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The housebuilder’s share price has slumped in recent months as worsening economic conditions, allied with a raft of mortgage products being withdrawn by lenders, have fanned concerns over a possible homes crash.Whatever happens to the homes market this year and next, though, Persimmon’s earnings picture remains quite terrific further out. Data from the National Housing Federation shows that Britain needs about 340,000 new homes every year up to the beginning of the next decade. But current build rates are nowhere near this level and aren’t ever likely to be. The supply/demand imbalance that has propped up housebuilder profits in recent years is here to stay much longer, then.Following recent price weakness Persimmon trades on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of around 12 times. It’s a reading that suggests the business is a bit of a bargain, then. I’m more interested in the 5% dividend yield that the FTSE 100 company carries for 2020, though. 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These phenomena aren’t reflected in Prudential’s rock-bottom P/E multiple of around 9 times, in my opinion. I think it’s a white-hot buy at current prices. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. See all posts by Royston Wild
Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter 1 COMMENT You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here TAGSBlack AmericansDebtDescendantsEnslavedhistoryRacismReparationsSlave OwnersSlaverySlavesThe Conversation Previous articleCity Council green lights pursuit of Camp Wewa purchase for ApopkaNext articleWhat are the origins of Lent? Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR The Anatomy of Fear Please enter your comment! LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply By Thomas Craemer, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of ConnecticutThe cost of slavery and its legacy of systemic racism to generations of Black Americans has been clear over the past year – seen in both the racial disparities of the pandemic and widespread protests over police brutality.Yet whenever calls for reparations are made – as they are again now – opponents counter that it would be unfair to saddle a debt on those not personally responsible. In the words of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking on Juneteenth – the day Black Americans celebrate as marking emancipation – in 2019, “I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea.”As a professor of public policy who has studied reparations, I acknowledge that the figures involved are large – I conservatively estimate the losses from unpaid wages and lost inheritances to Black descendants of the enslaved at around US$20 trillion in 2021 dollars.But what often gets forgotten by those who oppose reparations is that payouts for slavery have been made before – numerous times, in fact. And few at the time complained that it was unfair to saddle generations of people with a debt for which they were not personally responsible.There is an important caveat in these cases of reparations though: The payments went to former slave owners and their descendants, not the enslaved or their legal heirs.Extorting HaitiA prominent example is the so-called “Haitian Independence Debt” that saddled revolutionary Haiti with reparation payments to former slave owners in France.Haitians had to pay for their independence. API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty ImagesHaiti declared independence from France in 1804, but the former colonial power refused to acknowledge the fact for another 20 years. Then in 1825, King Charles X decreed that he would recognize independence, but at a cost. The price tag would be 150 million francs – more than 10 years of the Haitian government’s entire revenue. The money, the French said, was needed to compensate former slave owners for the loss of what was deemed their property.By 1883, Haiti had paid off some 90 million francs in reparations. But to finance such huge payments, Haiti had to borrow 166 million francs with the French banks Ternaux Grandolpe et Cie and Lafitte Rothschild Lapanonze. Loan interests and fees added to the overall sum owed to France.The payments ran for a total of 122 years from 1825 to 1947, with the money going to more than 7,900 former slave owners and their descendants in France. By the time the payments ended, none of the originally enslaved or enslavers were still alive.British ‘reparations’French slave owners weren’t the only ones to receive payment for lost revenue, their British counterparts did too – but this time from their own government.The British government paid reparations totaling £20 million (equivalent to some £300 billion in 2018) to slave owners when it abolished slavery in 1833. Banking magnates Nathan Mayer Rothschild and his brother-in-law Moses Montefiore arranged for a loan to the government of $15 million to cover the vast sum – which represented almost half of the U.K. government’s annual expenditure.The U.K. serviced those loans for 182 years from 1833 to 2015. The authors of the British reparations program saddled many generations of British people with a reparations debt for which they were not personally responsible.Paying for freedomIn the United States, reparations to slave owners in Washington, D.C., were paid at the height of the Civil War. On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the “Act for the Release of certain Persons held to Service or Labor within the District of Columbia” into law.It gave former slave owners $300 per enslaved person set free. More than 3,100 enslaved people saw their freedom paid for in this way, for a total cost in excess of $930,000 – almost $25 million in today’s money.In contrast, the formerly enslaved received nothing if they decided to stay in the United States. The act provided for an emigration incentive of $100 – around $2,683 in 2021 dollars – if the former enslaved agreed to permanently leave the United States.Similar examples of reparations going to individual slave owners can be found in the records of countries including Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, as well as Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Peru and Brazil.The French government even set an example on how the government can conduct genealogical research to determine eligible recipients. It compiled a massive six-volume compendium in 1828, listing some 7,900 original slave owners in Saint Domingue and their French descendants.Reparations, this time the other way round …Blessed with detailed U.S. Census records and local archives, I believe the government could do the same for the Black descendants of enslaved Americans.In the 1860 census, the last one before the Civil War, the government counted 3,853,760 enslaved people in the United States. Their direct descendants live among close to 50 million Black residents in the United States today.Using historic census records to estimate the number of man-, woman-, and child-hours available to slave owners from 1776 to 1860, I estimated how much money the enslaved lost considering the meager wages for unskilled labor at the time, which ranged from 2 cents in 1790 to 8 cents in 1860. At a very moderate interest rate of 3%, I arrived at an estimate of $20.3 trillion in 2021 dollars for the total losses to Black descendants of enslaved Americans living today.It is a huge sum – roughly one year’s worth of the U.S.