain the role non-governmental bodies and self-regulation has in securing common health and
safety standards in a global economy.

Relevant Standards:

International Labour Conference, Provisional Record 20A, Convention Concerning the.

Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health, International Labour.
Organisation, Geneva, 2006, Article 4: International system.
International Labour Standards, Occupational Safety and Health Convention, C155.
International Labour Organisation, Geneva, 1981
International Labour Standards, Occupational Safety and Health Recommendation R164.
International Labour Organisation, Geneva, 1981.

Minimum hours of tuition16 hours.

1.0 Introduction to Legislation.
Regulation and promotion of Health and Safety globally is variable. To this end, there are different
"frameworks" used across the world when addressing the issue of regulation.
Different States therefore take different approaches to:


In the European Union, Member States have enforcing authorities to ensure that the basic legal
requirements relating to occupational safety and health are met. In many EU countries, there is strong
cooperation between employer and worker organisations (e.g. unions) to ensure good occupational health
and safety performance as it is recognised this has benefits for both the worker (through maintenance of
health) and the enterprise (through improved productivity and quality). The European Agency for Safety
and Health at Work was founded in 1996 to cooperate with EU States on these issues.
Europe has incorporated another layer of legislation through the issue of Directives (see below), above the
Member State's own legislation. These Directives are legally binding on each Member State and the
hierarchy of implementation is similar to the United States federal and individual state system of legislation.
In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) has been regulating
occupational safety and health since 1971. Regulation of a limited number of specifically defined industries
was in place for several decades before that, and broad regulations by some of the individual states were in
place for many years prior to the establishment of OSHA.
In Canada, workers are covered by provincial or federal labour codes depending on the sector in which
they work. Workers covered by federal legislation (including those in mining, transportation, and federal
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1.0 Introduction to Legislation.

employment) are covered by the Canada Labour Code; all other workers are covered by the health and
safety legislation of the province in which they work. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and
Safety (CCHOS), an agency of the Government of Canada, was created in 1978 by an Act of Parliament.
The act was based on the belief that all Canadians had "...a fundamental right to a healthy and safe
working environment." CCOHS is mandated to promote safe and healthy workplaces to help prevent workrelated injuries and illnesses.
In Malaysia, the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) under the Ministry of Human
Resource is responsible to ensure that the safety, health and welfare of workers in both the public and
private sector is upheld. DOSH is responsible to enforce the Factory and Machinery Act 1969 and the
Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994.
In general, the "laws" concerning health and safety tend to derive from enacted legislation or regulations,
supported by codes of practice and standards.
In some areas of the world, such as South East Asia, it is compulsory to formally adopt a recognised Health
and Safety Management system. These systems are monitored impartially by approved auditors. There are
benefits in adopting such an approach. In the United States, organisations with approved management
systems can be exempted from normal inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
1.1 The Typical General Hierarchy of the Health & Safety Legal Framework.
The typical general hierarchy of the health and safety legal framework can be laid out thus.

There are substantial differences in the way in which laws are made and in the mechanisms that exist to
enforce or clarify any ambiguities in the law. A general outline of these differences is discussed below.
International law governs the relationships between sovereign states and other international institutions
recognised under such rules of international law, such as the United Nations.
Only sovereign states and recognised institutions can enter into agreements in international law and any
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1.1 The Typical General Hierarchy of the Health & Safety Legal Framework.
rules are only binding on these sovereign states and recognised institutions. In general, states must
incorporate such rules into their own legislation in order for the rules to become binding on other persons or
bodies. The power to make law is an aspect of sovereignty, but it does not follow that the law is the same
throughout a single sovereign's territory.
Differences may arise in two ways:

As new territory is added to old, or as two countries are combined under a single sovereign (e.g.
German reunification), the laws of the formerly separate units continue distinct unless and until the
sovereign assimilates one into the other.
When new law is to be made, the sovereign may legislate for only part of the territories either
because the territory has been divided into separate units, each with their own legislative bodies, or
because a single legislative body limits a new law to only a portion of the territory.

Hence, the extent of territory through which a given law applies is a political rather than a legal question,
more often than not the result of historical accidents involving the division or annexation of land. In the U.S.,
for example, the relationship between State and federal law reflects the evolving debate between local and
national interests and their respective claims to be supreme. Conflicts in law arise if a legal right or
obligation is validly created under one legal regime e.g. health and safety obligations arising under one law,
when seeking to operate within another jurisdiction. This issue, along with many other potential questions
can only be answered by recognising the potential conflicts between ''State'' laws, and producing formalised
systems to reconcile them.
Public International Law exists to provide a framework within which the relationship between sovereign
nation States can be regulated. It provides a system of contract called "treaties" and offers systems to
resolve disputes over territorial boundaries, access to the high seas, etc. However, it has no direct effect on
the municipal laws unless each nation waives its sovereignty. Hence, although the Hague Conference on
Private International Law makes recommendations, it is for each ''State'' to develop its own laws to address
and resolve actual conflicts of outcome.
The municipal law systems are termed Private International Law or Conflict of Laws, and fall into
four sections:

Jurisdiction: It is necessary for litigants to demonstrate a real connection between their dispute and
the court invited to adjudicate.
Characterisation (conflict) in which the court allocates the causes of action to their appropriate legal
classification subject to any issues of public policy (law).
Choice of law: where the result will be different depending on which law is applied, clear and
consistent rules must be applied to decide which competing law(s) should be applied.
The chosen law(s) (the ''lex causae'') should be applied: this is not straightforward because the
court in one State is being asked to give extraterritorial effect to another State's laws, thereby
making its own laws inapplicable (and, arguably, breaching sovereignty).
1.2 International Treaty Law.

International treaty law is in general, by definition, written and appears in the form of the text of the Treaty.
Conventions, agreements and protocols all fall under treaty law. It should be recognised that in addition to
Treaty law, there are also other forms of international agreement - in particular customary international law
- which do not stem from a written text. A rule can only be considered to be customary international law if it
is both widespread among states in terms of its adoption and if it is adhered to out of a sense of legal
obligation. However, customary international law is extremely difficult to characterise at any point in time,
particularly for environmental matters. The following therefore focuses on Treaty Law.
In treaty law, the parties to a treaty make their own law and for these parties a rule of customary
international law can be modified or overridden by a rule of treaty law. Treaties are, however, only binding
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1.2 International Treaty Law.

on the states, which are parties to them, and their relations with other (non-party) states continue to be
regulated by customary international law.
The creation of treaty law has several important stages involving firstly the development of the text at
diplomatic conferences. Once this process is complete and the text finalised, the treaty will be open for
signature. Signing the treaty, however, does not make it law though there are certain obligations on
signatories for example, to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty.
Each treaty will normally set out the conditions under which it will enter into effect, and these nearly always
require a specified number of states to become parties to it. This is achieved by the process of ratification
(for signatory states) and accession (for non-signatory states) whereby each state will deposit a document
of ratification (or accession) with the body identified in the treaty for this purpose. By this process, states
bind themselves to the treaty and will give effect to its provisions in their own laws. The entry into force of a
treaty normally occurs after a specified period following the receipt of the last of the specified number of
ratifications or accessions.
There are a number of documents, issued by international conferences, which can easily be mistaken for
treaties, particularly where they are signed by the participating states. In particular, Declarations and
Decisions are frequently mistaken for treaty law. These may often contain obligations which are stronger
than codes or guidance but do not necessarily have the same binding character as treaty law.
For example, the development of international treaty law for offshore oil and gas activities can be traced to
the UN Geneva Conference of 1958. This conference adopted four Conventions on the law of the sea and
included a provision for coastal states with sovereign rights to explore and exploit the mineral resources of
their continental shelves, thus providing for the development of the offshore oil industry.
As a result, in 1972, the UN Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) and its Declaration of
Principles laid down in general terms requirements for the protection from toxins and other wastes.
As outlined above, most legislation is the enacted will of a sovereign state, e.g. in the UK this is done
through Acts and Regulations. However, Member States of the European Union are, in addition, subject to
European Union Law (EU Law).
1.3 The Treaty of Rome.
Although EU law can be considered as the next tier in the statutory regime, its basis, the Treaty of Rome
(1957), which established the European Economic Community, is certainly part of international treaty law.
The Treaty of Rome provided a framework for common social and economic policies between its
contracting parties or Member States and for the unified development of these within what really amounts
to a supra-national rather than international institution. Accordingly, the means of creating rules and indeed
of enforcing them are distinctly different within this special European legal framework.
The Treaty of Rome had nothing specific to say about health and safety. Early Directives only touched on
health and safety under Article 100. However, Article 100A, added by the Single European Act 1986
provided that:
"The Council shall, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission in co-operation with
the European Parliament and after consulting the Economic and Social Committee, adopt the measures for
the approximation of the provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States
which have as their object the establishment and functioning of the internal market".
This Article was intended to deal with the problem of the veto that had been built into the original framework
of the Community's decision-making.
Eventually, Article 118A, was added to the Treaty of Rome by the Single European Act. This provided that:
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1.3 The Treaty of Rome.

"The Member States shall pay particular attention to encouraging improvements, especially in the working
environment, as regards the health and safety of workers, and shall set as their objective the harmonisation
of conditions in this area, while maintaining the improvements.
In order to help achieve the objective laid down in the first paragraph the Council, acting by a qualified
majority on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting with the European Parliament and the
Economic and Social Committee, shall adopt - by means of Directives - minimum requirements for gradual
implementation, having regard to the conditions and technical rules obtaining in each of the Member
States. Such Directives shall avoid imposing administrative, financial and legal constraints which would
hold back the creation and development of small and medium-sized undertakings.
The provisions adopted pursuant to this Article shall not prevent each Member State from introducing more
stringent measures for the protection of working conditions compatible with the Treaty."
1.4 European Law and Member States.
In the UK, a set of regulations known as the "Six Pack" Regulations came about as a direct result of the
This term refers to the following:

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3242) (EC Directive
Safe Use of Work Equipment, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (SI
1998/2306) (EC Directive 89/655/EEC).
Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/2793) (EC Directive 90/269/EEC).
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/3004) (EC Directive
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/2966) (EC Directive
Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/2792) (EC Directive

EU Law - its development and implementation

Six bodies are involved in the process of developing EU law. The responsibility and authority of each body
is defined in the Treaty of Rome as amended by the Single European Act 1986, the Treaty on European
Union of 1992 (adopted by the Maastricht Agreement), the Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 and the Treaty of
Lisbon 2007.
These bodies are:

The European Commission.

The Council of the European Ministers.
The European Parliament.
The European Court of Justice.
The Economic and Social Committee; and
The Committee of the Regions.

Of these, the European Court of Justice, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the
Regions are not directly involved in the preparation of legal instruments, but are involved in either
interpretation of the law or providing opinions on proposed measures.
On 1st December 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon came into force. This introduced a strengthened role for the
European Parliament: the European Parliament, directly elected by EU citizens, was provided with
important new powers regarding EU legislation, the EU budget and international agreements. The
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1.4 European Law and Member States.

Parliament was placed on an equal footing with the Council, representing Member States, for the vast bulk
of EU legislation.
Simplified working methods and voting rules were introduced, along with streamlined and modern
institutions for a EU of 27 members and an improved ability to act in areas of major priority for the Union.
Qualified majority voting in the Council was extended to new policy areas to make decision-making faster
and more efficient. From 2014 on, the calculation of qualified majority will be based on the double majority
of Member States and people. A double majority will be achieved when a decision is taken by 55% of the
Member States representing at least 65% of the Union's population.
The Treaty of Lisbon also created the function of President of the European Council elected for two and a
half years, introduced a direct link between the election of the Commission President and the results of the
European elections, provided for new arrangements for the future composition of the European Parliament
and included clearer rules on enhanced cooperation and financial provisions.
According to Article 249 of the Amsterdam Treaty, the Council and Commission shall make regulations,
issue directives, take decisions make recommendations or deliver opinions. There are also additional
instruments in the form of Resolution and Green and White Papers. All legal instruments are published in
the Official Journal.
These instruments have different levels and means of implementation in the Member States:

A Directive is an instruction to the Member States to introduce legislation. It is binding only insofar
as the result to be achieved by each Member State. However, each authority may choose the form
and methods to achieve those results within its own constitutional and legislative framework.
A Regulation has general application, is binding in its entirety and is directly applicable in all
Member States. It is used when there is no overriding need to allow some flexibility at Member State
level and where flexibility is unacceptable. An example of this is the Council Regulation allowing
voluntary participation by companies in the industrial sector in a community eco-management and
audit scheme (EMAS) 761/2001.
A Decision is binding in its entirety upon those to whom it is addressed. The addressees may be
one or more Member States, specific commercial enterprises or social-economic groups. Decisions
may include fines. An example of this is the European Parliament and Council Decision setting up a
Community framework for cooperation in the field of accidental or deliberate marine pollution
Opinions and Recommendations are not binding and are meant to encourage certain desirable
but generally unenforceable ways of behaviour in the EU.
Resolutions are issued by the Council and/or Parliament. They are intended to establish the
fundamental principles on which Community Action shall be based and to determine the period of
action. They are only declarations of intention.
Green Papers and White Papers are issued solely by the Commission. Both are consultative
documents. Green Papers are orientation papers whereas White Papers may lead to proposals for
1.5 State Law v Federal Law & the Hierarchy.

The term "State" has several meanings in law:

In private international law and conflict of laws, "State" can refer to a well-defined jurisdiction, with
its own set of laws and courts. This jurisdiction may either be a sovereign independent State or a
part (State, province, territory, etc.) of such a State.
In public international law, "State" most commonly refers to a sovereign State which is a direct
subject of international law.

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1.5 State Law v Federal Law & the Hierarchy.

For example, the United States is a State under both definitions, but California is a State only under the
For the purposes of private international law, a '''State''' is a defined group of people, living within defined
territorial boundaries and more or less subject to an autonomous legal system exercising jurisdiction
through properly constituted courts.
The usage of the term "State" rather than "nation" and "country" is to refer unambiguously to the legal
government of a territory, rather than to its people or culture.
In the majority of cases, countries are unitary, e.g. Italy and Sweden, which have just one legal system and
therefore, no problem arising with conflict.
In the case of countries electing to assume or retain composite or federated status, the extent to which
each separated regional unit will constitute a ''State'' will be determined by whether that unit has a
sufficiently significant volume of laws distinguishable from those applied in other units.
Hence, in the territorially separated States constituting the United States, the laws are sufficiently distinctive
to elevate them to ''States'' for this purpose. However, the use of federal law-making powers means that
countries may be single units for some purposes, and constituent States for others.
''Federal law''' is the body of law created by the federal government of a nation. A federal government is
formed when a group of political units, such as a State or Province join together to form a "federation",
surrendering their individual sovereignty and possibly powers to a central government while retaining or
reserving other limited powers.
As a result, two or more levels of government exist within an established geographic territory. The body of
law of the common central government is known as federal law.
Examples of federal governments include those of Australia, the United States, Canada, the former Soviet
Union, India, and Germany.
1.6 A Model of State v Federal Machinery - The United States of America.
Taking the example of the United States, Federal Law is the primary Law of the land (see below). The
United States Constitution provides for a federal government that is superior to state governments with
regard to its enumerated powers. These powers include the authority to govern international affairs, the
currency and national defence. After the American Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment applied the
Constitution's Bill of Rights to state governments. Issues that arise under any legislation passed by United
States Congress, an Executive Order of the President of the United States or a decision of United States
federal courts pursuant to the Constitution are governed by federal law.
The Supreme Court of the United States has the final authority to interpret the Constitution and makes final
decisions regarding all federal laws. United States federal laws are in the United States Code. We shall
discuss the issue of codification below, Deciding whether an issue involves state law, federal law or both is
not always easy because they often overlap. Taking the United States legal hierarchy as an example, the
Constitution would form the top of the pyramid.
The constitution establishes the federal government with three distinct branches, exercising:

Executive and.
Judicial powers.

Specific provisions for the separation of powers provide a balance between the branches, preventing any
one of them from becoming too powerful.
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1.6 A Model of State v Federal Machinery - The United States of America.

Article Six of the Constitution states that the Constitution, federal laws and treaties are the "Supreme Law
of the Land." Thus, no state may pass laws or act in any way to contradict or interfere with their authority.
The United States Constitution limits the power of the federal government to specific areas, leaving most
lawmaking power to the states. Until relatively recently, federal law was limited to court interpretations of
the U.S. Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, and to those areas of law that Congress was authorised
to address under the Constitution. However, Congress has determined that there is an overriding national
concern in such issues as social welfare, employment, health and safety, and the environment and so has
passed extensive legislation in these areas.
In the US, each of the fifty states has its own legal system, including a constitution that creates a distinct
system of government reflecting the three-part division of powers of the federal government. Each state
creates its own body of statutes, regulations and court decisions. Everyday issues such as commercial,
family and property matters are governed by state law.

Figure Above: map showing states of America.

However, many areas involve both state and federal law.
This includes health and safety.
As a general principle, if federal funds are involved, some element of federal law will be involved.
The Constitution authorises Congress to spend money for general welfare, including health and safety. To
do so, Congress has, since the advent of the New Deal in the 1930s, typically created cost-sharing
programmes in which federal funds are offered to state governments under certain conditions. Usually, the
state must match the funds in whole or in part and administer the programme in strict conformity with
Congressional requirements. While no state is required to participate in this type of programme, few states
refuse. State governments are normally given some freedom in administering these programmes and so
pass statutes and regulations to govern the state operation. A body of federal and state law is thus created.
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1.7 Goal Setting v Prescriptive Legislation.

By the beginning of the 20th century, there was a mass of piecemeal legislation in place covering many
types of workplaces and work activities globally. However, many activities were not covered.
This piecemeal legislation had several characteristics.
It was:

Specific, i.e. it related to particular classes of workplace or work activity.

Reactive, i.e. it was enacted to deal with a particular problem e.g. 'dangerous machinery'. It only
acted after there had been an accident and did little or nothing to prevent accidents from occurring.
Prescriptive, i.e. it said clearly what must be done or what must not be done in particular situations.

Following World War Two, the effects of the new social and technological environment were strongly felt in
the workplace. In turn, these affected health and safety.
For example:

The innovation and inventiveness demanded by the war effort had radically changed the nature
of industrial processes. For example, telecommunications; precision engineering; aviation and the
jet engine; nuclear power; electronics and computing.
The rebuilding of industry and housing to meet the challenges of the post-war years and the
demands of the population brought a boom in construction and in the manufacture of consumer
The role of women in the workforce had changed. In wartime women had been essential to such
normally unaccustomed jobs as munitions, factory work, agriculture and transport.
The expansion of the trade union movements, to which the war had put a temporary halt, revived
questions about management by consent, consultation and negotiation.
The nationalisation of key industries into state ownership changed the nature of the
employer/employee relationship in them and created new expectations about the employers'
responsibilities; and
Social attitudes after six years of war would no longer accept pre-war standards e.g. the
depression and unemployment of the inter-war years.

Goal (aim) setting legislation is concerned with the promotion of self-regulation. To this end, it is not
prescriptive. It sets goals and requires employers and others to manage health and safety so that they
achieve them. It allows for flexibility in safety and those who are responsible are allowed to use their
knowledge of activities to design the best controls for hazards
In Europe, there has been a move away from prescriptive legislation to employer self-regulation via risk
assessment. Other countries, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Norway have developed similar
self-regulation mechanisms.
In Finland, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Korea, China, Mexico, Costa Rica and Poland (to name but a few),
the ILO-OSH 2001 system has been adopted. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a United
Nations agency concerned with employment welfare. ILO-OSH 2001 offers a recommended occupational
health and safety management system. However, it is not intended to replace national laws, regulations
and accepted standards. The ILO recognises that a management system can only be successful when
operated in conjunction with a national policy for health and safety.
1.8 Advantages of Goal-setting Legislation over Prescription.
These include:

There can be less legislation which is more generic and less detailed.
It needs much less amendment and updating.
It can be supplemented by Regulations which are quick and easy to make.

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1.8 Advantages of Goal-setting Legislation over Prescription.

The necessary detailed guidance can be contained in Codes of Practice or Guidance Notes.

Limitations of goal-setting legislation against prescription. It does have some disadvantages.

There is a risk that employers will not realise what is expected of them.
Employers may feel that they can get away with the minimum compliance, since there are no
prescriptive requirements.
1.9 The Effects of Government Policy.

Government policy influences health and safety in many ways.

Goal-setting and self-regulation will reflect a style of government.

The reaction to major disasters, internationally, has shaped legislation and enforcement.
Budgetary restrictions.
Government interest in particular areas of workplace health and safety shapes policy and stimulates
focus on particular issues.
1.10 Schemes Designed to Improve Standards.

Breaches of Health and Safety can often result in mere fines.

Fines are a very limited and inadequate form of penalty for many reasons:

Often the level of fine is inadequate.

Once paid, that is the end of the matter.
Fines rarely affect the profitability of a company and the payment of dividends, so shareholders are
unlikely to be affected.
Some companies, which make limited profit or are facing difficult financial circumstances may be
tempted to cut back on safety improvements in order to pay the fine, which is therefore counterproductive.
There is no evidence indicating that fines lead to improved safety.

One response is to assess fines according to some index of the financial resources of the multinational
enterprise. For instance, under the European Union antitrust laws, fines may run up to 10% of the offending
company's previous year's turnover. In the case of multinationals, the fine is based on the world turnover of
the enterprise, not just the turnover generated within the EU by a local subsidiary.
However, this is a limited solution. Fines are ultimately enforceable only by seizing those assets of the
defendant that happen to be located within the boundaries of the country or jurisdiction bringing the case.
Thus, a large fine based on the global turnover of a multinational is only partly enforceable when the local
assets of the defendant are relatively small. Even where those assets are sufficient to cover the fine,
enforcing payment may drive the local operation out of business, with disastrous effects on workers and
trade creditors. Further, fines do not focus on the defective organisational policies and procedures which
often cause corporate offences.
More flexible and innovative penalties need to be considered if they are to be considered deterrents to
breaching health and safety legislation and allow for improvement in standards.
1.11 Schemes Designed to Improve Standards (cont'd).
Corporate probation is most likely form of sanction to achieve this objective.
Corporate Probation is a supervision Order imposed by a court on a company that has committed a
criminal offence. It is impossible, of course, to send a company to prison. Therefore, a corporate probation
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1.11 Schemes Designed to Improve Standards (cont'd).

or remedial Order is the most effective means whereby a court can require a company and its officers and
directors to alter their conduct in a particular way.
For example, in a case where a company has been found guilty of gross negligence and been convicted of
corporate manslaughter, the court will want to impose penalties which penalise the company for the
offence, which will deter future offences and which will instigate a change in culture, procedure,
organisation or activity so that such future deaths or injuries do not or are unlikely to occur.
If a company is fined, once the fine is paid that is the end of the matter. However under a corporate
probation or remedial Order, a company will be placed under supervision of the court. Half the fine could,
for example, be suspended pending satisfactory completion of the probationary period. A court may need to
appoint an expert or body to supervise the probation.
The terms of the probation Order might be that the company has to review its safety policy, its safety
procedures, initiate a training programme for directors and senior management or others, require a
reduction in accidents etc. If after completion of the probationary period, the company has satisfied the
terms of the Order then that is the end of the matter. If the company fails to co-operate or comply, the
suspended sentence could be invoked and further penalties could be imposed, including, if felt desirable,
the disqualification of directors.
To carry out the Order, the court will probably (but not necessarily in all cases) appoint an expert or health
and safety organisation to supervise the company and report back to the court. The Order and other
penalties would be in the public domain and therefore, by default, act as Adverse Publicity Orders.
The attraction of this type of Order is that it gives the court the power to set terms which will suit the
company's own situation and achieve a positive change in the way in which the company operates. It
provides a flexibility which other penalties do not and has as its objective achieving a positive and long term
change in company behaviour.
The United States of America and Canada are the main countries to introduce this option. In the USA,
corporate probation can be imposed on corporations that commit criminal offences. The main objective in
the USA seems to be aimed at forcing companies to pay restitution, preventing them from hiding assets or
subverting payment of restitution but it is clear that the US Sentencing Council also envisaged other types
of corporate criminal offence by giving courts the power to introduce "any probationary conditions related to
the nature and circumstances of the entire case and the purposes of sentencing."
In Canada, the purpose of corporate probation Orders is aimed at improving occupational safety. The
introduction of such Orders came about as a result of the 1992 Westray Mine Disaster in which 26 persons
lost their lives. Prosecution of the company failed because of the need to identify a controlling mind or
directing mind, similar to problems faced in similar UK prosecutions before the introduction of the Corporate
Manslaughter Act of 2007.
However, in the lead up to the Canadian Bill, considerable thought was given to alternative sentencing
The new Canadian law created a criminal code duty on "every one who undertakes, or has the authority, to
direct how another person does work or performs a take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to
that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task". The Canadian law provides for probation
Orders which could be useful in directly influencing the future conduct of organisations convicted of
1.12 Schemes Designed to Improve Standards (cont'd).
Among the optional probation conditions available are:

Making restitution.

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1.12 Schemes Designed to Improve Standards (cont'd).

Establishing policies, standards, and procedures to reduce the likelihood of subsequent offences
(however, the court must first consider whether it would be more appropriate for another regulatory
body to supervise the development of implementation of such policies, standards and procedures).
Communicating those policies, standards, and procedures to its representatives.
Reporting to the court on the implementation of those policies, standards and procedures.
Identifying the senior officer responsible for compliance with those policies, standards and
Providing, in the manner specified by the court, the following information to the public (i) the offence
of which the organisation was convicted, (ii) the sentence imposed, (iii) any measures taken by the
organisation to reduce the likelihood of its committing further offences and (iv) complying with any
other reasonable conditions considered desirable by the court in preventing subsequent offences by
the organisation or to remedy the harm caused by the offence.

Another severe limitation of fines is that they are targeted at the corporate entity and not at any personnel
who should be held accountable for the offence involved. This would be immaterial if personnel were
prosecuted successfully, but this rarely happens because enforcement resources are usually very limited.
Given the weaknesses of fines, non-monetary sanctions as outlined above could be more effective.
Possibilities include incapacitating an offending corporation by dissolution, forfeiture, plant closure or denial
of trading privileges.
Adverse publicity is a stronger weapon and one which has already been used against multinationals with
conspicuous success. Given the importance large corporations attach to having a good public image, there
is a strong case for exploiting this sensitivity by making publicity available as a court-ordered sentence. A
sentence of this nature would require a defendant to publicise details of its offences in specified media, an
approach adopted in a recent pollution case where a Los Angeles shipbuilding firm was ordered to expose
its wrongdoing in an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal.
Used skilfully, adverse publicity orders can hurdle jurisdictional barriers in sentencing. In cases such as that
of Browning Arms in Canada, for example, the practical upper limit of a fine is governed by the amount of
locally seizeable assets and the extent to which those assets can be seized without detriment to local
workers and trade creditors.
Adverse publicity is a potent sanction which can punish as well as spur internal compliance.
A sanction well-suited for this purpose would be the punitive injunction, a criminal variant of the civil
injunction. A punitive injunction could be used not only to require a corporate defendant to revamp its
internal controls but also to do so in some punitively demanding way. Instead of requiring a defendant
merely to remedy the situation by introducing state of the art preventative equipment or procedures, it
would be possible to insist on the development of innovative techniques. The punitive injunction would thus
serve as both punishment and super-remedy.
One advantage of an interventionist sanction like the punitive injunction is that it can side-step the difficulty
of trying to impose an effective fine on the local subsidiary of a multinational. The thrust of a punitive
injunction is not exaction of money but improving internal compliance. Consequently, it becomes possible
to impose a stiff sentence on a local subsidiary without financially crippling it.
1.13 Loss and Compensation Schemes.
Most civil cases are settled out of court, often under a confidentiality agreement. This is usually the result of
negotiation between insurers and lawyers. Often the settlement reflects both the need of the claimant to get
some recompense quickly and the defendant's realisation that costs as well as damages will be payable if
unsuccessful in defending an action.
Failure to protect individuals in health and safety aspects may result in personal injury. The Claimant in an
action to recover compensation may claim a "loss". There are different types of "loss" which result in
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1.13 Loss and Compensation Schemes.

payment of compensation known as "damages".
Pecuniary loss compares a claimant's financial position before and after the tort or wrong occurred.
It consists of:

Pre-trial expenses i.e. all the expenses reasonably incurred as a result of the accident from the time
it occurred up to the time of the hearing, such as medical expenses.
Pre-trial loss of earnings.
Future loss of earnings (which can be speculative).

Non-pecuniary loss looks at other losses less easy to quantify.

Awards for pain and suffering are based on the severity of the injury. There are generally adopted
systems of tariffs. This head of damages can include mental suffering due to shortened life
expectation or inability to live life to the full.
Loss of amenity reflects the inability of the claimant to continue a previous standard of living. For
example, impairment of the senses or abilities to pursue pastimes and hobbies.

In order to prove negligence, a claimant has to prove fault on the part of the defendant. This fault is the
failure to exercise the requisite standards as prescribed under national, international or case law.
Some countries, notably some states in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, have put in place systems of
"no fault" liability backed by insurance.
1.14 Advantages of a System of No-Fault Liability.
There are several possible advantages.
A system of "no-fault" liability would be likely to offer:

More consistency in damages.

More cost-efficient and quicker.
More just outcomes; fault-based actions can fail simply because it is not possible to prove the fault
Less likelihood of out-of-court settlement, which favours large corporations and their insurers.

Disadvantages of "no-fault" liability.

Surprisingly enough, there are some disadvantages:

More cases going to court. At present, the difficulty in proving fault in some cases keeps them out of
court. No-fault liability could encourage litigation.
Less satisfying to the claimant. In many cases the claimant needs the satisfaction of having a court
determine fault on the defendant.

New Zealand abolished negligence in 1972 and set up a no-fault liability system. Claims for personal
injuries are made through a Compensation Commission financed through contributions from employers and
the self-employed, drivers, health care providers and taxpayers. Injured persons unable to work claim up to
80% of pre-accident earnings. If they return to work at lower rates of pay than before, they can claim up to
80% of the difference. The system is said to work well.
1.15 Punitive Damages.
Punitive damages are not intended to be compensatory. They are awarded in order to reform or deter

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1.15 Punitive Damages.

pursuing a course of action such as a breach of health and safety procedure.
Punitive damages are often awarded where compensatory damages are deemed an inadequate remedy.
For their application in the UK (currently only in libel cases), it must be argued that:

There has been oppressive, arbitrary or unconstitutional actions by the servants of government.
A defendant's conduct was 'calculated' to make a self-profit and.
Where a statute expressly authorises the same.

It is noticeable that Australia and Canada, countries of the Commonwealth, are critical of these criteria and
have refused to follow them.
Elsewhere, Japanese courts do not award punitive damages as a matter of public policy and Japanese law
prohibits the enforcement of punitive damage awards obtained overseas.
In contrast, Punitive damages are a settled principle of common law in the United States. They are a matter
of state law, and thus differ in application from state to state. In many states, including California and
Texas, punitive damages are determined based on statute: elsewhere, they may be determined solely
based on case law. Many state statutes are the result of insurance industry lobbying to impose "caps" on
punitive damages; however, several state courts have struck down these statutory caps as unconstitutional.
In response to judges and juries which award high punitive damages verdicts, the United States Supreme
Court has made several decisions which limit awards of punitive damages through the due process of law
clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. In a number of cases, the Court has
indicated that a 4:1 ratio between punitive and compensatory damages is broad enough to lead to a finding
of constitutional impropriety, and that any ratio of 10:1 or higher is almost certainly unconstitutional.
In BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore (1996), the Court ruled that punitive damages must be reasonable,
as determined based on the degree of reprehensibility of the conduct, the ratio of punitive damages to
compensatory damages, and any criminal or civil penalties applicable to the conduct.
Most recently, in Philip Morris USA v. Williams (2007), the Court ruled that punitive damage awards must
be limited to the harm caused to the individual plaintiffs involved in the litigation at hand, although harm to
others may be a criterion in determining the reprehensibility of the defendants' conduct.
Question 1.
_____ clearly states what must be done or what must not be done in particular situations.
Question 2.
_____ compares a claimant
1.16 Mechanisms Used to Enforce Health & Safety Legislation.
Criminal action.
Non-compliance with the law of the state may result in prosecution in the criminal courts. Prosecution for
breaches of health and safety could include, fines, imprisonment or other sanctions such as being named
and shamed by the media. Those prosecuted could be individuals, employer or a corporate body.
The role and function of enforcement agencies and powers of enforcement.
ILO Occupational Health and Safety Convention C155 sets out broad requirements for member countries to
follow to ensure health and safety requirements are set into national laws and enforced.
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1.16 Mechanisms Used to Enforce Health & Safety Legislation.

