45th Annual Meeting of the CIS National, Collaborating and Regional Centres
Düsseldorf, Germany, 20 September 2007
The 45th Meeting of CIS National, Collaborating and Regional Centres took place at the Exhibition Centre in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Thursday, 20 September 2007. This 45th edition was attended by representatives of 29 National Centres, 5 Collaborating Centres and 2 Regional Centres. A detailed list of participants is attached.
2. Opening Remarks
Mr Gábor SÁNDI (CIS) welcomed the participants and introduced Dr Sameera M. AL-TUWAIJRI (Director of SafeWork and representative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General). In officially opening the Meeting, Dr Al-Tuwaijri mentioned that she had started in her position seven months previously, and that she appreciated the fact that participants had come a long way in order to be there. She emphasized that in her view the CIS Centres Network was of vital importance in helping with the fulfilment of the initiatives of ILO SafeWork, because of its robust and responsive nature. She wished to present three main ideas as to how the CIS Centres Network would be able to help SafeWork achieve its objectives better. These three ideas were:
- The dissemination of information: The CIS Centres Network should be more aggressive in reporting on emerging trends in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), such as avian flu, which is a workplace issue, although it is widely regarded as a public health problem, which is why the World Health Organization (WHO) had taken the lead in disseminating information about it. Other issues of current interest where she saw a possibility for action by the CIS Centres Network included shipbreaking.
- The promotion of ILO Convention 187 (Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006): CIS Centres were requested to play a promotional role for C187 at the national level. Although ratification of the Convention was a desirable goal, other activities by Centres on its behalf were also welcome, such as the preparation of national profiles and surveys of national legislation.
- The Encyclopaedia of Occupational Safety and Health: The Encyclopaedia now needed revision, especially as some chapters were entirely obsolete. Once revised, it could be translated into other major languages, such as Arabic. The ILO had already engaged a short-term consultant to work on these problems, and Dr Al-Tuwaijri invited CIS Centres to contribute to this process as well by forwarding their suggestions and comments. She reminded the Meeting that in today's world information was best distributed electronically (through CD-ROMs and on the Internet), which are less expensive to maintain and easier to access.
In concluding her remarks, she thanked the participants for their presence and encouraged them to strengthen and enlarge the Network.
3. Election of Chairperson
Ms Sheila PANTRY, Editor of the CIS Newsletter, was nominated as Chairperson of the Meeting by Ms Irja LAAMANEN (Finland), and seconded by Ms Elly GOOS (Netherlands). Ms Pantry was elected by acclamation.
4. Adoption of Agenda
Ms Annick VIROT (CIS Centres Coordinator), taking note of the opening remarks by Dr Al-Tuwaijri, proposed an addition to the agenda. She noted the need to have a brainstorming session on how CIS Centres may contribute to the revision of the Encyclopaedia. The Meeting agreed to this addition to the agenda.
5. Adoption of the Report of the 44th Meeting of CIS Centres (2006)
The report of the 2006 Meeting of CIS Centres was adopted without amendments. This was proposed by Mr Israel SHREIBMAN (Israel) and seconded by Ms Elly Goos (Netherlands).
6. Report of CIS Network Activities and Innovations, Including New Collaborative Databases and Future Plans - Mr Gábor Sándi
Mr Gábor Sándi made a presentation entitled "CIS at the Crossroads" (see attached; the presentation is also available on the Meeting CD). This Meeting was conducted against the background of the theme from the previous annual Meeting ("The Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health"), and the recent adoption, in June 2006, of Convention 187 concerning the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health by the International Labour Conference (ILC). From CIS's point of view, this Convention is the most important safety and health convention of the ILO in recent years, as it expresses a commitment to information activities as part of the Organization's overall strategy in the field. This is a long due, positive acknowledgement for the CIS as it is our duty to provide reliable and easily accessible information.
Highlights of Mr Gábor Sándi's presentation were on:
- CISDOC: The records are approaching 67,000 in total, with a proposal to increase production levels from 1500 to at least 1800 during the biennium 2008/2009.
- The Virtual Bulletin: It allows users to browse through citations of recent OSH literature and is indexed by search engines like Google. Older issues of the printed Bulletin would also be made available in Virtual Bulletin format.
