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FDA Plans to Prioritize Laboratory Safety in Safety Initiative Overhaul

FDA Plans to Prioritize Laboratory Safety in Safety Initiative Overhaul The agency’s upcoming changes will be an effort to continue innovations that became necessary because of COVID-19. By Nikki Johnson-BoldenOct 16, 2020 The FDA announced measures to confirm its commitment to protect public health in a statement from the Commissioner of Food and Drugs on October 8. In the statement, Stephen M. Hahn M.D. announces a new cross-agency working group that will review the FDA’s current structure and strategize on ways to improve areas like occupational health and safety and laboratory safety. The FDA’s Office of Laboratory Safety (OLS) will also be working to improve laboratory safety and security. These changes arrive after the agency received recommendations on laboratory safety in the form of a report from the Government Accountability Office. The FDA will use the recommendations to update its current OLS plan. For more information on the FDA’s safety measurement modifications, visit fda.gov. About the Author Nikki Johnson-Bolden is an Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Everyone is Responsible for Safety

Everyone is Responsible for Safety Each individual may assume that since everyone is responsible, there are others in the area who can take action. The end result may actually be that everyone present is going to make that very same assumption, and no one will actually do anything to further the cause of safety. By Peter FurstOct 16, 2020 The organizational thinking behind the "everyone is responsible for safety" idea is to create a universal mindset to actively engage everyone, which should minimize the risk of injury due to the concerted grass-roots effort. I was making a presentation at a safety conference and as an opening asked the attendees who is responsible for safety. A rather large number responded with: “everyone is responsible for safety.” As a follow up, I asked how exactly this could be managed so as to get the intended accountable results. There really were no good responses. This idea may sound great in theory but in reality, it is not practical to hold a group accountable for individual behavior. Some situational Issues For an individual to decide to intervene they have to decide that some form of hazard exists, the worker is not aware of it, and may suffer an injury, unless they are warned. Some of the possible reasons the observer may decide not to warn the worker. The observer may assume that the risk is low, the worker is aware of the hazard, is experienced and capable of working around it, and gives no warning. If there are others in the area, then the observer may assume that one of the other persons present has already alerted or will alert the exposed worker and does nothing. The observer may feel less experienced than the person performing the task and, so say nothing. The observer, not knowing the others well may feel reluctant to voice concern for fear that others may ridicule his concern. If the observer works for a different subcontractor, or in a different trade they may feel they don’t have the authority or the expertise to say something about the situation. In the case of a supervisor faced with a critical production goal may not say anything about a hazard, as the task may take little time, or the worker engaged is experienced. Therefore, decides not to intervene. Let's block ads! (Why?)

EU's regions and cities call on national governments to increase EU health package

​German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasise health in debates at the European Committee of the Regions.National governments should agree to a larger package of financial support for health systems in the European Union, the European Committee of the Regions said on 14 October. The call is contained in a set of three recommendations in which the EU's regions and cities set out ways of filling gaps in local health-care systems revealed by the coronavirus pandemic.​The recommendations – which address weaknesses in prevention, treatment, and emergency care – were adopted on 14 October, two days after the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) presented the European Commission's president, Ursula von der Leyen, with evidence of the impact of the pandemic in its Annual Regional and Local Barometer. The Barometer highlighted how the crisis has added to existing inequalities, including in the health sector. President von der Leyen told the EU's assembly for local and regional politicians that "The European funds will enable investments in new hospitals, better equipment and stronger healthcare systems – not only in the big cities, but also in more remote regions" and that regional and local administrations should be "in the driving seat".The Committee was also addressed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On 13 October, she told the 329 governors, mayors and councillors in the CoR that the willingness of some regions to care for patients from regions from other countries should be a "guiding light for future challenges". Chancellor Merkel, who said she was "watching with great concern the renewed increase in infection numbers in almost every part of Europe", was speaking in her capacity as leader of the country that holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.In its opinion on the package of support for health-care systems already announced by the European Commission, the EU4Health programme, the European Committee of the Regions criticised national governments for slashing the proposed budget. They stressed that health services, which are managed at the local and regional level in many EU Member States, need investment and innovation in order to reduce health inequalities and cope with an ageing population. The EU's Member States this summer cut the European Commission's proposal of EUR 9.4 billion for 2021-27 to EUR 1.7 billion. The final size will be determined in negotiations with the European Parliament.The CoR's rapporteur, Nathalie Sarrabezolles (FR/PES), president of the Finistère Departmental Council, said: "By cutting the new EU4Health programme by 82%, Member States bitterly failed to grasp the full extent of the crisis. Guaranteeing high-quality healthcare for all is the best expression of solidarity and an essential part of strengthening the cohesion in our Union. We can and must do better to reinforce our health systems. Even though regions and cities will continue to work every day to achieve this goal, they nevertheless need considerable support from the EU level."A second opinion focuses on the features necessary in a European health-emergency mechanism that could be activated in future pandemics. It emphasises the need for the EU to develop, buy, transport and distribute testing supplies and protective gear imported from abroad or produced within the EU. It also calls specifically for the development, for instance, of a common EU vaccination card and a virtual European register providing information on vaccine stocks.The rapporteur, Birgitta Sacrédeus (SE/EPP) of Dalarna Regional Council, said: "The pandemic clearly demonstrates the importance of qualified and well-trained staff and well-funded, well-equipped and robust healthcare systems with the ability to quickly adapt to a new healthcare and public-health situation. The pandemic also shows the very large role that local and regional authorities play in crisis situations such as this."The third opinion – drafted by Karsten Uno Petersen (DK/PES) of South Denmark Regional Council on the subject of cross-border health care – seeks to ease the transfer of patients for care in other countries, as occurred during the first wave of the pandemic when, for instance, patients from the Grand Est and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté regions of France were treated in Saarland, Germany.Mr Petersen said: "The COVID-19 pandemic proved how important close health-care cooperation across borders can be for Europeans. Seeing patients being treated across borders was the best representation of what solidarity really means. Let us build on what we have learned from this emergency to improve our cross-border healthcare systems and provide people living in border regions with simplified procedures and patient safety, as well as clear information, both for them and for healthcare workers."The opinion fits into a broader effort by the European Committee of the Regions to ensure that the EU's recovery from the pandemic helps to build resilient communities, helps the development of local economies, and promot  efforts to deepen European democracy.According to an opinion poll commissioned by the European Committee of the Regions, 67% of Europeans would like local and regional authorities to have more influence on decisions taken at EU level. Of these, 45% mentioned health as an area where regions and cities should be given more say.The poll was conducted by Kantar in the first half of September, and the results were presented at the CoR's plenary session on 12-14 October. The poll also found that – both in general and in terms of responses to the pandemic – Europeans trust local and regional governments more than they trust national governments or the EU. An absolute majority – 52% – trust their regional and local authorities, while 47% trust the EU and 43% trust their national government.Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions and governor of Central Macedonia in Greece, said: "The level of trust that citizens have in local and regional leaders has helped to contain the spread of the coronavirus. This trust will also be critical in the recovery phase. We urge national leaders and EU institutions to work with and support regional and local councils addressing the mighty problems created by the virus."Findings of the Annual Regional and Local Barometer:Annual Regional and Local Barometer – main findingsAnnual Regional and Local Barometer – full reportAnnual Regional and Local Barometer – opinion poll by Kantar (country-specific results also available)Annual Regional and Local Barometer – the health impact (the story, in data)Annual Regional and Local Barometer – the regional economic impact (the story, in data)Contact:Andrew GardnerTel. +32 473 843 [email protected]'s block ads! (Why?)