‘s GDP – but a figure that would comfortably close the racial wealth gap. The difference is, in contrast to historical precedents, this time the benefits would go to the Black descendants of the enslaved, not to enslavers and their offspring.This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. No guessing who in this 1864 depiction may have been compensated after slavery ended. API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images OMG, another woke academic using a false pretense to make a pc sjw argument for reparations using actions from 150 years ago. Trying to conflate “both the racial disparities of the pandemic and widespread protests over police brutality.” as proof of “systemic racism” is a load of garbage. Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Please enter your name here jrw Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 March 7, 2021 at 3:32 pm Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Manufacturers: Alarabia Electrical, Artecasa, Hassan Abul CompanyProject Manager:Faisal Al-HawajConstruction Manager:Hamad HussainConstruction:Massive OrderPrincipal Architect:Muhannad Al-BaqshiDesign Team:Dana Omar, Hamad AlkhuliafiCity:SurraCountry:KuwaitMore SpecsLess SpecsSave this picture!© Nelson GarridoRecommended ProductsWoodBruagBalcony BalustradesDoorsSaliceSliding Door System – Slider S20DoorsECLISSESliding Pocket Door – ECLISSE LuceDoorsStudcoAccess Panels – AccessDorText description provided by the architects. Tetris House sits on a 500 square meter lot with a 25 meters street front. The form is composed of three main painted masses carefully veiled by two cladded walls. Two of the masses are separated by the horizontal circulation path that is perpendicular to the third tall mass which houses the vertical circulation.Save this picture!© Nelson GarridoSave this picture!Ground Floor PlanSave this picture!© Nelson GarridoThe walls hover on the front façade with cutaways revealing certain openings and hiding others. A prominent element on the façade is the main door. The 4 by 4-meter wood composition are made of two disparate doors. One is low and wide for the daily entrance and the other is high and narrow for the guest entrance.Save this picture!© Nelson GarridoSave this picture!DiagramFor the purpose of acquiring natural daylighting while maintaining the resident’s privacy, the windows are hidden and revealed by the outer layer of the house at varying degrees depending on their location on the elevation. Therefore the windows on the side elevation away from the main street tend to be larger and more exposed, while the ones on the main street remain hidden and tucked away. Save this picture!© Nelson GarridoNatural elements were introduced to the interior spaces such as fountains, stones and plants and the material selection cover earthy tones and textures which gave the home a sense of serenity and warmth. For instance, the ground floor interior fountain was introduced to the reception space to behave as a sound and visual buffer between the reception area and the Living room therefor separating the public and semipublic spaces from one another. Save this picture!© Nelson GarridoProject gallerySee allShow lessBlock+Void House / Bundschuh ArchitektenSelected ProjectsShita-machi Brewery HIKOBE / SUGAWARADAISUKESelected Projects Share “COPY” “COPY” Kuwait ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/902454/tetris-house-massive-order Clipboard Houses CopyHouses•Surra, Kuwait Save this picture!© Nelson Garrido+ 23Curated by Fernanda Castro Share Architects: Massive Order Area Area of this architecture project ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/902454/tetris-house-massive-order Clipboard 2016 ArchDaily Year: Tetris House / Massive Order Projects Photographs: Nelson Garrido Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project CopyAbout this officeMassive OrderOfficeFollowProductsWoodStoneConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesSurraKuwaitPublished on September 25, 2018Cite: “Tetris House / Massive Order” 25 Sep 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021.
August 26, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 During Bo Xilai trial, journalist arrested for reporting corruption News RSF_en News Organisation ChinaAsia – Pacific Follow the news on China June 2, 2021 Find out more News Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information News March 12, 2021 Find out more Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison to go further China’s Cyber Censorship Figures ChinaAsia – Pacific April 27, 2021 Find out more 看中文Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrest of Liu Hu, a journalist with the Guangzhou-based daily Xin Kuai Bao (Modern Express), on 23 August on a charge of “spreading false rumours” on his Weibo account because he urged the authorities to investigate an official suspected of corruption.“The charge of spreading false rumours brought against Liu Hu is very disturbing,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It shows that, although the Bo Xilai trial is supposed to send a message that the party is waging an all-out fight against internal corruption, in fact the authorities continue to persecute news providers who cover corruption cases.”Members of the Beijing police arrested Liu in Chongqing and took him to the capital. Police also searched his home, seizing computer hard disks and laptops, and the authorities closed his Weibo account, on which he posted a message accusing Chongqing chamber of commerce and industry deputy director Ma Zhengqi of professional “negligence” and urging the authorities to investigate him.In the weeks preceding the start of former senior official Bo Xilai’s trial, the authorities cracked down on several journalists and netizens who openly support him. They included Time Weekly journalist Song Yangbiao, who was arrested on 5 August after posting a message supporting Bo on his Weibo account.The charge of “spreading false rumours” is often used to arrest bloggers and netizens. Yang Xiuyu, the founder of a company specializing in Internet public relations, and one of his employees, Qin Zhihui (Qin Huohuo), were arrested on this charge in Beijing on 22 August.China is on the Reporters Without Borders list of “Enemies of the Internet” and is ranked 173rd out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.It is also named in the 2013 special report on surveillance, “Enemies of the Internet” – China.
