In the wars

first_imgIn the warsOn 6 May 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article The lure of the worlds far flung regions has been hit by a run of tragicevents, but while it may have lost recent battles, the travel industry isconfident it will bounce back with a healthy glow. Isabel Choat reportsAnyone who works in travel and tourism knows how sensitive the economichealth of the industry is to factors beyond their control. Natural disasters,airline strikes, civil unrest, terrorist attacks, and now severe acuterespiratory syndrom (SARS) – the list of global events that can send a strongholiday booking pattern spiralling downwards goes on and on. But by far theworst thing that can happen is international conflict. While other factors can have a devastating effect on tourism to individualcountries – bookings to Bali, for example, plummeted after the nightclub bombin October last year, causing a $1.3bn drop in tourism income for Indonesia –war knocks consumer confidence, affecting travel to virtually all destinations,regardless of their proximity to the trouble spots. Even the September 11 terroristattacks, which forced several airlines into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and promptedwidespread job losses, turned out to be a short-term crisis. Many companiesadmitted off the record that the job losses had been on the cards anyhow, andby January 2002, bookings were picking up again as cheap airfares and packageslured tourists back to their favourite holiday spots. War, however, is a different story. The 1991 Gulf War led to the collapse of120 travel and tourism businesses, including industry giant InternationalLeisure Group. Those companies that survived did so by making widespreadredundancies – in hindsight, a policy that turned out to be a knee-jerkreaction which caused more problems than it solved. “We were already sliding into recession in the run up to the Gulf Warand when it hit, companies panicked and started to cut staff,” says JuliaFeuell, director of travel recruitment consultancy New Frontiers. “We would put a job ad out and the phone would ring off the hookbecause so many people had been made redundant. From a recruitment point ofview, it meant you would have a fantastic shortlist of candidates for any job.The problem was, when bookings started to come back after the war, there was asevere skills shortage; companies didn’t have the staff to cope.” In the run-up to the 2003 conflict, many people working in travel fearedthat history would repeat itself – another Gulf War, another slew of job cutsand failing businesses. Reports on ailing company MyTravel, one of the ‘bigfour’ travel firms, appeared in the papers every week, if not daily. It isslashing 2,000 jobs worldwide (700 will be lost from the 15,000-strong UKworkforce) as it struggles to keep its head above water. But although there are pockets of redundancy the doom and gloom is notuniversal. TV Travel shop may have made 70 home workers redundant at the end oflast month, and BA has brought forward its downsizing programme (it is making13,000 redundancies, mostly in the UK) from March 2004 to September this year,but most businesses are cautiously optimistic and insist that they are notplanning to cut staff. “MyTravel obviously had its own internal issues for a long time; it wasalready in the low point of its business cycle before the war started,”says Angus Chisholm, director of travel recruitment consultancy, C&MRecruitment. “But generally, the travel industry hasn’t been hit as badlyas last time. As a recruitment firm we are a good barometer of what’s going on.Business is about 5 per cent down, but we’ve only had one slow week sinceJanuary.” His comments are borne out by what the HR directors of the major players aresaying. Holiday bookings may be down by up to 50 per cent to the worst-hitdestinations, but tour operators are doing all they can to avoid slashing jobs.”We are not making collective redundancies; our whole approach has beenabout reducing any discretionary expenditure. We are looking at the number ofjobs directly related to the sales we are making,” says Dominic Mahony, HRdirector of TUI UK, which owns Thomson Holidays. “For example, the currenttrend is towards late bookings, so on our teletext channels we want to maintainnumbers, but in the retail division [high street shops] we need to cut our6,000-strong staff by about 150, and we are doing that through naturalturnover. “We have a general recruitment freeze in place, but we are taking anintelligent approach to it – rather than stopping altogether, we are stillrecruiting for essential roles. For instance, we have just taken on an ITspecialist,” Mahony adds. At TUI UK, job-specific training – such as training holiday reps before theyare posted abroad – will continue, but longer-term development plans have beenput on hold. Face-to-face meetings have been reduced in favour of electronicand written communications, there is an overtime freeze and staff have beeninvited to take unpaid leave of up to five days (those who take fiveconsecutive days get one day paid), but so far jobs are safe. Its rival First Choice has taken similar steps, asking call centre staff