45th Annual Meeting of the CIS National, Collaborating and Regional Centres

Düsseldorf, Germany, 20 September 2007

1. Introduction

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

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:

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).

Report and presentation on CD.

Dr P.K. ABEYTUNGA (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), Canada).

Report on CD.

Ms Heba MOHAMED (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Egypt).

Report not on CD. Presentation on CD.

Dr Farida ILES (Institut national de la prévention des risques professionnels (INPRP), Algeria).

Presentation not on CD.

Ms Silvia GIORDANO (Ministerio de Trabajo, Empleo y Seguridad Social, Superintendencia de Riesgos del Trabajo, Argentina).

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).

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).

Report not on CD.

Ms Laurence POLY (Institut national de recherche et de sécurité (INRS), France)

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:

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:

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:

  1. Strategies and Programmes of Safety and Health for the Future.
  2. Impact of Changes of Working Conditions on Workers' Protection.
  3. New Challenges and Opportunities in Occupational Safety and Health.
  4. 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:

12. Sharing of Informational Activities Between CIS and its Centres

Salient points raised in this discussion were as follows:

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:

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)