Green Transformation Summit: Automotive Regions – Crucial to Success!

​Political leaders from the automotive regions (CoRAI) met with the European Commissioner for Budget, Johannes Hahn, members of the European Committee of the Regions' commission for territorial cohesion (COTER) and automotive industry representatives to discuss the role automotive regions play in achieving a successful green transformation. The event took place on 14 October as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities (watch the recording here).The pandemic is hitting the automotive and supply industries at a time when they are heavily investing in the green transformation. Sales of vehicles have fallen by 32% this year, leading to massive job cuts in automotive regions. Europe's Green Deal and the EU budget will play a key role in helping automotive regions and the industry to manage this transformation.In his opening speech at the Green Transformation Summit, Commissioner Johannes Hahn underlined that "Europe's regions are at the heart of the green and digital transitions and the EU recovery plan. It is the SMEs, the European value chains and European industry that will trigger innovation, create employment and boost economic growth in Europe".Christopher Drexler (AT/EPP), President of the Committee of the Regions Automotive Intergroup and a Minister in the regional government of Styria, welcomed the participants and stressed that "the automotive and supply industry and the European regions hosting them have been catapulted into a dramatic situation. We, the European regions have to join forces to lead this necessary transformation. Hopefully we will emerge even stronger. Innovation and international cooperation have always been Styria's formula for success. Styria is an automotive region for research and development. We will use this innovative strength together with other automotive regions in Europe to get out of this crisis and create new jobs"."To minimize damage to employment and industrial competitiveness, the European Union must help to modernize and improve the current factories on the continent, for the successful upgrade of the sector in line with the Green Deal", added Francisco Igea Arisqueta (ES/Renew Europe), Vice-President of the Regional Government of Castilla y León. "Tens of thousands of jobs in the Castile and León region and many millions of jobs throughout Europe depend on the automotive industry".María Victoria Chivite Navascués (ES/PES), President of the Regional Government of Navarra, is leading her region towards e-mobility: "Navarra has become a perfect automotive testing zone, directing the capacities of the industrial automotive sector towards the development of the electric vehicle and its components, as well as fostering the development and implementation of new mobility solutions in Navarra".There is more than one path to green mobility. "The objective must be to achieve an effective reduction of emissions, not to prioritize some technologies over others", said Francisco Igea Arisqueta. A practical example came from Jonas Strömberg (Scania): "Did you know that waste from 1 000 people can power a bus for a year? A more system-oriented regional and urban procurement process is key to getting there".József Berényi (SK/EPP), Vice-Chairman of Trnava Self Governing Region called for close cooperation between industry and regions, highlighting that: "when it comes to the automotive industry in the Trnava region, we believe the cooperation of the regional government, business and industry is crucial, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Increasing the competitiveness of automotive production, digitalisation and innovation all play a key role on the way towards sustainable future"."The automotive supply industry is delivering essential solutions to make the green and digital transformation of mobility a reality. COVID-19 has accelerated the change but also caused a lot of additional strain, not least on employment levels. Europe needs a strong automotive ecosystem to stay competitive and push ahead with ambitious environmental, digital and road safety targets. We need a policy framework at all levels – regional, national and  European – that is 'technology-open' and supports innovation as much as possible", summarised Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA).Note to the editors:CoRAI is the European Committee of the Regions' interregional group on the Future of Automotive Industries, bringing together more than 30 political leaders from automotive regions in order to promote cooperation between local and regional authorities.Contact:David CrousTel. +32 (0)470 [email protected] SchmidleTel. +32 (0)494 [email protected]'s block ads! (Why?)

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