United States Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Market and Competitive Landscape Report 2021 – ResearchAndMarkets.com
Previous articleAmazon Continues Investment in Tennessee with Alcoa Fulfillment CenterNext articleSuper Bowl could be farewell for several pending free agents Digital AIM Web Support United States Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Market and Competitive Landscape Report 2021 – ResearchAndMarkets.com TAGS Twitter Pinterest Facebook Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp By Digital AIM Web Support – February 3, 2021 WhatsApp DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 3, 2021– The “US Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Market and Competitive Landscape – 2021” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering. US Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights – 2021, provides comprehensive insights into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy pipeline products, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy epidemiology, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy market valuations and forecast, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy drugs sales and competitive landscape in the US. The research is classified into seven sections – Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy treatment options, pipeline products, market analysis comprising of epidemiology, key products marketed, market valuations and forecast, drugs sales and market shares. Research Scope:Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy pipeline: Find out the products in clinical trials for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy by development phase 3, phase 2, and phase 1, by pharmacological class and companies developing the productsDuchenne Muscular Dystrophy epidemiology: Find out the number of patients diagnosed (prevalence) with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in the USDuchenne Muscular Dystrophy drugs: Identify key products marketed and prescribed for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in the US, including trade name, molecule name, and companyDuchenne Muscular Dystrophy drugs sales: Find out the sales revenues of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy drugs in the USDuchenne Muscular Dystrophy market valuations: Find out the market size for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy drugs in 2019 in the US. Find out how the market advanced from 2017 and forecast to 2026Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy drugs market share: Find out the market shares for key Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy drugs in the US Benefits of this Research:Support monitoring and reporting national Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy market analysis and sales trendsTrack competitor drugs sales and market share in the US Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy marketTrack competitive developments in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy market and present key issues and learningsSynthesize insights for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy market and products to drive business performanceAnswer key business questions about the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy marketEvaluate commercial market opportunity assessment, positioning, and segmentation for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy productsSupports decision making in R&D to long term marketing strategies Key Topics Covered: 1) Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Treatments 2) Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Pipeline 3) US Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Epidemiology 4) Marketed Drugs for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in US 5) US Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Market Size and Forecast 6) US Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Products Sales and Forecast 7) US Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Market Competitive Landscape 8) Methodology For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/3jfkx2 View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210203005746/en/ CONTACT: ResearchAndMarkets.com Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager [email protected] For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900 KEYWORD: INDUSTRY KEYWORD: GENETICS HEALTH OTHER HEALTH SOURCE: Research and Markets Copyright Business Wire 2021. PUB: 02/03/2021 12:04 PM/DISC: 02/03/2021 12:04 PM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210203005746/en Twitter Local NewsBusiness
Comments are closed. Calming forceOn 1 Mar 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article When the occupational health team at the Metropolitan Police recognised theneed for pre-incident training it went about formulating a course which wouldequip staff physically and psychologically. By Lara Carmel, Judy Cook and Michelle Peerboy W hat support would your occupational health department give to an employeewhose life had just been threatened? This is part of everyday reality for staff in the police service. Bothpolice officers and civil employees witness scenes of violent crimes, attendroad traffic accidents, listen to stories from victims of fire, rape andassault and notify relatives of deceased family members on a regular basis. The Metropolitan Police Service has long recognised that its employees havea higher-than-average chance of experiencing trauma during the course of theirwork. While a traumatic event is difficult to define, in the police service itis considered as “an experience outside the usual range of usual humanexperience and one which would be markedly distressing to almost anyone.” Support programme For these regrettably regular traumatic events, the Met’s occupationalhealth service developed a trauma support programme which has been a standardprocedure since the early nineties. The programme has four main components:education, immediate post incident action, post incident psychologicaldebriefing, and follow up as required. Despite the success of the trauma support programme, the system did notappear to answer the varied needs of staff who may be required to joinspecialist body recovery and identification teams. These teams assist after a particularly catastrophic event: for example, aplane crash, natural disaster, or prolonged investigation of large-scale warcrimes. The police service management and occupational health professionalsrecognised that team