The International Section of the ISSA on Information for Prevention promotes a healthy and safe working environment through the development and dissemination of information.
Forewarned Is Forearmed
Information on occupational safety and health has never been more widely available and easier to access than it is today, thanks largely to new technological developments such as the internet. At the same time, the overwhelming quantity of information available can make it difficult to find what you really need. Access to new technology and up-to-date information is not always easy, especially for those who need it the most.
The appropriate information needs to be selected and disseminated, and a full range of sources should be made accessible to all: databases, publications, and websites etc.
The International Section of the ISSA on Information for Prevention promotes a healthy and safe working environment through the development and dissemination of information, and by promoting communication.
The Section transfers its knowledge to partners in international and European organizations such as CIS-ILO, the European Commission and the European Agency, and national organizations such as the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. It promotes a healthy and safe working environment through the development and dissemination of information.
The members of the Section include some of the major prevention institutes in the world, including from the USA, Canada and Europe.
The International Section of the ISSA on Information for Prevention has six strategic objectives:
On a vertical level
- Provide an international forum for the exchange of good practices concerning the collection and selective dissemination of information and communication on occupational safety and health related issues
- Develop and advocate the implementation of strategies and tools for occupational safety and health information and communication objectives
- Assist in the development of a safety culture through awareness raising tailored to the user and concerning the promotion of communication and information exchange on occupational safety and health related matters.
On a horizontal level
- Develop a coordinated information policy within ISSA on a worldwide level
- Serve as a platform for the exchange of information and experiences in the field of information and communication between ISSA sections and various partners (ILO, WHO, CIS, EU-Agency, EU-Commission, etc.)
- Support the Special Commission in the development and implementation of its communication policy
For more information please consult the standing orders of the International Section of the ISSA on Information for Prevention of Occupational Risks.
The mission and strategic objectives of the Section are the basis for the development of a 3-year rolling work program. The specific projects of this work program are defined on a annual basis by the Bureau, in co-ordination with the Special Commission on Prevention.
The work program of the Special Commission is a strategic tool used to coordinate the activities of the various sections and stimulate cooperation using a matrix organization.
Promotion and Awareness-raising Instruments
The Section on Information for Prevention focuses on the development of awareness-raising instruments aimed at promoting safety and health at work at micro and at macro level.
These projects aim to:
- Collect and evaluate good practices with regard to communication and information;
- Develop and disseminate models and techniques for successful communication strategies;
- Promote the awareness and understanding of existing communication policies;
- Evaluate and promote good practices for the development of successful campaigns;
- Stimulate a prevention culture in occupational safety and health;
- Provide customized information and communication tools for specific industries and sectors.
Special Attention to Small and Middle-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
SMEs are a particular target group of the working programme. A number of projects have been set up to improve communication and the assistance given to SME employers. The Section on Information for Prevention wishes to improve the exchange of knowledge on existing projects and to stimulate the communication and information on health and safety through a number of well-defined projects:
Inventory of Good Practice Examples
Consisting of the collection of good practice examples of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) communication and campaigns for small enterprises (see http://www.preventisme.org) and of a collection of good practice examples of OSH information and communication (tools) for small enterprises.
The Section will assist the Special Commission in the development and implementation of an efficient internal and external information strategy. The projects in this area aim to:
- Structure and manage the links with the various networks at European level and worldwide;
- Support the information activities of the Special Commission via the development of a communication strategy;
- Provide the Special Commission and its members with specific tools.
A Powerful Subject Gateway on the Internet
Members of the Section have free access to OSHweb a high quality portal for prevention and occupational safety and health websites. It is developed by Prevent, the Belgian institute for occupational, safety and health.
Each source has been selected, catalogued and filtered by a team of prevention and information technology specialists. A standard information package is presented for each source, giving details of the information provider, the target audience, the type of information and the language the site is available in.
The site is already available in Dutch, French and English. However, according to the wishes of partners, the site could be translated into German and/or Spanish. The partners can facilitate access to specific subject areas, target groups, language choice and type of information source. Participating sites are maintained and further developed in partnership between Section on Information for Prevention and the partner organizations.
OSHweb is an example of a good practice instrument that is particularly useful for SMEs.
Organizations interested in becoming a partner of OSHweb can contact the Secretariat of the International Section of the ISSA on Information for Prevention.
Furthermore, the Section on Information for Prevention supports the information service OSHAnswers, which is provided by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. The website gives a direct access to this service.
The topics covered on the site are actually based on questions that the Inquiries service at CCOHS has received from employers, workers, occupational hygienists, safety professionals, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, government officials, lawyers, the media and anyone else with questions about any aspect of occupational safety and health.
OSHAnswers contains information on various hazards, biological, chemical, physical and other safety hazards, diseases and injuries. Other work-related issues are safety programs, accident and injury prevention, personal protective equipment, and occupational health and safety legislation.
Online and Offline Technologies
The Section on Information for Prevention aims at promoting a healthy and safe working environment through the development, implementation and use of online and offline information and communication technologies. Special attention is paid to the needs of developing countries and SMEs. The projects in this area aim to:
- Improve the transparency and coordination of existing information sources and flows;
- Develop information tools;
- Support and stimulate professionals in the development of ICT applications;
- Assist and train professionals in the use of existing ICT formats;
- Explore and develop the use of ICT in the working environment.
The Section on Information for Prevention is composed of members. Its two executive bodies are: the General Assembly and the Bureau. The Bureau of the Section is elected by the General Assembly.
The Bureau conducts the day-to-day affairs of the Section on Information for Prevention. The particular tasks are written down in the standing orders of the Section. The General Assembly is composed of the ordinary members of the Section on Information for Prevention. The corresponding members belong to the General Assembly in a consultative capacity.
Members of the Bureau
The Bureau of the International Section of the ISSA on Information for Prevention is composed as follows:
Margaret Kitt; NIOSH
Sven Timm, DGUV
Donna Van Bogaert, NIOSH