(2012), "EU-OSHA launches landmark project to facilitate risk assessment in Europes small enterprises", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 59 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/acmm.2012.12859aaa.009Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
EU-OSHA launches landmark project to facilitate risk assessment in Europes small enterprises
Article Type: Environment and safety From: Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Volume 59, Issue 1
Officially launched in September 2011 at the XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Istanbul, the Online interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) project marks the first initiative at EU level to facilitate workplace risk assessment. Developed by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), the innovative tool will help Europe’s 20 million micro and small enterprises to improve safety and health for their workers by assessing risks through an easy-to-use and cost-free web application.
“Experience shows that proper risk assessment is the key to healthy workplaces,” explains Dr Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA. “Yet carrying out risk assessments can be quite challenging, particularly for small enterprises as they lack adequate resources or the know-how to do so effectively. The reasons companies give for not carrying out checks are lack of expertise (41%), the belief that risk assessments are too expensive or that they are overly time consuming (38%). In OiRA, EU-OSHA is proud to offer a free online tool to overcome these challenges. OiRA contributes to eliminating or reducing the 168 000 work-related deaths, 7 million accidents and 20 million cases of work-related disease annually in the EU 27”, says Dr Takala.
The vision of EU-OSHA’s landmark project is to assist small enterprises in putting in place a step-by-step risk assessment process – starting with the identification and evaluation of workplace risks, through to the decision making on preventive action, identification of adequate measures, to continued monitoring and reporting. The aim is to reduce the burden for small enterprises of carrying out and documenting their risk assessments easily and quickly while maintaining accuracy.
“EU-OSHA is working closely with the authorities and social partners at EU and national level to put the OiRA tool generator at their disposal,” continues Dr Takala. “In turn, these partners will develop their own sector-specific and fully customisable OiRA tools and offer them for free to small enterprises.”
The collaboration with key social partners also encourages widespread take-up and use of the tool at enterprise level and leads to the development of an OiRA community to share knowledge and experience. The final tool is backed by support and full guidance services provided by EU-OSHA to the developers.
OiRA projects have been launched both at EU level and Member State level (Cyprus, Belgium and France), piloting the development and diffusion model and covering sectors such as hairdressing and transport.
Based on the successful Dutch Risk Inventory & Evaluation instrument, the OiRA tool sets out to replicate this success across Europe. Since the creation of the Dutch online tool (www.rie.nl), there have been a total of 1.6 million visits to the web site. This is an impressive number given that The Netherlands is a relatively small country with approximately 800,000 companies in total. The tool is downloaded an average of 5,000 times per month.
More information is available from: http://osha.europa.eu