members needed care not only during and after theincident, but that pre-incident training was also vital to help officersunderstand post-traumatic stress reaction. This education could, in turn, helpprevent future ill-health. Past experience of catastrophic events and the resulting ill-health haddemonstrated that officers involved were often scantily prepared andill-equipped, and supported on a rather ad hoc basis. This was no criticism ofthe staff but was a reflection of the rudimentary understanding of trauma untilthat time. By 1998 the police service understood more and it was the right timeto improve the systems. Moving forward As the occupational health service began to explore possible modification tothe trauma support programme, management at Heathrow police station examinedtheir contingency programme for response to a major accident. Communication wasestablished and planning commenced for the first partnership approach in theformation of a new body recovery and identification team (Brit) at Heathrow. The Metropolitan Police occupational health service has always encouraged ateam approach to healthcare. Multi-skilled teams of occupational healthadvisers, occupational health practice nurses and occupational health welfarecounsellors provide advice to their delegated areas. Teams are managed byoccupational health managers who report directly to the business director ofoccupational health. Each manager has portfolio responsibilities, one being themanagement and coordination of the trauma support programme. One of the three welfare counsellors designated to the Heathrow projectdemonstrated a proactive stance by outlining the specific needs of a bodyrecovery and identification team. This was fed back to the manager withportfolio responsibility, who prepared a departmental response and gainedsanction to the request from Heathrow for input from the occupational healthservice. Those consulted at the project meetings included the business director ofthe occupational health service and the department at New Scotland Yard withoverall responsibility for body recovery policy. OH intervention During these meetings the need to involve an OH adviser was recognised. Themanager invited a practitioner specialising in trauma to join the pilot schemeat Heathrow. With the occupational health team attending only one strategydiscussion for the pending first meeting at Heathrow, it was vital for the teamto use it to recognise individual boundaries and departmental limitations. Thiswas swiftly achieved, again demonstrating the strength of teamwork and respectfor colleagues in the occupational health service. Several meetings were held with senior management and the training divisionat Heathrow, culminating in agreement to the team’s objectives. Fortunately,because of the good working relationships and perceived urgent need, any issueswere openly discussed and quickly resolved. Following final sanction by senior management, the three occupational healthprofessionals, the manager, occupational health adviser and counsellor, thenworked together over a relatively short period to prepare materials. At thisstage, other occupational health practitioners were informed of progress andbecame involved. For example, the senior safety adviser was invited tocontribute to relevant parts of the training programme. The Heathrow project quickly began to take shape and the first series ofoccupational health interventions became a reality. At this stage it wasparticularly rewarding that the manager again became involved with New ScotlandYard which was now very interested in using this concept for central and areabody recovery and identification teams. It appeared that from the initial proactive work by a welfare counsellor,followed by a partnership approach with much hard work and tight deadlines, aninnovative project had been achieved. Six key stages There were six planned stages of occupational health involvement frompre-selection seminars to a mandatory debriefing to follow-up support. 1 Pre selection seminars This was to be the first opportunity to start the concept of “traumainoculation” – talking, when appropriate, about trauma and stress at anearly stage which helped to normalise subsequent reactions and reduce adverseeffects on health. Potential reactions were described and discussionencouraged. Attendees were all those with an interest in volunteering for theteam. Occupational health input included talking about why we were there, ourinvolvement at each stage, the reassurance of the confidentiality of healthinformation we received, reaction to trauma and human resources issues. 2 Selection stage Health questionnaire The first task was to devise a confidential questionnaire that wasnon-threatening and could be easily answered, while providing valuable andrelevant information on physical and psychological health, specific for bodyrecovery work. This was completed using examples of good practice and pastexperience from our own occupational health practitioners and consultation withexternal colleagues. Once devised, each volunteer was required to complete the questionnaire. Allwere advised there was no actual pass or fail, rather the information was aplatform for discussion at health interview. Volunteers were advised that ifthey had major doubts or concerns about their wish to continue theirapplication, to simply leave the questionnaire. Health interview Following completion and forwarding of the questionnaire, each candidate wasrequired to attend a joint health interview with the OH adviser and OH welfarecounsellor. This was a further chance to discuss previous experience of traumaand to talk about whether this very demanding work was right for the individualat this time. The session aimed to be more of a discussion than an interviewand again it was hoped that those who might be more vulnerable, eitherphysically or psychologically would agree or choose not to continue. 3 The course This was a particular challenge as all occupational health input neededpreparation from a zero-start with little reference material. The OH adviserand welfare counsellor worked together to produce a design that was acceptableto Heathrow management. Rather than deliver timed presentations on subjectssuch as control of infection, we tried to link these to non occupational healthsessions. For instance, when the mechanics and procedures of collecting andhandling body parts infection control issues were discussed. The emotionalaspects were also raised. 