Guidelines for the Establishment of CIS Health and Safety Information Centres and Other Information Centres
The International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, is the knowledge management arm of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork). It is known as CIS which stands for the original French name of the centre: “Centre international d’informations de sécurité et d’hygiène du travail”. The official name, but not the acronym, was changed later, to: “Centre international d’informations de sécurité et santé au travail”. The original English name was, and still is: “International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre”.
Its goal is to ensure that workers and everyone concerned with their protection have access to the information they need to prevent occupational injuries and diseases. To achieve this it works with a cohort of countries which constitutes The CIS Network of Centres that have expanded over the years. These include National, Regional and Collaborating Centres.
The purpose of the Guidelines is to provide basic instructions for the establishment of these CIS Centres and to encourage those that have already been established to develop their services, and also to publicise the services available. It is recognised that the procedures will need to be adapted for local conditions.
To avoid discouraging the new centres by introducing a multitude of new tasks and sophisticated equipment, the Guidelines encourage the staff at these centres to take on a limited amount of new work as soon as possible and to increase the range of work and service as confidence and ability develop.
Sheila Pantry OBE BA FCLIP manages an independent information services consultancy and electronic publishing business, including websites. She has had a long and varied career in information management in a range of industry sectors, and also in government as Head of Information Services for the Health and Safety Executive. She specializes in worldwide occupational health and safety information and is an experienced trainer, writer, editor, lecturer and conference organiser.