The convention requires member countries to:

Set up mechanisms to enforce the laws and establish penalties for non-compliance.
Establish a system for inspection.
expects employees to be provided with information and advice on compliance.

Article 9.
1. The enforcement of laws and regulations concerning occupational safety and health and the
working environment shall be secured by an adequate and appropriate system of inspection.
2. The enforcement system shall provide for adequate penalties for violations of the laws and
Article 10.
Measures shall be taken to provide guidance to employers and workers so as to help them to comply with
legal obligations.
Different states take different approaches to the legislation, regulation and enforcement. In the UK the HSE
and local authorities enforce health and safety legislation, under powers provided under the Health and
Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
Under Section 20 of the Act, inspectors can exercise the following powers in carrying out their

(a) Enter premises at any reasonable time.

(b) To take a police constable or any other authorised person with him if there is likely to be
obstructions in the execution of his duties.
(c) To make examinations and investigations.
(d) To direct that premises or part of premises remain undisturbed.
(e) To take photographs and measurements.
(f) To sample or retain unsafe articles and substances.
(g) To dismantle or test any article or substance which is likely to cause a danger to health and
(h) To detain articles or substances for examination, and for evidence.
(i) To require answers to questions with a signed statement if necessary.
(j) To inspect and copy statutory books and documents or any other relevant documents.
(k) To require any person to afford him facilities and assistance to enable the inspector to exercise
his powers.
(l) Any other power.

Under the Act, Inspectors may also serve:

Improvement notices (Section 21).

Prohibition notices (Section 22).
1.17 Laws of Contract.

Definition of Contract.
The whole essence of business life is the making of contracts - contracts to perform work, contracts to buy
and sell, contracts to make something, to employ someone, or to use something. We must therefore know
what a contract is, and when we have one. A contract is an agreement between two or more people. Every
contract is an agreement, but not every agreement is a contract. Say two people agree about something to
be done; they are called "the parties".
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1.17 Laws of Contract.

Firstly, the subject of their agreement may be such that neither of them has the remotest intention that any
legal consequences should flow from it. For example, you invite someone to dinner and he says: "Yes, I
would love to come". You have an agreement, but if he just does not turn up, neither of you would expect to
hurry round to court and sue for the cost of the wasted food! So the first essential of a contract is that the
parties should intend their agreement to have legal consequences.
Secondly, the agreement reached may have certain things about it which make it such that the law will not
enforce it. In other words, although it is a contract, it is not a valid contract.
1.18 Essential Elements of a Valid Contract.
In order that an agreement can be a valid contract that the law recognises and will enforce, it must
contain certain essential features.

Agreement - There must be agreement between the parties, or a meeting of minds. This is called
"consensus ad idem".
Consideration - Usually there must be "consideration" present, i.e. something of value must be
given in exchange for a promise.
Legal Relations - There must be an intention to create legal relations.
Legal Capacity - The parties must have legal capacity to contract, e.g. persons must be over 18
years of age.
No Illegal Circumstances - There must be no circumstances surrounding the contract which make
it unenforceable, void (i.e. as if it had never existed) or illegal.
Form of Contract - Most contracts are equally valid and effective whether they are oral or written.
The only difficulty with oral contracts is that the parties may not properly remember what they
actually agreed, and it is more difficult - should need arise - to prove the details of the agreement.
Simple Contracts - There are different types of contract which must be studied by the student of
contract law. However, for our purposes, it is sufficient to know that the majority of contracts are
classified as simple contracts, whether in writing or parol (i.e. verbal). The limitation period for
simple contracts is six years.
1.19 Elements of the Contract -The details.

The Agreement.
As we have seen, in order to have a contract there must be an agreement, a "consensus ad idem" - there
must be an offer and an acceptance. However simple or however complicated the contract may be, this
rule is invariable. For example, at one end of the scale you may say: "I will sell you this book for 5". The
other person replies: "OK". Offer has been followed by acceptance, hence there is a contract.
At the other end of the scale, a civil engineering contractor may submit tender documents for the
construction of a dam for 200 million. After months of negotiation, all the details will finally be accepted.
Once again, an offer has been made and accepted. A contract exists, as you can imagine, a number of
rules have grown up to regulate and decide on whether a valid offer or acceptance has been made.
1.20 The Offer.
The Offer.
An offer is an expression by one person (the"offeror") that he (or she) is willing to contract with another (the
"offeree") on specified terms. If it is to form the basis of a contract, the offeror must intend that legal
consequences shall result.
An offer can be made to one or more specified people, or it can be general, made to "the world at
large", and can take a number of forms:

An offer made to one or more specified persons either verbally or in writing; this is straightforward.

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1.20 The Offer.

An offer made to "the world at large"; this is where a person announces that he will do so and so, if
anyone who cares to accept will do what is required by the offer.

For example, a person puts an advertisement in the newspaper: "10 reward will be given to anyone who
returns my lost dog, Fido".
That is a valid offer to anybody who finds Fido and duly returns him.
1.21 Invitation to Treat.
Invitation to Treat.
An offer must be distinguished from both a request for information, and an invitation to make an offer,
neither of these creates the basis of contractual relations.
There are many instances of "invitations to treat".

(a) A shopkeeper (or supermarket) which displays goods marked at a certain price is inviting the
public to make an offer. The price tag is merely an indication of the price he (or it) is likely to accept.
"He does not bind himself to sell at that price, or at all": what happens is that in a shop or
supermarket the act of taking goods off the shelf contractually means nothing. However, putting
them down in front of the shopkeeper or cashier constitutes an offer to buy (at the named price,
unless otherwise stated in the offer). Ringing the price up on the till constitutes acceptance.
(b) At an auction, the list of goods in the auction program is an invitation to treat. A bid constitutes
an offer. As with other offers, this can be withdrawn at any time before the fall of the hammer, which
constitutes acceptance.
1.22 Communication of Offer.

Communication of Offer.
In order to be effective, an offer must be communicated to the offeree, or at least he must know about it.
This is not quite as obvious as it sounds, because if a person does something in ignorance of the offer, he
can neither reap the benefit nor be bound by any obligations.
To revert to our example concerning "offers to the world at large", if Fido had his owner's address on his
collar, and the finder returned the dog without knowing about the offer of a reward, he would not be entitled
to it.
1.23 Termination of Offer.
Termination of Offer.
An offer, once made, does not remain open for acceptance indefinitely. It can terminate for a number of
reasons, and once terminated is no longer capable of being accepted.
An offer terminates in four ways:
1. Withdrawal.
Unless an offer specifically states that it is irrevocable, or that it will remain open for a definite stated
time, then it can be withdrawn at any time before it has been accepted provided, that is, that the
revocation has been communicated to the offeree.
2. Rejection.
This is fairly obvious. A point to note is that the act of rejection destroys the offer, and the offeree
cannot change his mind and later accept. Rejection does not have to be expressed: it can be
implied; it is sufficient if the offeror can reasonably infer from the offeree's conduct that he does not
intend to accept.
3. Lapse.
An offer will lapse and thereafter be incapable of acceptance in three events:
o If the offer specifically stated that it would cease on, or had to be accepted by, a certain date.
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1.23 Termination of Offer.


If it stated that it was conditional upon some circumstances other than time.
If it is not accepted within a "reasonable" time.

It would plainly be quite wrong if every offer remained open for ever and a day unless the offeror
remembered to withdraw it. Hence this rule, but what constitutes a "reasonable" time depends on
the facts of the particular case. An offer to buy perishable fruit or vegetables will lapse after quite a
short period; one to sell a house or a motor car will remain open much longer.
4. Death of Either Party Before Acceptance.
The death of the offeree always terminates an offer. His personal representative cannot accept on
his behalf. There is some doubt in the law as to whether an offer can be accepted if the offeree is
not aware of the death of the offeror. One view states that the death of the offeror automatically
terminates the offer and knowledge of it is immaterial. The better view is probably that it is
terminated only if the offeree is aware of the fact, unless the personality of the offeror is an essential
ingredient of the matter.
1.24 Acceptance.
The acceptance of an offer must be absolute and unqualified. Offer and acceptance must correspond in
every particular. If a purported acceptance alters or qualifies the offer in any way, it constitutes a rejection
of the offer, followed by a counter-offer. The counter-offer is then open to acceptance or rejection in the
same way as the original offer.
It sometimes happens that the parties to a contract will agree in principle only, leaving many details
unresolved, or they will agree only certain things, or omit other necessary matters. These are called
incomplete agreements. Quite often a contract is only incomplete in that, whilst the parties have agreed
most of the important aspects, they have left out something of minor importance, or they have merely not
explained exactly what they meant.
In such cases the courts may imply meaning into the terms expressed by the parties, where it is possible to
do so. In such a case, where the courts can ascertain the true meaning of the parties, then the contract will
not be void for uncertainty. In other cases, where the parties have not expressed the full terms of the
agreement, then statutes may imply terms, in particular the Sale of Goods Act 1979 in consumer sales.
1.25 Consideration.
"Consideration" is an essential element of a valid contract in English law. In certain other jurisdictions this
is not the case; however, historically, the common law of England has always viewed a contract as a
bargain; both sides must give something. In passing (and of no concern for your exam purposes) the only
exception to this rule is in the case of contracts under seal - specialty contracts - which do not require to be
supported by consideration.
A number of rules have grown up over the doctrine of consideration and, in practice in commercial
contracts consideration is invariably present. There are various types of consideration - "good", "valuable",
"nominal" and "bad". In order to be valid, consideration must be both "good" and "valuable". Valuable
consideration is where some benefit is given or some detriment suffered. It is only consideration which is
valuable in the eyes of the law which is sufficient to support a valid contract, although it must also be good,
in the sense that it is not forbidden, or "bad"
Consideration has been defined as:

A valuable consideration, in the sense of the law, may consist either in some right, interest, profit or

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1.25 Consideration.
benefit accruing to the one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given,
suffered, or undertaken by the other.
A shorter and easier definition is:

The price for which the promise is bought.

So the essential feature is that there must be some benefit accruing to the promisor (i.e. the person who
makes a promise). Usually the benefit and the detriment are the same thing, looked at from the different
viewpoints of the parties. If I buy a book from you for 1, the 1 is a benefit to you and a detriment to me.
On the other hand, the book is a detriment to you (because you no longer have it) and a benefit to me.
1.26 Intention to Create Legal Relations.
Intention to Create Legal Relations.
The requirement for the parties to a contract to intend that their agreement should have legal
consequences is an essential part of the contract. The principle is that even if consideration is present, an
agreement is not a binding contract unless there is an intention that legal consequences shall flow from it.
If, in their agreement, the parties expressly state that they do not intend that their agreement shall be
legally binding, this is normally conclusive. These are so-called gentlemen's agreements or in honour only
agreements. Where people are negotiating for a contract, or salespeople are attempting to sell their
products, statements are often made which induce a contract, or which may give the impression that a
contract has been made. Difficulties can then arise as to whether the statement was a "mere puff" - not
meant to be taken seriously - or whether it was a representation intended to have contractual effect.
Rarely, if ever, do social or domestic agreements give rise to the implication that legal consequences were
It has been held that the winner of a golf competition had no legal right to the prize, because no one
connected with the competition intended such results to flow from the entry of competitors.
In the case of agreements between members of a family, some are, and others are not, intended to have
legal consequences. There is no reason why a husband cannot contract with his wife, or a father with his
son. But, on the other hand, such pacts are frequently not meant to have this effect.
It is obviously much easier to imply contractual intent in an agreement between two commercial
organisations operating at "arm's length" than it is between immediate members of a family.
As always, if the situation is not expressly stated, the court has to construe the agreement and all the
circumstances surrounding it. A different situation may arise in the "pools syndicate" type of agreement. It is
quite a widespread practice for members of a household, group of friends, or employees in a business to
participate on a regular basis in a football-pools scheme or some other form of prize competition.
A leading case is Simpkins v Pays (1955). The defendant owned a house in which she lived with X, her
granddaughter, and the plaintiff, a paying boarder. The three took part together each week in a competition
organised by a Sunday newspaper. The entries were made in the defendant's name but there was no
regular rule as to the payment of postage and other expenses. One week the entry was successful and the
defendant obtained a prize of 750. The plaintiff claimed a third of this sum but the defendant refused to
pay, on the ground that there was no intention to create legal relations but only a friendly adventure.
Judgement was given to the plaintiff. The court held that there was an intention to create legal relations,
and it was "a joint enterprise to which each contributed in the expectation of sharing any prize that was
1.27 Classification of Statements and Terms.
Classification of Statements and Terms.

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1.27 Classification of Statements and Terms.

All but the very simplest of contracts can be broken down into a number of constituent parts:

Promises to do something, or to abstain from doing something else.

Statements of fact or of opinion.
Assurances of quality, quantity or performance.

However, it is rare for all the terms of a contract to be actually written down or agreed between the parties.
Certain things are too obvious to need mentioning; some are simply forgotten, others are matters to which
the parties never gave thought. Hence, terms are classified as express or implied.
1.28 Express Terms.
Express Terms.
These are the terms of the contract which have been specifically agreed between the parties, whether in
writing or verbally, i.e. they have been expressed.
Of these, some are plainly of greater importance than others:

(a) Fundamental terms are those on which the whole basis of the contracts rests, or the "core" of
the agreement. What is, or is not, fundamental can be specifically agreed, but if it is not it is a
question of fact for the court to determine.
(b) Collateral or ancillary terms are those which support the fundamental terms, or perhaps "add
flesh to the bones". They are not in themselves vital to the validity of the contract.
1.29 Implied Terms.

Implied Terms.
Terms which, for one reason or another, have been omitted from the specific agreement often need to be
put into the contract in order that it may make sense.
Courts have the power to interpret the agreement of the parties to represent what they (the courts) believe
the parties would have agreed if they had put their minds to that particular problem when drawing up the
contract. This is the implication of terms by the courts at common law, either for business efficacy, or
necessity or to imply meanings into express terms where they will reflect the presumed intention of the
The court's function is to interpret and apply the contract which the parties have made for themselves. If
express terms are perfectly clear and free from ambiguity there is no choice to be made between different
possible meanings - the clear terms must be applied. An unexpressed term can be applied only if the court
finds that the parties must have intended that term to form part of their contract. It must be a term that goes
without saying - a term necessary to give business efficacy to the contract and which, although tacit,
formed part of the contract which the parties had made for themselves.
Thus in relation to terms, courts are restricted in the way in which they can imply meaning. They may
attempt to interpret an express clause which is in any way ambiguous to reflect the presumed intent of the
parties, but they cannot change an express clause which is unambiguous.
This principle of finding the parties' true intent is well illustrated by the old case of The Moorcock (1889).
There, a ship was moored alongside a wharf. There was sufficient water clearance for the laden ship at low
water and it rested upon the river bed. There was a rocky shelf on the bed and this caused the ship to
break its back and sink. The court's view was that there could be a term implied that the wharf would be fit
for use by a ship of that size and draught. They stated that in doing so, they were not inserting anything
new in the contract but merely reflecting what the parties had actually agreed, even though they had not
specifically written it in. The test in this case is known as the officious bystander and is stated by Lord
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1.29 Implied Terms.

Justice Mackinnon to be as follows:
"Prima facie that which in any contract is left to be implied and need not be expressed is something so
obvious that it does without saying; so that, if while the parties were making their bargain an officious
bystander were to suggest some express provision for it in their agreement, they would testily suppress him
with a common 'Oh, of course'."
Terms may be implied:

By Custom.
If a certain thing is customary in the particular trade, it will readily be implied into contracts in respect
of that trade. The same applies if a thing is the custom in a particular district or place. In order to be
implied, the custom must be notorious, certain and reasonable and not offend against the intention
of any legislative enactment.

By Statute.
Certain statutes provide that in the absence of specific agreement, terms will automatically be implied into
contracts dealing with the subject matter of the statute.
The principal UK ones are:

Sale of Goods Act 1979.

Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973.
Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.
Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994.

We shall now take a look at the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 1987 which deals with vendor and
consumer relationships. It is worth noting that the principles established by the Act, may also apply in many
countries around the world.
1.30 Consumer Protection Act 1987.
Summary of the main features of the Consumer Protection Act.
The Consumer Protection Act is arranged in 5 parts and 5 schedules:

Part I Product Liability.

Part II Consumer Safety.
Part III Misleading Price Indications.
Part IV Enforcement of Parts 2 and 3.
Part V Miscellaneous and Supplemental.


SCHEDULE 1 Limitations of Actions under Part 1.

SCHEDULE 2 Prohibition Notices and Notices to Warn.
SCHEDULE 3 Amendments of Part 1 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
SCHEDULE 4 Minor and Consequential Arrangements.
SCHEDULE 5 Repeals.

Part I.
Part I of the Act, which implements into UK law the provisions of the Product Liability Directive
(85/374/EEC), came into force on 1 May 1988. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 removes the need to
prove negligence. A customer can already sue a supplier, without proof of negligence, under the sale of
goods law. The Act provides the same rights to anyone injured by a defective product, whether or not the
product was sold to them.
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1.30 Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Who is liable? An injured person can take action against :

Producers - those who manufactured the product, mined the raw material and processors.
Importers - in the European Community and not just the UK.
Own-branders - suppliers who put their own name on the product to give the impression that they
are the producers.

What goods does it cover? Liability under this part of the Act applies to all consumer goods and goods used
at a place of work. From 4 December 2000 all food is covered.
Definition of defective product: 'one where the safety of the product is not such as persons generally are
entitled to expect.' This provides an objective test of defectiveness.
When deciding whether a product is defective, a court will take into account all the relevant
circumstances including:

The manner in which a product is marketed.

Any instructions or warnings that are given with it.
What might reasonably be expected to be done with it.
Yhe time the producer supplied the product.

A person can sue under the Act for compensation for:

Personal injury.
Private property (provided the amount of loss or damage is 275 or more).

A producer or importer can avoid liability if he can prove any of six defences:
1. He did not supply the product (e.g. it was stolen or is a counterfeit copy of his products).
2. The state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time he supplied the product was not such
that a producer of products of the same description as the product in question might be expected to
have discovered the defect if it had existed in his products while they were under his control (the socalled "development risks defence").
3. The defect was caused by complying with the law. Compliance with a regulation will not necessarily
discharge a producer from liability; in order to claim the defence he would have to show that the
defect was the inevitable result of compliance.
4. The defect was not in the product at the time it was supplied (e.g. if a product becomes defective
because a retailer handles it carelessly).
5. The product was not supplied in the course of a business, for example, the donation of homemade
toys for sale at the occasional church bazaar or sales by private individuals of second-hand goods.
6. The producer of a component will not be liable if he is able to show that the defect was due either to
the design of the finished product, or to defective specifications given to the component
manufacturer by the producer of the finished product.
Part II.
Section 10 General Safety Requirement .
The General Safety Requirement has been largely superseded by the General Product Safety Regulations
1994 (the GPS Regulations), which came into force on 3 October 1994
Section 11 of the Act enables the Secretary of State to make emergency regulations, without consultation,
when it is necessary on grounds of public protection. Such regulations, which can cover both new and
second-hand goods, can set out in detail how specific products must be constructed, and what instructions
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1.30 Consumer Protection Act 1987.

and warnings must be given. Failure to meet the requirements of safety regulations made under the Act
can result in a fine not exceeding Level 5 on the standard scale (currently 5000) or a prison term of up to
six months, or both.The Act also provides powers for the Secretary of State to make prohibition notices
preventing named suppliers from supplying particular unsafe products.
Enforcement of the safety provisions of the Act is primarily the responsibility of trading standards officers of
local authorities. Enforcement officers have authority to make test purchases, seize, enter premises for the
purpose of ascertaining whether there has been a breach of safety provisions of the Act and bring
prosecutions. They can also issue suspension notices prohibiting suppliers from selling goods which they
believe contravene safety legislation.

There are three types of notices that can be served:

Prohibition notice -this notice can be served in respect of any unsafe goods prohibiting supply, offer
or agreement to supply, or exposing or possessing for supply.
Notice to warn - this notice can be served and requires the publication of warnings about unsafe
Suspension notice - this notice can be served and prohibits for a period not exceeding six months,
supply, offer or agreement to supply, or exposing for supply, any goods in respect of which there is
reasonable ground to suspect the contravention of any safety provison.

Part III.
Part III of the Act is concerned with criminal liability relating to misleading price indications.
In order for organisations to ensure that they are meeting their obligations under the Consumer
Protection Act they should:

Review management procedures and stages of production to ensure that only safe products reach
the customer.
Check whether there are any mandatory requirements covered by specific regulations for the
organisation's products.
Introduce quality assurance at each stage of the production process.
Review contractual arrangements with whom the business has relevant contracts.
Ensure that records kept by the organisation are adequate.

Organisations which have adopted quality systems such as BS EN ISO 9000 family of standards may
already have these preventative measures in place.
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is available on the following link:
1.31 Summary.
A contract is an agreement between two or more people. A valid contract must contain certain essential
features including agreement, consideration, legal relations, legal capacity and no illegal circumstances.
An agreement involves an offer and an acceptance. An offer can be made to one or more specified
persons, verbally or in writing; alternatively, it can be made to the world at large. An offer must be
communicated to the offeree, or at least he must know about it, and an offer can be terminated by
withdrawal, rejection, lapse or death of either party before acceptance.
Acceptance of an offer must be absolute and unqualified; if a purported acceptance alters or qualifies the
offer, it constitutes a rejection of the offer, followed by a counter-offer, which is then open to acceptance or
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1.31 Summary.
Consideration is "the price for which the promise is bought". Although consideration must be of some
quantifiable value, it does not have to be adequate, but it must be real.
The parties to a contract must intend that their agreement should have legal consequences, and the parties
must be legally capable of entering into a contract.
The terms of a contract are classified as express (specifically agreed between the parties) or implied
(omitted from the specific agreement, but which need to be put into the contract in order that it make
Contracts may be illegal by statute (the contract itself is illegal and incapable of creating any rights) or by
common law (contrary to public policy).
With regard to performance of a contract, a person must perform exactly what he has promised to do, but
the law will not take note of trivial matters or differences
2.0 The Role & Limitations of International Organisations in a Global Health & Safety Setting - The
United Nations.
Students are advised to spend some time reading through the notes below and gaining an insight into the
United Nations, its background and its infrastructure.
Later, this information may help when considering the wider perspective of International law and its
influence locally.
2.1 The Foundation of the U.N.
The foundation of the U.N.
The United Nations (UN) is an international organisation whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in
international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. It
was founded in 1945 at the signing of the United Nations Charter by 50 countries, replacing the League of
Nations, founded in 1919.
The UN was founded after the end of World War II by the victorious Allied Powers in the hope that it would
act to intervene in conflicts between nations and thereby avoid war. The organisation's structure still reflects
in some ways the circumstances of its founding.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, each of which has veto power on any UN
resolution, are the main victors of World War II or their successor states:

People's Republic of China (which replaced the Republic of China).

The French Republic.
The Russian Federation (which replaced the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
The United Kingdom.
The United States of America.

As of 2010, there are 192 United Nations member states, encompassing almost every recognised
independent state. From its headquarters in New York City, the UN and its specialised agencies decide on
substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout each year.
The organisation is divided into administrative bodies, including:

The General Assembly.

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2.1 The Foundation of the U.N.

Security Council.
Economic and Social Council.
Trusteeship Council, and.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The Trusteeship Council suspended operations in 1994 after Palau, the last of the trust territories for which
it was responsible became a full member of the UN. It still exists but its status is uncertain.
Additional bodies deal with the governance of all other UN System agencies, such as the World Health
Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The UN's most visible public figure is
the Secretary-General. The current Secretary-General is Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, who assumed the
post on 1st January 2007.
The Founding Statement of the United Nations.
We, the peoples of the united nations determined:

To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought
untold sorrow to mankind, and.
To reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the
equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and.
To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and
other sources of international law can be maintained, and.
To promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

And for the ends:

To practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and.
To unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and.
To ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not
be used, save in the common interest, and.
To employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all

Have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims.

Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco,
who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter
of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organisation to be known as the United

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2.1 The Foundation of the U.N.

Harry Truman at the founding conference in San Francisco, 1945.

Wartime poster of the United Nations.

2.2 League of Nations and History of the United Nations.
The United Nations was founded as a successor to the League of Nations, which was widely considered to
have been ineffective in its role as an international governing body, in that it had been unable to prevent
World War II. Some argue that the UN's major advantage over the League of Nations is its ability to
maintain and deploy its member nations' armed forces as peace keepers. Others see such "peace keeping"
as a euphemism for war and domination of weak and poor countries by the wealthy and powerful nations of
the world.
The term "United Nations" (which appears in stanza 35 of Canto III of Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage)
was decided by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during World War II, to refer to the Allies. Its
first formal use was in the 1st January 1942 Declaration by the United Nations, which committed the Allies
to the principles of the Atlantic Charter and pledged them not to seek a separate peace with the Axis
powers. Thereafter, the Allies used the term "United Nations Fighting Forces" to refer to their alliance.

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2.2 League of Nations and History of the United Nations.

Winston Churchill.
The idea for the UN was espoused in declarations signed at the wartime Allied conferences in Moscow,
Cairo, and Tehran in 1943. From August to October 1944, representatives of France, the Republic of
China, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union met to elaborate the plans at the
Dumbarton Oaks Estate in Washington, DC. Those and later talks produced proposals outlining the
purposes of the organisation, its membership and organs and arrangements to maintain international peace
and security and international economic and social cooperation.
On 25th April 1945, the UN Conference on International organisations began in San Francisco. In addition
to the governments, a number of non-governmental organisations were invited to assist in drafting the
The 50 nations represented at the conference signed the Charter of the United Nations two months later on
26th June. Poland had not been represented at the conference, but a place had been reserved for it among
the original signatories, and it added its name later. The UN came into existence on 24th October 1945,
after the Charter had been ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council - the Republic of
China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States - and by a majority of the other
46 signatories.
Initially, the body was known as the United Nations Organisation, or UNO. However, by the 1950s, English
speakers were referring to it as the United Nations, or the UN.
2.3 Membership.
A world map showing the members of the UN.

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2.3 Membership.

United Nations member states.

As of 2010, there are 192 United Nations member states, including virtually all internationally-recognised
independent states. Among the notable absences are the Republic of China (Taiwan), whose seat in the
United Nations was transferred to the People's Republic of China in 1971 and the Holy See (administering
authority of Vatican City), which has declined membership but is an observer state. Furthermore, peoples
under a foreign sovereignty and unrecognised nations are unrepresented in the UN, e.g. Transdnistria and
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The most recent addition to the UN is Montenegro, admitted on 28th
June 2006 .
2.4 Headquarters.

UN headquarters in New York City.

United Nations headquarters.
The current United Nations headquarters building was constructed on 16 acres in New York City between
1949 and 1950, beside the East River. This office project land was bought for 8.5 million dollars by John D.
Rockefeller, Jr. in December 1946. He then donated the land to the UN.
The headquarters was designed by an international team of architects that included Le Corbusier
(Switzerland), Oscar Niemeyer (Brazil) and representatives of numerous other nations. Wallace K. Harrison
headed the team. There is disagreement among scholars as to attribution. UN headquarters officially
opened on 9th January, 1951. While the principal headquarters of the UN are in New York, there are major
agencies located in Geneva, The Hague, Vienna, Montreal, Copenhagen, Bonn and elsewhere. The street
address of the UN headquarters is: 760 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA. Due to security
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2.4 Headquarters.
concerns, all mail sent to that address is sterilised.
The UN buildings are not considered separate political jurisdictions, but do have certain aspects of
sovereignty. For example, under agreements with their host countries the United Nations Postal
Administration is allowed to issue postage stamps for local mailing. Since 1951 the New York office, since
1969 the Geneva office, and since 1979 the Vienna office have had their own issues. UN organisations
also use their own telecommunications ITU prefix, 4U, and unofficially the New York, Geneva, and Vienna
sites are considered separate entities for amateur radio purposes.
As the UN main building is ageing, the UN is in the process of negotiating to build a temporary
headquarters designed by Fumihiko Maki on First Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets for use while the
current building is being expanded.
Prior to 1949, the United Nations used a variety of venues in London and New York State.
2.5 Financing.

UN offices occupy the majority of this complex, the Vienna International Centre.
The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states. The regular two-year
budgets of the UN and its specialised agencies are funded by assessments. The General Assembly
approves the regular budget and determines the assessment for each member. This is broadly based on
the relative capacity of each country to pay, as measured by national income statistics, along with other
The Assembly has established the principle that the UN should not be overly dependent on any one
member to finance its operations. Thus, there is a 'ceiling' rate, setting the maximum amount any member
is assessed for the regular budget. In December 2000, the Assembly revised the scale of assessments to
reflect current global circumstances. As part of that revision, the regular budget ceiling was reduced from
25% to 22%. The U.S. is the only member that meets that ceiling, but it is in arrears with hundreds of
millions of dollars (see United States and the United Nations). Other major contributors to the regular UN
budget for 2009 are Japan (16.624%), Germany (8.577%), France (6.301%), the UK (6.642%), Italy
(5.079%), Canada (2.977%), Spain (2.968%), China (2.667%) and Mexico (2.257%).
Special UN programmes not included in the regular budget (such as UNICEF and UNDP) are financed by
voluntary contributions from member governments. Some of this is in the form of agricultural commodities
donated for afflicted populations, but the majority is financial contributions.
2.6 Languages.
The UN has six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The Secretariat
uses two working languages, English and French.
When the UN was founded, five official languages were chosen: English, French, Chinese, Russian and
Spanish. Arabic was added in 1973. Controversy exists over whether the number of official languages
should be reduced (for example to English only) or whether the list of languages should be expanded.
There is growing pressure to add Hindi as the seventh official language. In 2001, Spanish-speaking
countries complained that Spanish does not have equal status compared to English. There is a strenuous
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2.6 Languages.
resistance against downgrading the status of the French language in the organisation; every SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations thus far has spoken French and the apparent difficulty of Ban Ki-Moon to do
so fluently in his first press conference was considered by some a faux pas.
The UN standard for English language documents (United Nations Editorial Manual) follows British usage.
The UN and all other organisations that are part of the UN system use Oxford spelling. The UN standard for
Chinese (Mandarin) changed when the Republic of China (Taiwan) was succeeded by the People's
Republic of China in 1971. From 1945 until 1971, traditional characters were used and since 1971
simplified characters have been used.
Of the official languages of the UN, English is an official language in 52 of its members, French in 29,
Arabic in 24, Spanish in 20, Russian in 4 and Chinese in 2. Portuguese and German are the languages
spoken in most UN members (8 and 6 respectively) without being official languages of the organisation.
2.7 Aims and Activities.
The stated aims of the United Nations are:

To prevent war.
To safeguard human rights.
To provide a mechanism for international law, and.
To promote social and economic progress, improve living standards and fight diseases.