4 Mandatory debriefing The trauma support programme in the Metropolitan Police Service is notmandatory at the moment. It was recognised at an early stage that for the bodyrecovery programme there should be occupational health and/or managementsupport during the incident but that immediate post incident debriefing wouldbe mandatory. Acceptance of this concept was a notable success for the project team astraditionally the traumatic support programme had always struggled foruniversal acceptance. It was good to hear that the new members understood,accepted and welcomed identification of this need. 5 Follow up It was felt vital to offer the opportunity for regular occupational healthfollow up for body recovery team members who had been required to beoperational i.e. actually attend an incident. This had not previously been anoption in any formal sense but was pursued on a rather more an ad hoc basis. Itwas reported that follow up might have been helpful for past incidents. 6 Support and/or treatment There is no doubt that body recovery work can cause severe distress, eitherphysically or psychologically to some participants. Although the role of theoccupational health service is not as a primary health care provider,practitioners would be able to offer support, guidance, advice on treatment andreferral and advice on attendance at work. Discussion To evaluate this intervention the most valuable evaluation design would be arandomised control; however the ethics of such design, where one group of officersare randomised to an untrained and non-debriefed group, are doubtful. We are fortunate that there has not yet been a need for a body recovery teamto be activated. An alternative design, non-randomised, could be implemented inthe event of a disaster. In such instance, due to the enormity of the disaster,not only would a body recovery team be activated but it is extremely likelythat officers untrained in body recovery would assist. The OH team would thenoffer them debriefing and evaluate if the symptoms of post traumatic reactionsare different to those who had the trauma inoculation training on the bodyrecovery course. Following the courses at Heathrow, a self-evaluation questionnaire washanded to each officer. Comments included that the method of training was new to the participants.It had been extremely interactive and they felt it had prepared them to thinkabout the health and safety risks to themselves both physically andpsychologically. Each officer said they had learnt the necessary skills toidentify a colleague in distress and what action to take. After the courses, the officers took part in a mock aeroplane disaster, withother emergency services. This demonstrated learning outcomes from the course.The OH adviser and senior safety adviser were on-site to offer advice andfeedback. After the exercise an operational debrief took place: this included amock psychological debrief. Following the initiation of the Heathrow project, the team was pleased tosee the wider adaptations of this programme. It has been used to respond torequests for assistance from police undertaking body recovery work in Kosovo. References 1 Alexander, DA & Wells, Andrew, 1991, Reactions of Police Officers toBody Handling After a Major Disaster: A Before and After Comparison. BritishJournal of Psychiatry 159 547-555 2 Bradden Gibling & Tait, On Site Human Resource Management Issues,1993. Police Research Document Further readingFrazer DE, 1991, Occupational Health Management of Police Officers involvedin the Piper Alpha Disaster. Journal Soc Occupational Medicine 174-175 Deahl Dr Martin, unpublished at time of source. Body Recovery: War GravesSoldiers Lara Carmel BSc Hons RGN DOHN, is an occupational health adviser, JudyCook MSc RGN OHNCert is an occupational health services manager and MichellePeerboy BSc Hons, Dip.Counselling, Dip.HRM is an occupational health welfarecounsellor at the Metropolitan Police Occupational Health Service This article was highly commended in last year’s Roche DiagnosticsOccupational Health Award Related posts:No related photos.
Setting the standardOn 10 Sep 2002 in Auto-enrolment, Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Keith Rogers presents a guide to the HR-XML Consortium, which hopes to bringunity to data exchange within the HR community, and assesses the progress ofits major projectsThe consortium Five-letter acronyms are never attractive at the best of times, but theawkward name tag of the HR-XML Consortium is at least descriptive. This is anon-profit group, comprising major software developers and users, who have cometogether to develop XML standards to enable e-business within the HR community.While it sounds horrendously technical, XML (Extensible Markup Language) isessentially a framework for allowing different computer systems to exchangedata. The XML specification is similar to HTML – the language used to createweb pages – but differs in that it allows data elements to be ‘tagged’ so thatcontent can be easily identified. This is essential when information is passed between incompatible systemswithin an organisation, or between different companies’ IT systems. One problem for the IT industry is that numerous different ‘flavours’ of XMLhave evolved, driven by the efforts of software companies and specific usercommunities. Conscious that these incompatibilities somewhat undermine theconcept of a ‘standard’, industry groups like the HR-XML Consortium areattempting to bring some commonality to broad business activities. The story so far Set up at the end of 1999, the consortium has a small physical presence buta large and influential backing, counting the world’s largest softwaredevelopers, blue-chip corporations and government agencies among its members. It has already tackled a number of different projects, including interfacesto payroll systems, a mechanism for transmitting time and expense data betweendifferent systems and setting up eight modules to automate temporary staffingtransactions. The promise The consortium has set out to cut the hassle for both HRIT departments andsoftware developers, recognising that integration between different,incompatible IT systems is one of the biggest headaches facing userorganisations today. HR departments typically rely on a range of different systems that haveevolved over time, and maintaining the interfaces between them is atime-consuming and costly task. Worse, as the HR department seeks to play moreof a strategic role and provide relevant information to managers across thedepartment, it will need to extract and distribute data from every otherdepartment. And at the same time, it regularly exchanges data with externalsuppliers. In