View our selection of links. They feature websites presenting global, regional and national initiatives and strategies on public health and social well-being, and websites of selected organisations and institutions.
EXPERT GROUP ON OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
Background, composition, objectives, activities, documents and members
Health at work concerns 125 million working people in the Northern Dimension area. Therefore, achieving and keeping high standards of occupational safety and health (OSH) is an important task for the respective authorities in all countries in the region. Rapidly changing forms of work and work environment and introduction of new technologies often constitute a challenge for the governmental policies in this sector. A coherent and holistic approach is indispensable for reducing health hazards, improving the productivity and the level of social well-being of every employee.
The Declaration concerning the establishment of a NDPHS pays special attention to the OSH and emphasizes the importance of safe and supporting work environment. From 2005 until mid-2010, activities in this area were fostered by the then Expert Group on Social Inclusion, Healthy Lifestyles and Work Ability. From mid-2010 to October 2015, activities in this area were fostered by the then Task Group on Occupational Safety and Health. The meeting documents of this group can be found here.
Following the adoption of the NDPHS Strategy 2020 and the Action Plan accompanying it, which define objectives, results and linked to them concrete activities, in October 2015 the NDPHS Committee of Senior Representatives (CSR) renewed the mandate of the Expert Group on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH EG) Terms of Reference for it and tasking it with the facilitation and implementation of the Objective 6: Strengthened occupational safety and health and well-being at work – through information and reporting systems, workplace activities and occupational health services as specified in the NDPHS Strategy 2020.
The Expert Group will, together with other bodies of the NDPHS, contribute to achieving the Horizontal results defined in the Action Plan accompanying the NDPHS Strategy 2020.
The OSH EG is comprised of high-level experts who come from national ministries and agencies of Partner Countries and Organisations, OSH institutions, the research community, NGOs and other relevant parties. The Expert Group’s work is led by the Lead Partner (Finland), supported by the Co-Lead Partner (Lithuania). The list of the members of the OSH EG is provided further down.
All eligible stakeholders are welcome to provide input to the OSH EG’s current and future activities. External experts are also invited to participate in the group’s meetings, as appropriate.
In acordance with the above mentioned Declaration concerning the establishment of a NDPHS, under the guidance of the CSR, the OSH Expert Group has an advisory role and/or provide professional input to the preparation and implementation of joint activities carried out within the framework of the Partnership. Also, the Declaration permits the Expert Groups to “facilitate professional exchanges, increase co-ordination among Partners and Participants and monitor joint activities within their area of expertise.” Consistent with these provisions, the OSH Expert Group has the following functions:
- Exchange information and knowledge about best practices to assist the partner countries in achieving the objectives defined in the NDPHS Strategy 2020;
- Use available statistical and epidemiological information from official sources to assist decision makers and contribute to the achievement of the objectives defined in the NDPHS Strategy 2020;
- Identify priorities, needs for support in developing policies and gaps in their implementation;
- Initiate projects, provide when possible, support in planning, monitoring and dissemination of results;
- Provide the Partnership website/database/newsletters with information concerning the Expert Group’s work;
- Provide feedback and report on progress to the CSR;
- Co-ordinate its activities with other NDPHS structures, the Baltic Sea Network (BSN) on OSH, the South East European (SEE) Network on Workers’ Health and other relevant groups and international networks in areas of mutual interest in a manner that promotes synergies and avoids the duplication of efforts and supports the achievement of objectives included in the NDPHS Strategy 2020;
- Contribute to proper discharging of the Partnership’s responsibilities as the Coordinator for the Health Policy Area in the Action Plan of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region together with other NDPHS structures, as appropriate;
- Be open to innovate and employ new methods of work to improve collaboration between the partner countries and other relevant stakeholders;
- Other relevant responsibilities, as approved by the CSR or the Partnership Annual Conference (PAC).
The Expert Group's activities follow the priorities set out in the NDPHS Strategy 2020 and the Action Plan accompanying it. The OSH EG (formerly the OSH TG) built group’s activities in parallel with the development of the new NDPHS Strategy 2020 and the Action Plan to best meet objective mentioned above. Activities were agreed in the OSH EG and Baltic Sea Network (BSN) joint meeting in Tallinn September 2015 and confirmed in PAC meeting in November 2015.
