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Developing the National OSH System and Improving Health and Preventing Accidents in the High-risk Sectors in North-West Russia

Project title Developing the National OSH System and Improving Health and Preventing Accidents in the High-risk Sectors in North-West Russia
Database Data inserted through the NDPHS Project Pipeline
ID in the source database
Thematic area
  • Health Promotion, Education and Information
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Public Health Epidemiology
Topic During the first two years the Project aims to launch the implementation of the NDPHS Strategy on Health at Work in Northwest Russia, endorsed by the PAC Meeting of the NDPHS in Vilnius (2007), Lithuania. This umbrella programme implements in a systematic way those objectives that were adopted in the new NDPHS Strategy. The umbrella programme consists of 5 sub-elements, which are independent projects, but whose simultaneous and coordinated implementation supports each other.
Project geographical area Russia
Substate level / administrative units /regions
  • Karelia Republic
  • Murmansk Oblast
  • St. Petersburg
Lead partner (organisation) Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Lead partner (owner or/and project manager) no data
Partner organisations
Start date 2008-12-10
End date 2009-11-30
Duration (months) 11
Target audience 1. Occupational health and safety administration and experts in North-West Russia; researchers, developers and trainers of OSH in Russia
2. Workers in North-West Russia
3. Private companies, workplaces in Russia, the grass-root level in the long run.
Summary Developing the National OSH System and Improving Health and Preventing Accidents in the High-risk Sectors in North-West Russia project consist of five (5) separate elements that are implemented fairly independently and yet complement each other.
The elements are: I) Regional OSH profiles, (II) OSH programmes, (III) Development of occupational health services, including BOHS pilot project, (IV) Risk assessment and reduction, and (V) information and communication.
Each element has its partner in North-West Russia. In addition, the ILO Moscow Office networks will be used to support the project implementation. The project aims to launch the implementation of the NDPHS Strategy on Health at Work in Northwest Russia, and in the long run to improve the occupational health and safety situation in the Northwest Russia through consultations and hand-to-hand training to experts and administrators during 2008-2009.

The project aims will be reached through consultation missions and meetings and workshops, preparing regional profiles and supporting the drafting of OHS programmes in the regions, making a situation analysis on health risks in road transport sector, and distributing information on the activities and findings. All these will provide knowledge and tools for the local decision-makers to be able to act for the improvement of working conditions.
The project expects to provide experience that can also be applied to other NDPHS countries when implementing the NDPHS Strategy on Health at Work, and also when assessing health and safety risks in road transport, and in general improving the occupational health and safety situation through more informed and networked OSH experts and administration in all of the NDPHS countries.
Background Four Nordic and three Baltic states formed a network called Baltic Sea Network on Occupational Health and Safety (BSN) in 1996. It was established on the recommendation of a WHO EURO consultation on developing occupational health services in the three Baltic States. Poland, Germany and the Russian Federation were invited to join the Network in 1997.

The BSN Network was invited to join the NDPHS as an associated partner in 2005. Streamlining the co-operation of the occupational health and safety fields of the BSN Network and the SIHLWA/OSH group of the NDPHS, and also the co-operation of the OSH group and other actors in the primary health care field has been one of the the key aims for the past 2-3 years to all actors.

According to recent statistics and situation analyses, health differences, quality of working conditions and availability of occupational health and safety services vary, at times greatly, between the countries and within the countries between different occupational groups in the NDPHS region. The recently updated international (WHO, ILO) and EU strategies offer the countries good guidance for improving their occupational health systems and developing the OH&S infrastructure. This improvement and development work is in the long run the only way to ensure the sustainability of health and well-being of the people and the nations in the region. Developing and improving occupational health and safety will also contribute to fulfilling the UN's Millennium Goals.

Although this Project aims at improving the occupational health and safety situation in the North-West region of the Russian Federation, it will provide the BSN Network members practical experience and models that can be used in each member country.

The Project will provide opportunities for the North-West Russian occupational health and safety organisations to benefit from the OH&S expertise and knowledge of the international level (ILO, WHO, ICOH), the Baltic Sea region level, as well as the Finnish national experience when developing the Russian occupational health and safety system and infrastructure. Also, the Project will launch the implementation of the NDPHS Strategy on Health at Work in Russia, and through this provide experience for the NDPHS to improve the implementation of the strategy in other member countries, and also to further develop the strategy and the work of the SIHLWA/OSH group.

The project implementation is planned for 2008-2009 (a two-year period), and it has received funding from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (through Ministry of Social Affairs and Health) for the first part of the implementation in 2008.
Objectives The aim of the Project is during the first two years to launch the implementation of the NDPHS Strategy on Health at Work in Russia. This umbrella programme implements in a systematic way those objectives that were adopted in the new Strategy. The umbrella programme consists of 5 sub-elements, which are independent projects, but whose simultaneous and coordinated implementation supports each other.
The five components are:
(1.) 2–3 regional OSH profiles (Karelia, Murmansk, Leningrad Oblast)
(2.) National OSH Programme (Karelia, Murmansk)
(3.) A project to implement Basic Occupational Health Services (BOHS) (Federal-level –> piloting in Karelia)
(4.) Risk assessment and risk reduction activities (St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast) and other related activities, including health promotion activities in transport industry
(5.) Information (North-West Russia and all NDPHS countries)

The project will provide a starting point for expanding the activities identified in the "NDPSH Strategy on Health at Work" to the whole of the Northern Dimension region. Some of the seminars and meetings arranged during the Project will provide an opportunity to invite participants from other NDPHS countries; however, the expenses of these participants will be covered by other funding sources. Having experts from a variety of countries and professional backgrounds participating in the meetings will also benefit the Russian experts.