the absence of agreed standards for identifying data content,organisations rely on building and maintaining ad hoc integration ‘fixes’ orhave to re-key data. The more this data exchange can be automated, the betterfor everyone. By bringing together rival software developers and key users, the HR-XMLConsortium hopes to reach consensus on establishing standards for a wide rangeof core HR activities. Pros and cons While HRIT standards hardly excite HR practitioners, they do matter becausethe benefits can be enormous. In those areas where it succeeds in promoting widely-adopted standards, theconsortium’s work will allow HR departments to automate more transactionaltasks, thereby cutting costs, reducing human error and freeing-up resource formore valuable activities. That said, there are some important technical issues. At a strategic level, there are some questions about how well XML scales.According to Dennis Keeling, chief executive of the Business ApplicationSoftware Developers’ Association (BASDA), XML messages are verbose – containingmany bits and bytes – and are less efficient than more traditional electronicdata interchange (EDI) techniques. At a more mundane level, not everyadministrator in HR or payroll has internet access. In addition, while it has made progress in developing standards in a numberof areas, the consortium’s presence in Europe is limited. Although it numbers public bodies in Germany, Belgium and Sweden among itsmembers, its only real presence in the UK is through the subsidiaries ofinternational member organisations. As a result, while it has a growing profilein the US and is frequently referenced by software developers, it’s far lessvisible on the radars of UK HR practitioners. More importantly, regional variations in processes and legislation may makeadoption in Europe slower. Who’s on board? Members include major software developers and services providers such asSAP, Oracle, Peoplesoft, Microsoft and IBM [the latter two serve as bothvendors and users]. Commercial organisations range from the likes of Shell andBP, to magazine publishers such as Reed Business Information, while governmentagencies include employment groups such as the Swedish National Labour MarketBoard. Verdict Even though its European presence is limited, the backing of the world’slargest software developers means that the consortium is likely to have animpact far beyond its US roots in automating basic HR tasks. Standards willmost likely emerge around a combination of specific HR activities [liketemporary staffing] and vertical industries [such as oil and various financialservices sectors]. In the short-term, adoption may be slow – while the logic isfaultless, in the current climate there’s no immediate ‘must have’ factor thatwill drive customers to demand HR-XML applications right now. However, over time,its influence on the HR community could be significant. The projects Standard practice The projects being undertaken by the HR-XML Consortium are primarily basedaround specific HR functions such as staffing or time reporting. But while thegroup sets out to automate HR transactions wherever applicable, the reality isthat this standard-setting process isn’t suitable for all HR-relatedactivities. As Chuck Allen, director of the consortium, acknowledges, tasks such aschecking employee backgrounds or managing stock transactions arestraightforward and low-value, so the adoption of standards to automate them isrelatively uncontroversial. In areas such as recruitment, however, politics maycome into play. As the applicant tracking and job board sectors begin to merge,for example, suppliers that sell both applications may be reluctant to adoptstandards that allow easy linking to other vendors’ systems. If the lessons of BASDA are anything to go by, future projects may also beheavily influenced by specific vertical market initiatives. Its eBIS-XML standard has been adopted in sectors as diverse as stationerysupply, local government and home construction – and in the latter sector,everyone from specialist construction software developers to materials suppliersand house builders have joined the throng. BASDA’s work with the public sector, prompted in part by the UK Government’spending deadline for electronic access to all government agencies, alsodemonstrates how high-volume, low-value transactions are ideal for this kind ofopen standard. While BASDA has worked with agencies such as the Inland Revenueon PAYE and Corporation Tax returns, it sees the greatest potential foreBIS-XML is in public sector purchasing – and in particular, in procurement ofitems costing less than £100. Development of staffing industry standards One of the consortium’s highest-profile initiatives involves six staffingorganisations – Adecco, Kelly Services, Manpower, Randstad, Spherion andVedior. This group has developed a series of modules rejoicing under the acronymSIDES (Staffing Industry Data Exchange Standards), designed to help automatetransactions between staffing suppliers and customers. After joining forces in April 2001, the group donated its draft specificationto the consortium for further development that summer. The eight initial modules cover many of the basic processes involved incarrying out a staffing transaction. The invoice module, for example, transmits amounts billed in a document thatcan be understood by both parties. This is a significant resource savingcompared to traditional transactions, where invoice data often needs to bere-keyed on receipt by the customer because of differences in presentationtechniques and descriptions. The invoice also pulls data from two other SIDESmodules: the timecard, which details time worked and expenses incurred, and thebill rate, which is one of several key data contained in an Assignment modulethat summarises details of each booking. The remaining five modules consist of: – Staffing Order – which describes the customer’s need [position, start dateand so on] and typically kicks off a transaction – Human Resource – a response from the agency that describes what resourcesare available [skills, experience, cost etc] – Staffing Supplier and Staffing Customer – which give core data about thetwo companies [eg government ID numbers, payment and billing addresses etc] – Staffing Action – which provides a communication platform for the durationof the contract In addition, future potential modules include post-assignment evaluation,accounting and payment processes and sub-contractor contracts. Significantly, the SIDES development leverages the HR-XML Consortium’s otherstandards