- Mr Sándi informed the Meeting that he had reached an agreement with the publishers of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health in order to receive a PDF copy of the latest issue of the Journal and the author abstracts prior to their publication. He added that ideally there should be similar arrangements with all major publishers of OSH literature.
- He also described the newly-started programme of transferring archival information of full-text material stored in microfiche format (from pre-1998 years) into PDF files.
- LEGOSH: Although this collection is neither not up-to-date nor complete, it is a much-used resource. An intern, a law student from Britain, worked during the summer of 2007 on extending LEGOSH to legislation so far not covered in it, making it into an even more useful product.
- CIS Centres News and the Directory of OSH Institutions Databases: Mr Sándi described the likely benefits if all participating institutions with access to the Internet contributed news about their activities, as well as details about their institutions to these two databases.
- The Encyclopaedia: With support from the new management, the services of a respected professional to update the Encyclopaedia had been secured. Meanwhile, comments and suggestions for the revision would be welcome.
- International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS): CIS continues to participate in its card creation programme, in collaboration with WHO and the European Union (EU).
- Mr Sándi announced the sad news that CIS's founder, Mr Marcel ROBERT, who honoured the Network with his presence at the 2006 Meeting, had passed away in May 2007.
- In conclusion, Mr Sándi thanked all who had participated in the Network's activities. He said that CIS continued to position itself strategically by increasing its involvement in the general work of the SafeWork Department, e.g. the preparation of next year's World Congress in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
The Chairperson thanked Mr Gábor Sándi, Ms Annick Virot and all the staff members at CIS for their enthusiasm in keeping the Network running.
7. Report in CIS Network Activities - Ms Annick Virot
Ms Annick Virot opened her presentation by highlighting some statistics on annual work-related injuries/diseases and deaths and the need to promote occupational safety and health at all levels: enterprise level, national and international levels. She then spoke about the Global Strategy on OSH (2003 ILC Conclusions) and the need for a tripartite effort for securing a safe and healthy world of work. Major highlights of her presentation also included the following:
- Developing the CIS Centres Network - Results of Questionnaire Survey 2003.
- Coordination of the CIS Centres Network and the trend to have Regional Centres (like ARLAC in Harare, Zimbabwe, and at the Arab Labour Institute for OSH in the Arab Labour Organization in Damascus, Syria). A Regional Meeting of Arab Centres will be organized on 21 and 22 November 2007.
- Applications for membership. A number of countries applied to become CIS National Centres, including Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Mauritania and Libya.
- Publicity and promotion.
- "Safe and Healthy Workplaces: Making Decent Work a Reality" (theme of the 2007 World Day on OSH). A policy of decentralization has been put into place and people in the field were asked to adapt products, including posters and other promotional material to their own needs.
- Preparations for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work in 2008 and involvement of CIS Centres. The 2008 theme is on "Occupational Risks Management". It was recalled that the theme should be announced early enough to enable people to participate actively.
- XVIII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work (Seoul, Republic of Korea, 29 June-2 July 2008).
- Key terms of the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention 187 and Recommendation 197 and the need to promote this instrument as well as the drafting and putting into place of national OSH policies, programmes and strategies.
- Importance of having a Website and of placing the CIS logo in a visible place on CIS Centres Websites.
- Importance of networking within the CIS Centres Network and with other partners.
This presentation is also available on the Meeting CD.
8. Short Presentations on Individual Centres
Representatives of 11 Centres presented reports on their activities during the previous 12 months. The full text of some of these presentations, together with some others that were not the subject of a live presentation, is available on the Meeting CD. What follows is a summary of the 11 presentations.
Ms Barbara SZCZEPANOWSKA (Central Institute for Labour Protection, National Research Institute (CIOP-PIB) Centre for Scientific Information and Documentation, Poland).
Report not on CD.
Mr Israel SHREIBMAN (Israel Institute of Occupational Safety and Hygiene (IIOSH), Israel).
- The information service of IIOSH - dedicated to knowledge and research.
- The human factor and OSH-related stress.
- The Centre's involvement in the safe transportation of dangerous goods.
- The role of the Information Centre in safety promotion.