tobank hours in quiet periods, offering unpaid leave and halting non-essentialrecruitment. “Our business model, particularly since September 11, has been one of tightcost control and a very prudent approach to capacity [airline seats and hotelbeds] management. Our main focus and message to staff is that it’s business asusual,” says Jacky Simmonds, head of HR for First Choice holidaysdivision. Paul Kennedy, the new group HR director at E-bookers, is equally upbeat. Hismain concern at the moment is ensuring effective communications to avoid staffjumping to their own conclusions about the health of the business. “One of my first tasks is to take on an internal communicationsspecialist for a six- month contract who can put a robust communicationsprogramme in place and ensure consistency across our European and Indianoffices. “The message we are relaying to staff is that the business is in prettygood shape, despite the war and the SARS virus.” Kennedy says there are no plans to reduce headcount. In fact, there are noplans to make cuts anywhere: recruitment, training and working hours have allbeen unaffected. Now in the final stages of a massive reorganisation programme which startedin September 2001, Thomas Cook claims it is in a much stronger position thanmany of its rivals. More than 2,000 of its 14,000-strong workforce were maderedundant at the beginning of 2002 as part of a drive to take £140m worth ofcosts out of the business. Pay and recruitment freezes, salary cuts and shorterworking hours were all imposed at the time; now only the recruitment freezeremains. “We know times are difficult but we want to be ready when bookingsstart to recover. All the information we are getting says customers wereputting off their travel during the war, but they intend to travel later in theyear,” says group HR director of Thomas Cook UK, Fiona Rodford, who joinedthe company in 2001 to oversee the restructuring process. Kennedy agrees one of the primary concerns is how to deal with the expectedinflux of bookings now the Iraq war is over. In a survey carried out byAssociation of British Travel Agents, only 6 per cent of the of 500 respondentssay they will not book a holiday at all this year, suggesting there will be asudden surge once consumer confidence returns. All this positive talk may smack of companies putting on a brave face in thehope that business won’t suffer as much as it did in 1991, but their view isbacked up by comments from the recruitment sector. “Companies looking for staff think it’s a buyers market at the moment,but it’s not. We’ve had two candidates turn down jobs this week because theyweren’t offered enough money,” says Feuell. In March, the World Travel & Tourism Council predicted that a prolongedGulf War would lead to more than three million job losses worldwide and wipemore than $30m from the sector. As holiday bookings start to return, followingthe dip caused by the war, it is becoming clear the industry has been sparedthis fate, although with the Foreign Office still advising against travel toHong Kong and Beijing because of the SARS crisis, a sense of uncertainty andcaution remains. As TUI’s Mahony suggests, travel companies are not out of thewoods yet. “You rarely hear people make blanket statements aboutredundancies. We hope not to, but you can never say never.” Case study – Carlson WagonlitBusiness travel agency CarlsonWagonlit employs 1,400 staff at 60 offices across the UK. Sue Kavanagh, HRdirector, North Europe, says trading was already down at the beginning of thisyear, but the outbreak of war and the SARS virus has forced the business totake stock and look at where savings could be made. The first step was arecruitment ban, although she says if a key position became vacant they wouldreconsider.In April, staff were invited to take unpaid leave – a minimumof a week, a maximum of two. It is a policy that Kavanagh says has worked well.”Take-up has been positive, although obviously we reservethe right to review each case individually.” In addition, staff were asked to take any lieu days in April. One potentially controversial step was a ban on all stationerypurchasing. “We’ve probably got enough in the business to last six months;head office is consolidating all stationery purchasing to avoidduplication,” says Kavanagh. It is the small changes such as the block on new stationerythat can dent morale, says Kavanagh , which is why so much emphasis has beenput on effective communication. The HR department put together an action plancovering all the changes, and issued it to managers. It also asked staff tocome up with their own cost-saving ideas. Kavanagh says the current difficulties have brought the HRfunction’s role into sharp focus.”We have a very important role to play in making surewhatever message we want to communicate comes out centrally and is not aknee-jerk reaction. Staff would be stupid not to be concerned about the healthof the business, but we have been through September 11, and hopefully our staffhave confidence that whatever action we take is for the good of the businessand that we know what we are doing. Redundancy will be the last call.” Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more