initiatives wherever possible. For example, it builds on theconsortium’s HR-XML Timecard, a “simple but complete” electronicversion of a timecard. The SIDES initiative also gives some insight into the issues surroundingmultinational XML standards. In an attempt to give it a broad geographicalrelevance, the workgroup included representatives from the UK, Germany, France,Spain, the Netherlands and the US. Although it sets out to make specifications that are multi-jurisdictionaland cross-cultural, the group acknowledges that this will be difficult forcountry-specific tax, labour law and social insurance, and practitioners willrely on extension mechanisms built into the SIDES specification. It also plansto translate SIDES into foreign languages where there’s sufficient demand,using a registry so that semantically-equivalent components can be maintainedcentrally across different languages. Other consortium projects The HR-XML Consortium currently has a number of projects under development,including: – Recruiting and staffing. A working group has developed a staffing andexchange protocol, a set of XML standards relating to internet recruitingtransactions – Payroll. Another workgroup is developing a range of payroll-relatedinterfaces – for example, between the payroll systems and third-party benefitplan administrators, or for pre-payroll deduction requests. Initially, the consortium expected to focus on HRMS-to-payroll links, butmost of the required connections have already been developed for the main systemsby application software developers. – Competencies. This initiative provides organisations with a standard wayof exchanging information about competencies, including the ratings used torank and compare them – Stock. A project designed to build interfaces between an employer andoutside stock plan administrators or brokers to help administer employee stockpurchase plans – Enrolment. A specification has been completed for communicating employeeenrolment information to insurers, managed care organisations etc – Cross-Process Objects. Keen to avoid reinventing the wheel, the CPOWorkgroup is developing building blocks that can be re-used in differentintegration initiatives HR has a pivotal role to play in management informationKey playersWorking with a small team, director Chuck Allen leads theevangelical charge for the HR-XML consortium. He is ably supported by key USpersonnel at most of the major HR application developers, who frequently citethe consortium’s work as a highly-influential factor in the development of HRIT.From the perspective of setting standards, however, inpractice, progress is dictated by the enthusiasm of individual project groups.The consortium’s initiative for the staffing industry, for example, was initiallyestablished independently by six suppliers, who subsequently donated theirintellectual property to the consortium. It also depends on the willingness ofrivals to work together, both from the IT vendor and HR practitionercommunities. One consortium project has SAP, Oracle, and Peoplesoft workingwith the likes of Charles Schwab, e-Trade and Deutsche Bank to defineinterfaces for exchanging employee stock option data.In the UK, Allen has identified the Business ApplicationSoftware Developers’ Association as a key potential partner, but so farinteractions appear to have been limited to exploratory meetings. BASDA hasbeen involved in XML-based standards definition in several vertical markets,including house-building and oil and gas, and is also an influential player inthe adoption of standards in the public sector.The HR contributionWhile they may initially be reluctant to play a key role inwhat appears to be an HRIT infrastructure issue, HR managers would, at the veryleast, be advised to keep HR-XML developments on the IT development agenda,whether they stem from this consortium or another source. Providing theinfrastructure for data to flow freely around an organisation, and between theorganisation and its suppliers, is critical if HR is to position itself as aprovider of relevant management information.More importantly, however, users can drive standardsdevelopment as much as vendors, and collaboration between peer groups on thiskind of initiative is an effective way of driving down costs in verticalindustries. Many of the tasks being automated by the consortium are mundanerather than strategic, and organisations should have little to fear in terms oflosing competitive edge if they jointly tackle XML initiatives with theirrivals. While HR would need a solid business case to justify the decision todedicate technical and practitioner resource to this kind of project,automation of time-consuming transactional tasks is a pre-requisite for HRplaying a strategic role within the organisation.Useful websites:www.hr-XML.orgwww.basda.co.uk
From firefighter to nutritionist: tackling obesity in the fire serviceOn 3 Apr 2020 in Cardiac, Disability, Return to work and rehabilitation, Occupational Health, Wellbeing and health promotion, Personnel Today A former frontline firefighter, Greg Lessons is the first full-time nutritionist to be employed by a fire and rescue service A firefighter for 17 years, Greg Lessons developed an innovative healthy eating programme for London Fire Brigade that lowered BMI and reduced waistlines. Now the first full-time nutritionist to be employed by a fire and rescue service, he was last year awarded ‘Nutritionist of the Year’ by the Caroline Walker Trust, and here explains how his work is making a difference.After 17 years as a firefighter, I knew that some of my colleagues, as can often be the case with frontline and shift workers, did not have the healthiest of eating habits.A previous UK-wide study had revealed that 66% of firefighters were classed as overweight. Other recent research has placed firefighters at elevated risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks caused by exposure to excessive heat whilst fighting fires. It therefore became obvious to me that the modifiable risk factors of being overweight and obese needed to be addressed.I returned to academia in 2015 to study for an MSc in human nutrition. This included specialist modules in public health nutrition and sports nutrition. This was the perfect blend of subject areas to prepare for my future role, as firefighters have similar nutritional demands to athletes because of having to be prepared to execute physically demanding tasks under extreme pressure in adverse conditions. As such, they can be considered as “industrial athletes” – and I approach firefighter nutrition with