It gives the opportunity for countries to balance global interdependence and national interests when
addressing international problems. Toward these ends, it ratified a Universal Declaration of Human Rights
in 1948.
2.8 International Conferences.
The countries of the UN and its specialised agencies - the "stakeholders" of the system - give guidance and
decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout each year. Governing
bodies made up of member states include not only the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council
and the Security Council, but also counterpart bodies dealing with the governance of all other UN System
agencies. For example, the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board oversee the work of WHO.
When an issue is considered particularly important, the General Assembly may convene an international
conference to focus global attention and build a consensus for consolidated action.
Recent examples include:

UN European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The UN Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
in June 1992, led to the creation of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development to advance
the conclusions reached in Agenda 21, the final text of agreements negotiated by governments at
The International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo in September 1994,
approved a programme of action to address the critical challenges and interrelationships between

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2.8 International Conferences.

population and sustainable development over the next 20 years.

The Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in September 1995, sought to accelerate
implementation of the historic agreements reached at the Third World Conference on Women.
The Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), convened in June 1996 in Istanbul
considered the challenges of human settlement development and management in the 21st century.
ICARA 2 or ICARA II: International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa established in
2.9 International Years & Related United Nations International Years.

The UN declares and coordinates "International Year of the..." in order to focus world attention on important
issues. Using the symbolism of the UN, a specially designed logo for the year, and the infrastructure of the
UN System to coordinate events worldwide, the various years have become catalysts to advancing key
issues on a global scale.
The full list of International Years is as follows:

1959/60 World Refugee Year.

1965 International Cooperation Year.
1967 International Tourism Year.
1968 International Year for Human Rights.
1970 International Education Year.
1971 International Year for Action to Combat Racism & Racial Discrimination 1974 World
Population Year.
1975 International Women's Year.
1978 International Anti-Apartheid Year.
1979 International Year of the Child.
1981 International Year of Disabled Persons.
1982 International Year of Mobilisation for Sanctions Against South Africa.
1983 World Communications Year.
1985 International Youth Year.
1986 International Year of Peace.
1987 International Year of Shelter for the Homeless.
1990 International Literacy Year.
1992 International Space Year (endorsed, not declared).
1993 International Year for World's Indigenous People.
1994 International Year of the Family; and International Year of Sport & Olympic Ideal.
1995 United Nations Year for Tolerance.
1996 International Year for the Eradication of Poverty.
1998 International Year of the Ocean.
1999 International Year of Older Persons; and Centennial of the First International Peace
2000 International Year for the Culture of Peace; and International Year of Thanksgiving.
2001 International Year of Volunteers; and United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations;
and International Year of Mobilization against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and
Related Intolerance.
2002 International Year of Mountains; and International Year of Culture Heritage; and International
Year of Ecotourism.
2003 International Year of Freshwater.
2004 International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and Its Abolition; and
International Year of Rice.
2005 International Year of Microcredit; and International Year for Sport and Physical Education.
2006 International Year of Deserts and Desertification.
2008 International Year of the Potato; and International Year of Planet Earth; and International Year
of Sanitation; and International Year of Languages.
2009 International Year of Human Rights Learning - from 10 December 2008 (Human Rights Day)
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2.9 International Years & Related United Nations International Years.

to 10 December 2009, International Year of Reconciliation; and International Year of Natural Fibres;
and International Year of Astronomy.
2010 International Year of Biodiversity; and International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures.

International Year of Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding - from 12 August 2010
(International Youth Day) to 11 August 2011
2011 International Year of Forests; and International Year of Chemistry.
2.10 Arms Control & Disarmament.
The 1945 UN Charter envisaged a system of regulation that would ensure "the least diversion for
armaments of the world's human and economic resources". The advent of nuclear weapons came only
weeks after the singing of the Charter and provide immediate impetus to concepts of arms limitation and
disarmament. In fact, the first resolution of the first meeting of the General Assembly (24th January 1946)
was entitled "The Establishment of a commission to Deal with the Problems Raised by the Discovery of
Atomic Energy" and called upon the commission to make specific proposals for "the elimination from
national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction."
The UN has established several forums to address multilateral disarmament issues. The principal ones are
the First Committee of the General Assembly and the UN Disarmament Commission. Items on the agenda
include consideration of the possible merits of a nuclear test ban, outer-space arms control, efforts to ban
chemical weapons, nuclear and conventional disarmament, nuclear-weapon-free zones, reductions of
military budgets and measures to strengthen international security.
The Conference on Disarmament is a forum established by the international community for the negotiation
of multilateral arms control and disarmament agreements. It has 65 members representing all areas of the
world, including the five major nuclear weapon states (the People's Republic of china, France, Russia, UK
and USA). While the conference is not formally a UN organisation, it is linked to the UN through a personal
representative of the Secretary-General; this representative serves as the secretary general of the
conference. Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly often request the conference to consider
specific disarmament matters. In turn, the conference annually reports its activities to the Assembly.
2.11 Peacekeeping.
UN peacekeepers are sent to various regions where armed conflict has recently ceased, in order to enforce
the terms of peace agreements and to discourage the combatants from resuming hostilities, for example in
East Timor until its independence in 2001. These forces are provided by member states of the UN, and
participation in peacekeeping operations is optional; at this point only two nations, Canada and Portugal,
have participated in all peacekeeping operations. The UN does not maintain any independent military. All
UN peacekeeping operations must be approved by the Security Council.
The UN Peacekeeping Forces (called the Blue Helmets) received the 1988 Nobel Prize for Peace. In 2001,
the UN and Secretary General Kofi Annan won the Nobel Peace Prize "for their work for a better organised
and more peaceful world." The UN maintains a series of United Nations Medals awarded to military service
members who enforce UN accords. The first such decoration issued was the United Nations Service Medal,
awarded to UN forces who participated in the Korean War. The NATO Medal is designed on a similar
concept and both are considered international decorations instead of military decorations.
2.12 Human Rights.
The pursuit of human rights was a central reason for creating the UN. Atrocities and genocide during the
Second World War led to a ready consensus that the new organisation must work to prevent any similar
tragedies in the future. An early objective was creating a legal framework for considering and acting on
complaints about human rights violations.
The UN Charter obliges all member nations to promote "universal respect for, and observance of, human
rights" and to take "joint and separate action" to that end. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
though not legally binding, was adopted by the General Assembly in 1948 as a common standard of
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2.12 Human Rights.

achievement for all. The Assembly regularly takes up human rights issues.
On 15th March 2006 the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to replace the United Nations
Commission on Human Rights with the UN Human Rights Council. Its purpose is to address human rights
violations. The UNCHR had repeatedly been criticised for the composition of its membership. In particular,
several of its member countries themselves had dubious human rights records, including states whose
representatives had been elected to chair the commission.
There are now seven UN-linked human rights treaty bodies, including the Human Rights Committee and
the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Secretariat services are provided
regarding six of those (excluding the latter) by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The United Nations and its various agencies are central in upholding and implementing the principles
enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A case in point is support by the UN for countries
in transition to democracy.
Technical assistance in providing free and fair elections, improving judicial structures, drafting constitutions,
training human rights officials and transforming armed movements into political parties have contributed
significantly to democratisation worldwide. The UN has helped run elections in countries with little
democratic history, including recently in Afghanistan and East Timor.
The UN is also a forum to support the right of women to participate fully in the political, economic and social
life of their countries. The UN contributes to raising consciousness of the concept of human rights through
its covenants and its attention to specific abuses through its General Assembly or Security Council
resolutions or ICJ rulings.
In early 2006, an anti-torture panel at the United Nations recommended the closure of Guantanamo and
criticised alleged U.S. use of secret prisons and suspected delivery of prisoners to foreign countries for
2.13 Humanitarian Assistance & International Development.
In conjunction with other organisations, such as the Red Cross, the UN provides food, drinking water,
shelter and other humanitarian services to populaces suffering from famine, displaced by war or afflicted by
other disaster. Major humanitarian arms of the UN are the World Food Programme (which helps feed more
than 100 million people a year in 80 countries), the High Commissioner for Refugees with projects in over
116 countries, as well as peacekeeping projects in over 24 countries. At times, UN relief workers have
been subject to attacks.
The UN is also involved in supporting development, e.g. by the formulation of the Millennium Development
Goals. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the largest multilateral source of grant
technical assistance in the world. Organisations like WHO, UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria are leading institutions in the battle against diseases around the world, especially
in poor countries. The UN Population Fund is a major provider of reproductive services. It has helped
reduce infant and maternal mortality in 100 countries.
The UN annually publishes the Human Development Index (HDI), a comparative measure ranking
countries by poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, and other factors.
The UN promotes human development through various agencies and departments:

World Health organisation (WHO) eliminated smallpox in 1977 and is close to eliminating polio.
World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) [Note: The World Bank and IMF were formed as
separate entities from the UN through the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944. Subsequently, in
1947, an agreement was signed that established the post-Bretton Woods organisations as
independent, specialised agencies and observers within the UN framework.]

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2.13 Humanitarian Assistance & International Development.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO).
United Nations Children's Fund(UNICEF).
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

On 9th March 2006, Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched the Central Emergency Response Fund
(CERF) for those in the Horn of Africa threatened with starvation. The UN also had an agency called the
World Food Council with the goal of coordinating national ministries of agriculture to help alleviate
malnutrition and hunger.
It was suspended in 1993.
2.14 Treaties & International Law.
The UN negotiates treaties such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to avoid potential
international disputes. Disputes over use of the oceans may be adjudicated by a special court.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the main court of the UN. Its purpose is to adjudicate disputes
among states. The ICJ began in 1946 and continues to hear cases. We shall focus on the ICJ shortly.
2.15 Reform.
Reform of the United Nations and Reform of the United Nations Security Council.
In recent years there have been many calls for reform of the United Nations. However, there is little clarity,
let alone consensus, about how to reform it. Some want the UN to play a greater or more effective role in
world affairs, others want its role reduced to humanitarian work. There have also been numerous calls for
the UN's Security Council's membership to be increased to be able to reflect the current geo-political state
(i.e increasing members from Africa, South America and Asia) In 2004 and 2005, allegations of
mismanagement and corruption regarding the Oil-for-Food Programme for Iraq under Saddam Hussein led
to renewed calls for reform.
An official reform programme was initiated by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan shortly after
starting his first term on 1st January 1997.
Reforms mentioned include:

Changing the permanent membership of the Security Council (which currently reflects the power
relations of 1945).
Making the bureaucracy more transparent, accountable and efficient.
Making the UN more democratic; and
Imposing an international tariff on arms manufacturers worldwide.

In September 2005, the UN convened a World Summit that brought together the heads of most member
states, in a plenary session of the General Assembly's 60th session. The UN called the summit "a once-ina-generation opportunity to take bold decisions in the areas of development, security, human rights and
reform of the United Nations". Secretary General Kofi Annan had proposed that the summit agree upon a
global "grand bargain" to reform the UN, revamping international systems for peace and security, human
rights and development, to make them capable of addressing the extraordinary challenges facing the UN in
the 21st century.
Although the UN member states achieved little in the way of reform of UN bureaucracy, Annan continued to
carry out reforms under his own authority. He established an ethics office, responsible for administering
new financial disclosure and whistleblower protection policies. As of late December 2005, the Secretariat
was completing a review of all General Assembly mandates more than five years old. That review is
intended to provide the basis for decision-making by the member states about which duplicative or
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2.15 Reform.
unnecessary programmes should be eliminated.
2.16 Millennium Development Goals.
The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that all 192 United Nations member states have agreed
to try to achieve by the year 2015. The Borgen Project estimates that $40 to 60 billion each year is needed
to achieve all eight goals. The Borgen Projects are the Millennium Development Goals.
The United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in 2000, commits the states to:

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

Achieve universal primary education.
Promote gender equality and empower women.
Reduce child mortality.
Improve maternal health.
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
Ensure environmental sustainability.
Develop a global partnership for development.
2.17 Successes & Failures in Security Issues.

A large of UN expenditures addresses the core UN mission of peace and security. The peacekeeping
budget for the 2005-2006 fiscal year is approximately $5 billion (compared to approximately $1.5 billion for
the UN core budget over the same period), with some 70,000 troops deployed in 17 missions around the
The Human Security Report 2005, produced by the Human Security Centre at the University of British
Columbia with support from several governments and foundations, documented a dramatic, but largely
unrecognised, decline in the number of wars, genocides and human rights abuses since the end of the
Cold War.
1. Q For What reason was the UN formed?
2. Q When considering the UN aims, which would you consider may include the subject of
Occupational Health & Safety?
3. Q Provide an example of poor OH&S practice that may be considered by the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights?
You should consider child labour, hours of work and working conditions.
2.18 Security Council.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the organ of the United Nations charged with maintaining
peace and security among nations. While other organs of the United Nations only make recommendations
to member governments, the Security Council has the power to make decisions which member
governments must carry out under the United Nations Charter. The decisions of the council are known as
United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The Security Council is made up of 15 member states,
consisting of five permanent seats and ten temporary seats.
The permanent five are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. These members
hold veto power over substantive but not procedural resolutions. The ten temporary seats are held for twoyear terms with member states voted in by the UN General Assembly on a regional basis. The Presidency
of the Security Council is rotated alphabetically each month. The Security Council held its first session on
17th January 1946 at Church House, London.
Since its first meeting, the council, which exists in continuous session, has travelled widely, holding
meetings in many cities, such as Paris and Addis Ababa. For the most part, however, it has remained
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2.18 Security Council.

located at UN Headquarters - first at Lake Success in New York and then at its current home in New York
City. Significant changes in the council's composition have occurred on three occasions. In 1965,
amendments to articles 23 and 27 of the charter came into effect, increasing the number of elected
members from six to ten.
In 1971, the General Assembly voted to remove the representative of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and
seat the delegate from the People's Republic of China as the Legitimate representative of China. Because
the issue was presented as one involving which delegation would properly represent China rather than that
of an admission or expulsion of a member, this issue required only action by the General Assembly and
circumvented the inability of the Assembly to expel a member of the Council without the Council's
endorsement (subject to veto), or the lack of an amendment to article 23 specifying the identity of the
permanent members.
Similarly, there was no amendment to article 23 following the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics in 1991. In much less contentious circumstances, the Russian Federation acceded to the former
Soviet seat.
2.19 Personnel Policy.
The UN and its agencies are immune to the laws of the countries where they operate, safeguarding the
UN's impartiality with regard to the host and member countries. Hiring and firing practices, working hours
and environment, holiday time, pension plans, health insurance, life insurance, salaries, expatriation
benefits and general condition of employment are governed by UN rules and regulations.
This independence allows agencies to implement human resources policies which may even be contrary to
the laws of a host or a member country. For instance, a person who is otherwise eligible for employment in
Switzerland, where the International Labour organisation (ILO) has its headquarters, may not be employed
by the ILO unless he or she is a citizen of an ILO member state.
2.20 The UN in Popular Culture.
An education activity called Model United Nations has grown popular in schools worldwide. Model UN has
students simulate (usually) a body in the UN System to help them develop skills in debate and diplomacy.
Conferences are held by both colleges and high schools. Committees typically included are General
Assembly committees, ECOFIN committees, the Security Council and a large range of specialised
committees like a Historical Security Council or the Senior Management Group. Students debate topics that
the UN addresses and try to represent their country's views in order to reach a solution.
The perception of the UN as a large, world-encompassing government organisation has prompted many
ideas about world democracy. The UN is also often the subject of conspiracy theories.
2.21 International Court of Justice.
Peace Palace, seat of the International Court of Justice Building (ICJ).

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2.21 International Court of Justice.

The International Court of Justice, known colloquially as the World Court or ICJ (French: Cour
internationale de Justice ) is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace
Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, sharing the building with the Hague Academy of International Law, a
private centre for the study of international law. Several of the Court's current judges are either alumni or
former faculty members of the Academy.
Established in 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to
the Permanent Court of International Justice. The Statute of the International Court of Justice, similar to
that of its predecessor, is the main constitutional document constituting and regulating the Court. The ICJ
should not be confused with the International Criminal Court or a court exercising jurisdiction under
Belgium's War Crimes Law, both of which also potentially have "global" jurisdiction. English and French are
its two official languages.
The Court's workload is characterised by a wide range of judicial activity. Its main functions are to settle
legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by
duly authorised international organs and agencies. The number of decisions made by the ICJ has been
relatively small, but there has clearly been an increased willingness to use the Court since the 1980s,
especially among developing countries, although the USA withdrew from compulsory jurisdiction in 1986,
meaning it accepts the court's jurisdiction on only a case-to-case basis.

Public hearing at the ICJ.

2.22 Composition.
The ICJ is composed of 15 judges elected to nine year terms by the UN General Assembly and the UN
Security Council from a list of persons nominated by the national groups in the Permanent Court of
Arbitration. The election process is set out in Articles 4-12 of the ICJ statute. Judges serve for nine year
terms and may be re-elected. Elections take place every three years, with one-third of judges retiring each
time, in order to ensure continuity within the court.
Should a judge die in office, the practice has generally been to elect a judge of the same nationality to
complete the term. No two may be nationals of the same country. According the Article 9, the membership
of the Court is supposed to represent the "main forms of civilisation and of the principal legal systems of the
world". Essentially, this has meant common law, civil law and socialist law (now post-communist law).
Since the 1960s, four of the five permanent members of the Security Council (France, Russia, the United
Kingdom, and the United States) have always had a judge on the Court. The exception was China (the
Republic of China until 1971, the People's Republic of China from 1971 onwards), which did not have a
judge on the Court from 1967-1985, because it did not put forward a candidate. The rule on a geopolitical
composition of the bench exists despite the fact that there is no provision for it in the Statute of the ICJ.
Article 2 of the Statute provides that all judges should be "elected regardless of their nationality among
persons of high moral character", who are either qualified for the highest judicial office in their home states
or known as lawyers with sufficient competence in International law. Judicial independence is dealt
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2.22 Composition.
specifically with in Articles 16-18. Judges of the ICJ are not able to hold any other post, nor act as counsel.
A judge can be dismissed by only a unanimous vote of other members of the Court. Despite these
provisions, the independence of ICJ judges has been questioned. For example, during the Nicaragua case,
the USA issued a communique suggesting that it could not present sensitive material to the Court because
of the presence of judges from Eastern bloc states.
Judges may deliver joint judgements or give their own separate opinions. Decisions and Advisory Opinions
are by majority and, in the event of an equal division, the President's vote becomes decisive. Judges may
also deliver separate dissenting opinions.
2.23 Ad Hoc Judges.
Article 31 of the statute sets out a procedure whereby ad hoc judges sit on contentious cases before the
Court. This system allows any party to a contentious case to nominate a judge of their choice (usually of
their nationality), if a judge of their nationality is not already on the bench. Ad hoc judges participate fully in
the case and the deliberations, along with the permanent bench. Thus, it is possible that as many as
seventeen judges may sit on one case.
This system may seem strange when compared with domestic court processes, but its purpose is to
encourage states to submit cases to the Court. For example, if a state knows it will have a judicial officer
who can participate in deliberation and offer other judges local knowledge and an understanding of the
state's perspective, that state may be more willing to submit to the Court's jurisdiction.
Although this system does not sit well with the judicial nature of the body, it is usually of little practical
consequence. Ad hoc judges usually (but not always) vote in favour of the state that appointed them and
thus cancel each other out.
2.24 Chambers.
Generally, the Court sits as a full bench, but in the last fifteen years it has on occasion sat as a chamber.
Articles 26-29 of the statute allow the Court to form smaller chambers, usually 3 or 5 judges, to hear cases.
Two types of chambers are contemplated by Article 26: firstly, chambers for special categories of cases,
and second, the formation of ad hoc chambers to hear particular disputes. In 1993, a special chamber was
established, under Article 26(1) of the ICJ statute, to deal specifically with environmental matters (although
this chamber has never been used).
Ad hoc chambers are more frequently convened. For example, chambers were used to hear the Gulf of
Maine Case (USA v Canada). In that case, the parties made clear they would withdraw the case unless the
Court appointed judges to the chamber who were acceptable to the parties. Chambers judgements may
have less authority than full Court judgements, or may diminish the proper interpretation of universal
international law informed by a variety of cultural and legal perspectives. On the other hand, the use of
Chambers might encourage greater recourse to the Court and thus enhance international dispute
2.25 Current Composition.





Hisashi Owada





Peter Tomka


Vice-President 2003


Shi Jiuyong



1994, 2003 2012

Abdul G. Koroma

Sierra Leone


1994, 2003 2012

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2.25 Current Composition.

Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh



2000, 2009 2018

Thomas Buergenthal

United States


2000, 2006 2015

Bruno Simma




Ronny Abraham



2005, 2009 2018

Sir Kenneth Keith

New Zealand




Bernardo Seplveda Amor





Mohamed Bennouna





Leonid Skotnikov





Antnio Augusto Canado Trindade





Abdulqawi Yusuf





Sir Christopher John Greenwood

United Kingdom Member




2.26 Jurisdiction.
As stated in Article 93 of the UN Charter, all 192 UN members are automatically parties to the Court's
statute. Non-UN members may also become parties to the Court's statute under the Article 93(2)
procedure. For example, before becoming member nations, Switzerland used this procedure in 1948 to
become a party; Nauru also became a party in 1988.
Once a state is a party to the Court's statute, it is entitled to participate in cases before the Court. However,
being a party to the statute does not automatically give the Court jurisdiction over disputes involving those
parties. The issue of jurisdiction is considered in the two types of ICJ cases: contentious issues and
advisory opinions.
2.27 Contentious Issues.
In contentious cases, the ICJ produces a binding ruling between states that agree to submit to the ruling of
the court. Only states may be parties in contentious cases. Individuals, corporations, parts of a federal
state, NGOs, UN organs and self-determination groups are excluded from direct participation in cases,
although the Court regime is often based on forms of arbitration.
Article 36(1) provides that parties may refer cases to the Court (jurisdiction founded on "special agreement"
or "compromise"). This method is based on explicit consent rather than true compulsory jurisdiction. It is,
perhaps, the most effective basis for the Court's jurisdiction because the parties concerned have a desire
for the dispute to be resolved by the Court and are thus more likely to comply with the Court's judgement.
Article 36(1) also gives the Court jurisdiction over "matters specifically provided for ... in treaties and
conventions in force". Most modern treaties will contain a compromisory clause, providing for dispute
resolution by the ICJ. Cases founded on compromisory clauses have not been as effective as cases
founded on special agreement, since a state may have no interest in having the matter examined by the
Court and may refuse to comply with a judgement. For example, during the Iran hostage crisis, Iran refused
to participate in a case brought by USA based on a compromisory clause contained in the Vienna
Convention on Diplomatic Relations, nor did it comply with the judgement. Since the 1970s, the use of such
clauses has declined. Many modern treaties set out their own dispute resolution regime, often based on
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2.27 Contentious Issues.

forms of arbitration.
Article 36(2) allows states to make optional clause declarations accepting the Court's jurisdiction. The tag of
"compulsory" which is sometimes placed on Article 36(2) jurisdiction is misleading since declarations by
states are voluntary. Furthermore, many declarations contain reservations, such as exclusion from
jurisdiction certain types of disputes ("ratione materia"). The principle of reciprocity may further limit
jurisdiction. As of October 2006, sixty-seven states had a declaration in force. Out of the Security Council
members, only the United Kingdom has a declaration. In the Court's early years, most declarations were
made by industrialised countries. Since the Nicaragua Case, declarations made by developing countries
have increased, reflecting a growing confidence in the Court since the 1980s. Industrialised countries
however have sometimes increased exclusions or removed their declarations in recent years. Examples
include the USA, as mentioned previously and Australia who modified their declaration in 2002 to exclude
disputes on maritime boundaries, most likely to prevent an impending challenge from East Timor who
gained their independence two months later.
Article 36(5) provides for jurisdiction on the basis of declarations made under the Permanent Court of
International Justice's statute. Article 37 of the ICJ's statute similarly transfers jurisdiction under any
compromisory clause in a treaty that gave jurisdiction to the PCIJ.
In addition, the Court may have jurisdiction on the basis of tacit consent (forum prorogatum). In the
absence of clear jurisdiction under Article 36, jurisdiction will be established if the respondent accepts its
jurisdiction explicitly or simply pleads on the merits. The notion arose in the Corfu Channel Case (UK v
Albania) in which it was held that letter from Albania stating that it submitted to the jurisdiction of the ICJ
was sufficient to grant the court jurisdiction.
2.28 Advisory Opinion.
An advisory opinion is a function of the court open only to specified United Nations bodies and agencies.
On receiving a request, the Court decides which States and organisations might provide useful information
and gives them an opportunity to present written or oral statements. Advisory Opinions were intended as a
means by which UN agencies could seek the Court's help in deciding complex legal issues that might fall
under their respective mandates. In principle, the Court's advisory opinions are consultative in character,
though they are also influential and widely respected. Whilst certain instruments or regulations can provide
in advance that the advisory opinion shall be specifically binding on particular agencies or states, they are
inherently non-binding under the Statute of the Court.
Advisory Opinions have often been controversial, either because the questions asked are controversial, or
because the case was pursued as a "backdoor" way of bringing what is really a contentious case before the
Examples of cases include:

Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Israeli West Bank Barrier.
An advisory opinion on the legality of the use (or threat to use) nuclear weapons.
The opinion on Western Sahara, issued in 1975.
2.29 The ICJ & the Security Council.

Article 94 establishes the duty of all UN members to comply with decisions of the Court involving them. If
parties do not comply, the issue may be taken before the Security Council for enforcement action. There
are obvious problems with such a method of enforcement. If the judgement is against one of the permanent
five members of the Security Council or its allies, any resolution on enforcement will be vetoed. This
occurred, for example, after the Nicaragua case, when Nicaragua brought the issue of the USA's noncompliance with the Court's decision before the Security Council. Furthermore, if the Security Council
refuses to enforce a judgement against any other state, there is no method of forcing the state to comply.
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2.29 The ICJ & the Security Council.

The relationship between the ICJ and the Security Council, and the separation of their powers, was
considered by the Court in 1992, in the Pan Am case. The Court had to consider an application from Libya
for the order of provisional measures to protect its rights, which, it alleged, were being infringed by the
threat of economic sanctions by the UK and United States. The problem was that these sanctions had been
authorised by the Security Council, which resulted with a potential conflict between the Chapter VII
functions of the Security Council and the judicial function of the Court. The Court decided, by eleven votes
to five, that it could not order the requested provisional measures because the rights claimed by Libya,
even if legitimate under the Montreal Convention, prima facie could not be regarded as appropriate since
the action was ordered by the Security Council. In accordance with Article 103 of the UN Charter,
obligations under the Charter took precedence over other treaty obligations. Nevertheless the Court
declared the application admissible in 1998. A decision on the merits has not been given since the parties
(United Kingdom, United States and Libya) settled the case out of court in 2003.
There was a marked reluctance on the part of a majority of the Court to become involved in a dispute in
such a way as to bring it potentially into conflict with the Council. The Court stated in the Nicaragua case
that there is no necessary inconsistency between action by the Security Council and adjudication by the
ICJ. However, where there is room for conflict, the balance appears to be in favour of the Security Council.
Should either party fail "to perform the obligations incumbent upon it under a judgement rendered by the
Court", the Security Council may be called upon to "make recommendations or decide upon measures" if
the Security Council deems such actions necessary. In practice, the Court's powers have been limited by
the unwillingness of the losing party to abide by the Court's ruling and by the Security Council's
unwillingness to impose consequences. However, in theory, "so far as the parties to the case are
concerned, a judgement of the Court is binding, final and without appeal," and "by signing the Charter, a
State Member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with any decision of the International Court of
Justice in a case to which it is a party."
For example, in Nicaragua v. United States, the United States of America had previously accepted the
Court's compulsory jurisdiction upon its creation in 1946 but withdrew its acceptance following the Court's
judgement in 1984 that called on the United States to "cease and to refrain" from the "unlawful use of force"
against the government of Nicaragua. The Court ruled (with only the American judge dissenting) that the
United States was "in breach of its obligation under the Treaty of Friendship with Nicaragua not to use force
against Nicaragua" and ordered the United States to pay war reparations.
Generally, the Court has been most successful resolving border delineation and the use of oceans and
waterways. While the Court has, in some instances, resolved claims by one State espoused on behalf of its
nationals, the Court has generally refrained from hearing contentious cases that are political in nature, due
in part to its lack of enforcement mechanism and its lack of compulsory jurisdiction. The Court has
generally found it did not have jurisdiction to hear cases involving the use of force.
2.30 Law Applied.
When deciding cases, the Court applies international law as summarised in Article 38. This provides that in
arriving at its decisions the Court shall apply international conventions, international custom, and the
"general principles of law recognised by civilised nations". It may also refer to academic writing and
previous judicial decisions to help interpret the law, although the Court is not formally bound by its previous
decisions under the doctrine of stare decisis. Article 59 makes clear that the common law notion of
precedent or stare decisis does not apply to the decisions of the ICJ. The Court's decision binds only the
parties to that particular controversy. Under 38(1)(d), however, the Court may consider its own previous
decisions. In reality, the ICJ rarely departs from its own previous decisions and treats them as precedent in
a way similar to superior courts in common law systems. Additionally, international lawyers commonly
operate as though ICJ judgements had precedential value.
If the parties agree, they may also grant the Court the liberty to decide ex aequo et bono ("in justice and
fairness"), granting the ICJ the freedom to make an equitable decision based on what is fair under the
circumstances. The Court operating under ex aequo et bono would act in some ways similar to a mediator.
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2.30 Law Applied.

However, this provision has not been used in the Court's history.
2.31 Sources of International Law.
Sources of international law are the materials and processes out of which the rules and principles
regulating the international community are developed. They have been influenced by a range of political
and legal theories. During the 19th century, it was recognised by legal positivists that a sovereign could
limit its authority to act by consenting to an agreement according to the principle pacta sunt servanda. This
consensual view of international law was reflected in the 1920 Statute of the Permanent Court of
International Justice, and preserved in Article 38(1) of the 1946 Statute of the International Court of Justice.
Article 38(1) is generally recognised as a definitive statement of the sources of international law. It requires
the Court to apply inter alia, (a) international conventions "expressly recognised by the contesting states",
and (b) "international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law".
To avoid the possibility of non liquet, sub-paragraph (c) added the requirement that the general principles
applied by the Court were those that had been "the general principles of the law recognised by civilised
Sub-paragraph (d) acknowledges that the Court is entitled to refer to "judicial decisions" and juristic writings
"as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law".
On the question of preference between sources of international law, rules established by treaty will take
preference if such an instrument exists. It is also argued however that international treaties and
international custom are sources of international law of equal validity; that new custom may supersede
older treaties and new treaties may override older custom. Certainly, judicial decisions and juristic writings
are regarded as auxiliary sources of international law, whereas it is unclear whether the general principles
of law recognised by 'civilised nations' should be recognised as a principal or auxiliary source of
international law.
It may be argued that the practice of international organisations, most notably that of the United Nations, as
it appears in the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, are an additional source of
international law, even though it is not mentioned as such in Article 38(1) of the 1946 Statute of the
International Court of Justice. Article 38(1) is closely based on the corresponding provision of the 1920
Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice, thus predating the role that international
organisations have come to play in the international plane. That is, the provision of Article 38(1) may be
regarded as dated , and this can most vividly be seen in the mention made to 'civilised nations', a term that
appears all the more quaint after the decolonisation process that took place in the early 1960s and the
participation of nearly all nations of the world in the United Nations.
It is also possible, though less common, for a treaty to be modified by practices arising between the parties
to that treaty. The other situation in which a rule would take precedence over a treaty provision would be
where the rule has the special status of being part of the jus cogens.
2.32 International Custom.
Article 38.1(b) of the ICJ Statute refers to "international custom" as a source of international law, specifically
emphasising the two requirements of state practice plus acceptance of the practice as obligatory or opinio
juris sive necessitatis (usually abbreviated as opinio juris).
Derived from the consistent practice of (originally) Western states accompanied by opinio juris (the
conviction of States that the consistent practice is required by a legal obligation), customary international
law is differentiated from acts of comity by the presence of opinio juris (although in some instances, acts of
comity have developed into customary international law, i.e. diplomatic immunity). Treaties have gradually
displaced much customary international law. This development is similar to the replacement of customary
or common law by codified law in municipal legal settings, but customary international law continues to play
a significant role in international law.
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2.33 State Practice.