- IIOSH 12th Congress on OSH.
Report and presentation on CD.
Dr P.K. ABEYTUNGA (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), Canada).
- The Centre promotes an integrated comprehensive approach to the creation of healthy workplaces.
- The nine different services on offer were listed and briefly explained.
Report on CD.
Ms Heba MOHAMED (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Egypt).
- The Institute carries out a wide range of activities in the field of OSH. The main objectives are realised through three major activities - research, technical advice/service and training.
Report not on CD. Presentation on CD.
Dr Farida ILES (Institut national de la prévention des risques professionnels (INPRP), Algeria).
- Tasks of the Institute: Assistance, training, advice, studies, research, information.
- Survey of OSH legislation in Algeria.
- Examples of safety posters.
- Collaboration with CIS and participation in the World Day.
Presentation not on CD.
Ms Silvia GIORDANO (Ministerio de Trabajo, Empleo y Seguridad Social, Superintendencia de Riesgos del Trabajo, Argentina).
- The Centre operates in three areas - as a CIS Centre, as a virtual library and as a physical library.
- The Centre has sent several of its publications to CIS Geneva.
- Works closely with trade unions to sensitize workers on labour risks.
Presentation and report on CD.
Mr Joshua MATIKO (Ministry of Labour, Employment and Youth Development, Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) - Tanzania (United Republic of).
- The presentation was on a database of workplaces. He took the Meeting through the data entry, storage and retrieval procedures and explained its advantages in securing the world of work.
Presentation not on CD.
Ms Jin-Young KWON (Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA), International Cooperation Department, Republic of Korea).
Presentation not on CD.
Mr Chan Yew KWONG (Ministry of Manpower, Occupational safety and Health Division, OSH Information Centre, Singapore).
Presentation not on CD.
Mr Evgeny N. RESHETNIKOV (All-Russia Centre for Occupational Safety and Health (VCOT), Russian Federation).
- Role of the Centre: Related to the activities of the Ministry of Health and Social Development; dissemination of advanced OSH information throughout the Federation
- The Centre has been very active in promoting the World Day in collaboration with ILO Moscow; in 2004, 49 regions responded to appeals for information - in 2006 this number grew to 93
- The Centre was active in the translation of the ILO Encyclopaedia; it also developed a Russian-language Encyclopaedia adopted to the specific environment of the Russian Federation.
Report not on CD.
Ms Laurence POLY (Institut national de recherche et de sécurité (INRS), France)
- The Institute was established in order to identify occupational risks and hazards, analyse their consequences, research on how to control them and to teach and disseminate means of prevention.
- This is done through research and studies, assistance, training and information and communication.
Presentation on CD.
9. Brainstorming Session on the Encyclopaedia
It was established that 18 Centres represented at the Meeting regularly use the Encyclopaedia, mostly by their own staff (possibly doing research on behalf of clients). The following major topics were raised as important for the revision of the Encyclopaedia:
- Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
- Adaptation to special groups.
- The e-world factor (e-books are more secure and easy to store).
- Encyclopaedia to be tied to CISDOC and other CIS databases.
- The level of technicality (there was a debate on the appropriate level of technicality. It was, however, agreed that it should be at the highest level, with suggestions that simplified version could be considered as a separate project. A possible model was that of the Macropedia and Micropedia as in the case of the Encyclopaedia Britannica).
- User friendliness and usability (there is need to update links and change the format, e.g. having the text and graphs together).
- There is need for constant updating in line with the fast changing world. Even pictures need to be replaced.
- CIS Centres should also assist by domesticating and adapting the Encyclopaedia to their respective national context, as in the case of Russia where this has been successfully done right up to high school levels.
- Inclusion of non-traditional risks, e.g. stress, psychosocial issues.
- Inclusion of behavioural safety (how to change attitudes of workers, managers, etc.).
- Working conditions.
- Description of pathological states affecting workers, especially newly prominent and emerging diseases.
The Chairperson then proposed that, in light of these suggestions, it would be ideal for the CIS to design a questionnaire to draw more information from the CIS Centres. Such a questionnaire could ask questions regarding:
- Use of the Encyclopaedia.
- Missing subjects.