first_imgFor those of you who believe that a play marketing itself as a “monologue for two” smacks of typical Oxford pretention, go against your prejudices just this once. Perhaps a little heavy for the BT’s late slot, Kane Moore’s production of Mark Ravenhill’s play succeeds in being thought-provoking, engrossing, and perhaps surprisingly, completely unpretentious.The success of the production relies on Paul Russell’s portrayal of James, the only speaking part and a producer so seedy you half expect him to be sprouting a lawn by the end. Russell’s spirited performance is in stark contrast to the mute actress James is talking to (or to be more precise, at), who remains immobile and expressionless throughout, reinforcing the dehumanising and invasive nature of the film industry. A final important merit of Product is that despite starting so late its running time is only around an hour and so leaves you with plenty of time to discuss it over a sly drink down the pub afterwards. A light-hearted night at the theatre it is not, but well worth seeing if you get the chance.Sarah Davieslast_img read more

Port Meadow saga continues

first_imgFollowing months of campaigning, Oxford City Council has resolved to negotiate with the University regarding the Castle Mill developments near Port Meadow. Despite previously giving the scheme planning permission, councillors have allegedly admitted that they do not like the appearance of the building. Demonstrators from the Campaign to Protect Port Meadow from Oxford University (CPPMOU) have protested for months about the newly built flats, especially designed for University graduate accommodation. It is claimed that the building, particularly the top two storeys, has a ‘damaging’ impact on views of Port Meadows, and has angered many local residents and students. This recent development follows an online petition, which has over 2,200 signatures, and a letter calling on Prince Charles to raise concerns during his visit last week.Demonstrators are said to be pleased, and see this as a positive first step. Toby Porter, on behalf of the CPPMOU, said, “We welcome news that City Planners and the University have met, following Thursday’s instruction by Councillors to begin negotiations to ‘ameliorate the size and impact of the development’ on Roger Dudman Way. We feel that the reason these negotiations are now taking place is because of the huge public protest at the development.” He added, “I am not surprised by the decision. While the University is right to say that their planning permission is legal, it is in our eyes not legitimate – had the University’s planning consultant produced drawings showing the impact on the Meadow seen today, and their public been properly consulted, we do not believe planning permission would have been granted. One request we have made is that, before any final decision is reached, the community and campaign representatives will see precise computer-generated images of how proposed changes affect the view from Port Meadow.”However, the proposed changes could potentially cost up to £1million, and it is as yet unclear who would be responsible for this bill. While both the University and the Council declined to comment on the matter, CPPMOU has stated, “An important factor is that since early September, when the scale of the building was revealed, there have been significant protests, including voices from senior figures within the University. Had they listened, this would have cost a fraction of the current estimate to put right. This sums up what we see as the University’s culpability – we don’t think anyone anticipated the impact the buildings would have on Port Meadow.”A University spokesperson said, “We welcome the planning report’s finding that the University acted properly when securing planning permission for the Castle Mill student accommodation development. We are always happy to meet with planning officers and to hear what they have to say. A meeting on Friday was the first of what will probably be several conversations.”A spokesman for Oxford City Council said, “Our Head of City Development, Michael Crofton Briggs, has met the Director of Estates from Oxford University and started a constructive dialogue about the size and impact of the building following the West Area Planning Committee.“Local and city wide groups were notified of the planning application and site notices were put up. However, it seems that a lot of people did not realise just how close to Port Meadow the development site was.“A report fully explaining the process was discussed at the West Area Planning Committee.”last_img read more

Wow! Beck Releases New Dance-Heavy Single And Cool Animated Music Video

first_imgIn anticipation of his headlining performances at Governors Ball and Mountain Jam this weekend, alternative rock icon Beck has dropped his first new song of 2016. The song is called “Wow,” and it definitely brings that effect, with it’s glitchy beat and rhymes reminiscent of Beck’s Odelay-era from the 90s.The track is a stark contrast from his last album Morning Phase, which won Album of the Year at the Grammy’s and was mostly acoustic folk music. With “Wow” and his previous single, 2015’s “Dreams,” it seems Beck is focusing on more pop-centric direction for his upcoming album, due out this fall.Check out “Wow” and its awesome animated music video below.last_img read more

