The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has set up a Topic Centre Occupational Safety and Health (TC-OSH). Since December 2008, this Topic Centre has carried out the functions of the former Work Environment (TC-WE) and Risk Observatory (TC-RO) Topic Centres.
The TC-OSH is to run for four years. Ten to twenty specific projects are put out to tender for each calendar year. The project work is shared by a consortium of twenty national OSH institutions, of which the IFA is a member. Project work in the TC-OSH has several generic objectives: As in the TC-RO, new and emerging OSH risks are identified and addressed in research projects. The results are published in the form of reports. The target group for this information are decision-makers at the European Commission and in the national OSH systems, and researchers. In addition, as in TC-WE, examples of good practice on topical OSH issues continue to be gathered, and to be published in reports or made available on the Internet at the Agency's portal. A quality-assured procedure ensures that this good-practice information for employees, policy-makers and researchers is presented in a suitable manner for users (for example in the national languages of the EU). Existing Internet data are updated, and facilities for access improved.
In 2009, in conjunction with the project partners, the IFA conducted two literature studies with the aim of identifying risks: one, in which it had a leading function, into work-related accident, injury and health risks facing first-aiders in emergencies; the other into work-related health risks to women. For this purpose, searches were conducted in national and international literature databases and in sources of statistical data. The results were analysed and compiled in reports. Within the Working Environment area, the parties to the project researched and reviewed Internet sources and added brief explanatory information for the Agency's Internet services. The work was conducted in the network of the European Agency and was apportioned by country and language. The Internet sources were entered into the European Agency's system in the form of links. At the same time, new and existing links were checked and updated. In 2009, the IFA was involved, together with the German accident insurance institution responsible for the vehicle operating trades, in the collecting of Internet data on the subject of prevention in road transport and in a report on the collection of good-practice examples on the same subject. In addition, the institute took part ? partly in co-operation with the accident insurance institution responsible for the quarrying industry ? in projects with the objective of identifying case studies of good practice in workplace health promotion and risk assessment. Contacts to commercial businesses and other OSH institutions were exploited for this purpose. E-Facts of the European Agency served as introductory information on occupational health risks within a certain area. In 2009, the IFA was involved in a publication on safe maintenance in quarries.
In TC-OSH ERO-09-02, Women at Work, the IFA updated statistical data from a publication by the European Agency on the subject of Gender Issues in Safety and Health at Work. The data related to the employment of male and female employees, EUROSTAT data on health and safety, and relationships between the sex, vocational status and working conditions of men and women.
In TC-OSH ERO-09-04, Emergency Workers, a comprehensive literature survey was performed on the subject of the protection of the health and safety of emergency workers. Common risks and typical injuries, accidents and health problems of emergency workers were presented, as were possible preventive measures and standards for their occupational safety and health.
Risk assessments conducted in Germany, Austria and Turkey were presented in TC-OSH WE-09-01, Risk Assessment. These included methods for risk assessment (SAFER method, Take 5, Semi-Quantitative Risk Analysis (SQRA)) at the Rio Tinto mining company, systematic risk analysis (VAE-HSE Guidebook employed at VAE-GmbH, Austria, and observations of working processes at Ford in Turkey), a menu-driven risk assessment for small and medium-sized companies (GBU-online for painters, decorators, roofers and scaffolders) and an integrated management system (Training - Model Risk Assessment - Model Documentation).
In TC-OSH WE-09-06, Collection of Online Data on Occupational Risk Prevention in the Road Transport Sector, good-practice examples and resources for the avoidance of risks in road transport were described and input into a database at the European Agency for the protection of safety and health at the workplace.
Within TC-OSH WE-09-08, Work Health Promotion, the IFA described in greater detail the health management measures taken at tax offices in North Rhine-Westphalia and the VIVA measures at pro mente in Upper Austria.
-cross sectoral-Type of hazard:
Gesundheitsförderung, Unfallverhütung, ArbeitsschutzdiensteDescription, key words:
risk assessment, risk observatory, work-related risks, good practice, occupational safety and health, risk estimation, maintenance, chemical risks, self-employed workers, safety and health risks of emergency workers, prevention, road transport sector, occupational health promotion, women, young workers, agriculture, information system, internet