WHWB Forum

Cutting core samplesWelcome to the Workplace Health Without Borders Forum. This is where we  post news items related to WHWB projects and issues of importance to the international occupational hygiene community.

For example, please see our posts thanking our corporate donors and seeking help with the Ebola crisis in Africa. You can also find a post describing our first crowdfunding campaign to fund a workshop in India in partnership with  Jeevan Rekha Parishad (JRP) to educate employers, workers, government and public health staff about the health hazards associated with exposure to silica.

Our Mentor program, matches experienced occupational hygienists with new entrants to the field. We continue to seek assistance with our training module on the hazards of silica exposure and their control. When complete this will be contributed to the collection of modular occupational hygiene training materials produced by OHTA and available at the www.ohlearning.com website.

If you have registered with WHWB, please login using the Login link at upper right to post your ideas and comments on the forum. If you are not registered, but wish to do so, read this then send an email to the webmaster at: webmaster@whwb.org. If you have comments on the web site, please contact the webmaster.

A plea for help with the WHWB web site

Most of us work at jobs where it is impractical for us to pick up and travel overseas as a WHWB volunteer. At the same time we would like to do something to promote the aims of WHWB, working from home. WHWB needs a lot of help with existing projects and ideas for new projects around the world. We also need help in maintaining the organization’s  infrastructure including this web site.

The web site is not maintained by a professional web developer and at present we cannot afford to hire one.  I am trying to keep it online, but I lack the technical expertise to deal with all problems that might arise. The event that took us offline at the beginning of January was a case in point. A more knowledgeable person would have had us back on line in less than an hour. It took me three days to sort out the problem. If you have any web development expertise, we could use you. If you don’t, but would like to learn, I would still like to hear from you. I could at least pass on the little I know and get you started. Finally, if you are not interested in maintaining the site structure but would like to promote it as a vehicle for communication among the membership, you could help by generating site content. You could post to our Forum or, if you prefer, send your material to me as a Word document. If you have an aesthetic sense and can suggest changes that would improve the site’s appearance and functionality, we could use your ideas. In the next few days I will email everyone who ticked the web site box on their membership form asking for help. Even if you did not indicate an interest in the web site when you joined WHWB, if you are interested now, I’d like to hear from you. If you like, you can leave a comment below, or alternatively send me an email at webmaster@whwb.org.

– Chuck Pilger, Acting Webmaster

WHO Ebola Situation Reports

WHO provides regular situation reports on the Ebola response roadmap, together with epidemiological data. These reports contain a review of the epidemiological situation and an assessment of the response measured against the core Roadmap indicators where available. The most recent of these reports was released on January 7, 2015.

Updates are provided for the following countries: those with widespread and intense transmission; those with or that have had an initial case or cases, or with localized transmission; those countries that neighbour or have strong trade ties with areas of active transmission. Follow this link to access these reports.


Public health students spearhead Ebola equipment delivery to Sierra Leone hospitals

This week, three University of Toronto public health students spearheaded the delivery of protective equipment to front-line health workers in Sierra Leone.

Working with WHWB and  Save the Children, a global NGO dedicated to children’s rights, three first-year epidemiology students in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health successfully facilitated the delivery of masks, gloves, disinfectant and other much needed Ebola protective supplies to Njala University in Bo, Sierra Leone. For the full story, click on this link.

WHWB applauds the work of these students and their commitment to global public health. For more on the work being done by the Dalla Lana School of Public Health to combat Ebola, visit this link.

Happy new year, and thank you to our corporate donors

Happy new year to all, and a big thank you to the companies that supported us in 2014. We are very grateful to companies that donated services in kind, like Galson, SKC and ISS, and to contributors like Medgate and ECOH. Please see our corporate donors thank you page for updates on our supporters.

WHWB will offer OHTA W201 course in Tanzania, Feb. 23-27

In partnership with Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania,  WHWB will offer the 5-day course Basic Principles in Occupational Hygiene (Occupational Hygiene Training Association [OHTA] W201) from February 23-27, 2015.

The course is designed for participants with responsibility for employee health and safety who will benefit from a practical understanding of occupational hygiene.  It will provide a foundation on assessment  and control of occupational hazards like noise, chemicals, and ergonomic hazards. For more information, see Muhimbili University’s notice .

For an additional fee, participants who complete the course will have the option of taking the examination that will qualify them for the OHTA international certificate.

If you are interested in registering,  please contact
Head, Environmental and Occupational Health Department Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences P O Box 65015 Dar es Salaam Tanzania vngowi@muhas.ac.tz


CDC Guidance Document on PPE for Healthcare Workers

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a guidance document on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be used by Healthcare workers in American hospitals during management of Ebola patients. This document includes specific procedures for donning (putting on) and Doffing (taking off) the PPE. This document was current as of October 20, 2014. While following this information may not be practical in parts of the world where resources are not available, it does provide useful guiding principles based on lessons learned from recent experiences in U.S. hospitals caring for Ebola patients. In particular it emphasizes the importance of training, practice, competence, and observation of healthcare workers in correct donning and doffing of PPE selected by the facility. This guidance document is available here.