Watch Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington, And Lupe Fiasco Team Up At Robert Glasper’s Hurricane Benefit

first_img[H/T Jambands]If you’re a fan of Herbie Hancock, don’t miss this weekend’s Brooklyn Comes Alive! Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive will turn three fantastic Williamsburg venues (Brooklyn Bowl, Schimanski, Music Hall of Williamsburg) and the surrounding city streets into a music lover’s game board for two full days on September 23rd and 24th. The unique homegrown event puts the focus on the musicians, curating dream team collaborations, tributes, and artist passion projects for two full days of incredible music both new and old.The 2017 lineup is set to include hand-selected band lineups featuring all-star musicians like John Scofield, George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Vinnie Amico and Al Schnier (moe.), Bernard Purdie, Kofi Burbridge (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Joel Cummins, Ryan Stasik, and Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), Mike Greenfield and Jesse Miller (Lotus), Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident), Alan Evans (Soulive), Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers), Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, Reed Mathis (Electric Beethoven), Michael League, Nate Werth, Chris Bullock, Robert “Sput” Searight, and Bob Lanzetti (Snarky Puppy), Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band), and scores of others! On Monday night, Grammy Award-winning producer Robert Glasper hosted a benefit concert called Help Houston Heal at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, California. Following the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and as Texas residents return to their homes, Help Houston Heal was meant to help this start this rebuilding process, with the proceeds going to go to two Hurricane Harvey relief funds—Bread of Life and Direct Relief. In addition to Glasper, a number of other well-known artists were on tap for the benefit, including Lupe Fiasco, Estelle, Chris Dave, Derrick Hodge, and more. During the performance last night, surprise guests Herbie Hancock and Kamasi Washington joined the ensemble for the evening, further augmenting the already tight lineup.Joey Porter To Lead Snarky Puppy, TAB, Motet Members In Herbie Hancock Tribute At Brooklyn Comes Alive [Interview]During last night’s performance, Robert Glasper live streamed portions of the show so that everyone could enjoy the epic collaborations going down. In the first video below, you can see Lupe Fiasco, Herbie Hancock, and Kamasi Washington riffing off one another during a jazzy extended improvisational jam heavily featuring the saxophonist and the rapper. In the next video, you can see Herbie and Chris Dave joined by Terrace Martin, flutist Elena Pinderhughes, and more. Finally, in the last video, you can see vocalist Estelle take charge with a moving and heartfelt performance. Check the videos below of the Help Houston Heal benefit concert last night in Los Angeles that was organized by Robert Glasper! ***Two-Day and Single-Day GA and VIP Tickets Are On Sale Now!***Brooklyn Comes Alive is now offering single day tickets, as well as a ticket payment plan for as low as $30/month. When checking out, just select “Monthly payments with Affirm” as your payment method. To find out more about ticketing, VIP options, and lodging, head to the festival website.last_img read more

Umphrey’s McGee Questions The Comforts Of Modern Technology In Official Music Video For “Forks”

first_imgOn January 12th, Umphrey’s McGee—who are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band in 2018—released their latest studio album it’s not us. On Thursday evening, the Chicago-based, genre-bending progressive rockers released a captivating, out-of-this-world music video for it’s not us track “Forks”. Although the song is on their most recent album, “Forks” is one of the tracks from the album with a longer-standing history.A demo of the song was released with the bonus content of 2009’s Mantis, and Umphrey’s live debuted the tune at Summer Camp Music Festival in 2011 and played it somewhat regularly in 2011 and 2012 before bringing it back in 2016. The song was performed live for the first time since it’s not us came out, marking the eighteenth time the song had been played in total, in Asheville, North Carolina, on February 17th, and fans seemed to really enjoy the revived and reinspired tune after a 137-show gap.Today, the history of “Forks” deepens with the release of a brand-new music directed by Umphrey’s McGee’s own lighting director, Jefferson Waful. The video was shot in 4K with 24/96 hi-resolution audio, making for a stunning watching experience. Chock full of images from around the world and beyond, the video explores a post-apocalyptic scenario in which mankind is left without the comforts of modern technology after a solar flare—prompting jokes about “a light show so divine, it literally broke the internet.”  You can watch the brand-new official music video for Umphrey’s McGee’s “Forks” below, courtesy of the band.last_img read more