When examining state practice to determine relevant rules of international law, it is necessary to take into
account every activity of the organs and officials of states that relate to that purpose. There has been
continuing debate over where a distinction should be drawn as to the weight that should be attributed to
what states do, rather than what they say represents the law. In its most extreme form, this would involve
rejecting what states say as practice and relegating it to the status of evidence of opinio juris. A more
moderate version would evaluate what a state says by reference to the occasion on which the statement
was made. It is only relatively powerful countries with extensive international contacts and interests that
have regular opportunities of contributing by deed to the practice of international law. The principal means
of contribution to state practice for the majority of states will be at meetings of international organisations,
particularly the UN General Assembly, by voting and otherwise expressing their view on matters under
consideration. Moreover, there are circumstances in which what states say may be the only evidence of
their view as to what conduct is required in a particular situation.
The notion of practice establishing a customary rule implies that the practice is followed regularly, or that
such state practice must be "common, consistent and concordant". Given the size of the international
community, the practice does not have to encompass all states or be completely uniform. There has to be a
sufficient degree of participation, especially on the part of states whose interests are likely be most
affected, and an absence of substantial dissent. There have been a number of occasions on which the ICJ
has rejected claims that a customary rule existed because of a lack of consistency in the practice brought
to its attention.
Within the context of a specific dispute, however, it is not necessary to establish the generality of practice.
A rule may apply if a state has accepted the rule as applicable to it individually, or because the two states
belong to a group of states between which the rule applies.
A dissenting state is entitled to deny the opposability of a rule in question if it can demonstrate its persistent
objection to that rule, either as a member of a regional group or by virtue of its membership of the
international community. It is not easy for a single state to maintain its dissent. Also, rules of the jus cogens
have a universal character and apply to all states, irrespective of their wishes.
Demand for rules that are responsive to increasingly rapid changes has led to the suggestion that there can
be, in appropriate circumstances, such a concept as "instant custom". Even within traditional doctrine, the
ICJ has recognised that passage of a short period of time is not necessarily a bar to the formation of a new
rule. Because of this, the question is sometimes raised as to whether the word "custom" is suitable to a
process that could occur with great rapidity.
2.34 Opinio Juris.
A wealth of state practice will usually carry with it a presumption that opinio juris exists.
Opinio juris sive necessitatis ("an opinion of law or necessity") or simply opinio juris ("an opinion of law") is
the belief that an action was carried out because it was a legal obligation. It would then be for the state
against which the rule is pleaded to rebut that presumption by demonstrating the absence of opinio juris in
the activities being relied upon by the other party.
In cases where practice (of which evidence is given) comprises abstentions from acting, consistency of
conduct might not establish the existence of a rule of customary international law. The fact that no nuclear
weapons have been used since 1945, for example, does not render their use illegal on the basis of a
customary obligation because the necessary opinio juris was lacking.
Although the ICJ has frequently referred to opinio juris as being an equal footing with state practice, the role
of the psychological element in the creation of customary law is uncertain.
2.35 Jus cogens.
A peremptory norm or jus cogens (Latin for "compelling law" or "strong law") is a principle of international
law considered so fundamental that it overrides all other sources of international law, including even the
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2.35 Jus cogens.

Charter of the United Nations. The principle of jus cogens is enshrined in Article 53 of the Vienna
Convention on the Law of Treaties.
For the purposes of the present Convention, a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm
accepted and recognised by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no
derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law
having the same character.
Rules of jus cogens generally require or forbid the state to do particular acts or respect certain rights.
However, some define criminal offences which the state must enforce against individuals. Generally
included on lists of such norms are prohibitions of such crimes and internationally wrongful acts as waging
aggressive war, war crimes, crimes against humanity, piracy, genocide, slavery and torture.
The evidence supporting the emergence of a rule of jus cogens will be essentially similar to that required to
establish the creation of a new rule of customary international law. Indeed, jus cogens could be thought of
as a special principle of custom with a superadded opinio juris. The European Court of Human Rights has
stressed the international public policy aspect of the jus cogens.
2.36 Treaties as Law.
Treaties can play the role of contracts between two or more parties, such as an extradition treaty or a
defence pact. They can also be legislation to regulate a particular aspect of international relations, or form
the constitutions of international organisations. Whether or not all treaties can be regarded as sources of
law, they are sources of obligation for the parties to them. Article 38(1)(a), which uses the term
"international conventions", concentrates upon treaties as a source of contractual obligation but also
acknowledges the possibility of a state expressly accepting the obligations of a treaty to which it is not
formally a party.
For a treaty-based rule to be a source of law, rather than simply a source of obligation, it must either be
capable of affecting non-parties or have consequences for parties more extensive than those specifically
imposed by the treaty itself.
2.37 Treaties as Custom.
Some treaties are the result of codifying existing customary law, such as laws governing the global
commons, and jus ad bellum. While the purpose is to establish a code of general application, its
effectiveness depends upon the number of states that ratify or accede to the particular convention.
Relatively few such instruments have a sufficient number of parties to be regarded as international law in
their own right. The most obvious examples are the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War
Most multi-lateral treaties fall short of achieving such a near-universal degree of formal acceptance and are
dependent upon their provisions being regarded as representing customary international law and, by this
indirect route, as binding upon non-parties. This outcome is possible in a number of ways:

When the treaty rule reproduces an existing rule of customary law, the rule will be clarified in terms
of the treaty provision. A notable example is the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969,
which was considered by the ICJ to be law even before it had been brought into force.
When a customary rule is in the process of development, its incorporation in a multilateral treaty
may have the effect of consolidating or crystallising the law in the form of that rule. It is not always
easy to identify when this occurs. Where the practice is less developed, the treaty provision may not
be enough to crystallise the rule as part of customary international law.
Even if the rule is new, the drafting of the treaty provision may be the impetus for its adoption in the
practice of states, and it is the subsequent acceptance of the rule by states that renders it effective
as part of customary law. If a broad definition is adopted of state practice, the making of a treaty
would fall within the definition. Alternatively, it is possible to regard the treaty as the final act of state
practice required to establish the rule in question, or as the necessary articulation of the rule to give

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2.37 Treaties as Custom.

it the opinio juris of customary international law.

Convention-based "instant custom" has been identified by the ICJ on several occasions as
representing customary law without explanation of whether the provision in question was supported
by state practice. This has happened with respect to a number of provisions of the Vienna
Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969. If "instant custom" is valid as law, it could deny to third
parties the normal consequences of non-accession to the treaty.
2.38 General Principles of Law.

The scope of general principles of law, to which Article 38(1) of the Statute of the ICJ refers, is unclear and
controversial but may include such legal principles that are common to a large number of systems of
municipal law. Given the limits of treaties or custom as sources of international law, Article 38(1) may be
looked upon as a directive to the Court to fill any gap in the law and prevent a non liquet by reference to the
general principles. In earlier stages of the development of international law, rules were frequently drawn
from municipal law.
In the 19th century, legal positivists rejected the idea that international law could come from any source that
did not involve state will or consent, but were prepared to allow for the application of general principles of
law, provided that they had in some way been accepted by states as part of the legal order.
Thus Article 38(1)(c), for example, speaks of general principles "recognised" by states. An area that
demonstrates the adoption of municipal approaches is the law applied to the relationship between
international officials and their employing organisations although today the principles are regarded as
established international law. The significance of general principles has undoubtedly been lessened by the
increased intensity of treaty and institutional relations between states. Nevertheless, the concepts of
estoppel and equity have been employed in the adjudication of international disputes. For example, a state
that has, by its conduct, encouraged another state to believe in the existence of a certain legal or factual
situation, and to rely upon that belief, may be stopped from asserting a contrary situation in its dealings.
The principle of good faith was said by the ICJ to be one of the basic principles governing the creation and
performance of legal obligations". Similarly, there have been frequent references to equity.
It is generally agreed that equity cannot be employed to subvert legal rules. This "equity as law" perception
is reinforced by references to equitable principles in the text of the United Nations Convention on the Law
of the Sea 1982, though this may be little more than an admission as to the existence, and legitimation, of
the discretion of the adjudicator. However, the principles of estoppel and equity in the international context
do not retain all the connotations they do under common law. The reference to the principles as "general"
signify that, if rules were to be adapted from municipal law, they should be at a sufficient level of generality
to encompass similar rules existing in many municipal systems. Principles of municipal law should be
regarded as sources of inspiration rather than as sources of rules of direct application.
2.39 Judicial Decisions & Juristic Writings.
According to Article 38(1)(d) of its Statute, the ICJ is also to apply "judicial decisions and the teachings of
the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations as subsidiary means for the determination of rules
of law". It is difficult to tell what influence these materials have on the development of the law. Pleadings in
cases before the ICJ are often replete with references to case law and to legal literature.
2.40 Judicial Decisions.
The decisions of international and municipal courts and the publications of academics can be referred to,
not as a source of law as such, but as a means of interpreting the law established in other sources. In
practice, the International Court of Justice does not refer to domestic decisions although it does invoke its
previous case-law.
There is no rule of stare decisis in international law. Stare decisis is the legal principle by which judges are
obliged to obey the precedents established by prior decisions. The words originate from the Latin phrase
Stare decisis et non quieta movere, "Maintain what has been decided and do not alter that which has been
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2.40 Judicial Decisions.

The International Court of Justice will often consider the draft Articles on international law published by the
International Law Commission as authoritative statements on international law. Often they will consider
General Assembly resolutions as indicative of customary international law.
2.41 Procedure.
The ICJ is vested with the power to make its own rules. Court procedure is set out in Rules of Court of the
International Court of Justice 1978 (as amended on 29th September 2005).
Cases before the ICJ will follow a standard pattern. The case is lodged by the applicant who files a written
memorial setting out the basis of the Court's jurisdiction and the merits of its claim. The respondent may
accept the Court's jurisdiction and file its own memorial on the merits of the case.
2.42 Preliminary Objections.
A respondent who does not wish to submit to the jurisdiction of the Court may raise Preliminary Objections.
Any such objections must be ruled upon before the Court can address the merits of the applicant's claim.
Often a separate public hearing is held on the Preliminary Objections and the Court will render a
judgement. Respondents normally file Preliminary Objections to the jurisdiction of the Court and/or the
admissibility of the case. Inadmissibility refers to a range of arguments about factors the Court should take
into account in deciding jurisdiction; for example, that the issue is not justiciable or that it is not a "legal
In addition, objections may be made because all necessary parties are not before the Court. If the case
necessarily requires the Court to rule on the rights and obligations of a state that has not consented to the
Court's jurisdiction, the Court will not proceed to issue a judgement on the merits.
If the Court decides it has jurisdiction and the case is admissible, the respondent will then be required to file
a Memorial addressing the merits of the applicant's claim. Once all written arguments are filed, the Court
will hold a public hearing on the merits.
Once a case has been filed, any party (but usually the Applicant) may seek an order from the Court to
protect the status quo pending the hearing of the case. Such orders are known as Provisional (or Interim)
Measures and are analogous to interlocutory injunctions in domestic (US) law. Article 41 of the statute
allows the Court to make such orders. The Court must be satisfied to have prima facie jurisdiction to hear
the merits of the case before granting provisional measures.
2.43 Applications to Intervene.
In cases where a third state's interests are affected, that state may be permitted to intervene in the case
and participate as a full party. Under Article 62, a state "with an interest of a legal nature" may apply;
however, it is within the Court's discretion whether or not to allow the intervention. Intervention applications
are rare - the first successful application occurred in 1990.
Once deliberation has taken place, the Court will issue a majority opinion. Individual judges may issue
separate opinions (if they agree with the outcome reached in the judgement of the court but differ in their
reasoning) or dissenting opinions (if they disagree with the majority). No appeal is possible.
2.44 Criticisms.
Criticisms of the International Court range from its rulings and procedures to its authority. As with United
Nations criticisms as a whole, many of these criticisms refer more to the authority assigned to the body by
member states through its charter rather than to problems with the specific composition of judges or their

"Compulsory" jurisdiction is limited to cases where both parties have agreed to submit to its
decision, and, as such, instances of aggression tend to be adjudicated by the Security Council.

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2.44 Criticisms.

Organisations, private enterprises, and individuals cannot have their cases taken to the International
Court, such as to appeal a national supreme court's ruling. U.N. agencies likewise cannot bring up a
case except in advisory opinions (a process initiated by the court and non-binding).
Other existing international thematic courts, such as the ICC, are not under the umbrella of the
International Court.

The International Court does not enjoy a full separation of powers, with permanent members of the Security
Council being able to veto enforcement even of cases to which they consented in advance to be bound.
2.45 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The purpose of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) involves
the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide through direct contact with individual governments
and the provision of technical assistance where appropriate.
At the urging of the US and other nations, the UN General Assembly established the office in 1993. Holding
the rank of Under Secretary General, the High Commissioner co-ordinates human rights activities
throughout the United Nations system and supervises the United Nations Human Rights Council in
2.46 Mandate & Purpose.
The mandate of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights derives from
Articles 1, 13 and 55 of the Charter of the United Nations, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
and Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20th December 1993, by which the Assembly established the post of
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In connection with the programme for reform of the
United Nations (A/51/950, para. 79), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
and the Centre for Human Rights were consolidated into a single Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights as of 15th September 1997.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
1. Promotes universal enjoyment of all human rights by giving practical effect to the will and resolve of
the world community as expressed by the United Nations.
2. Plays the leading role on human rights issues and emphasizes the importance of human rights at
the international and national levels.
3. Promotes international cooperation for human rights.
4. Stimulates and coordinates action for human rights throughout the United Nations system.
5. Promotes universal ratification and implementation of international standards.
6. Assists in the development of new norms.
7. Supports human rights organs and treaty monitoring bodies.
8. Responds to serious violations of human rights.
9. Undertakes preventive human rights action.
10. Promotes the establishment of national human rights infrastructures.
11. Undertakes human rights field activities and operations.
12. Provides education, information advisory services and technical assistance in the field of human
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2.46 Mandate & Purpose.

2.47 Organisation.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is divided into organisational units,
as described below. The Office is headed by a High Commissioner with the rank of Under-SecretaryGeneral.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Under-Secretary-General).
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is accountable to the Secretary-General.
The High Commissioner is responsible for all the activities of the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as for its administration, and:

Carries out the functions specifically assigned to him or her by the General Assembly in its
resolution 48/141 of 20th December 1993 and subsequent resolutions of policy-making bodies.
Advises the Secretary-General on the policies of the United Nations in the area of human rights.
Ensures that substantive and administrative support is given to the projects, activities, organs and
bodies of the human rights programme.
Represents the Secretary-General at meetings of human rights organs and at other human rights
events; and
Carries out special assignments as decided by the Secretary-General.

Deputy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Assistant Secretary-General).
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in the performance of his or her activities, is
assisted by a Deputy to the High Commissioner who acts as Officer-in-Charge during the absence of the
High Commissioner. In addition, the Deputy to the High Commissioner carries out specific substantive and
administrative assignments as decided by the High Commissioner. The Deputy is accountable to the High
Staff Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
1. The Staff Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is headed by a Chief
who is accountable to the High Commissioner.
New York Office.
The New York Office is headed by a Director who is accountable to the High Commissioner.
Research and Right to Development Branch.
The Research and Right to Development Branch is headed by a Chief who is accountable to the High
Treaties and Commission Branch.
The Treaties and Commission Branch (formerly Support Services Branch) is headed by a Chief who is
accountable to the High Commissioner.
Capacity Building Branch.
The Capacity Building Branch (formerly Activities and Programmes Branch) is headed by a Chief who is
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2.47 Organisation.
accountable to the High Commissioner.
The core functions of the Capacity Building Branch are as follows:
1. Developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating advisory services and technical assistance
projects at the request of Governments.
2. Managing the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights.
3. Implementing the Plan of Action of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education,
including the development of information and educational materials.
4. Providing substantive and administrative support to human rights fact-finding and investigatory
mechanisms, such as special reporters, representatives and experts and working groups mandated
by the Commission on Human Rights and/or the Economic and Social Council to deal with specific
country situations or phenomena of human rights violations worldwide, as well as the General
Assembly's Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the
Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.
5. Planning, supporting and evaluating human rights field presences and missions, including the
formulation and development of best practice, procedural methodology and models for all human
rights activities in the field.
6. Managing voluntary funds for human rights field presences.
7. Managing the United Nations Voluntary Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, United Nations
Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations and United Nations Voluntary Fund for the International
Decade of the World's Indigenous People.
2.48 ILO role & International Labour Conference.
International Labour Organisation.

The International Labour organisation (ILO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations that deals with
labour issues. Its headquarters are in Geneva. Founded in 1919, it was formed through the negotiations of
the Treaty of Versailles, and was initially an agency of the League of Nations. It became a member of the
UN system after the demise of the League and the formation of the UN at the end of World War II. Its
Constitution, as amended to date, includes the Declaration of Philadelphia (1944) on the aims and
purposes of the organisation. Its secretariat is known as the International Labour Office and its current
Director-General is Juan Somavia (since 1999).
As stated by its Director-General, the primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for women
and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human
dignity. In working towards this goal, the organisation seeks to promote employment creation, strengthen
fundamental principles and rights at work, improve social protection and promote social dialogue as well as
provide relevant information, training and technical assistance.
At present, the ILO's work is organised into four thematic groupings or sectors:
1. Standards and fundamental principles and rights at work.
2. Employment.
3. Social Protection; and
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2.48 ILO role & International Labour Conference.

4. Social Dialogue.
International Labour Conference.
The International Labour Conference is a yearly event, held each June in Geneva and is hosted by the
International Labour Organisation. The conference makes decisions on the organisation's general policy,
work programme and budget and creates conventions and recommendations that are adopted by majority
Member states are represented at the conference by four delegates; two government delegates, an
employer delegate and a worker delegate. All delegates have individual voting rights, and all votes are
equal, regardless of the population of the delegate's member state. The employer and worker delegates are
normally chosen in agreement with the most representative national organisations of employers and
workers. Usually, the worker delegates coordinate their voting, as do the employer delegates.
The ILO has a specialist programme addressing child labour, the International Programme on the
Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).
Under the name ILOAIDS, the ILO created the Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the world of work as a
document providing principles for "policy development and practical guidelines for programmes at
enterprise, community and national levels."
These include:

Prevention of HIV.
Management and mitigation of the impact of AIDS on the world of work.
Care and support of workers infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Elimination of stigma and discrimination on the basis of real or perceived HIV status.

Nobel Peace Prize.

The organisation received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.
International Training Centre.
The ILO maintains an International Training Centre in Turin, Italy.
Personnel Policy.
The International Labour organisation is an agency belonging to the United Nations system, and as such
shares common conditions of employment with other agencies.
2.49 Adoption & Ratification of Conventions & Recommendations.
Adoption of Conventions
One of the principal functions of the ILO involves setting international labour standards through the
adoption of Conventions and Recommendations covering a broad spectrum of labour-related subjects and
which, together, are sometimes referred to as the International Labour Code.
Adoption of a Convention by the International Labour Conference allows governments to ratify it, and the
Convention then becomes a treaty in international law when a specified number of governments have
ratified it.

Ratification of Conventions
The coming into force of a Convention results in a legal obligation to apply its provisions by the nations that
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2.49 Adoption & Ratification of Conventions & Recommendations.

have ratified it. Ratification of a Convention is voluntary. Conventions that have not been ratified by
member states have the same legal force as Recommendations. Governments are required to submit
reports detailing their compliance with the obligations of the Conventions they have ratified. Every year, the
International Labour Conference's Committee on the Application of Standards examines a number of
alleged breaches of international labour standards. In recent years, one of the member states that has
received the most attention is Myanmar/Burma, as the country has repeatedly been criticised for its failure
to protect its citizens against forced labour exacted by the army.
All adopted ILO Conventions are considered international labour standards, regardless of how many
national governments have ratified them. The topics covered by them cover a wide range of issues, from
freedom of association to health and safety at work, working conditions in the maritime sector, night work,
discrimination, child labour and forced labour.
Recommendations do not have the binding force of Conventions, and are not subject to ratification by
member countries. Recommendations may be adopted at the same time as Conventions to supplement the
latter with additional or more detailed provisions. The intent of these recommendations is often to more
precisely detail the principles of related Conventions.
In other cases recommendations may be adopted separately, and address issues not covered by, or
unrelated to any particular Convention.
ILO Codes of Practice
Codes of practice are not legally binding instruments and are intended for all those with a responsibility for
occupational safety and health and contain practical recommendations. The Codes of practice are not
intended to replace national laws, regulations or standards, but serve as practical guidelines for all parties
concerned including authorities, services, employers and workers. The office prepares the code which is
then finalised at a tripartite meeting of experts, and then submitted to the governing body for approval and
then publication.
2.50 Roles & Responsibilities of National Governments, Enterprises & Workers.
International Labour Standards, Occupational Safety and Health Convention, C155, International Labour
Organisation, Geneva, 1981
Responsibilities of national governments
The Occupational Safety and Health Convention C155 details the responsibilities of member countries in
Articles 4, 8 to 15 below:
Article 4
1. Each Member shall, in the light of national conditions and practice, and in consultation with the most
representative organisations of employers and workers, formulate, implement and periodically review a
coherent national policy on occupational safety, occupational health and the working environment.
2. The aim of the policy shall be to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with or
occurring in the course of work, by minimising, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards
inherent in the working environment.


Article 8
Each Member shall, by laws or regulations or any other method consistent with national conditions and
practice and in consultation with the representative organisations of employers and workers concerned,
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2.50 Roles & Responsibilities of National Governments, Enterprises & Workers.

take such steps as may be necessary to give effect to Article 4 of this Convention.

Article 9
1. The enforcement of laws and regulations concerning occupational safety and health and the working
environment shall be secured by an adequate and appropriate system of inspection.
2. The enforcement system shall provide for adequate penalties for violations of the laws and regulations.

Article 10
Measures shall be taken to provide guidance to employers and workers so as to help them to comply with
legal obligations.

Article 11
To give effect to the policy referred to in Article 4 of this Convention, the competent authority or authorities
shall ensure that the following functions are progressively carried out:

(a) the determination, where the nature and degree of hazards so require, of conditions governing the
design, construction and layout of undertakings, the commencement of their operations, major alterations
affecting them and changes in their purposes, the safety of technical equipment used at work, as well as
the application of procedures defined by the competent authorities;
(b) the determination of work processes and of substances and agents the exposure to which is to be
prohibited, limited or made subject to authorisation or control by the competent authority or authorities;
health hazards due to the simultaneous exposure to several substances or agents shall be taken into
(c) the establishment and application of procedures for the notification of occupational accidents and
diseases, by employers and, when appropriate, insurance institutions and others directly concerned, and
the production of annual statistics on occupational accidents and diseases;
(d) the holding of inquiries, where cases of occupational accidents, occupational diseases or any other
injuries to health which arise in the course of or in connection with work appear to reflect situations which
are serious;
(e) the publication, annually, of information on measures taken in pursuance of the policy referred to in
Article 4 of this Convention and on occupational accidents, occupational diseases and other injuries to
health which arise in the course of or in connection with work;
(f) the introduction or extension of systems, taking into account national conditions and possibilities, to
examine chemical, physical and biological agents in respect of the risk to the health of workers.
Article 12
Measures shall be taken, in accordance with national law and practice, with a view to ensuring that those
who design, manufacture, import, provide or transfer machinery, equipment or substances for occupational
use-(a) satisfy themselves that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the machinery, equipment or substance
does not entail dangers for the safety and health of those using it correctly;
(b) make available information concerning the correct installation and use of machinery and equipment and
the correct use of substances, and information on hazards of machinery and equipment and dangerous
properties of chemical substances and physical and biological agents or products, as well as instructions
on how known hazards are to be avoided;
(c) undertake studies and research or otherwise keep abreast of the scientific and technical knowledge
necessary to comply with subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this Article.
Article 13
A worker who has removed himself from a work situation which he has reasonable justification to believe
presents an imminent and serious danger to his life or health shall be protected from undue consequences
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2.50 Roles & Responsibilities of National Governments, Enterprises & Workers.

in accordance with national conditions and practice.

Article 14
Measures shall be taken with a view to promoting in a manner appropriate to national conditions and
practice, the inclusion of questions of occupational safety and health and the working environment at all
levels of education and training, including higher technical, medical and professional education, in a
manner meeting the training needs of all workers.
Article 15
1. With a view to ensuring the coherence of the policy referred to in Article 4 of this Convention and of
measures for its application, each Member shall, after consultation at the earliest possible stage with the
most representative organisations of employers and workers, and with other bodies as appropriate, make
arrangements appropriate to national conditions and practice to ensure the necessary co-ordination
between various authorities and bodies called upon to give effect to Parts II and III of this Convention.
2. Whenever circumstances so require and national conditions and practice permit, these arrangements
shall include the establishment of a central body.
Under this Convention employers have many responsibilities including ensuring that so far as is reasonably
practicable, the workplaces, machinery, equipment and processes under their control are safe and without
risks to health. Whenever two or more employees are engaged in activities simultaneously at one
workplace they must collaborate in meeting these requirements.
Workers are required to protect themselves and those around them who may also be at risk from harm.
They should co-operate with their employer and should receive adequate training and information to ensure
their occupational safety and health.
The Occupational Safety and Health Convention C155 is ratified by the R164 Occupational Safety and
Health Recommendation, 1981 and places a requirement on member nations for the convention to be
applied to all branches of economic activity.
2.51 ILO Provisional Record 20A Concerning the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety &
International Labour Conference Provisional Record 20A concerning the Promotional Framework for
Occupational Safety and Health. ILO Geneva 2006. Article 4 National System. (Cited as the Promotional
Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006).
1.Each Member which ratifies this Convention shall promote continuous improvement of occupational
safety and health to prevent occupational injuries, diseases and deaths, by the development, in
consultation with the most representative organizations of employers and workers, of a national policy,
national system and national programme.
2. Each Member shall take active steps towards achieving progressively a safe and healthy working
environment through a national system and national programmes on occupational safety and health by
taking into account the principles set out in instruments of the International Labour Organization (ILO)
relevant to the promotional framework for occupational safety and health.
3. Each Member, in consultation with the most representative organizations of employers and workers,
shall periodically consider what measures could be taken to ratify relevant occupational safety and health
Conventions of the ILO.
(Refers to: Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No.155), the Occupational Safety and
Health Recommendation, 1981 (No. 164), and other instruments of the International Labour Organization
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2.51 ILO Provisional Record 20A Concerning the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety &
relevant to the promotional framework for occupational safety and health).
Article 4
1. Each Member shall establish, maintain, progressively develop and periodically review a national system
for occupational safety and health, in consultation with the most representative organizations of employers
and workers.
2. The national system for occupational safety and health shall include among others:
(a) laws and regulations, collective agreements where appropriate, and any other relevant instruments on
occupational safety and health;
(b) an authority or body, or authorities or bodies, responsible for occupational safety and health, designated
in accordance with national law and practice;
(c) mechanisms for ensuring compliance with national laws and regulations, including systems of
inspection; and (d) arrangements to promote, at the level of the undertaking, cooperation between
management, workers and their representatives as an essential element of workplace-related prevention
3. The national system for occupational safety and health shall include, where appropriate:
(a) a national tripartite advisory body, or bodies, addressing occupational safety and health issues;
(b) information and advisory services on occupational safety and health;
(c) the provision of occupational safety and health training;
(d) occupational health services in accordance with national law and practice;
(e) research on occupational safety and health;
(f) a mechanism for the collection and analysis of data on occupational injuries and diseases, taking into
account relevant ILO instruments;
(g) provisions for collaboration with relevant insurance or social security schemes covering occupational
injuries and diseases; and
(h) support mechanisms for a progressive improvement of occupational safety and health conditions in
micro-enterprises, in small and medium-sized enterprises and in the informal economy.
2.52 1998 Declaration of Fundamental Principles & Rights at Work.
In 1998, the International Labour Conference adopted the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and
Rights at Work. This Declaration identified five issue areas as "core" or fundamental international labour
standards, meaning that any ILO member state should have ratified at least the eight key Conventions,
which concern:

Freedom of association.
The right to organise and collective bargaining.
Forced labour; and
Child labour.

These core or fundamental standards have all been ratified by the overwhelming majority of ILO member
2.53 Criticism of the Establishment of Core or Fundamental Labour Standards.
Despite the rapid ratification by many countries of the eight Conventions identified as fundamental, a
number of academics and activists have criticised the ILO for creating a false division between different
international labour standards, many of which cover specific and concrete human rights topics but were
excluded from the 1998 Declaration, such as those on health and safety and working hours. To add further
confusion, the new core conventions are often exclusively referred to as being human rights, whereas
before all international labour standards were viewed as human rights. Philip Alston, the John Norton
Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University, has written on this narrowing of international labour
standards in the name of human rights advocacy.
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2.54 95th International Labour Conference.

Putting the International Conventions into perspective.
95th International Labour Conference opens 31st May
Some 3,000 government, worker and employer leaders from the world of work are to meet from 31st May
to 16th June for the annual Conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to discuss issues
ranging from changing patterns in the world of work to child labour, occupational safety and health, the
employment relationship, labour inspection and the labour situation in Myanmar and other countries.
ILO Director-General Juan Somavia will provide delegates with an overview of ILO issues and concerns in
an address on June 5th. The Director-General will also present a new report on "Changing patterns in the
world of work" that provides a global perspective on the main features of the transformation of work and the
challenges this presents for the goal of decent work for all.
The Conference will also provide a central focus for global activities on the World Day Against Child Labour
on 12th June. The Conference will discuss elements of future ILO instruments on occupational safety and
health with a view toward adopting a new Convention and a Recommendation. The Committee on
Occupational Safety and Health will hold a second discussion on a promotional framework aimed at
lowering the toll of work-related injuries and diseases which cause some two million deaths each year.
On 9th June, the Conference Plenary will discuss the ILO's new Global Report on child labour, including a
special event highlighting the progress made in eliminating child labour in countries like Brazil, Tanzania
and Turkey. "The end of child labour - within reach" says child labour declined by 11 per cent between
2000 and 2004. The report is issued under the follow-up of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles
and Rights at Work adopted in 1998.
The Conference will also discuss the increasingly frequent situations in which it is difficult to establish the
existence of an employment relationship. Delegates will consider the possible adoption of an international
labour Recommendation, on the basis of the debate on the employment relationship at the 2003 session of
the International Labour Conference. The draft proposes to member States the formulation and adoption, in
consultation with the social partners, of a national policy that aims at guaranteeing effective protection for
The Conference Committee on the Application of Standards will consider the effect given by ILO member
States to ILO Conventions and Recommendations, including a general survey on international labour
standards relating to labour inspection.
Delegates will review the ILO's technical cooperation programmes taking account of significant changes
that have taken place in the approach and modalities of ILO programmes and activities since the last time
the issue was discussed at the Conference in 1999, including Decent Work Country Programmes and
partnerships within the United Nations system and elsewhere.
The Conference will also consider the situation of forced labour in Myanmar in a plenary session and
review possible further action by the ILO in accordance with its Constitution in order to effectively secure
Myanmar's compliance with the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry established in 1997, and to
ensure that no action is taken against complainants or their representatives.
During the discussions in the plenary, tripartite delegates will also address the latest report of the ILO on
the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories.
The role of the International Labour Conference is to adopt and oversee compliance with international
labour standards, establish the budget of the Organisation and elect members of the Governing Body.
Since 1919, the Conference has served as a major international forum for debate on social and labour
questions of worldwide importance.
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2.54 95th International Labour Conference.

The Conference is expected to draw more than 3,000 delegates including labour ministers and leaders of
workers' and employers' organisations from most of the ILO's 178 member States. Each member country
has the right to send four delegates to the Conference: two from government and one each representing
workers and employers, each of whom may speak and vote independently.
2.55 Chernobyl Disaster.