this in mind.My MSc dissertation research involved a face-to-face dietary and lifestyle education programme alongside the environmental modification of fire station food.The pilot trial significantly lowered BMI, body fat percentage, total energy intake, and several other key dietary variables for the firefighters who took part, and 20% saw a reduction in their waist circumference.This significantly reduced their risk of suffering several chronic diseases. The intervention was well received by all participants. Firefighters were thanking me for putting them on a healthier path, expressing how much better they were feeling.First worksite nutrition-based intervention for firefightersMy study was the first in the UK to deliver a worksite nutrition-based intervention for firefighters to improve health and reduce obesity.In April 2018, I was detached from my professional duties as a firefighter to work as the first ever full-time nutritionist in any fire brigade.A seven-month extension of the intervention pilot trial yielded similar results over a larger sample of approximately 300 firefighters. The decision was then made to enhance the London Fire Brigade nutrition programme via a PhD research programme, funded by the Public Health Nutrition Research Group at London Metropolitan University.This ongoing work is building upon my preceding MSc work via the development and integration of innovative tools for the specific assessment of firefighter nutritional status.It also involves pioneering dietary intervention components, such as fire station kitchen-based cookery workshops for groups of mess-managers (firefighters who purchase and cook for their watch/team).This involves me demonstrating practical methods of putting nutrition theory into practice, and is being very well received by mess-managers and their watches who are benefiting from healthier meals being served on duty.The PhD programme has been endorsed by Dr Fiona Twycross, the deputy mayor for London for fire and resilience, as well as by members of the London Assembly and the chief executive of the Nutrition Society, all of whom recognise the importance of this work.Rollout of periodic fitness testingThe outcomes from the PhD study will be available in early 2021 and will inform how the London Fire Brigade’s firefighter nutrition programme can be efficiently rolled out as a low cost, low burden, effective intervention.This work fits perfectly with the wider London Fire Brigade wellbeing plan, especially as periodic fitness testing is just beginning to be rolled out. Improving the nutritional status of the workforce is inextricably linked with occupational fitness. This will also benefit other organisations – and occupational health practitioners – who will be able to learn from the methods and outcomes.The main part of my role currently entails visiting various fire stations and delivering a developed version of the intervention. This involves group-based nutrition education, assessment of diets and foods being eaten on shift and individual nutrition consultations for firefighters. This enables the delivery of an effective personalised nutrition approach. Overall, the intervention programme is being very well received by staff of all levels.Additional work includes holding seminars, clinics and developing educational materials for various departments within the brigade. This includes:nutrition consultation drop-in clinics for women firefighters;interventions to help the more sedentary areas of the workforce, for example the emergency call centre operators and admin teams;seminars and lectures for fire safety inspection officers;educational literature creation for the LFB Menopause Action Group;nutrition educational content development for the LFB health and wellbeing intranet portal; andregularly answering nutrition questions from LFB staff via email.Links between nutrition and mental healthBeyond all this, I recently created and delivered a lecture at brigade headquarters on nutrition and mental health.Dealing with the situations that firefighters face can have a huge impact on mental health, so I consider this to be a particularly important piece of work. This work also complements LFB’s wider mental health initiatives, including the planned rollout of mental health first aid practitioners at fire stations.In all, I’d argue that my unique combination of experience as a firefighter, mess-manager, and expertise in this area of nutrition creates important rapport with the firefighters, gaining their trust as I know intimately the stressors and demands that are placed upon firefighters and the complex relationship this has with nutrition.These are some of the factors that have facilitated the success of the programme. My work within London Fire Brigade has recently received the highest recognition from the Caroline Walker Trust, which awarded me “Nutritionist of the Year 2019”.This, alongside the support I receive from the London Fire Brigade, London Metropolitan University and the daily messages of gratitude and encouragement from firefighters, fuels my fire to work even harder to make the London Fire Brigade nutrition programme a world-class system.It is envisaged this work, along with other London Fire Brigade wellbeing initiatives, will be instrumental in establishing a workplace/occupational health culture change and result in widespread improved health outcomes, reduced sickness absence and, ultimately, ultimately save lives.Greg Lessons is nutritionist at London Fire BrigadeReferencesMunir F et al (2012). “Overweight and obesity in UK firefighters”. Occupational Medicine, vol 62, Issue 5, pp363-365, available from: https://academic.oup.com/occmed/article/62/5/362/1490680“Firefighters and coronary heart disease: a brief history on research and analysis”. Fire Engineering, December 2019. Available from: https://www.fireengineering.com/2019/12/06/481913/firefighters-and-coronary-heart-disease-a-brief-history-on-research-and-analysis/#gref Previous Article Next Article Reply Study hopes to encourage active lifestyles among heart patientsA study that aims to keep coronary heart disease patients engaged in cardiac rehabilitation for longer, and therefore improve health… Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Together alone: staying well as OH practitioners in challenging timesDr Nerina Ramlakhan explains how occupational health professionals can balance supporting the health needs of employers and employees while, at… AWESOME !!!!This approach definitely works !!! 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