The project will start up and contribute to the following activities:
• To make regional OSH profiles that can be used for making a national occupational safety and health profile. The ILO Moscow Office coordinates projects for making national profiles in several CIS-countries. The regional profiles made can be used for the ILO regional occupational safety and health report and included in the NDPHS online database. In the long run, the profile work will help in creating decent work places (Decent work -ideology).
• To formulate an occupational health and safety programme. The activity is based on the ILO Convention No. 187 and it will be carried out in collaboration with the ILO Moscow Office. Systematic work methods and tripartite approach will be used in formulating the programme.
• BOHS-project for the development of basic occupational health services. This activity is based on the ILO Convention No. 161 and the Convention No. 187, as well as the decision of the Joint ILO/WHO Committee on Occupational Health in December 2003 regarding the Basic Occupational Health Services concept and approach for the development of occupational health services. The BOHS guideline have been made by Professor Jorma Rantanen, and, among others, it has been and is being tested in Chile, Macedonia, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and in East African countries. BOHS is a focus area both for WHO and ILO, and it is mentioned in the WHO Global Plan of Action on Workers' Health. Introducing the BOHS ideology and preparing for possible pilot projects in North-West Russia will also implement the work plan for 2006-2010 of the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres in Occupational Health. It is important that the occupational health service system will include a health protection approach, in addition to the health risk prevention and health promotion activities. Particularly important this is when facing newly emerging infectious diseases.
• Consulting on risk assessment and risk prevention, including carrying out a situation analysis, and consulting on preparing for a small pilot project in improving occupational health and safety in the road transport sector in the following years. The European Agency on Health and Safety at Work has proclaimed risk assessment as a special theme for 2008-2009. This element will strengthen the risk assessment abilities of the experts in North-West Russia, and also support the co-operation on information transfer between Russia and the OSHA Agency in Bilbao. In road transport sector health risks, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, due to lifestyle factors are high. Also the sector has a high accident rate. The activities are planned to compile an overview on the health and safety situation in the sector, and to provide methods and tools for risk management. It can be expected to provide practical experience for other NDPHS countries to carry out similar pilot projects and risk management training.
• To distribute information. More information and understanding of occupational health and safety matters are needed at all levels of the Russian society: policy makers, workplace actors and the general public. The information component of the Project will support the implementation of all other activities and provide opportunities for improving occupational health and safety activities in North-West Russia, as well as in all other NDPHS countries.
Specific objectives/indicators I. 2–3 regional OSH profiles (Karelia, Murmansk, Leningrad Oblast )

The module is based on the ILO Convention No. 187 and it will be carried out in collaboration with the ILO Sub-regional Office in Moscow. The ILO Moscow Office has carried out several projects on national OSH profiles in its sub-region. An article by Wiking Husberg describing these activities has been published in the Barents Newsletter 1/2008 issue. The aim is to prepare regional profiles that may in the long run lead to a national OSH profile of the Russian Federation. The profiles describe the current status of OSH and recognize and identify needs for development.

In December 2008, a meeting was arranged in St. Petersburg to check the progress of the regional profiles and to consult on the problems and agree on how to go forward with the work.

In 2009, a 2-day evaluation and follow-up-seminar will be organized in Petrozavodsk or St. Petersburg. The profiles will be presented and discussed, the problems and gaps are identified and a detailed plan to develop occupational safety and health in the short and long term in the regions is prepared. This meeting will be coordinated with the similar events of the ILO Moscow Office.

Study visits to Finland will be arranged in two occasions; first a group of experts form the Leningrad Oblast will study the Finnish occupational health and safety system in April 2009, and the second group with participants from Karelia and Murmansk regions will visit in autumn 2009. The groups will have similar basic programmes introducing the Finnish OSH service system and administration, possibly to visit relevant organisations in Helsinki and Tampere.


II. Support for preparation of a National OSH Programme (Karelia)

The module is based on the ILO Convention No. 187 and it will be carried out in collaboration with the ILO Moscow Office. When the Murmansk Oblast, Republic of Karelia, and the Leningrad Oblast have drafted their regional OSH profiles, a joint meeting will be arranged to assist in preparing an OSH programme for each region. The joint meeting will support the drafting of the programmes, particularly when the programmes are intended to be done in a sequence. The responsibility for making the programmes lies with the specific regions, but this project aims to facilitate the work by arranging a joint meeting and consulting the regions individually.