Born to run, and run

first_imgNearly 80 runners gathered on the steps of the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC) Wednesday afternoon for a celebratory jog along the Charles River with authors and fitness authorities Scott Jurek and Christopher McDougall ’85, in an event coordinated by Harvard On The Move.Jurek is famous for dominating ultramarathons, endurance events that well exceed the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles. In 2010, at the 24-Hour World Championships in Brive-la-Gaillarde, Jurek ran 165.7 miles in 24 hours, setting a U.S. record. He is also author of the book “Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness.”McDougall is the author of “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.” He rekindled his love of running after studying the seemingly superhuman running techniques of the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons.After the run, the Harvard Book Store hosted a discussion featuring Jurek and McDougall at the Brattle Theatre.Standing outside the MAC earlier, McDougall pointed toward the Yard. “When I was at Harvard, I was in Winthrop House,” he said. “Part of what got me through school was just playing here in the Yard, chucking around a football, just having some playtime. Running’s like that; you just head out and play.”For Jurek, the gathering on National Running Day was an opportunity to celebrate such exercise as a social, community event. “I love to get out and run with other people,” he said. “I’ve run a lot of miles by myself, and people ask me why I come out for group runs. But we love that social aspect. When I’m running with others, I feed off their motivations and stories, how they got into running, and so on. It inspires me and keeps me going.”Obi Okobi, who just graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an Ed.M., said she came out to jump-start her commitment to running. “Harvard On The Move really is a fantastic entity,” she said. “It proves that the School is really looking to model wellness, not only for undergraduates, but also for members of the greater Boston community.”Jill Puleo, owner of Sugarbird Bakery in Rhode Island — which bakes “ultracookies,” a gluten-free treat for ultramarathoners — drove up just to participate in the event.Proving that running wasn’t just for students was 78-year-old Brookline resident Henry Wolstat. “I’ve been running for about 40 years,” he said. “It keeps me young, it keeps me alive, and I try to run every day — about 25 miles a week.”For Daniel Lieberman, Harvard professor and chair of human evolutionary biology and principal investigator for the Skeletal Bio Lab, the diversity of those attending spoke to the mission of Harvard On The Move. “We have runs and walks every week for people of every ability, speed, and distance. Running is a communal thing. People have been running together for millions of years. It’s just a way for people to get out and get moving.”As the group headed through the Winthrop House Gate toward the Charles, McDougall smiled. “Running’s playtime,” he said. “All the anxiety and the hectic things in your head, they just clear out. And you come back feeling relaxed and ready to tackle the next thing.”last_img read more

Rundown – Your To Do List for March ’14

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York CELEBRATEMarch is Women’s History Month, a national and global celebration recognizing the countless contributions women have made throughout history and contemporary society. The annual tribute coincides with International Women’s Day, March 8, and this year’s theme is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage & Commitment,” according to the National Women’s History Project. In commemoration, there’ll be countless events and services taking place in communities across the country throughout the month; to find out more, go to or “I CRASHED A WALL STREET SECRET SOCIETY”In 2012, then-New York Times reporter Kevin Roose rented a tuxedo and infiltrated one of Wall Street’s most secretive societies, Kappa Beta Phi, crashing its annual induction ceremony at the St. Regis Hotel. Inside, he found a who’s-who list of capitalism, wearing drag, singing songs mocking the global financial meltdown—the crisis they created. Now a writer at New York magazine, he’s documented all the antics in a new book called Young Money; you’ll find a must-read excerpt by Googling the above (or by just clicking the embedded link). DOWNLOAD TWERK METERFrom the imaginative minds at LI-based tech services and consulting startup is this fun, innovative app helping anyone with a smartphone to wiggle and gyrate and thrust better than Miley at the AMAs. Twerk Meter guides your tuckus on its way to twerkmastery, offering easy-to-follow steps, competitive twerking with others across the globe, speed challenges and even twerk-interconnectivity with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and YouTube to compare scores and watch videos of other twerkers. Free at ENJOY A LATTENot just any latte, a soul-healing caffeine smoothie at Coffee Fest, perhaps the most revered coffee and tea tradeshow in the world—brewing top pots, hosting classes and workshops, competitions (including the “Latte Art World Championship,” “America’s Best Espresso Competition” and “America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition”) and otherwise just expounding upon the supreme divinity of this holy elixir—from March 7-9 at the Jacob Javits Center. Check out for more details and tweet a pic of your latteler to #LIPCoffeeFiendsDO THE IRISH JIGWhere? At Old Bethpage Village Restoration. When? Saturday, March 8, from 12-5 p.m. There will be Irish food, Irish beverages, live Irish music and traditional Irish dancing. Best part? It’s free. For more information, check out, and “May the Luck o’ the Irish be upon thee.” READ “THE SQUAWK BOX” TV BLOGDo you watch #TheFollowing? Think that the dwarf in #GameOfThrones is hot? Then this is for you. The Press’ new TV (and film) blog includes previews, reviews, picks, gossip, rants (called “Squawkler Scrambles”) and so much more. It’s unapologetic commentary that always entertains, may offend, and never ceases to amaze. Check it out at READ THE GREAT AMERICAN DISCONNECTWhy? Too many reasons. Among them: 1) Press Publisher Jed Morey wrote it. 2) Press Editor in Chief Christopher Twarowski edited it. 3) Mainstream media won’t supply you with this knowledge. 4) You deserve to know the truth. 5) It’s available on iTunes, Amazon’s Kindle and “KITTEN MEETS HEDGEHOG”This vid never stops attracting views (more than 14 million now) or melting hearts with its absolute abundance of cuteness and adorability, as the curious tiny baby cat Loki discovers the shy prickly Harley, to a fun smooth cover song by singer/songwriter Alanna Matty. Worth watching again and again. SAMPLE CRAFT BEERAdmission includes a 5 oz. souvenir tasting glass and the freedom to taste more than 100 craft beers from more than 75 microbreweries. Nassau Coliseum, March 22; more at HAVE A HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!last_img read more