To understand how the International Conventions may be used as a remedy in

health and safety we are considering the Chernobyl disaster.
We will start with a press release from the Secretary General:
Press Release
Following is the text of the message of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali,
delivered on his behalf yesterday in Vienna by the Director-General of the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hans Blix, to the International
Conference on "One Decade After Chernobyl: Summing Up the Consequences of
the Accident", which is being held in Vienna from 8 to 12 April:
This is a sombre anniversary. On the tenth anniversary of the accident at Chernobyl,
the extent of its impact on affected populations has only begun to be fully realised.
The consequences of the Chernobyl accident cannot be regarded as the problem of
a few countries. Even today, its health, social, economic and environmental
dimensions, both immediate and long-term, remain to be defined. The United
Nations system, international organisations and Member States have responded to
the need for help with compassion, energy and enthusiasm. Your presence in
Vienna reflects this. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World
Health organisation (WHO), the European Commission and many others, have
played a key role in providing assistance. Within the United Nations, the Department
of Humanitarian Affairs is bringing together all who are involved in addressing the
Chernobyl issue in a necessary and valuable pooling of expertise and experience.
I welcome this international forum on Chernobyl in Vienna and hope that it can
assist the affected States, as well as donor countries and organisations, to focus
their relevant activities and assistance on the most pressing tasks, for much more
needs to be done to help those still suffering.
This worst disaster in the history of nuclear power generation has displaced
hundreds of thousands of people and severely affected the social fibre of the States
that were most seriously affected by its consequences. Radioactive contamination
and health risks, both physical and mental, continue to affect vast populations in
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2.55 Chernobyl Disaster.

these countries. More than 300 children have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
The fertility rate has declined dramatically, and the mortality rate has increased.
As I stated in my 1995 annual report on the work of the organisation, lack of funds
has affected several programmes relevant to addressing and mitigating the
consequences of the accident. However, generous financial support by some
countries has allowed the full and rapid implementation of priority activities.
The joint efforts of the Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) and the IAEA have
rendered large areas of land safe for agricultural production. The programme of the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO) to
overcome the psychological effects of the accident, however, continues to depend
upon assured funds. The same need is affecting the WHO International Programme
on Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident. Each of these programmes and
activities represents the potential of the United Nations for serving the international
community in cases of great need. Your Conference can do much to draw attention
and support for this work.
The deliberations of your Conference can facilitate a common understanding of the
causes and consequences of the Chernobyl accident and promote the consolidation
of international understanding on an issue the ramifications of which, even 10 years
later, still remain to be fully understood. I wish you every success in your
2.56 History of the United Nations & Chernobyl.
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, April 26, 1986.
The routine 20-second shut down of the system seemed to be another test of the electrical equipment.
Seven seconds later, a surge created a chemical explosion that released nearly 520 dangerous
radionuclides into the atmosphere. The force of the explosion spread contamination over large parts of the
Soviet Union, now the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. According to official reports, thirty-one
people died immediately and 600,000 "liquidators," involved in fire fighting and clean-up operations, were
exposed to high doses of radiation. Based on the official reports, near 8,400,000 people in Belarus, Ukraine
and Russia were exposed to the radiation, which is more than the population of Austria. About 155,000 sq.
km of territories in the three countries were contaminated, which is almost half of the total territory of Italy.
Agricultural areas covering nearly 52,000 sq. km, which is more than the size of Denmark, were
contaminated with caesium-137 and strontium-90, with 30-year and 28-year half-lives respectively. Nearly
404,000 people were resettled but millions continued to live in an environment where continued residual
exposure created a range of adverse effects.
No reports were released until the third day after the Chernobyl explosion. Then Swedish authorities
correlated a map of enhanced radiation levels in Europe with wind direction and announced to the world
that a nuclear accident had occurred somewhere in the Soviet Union. Before Sweden's announcement, the
Soviet authorities were conducting emergency fire fighting and clean-up operations but had chosen not
report to the accident or its scale in full.
No established legitimate authority was able to immediately address the situation and provide
answers for questions such as:

Is it safe to leave the house?

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2.56 History of the United Nations & Chernobyl.

Is it safe to drink water?

Is it safe to eat local produce?

Communicating protective measures early would also have most likely enabled the population to escape
exposure to some radionuclides, such as iodine 131, which are known to cause thyroid cancer. Early
evacuation would have helped people avoid the area when iodine 131 is most dangerous, 8-16 days after
During the first four years after the Chernobyl accident, the Soviet authorities decided to largely deal with
the consequences of the explosion at a national level. Without Soviet support, the United Nations and its
partners sought ways to provide emergency support, which included assessing the nuclear safety and
environmental conditions of the contaminated area, and diagnosing the various medical conditions that
resulted from the accident.
The UN also focused on raising the awareness of the area's inhabitants, teaching them how to protect
themselves from radionuclides found in the environment and agricultural products.
Many count the year 1990 as a crucial point in the United Nations involvement in the Chernobyl recovery.
The Soviet Government acknowledged the need for international assistance. As a result, the General
Assembly adopted Resolution 45/190, which called for "international cooperation to address and mitigate
the consequences at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant".
This Resolution also entrusted one of the Under-Secretaries-General with the task of coordinating the
Chernobyl co-operation and called for the formation of an Inter-Agency Task Force. The Quadripartite
Coordination Committee, which consists of ministers from Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, as well as the United
Nations Chernobyl Coordinator, became part of the coordination mechanism at the ministerial level. In
1992, a year after the Task Force was established, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs, which came to
be called the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in 1997, began to coordinate international
cooperation on Chernobyl.
To expedite financial contributions towards the Chernobyl activities, the Chernobyl Trust Fund was
established in 1991 under the management of OCHA. OCHA began to manage a range of diverse tasks
and responsibilities from strategy formulation and promotion to resources mobilisation, advocacy and
channelling donors' contributions.
Since 1986, the United Nations organisations and major Non-Government organisations and
Foundations have launched more than 230 different research and assistance projects in the fields

Nuclear safety, including the construction of the Shelter.
Socio-psychological rehabilitation.
Economic rehabilitation.
Environment and.
Production of clean foods and information.

Over time, it has become clear that the task of environmental and health recovery cannot be separated
from the task of development. In 2001, UNDP and its regional director for the three affected countries
(Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), became part of the coordination mechanism for Chernobyl cooperation. In
the following year, the United Nations announced a shift in strategy, with a new focus on long-term
developmental approach, as opposed to emergency humanitarian assistance.
In 2004, UN Secretary General's decision was announced transferring coordination responsibility from UN
OCHA to UNDP as part of shift in strategy based on 2002 study "The Human Consequences of the
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2.56 History of the United Nations & Chernobyl.

Chernobyl Nuclear Accident: A Strategy for Recovery".
In the course of assuming coordination responsibilities, UNDP has identified three priority areas to
pursue on Chernobyl:
1. Information provision, including on promotion of healthy lifestyles.
2. Community-based social and economic development.
3. Policy advice, aimed at helping governments rationalise Chernobyl spending.
In order to clarify remaining issues and maintain worldwide attention on Chernobyl, the United Nations has
undertaken a number of new initiatives.
The Swiss-funded Chernobyl website serves as an independent forum on Chernobyl. The
Chernobyl Forum, initiated by IAEA, is aimed at generating consensus on a range of disputed issues and
reviewing all the scientific evidence on the impact of the Chernobyl accident on human health and the
environment. GreenFacts summarises Chernobyl's Legacy Report findings provided the reassuring
message about the impact of low-dose radiation. They will be used by UNDP as source material in efforts
to ease fears of the affected populations and provide useful advice on how to live and work safely in the
region. The ICRIN (International Chernobyl Research and Information Network), initiative launched by
OCHA and SDC, is carried out by UNDP focusing on information dissemination to the Chernobyl-affected
communities and popularising healthy lifestyles. The first phase of ICRIN - information needs assessments
- had already been completed by UNDP Country offices in Belarus, Russian Federation and Ukraine.
2.57 Ongoing Strategy.
In line with a shift in strategy from humanitarian assistance to development aid, UNDP assumed
responsibility for UN-wide coordination of Chernobyl issues in 2004.
The UNDP approach is largely based on the findings and recommendations of the 2002 report, Human
Consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident: A Strategy for Recovery, which outlines a shift from
humanitarian to development assistance and emphasises the need to overcome a culture of dependency
that has emerged in the affected communities.
UNDP's outlook on Chernobyl is also consistent with the findings and recommendations of the UN
Chernobyl Forum, a platform established in 2003 by IAEA in cooperation with UNDP, WHO, UNEP, UNOCHA, UNSCEAR, FAO and the World Bank as well as the authorities of Belarus, the Russian Federation
and Ukraine. The findings support the notion that, at the community level, poverty and lack of socioeconomic opportunity are the biggest danger for the Chernobyl-affected areas of Belarus, the Russian
Federation and Ukraine.
The concluding conference of the Chernobyl Forum (held in Vienna in September 2005) endorsed UNDP
recommendations for an adjustment of broader economic and social policies that will spur economic
development of the region. The proposed solutions will tackle the priority problems faced by affected
countries, communities and individuals and will be implemented on the Chernobyl-affected territories of
Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. These solutions, which build both on fieldwork in Chernobylaffected communities and UNDP's development experience worldwide, will address the following three
1. Information. Recent research has shown that people in the Chernobyl region still lack the information
they need to lead healthy, productive lives. Information itself is not in short supply; what is missing are
creative ways of disseminating information in a way that induces people to change their behaviour.
Moreover, propagation of healthy lifestyles is at least as important as providing information on living safely
with low-dose radiation. To improve the population's mental health and ease fears, community activists will
be mobilised to deliver truthful and reassuring messages to dispel the misconceptions surrounding
2. Policy advice. In an effort to facilitate a reorientation in spending on Chernobyl, UNDP offers
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2.57 Ongoing Strategy.

recommendations on policy change to the governments of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
These efforts will focus on overcoming the culture of dependency that has developed among many affected
communities and on targeting scarce funds to the truly needy as well as to investments that promote
growth and new jobs. Specific policy proposals include an overhaul of zoning definitions and regulations to
reflect conditions now recognised to be safe for habitation and commercial activity; a reorientation of health
care spending towards better primary and preventive care; and a radical overhaul of Chernobyl benefits
and privileges, so that the needy are covered by an efficient mainstream social welfare programme
covering the entire population.
3. Community development. UNDP's experience in applying a holistic "area-based development"
approach aimed at restoring a sense of community self-reliance by showing local residents that they
themselves hold the key to their own recovery, will serve as a template for community-based efforts across
the region. Expanding early successes in Ukraine to Belarus and the Russian Federation, this effort will
emphasise community empowerment, building a spirit of activism, and helping overcome "victims'
syndrome," as residents re-build basic infrastructure and meet other urgent needs. Cross-border linkages
will build on the opportunities that such cooperation can bring for the people of the three Chernobyl-affected
As result of UNDP's assumption from OCHA of responsibility for UN-wide coordination of Chernobyl efforts,
the UNDP Administrator became the UN Coordinator of International Cooperation on Chernobyl. Under his
leadership, UNDP is working on promoting synergies in development work and ensuring communication,
coordination and cooperation among many agencies involved in Chernobyl recovery efforts.
Question 3.
The ICJ is composed of _____ judges.
Question 4.
The purpose of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) involves
the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide through direct contact with individual governments
and the provision of technical assistance where appropriate.
3.0 Introduction.
In most countries around the world, you will find an infrastructure of dedicated occupational health and
safety professional bodies, governmental departments, employee representatives, trade unions and
individuals. Most of these have links with other countries, which have additional links. Occupational Health
and Safety, environmental matters, employee rights and human rights are of course intertwined in many
As an exercise, make notes of the topics you would need to address when discussing the matter of an
open cast mine in a third world country. Certainly, working conditions, workers' rights, the environmental
impact and of course the safety of those who work there and in the surrounding area would all need to be
The question is how can other countries influence and assist the less developed country in these matters, if
at all?
Certainly, governments can play a role and do in some cases. Trade Unions and Human Rights groups put
pressure on poor employers and governments who exploit workers. The media can also play a major role in
some circumstances.
In Great Britain, consumers are becoming more and more aware of the influence they have with suppliers
of consumer products. As an example of this, marble and other natural stone products have increased in
popularity for use as work surfaces, flooring and decorative features in the home. Recently (2006) the
media, television, newspapers and radio have presented articles of the poor working condition at some of
the quarries where the stone originated. As a result, labels are now posted on those products where
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3.0 Introduction.
working conditions at the quarries and supply chains have improved. Consumers now have a choice and
many are paying the additional premium as they struggle with their conscience.
We have provided many links to safety organisations around the world. You may need to consider those
local to you and gain an understanding of their influence, both locally and globally.
Each of these has, of course, a great deal of local influence, both in prescriptive terms in the way of setting
and enforcing legislation and statutory requirements and in terms of providing an advisory and consultation
Reading through this section of the learning material, you will see how they have had an influence on each
other, either directly or indirectly.
3.1 Governmental - U.S. Department of Labour Office of the Secretary.
About DOL.

The Department fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners and retirees of the
United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable
employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers,
strengthening free collective bargaining, tracking changes in employment, prices and other national
economic measurements.
They promote the economic well-being of workers and their families through rising wages, pensions, health
benefits and expanded economic opportunities and foster safe and healthful workplaces that are free from
The Department of Labour accomplishes its mission through component agencies and offices that
administer the various statutes and programmes for which the Department is responsible. These
programmes are carried out through a network of regional offices and smaller field, district, and area
offices, as well as through grantees and contractors.
The largest programme agencies, each headed by an Assistant Secretary, Commissioner, or
Director, are:

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

Employment Standards Administration (ESA).
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).
Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), and.
The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS).

Legal services are provided to the programme agencies by the Office of the Solicitor (SOL).
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3.1 Governmental - U.S. Department of Labour Office of the Secretary.

Meeting Tomorrow's Challenges Today.

Over the last two decades, seismic changes have transformed the workplaces and business practices in
the U.S. and around the world. Toward the end of the last century, the U.S. economy shifted from one
based on production to one based on information and services. New technologies gave rise to new
products and new industries and transformed the way firms in established industries were organised and
work was accomplished.
Today's economy includes more dual income families, a more robust service sector, dramatically changing
technological advancements and increasingly global markets. In the time since August 2003, the American
job market has continued to expand. By August 2006, the United States had experienced 36 straight
months of job growth, with over 5.7 million new jobs created, and an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.
From 2001 to 2005, labour productivity grew at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the non-farm business
sector and by 4.8 percent in the manufacturing sector.
DOL Strategic Goals.
Four strategic goals provide the framework for the Department of Labour Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2006 2011. These long-term, overarching goals define the purpose of the Department's core functions while
reflecting the vision and priorities for the Department. They encompass the laws and regulations
administered by DOL as well as the programmes designed to promote the welfare of workers and improve
the quality of workplaces. Each agency or programme within the Department supports one or more of these
strategic goals through its own mission-driven activities. The measure of each agency or programme's
success is determined by outcome-based performance goals that directly tie to these four strategic goals.
A Prepared Workforce.
Goal1 Develop a prepared workforce by providing effective training and support services to
new and incumbent workers and supplying high-quality information on the economy
and labour market.
A Competitive Workforce.
Goal2 Meet the competitive labour demands of the worldwide economy by enhancing the
effectiveness and efficiency of the workforce development and regulatory systems
that assist workers and employers in meeting the challenges of global competition.
Safe and Secure Workforce.
Goal3 Promote workplaces that are safe, healthy and fair; guarantee workers receive the
wages due them; foster equal opportunity in employment; and protect veterans'
employment and re-employment rights.
Strengthened Economic Protections.
Goal4 Protect and strengthen worker economic security through effective and efficient
provision of unemployment insurance and workers' compensation; ensuring union
transparency; and securing pension and health benefits.

These four strategic goals provide the foundation for the Department's future planning, budgeting, and
reporting. Performance goals flow directly from these strategic goals and represent the aims of the
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3.1 Governmental - U.S. Department of Labour Office of the Secretary.

agencies at the programme level. Performance goals articulate how DOL will carry out its mission in
support of the strategic goals. Agencies partly determine their success in achieving these goals through
performance indicators. A performance indicator defines a measurable outcome or output that can be
expressed numerically. Agencies establish annual and long-term targets in order to gauge progress and to
determine whether they achieved their intended results. Annual performance goals and indicators account
for the span of time between intervention and results, although many outcomes occur beyond the year of
This Plan includes the results from the prior year and long-term targets. In the interim years, results are
reported annually in the President's Budget and the Annual Performance and Accountability Report, also
mandated by GPRA. For reporting purposes, most agencies follow a fiscal year (FY) which starts on
October 1st and ends on September 30th. Workforce development programmes within ETA, VETS and Job
Corps report data by programme year (PY) which starts on July 1st and ends on June 30th.
3.2 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created both NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is in the U.S. Department of Labour and is responsible for developing
and enforcing workplace safety and health regulations. NIOSH is in the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services and is an agency established to help assure safe and healthy working conditions for
working men and women by providing research, information, education, and training in the field of
occupational safety and health.
Information pertaining to the responsibilities of NIOSH are found in Section 22 of the Occupational Safety
and Health Act of 1970 (29 CFR 671).
The Institute is authorised to:

Develop recommendations for occupational safety and health standards.

Perform all functions of the Secretary of Health and Human Services under Sections 20 and 21 of
the Act.
Conduct Research on Worker Safety and Health (Section 20).
Conduct Training and Employee Education (Section 21).
Develop information on safe levels of exposure to toxic materials and harmful physical agents and
Conduct research on new safety and health problems.
Conduct on-site investigations (Health Hazard Evaluations) to determine the toxicity of materials
used in workplaces (42 CFR Parts 85 and 85a); and fund research by other agencies or private
organisations through grants, contracts, and other arrangements.

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977 delegated additional authority to NIOSH for
coal mine health research.
The mine health and safety law authorised NIOSH to:

Develop recommendations for mine health standards for the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Administer a medical surveillance programme for miners, including chest X-rays to detect
pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) in coal miners.
Conduct on-site investigations in mines similar to those authorised for general industry under the
OSH Act; and
Test and certify personal protective equipment and hazard-measurement instruments.

NIOSH provides national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability and death by
gathering information, conducting scientific research and translating the knowledge gained into products
and services. NIOSH's mission is critical to the health and safety of every American worker.
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3.2 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Each day, an average of 9,000 U.S. workers sustain disabling injuries on the job, 16 workers die from an
injury suffered at work, and 137 workers die from work-related diseases. The Liberty Mutual 2005
Workplace Safety Index estimates that employers spent $50.8 billion in 2003 on wage payments and
medical care for workers hurt on the job.
Strategic Goals.
NIOSH objectives include:

Conduct research to reduce work-related illnesses and injuries.

Promote safe and healthy workplaces through interventions, recommendations and capacity
Enhance global workplace safety and health through international collaborations.

See the NIOSH Strategic Plan Outline 2004-2009 for more information.
3.3 Great Britain - Health & Safety Executive.
Their job is:

To protect everyone in Great Britain against risks to health or safety arising out of work activities.
To conduct and sponsor research.
Promote training.
Provide an information and advisory service; and
Submit proposals for new or revised regulations and approved codes of practice.

They also have a specific duty to maintain the Employment Medical Advisory Service, which provides
advice on occupational health matters.
This is achieved with the help of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests and experience
brought together through a network of advisory committees. They actively encourage feedback from the
public - and make special efforts to seek the views of small firms. The Health and Safety Executive is also
responsible for health and safety regulation in Great Britan. It and local government are the enforcing
authorities who work together to ensure that health and safety legislation and regulations are observed.
Their mission is to protect people's health and safety by ensuring risks in the changing workplace, are
properly controlled.They look after health and safety in nuclear installations and mines, factories, farms,
hospitals and schools, offshore gas and oil installations, the safety of the gas grid and the movement of
dangerous goods and substances and many other aspects of the protection both of workers and the public.
Local authorities are responsible to HSE for enforcement in offices, shops and other parts of the services
The HSE is sponsored by the Department of Work and Pensions and is ultimately accountable to the
Parliamentary Under Secretary for Work and Pensions.
You can find out more about the HSE's national strategy for health and safety regulation at this link: You can also look into the different relationships the HSE
has with other organisations by visiting their page on Memoranda of Understanding here:
3.4 Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
The HSE's job is to ensure that risks to people's health and safety from work activities are properly
Staff from a range of different backgrounds including administrators, lawyers, inspectors, scientists,
engineers, technologists and medical professionals contribute to this aim.
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3.5 The HSE and Europe.

The UK joined the European Economic Community (EEC) at the beginning of 1973, which became the
European Union (EU) in 1992.
People throughout the HSE work with various international bodies on occupational health and safety law
In the European Union, these include the following:

Every three and a half minutes, somebody in the EU dies from work-related causes. That is more than
150,000 deaths a year as a result of either work-related accidents (8,900) or occupational diseases
Workers and employers need to be made aware of the risks that they face and how to manage them.
However, health and safety bodies in the individual EU Member States cannot do this alone. That is why
the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work was set up in 1996. Their mission is to make Europe's
workplaces safer, healthier and more productive. They do this by bringing together and sharing knowledge
and information to promote a culture of risk prevention. Located in Bilbao, they have a dedicated staff of
occupational safety and health (OSH), communication and administrative specialists. At the national level,
they are represented through a network of focal points, which are usually the lead OSH bodies in the
individual Member States.
The Agency is a tripartite organisation; this means that they work with governments, employers and
workers' representatives. They are a single reference point for OSH information. They commission, collect
and publish new scientific research and statistics on OSH risks. They share good practice and
communicate information in a variety of ways to reach workers and workplaces. Their publicity campaigns
include the European Week for Safety and Health at Work, which focuses on different themes. They also
provide information on their website, via their electronic newsletter OSHmail, and in a range of printed
They help to explain European legislation on OSH.
Their European Risk Observatory aims to identify new and emerging risks. In order to achieve this, it will
give an overview of safety and health at work in Europe, describe the trends and underlying factors and
anticipate changes in work and their likely consequences for safety and health. Additionally, it aims to
stimulate debate and reflection among the Agency's stakeholders and to provide a platform for debate
between policy-makers at various levels.
3.6 Australia.

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3.6 Australia.
What they do.
Through a partnership of government, unions and industry the ASCC leads and coordinates
national efforts to:

Prevent workplace death, injury and disease.

Improve workers' compensation arrangements, and.
Improve the rehabilitation and return to work of injured workers.

The ASCC also:

Provides a national forum for State and Territory governments, employers and employees to consult
and participate in the development of policies relating to OHS and workers' compensation matters,
Promotes national consistency in the OHS and workers' compensation regulatory framework.

International Involvement.
United Nations (UN).
The ASCC plays the lead national role for the development and implementation of the Globally Harmonised
System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The GHS, developed by the UN, is a tool that
countries can use to develop or enhance their own national chemical regulation systems. The GHS
provides a uniform way of classifying chemicals, as well as informing chemical users about chemical
hazards. For further information go to
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The ASCC provides input to the OECD's work on chemical safety. This work is carried out by the OECD
Environment, Health and Safety Programme. The Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage
has the lead responsibility for coordinating Australia's input to this OECD activity. For further information go
World Health Organisation (WHO).
The ASCC is part of the WHO Collaborating Centres in occupational health and safety. The centre forms
part of a collaborative network carrying out activities at the country, inter-country, regional, interregional and
global levels. Functions of the centre include collection and dissemination of information, standardisation of
nomenclature, research, education and training, provision of information and advice on scientific, technical
and policy issues. For further information go to
International Labour Organisation.
The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations is responsible for ensuring that Australia's
obligations as a member of the International Labour Organisation are met. The ASCC contributes input
relating to occupational health safety and workers' compensation issues.
International Collaboration.
The ASCC participates in a range of international activities with a view to improving national and
international outcomes in occupational health and safety and workers' compensation. These activities
involve inter-government organisation such as the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development, the World Health Organisation and the International Labour Organisation.
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3.6 Australia.

ASCC-European Union.
The ASCC and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EASHW) work together to promote
communication of current health and safety topics.
Overview of policy framework.
The ASCC is not a regulatory authority. It does not make or enforce laws. OHS and workers' compensation
in Australia is state-based and all OHS regulations and legislation is the responsibility of state and territory
OHS authorities.
All national standards and codes of practice produced by the ASCC are guidance and advisory documents
The national standards may be adopted by the governments in the state and territories regulation to make
up part of their OHS regulatory framework. The ASCC agrees to adopt the national standards and codes of
practice and the Office of the ASCC seeks to influence this adoption.
3.7 Non-Governmental - Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH).

Who are they?

IOSH is Europe's leading body for health and safety professionals. As an independent and not-for-profit
organisation, they aim to regulate and steer the profession, maintaining standards and providing impartial,
authoritative guidance on health and safety issues.
What do they do?
Influencing the profession.
They believe that offering communicated expert advice from competent safety and health practitioners is an
essential component in defining the safety, health and welfare policies of employers.
By encouraging, facilitating and leading communication of good practices and expertise, they aim to
promote awareness of health and safety matters in the workplace and ensure that high standards are
achieved, and maintained.
Working with UK governments.
IOSH is the conduit for knowledge, opinion and research on many important matters affecting the health
and safety profession, and is often consulted by government departments for members' views on draft
legislation, codes of practice and other government initiatives.
They aim to ensure that members have a strong and effective voice which influences health and safety
related issues with governments, employers and trades unions.
Working with Europe.
IOSH aims to increase its contribution within the European Community and explore ways in which it can
more directly influence European directives and guidance.
They also aim to work with committees of national and international standards-making bodies, advancing
research and pro-actively assisting the dissemination of knowledge throughout the wider European
community and accession states.

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3.7 Non-Governmental - Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH).

IOSH links directory.
This is a compiled selection of websites related to occupational safety and health that they feel may benefit
their members. To view their links simply click on the individual category sections below

Technical Information Links.

The technical links directory provides links to websites with useful information for health and safety
practitioners on a wide variety of occupational safety and health related topics.
3.8 European Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organisations.

ENSHPO - European Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organisations.

ENSHPO ( was established in 2001. The members of the Network are health and safety
practitioner organisations from the current EU member states, new member states, applicant countries, and
other European countries.
3.9 International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organisations.

Figure 1. INSHPO logo.

INSHPO - International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organisations
INSHPO ( is a non-profit organisation and exists to bring together generalist professional
safety and health practitioner organisations throughout the world in order to reduce, minimise or eliminate
the exposure of humans to risks connected with work activities.
3.10 Professional Organisations in Occupational Safety and Health.

POOSH - Professional Organisations in Occupational Safety and Health.

POOSH ( exists to promote the continuous improvement of the practice of occupational
safety and health through education, communication and the encouragement of cooperation between all
persons and agencies involved in the provision of a healthy and safe working environment.
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3.11 Associazione Italiana fra Addetti alla Sicurezza (AIAS).

Associazione Italiana fra Addetti alla Sicurezza (AIAS)
AIAS is the oldest association in Italy dealing with occupational safety, health and environmental protection
(OSHEP) issues. AIAS is an independent, private and non-profit institute.
3.12 BST Foreningen.
BST Foreningen
BST Foreningen is an association for Occupational Health Service in Denmark. The Association is the cooperation body of the occupational health service units in Denmark and also co-operates with the Danish
legal authorities, the labour market organisations, the work environmental research and education
institutions in Denmark as well as in the Nordic countries and Europe.
3.13 Cyprus Safety and Health Association (CySHA).
Cyprus Safety and Health Association (CySHA)
CySHA is a non-governmental, non-profit making organisation that promotes health and safety. It was
founded in Nicosia in September 1991. Its main purpose is to contribute towards the efforts for protection
and promotion of safety and health at work and towards the prevention of risks concerning the public in
3.14 IOSH Ireland Branch.
IOSH Ireland Branch
The Ireland Branch of The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health is the Irish member of ENSHPO.
3.15 Nederlandse Vereniging voor Veiligheidskunde (NVVK).
Nederlandse Vereniging voor Veiligheidskunde (NVVK).
NVVK was founded in 1947. It is the professional association for qualified occupational safety
professionals, but also accepts other members working in all areas of safety, and in occupational hygiene,
ergonomics and fire prevention. It aims to provide a forum for information development and exchange in
these areas.
3.16 The Czech Republic.
Occupational Safety and Health and Fire Prevention Chamber of the Czech Republic (OSHFPCh-CZ) (CIVOP)
This is a non-governmental independent organisation concerned with information, education and training
for industry, state administration and government both in the Czech Republic and abroad.
It is the national centre of CIS-ILO for Czech Republic, and is responsible for:

Processing and dissemination of information.

Creating databases.
Publishing special materials and bulletins.
Education and training for managers and professionals.
Organising international and national conferences and seminars, and.
The provision of counselling and consultancy services.

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3.17 Prevent.
Prevent is a key occupational safety and health organisation in Belgium and aims to promote the quality of
working conditions and prevent occupational risks. They provide support, advice and information to
companies and specialised organisations.
3.18 Sociedad Espanola de Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo (SEMST).
Sociedad Espanola de Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo (SEMST)
The Spanish Society for Occupational Safety and Health, founded in 1956, has a current membership of
over 3,000 health and safety professionals. Their aim is to improve the safety, health and security of
employees at work in Spain and to promote a safe and healthy business culture.
3.19 SPOSHO.
The Portuguese Society of Occupational Safety and Hygiene - SPOSHO - was created in 2004 and has
about 60 members. This society is open to all graduates and bachelors whose professional activity is
related to occupational safety and hygiene, namely H&S practitioners, researchers and other professionals
with a relevant curriculum.
3.20 Tyoturvallisuuskeskus (TTK) Centre for Occupational Safety.
Tyoturvallisuuskeskus (TTK) Centre for Occupational Safety
The Centre for occupational safety is administered by central labour market organisations and it is
operating in close association with industrial, service and municipality, branch employer and employee
organisations. It is financed by the Finnish work environment fund and provides training and information.
The centre is also keeping the records of safety personnel (managers and delegates) in Finland, as
required by the law.
3.21 Verband Deutscher Sicherheitsingenieure (VDSI).
Verband Deutscher Sicherheitsingenieure (VDSI)
VDSI - the Association of German Safety Engineers - is an internal and external technical association for
everyone working in occupational health and safety. Environmental protection, fire prevention and hygiene
at the workplace are also fields covered by VDSI, which was established in 1951. VDSI has around 5,000
members. VDSI forms, together with VDGAB and VDRI, the Fachvereinigung Arbeitssicherheit (FASI).
3.22 Verband Osterreichischer Sicherheits-Ingenieure (VOSI).
Verband Osterreichischer Sicherheits-Ingenieure (VOSI)
The VOSI is a membership organisation for Austrian Safety Engineers and also all other safety experts.
The Association supports its members in all tasks of occupational safety and health.
All the organisations and websites indicated above can all be accessed by following the one link below.
3.23 Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

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3.23 Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

IOSH Ireland Branch.

The Ireland Branch of The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health is the Irish member of ENSHPO.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is a registered charity established over 80 years ago and
aims to campaign for change, influence opinion, contribute to debate, educate and inform - for the good of
By providing information, advice, resources and training, RoSPA is actively involved in the promotion of
safety and the prevention of accidents in all areas of life - at work, in the home, and on the roads, in
schools, at leisure and on (or near) water. In order to give a clearer picture of some of the key
understandings which inform its approach to safety, RoSPA has developed fifteen Safety Points, both as a
guide to outside organisations and as an aide memoire to its own trustees, staff, members and supporters.
RoSPA Membership.
The Society works towards its aims with central and local government, the caring services, the police and
with public and private sector organisations large and small. Some of its work is funded by grant and
sponsorship but mostly relies on the support of its growing membership. As well as contributing to RoSPA's
valuable work, members enjoy a range of benefits from journal subscription to course discounts. Click here
for more information on RoSPA Membership.
RoSPA featured prominently in the media with its views on issues such as speed cameras, drink-driving,
mini-motorbikes, thermostatic mixing valves and Christmas safety, featuring on television and radio and in
the national press. Specialist magazines carried articles about RoSPA, including a spread in AutoExpress
on Driver Profiler and a feature on RoSPA's views on road safety laws in The House Magazine, which
circulates in Parliament. RoSPA's own journals continued to be an important source of information for
safety professionals.
Safety Groups.
RoSPA was heavily involved in the launch of Safety Groups UK . This was formed out of the National
Health and Safety Groups Council, a body representing around 80 community-based groups which give
advice to small and medium-sized businesses in their area.
The groups reach out to small businesses in local communities to help create a safer workplace and have
signed a partnership agreement with HSE -
3.24 International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH).

