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ISSUE 60 page 8

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Sites of Interest
iPad app  takes EU-OSHA campaign to new audience
 EVERY OCTOBER THE EUROPEAN AGENCY FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK (EU-OSHA) organises a health and safety week as part of a yearly campaign under the slogan ‘Healthy Workplaces’ This year the theme is ‘Working together for risk prevention’ but, as well as the usual reports, practical guides, flyers, posters and DVDs a new technical barrier is broken with the inclusion of an application which will run on Apple’s tablet computer, the iPad. Jointly produced by employers’ association Business Europe and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) the app is aimed at both management and workers. It gives access to case studies and presentations covering specific sectors and topics and includes videos, checklists and an interactive self-assessment tool. Animated presentations known as ‘infographics’ illustrate statistics on work-related accidents and deaths

The icon and logo for the ‘Working together for risk prevention’ app



German web app will offer instant ‘poison answer’
Facebook ‘unfriend’ is new protest for Hungary PM

THE ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY IN GERMANY, together with pressure group Friends of the Earth, has come up with a new way for consumers to find out if the products they use contain dangerous chemicals. By typing the bar code into a form on their web site a request is made to the manufacturer asking if a substance on the list of very high concern (SVHC), as defined by the European Chemicals Agency’s REACH programme  (see our last issue), is present. Before the end of this year this facility will be available as a smartphone app which will allow the request to be sent automatically when the code is scanned.

Poison App

The ‘Request REACH information’ logo

HUNGARY”S CENTRE-RIGHT Prime Minister Viktor Orban has ruffled a few EU feathers in the past (see issue 53) but now he has found a new method to protest against its financial partner the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Faced with difficult negotiations with the two institutions to secure a second loan for his country, Mr.Orban decided to make his displeasure known by ‘unfriending’ the IMF on his page on social media web site Facebook. He also posted a video on the network that comprehensively criticised the conditions being attached to the loan by the Washington-based body. According to Orban the list of proposals for pension cuts, the elimination of a bank tax and fewer public employees ‘contains everything that is not in Hungary's interests’. The previous Socialist government had become the first in the EU to ask for an IMF loan in 2008 but, after winning an election, the new Prime Minister’s Fidesz administration refused to renew the deal. Now it is expected to offer alternative plans to secure a €15 billion cash injection if it is unable to sell government bonds on the money markets. Hungary currently has the highest inflation rate in the EU at 5.8% while its economy is contracting.
Google in trouble again over privacy policy
 CHANGES TO THE PRIVACY POLICY OF US-BASED Internet search company Google, which were made in March, seem to have boomeranged. Criticised at the time by the EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding for unifying users’ information from its search service with that from YouTube, Blogger, Gmail and social network Google+, it is now thought that data protection commissioners from Member States will rule that the EU Data Protection directive has been breached. It is possible that the company will be told to undo the changes but, according to Auke Haagsma of e-Commerce lobby group ICOMP, this would be like trying to ‘unscramble the egg’. Originally French data protection agency CNIL wrote to Google to say that they thought the new policy broke the law and promised to lead a Europe-wide inquiry, They wanted users to have the option of continuing with the existing policy as well as simply deleting their profile from Google. Commissioner Reding is currently finalising

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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