Binghamton University prepares for coronavirus, no plans to bring home students studying abroad

first_img“We are actively working with our study abroad program here on campus to monitor the conditions in those particular host countries,” he said. This comes after the college already implemented it’s own travel restrictions. While Hubeny says the Broome County Health Department is playing an important role in the University’s response, it’s not just the home campus that officials are concerned with. While officials say there are currently no plans to regulate students leaving for and returning from the upcoming winter and spring breaks, they will be coached on proper hygiene and travel habits. While there are currently no students in danger, Hubney says the university is prepared if that changes. “We are in touch with our students who are in study abroad and if there was a need to bring them home we would provide whatever support there is to get them home safely,” he said. center_img “The university has already placed travel restrictions on any university travel to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran,” Hubeny said. VESTAL (WBNG) — Officials at Binghamton University say monitoring the coronavirus is all about staying up to date and staying in close contact with health officials. “We’ve got several people who are continuously monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control even the World Health Organization as well,” said Dave Hubeny, Executive Director for the Office of Emergency Management at the University. “It’ll be advising them on safe travel practices, good hygiene practices and help them stay safe while they are traveling,” he said.last_img read more

NIOSH revises advice to protect responders from airborne pathogens

first_img Revised NIOSH recommendations The document also discusses circumstances in which non-CBRN respirators can be used, and it addresses decontamination of protective equipment after use. It says the use of personal protective equipment should be part of a worker health and safety program that also includes preexposure immunizations and postexposure preventive treatment and medical monitoring. The “Recommendations for the Selection and Use of Respirators and Protective Clothing for Protection Against Biological Agents” were updated to reflect changes in equipment ratings and standards since the previous version was issued in 2001, said John Decker, associate director for emergency preparedness at NIOSH. The document was published online last week. The revised version includes respirators rated for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) hazards as well as updated National Fire Protection Association standards (NFPA) for protective clothing, Decker told CIDRAP News. NIOSH says the guidelines are “oriented toward acts of terrorism” and do not apply to controlled use of biological agents in laboratories. Apr 7, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently revised its recommendations about personal equipment for protecting first responders from airborne pathogens in potential bioterrorism situations. See also: “A lot of this has changed over the last several years,” Decker said. “In 2001 we didn’t have CBRN respirators. This was part of a general review of our site and which documents needed to be updated as part of a routine process.” The recommendations call for using CBRN respirators and the highest level of protective clothing for suspected biological incidents when the type of airborne agent or the dissemination method is unknown. The guidance describes circumstances that allow for lower levels of protection, such as when the agent is known and it was disseminated in “a letter or package that can be easily bagged.”last_img read more