About ICOH.
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3.24 International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH).

The International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) is an international non-governmental
professional society whose aims are to foster the scientific progress, knowledge and development of
occupational health and safety in all its aspects. It was founded in 1906 in Milan as the Permanent
Commission on Occupational Health.
Today, ICOH is the world's leading international scientific society in the field of occupational health with a
membership of 2,000 professionals from 93 countries. The ICOH is recognised by the United Nations as a
non-governmental organisation (NGO) and has close working relationships with ILO, WHO, UNEP and
ISSA. Its official languages are English and French.
The most visible activities of ICOH are the triennial World Congresses on Occupational Health, which are
usually attended by some 3,000 participants. The 2000 Congress was held in Singapore, the 2003
Congress in Iguassu Falls (Brazil), the 2006 Centennial Congress was held in Milan and the 2009
Congress in Cape Town. The 2012 Congress venue is scheduled to be Monterrey (Mexico).
ICOH has 33 Scientific Committees. Most of these committees have regular symposia, scientific
monographs and review the abstracts submitted to the International Congresses.
To be able to serve the ICOH members in the most accurate way, several Task Groups have been

Finance Committee.
Transparency Group.
Information Task Group.
Membership Fees and Benefits Task Group.
Centennial Committee Task Group.
Constitution Bye-laws Task Group and.
Guidelines and on Language Matters Task Group.

Two new working groups have been established on Biological Agents and Infectious diseases and
Women and Work.
At the General Assembly of the ICOH Congress 2006 held in Milan, the President highlighted the overriding
importance of permanent training and education of experts in order to face the rapidly changing world of
work, the need to develop occupational health services throughout the world (including the development
and dissemination of basic occupational health services - BOHS), the importance of creating BOHS
guidelines, tools, training and pilot projects and the intention of making a global survey on the OHS
situation in ICOH member countries.
Cooperation with WHO, ILO and other NGO partners is among the priorities of the current ICOH Strategy.
3.25 India and Asia - Health and Safety at Work.
India & Asia.
Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC) is an independent non-government organisation (NGO) which
focuses on Asian labour concerns. Founded in 1976, AMRC has been leading the way in promoting
workers' rights and democratic labour movements in Asia and the Pacific for nearly thirty years. The Centre
supports a democratic and independent labour movement promoting the principles of labour rights, gender
consciousness, and active workers' participation. AMRC provides information, consultation, publications,
documentation and internships, and conducts research, training, advocacy, campaigns, labour networking
and related services to trade unions, pro-labour groups, related NGOs, academics, researchers and
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3.25 India and Asia - Health and Safety at Work.

professionals on labour issues.
To help workers become truly empowered, AMRC upholds the following:

Providing workers with access to information, tools, and skills.

Promoting men and women working together as equal partners.
Strengthening international solidarity among workers through the exchange of experiences and
Engaging in strategies to help organise workers in a changing society.

Fundamental principles, standards, and rights at work are essential for organising workers. In particular,
AMRC supports the International Labour Organisation's core labour standards covering freedom of
association, the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced labour and child labour and abolition
of discrimination at work.
A safe and healthy work environment is the basic right of every worker. However, the global situation falls
far short of this right. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that more than 125 million
workers are victims of occupational accidents and disease in a single year. Of these approximately 220,000
workers die and about 10 million are seriously disabled.
With world population increasing, the above figures are expected to rise significantly if present conditions
prevail. The situation is grim in the Third World. About 75 percent of the global workforce lives and works in
Third World countries which have so many serious problems like poverty and unemployment that the status
of health and safety is very low.
There are almost 820 million unemployed people in the Third World.
South Asia.
The South Asian region (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) is a large bloc in terms of
population, natural resources, and gross domestic product. The work force represents more than 20
percent of the world's working population. Despite rich natural resources, countries here have slow
economic growth rates.
Under the influence of various economic institutions (World Bank, IMF, ADB) countries in the region have
shed protectionist economics and started to compete for exports. Liberalisation of South Asian economies
has opened their markets to global investors who import obsolete and hazardous industries as well as new
technology. Industrialisation in South Asia focuses on production; health and safety attains a low priority.
With investors promised cheap labour and tax concessions, occupational health and safety authorities are
bypassed in the process.
Workers are denied the right of association, as the zones are rarely accessible to trade unions.
India has a very poor health and safety record. Much legislation exists to protect workers' rights and health
but these laws are not implemented properly and only the elite of workers enjoy the benefits. Of the total
workforce, only 8.8 percent are organised. The workforce is abundant, low-skilled and easily available and
the high rate of unemployment makes them susceptible to exploitation. Getting work is more important than
the hazards involved.
3.26 Constitutional Provision for Occupational Safety and Health.
Article 24, no child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or
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3.26 Constitutional Provision for Occupational Safety and Health.

engaged in other hazardous employment.
Article 39 (e & f) - The state shall in particular direct its policy towards securing:

E) that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not
abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter vocations unsuited to their
age and strength.
F) that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in healthy manner and in conditions
of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against
moral and material abandonment.

Article 42 - The state shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and maternity
National Policy.
Safety and health occupies a very significant position in India's constitution which prohibits employment of
children under 14 in factories, mines and in hazardous occupations. The policy aims to protect the health
and strength of all workers. It prevents employment in occupations unsuitable for the age and strength of
the workers. It is the policy of the state to make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work.
The constitution provides a broad framework under which policies and programmes for occupational health
and safety could be established.
National Legislation.
Legislation provides an essential foundation for safety. To be meaningful and effective, legislation should
be reviewed and updated regularly as scientific knowledge develops.
India has had legislation on occupational health and safety for over 50 years. India was under British rule in
the 19th and the early 20th century, hence the principal health and safety laws are based on the British
Factories Act. The Factories Act, 1948 is amended from time to time, and especially after the Bhopal Gas
disaster which could have been prevented. This demanded a shift from dealing with disaster (or disease) to
preventing its occurrence. The Factories (Amendment) Act came into force on 1st December 1987.
3.27 The Global Union.
The union agenda goes global.
World trade, finance, technology and the growing domination of mega-corporations have transformed
global labour markets. National solutions are no longer enough to halt the 'race to the bottom' - the scouring
of the world for the most exploitable workers and the lowest conditions - or to organise and conduct
dialogue with the world's biggest companies. The union agenda has gone global.
$1,900bn a day flow around the foreign exchange markets. Companies can outsource work down the street
or across the globe - and dump thousands of jobs to raise their share price. Governments have become
clients of their biggest companies - pushing flexibility for business and preferring private to public.
Industries are increasingly dominated by a handful of multinational companies, often with bigger economies
than the countries with which they deal.

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3.27 The Global Union.

UNI's response is a global agenda to put a human face on globalisation. It's an agenda based on global
organising, on ensuring worker and union rights, on decent work and on building alliances among unions in
multinational companies. We want a world of affordable health care and truly equal opportunity. A world
where people come first. UNI is the global union for skills and services with 15 million members worldwide.
We bring together 1,000 unions to create a truly global union that can tackle multinationals and promote the
interests of workers to governments, regional institutions and global agencies. To win we have to be
stronger, together.
We campaign to help women organise their future at work in both the formal and informal economies and
we have a global network of youth activists. We help empower unions in developing countries and spotlight
abuses wherever they occur around the globe.
3.28 Global Organising.
The rights to join a union, to bargain collectively and freedom from discrimination are cornerstones of global
labour rights agreed by governments, employers and unions at the International Labour Organisation.
Union membership gives workers a voice and strength whether they are full-time or part-time, staff member
or freelance. Ensuring those rights involves global organising and global monitoring.
UNI has launched global alliances and virtual committees in key multinationals to bring together unions
involved with these companies around the world to improve union organisation. The aim is to sign global
agreements with multinationals, committing them to respect labour rights wherever they operate, to open
the door to organising and to monitor their behaviour. UNI has already signed a handful of these
agreements and signing up more global and regional companies to labour standards is a key priority.
UNI has launched organising initiatives to stimulate the recruitment of young workers in the new economy
(an increasing number of them women), to create democratic unions where there were none before - and to
help organise workers in countries receiving outsourced work. We hold global organising events in the
world's fast-growing customer contact industry.
3.29 Global Unions for Global Industries.
UNI sectors have become global unions across increasingly global industries - commerce, finance, post,
telecom, IBITS (industry, business and IT), graphical, property services, media and entertainment, casinos,
electricity, hair & beauty, social insurance and welfare, tourism. Their task is to build new alliances, to set
higher standards and respond to the growing power of multinationals. They give national unions a global
3.30 Organising for Decent Work.
Decent work is the global target of the ILO and global unions. It means changing the current face of
globalisation to provide global access to decent work, fair income, equality, job security, social protection,
the opportunity to develop at work - and the freedom to organise, bargain and conduct dialogue.
Offshoring sends jobs around the world by fibre optic cable. UNI has an Offshoring Charter to help unions
in both outsourcing and insourcing countries to win job security and decent work. We have a Call Centre
Charter to raise standards in this key new industry.
Global pressures mean a big increase in migration - and UNI is working to ensure that workers on the move
find the union support they need with our UNI Passport scheme.
3.31 Quality Standards - OHSAS 18001 & ISO.
No matter how small or large a business is, it will benefit from ensuring that the companies with which it
works, suppliers, contractors and clients etc. have in place appropriate levels of health and safety
In many cases, larger companies require suppliers of goods and services to have quality standards in place
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3.31 Quality Standards - OHSAS 18001 & ISO.

such as OHSAS 18001.
Below, we have provided an overview of OHSAS 18001 and the International Standards Organisation.
There are many others including voluntary schemes. However, they - for the most part - have one common
theme, that is to reduce workplace accidents and ill-health.
These schemes have many other benefits of course, such as ensuring that - in cases where cooperation is
essential (see CDM Regulations) - compliance with the statutory requirements placed on employers who
are to work together are met.
In most cases, where a service is to be provided it is essential that management arrangements are clear
from the outset.
An example of this would be a case where a client, i.e. hospital trust, is engaging the services of a
contractor for the maintenance and servicing of its heating systems.
At the pre-tender stage, it is vital that the hospital's safety policies arrangements are specified. The hospital
would have in place a policy on 'Infection Control' and it would be essential that the contractor who might
eventually win the tender would understand the policy and ensure that their policy and safety management
arrangements matched the hospital's.
Management arrangements, a clear understanding of the risks and controls and cooperation between the
two companies must be in place, written and fully understood.
There are many examples where cooperation in health and safety matters has worked and proved to
reduce workplace accidents and reduced costs.
In recent years, in both the UK and throughout the EU, there has been a renewed interest in finding better
ways of helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to meet the objectives of occupational safety
and health law (OSH) law.
This has been due partly to accumulated evidence from enforcing authorities and other key OSH system
stakeholders about low standards in small firms, partly to on-going reviews of health and safety
performance which has shown a marked lack of progress in SME dominated sectors and partly as a result
of the need to examine alleged 'burdens on business' - specifically in relation to small firms in the context of
calls for de-regulation.
In the UK, two previous chairs of the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) Sir Frank Davies and Bill
Callaghan have made the issue one which is central to their strategies for OHS performance improvement.
Building on a national process of consultation to listen to small firms themselves and to probe their
perceptions and needs, the current strategy called, 'Revitalising Health and Safety' (RHS) has made
positive engagement with small firms a clear priority.
3.32 Challenges to OHS.
As in many other EU Member States, small firms (defined by the UK's Department of Trade and Industry DTI - in the UK context as employing fewer than 50 employees) play an increasingly important part in the
economic life of the UK. They account for some 3.5 million businesses (99 per cent of all firms) and about
45 per cent of all private sector employment.
The growth in the number of small firms in recent years has been associated with a number of trends,
including the restructuring of traditional industrial sectors, contracting out by large firms of non-core
business activities and the growth of self-employment and in the number of micro-businesses (fewer than
five employees). Also, many large organisations have restructured as small independent cost centres
which, in practice, function like smaller firms. Although the survival rate for business start-ups is still
relatively low, small firms are viewed as a major source of new employment. These trends have lead to an
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3.32 Challenges to OHS.

increasing recognition by Government and regulatory agencies of the need to modify approaches to
regulation and business assistance to create a positive environment for business survival and
In 1996, the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out a consultation initiative aimed at small
firms, which received an unprecedented response from small businesses themselves. It demonstrated on
the whole that, in contrast to views expressed by some small firms' organisations, SMEs themselves were
not opposed to health and safety law but required assistance to interpret it and develop appropriate
This consultation exercise and subsequent work undertaken by HSE and others confirmed that
small firms face a number of distinct challenges when dealing with OS&H issues.

Accident rates are generally higher (on average in manufacturing in firms employing fewer than 50
the rate of fatal accidents is roughly twice that in firms employing 1000+).
Nevertheless, in any particular small firm, the average interval between accidents and incidents can
be long, meaning no corporate memory of accidental harm.
The lean management structure in most SMEs (owner/managers running all aspects of the business
themselves) means there is little time to focus on health and safety in detail.
The business is likely to have other pressing priorities including finance, sales, meeting deadlines
as well as a raft of other regulatory requirements covering taxation, employment, environmental
requirements and so on.
Many small businesses have a relatively short life meaning insufficient time to mature and establish
necessary systems and skills.
Those in charge may not have had any specific OS&H training and may not have access to
specialist advice and services.
Both owners and employees may be ignorant of hazards, risks and control measures ('not knowing
what they don't know').
They are unlikely to be part of business networks and rely on informal, word-of mouth
communication to secure information and advice.
Many small businesses which are either owned by or employ ethnic minorities face difficulties in
coming with terms with OSH requirements.
Further, there may be suspicion of or anxiety about contacting enforcing authorities and fears about
the potential costs of OS&H compliance.

Very importantly, there is an increasing recognition that, although in essence the business challenges faced
by small firms are similar to those confronted by large organisations, small firms are not simply smaller
versions of large companies. While they may adopt formal systems (for example, as required by customer
specifications and business standards) their internal dynamics are much more informal, their
communication pathways are more direct, they are characterised by oral rather that literate cultures, and
their business structures and tactics tend to be highly flexible. All of these factors have implications for the
way in which OHS system stakeholders seek to engage with SMEs.
3.33 Strategic Priority in OSH.
Improving OS&H performance in small firms therefore is a key priority in the UK's overall OS&H strategy,
particularly in RHS priority sectors such as construction and agriculture in which employment is heavily
concentrated in small business units and which together account for over half of all notifiable work-related
The HSE's RHS strategy states "There is a need for positive engagement with small firms, by promoting
clear models of how they too can reap the benefits of effective health and safety management. We must
commit to simplifying law that is over-complicated with their needs in mind, without compromising
standards, and ensure that small firms are not deterred from seeking advice for fear of enforcement action.
We must redouble efforts to bring pressure to bear through the supply chain, particularly in Government
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3.33 Strategic Priority in OSH.

Looking back over the last ten years, HSE's approach to small firms has, in general, been two-fold: firstly to
develop much better general guidance and awareness materials (e.g. 'Essentials of Health and Safety at
Work' and 'The Health and Safety Regulations - short guide') and to facilitate much easier access to basic
information (e.g. the HSE 'Infoline' service, the HSE website etc.); and secondly to promote the
development of work by intermediaries to influence OSH management in small firms, particularly via its
contractual relations strategy, for example, in construction and the petrochemical sector. This has included
extending pre-tender OSH assessment of potential contractors and the development of OHS 'passport'
schemes for contractors' staff working for the same sets of major clients.
Besides developing better information provision and maximising supply chain or procurement influence
over health and safety in small firms, HSE have also committed themselves to simplifying their guidance
(although this is not without its difficulties) and also to finding new ways to remind SMEs about the costs of
An even greater challenge has been that of developing new ways of accessing and testing SME views on
specific policy developments. The improvement in information provision coupled with advertising in the
media and improving access to information has all been generally positive but it has tended to presuppose
that information alone will be a sufficient initiator of change. Arguably what is required is a much closer
examination of the contexts in which information is likely to generate change, for example in dialogues
between SMEs and other agencies with which they come into contact and which have (or could have) the
potential to impinge on OSH management.
3.34 New Approaches in OSH.
In RoSPA's view therefore, the key question which needs to be addressed is the extent to which these
elements, welcome as they are, constitute a 'suitable and sufficient' strategy to produce a radical shift in
SME OSH performance.
In its reports on small firms ('Small and Safe', March 1995 and 'Response to the HSC's Discussion
Document, Health and Safety in Small Firms' July 1996) RoSPA welcomed HSE action aimed at SMEs but
argued for new approaches to promoting better compliance by small firms with health and safety law. In
particular the Society has argued the case for setting up a new high-level advisory committee to bring
together key players to advise on how to promote health and safety in small firms. The HSE have made a
move in this direction however by appointing one Commissioner, Judith Donovan, with specific
responsibility for small firms.
RoSPA has continued to argue that the model of internally self-sufficient 'self-regulation' advanced by the
Robens Committee of 1972 (the foundation of the current UK regulatory regime) can never be fully effective
in small firms for reasons outlined here.
Nevertheless, it has to be accepted that individuals' rights to protection at work should relate to level of risk
not employment numbers. On the other hand, small businesses tend to lack resources, motivation and
expertise in relation to OSH and thus need outside help. At the same time they also need to be encouraged
to maximise their ownership of OSH by allowing them to use simple and non-bureaucratic options to focus
effort on key priorities. RoSPA has suggested that this could be facilitated by giving SMEs the option of
developing a simple 'Health and Safety Action Plan' - in essence 'a safety case writ small' or a 'homegrown' working memo setting out the firm's general OSH objectives, procedures and allocation of duties
together with a list of its principal hazards, the control measures required and any additional action needed
with target dates for compliance. This sort of approach, RoSPA has argued, could be minimally
bureaucratic and would enable HSE and other enforcers to gauge how well the firm had understood the
essence of its OSH problems. It would also provide a better focus for 'intermediaries' (such as business
development bodies, employers' and trade associations and larger clients) who wanted to help small firms
engage with OSH in a practical way.
3.35 The Business Case for OSH.
In recent years, (initially to counter calls for wide-scale deregulation in the area of health and safety and
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3.35 The Business Case for OSH.

latterly to explore other 'drivers' for change beyond legislation) HSC/E have placed considerable emphasis
on the so called 'business case' for health and safety. This was set out first of all in their publication
HSG96, 'The Cost of Accidents' and underpinned HSE campaigns at the end of the nineties such as 'Good
Health is Good Business' (GHIGB).
It followed closely from major macro-economic work by HSE's economists, N.V. Davies and P.Teesdale
(1994), showing that the overall costs of accidents and ill-health to the UK economy were in the region of
16 billion or nearly three per cent of GDP. HSG96 suggested that the ratio between insured and uninsured
losses arising from accidents may be in the range of 1:8 to 1:36. GHIGB stressed the value of management
action on health issues in reducing absenteeism and in raising staff morale and productivity.
3.36 HSEs Ready Reckoner.
As part of RHS, the HSC/E have produced a web based 'Ready Reckoner' to help small firms particularly to
understand the costs of accidents ( It includes a simplified methodology based on
HSG96. A leaflet version has also been designed for distribution via insurers.
Despite RoSPA's support for the use of 'business case' arguments to help motivate employers to take
action on H&S issues, the Society has questioned how persuasive this approach is likely to be in motivating
small businesses to take OSH more seriously.
While the accident cost reduction case is strong for small firms at a macro level, at the micro level (and
certainly for micro-businesses) it does not 'ring true'. Although accident rates may be higher in small firms,
the interval between work-related accidental injuries or ill-health occurring in such businesses can be
extremely long.
Employers are being asked to spend scarce resources (particularly time) on inputs such as OSH training or
specific control measures, when their perception is likely to be that they do not have accidents.
Similarly, the chances of a very serious work-related accident causing critical business interruption are
likely seen as remote, particularly when compared with other risks to business continuity. In fact, insofar as
they are likely to be concerned about safety and health and the loss of key workers etc. this is more likely to
be focused on employees being off work due to non-work accidents (e.g. road accidents, sporting injuries)
and other forms of ill-health (flu, colds etc.). In short, the macro case does not fit the micro experience.
Further, not every OSH intervention is likely to be cost effective, certainly not in the medium term. Some
measures are expensive but have to be taken simply to comply with the law. These factors tend to suggest
that, in practice, the 'Business Case' alone cannot be regarded as a self-sustaining health and safety
3.37 The Ethical Case in OSH.
In RoSPA's view, the evidence base for the efficacy of the 'business case' approach is still quite small.
Employer bodies such as the Engineering Employers' Federation in the UK have taken a number of
initiatives to promote 'business case' arguments in favour of OSH ('Safety Pays').
Some evaluation of the impact and persuasiveness of these initiatives would seem to be indispensable in
taking forward action in this area, particularly since there are some indications that cost considerations form
only part of a wider series of motivations.
For example, HSE commissioned research into what motivates senior managers to address OS&H
('Factors Motivating Pro-active Health and Safety Management' - HSE Contract Research Report 179 by
Michael S Wright, ENTEC UK Ltd, July 1998.).
This suggested that, while many managers making health and safety decisions seek to derive comfort from
'business case' arguments, in practice, they are more likely to be motivated by factors such as company
values, peer expectations and perceived threats to individual and corporate reputation. In this sense, 'the
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business case' provides a degree of comfort or reassurance for decision makers rather than a tool for
making economically-based decisions.
There is also the danger that use of 'business case' arguments in isolation could lead to the impression
among employers, particularly in small firms, that the regulator sees them essentially as 'amoral calculators'
who can only be expected to take action when there is a direct prospect of business gain. Another problem
is that in calculating the costs of prevention, it is often not possible to disaggregate prevention spend from
total investment.
RoSPA has continued to argue that the ethical case still needs to be advanced as the primary reason for
taking action on health and safety, with 'business case' arguments in a clearly secondary and supporting
For example, because relationships in small firms are usually close knit, employers in this category often
'care' about their employees but do not 'understand' or 'know' how to turn this 'care' into practical action.
Thus, rather than trying to persuade them to take action by highlighting the costs of business interruption
associated with accidents or work related ill-health, it might be more persuasive to focus on the
psychological consequences for them and their staff of an accident as well as on their positive feelings of
responsibility. (There is HSE evidence that employees in SMEs are more likely to return to work
immediately following treatment than employees suffering the same level of injury in larger firms.)
3.38 A Broader Approach.
In RoSPA's view, the main audience for the 'business case' should be the wide variety of business
advisers and intermediaries that interface with small firms. Rather than focusing simply on costs, it should
seek to set out a much broader 'business case' for safety and health, showing how a positive, proactive
approach to tackling risk at work can benefit the business in a number of ways.
These include:

Improving quality and reliability (reducing errors and accidental damage losses).
Encouraging workforce participation and innovation.
Raising workforce morale, and.
Enhancing corporate reputation in business dealings (such as tendering for contracts etc. and
demonstrating corporate social responsibility).

The aim should be to challenge widespread views of OSH as being a prescriptive, technical, regulatory,
'burdensome' and generally tedious subject and to show how it is as an essential part of managing an
effective and professionally-run operation. In short, the case for action on OSH should be presented more
in terms of improving effectiveness rather than simply avoiding loss - with a strong emphasis on the links
with productivity, workforce morale and corporate culture, empowerment innovation and competitiveness.
There is however a clear need to develop further tools and case study material for use by professionals
such as business decision makers, professional advisers (accountants, insurers and brokers, bankers,
business development advisers) and business educators to track accident and ill-health costs as part of
business planning and business performance monitoring.
All these groups have an important role to play as intermediaries in challenging negatives stereotypes of
OSH not only among small firms but other key influencing groups. Indeed, one of the findings of an HSEfunded research project undertaken by Aston University and RoSPA into coverage of OSH in business
schools was that the subject tended to be viewed as separate from mainstream business disciplines and
thus case study material was needed to enable business educators to address OSH management within
other core elements of the business education curriculum and not as a separate subject.
Nevertheless, there are probably very direct business benefits to be derived from effective health and
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3.38 A Broader Approach.

safety management in many areas, particularly accident prevention as well as prevention of certain kinds of
ill-health leading to absence e.g. stress-related ill-health, back pain etc. The 'business case' for
occupational safety is probably stronger than the similar case for health (although some field studies in
particular UK companies would tend to refute this). The case for safety rests heavily on the extent to which
efforts to prevent injury also prevent accidental events in which injury does not occur but which still involve
high cost.
The 'business case' for preventing work-related health problems (particularly those with long latency) is
not particularly strong since, arguably, a bigger burden or cost here is borne externally by society as whole.
There is also the problem that, while action on health and safety may save the whole business money in
the medium to long term, it can still put pressure on individual departmental or divisional budgets in the
short term. This means that at both macro and micro levels there is a need to focus on those kinds of
opportunities for OSH investment which will produce direct and early 'pay back'. Another problem is that
even in companies with moderately developed monitoring systems, being able to demonstrate cost
effectiveness of action on OSH is very difficult.
Despite these limitations, financial incentives cannot be overlooked. As part of the consultation that
preceded RHS, HSC sought views from key players on how the HSC could continue to build on its current
approach by developing a more robust system of complementary economic incentives which can promote
compliance with health and safety law.
Suggestions here included:

Creating a clear link between the level of employer's liability insurance premiums and standards of
proactive health and safety management.
Providing grants and funding support for health and safety improvements.
Tax breaks to encourage health and safety spending.
Guidance to institutional investors on how to assess OSH management capability (within the
context of corporate social responsibility).
More work with key financial 'intermediaries' (such as the banks) to promote better understanding of
'the business case'.

In RoSPA's view, while the 'business case' must be deployed wherever it is persuasive, a fuller range of
'motivators' must be identified, including factors such as fear of loss of individual or corporate reputation,
links to quality and reliability, peer group and sector expectations and so on.
Above all, promoters of OS&H must continue to advance the ethical case for prevention and not allow
supporting arguments such as the 'business case' to assume a wholly dominant position in campaigning
and awareness raising activities.
3.39 Working With & Through Others.
Increasingly there has been recognition within HSC/E that HSE inspectors and 'Workplace Contact Officers'
(WCOs) can only reach a handful of businesses by direct contact. It has therefore to depend on a range of
information strategies to reach wider audiences and, while considerable success can be achieved in
disseminating information, if not advice, by paper and electronic media, there are significant costs involved
and the impact of the messages thus transmitted can be highly variable.
A key factor here is the context in which information is delivered, whether, for example, it is part of some
other business support activity and the extent to which it is identified as relevant and appropriate by the
intended recipients. These considerations plus the experience developed by HSE in the course of its work
aimed at influencing small firms, have led to a general recognition that the Executive needs in future to
extend its outreach by working increasingly 'with and through' others.
Such work can extend from provision of information and 'signposting' to strategies for self-policing and
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promotion of compliance, for example through client/contractor relationships. What is not clear however is
how HSE approach the question of selecting various 'intermediaries' or 'partners', the basis on which such
a selection is made and the assumptions underlying the overall approach.
While HSE conceive of themselves as being at the centre of a web of OS&H players (and in many respects
their role as regulator justifies this), many potential 'intermediaries' or partners have their own very clear
OSH agendas, depending on their position and primary purpose. Deciding future opportunities for
'partnership' therefore depends on understanding the nature and extent of overlapping areas of interest and
common objectives. Also the strengths and weaknesses of potential 'partners' need to be established.
Some may have significant OS&H expertise but less outreach. Some may have considerable
communication, networking and outreach capability but few in-house OSH resources and indeed may not
see the subject as particularly relevant. In such cases, development support (including secondment,
mentoring and direct financial incentives) may need to be considered. In other cases, where relationships
are on a firmer footing, more formal 'partnership agreements' may need to be considered, detailing shared
values, goals, specific objectives and mutual support.
As part of the RHS debate, RoSPA has argued the case for creating an agreed functional map of the OSH
system on which the role and functions of all key stakeholders can be clearly identified. Such a map would,
for example, enable identification of a wide range of potential 'intermediaries' and the development of a
data bank on their OSH activities and level of engagement.
Key categories include:

Large firms clients (from supply chain to 'good neighbour').

Employers (and employers' organisations).
Trade bodies (of all kinds).
Trades unions.
Business development and support bodies (of all kinds).
Banks; education institutions (further, higher, business schools).
Professional bodies (safety, hygiene, medicine, OH nursing etc.).
Voluntary bodies (e.g. RoSPA and BSC); and
Local H&S groups.

(The potential for greater partnership working with the latter is explored in more detail below.)
3.40 Integration of Health & Safety Advice into Business Development.
The current focus on the 'business case' for health and safety has also highlighted the extent to which
these issues are not yet fully integrated into existing UK business development and support processes.
In 1996, RoSPA mounted a pilot project (with HSE funding support) to explore the potential of 'Personal
Business Advisers (PBAs) in 'Business Links' to guide their small firm clients towards essential sources of
information and advice and this generated considerable interest. RoSPA believes that, by persuading small
firms that 'Good Health and Safety is Good Business', PBAs can not only help prevent accidents and illhealth, but they can also show small firms how actions on these issues can make their businesses more
More work is needed to examine ways in which OSH signposting and advice can be integrated into the
services provided by business support schemes and mechanisms.
Some of these include:

Quality assurance schemes (ISO 9000).

Environmental management standards (ISO 14000).
Investors in People (IIP).
The Management Charter Initiative; and

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3.40 Integration of Health & Safety Advice into Business Development.

Business planning by banks etc.