The activities are based on the long-term action plan of OSH EG:
1. Tripartite situational OSH analysis for better decision-making basis for addressing OSH challenges in the Northern Dimension area
- Update/draft brief and comprehensive national OSH profiles (outline available). During the implementation of the “Health at Work” Strategy most of the countries have drafted tripartite OSH profiles, which are now in need of regular update;
- Empower the Member States to draft in-depth profiles on specific topics;
- Encourage the Member States to ratify related OSH ILO Conventions;
- Improve comparability of relevant indicators (occupational accident and disease statistics);
- Dissemination and promotion of the results and recommendations of the project “Reliable occupational accidents registration - indicators for prevention” (Realloc) which ended March 2015;
- Now being discussed in EUROSTAT, EU OSHA Project idea: Better prevention, identification and reporting of work-related and occupational diseases and emerging risks.
2. Coordinated national policy frameworks for health and safety at work and for the provision of working conditions conducive to health and well-being
- Draft/update national OSH programmes based on the above tri-partite analysis (profiles) including action plans in line with WHO, ILO and EU strategies.
3. Coordinated special national programmes for the development of occupational health services for all working people
- Improve further the quality of occupational health services systems in countries with an operational system;
- Develop basic occupational health systems concepts in countries in need of improved services. Concept to be approved at the highest political level;
- A draft questionnaire and survey of quality standards of OH-specialists’ training started in autumn 2015.
4. Higher national commitment to prevention of occupational hazards
- Based on the priorities set in the above programmes (item 2) each member state defines targeted areas/hazards and their related prevention programmes.
5. Strengthened training framework for OHS staff in the Northern Dimension area
- Explore the training needs in the individual countries with the aim to develop suitable curricula for several countries in the region;
- Organise cooperation with European and national training organisations.
6. Better practical implementation of policies by improved information dissemination.
- Ensure present level of information dissemination.
The OSH EG holds approximately 2 meetings per year, the autumn meeting is held jointly with BSN OSH Network. Specific information about forthcoming and past meetings, including meeting documents and minutes can be accessed on the Expert Group meetings web page.
Documents and minutes of the formerly operating SIHLWA EG, which was, inter alia, covering the issues dealt with by the OSH EG, can be accessed here.
Every year the NDPHS Expert Groups prepare progress reports. These reports are prepared in accordance with the Template for monitoring and reporting of the NDPHS progress and are submitted to every autumn CSR meeting and/or PAC event (they can be download here). With reference to the NDPHS Strategy 2020 and the accompanying NDPHS Action Plan, they, inter alia, present the progress towards the agreed targets and take stock of achievements made, as well as describe further action required, obstacles encountered and, finally, the sustainability and expected long-term impact of the group’s activities.
Visit the NDPHS Database, which provides a growing number of papers (publications, newsletters, etc.) and projects, dealing with OSH issues. It also provides a pool of organisations and experts, which have been working in this area. The Database contains four sections. By clicking the links below, you will gain direct access to activities and expertise in the field of OSH in the NDPHS Database, sorted by:
Please note that you can also submit your own information on OSH to the Database (read more).
Mr. Owe Österbacka
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
P.O. Box 40
International Technical Advisor, Finland
Ms., D.Sc (Tech.), Päivi Hämäläinen
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Department for Work and Gender Equality
P.O. Box 33
Ms. Sandra Kuus
Ministry of Social Affairs
Ms. Silja Soon
Ms. Karin Reinhold
Tallinn University of Technology
Akadeemia tee 3,
Mr. Ivars Vanadziņš
Institute for Occupational Safety and Environmental Health, Rātsupītes iela 5, LV-1069
Ms. Jolanta Geduša
Ministry of Welfare of Latvia
28 Skolas street
Mr Erikas Mačiūnas
Occupational Health Centre
Institute of Hygiene
Phone: +370 5 212 1969
Ms. Kristina Jokimaitė
Primary Health Care and Nursing Division
Personal Health Care Department
Ministry of Health
Phone: +370 5 205 3626
Ms. Giedrė Namajūnaitė
Health Promotion Division
Public Health Department
Ministry of HealthMinistry of Health
Vilnius Str.33, Vilnius
Phone: +370 5 205 5294
Dr. Yogindra Samant
Directorate of Labour Inspection
Ms. Anne Marie Lund Eikrem
Directorate of Labour Inspection
Ms; PhD Eliza Goszczyńska
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (NIOM)
ul. Św. Teresy od Dzieciątka Jezus 8
91-348 Łódź, Poland
Cooperation suspended until
International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
Mr. Jaime Calderon
Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Vienna, MHD
International Labour Organization (ILO)
Mr Claude Loiselle
Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Branch (LABADMIN/OSH)
Governance and Tripartism Department (GOVERNANCE)
International Labour Office
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Mr. Tim Tregenza
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Via 33 E-48009 Bilbao, Spain