- Obsolete subjects.
- Priorities for revision.
- Expertise on psychological aspects of health, e.g. safety policies.
- Links to best practices.
- Intervention activities.
- Retirement age limits, need for training and retraining.
- Personal protective clothing: Principles, standards.
- SMEs, the informal economy and other vulnerable groups.
Some participants noted as well that the concept of different editions was no longer appropriate because information technology continued to evolve. Instead, there was a need for an ongoing mechanism to help keep the Encyclopaedia up-to-date. It was recommended that the online version would come to be seen as the authoritative version, and that this would become the new model for the Encyclopaedia. The Wikipedia was also cited as a possible model - as long as editing was restricted to approved experts within given subjects. Another useful feature of the Wikipedia was its Discussion Section, which showed background details for each article.
The importance of e-tools in training and retraining people was also highlighted. It was noted that, even though OSH practitioners can be very busy, they should be trained to use information, rather than just giving it to them. It was suggested that part of the Encyclopaedia should be on information awareness and retrieval skills.
Various Internet sites, including www.euroworksafe.eu, were also recommended as good sources of OSH information, including consultation reports and other recent studies. The Meeting noted that there are now a large number of e-journals available as well. However, it was noted that sometimes PDF files failed to load.
10. Promotion of the XVIII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work (Seoul, 2008) including a short video presentation by the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA)
The world's biggest international forum in terms of the safety and health field, the XVIII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, will be held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from June 29 to July 2, 2008.
The World Congress is a great opportunity for decision makers and professionals in the OSH field, those representing workers and employers, and social security experts to share information and knowledge related to the prevention of industrial accidents and occupational diseases. It provides an opportunity to discuss recently emerging major issues in relation to safety and health and to come up with the measures to handle safety and health related problems. It is jointly organised by the ILO, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA). Its motto will be: Safety and health at work: A societal responsibility.
The World Congress will have four main topics:
- Strategies and Programmes of Safety and Health for the Future.
- Impact of Changes of Working Conditions on Workers' Protection.
- New Challenges and Opportunities in Occupational Safety and Health.
- Safety and Health Management Systems.
For the first time in its history, the Congress will include, on Sunday 29 June 2008, a Safety and Health at Work Summit during which participants will be asked to reflect on safety and health at work as a basic human right and a means to economic growth and development. Participants will include ministers responsible for occupational safety and health, industry leaders, and high-level representatives from employers' and workers' organizations, as well as leading specialists from the fields of occupational safety and health and social security. The purpose of the Summit is to stimulate political commitment and bring OSH higher up in national and international agendas. One expected outcome of the World Congress is The Seoul Declaration on Safety and Health at Work, which will be probably issued after the Safety and Health Summit.
Other features of the Congress include a Plenary Session, six Technical Sessions, six Regional Meetings and 45 Symposia, as well as a Speakers' Corner and Poster sessions and an International Film and Multimedia Festival. Social activities and other side events are also planned. The 46th Annual Meeting of the CIS National, Collaborating and Regional Centres will also take place on Sunday 29 June.
11. General Activities of the Role and Activities of the CIS Network
CIS is a network, dedicated to information dissemination. Various other networks exist within the OSH field, but information is not their priority. This explains why there is growing interest to join the CIS Network. What follows are some of the major roles and activities, which the CIS Network should undertake:
- Visits to other information specialists to tell them about the CIS Network.
- Knowledge management: enabling access to appropriate information, without overloading clients.
- Sharing tools and ideas.
- CIS branding: using the CIS logo as much as possible.
- Establishment of Websites to enable linking and networking between Centres and beyond. There is a possibility of ILO support for a basic course on Website establishment, structure, design, etc.
- Perform user needs study for the provision of a vital service.
- Reach out to other allied associations such as International Association of Labour Inspectors (IALI).
- The introduction of a discussion forum for continued discussions. Mr Gábor Sándi reiterated that it was possible to have such an online forum/discussion board. Though this is not the same thing as live chatting, it would enable better communication without needing special software.
12. Sharing of Informational Activities Between CIS and its Centres
Salient points raised in this discussion were as follows:
- The CIS Network encourages Centres to keep in touch with each other and to share, train and learn from each other. Many people in the Network are very willing to help.