There is also a need to exploit the link with corporate social responsibility. It seems clear that the various
standards, themselves, are too insular and do not sufficiently take account of their mutual coverage of a
whole variety of management techniques. There is a need to continue to map management standards,
recognising that the existing plethora of (apparently) competing standards can be very off-putting for small
One of the reasons for the lack of integration of OSH into management standards may be a poor
understanding by the professionals involved of essential health and safety management principles and
where health and safety fits in relation to their wider business development agendas.RoSPA would like to
see more information and publicity aimed at these groups to raise their awareness of the contribution which
effective health and safety management can make to overall business success. There is a need to dispel
the myth among many business advisers that health and safety issues are complex, technical matters to be
dealt with only by specialists.
All such advisers need to understand the importance of good health and safety in relation to other key
objectives such as quality, innovation, efficiency, cost reduction and employee relations.
Recently, the HSE have concluded arrangements with the Government's Small Business Service (SBS) to
ensure that business advisers are better able to diagnose small firms' OSH needs and direct them to
suitable sources of advice. There are nevertheless still relatively few examples in which business
development agencies in the UK have put in place structured schemes for delivering OSH management
development services and training.
3.41 Oral Cultures.
HSE research into the communication of messages about chemical hazards ('The right information, to the
right people, in the right way') has revealed that not only do small firms tend to have an incomplete
understanding of their hazards and the risks they face (HSE's research suggests that understanding in
SMEs of long term health effects of chemicals is weaker than understanding of short term effects) but that
they tend not to rely on written information for guidance. Advice is sought through networking and informal
routes and little use is made of published guidance from HSE or indeed suppliers' data sheets, many of
which can be deficient. Further, a significant proportion of workers in SMEs in the UK have difficulties in
reading official publications.
This suggests that, in future, greater use must be made of face-to-face communication techniques (with
written materials to support this approach rather than the other way round), videos rather than leaflets,
guidance based on pictograms and bullet point action plans and so on. There is a clear need for
communicators in the OSH field to embrace common understandings about language and presentation
which have informed approaches in advertising, popular newspapers and even schools education. These
issues have profound implications for the plans of many OSH system players to reach out and provide
encouragement and assistance to SMEs.
Above all, they suggest that more emphasis should be placed (initially at least) on making face-to-face
contact with decision makers in SMEs rather than relying on published information to stimulate changes in
attitude and engagement with OSH issues.
3.42 The OS&H Role of Larger Clients.
Strategically, RoSPA has chosen to focus its limited resources on advancing and maintaining OHS
standards in relatively larger organisations with established OS&H culture, expertise and values. Partly this
is because the Society sees them as a resource for the OSH system generally, for example, given the
powerful effect which such organisations can play in influencing OHS standards in many other smaller
businesses in the business chain.
HSE too have placed considerable emphasis on the idea of large firms and central Government (which is
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3.42 The OS&H Role of Larger Clients.

committed in RHS to being an exemplar employer) influencing OSH standards in SME contractors,
suppliers and even customers.
The idea here is that companies which have themselves developed a strong capability to manage work
related risk and have a vigorous health and safety culture, have a key role to play in exercising influence
over health and safety standard in all other businesses with which they routinely come into contact.
Where larger companies engage contractors - particularly to undertake high-risk tasks such as installation,
maintenance, waste disposal or cleaning - HSE have insisted that they will have suitable arrangements in
place to ensure that they only engage safe contractors.
This involves close attention to detail at all stages of the process, beginning with a thorough assessment of
competence at the pre-contract stage and continuing throughout the job via close co-operation between all
parties and appropriate levels of supervision and monitoring. This goes right through to the end of the
contract when health and safety performance is reviewed and recorded.
Such companies may choose to develop their own lists of 'approved' contractors. They will also provide
contractors and sub-contractors with all necessary information and other forms of advice and support
including training, specialist occupational medical and hygiene services and encouragement to enter either
their own or external health and safety award schemes.
This approach to influencing SMEs has great potential but, handled incorrectly there is a real danger that
large firms may develop unnecessarily bureaucratic approaches to OSH management of suppliers and
contractors leading to a reinforcement of negative OSH stereotypes rather than the reverse. It is important
therefore that, in seeking to screen and control contractors, clients do not adopt approaches that actually
work against HSE efforts to simplify OSH law and guidance.
3.43 Suppliers.
Companies which are committed to high standards of health and safety performance can also be
encouraged to have procurement systems and standards in place which enable them to avoid purchasing
plant, equipment, substances which pose unacceptable risks to quality and/or the health and safety of their
Such systems will also be capable of identifying cases in which a supplier's management of health and
safety is deficient so that remedial action can be taken. Companies which exercise such a role in relation to
their suppliers often support them through the provision of appropriate health and safety information and
consultancy, through training and appropriate, periodic reviews of performance.
Often, the client's motivation to exert influence over OSH further up the supply chain is not only to exercise
corporate social responsibility but to avoid adverse impacts on their business continuity arising from
accidents and enforcement action, for example where the client may be working on a 'just-in-time' basis.
3.44 Good Neighbour Principles.
Beyond influence exercised via purely commercial relationships, there are also possibilities for companies
which are committed to raising OSH standards to provide help and support to their immediate neighbours.
They can do this by supplying necessary information, by making available their own expertise to such
neighbours, for example, by providing additional places on training courses, by providing specialist advice
and services and by providing practical support and funding for local voluntary health and safety groups
(see below).
They may also seek to raise awareness of OSH issues in local businesses by sponsoring events, seeking
media coverage for health and safety initiatives (for example during 'European Weeks of H&S') and working
with appropriate intermediaries to disseminate information at a local level.
HSE has produced useful guidance, 'Good Neighbour Schemes - a guide for employers' aimed particularly
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3.44 Good Neighbour Principles.

at larger businesses which are working alongside smaller firms. RoSPA has sought to support this
approach by including reference to these principles in its guidance criteria for its own OSH 'sector awards'.
3.45 Certification.
In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on the development and standards for OSH
management systems. The underlying motivation has been to outline the system elements which an
organisation should have in place to enable it to manage OSH in the same way that it manages other key
business issues such as quality or environmental impact.
Since the publication by the HSE of their now well-known guidance, 'Successful Health and Safety
Management' (HSG65), the British Standards Institution (BSI) has produced guidance on health and safety
management systems (BS 8800) and further guidance has been produced on the same subject by the
European Commission's 'Luxembourg Committee' and the International Labour Organisation. These
publications have been deliberately constructed as guides and not auditable standards and thus, in April
1999, BSI's commercial arm, sponsored by a consortium of certificating bodies, launched OHSAS 18001.
This is a health and safety management system 'standard', certification which is based on auditing.
Certification in OSH is now widely available and has been taken up by a variety of organisations in different
sectors. RoSPA strongly supports the case for promoting a systematic approach to OSH management and
the development of guides which enable organisations to carry out 'gap analysis' to assess strengths and
weaknesses in their current approach.
However, together with many industry organisations, RoSPA has expressed opposition to the
proliferation of quasi-standards such as OHSAS 18001 on the grounds that:

A 'standard' is unnecessary given that authoritative guidance is already available in HSG65 and the
other publications mentioned.
The level of competence required of auditors a critical issue is often not specified.
There is the danger of too great a reliance on scrutiny of documents rather than evidence gathered
by auditors from interview and observation.
Given this bias, 'certification' to such an OSH management 'standard' cannot of itself attest to high
or improving standards of overall performance, only basic standards of administrative consistency;
'Certification' is likely to be 'pushed' inappropriately to clients by certifying bodies (many with little
previous involvement in OSH), leading possibly to additional costs, bureaucracy and little real added
value. Consequently the significance of basic 'certification' on these lines is likely to be oversold by
both 'certificating bodies' and the 'certificated'.

More significantly however, when promoted to SMEs by clients in the contracting context, there may be
further dangers. The management system approach embodied in the standard may not fully recognise the
informality and flexibility that tend to be hallmarks of SME management. The imposition of standards may in
turn violate principles of 'good regulation' and thus may serve only to damage SME perceptions of health
and safety in general (c.f. 'quality' standards such as BS 5750/BS EN ISO 9000); and certification may
involve use of scarce resources in SMEs which might be better deployed in other ways. In RoSPA's view,
the future use of OSH management standards remains very much an open question. RHS includes a
recommendation that HSE should work to create a health and safety management 'yardstick' for small
Regardless of what form this takes or indeed whether certification gains wider acceptance, it seems
clear to RoSPA that companies will need to be encouraged to prove to themselves and others that

Have the essential elements of an OSH management system in place.

Are on a path of continuous improvement.
Are measuring progress against plans and targets; and

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3.45 Certification.

Are learning from their health and safety experiences.

Small firms, like all businesses, need to consider carefully how they can best furnish evidence to key
audiences, (such as potential clients, insurers etc.) of their capability to manage health and safety.
In its web-based guidance on 'Measuring and Reporting on Corporate H&S performance' RoSPA
has argued for a broader approach to OSH performance assessment, taking account of:

'Inputs' (integrity of OSH management systems and culture).

'Outputs' (measures of safe systems of work); and
'Outcomes' (low levels of error, harm and loss).

In small firms, for statistically obvious reasons, evidence of 'inputs' and 'outputs' is bound to be of more
significance than 'outcome' evidence such as accident rates. Given that requirements for extensive
documentary evidence will not be appropriate for most SMEs, such businesses need to be encouraged to
develop approaches to OSH performance reporting which are proportionate to their circumstances (for
example, reporting progress achieved against a simple 'health and safety action plan' - as suggested
RoSPA takes the view that developing consensus about OSH management system standards and auditing
(and health and safety performance measurement generally) is going to be vital in order to meet the targets
set in RHS.
The Society has therefore suggested that the HSE should consider setting up a special review group in this
area to examine and report on the issues involved and to serve as a focus for stimulating a wider debate on
strategic OSH management issues raised in RHS.
3.46 Measuring OS&H Culture.
While the management 'systems' view of OSH focuses heavily on the formal features of proactive health
and safety management, there is an increasing understanding that the effectiveness of systems depends in
practice on the creation and maintenance of a robust health and safety 'culture' at the workplace. BS 8800,
for example, stresses that the success of formal health and safety management arrangements depends
heavily on 'culture and politics' within organisations and that OS&H 'culture' is a subset of an organisation's
overall 'culture'.
Although the concept of 'OS&H culture' may lack some degree of intellectual rigour, it can be defined as a
shared understanding within an organisation of the significance of health and safety problems and the
appropriateness of measures needed to tackle them. HSG65 also talks of culture in the context of 'control',
'co-operation', 'communication' and 'competence'.
More recently, the HSE and others have developed tools to 'measure' health and safety culture, mainly
through the use of confidential questionnaires 'Safety Climate' survey techniques which probe employee
attitudes, perceptions and behaviour.
The results are designed to help identify strengths and weaknesses. Users of the HSE's survey tool have
reported that, in large organisations particularly, it can present challenging findings to senior managers and
thus organisations using it need to be prepared to embrace its findings in a positive way.
It is becoming clear that OSH 'culture' or 'climate' surveys can be a useful complement to formal auditing
and can yield useful insights at a corporate level. Although focused on OSH management in large
organisations where there are extensive and formal lines of accountability and communication, there may
be scope for developing simpler climate survey techniques for SMEs.
3.47 Delivering OSH Services.
Efforts to promote awareness of health and safety in small firms inevitably raise the question 'where do
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3.47 Delivering OSH Services.

such firms go for professional help?' RoSPA has continued to argue that the HSE should take a leading
role in developing a comprehensive approach to the delivery of OSH services, rather than just relying on a
free market in health and safety services to fill the present gap.
Some key elements of such an approach include:

Giving effective guidance on the kinds of 'competent' persons required to deliver essential services.
Better regulation (or self regulation) of consultants.
Financial support for companies to encourage use of health and safety services
Closer links between 'primary health care' and occupational health and safety services.
More effective promotion of services via 'intermediaries'; and
A greatly strengthened role for bodies such as RoSPA affiliated local Health and Safety Groups
(see below).

While RoSPA strongly opposes the idea that health and safety is only for 'experts' (and supports the idea of
maximum involvement of firms themselves in solving their own health and safety problems), relevant
specialist expertise is still required. New ways are needed to help small firms identify the services they
need and to gain access to them. Recently, there have been a number of developments which suggest that
a more strategic approach to service delivery may be in the offing. As part of its strategy for addressing
health and work ('Securing Health Together' published in 2000), the HSE considers proposals for an
occupational health network in the UK.
National Health Service Trusts have begun to offer occupational health services to local businesses on a
consultancy basis ('NHS+'). Also, in response to a joint approach by the British Safety Council, RoSPA and
the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the HSE are committed to undertaking a strategic
review of health and safety training needs and methods of delivery.
3.48 Health & Safety Groups.
A particularly enduring but still under-recognised source of outreach for HSE to small firms are the 80 or so
local RoSPA affiliated groups spread throughout the UK - many having been established in the 1940s and
50s and some dating back to the 1930s. Made up of representatives from local companies and other
organisations, they provide a unique self-help mechanism at local level for staff dealing with health and
safety matters as well as a means of promoting health and safety at work by reaching out to help other
local businesses.
They are non-profit making voluntary bodies, in many cases receiving support and sponsorship from
member companies (and sometimes other sources). Many are registered as charities and the bulk of their
work rests on the contributions and efforts of their members.
Some of the key objectives of groups include:

Promoting interest in, awareness of, and the need for accident and ill-health prevention generally.
Providing a network for the dissemination of knowledge; and
Fostering a spirit of fellowship and cooperation at local level in all matters connected with
occupational safety and health and working collectively to enhance the protection of people from
workplace risks.

Thus for any organisation, the main benefits of belonging to a local group include regular contact

Other companies' health and safety staff (managers, safety advisers, supervisors, safety
Local education establishments.
Business Links.
Local authority staff.

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3.48 Health & Safety Groups.

HSE inspectors.
Local authority environmental health officers (EHOs).
The emergency services, safety product suppliers etc.

Membership of a local group also helps with:

Maintaining current awareness of health and safety issues through a regular programme of invited
speakers, occasional seminars and conferences, newsletters, company visits etc.
Access to lively discussion, debate and new ideas.
The ability to share problems and expertise with others in similar situations.
Enjoyable social opportunities; and
Enhancing company image both with other local businesses and the wider community.

Membership of local groups is open to industrial, commercial and other organisations as well as individuals
on payment of a modest annual subscription. Groups usually hold monthly (as well as other special)
meetings in convenient locations. Their officers are usually elected at their annual general meetings, when
programmes of meetings and other activities for the year are normally agreed. One initiative by the National
Health and Safety Groups Council has been a pilot project, with part funding by the European Commission,
involving the establishment of a network of local health and safety information centres at key points in the
The centres, which have been staffed by volunteers, are designed so that small firms can get basic
information and advice about how to meet their health and safety responsibilities. They are independent of
HSE and local authority inspectors but provide 'signposting' to such services where appropriate.
3.49 Workforce Involvement.
More work is needed to secure effective worker involvement in OS&H in small firms. The framework
provided by the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations, in which recognised trades
unions can appoint safety representatives with certain statutory rights and functions, has had a positive
effect on OS&H but mainly in large organisations.
This has been helped by the support provided for them through union structures and the TUC. On the other
hand, despite the introduction of the 'Employee Consultation' Regulations to cover un-unionised
workplaces, there are still major problems in achieving the same kind of input by workers' safety
representatives in business where employers do not recognise trade unions.
The HSE is currently committed to consulting on options for streamlining regulation on employee
involvement and consultation.
They are also mounting a series of pilot exercises to test the feasibility of creating 'workers' safety advisers'
who could cover a number of workplaces in a district on in a sector.
In very small workplaces there could be merit in the idea of appointing a health and safety 'champion',
perhaps someone who combined safety representative, basic advisory and even first aid roles but who
could call on help from outside when necessary - for example, from a local H&S Group.
3.50 Other Suggestions - Sharing Problems & Experiences.
Notwithstanding the problems of sharing and disseminating information in SMEs, there is a real need to find
new ways of sharing information and experiences in SME networks.
Suggestions here include web-based anonymous case studies of accidents in (and lessons learned) SMEs,
'OSH circles' as part of small business clubs, sharing costs of consultants on technical developments,
posting information on the internet by SME winners of OSH small firms awards etc.
Another approach is for large clients to facilitate the establishment of site based contractors' OSH
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3.50 Other Suggestions - Sharing Problems & Experiences.

HSE are working with the SBS to incorporate companies which exhibit good-practice in OSH, within their
'national demonstrator company programme', with the particular aim of showing how good OSH can be
integrated with good management practice in general. This project, however, is still in its start-up phase.
3.51 OSH Training or Action Plan Orders.
Rather than fining companies which break OSH laws (and leaving them with fewer resources for
prevention), it has been argued that the courts in the UK should be combining suspended sentences with
compulsory OSH training/'action plan' orders for senior managers (or SME owners) under the supervision
of a competent person who the firm would have to pay for. Satisfactory completion of retraining or
introduction of management systems and preventative measures would result in fines or other penalties
being lifted or reduced. This approach to sentencing, while possibly less effective in meeting society's need
for punishment, could be seen as more socially progressive in that in would be focused on reform rather
than retribution.
3.52 International Co-operation.
In recent years, international agencies at the European level have played an increasingly important role in
focusing on the challenges to OSH created by small businesses across the EU. The whole question of
SMEs is central to the new EU strategy statement for OSH. Also, the work of the Bilbao Agency has shown
how new approaches to identifying, recognising and disseminating 'good practice' can be used to stimulate
change and development through the sharing of ideas and experience. These practical steps now need to
be built upon to provide a platform for sharing and comparing strategies for motivating and supporting
action on OSH in SMEs in all member states.
3.53 Some Tentative Conclusions.
As in other member states, small firms play an increasingly important part in the economic life of
the UK.

Small firms can face significant challenges when seeking to manage OS&H.
It has to be accepted that individuals' rights to protection at work should relate to level of risk, not
employment numbers.
Small firms are not opposed to the idea of OSH regulation but they need help to understand their
problems and meet their legal obligations.
Small firms are not just smaller versions of large organisations.
The business case for OSH, based on cost saving, is likely to be less persuasive in small firms than
an approach based on ethical considerations and the contribution which OSH can make to
improving business efficiency, innovation, effectiveness and competitiveness.
The information advice and awareness-raising strategy of HSE is to be welcomed but more
attention is needed to understand how and when information empowers OSH change in small firms.
There needs to be a fuller appreciation of the largely oral culture of most small firms.
HSE need to continue to develop their awareness raising and outreach work in conjunction with a
range of 'intermediaries' or 'partners', including the possibility of concluding 'partnership agreements
and focusing on approaches based on face-to-face contact and mentoring.
OS&H development advice should be part of all business support and development processes that
are being promoted via the UK Government's Small Business Service.
More work is needed to extend the positive OSH role of major clients (including central
Government) in influencing OSH attitudes and standards in small firms who are selected as
Small firms should be given the option of developing simple, non-bureaucratic OS&H 'Action Plans'
which will be acknowledged by enforcing authorities. Such plans should also be part of business
plans required by banks, funders etc.
Basic OSH training should be given to all business advisers with a clear emphasis on 'business
case for OSH' and the essentials of health and safety law, risk assessment and successful health
and safety management.

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3.53 Some Tentative Conclusions.

Relationships should be established between the Small Business Service and all relevant OS&H
'intermediaries', including, large 'good neighbour' firms which can provide advice and mentoring,
trade associations and other bodies which can give 'advice about advice' and providers of OSH
training and services.
There needs to be a review of the effectiveness of 'good neighbour' initiatives, including at
European level.
Care should be taken to avoid over-bureaucratising approaches to OSH in small firms through the
development of management standards and certification.
There is a need to find simple approaches which will enable small firms to measure their OSH
performance against some sort of simple 'action plan' or management standard or yardstick.
Similarly, it may be possible to develop simpler OSH climate survey tools for SMEs.
There needs to be a strategic review of access by small firms to OSH training and specialist OSH
Close links should be established with H&S Groups. Small firms should be encouraged to become
members of groups as a low cost way to access advice and support in OSH.
A concerted attempt is needed to find practical solutions to independent worker representation in
small firms, including the idea of appointing an OSH 'champion' who combines prevention and first
aid roles.
There is clear case for novel approaches to sentencing which focus on remedy rather than
Novel approaches are also required to help small firms share and compare information about both
solutions and lessons learned from accidents and incidents.
There is also a clear case for a review at EU level of the various strategies employed in member
states to reach and influence OSH in small firms.
3.54 Understand the Importance of the Media in a Global Economy & their Role in Changing
Attitudes to Health & Safety.

In this section, we have provided some articles that show how different organisations and the media can
change and improve working conditions and the safety of products on a global basis.
Having read through the articles, we would encourage you to find other influences of this type that are local
to you.
3.55 Media Influence through the Trade Unions.

TUC News Article.

India: Deadly business of quarrying marble.
Workers in Rajasthan's marble quarries toil in conditions that often lead to injury, disease and death, but
campaigners say neither the mine owners nor the state government has done enough to mitigate their
The quarries, which provided the stone for the Taj Mahal, lead to between five and seven serious or fatal
injuries every month, with few of the victims receiving any compensation. The Mine Labour Protection
Campaign (MLPC), a network that has been organising mineworkers across Rajasthan, has registered 368
cases of death and injury due to work-related accidents over the past two years.
Of these, 87 relate to deaths. According to the campaign's Rana Sengupta: 'The lease-holders of the mines
are required to keep 'safety pillars' between the various pits so that the top does not collapse.
Unfortunately, they don't comply.'
Bansi Lal, secretary of the Rajasthan State Mine Workers Union, a federation of small unions across the
state, commented: 'Major disasters are waiting to happen. Thankfully, most of the collapses so far occurred
at night or in early mornings, before people came to work. One entire stretch of railway track was destroyed
when a mine close to the railway line collapsed.'
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3.55 Media Influence through the Trade Unions.

Action by the union has led to 35 mining licences being cancelled. 'Each maalik (mine owner) now has to
put up a notice board detailing the name of the lease-holder, and the exact size and location of the mine.
At least, workers now know who they work for. Safety kits are also provided to workers. We also insisted on
metal ladders, in place of ropes, to descend into the pits,' Bansi Lal said.
3.56 France/India: French Court Sinks Plan to Scrap 'Toxic' Ship.
France's latest attempt to dispose of a 50-year-old warship riddled with asbestos ran aground this week
when the country's highest court suspended plans to scrap Le Clemenceau in India.
The decision of the State Council, announced by President Jacques Chirac, means that the
decommissioned ship - which left France at the New Year and is now marooned off the west coast of India
- has now been ordered back to a French dock.
Greenpeace and three other environmental campaign groups challenged the proposal on grounds that
Indian workers were not properly equipped to dismantle the craft's hazardous lining.
The ship left the port of Toulon on January 31st after French authorities reached a deal with the Indian
courts to have it dismantled at the Alang yard in Gujarat state, Asia's biggest maritime graveyard. However,
India's Supreme Council withdrew its permission several days later when suggestions were raised that the
aircraft carrier contained around 10 times more than the 50 tons of asbestos previously thought.
The Clemenceau has since been stuck off the coast awaiting the French court ruling. Alang, a run-down
port city 300 miles (500km) north of Bombay, is the centre of India's ship-breaking industry, where
residents, wearing little protective clothing and exposed to substances such as asbestos, arsenic, biocides
and toxic lead paints, are paid as little as 2 a day to rip apart ships with primitive acetylene torches and,
often, their bare hands.
On 15th February, Guy Ryder, general secretary of global union confederation ICFTU, issued a circular to
affiliates worldwide, requesting their 'further engagement on actions to build a world asbestos ban.'
Further articles can be found at:
3.57 USA: Union Website Tracks Worker Injuries.
A US union organisation is making sure workplace injuries do not go unnoticed. Job Tracker, an online
database launched by Working America, a campaign wing of national union federation of AFL-CIO, lists
safety and health violations and related data for more than 60,000 US companies.
Visitors to the site can call up details on a company's injury rate and specific violations cited by the federal
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as any workplace fatalities or catastrophic
The database - which was culled from OSHA records, documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act
requests, and material gathered by the website - provides safety information dating back
to 1st January 2000. The group also tracks companies that are on 'OSHA watch,' meaning they have
received letters from the government urging them to remove workplace hazards linked to high rates of
occupational injury and illness.
Some companies are not happy with the Working America initiative. 'Good or bad, I don't see how a private
enterprise's safety record is of anyone's interest other than that company and its insurance carrier,' said
John Dunkin, president of Rogue Valley Door, a door manufacturer based in Grants Pass, Oregon. Among
the violations listed on the site for Rogue Valley Door are two accidents, one that resulted in a worker
losing two fingers and another that required the amputation of a worker's hand.
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3.57 USA: Union Website Tracks Worker Injuries.

Further articles can be found at:
3.58 The Origins & Meaning of Self Regulation'.
The term is frequently used in business and medicine to denote the "self regulation" of those enterprises as
opposed to governmental regulation. The new approach at EU level represents a shift of regulatory
emphasis away from prescriptive requirements on duty holders towards more process-orientated
By this is meant that developments in regulatory initiatives have increasingly shared two main new
features. One is a broad tendency to replace traditional detailed technical standards in primary legislation
with more general duties for employers and other duty holders, in which the aim of the provision is outlined,
and to supplement such primary provisions with delegated legislation and codes of practice in which
technical standards are included. The second feature is their requirement from duty holders for a more
systematic management of occupational health and safety. This latter requirement, while fundamental to
the shift in regulatory style, has experienced as low and uncertain gestation in many national systems but is
currently an element of major importance behind regulatory thinking.
Health and safety performance has reached a plateau in many countries and traditional regulatory
approaches towards preventing occupational injuries and ill-health are no longer perceived as primary
contributors to further improvement. They also recognise that traditional approaches to enforcement have
limitations. They are concomitant with a movement away from the external enforcement of detailed
provisions imposed on duty-holders by regulatory inspectorates to a system in which forms of participatory
self-regulation are promoted as means to achieve best practice in health and safety performance.
Some elements of these developments in regulatory strategies have been influenced by the changes in the
structure and organisation of work. Others have been brought about by changes in the political and
economic strategies of countries within the EU (and in the EU itself). The effects of neo-liberal policies of
disengagement of the state from traditional roles in regulation for example, are also reflected in emphasis
on more self-regulatory systems for health and safety management. The new approaches to regulatory
strategies on health and safety have been introduced at the same time as governmental concerns over
public expenditure and the effect on the national and EU economies of so-called 'over-regulation' of
employment. This has meant that in many countries there have been trends towards reduced support for
the resourcing of regulatory inspectorates and deregulation of existing provisions governing employment.
Such scenarios also add their influence, causing regulatory strategies to place greater emphasis on selfregulation and require less involvement of inspectorates in the piecemeal application of detailed provisions.
It is therefore important to distinguish the (ideal) application of this concept from that of deregulating health
and safety altogether.
In 'regulating self-regulation' the regulatory function is not meant to disappear; rather it is intended to
operate more in relation to the management system than in relation to inspecting and enforcing compliance
with detailed and specific prescriptive standards. If the management system is functioning effectively, then
it is argued to be a reasonable assumption that compliance with detailed requirements will follow.
It is no coincidence that such increased attention to regulating the management of health and safety also
embraces nostrums that better health and safety equates to better business performance.
In the UK for example, the HSE has attributed a large share of responsibility for reduced reporting of injury
and ill-health to changes in the nature of employment, with a massive shift from employment in dangerous
industries such as manufacturing and mining to lower risk employment in the service sector. Similar
patterns exist in other EU countries.
3.59 Regulating Health and Safety Management in the EU.
The wider social and economic policy environment in the EU shows that these changes often occur
alongside or within policies that seek to emphasise and promote linkages between preventative
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3.59 Regulating Health and Safety Management in the EU.

occupational health and safety and efforts to reduce social welfare burdens on the state, thus associating
effective preventative health and safety with the benefits of reducing the temporary or permanent exit of
workers from the active labour force and improving both productivity and social welfare savings in the
Self-regulatory approaches to managing health and safety are also increasingly linked to wider social and
economic policies both nationally and at the level of the EU.
Human rights at work, working conditions and socially responsible business simultaneously embrace health
and safety, imbue it with particular (and arguably new) constructions of its meaning and locate it within
current national and EU strategies on corporate social responsibility and employment creation.
The approach of the EU regulatory strategies that finds expression in its directives on health and safety at
work is an acknowledgement of the importance of successful management of health and safety. It
supplements (and often replaces) traditional legislative strategies for the regulation and control of the work
environment with intervention of legislative measures in processes which have been traditionally assumed
to be within the prerogative of management.
The approach is also indicative of recognition of the relationship between effective prevention strategies on
health and safety in enterprises and the wider issue of the control of quality in all aspects of the
management of work.
This may also imply an aspiration to achieve a closer relationship between health and safety management
(traditionally a fairly peripheral issue) and the management of quality - normally central to the concern of
senior management. Thus there is implied in the EU legislative strategy a desire to stimulate movement of
health and safety management from a peripheral to a more central concern of the leadership of enterprises.
Nowhere are these developments better illustrated than in the content of the EU Framework Directive on
the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work
(89/391 EEC). Through a combination of measures obliging employers to undertake workplace risk
assessment, use competent preventative services and social dialogue, it sought to improve the
management of health and safety in all enterprises in Europe.
It is important to give some thought to the situation that the Directive, and other measures of its kind, is
intended to remedy.
Injury and fatality rates, while generally improving in the long term, were by the 1970s and 1980s, regarded
as having reached a plateau in most industrialised countries. There was concern that the loss to economy
and society that was represented by the consequences of work related ill-health was a major burden that
had been hugely underestimated and was possibly increasing. Furthermore, changing technologies and
organisation of work were considered to render obsolete the traditional legislative approaches that had
been in operation in most industrialised countries since the 19th century.
Process regulation was widely regarded as an innovative legislative response that would contribute to
resolving this unacceptable situation. Despite the major strategic departure and perhaps even paradigmatic
shift away from the traditional approaches to health and safety regulation represented by measures such as
the Directive, since its adoption, there has been surprisingly little analysis of its reception, interpretation and
impact in EU member states.
However, the limited studies that have been undertaken suggest that implementation of the European
measures has not been straightforward and that it is still far from complete.
They indicate substantial difficulties at several different levels. For example, studies suggest that national
legislative responses to the major elements of the Directive's requirements on OHSM have been slow,
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3.59 Regulating Health and Safety Management in the EU.

uneven and frequently incomplete, with major areas of resistance evident in many member states.
Further studies show that frequently, the level of operation of the measures of the Directive that have been
implemented in national systems, or already present in them, is also problematic. Thus, worker
representation in occupational health and safety is far from universal and in some countries it has
decreased rather than increased in the period following the adoption of the Directive.
Similarly, the coverage of integrated prevention services is limited and probably does not extend such
support to more than a minority of the European labour force
Surveys of the operation of national measures on risk assessment also present a mixed picture. They show
considerable national variation in the extent of the practice of such measures, while at the same time
demonstrating some worrying traits in common, such as for example their generally limited uptake in
smaller enterprises
Measures of health and safety outcome also provide little indication of the impact of new approaches to
regulation. While it is true that there has been a steady decline in fatal accidents at work in the EU, there
are still over 6000 fatalities per year as the result of occupational accidents.
Such long-term decline that has occurred is usually associated with changes in the structure of
Many of you will already be familiar with ILO Conventions and Recommendations. You may also be aware
that the ILO has elaborate and quite effective machinery for supervising the implementation of ratified
The importance of these Conventions go far beyond the legal obligations created by ratification. They form
a body of internationally accepted standards and thus provide authoritative guidance to national authorities
In the field of occupational safety and health, the basic Convention is No. 155, adopted in 1981, concerning
occupational safety and health and the working environment. This requires ratifying States to formulate,
implement and periodically review a coherent national policy on occupational safety and health and the
working environment, in consultation with the most representative employers' and workers' organisations.
Convention No. 161, adopted in 1985, on occupational health services provides that ratifying States must
institute progressively health services at work for all workers.
The role of these services is notably to identify and assess risks of health hazards at the work place by
surveillance of the working environment and working practices. They should also give advice on the
planning and organisation of work, including the conception of the work place, and the choice and
maintenance of machines and equipment as well as substances used at work.
A wide range of specific occupational risks are covered in various ILO Conventions, the latest of which deal
with the safe use of chemicals at work (Convention No. 170 of 1990) and major industrial accidents
(Convention No. 174 of 1993).
Major industrial disasters such as Bhopal and Chernobyl have demonstrated that there is a close
relationship between major hazards at the work place, our communities and the environment. If we want to
ensure that our future efforts lead to the development of efficient and integrated strategies for the control
and prevention of occupational hazards, then full national and international cooperation is vital.
These last two Conventions are particularly relevant to issues connected with globalisation since both
address the responsibilities of exporting States.
In addition to these formal standards, the ILO has adopted other texts which provide guidance. One is the
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3.59 Regulating Health and Safety Management in the EU.

Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, according to
which a national or multinational enterprise with more than one establishment should provide safety
measures without discrimination to the workers in all its establishments, regardless of the place or country
in which they are situated.
The protection of occupational safety and health in an increasingly international economy enhances the
need for developing, updating and especially harmonising standards
Certainly, the advantages of self-regulation in safety and health by enterprises are strongly advocated in a
number of industrialised countries. The trend is likely to spill over into many other countries concerned with
globalisation. At the same time, consumer awareness is becoming stronger. This is resulting in more
pressure on enterprises to abide by codes of conduct which aim at protecting the workers, the community
and the environment.
In a globalised economy, the harmonisation of standards is not in opposition to self-regulation but a
powerful aid to that process.
Harmonised standards will facilitate the adaptation of the original technology to the different conditions
which prevail in the country receiving the technology. Decisions concerning the design of installations, use
of personal protective equipment and the effect of climate on the integrity of the industrial processes which
are often made by management at the country of origin should take into account base-line data of the enduser.
They should also include the incorporation of ergonomic and anthropometric considerations which are
appropriate to the technology-receiving country. This will cut down the direct cost of poor safety and health
practices, as well as their indirect costs, and thus render the industry more competitive.
In meeting the challenge of the harmonisation of occupational safety and health standards, compatibility
between such standards must be ensured in order to avoid overlap and contradiction. Of particular
relevance in this connection is the ongoing effort by the International Standard Organisation (ISO) to set
new standards concerning quality management and environmental management, including occupational
safety and health management.
3.60 OHSAS 18001.
OHSAS 18001 was created via the concerted effort of a number of the world's leading national standards
bodies, certification bodies and specialist consultancies. A main driver for this was to try to remove
confusion in the workplace from the proliferation of certifiable OH&S specifications.
A number of older documents were used in the creation process.
These included:

BS8800:1996 Guide to occupational health and safety management systems.

Technical Report NPR 5001: 1997 Guide to an occupational health and safety management
SGS & ISMOL ISA 2000:1997 Requirements for Safety and Health Management Systems.
BVQI SafetyCert: Occupational Safety and Health Management Standard.
DNV Standard for Certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems
Draft NSAI SR 320 Recommendation for an Occupational Health and Safety (OH and S)
Management System.
Draft AS/NZ 4801 Occupational health and safety management systems specification with guidance
for use.
Draft BSI PAS 088 Occupational health and safety management systems.
UNE 81900 series of pre-standards on the prevention of occupational risks.

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3.60 OHSAS 18001.

Draft LRQA SMS 8800 Health & safety management systems assessment criteria.

It is worth noting that the certification bodies involved in creation hold about 80% of the world market for
management system certification.
OHSAS 18001 has been developed to be compatible with the ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 14001
(Environmental) management systems standards, in order to facilitate the integration of quality,
environmental and occupational health and safety management systems by organisations, should they
wish to do so.
The (OHSAS) specification gives requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management
system, to enable an organisation to control its OH&S risks and improve its performance. It does not state
specific OH&S performance criteria, nor does it give detailed specifications for the design of a management
Application and Benifits.
The OHSAS specification is applicable to any organisation that wishes to:

Establish an OH&S management system to eliminate or minimise risk to employees and other
interested parties who may be exposed to OH&S risks associated with its activities.
Implement, maintain and continually improve an OH&S management system.
Assure itself of its conformance with its stated OH&S policy.
Demonstrate such conformance to others.
Seek certification/registration of its OH&S management system by an external organisation.
Make a self-determination and declaration of conformance with this OHSAS specification.
3.61 Why Standards Matter.

What if standards did not exist?

If there were no standards, we would soon notice. Standards make an enormous contribution to most
aspects of our lives - although very often, that contribution is invisible. It is when there is an absence of
standards that their importance is brought home.
For example, as purchasers or users of products, we soon notice when they turn out to be of poor quality,
do not fit, are incompatible with equipment we already have, are unreliable or dangerous. When products
meet our expectations, we tend to take this for granted. We are usually unaware of the role played by
standards in raising levels of quality, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchange ability - as well as in
providing such benefits at an economical cost.
ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) is the world's largest developer of standards. Although
ISO's principal activity is the development of technical standards, ISO standards also have important
economic and social repercussions. ISO standards make a positive difference, not just to engineers and
manufacturers for whom they solve basic problems in production and distribution, but to society as a whole.
The International Standards which ISO develops are very useful. They are useful to industrial and business
organisations of all types, to governments and other regulatory bodies, to trade officials, to conformity
assessment professionals, to suppliers and customers of products and services in both public and private
sectors, and ultimately to people in general in their roles as consumers and end users.
ISO standards contribute to making the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services
more efficient, safer and cleaner. They make trade between countries easier and fairer. They provide
governments with a technical base for health, safety and environmental legislation. They aid in transferring
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3.61 Why Standards Matter.

technology to developing countries. ISO standards also serve to safeguard consumers, and users in
general, of products and services - as well as to make their lives simpler.
When things go well - for example, when systems, machinery and devices work well and safely - then it is
because they conform to standards. The organisation responsible for many thousands of the standards
which benefit society worldwide is ISO.
The ISO Strategic Plan 2005-2010 outlines the global vision of the organisation in 2010, together with the
seven strategic objectives set out to meet the expectations of the ISO members and stakeholders.
3.62 ISO.

ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 157 countries, on the basis of one member per
country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland that coordinates the system.
ISO is a non-governmental organisation: its members are not, as is the case in the United Nations system,
delegations of national governments. Nevertheless, ISO occupies a special position between the public and
private sectors. This is because, on the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the
governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other
members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of
industry associations.
Therefore, ISO is able to act as a bridging organisation in which a consensus can be reached on solutions
that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society, such as the needs of
stakeholder groups like consumers and users.
What the name means.
Because "International Organisation for Standardisation" would have different abbreviations in different
languages ("IOS" in English, "OIN" in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation), it was
decided at the outset to use a word derived from the Greek isos, meaning "equal". Therefore, whatever the
country, whatever the language, the short form of the organisation's name is always ISO.
3.63 How ISO Started.

How it all started.

International standardisation began in the electrotechnical field: the International Electrotechnical
Commission (IEC) was established in 1906. Pioneering work in other fields was carried out by the
International Federation of the National Standardising Associations (ISA), which was set up in 1926. The
emphasis within ISA was laid heavily on mechanical engineering. ISA's activities came to an end in 1942.
In 1946, delegates from 25 countries met in London and decided to create a new international organisation,
of which the object would be "to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial
standards". The new organisation, ISO, officially began operations on 23rd February 1947.
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3.64 What 'International Standardisation' Means & the Benefits.

When the large majority of products or services in a particular business or industry sector conform to
International Standards, a state of industry-wide standardisation can be said to exist.
This is achieved through consensus agreements between national delegations representing all the
economic stakeholders concerned suppliers, users, government regulators and other interest groups, such
as consumers. They agree on specifications and criteria to be applied consistently in the classification of
materials, in the manufacture and supply of products, in testing and analysis, in terminology and in the
provision of services. In this way, International Standards provide a reference framework, or a common
technological language, between suppliers and their customers which facilitates trade and the transfer of
How ISO standards benefit society:

For businesses, the widespread adoption of International Standards means that suppliers can
base the development of their products and services on specifications that have wide acceptance in
their sectors. This, in turn, means that businesses using International Standards are increasingly
free to compete on many more markets around the world.
For customers, the worldwide compatibility of technology which is achieved when products and
services are based on International Standards brings them an increasingly wide choice of offers and
they also benefit from the effects of competition among suppliers.
For governments, International Standards provide the technological and scientific bases
underpinning health, safety and environmental legislation.
For trade officials negotiating the emergence of regional and global markets, International
Standards create "a level playing field" for all competitors on those markets. The existence of
divergent national or regional standards can create technical barriers to trade, even when there is
political agreement to do away with restrictive import quotas and the like. International Standards
are the technical means by which political trade agreements can be put into practice.
For developing countries, International Standards that represent an international consensus on
the state of the art constitute an important source of technological know-how. By defining the
characteristics that products and services will be expected to meet on export markets, International
Standards give developing countries a basis for making the right decisions when investing their
scarce resources and thus avoid squandering them.
For consumers, conformity of products and services to International Standards provides assurance
about their quality, safety and reliability.
For everyone, International Standards can contribute to the quality of life in general by ensuring
that the transport, machinery and tools are safe.
For the planet, International Standards on air, water and soil quality, and on emissions of gases
and radiation, can contribute to efforts to preserve the environment.
3.65 The Hallmarks of the ISO Brand.

Equal footing.
Every participating ISO member institute (full members) has the right to take part in the development of any
standard which it judges to be important to its country's economy. No matter what the size or strength of
that economy, each participating member in ISO has one vote. ISO's activities are thus carried out in a
democratic framework where each country is on an equal footing to influence the direction of ISO's work at
the strategic level, as well as the technical content of its individual standards.

ISO standards are voluntary. As a non-governmental organisation, ISO has no legal authority to enforce
their implementation. A certain percentage of ISO standards - mainly those concerned with health, safety or
the environment has been adopted in some countries as part of their regulatory framework, or is referred to
in legislation for which it serves as the technical basis. Such adoptions are sovereign decisions by the
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3.65 The Hallmarks of the ISO Brand.

regulatory authorities or governments of the countries concerned; ISO itself does not regulate or legislate.
However, although ISO standards are voluntary, they may become a market requirement, as has happened
in the case of ISO 9000 quality management systems, or of dimensions of freight containers and bank

ISO develops only those standards for which there is a market requirement. The work is carried out by
experts from the industrial, technical and business sectors which have asked for the standards and which
subsequently put them to use. These experts may be joined by others with relevant knowledge, such as
representatives of government agencies, consumer organisations, academia and testing laboratories.

Although ISO standards are voluntary, the fact that they are developed in response to market demand, and
are based on consensus among the interested parties, ensures widespread applicability of the standards.
Consensus, like technology, evolves and ISO takes account both of evolving technology and of evolving
interests by requiring a review of its standards at least every five years to decide whether they should be
maintained, updated or withdrawn. In this way, ISO standards retain their position as the state of the art, as
agreed by an international cross-section of experts in the field.

ISO standards are technical agreements which provide the framework for compatible technology
worldwide. Developing technical consensus on this international scale is a major operation. In all, there are
some 3,000 ISO technical groups (technical committees, subcommittees, working groups etc.) in which
some 50,000 experts participate annually to develop ISO standards.
3.66 ISO & World Trade.
ISO - together with IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and ITU (International
Telecommunication Union) - has built a strategic partnership with the WTO (World Trade Organisation) with
the common goal of promoting a free and fair global trading system.
The political agreements reached within the framework of the WTO require underpinning by technical
agreements. ISO, IEC and ITU, as the three principal organisations in international standardisation, have
the complementary scopes, the framework, the expertise and the experience to provide this technical
support for the growth of the global market.
The WTO's Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) includes the Code of Good Practice for the
Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards. The TBT Agreement recognises the important
contribution that International Standards and conformity assessment systems can make to improving
efficiency of production and facilitating international trade.
Therefore, where International Standards exist or their completion is imminent, the Code states that
standardising bodies should use them as a basis for standards they develop.
The Code requires that standardising bodies that have accepted its terms notify this fact to the ISO/IEC
Information Centre located at the ISO Central Secretariat.
Standardising bodies having accepted the Code must publish their work programmes and also notify the
existence of their work programmes to the ISO/IEC Information Centre. On behalf of the WTO, ISO
periodically publishes a Directory of standardizing bodies that have accepted the WTO TBT Standards
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3.66 ISO & World Trade.

3.67 ISO & Developing Countries.
ISO standards represent a reservoir of technology. Developing countries in particular, with their scarce
resources, stand to gain from this wealth of knowledge. For them, ISO standards are an important means
both of acquiring technological know-how that is backed by international consensus as the state of the art,
and of raising their capability to export and compete on global markets. The whole spectrum of ISO's
activities in favour of developing countries is encompassed in the ISO Action Plan for developing countries
ISO has a policy committee on developing country matters, DEVCO, with a membership of nearly 117
standards institutes from both industrialised and developing countries.
3.68 The Wide World of ISO Standards.
Between 1947 and the present day, ISO published more than 16,000 International Standards. ISO's work
programme ranges from standards for traditional activities, such as agriculture and construction, through
mechanical engineering and medical devices, to the newest information technology developments, such as
the digital coding of audio-visual signals for multimedia applications.
Standardisation of screw threads helps to keep chairs, children's bicycles and aircraft together and solves
the repair and maintenance problems caused by a lack of standardisation that were once a major
headache for manufacturers and product users. Standards establishing an international consensus on
terminology make technology transfer easier and can represent an important stage in the advancement of
new technologies.
Without the standardised dimensions of freight containers, international trade would be slower and more
expensive. Without the standardisation of telephone and banking cards, life would be more complicated. A
lack of standardisation may even affect the quality of life itself: for the disabled, for example, when they are
barred access to consumer products, public transport and buildings because the dimensions of wheelchairs and entrances are not standardised.
Standardised symbols provide danger warnings and information across linguistic frontiers. Consensus on
grades of various materials gives a common reference for suppliers and clients in business dealings.
Agreement on a sufficient number of variations of a product to meet most current applications allows
economies of scale with cost benefits for both producers and consumers. An example is the
standardisation of paper sizes.
Standardisation of performance or safety requirements of diverse equipment makes sure that users' needs
are met while allowing individual manufacturers the freedom to design their own solution on how to meet
those needs.
Standardised protocols allow computers from different vendors to "talk" to each other. Standardised
documents speed up the transit of goods, or identify sensitive or dangerous cargoes that may be handled
by people speaking different languages. Standardisation of connections and interfaces of all types ensures
the compatibility of equipment of diverse origins and the interoperability of different technologies.
Agreement on test methods allows meaningful comparisons of products, or plays an important part in
controlling pollution - whether by noise, vibration or emissions. Safety standards for machinery protect
people at work, at play, at sea.
Without the international agreement contained in ISO standards on quantities and units, shopping and
trade would be haphazard, science would be unscientific and technological development would be
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3.68 The Wide World of ISO Standards.

More than half a million organisations in more 149 countries are implementing ISO 9000 which provides a
framework for quality management throughout the processes of producing and delivering products and
services for the customer.
ISO 14000 environmental management systems are helping organisations of all types to improve their
environmental performance at the same time as making a positive impact on business results.
For more examples of the many areas of life and work where ISO standards provide technical, economic
and social benefits, see The ISO Caf.
3.69 What Makes ISO 9000 & ISO 14000 So Special.
The ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families are among ISO's most widely known standards. ISO 9000 has
become an international reference for quality requirements in business to business dealings, and ISO
14000 looks set to achieve at least as much, if not more, in helping organisations to meet their
environmental challenges.
The vast majority of ISO standards are highly specific to a particular product, material, or process.
However, the standards that have earned the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families a worldwide reputation are
known as "generic management system standards".
"Generic" means that the same standards can be applied to any organisation, large or small, whatever its
product including whether its "product" is actually a service in any sector of activity, and whether it is a
business enterprise, a public administration, or a government department. "Management system" refers to
what the organisation does to manage its processes or activities.
"Generic" also signifies that no matter what the organisation is or does, if it wants to establish a quality
management system or an environmental management system, then such a system has a number of
essential features which are spelled out in the relevant standards of the ISO 9000 or ISO 14000 families.
ISO 9000 is concerned with "quality management". This means what the organisation does to enhance
customer satisfaction by meeting customer and applicable regulatory requirements and continually to
improve its performance in this regard. ISO 14000 is primarily concerned with "environmental
management". This means what the organisation does to minimise harmful effects on the environment
caused by its activities, and continually to improve its environmental performance.
3.70 What Makes Conformity Assessment so Important.
At its simplest, "conformity assessment" means checking that products, materials, services, systems or
people measure up to the specifications of a relevant standard. Today, many products require testing for
conformance with specifications or compliance with safety, or other regulations before they can be put on
many markets. Even simpler products may require supporting technical documentation that includes test

With so much trade taking place across borders, conformity assessment has become an important
component of the world economy. Over the years, ISO has developed many of the standards against which
products are assessed for conformity, as well as the standardised test methods that allow the meaningful
comparison of test results so necessary for international trade.
ISO itself does not carry out conformity assessment. However, in partnership with IEC (International
Electrotechnical Commission), ISO develops ISO/IEC guides and standards to be used by organisations
which carry out conformity assessment activities.

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3.70 What Makes Conformity Assessment so Important.

The voluntary criteria contained in these guides and standards represent an international consensus on
what constitutes best practice. Their use contributes to the consistency and coherence of conformity
assessment worldwide and so facilitates trade across borders.
3.71 Where to Find Information on Standards.
ISO's entire portfolio of standards is listed in the ISO Catalogue which can be accessed online. The site
also provides access to the World Standards Services Network (WSSN) which is a network of publicly
accessible Web servers of standards organisations around the world. Through these Web sites, WSSN
provides information on international, regional and national standardisation and related activities and
In fact, there are several hundred thousand standards and technical regulations in the world containing
special requirements for a particular country or region. Finding information about these, or about related
conformity assessment activities, can be a heavy task. ISONET, the ISO Information Network, can ease the
problem. This is a worldwide network of national standards information centres which have cooperatively
developed a system to provide rapid access to information about standards, technical regulations and
testing and conformity assessment activities in operation around the world.

The World Trade Organisation's Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT) calls upon its
signatory countries to establish a national enquiry point to answer questions on these same areas in
relation to that country. In many countries, the ISONET and WTO enquiry points are one and the same.
3.72 Who Can Join ISO.
Membership of ISO is open to national standards institutes most representative of standardisation in their
country (one member in each country). Full members, known as "Member bodies", each have one vote,
whatever the size or strength of the economy of the country concerned. In addition, ISO has two categories
of membership for countries which do not yet have a fully developed national standards activity. They pay
reduced membership fees.
"Correspondent members" are entitled to participate in any policy or technical body as observers, with no
voting rights. "Subscriber members" are institutes from countries with very small economies that
nevertheless wish to maintain contact with international standardisation.
Although individuals or enterprises are not eligible for membership, both have a range of opportunities for
taking part in ISO's work, or in contributing to the development of standards through the ISO member in
their country. Individuals may be selected by member institutes to serve on national delegations
participating in ISO technical committees, or may provide their input during the process of developing a
national consensus for presentation by the delegation. International organisations and associations, both
non-governmental and representing industry sectors, can apply for liaison status to a technical committee.
They do not vote, but can participate in the debates and the development of consensus.
3.73 How ISO Decides What Standards to Develop.
Working through the ISO system, it is the sectors which need the standards that are at the origin of their
development. What happens is that the need for a standard is felt by an industry or business sector which
communicates the requirement to one of ISO's national members. The latter then proposes the new work
item to ISO as a whole.

If accepted, the work item is assigned to an existing technical committee. Proposals may also be made to
set up technical committees to cover new scopes of activity. In order to use resources most efficiently, ISO
only launches the development of new standards for which there is clearly a market requirement.
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3.74 ISO's International Partners.

ISO collaborates with its partners in international standardisation, the IEC (International Electrotechnical
Commission) and ITU (International Telecommunication Union). The three organisations, all based in
Geneva, have formed the World Standards Cooperation in order to better coordinate their activities, as well
as the implementation of International Standards. ISO is one of the few non-governmental organisations
having an observer status in the World Trade Organisation. Its contribution is increasingly solicited in
relation to the elimination of technical barriers to trade.
ISO collaborates with the United Nations Organisation and its specialised agencies and
commissions, particularly those involved in the harmonisation of regulations and public policies
such as:

CODEX Alimentarius for food safety measurement, management and traceability.

UN ECE for the use of ISO Standards in relation to the safety of motor vehicles or the transportation
of dangerous goods.
WHO, the World Health Organisation for health technologies.
IMO, the International Maritime Organisation, for securing maritime and intermodal transport.
WTO-T, the World Tourism Organisation, for the quality of services related to tourism.
Or with those engaged in bringing assistance and support to developing countries such as
UNCTAD, UNIDO or the International Trade Centre.

ISO's technical committees have formal liaison relations with some 580 international and regional
organisations, which complement this impressive network and which, together with the network of its
national members, is key for the global relevance, actual use and recognition of its Standards by the market
forces and the general public.
Relations with international groups of stakeholders have also been reinforced. ISO is now an institutional
member of the World Economic Forum, has increased its collaboration with NGOs representing societal or
professional interests, such as Consumers International, the World Business Council on Sustainable
Development or the international Federation of Standards Users (IFAN) and collaborates regularly with the
major international organisations involved in metrology, quality and conformity assessment.
3.75 Consumers & Negative Reactions.
So far, we have considered Governmental policy, professional body influence, Trade Union pressures and
Employer strategies. Here we will consider how the consumer has an effect both on raising standards of
health and safety at the companies whose products they purchase and use and the financial impacts on
business who get it wrong.
We have provided you with examples of the effects on business of adverse stakeholder reaction to health
or safety concerns. You may wish to search out others local to you.
You need to consider how these impacted on the business concerned and short and long term affects
impacted on consumers.
3.76 Case Study - Cadbury.
Cadbury's secret benzene recall.
By Chris Mercer.
28/11/2006 - As the makers of Perrier water absorbed the full consumer backlash from recalling drinks
containing benzene in the US, Cadbury Schweppes quietly pulled one of its own products for the same
reason, new documents show. Cadbury Beverages, now Cadbury Schweppes, privately withdrew its Diet
Orange Crush drink in five regions in the US in 1990 because tests found some products with benzene
several times above the acceptable limit. Benzene is a carcinogenic chemical.
The revelation, confirmed by newly released official documents passed to, raises new
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3.76 Case Study - Cadbury.

questions about the seriousness of the benzene in soft drinks problem.
Cadbury's Diet Crush contained 36 and 52 parts per billion (ppb) benzene in two samples taken by the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late in 1990. Another preliminary sample showed 130ppb benzene,
although others were much lower.
The industry limit is historically 10ppb, although no official maximum exists. Perrier spring water was
publicly recalled earlier the same year at less than 20ppb benzene. The brand's sales have never properly
recovered in North America. Perrier's problems emanated from a one-off processing glitch, but Cadbury's
benzene was traced to a reaction between two common ingredients in the drink - something that was still
producing benzene in some other firms' drinks this year.
Several drinks have been reformulated this year since the FDA revealed it had found samples with
benzene above the five ppb limit for US drinking water. Another four drinks were recalled in the UK this
spring as news of the problem spread. Both the FDA and soft drinks firms have always said there was no
risk to health from benzene levels found in beverages.
Lawyers investigating the issue praised Cadbury for "doing the right thing" by informing the FDA of its
benzene problem in 1990 and immediately reformulating Diet Orange Crush.
But the problem with the two ingredients - sodium benzoates and citric or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) - was
never made public and their wide use together in drinks formulas raises questions about which other
brands may have contained excessive benzene in 1990. "Levels of benzene formed are highly variable with
treatment, but ranged from four ppb to several hundred ppb," an FDA memo dated January 1991 says.
"Even sitting at room temperature in the dark yields low benzene levels after one or more days." Heat and
light exposure rapidly increased benzene formation.
Another memo, dated February, says benzene levels found in Diet Orange Crush posed no acute hazard to
health, however. "Consumption of the contaminated beverage for relatively short periods of time
would not be expected to increase detectable risk of cancer." it added.
FDA made a deal with soft drinks firms in 1990 for them to "get the word out and reformulate", instead of
taking the matter public, one agency scientist there at the time told
However, isolated drinks samples continued to show elevated benzene levels in later FDA Total Diet
Surveys. It is "embarrassing" the FDA failed to eradicate benzene residues from all drinks, a senior, exFDA enforcement official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Big companies are very powerful. If
you're a regulator with a tight budget, it could have been one of those closets with skeletons in that you
don't want to open." An industry-wide guidance document on limiting benzene in drinks, the first to be
compiled, was published by the International Council of Beverages Associations after the issue went public
this year. Some say the public had a right to know what was happening in 1990 and that Cadbury had
pulled one of its drinks.
"It's outrageous that when a known carcinogen such as benzene was found in popular USA soft drinks,
neither the beverage industry or FDA notified consumers," said an ex-Cadbury scientist, who approached alongside lawyer Ross Getman about the benzene in soft drinks problem.
3.77 Case Study - Firestone & Ford.
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2000.
Firestone and Ford Sued Over Faulty Tyres.
Mitsubishi Motors admitted yesterday that it had systematically concealed customer complaints about tens
of thousands of defective automobiles since 1977. The admission came a month after its top executive had
denied accusations that it had covered up problems that included faulty fuel tanks, clutches, crankshafts
and brakes. This comes as the Ford Motor company announced earlier this week that it will shut down
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3.77 Case Study - Firestone & Ford.

three US plants starting next week so that 70,000 tyres earmarked for new Explorers and Rangers will
instead go to customers awaiting replacements of recalled Firestone tires. Workers will lose 5% of their pay
during the time the plants are closed.
Ford's announcement came on the heels of a safety group lawsuit alleging that Firestone and the Ford
Motor Company have designed, manufactured, distributed, advertised, marketed, promoted and sold
defectively designed tyres to consumers throughout the United States with knowledge that these tyres were
defective. The Centre for Auto Safety which is bringing the law suit, allege that Firestone and Ford knew or
should have known the tyres would fail, as they are not designed to keep their tread. As a result, the lawsuit
says, drivers and passengers in vehicles with the tyres in question, have their safety placed in danger.
3.78 Case Study - BSE.
Japan examines third case of BSE.
Federal Agriculture Minister Warren Truss says the Japanese Government has advised him it is
investigating a third case of suspected mad cow disease.
The Japanese Government yesterday confirmed the second case of the disease, also known as BSE, was
found in a five-year-old dairy cow in the northern area of Japan.
Mr Truss says it will affect the confidence of Japanese consumers. "The Japanese have taken the view
that that is a demonstration of their upgraded detection system...working." he said. "This cow was
identified through this upgraded detection system, but I'm not convinced the Japanese consumers will be
so easily persuaded."
Consumers back beef in BSE ban.
Consumers have reacted cautiously to the federal Government's decision to ban imported beef products
from Europe, in the light of global concern about BSE or mad cow disease. A government hotline set up
after the decision was made on Friday has taken six hundred calls from people wanting to know which
imported beef products they should avoid. But it seems consumers are still confident about the quality of
Australian beef.
COMPERE: The European hysteria over mad cow disease is starting to have a serious impact on
national diets.
In Germany, the crisis has undermined confidence in the sausage and the government has even warned
consumers not to eat some varieties of the national dish. In rural Germany, mad cow disease is now ruining
businesses and threatening a centuries old culinary tradition. Nowhere are sausages more revered than in
Germany. Here they're a way of life. The average German eats more than 32 kilos of sausage every year white sausage, black sausage, bratwurst, brochwurst, currywurst, the list is almost endless, most of them
made by small independent family-run sausage businesses.
The Zorn family of Munchen Gladbach in north western Germany have been in the meat business for three
generations - sausages are their bread and butter so to speak, but in the four weeks since the first case of
mad cow disease was found in Germany, Christian Zorn says he's seen his business drop by more than 30
per cent.
"All the restaurants and the traders we sell to are having big problems he says. Beef sales have sunk to
nearly zero. In the present situation German consumers don't want to eat beef any more."
Herr Zorn turns out 80 tons of sausage a month from this small but efficient factory, most are pork, but for
30 years he's used beef in his bruwurst sausage for texture. Not any more. He's now cut beef out of the
process entirely. But for the first time ever the German government has warned consumers not to eat
certain types of sausage and confidence in all varieties of the national dish has plummeted. The Health
Minister says she wouldn't eat sausage any more and even Chancellor Schroeder's wife says she doesn't
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3.78 Case Study - BSE.

know what to cook any more. As Herr Zorn says, none of it is helping consumer confidence.
"I think that at the moment the consumer is insecure," he says, "but Germans love sausage and when the
crisis is over we'll eat less sausages that's for sure, but we'll eat better ones."
At this time of year Germans, like many of us, are even more pre-occupied with their stomachs than ever.
Christmas is a deeply traditional time of year and in Germany sausages have a prominent role.
The sausage stand is a fixture at Christmas markets all over the country, but this year the customers are
approaching wurst with a fatalistic resignation. Having insisted for years that Germany was BSE-free, the
government now says it's discovered its fifth diseased German cow. For the meat industry and for
consumers there's a feeling that the situation can only get wurst.
Mad Cow causes anti T-Bone hysteria in Europe.
The strain of mad cow disease is rapidly spreading across Europe and consumer panic is causing serious
friction within the EU. Spain is the latest country to announce that it's found cases of the disease amongst
its herds.
Now the EU has promised more rigorous testing but testing is proving to be a 'Catch 22'.
After an all night session in Brussels earlier this week, EU Agriculture Ministers emerged with an
agreement on a new testing regime for BSE or mad cow disease, designed to boost public confidence in
beef. In the past few weeks the revelation that beef from an infected herd was sold in three French
supermarkets has caused widespread panic in France and throughout Europe.
Now the EU has decided to test all cattle over 30 months old thought to be at risk of BSE and by June even
apparently healthy animals will have to undergo tests, a huge and vastly expensive program. But according
to the EU's Food and Safety Commissioner, David Byrne, a necessary one. "I believe that these proposals
are an enormous enhancement for public health and the protection of consumer health."
But the trouble is the more you know, the more you know. It was only when the French began their own
testing program that new cases of the disease came to light and that only served to further undermine the
public's confidence. Even more rigorous testing will surely only uncover more disease and no amount of
public relations is going to put T-bone steaks back on the menu.
In the past few days France has been feeling the heat of consumer hysteria. In an almost desperate effort
to reassure consumers the French Prime Minister was seen extolling the virtues of French beef on
television as he enthusiastically munched into beef kebabs and sipped a friendly plastic tumbler of red wine
with French farmers at a barbecue. But the public's just not buying it. Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy,
Greece and Portugal have all slapped bans on the sale of French beef, almost crippling the French beef
industry. On the Italian border, meat trucks are being routinely stopped and inspected to prevent any beef
slipping through the net. And beef sales have plummeted in butcher shops across the continent. The
Italians have now asked the EU to approve a plan to have the origins of all beef sold over the counter
clearly displayed on labels. They're clearly banking on the hope that Italy really is a BSE-free zone.
But the Spanish have been moving along that road as well, only to find that the disease simply does not
respect borders. The Spanish have now discovered two cases of BSE among their own herds and more is
likely as the new testing regime gets under way.
The Regulation of Risks and the Power of the People: Lessons from the BSE Crisis For an in-depth view of
the BSE crises please visit the weblink below.
Question 5.
An example of a non-governmental body in the UK is the _____
SHEilds Ltd
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Final Considerations.
Now that you have read through the legal section of this course it would be a goof time to think about the
legal sections revelenat to your company ready for your UNIT D assignment.
You should start collecting your infotmation for your assignment as you go through your studies.

SHEilds Ltd

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SHEilds General Contacts

SHEilds UK


SHEilds House
24 Priory Tec Park
Saxon Way
HU13 9PB

Block 19
Office 204
Knowledge Village
PO Box 501725

Tel: 0845 122 3408

Intl: +44 (0) 1482 806 805

Safety Training India Mumbai

Office No. 305, Third Floor, Sangeet Plaza,
Near to Marol Fire Brigade,
Marol-Maroshi Road,
Marol Naka,
Andheri (E),
Mumbai 400 059
Tel: +91 (0) 22 3222 6805
Tel: +91 (0) 72 0830 6494

Tel: +971 4 3754012


Safety Training India

8-1-21/144/1, Flat No 301
Rismy Towers, Surya Nagar
ColonyTolichowki X Roads
Near Orange Honda Showroom
Hyderabad - 500008, A.P.
Tel: +91 (0) 40 6464 0660
Tel: +91 (0) 98 8575 7517

Safety Training India Delhi

South Africa Office

202, 203 2nd Floor,

Building No. 7,
Local Shoping Center,
Near Pushpa Bhawan,
New Delhi 110062

Savanah Office Park

Corner. Rugby Street and
9th Avenue,
Roodepoort, 1715

Tel: +(0)11 43005888

Tel: +91 9540828481

Tel: + 2711 675 4177

Tel: + 2711 675 4178
Tel: + 2711 675 4179

SHEilds Ltd

NEBOSH International Diploma v 1.3a (05/08/2014)

Tel: +44(0)1482 806805

Page: 109