- Centres should take time to study the diary of events on the CIS Web site and in the CIS Newsletter, and where possible emulate applicable events.
- There is a need for Centres to submit publications of their respective. organizations for inclusion in CISDOC. Such submission would enable more people to have access to that information.
- The Network should be expanded to include organizations affiliated with IALI and other related groups. This is worth pursuing in view of the emerging trend of integrated labour inspection services.
13. Shared Promotional Activities
(Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention; World Day for Safety
and Health at Work)
Highlights of this discussion can be summarized as follows:
- There is a need to alert people of hazards in the world of work.
- There is a need to highlight the importance of training.
- The World Day for Safety and Health at Work theme should be made available early in order to enable preparation for this event. The Meeting was informed of the availability of printable posters, logos, banners, etc. for this occasion, which can be linked to their respective Websites.
- Mr Stanley MUCHEMEDZI (Zimbabwe) spoke about the importance of links with the media for publicity and how his organization awards the best journalists covering OSH.
- Mr KITUMBO (Tanzania, Republic of) informed the Meeting on how tripartite social partners in Tanzania had jointly organized the event, which in many locations began with a procession lead by the military brass band. Events also included a live broadcast with the tripartite partners answering live questions from the audience.
- Mr Evgeny N. RESHETNIKOV (Russia) described the Russian experience where every two years there is an OSH campaign. This includes live broadcasts on radio and coverage in trade newspapers. His Centre also contributed articles to these papers and always included the contacts details for those seeking further information. Their Website includes a forum were people exchange OSH information.
- Mr Chan Yew KWONG (Singapore) shared his experience whereby representatives of associations formed a committee. Each association had to arrange something for its own clientele. Thus the commemorations lasted four weeks. The Meeting was able to see and hear some of the promotional jingles used during the time.
- Ms Gro OLSVOLD (Norway) mentioned how recent national elections in Norway had been held against the background of some important OSH research, which had just been strategically released to the media. The OSH article was a feature in all campaigns and this helped to sensitize the community.
14. Other business
The Chairperson proposed that, in addition to the regular Centres Meeting in Seoul, an interim CIS Meeting be organized in Geneva in the spring of 2008, in part because of the difficulty for many people in Europe and Africa to obtain financing for a mission to Korea. This Meeting would concentrate mostly on training. Ms Elly Goos (Netherlands National Centre) seconded this notion. Mr Gábor Sándi indicated that this would be subject to the approval of ILO and Centres would be informed accordingly. Ms Annick Virot was, however, concerned that this might have an undesirable impact on the regular (46th) CIS Meeting.
It was brought to the Meeting's attention that the CIS Network was established in 1959 and would therefore celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2009. It may be a good idea, therefore, to start thinking about an appropriate way to celebrate this Jubilee.
Participants were reminded about Mr Gábor Sándi's call for contributions to the CIS Centres News and the Directory of OSH Institutions and Databases. Centres were also reminded to keep the Network informed of any changes in contact details, Website addresses, changed links of documents cited in CIS databases, etc.
Ms Silvia GIORDANO (Argentina National Centre) regretted the lack of active participation by other Latin American countries. Mr Gábor Sándi agreed, calling attention to the relatively poor response to an earlier Regional Meeting, and indicated the need for technical cooperation - which would require financial support from somewhere. CIS would, however, try to capitalize on any other related Regional Meeting in Latin America.
15. Summary and Closure
In concluding the Meeting, the Chairperson urged Centres to specifically inform the Network of any changes in contact details. This would enable the continued active sharing of information among the Centres and with CIS.
She highlighted the fact that "e-" (electronic) communication was the key in today's world, and that without it networking would be much more difficult.
She encouraged Centres to engage tripartite support in their initiatives, and to lobby for funding for the continuation of CIS activities.
Concerning the Encyclopaedia she pledged to work with CIS in designing the questionnaire discussed earlier.
She promised to put all necessary information on her own Website.
She thanked the participants for their worthwhile and interesting contributions. The Meeting was closed.
H/CISMEET/45th/Meeting-Report-GS-4.doc (19 October FR)