III. BOHS-project for the development of occupational health services

The module is based on the ILO Convention No. 161 and the Convention No. 187, as well as the decision of the Joint ILO/WHO Committee on Occupational Health in December 2003 regarding the Basic Occupational Health Services concept and approach for the development of occupational health services. The module is carried out in three phases.

Event 1
On 27–29 May 2008, a two-tier workshop was organized in Moscow, to agree upon whether there are possibilities to start the implementation of the Basic Occupational Health Services approach at the federal level. WHO/EURO and ILO/Moscow were actively involved in the meeting.

Before the Workshop, a rapid survey of the status of OHS in the Russian Federation was be prepared by Russian experts, and it was presented in the Workshop. The Workshop programme was drafted in collaboration with the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development, Institute of Occupational Health in Moscow (RAMS), ILO Moscow Office, WHO/Euro and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The invitations were sent by the Ministry of Health and Social Development. The second part of the programme was coordinated and chaired by Professor Jorma Rantanen of ICOH.

The main aim of the seminar was to guarantee the support of the Russian federal level Ministry of Health for arranging a pilot project on basic occupational health services. The Ministry was supportive of the pilot project idea. The support of the Ministry was encouraged by the WHO/EURO representative. WHO/EURO proposed to the Ministry to use the project activities as part of the Biennial ollaborative Agreement between WHO/EURO and the Russian Federation. The practical arrangements of the pilot were left to be agreed later.

A quick SWOT-analysis on occupational health services was carried out in the May workshop by Russian experts from the regions. It gave a good overview on the strengths and development focuses.

Another main topic was to agree on how to unify the Russian terminology used in the BOHS-guideline. At the moment there are differences in the translations of BOHS terminology, which need to be harmonized and agreed. The BOHS-guideline will be modified and printed in Russian. The terminology will be checked and harmonized prior to printing (work on-going in autumn 2008).


Event 2
A 2.5-day expert meeting will be organized in Petrozavodsk in early 2009 on the prerequisites for launching BOHS in a regional setting.


Event 3
In late 2009, in Helsinki or St. Petersburg or Petrozavodsk a 1.5-day evaluation seminar will be organized, which summarizes the experiences gained in the planning and implementation of BOHS, and prepare recommendations for scaling up the activity. This activity is in line also with the WHO Global Plan of Action on Workers' Health, Objective 3. Participants are expected both from Moscow from the Federal level and from the Republic of Karelia.


Event 4
At the end of 2009, a 2.5-day follow-up seminar will be arranged to find how the results of the EU InterReg project implemented in Karelia in 2003-2006 could be used for supporting the BOHS activity. Some of the companies that participated in the InterReg project, could also be suitable for collaboration in BOHS.


IV. Risk assessment and risk reduction

The Occupational Health Department of the St. Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies has experience in training occupational health experts on health problems in the road transport sector. Professor Sergey Grebenkov, Head of the OH Department expressed his preliminary interest in developing the traditional health services and launching an intervention project to develop strategies for promoting public and occupational health of the workers in the transport sector in the Baltic Sea Network's Annual Meeting in Bonn 2007.

In June 2008, the partners met in St. Petersburg to discuss the risk assessment and reduction activities and plan for a round table meeting in December 2008. The aim of the meeting was to summarize occupational health problems and plan how to start developing tools for solving the problems. The round table meeting was arranged successfully at the beginning of December 2008. As a result of discussions in December, plans made in June 2008 were modified.

Based on the June and December meetings, the partners agreed to carry out in 2009 a situation analysis on occupational health and safety in road transport sector; which includes summarizing labour force demography, structure of industry (enterprises by size, ownership, etc.), actors, occupational health services, risks, health parameters, attitudes, etc. Also, the feasibility (by whom, when and how) of a field study planned previously will be evaluated in 2009.

The presentations given in the round-table meeting will be edited and printed as bilingual proceedings (Russian and English).

The FIOH experts will consult on how to structure and launch a situation analysis, how to analyse and report data. This will be accomplished by missions and through e-mail/phone consultations in 2009. A follow-up meeting will be arranged in November 2009 to cover further occupational health and safety issues, discuss the findings of the situation analysis, and propose ways to go forward in reducing the health and safety risks in the transport sector. Possibilities for international co-operation and funding will be updated.

The risk assessment and reduction element of the project will co-operate with ILO's North-West project aims and contacts. ILO infrastructure will be used to support the implementation of the element.


V. Information and communication

Participation in the High-level Policy Forum (WHO, ILO, EU) in 2009. To facilitate the participation of four (4) Russian experts in the Forum.

Barents Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety, editing and publishing, 6 issues in 2008–2009 (3 per year).

Joint information on 28.4.2008 and 28.4.2009 as a part of the ILO World Health and Safety Day. In 2008 the ILO Health and Safety Day materials were presented in the Barents Newsletter.

Development of the BSN website in collaboration with the Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies in St. Petersburg and the ILO North-West Russia Project, maintenance of the site, links to NDPHS website

During the Moscow meeting in May 2008, it was proposed that FIOH would arrange a programme on occupational health and Healthy Cities project for a high-level Russian delegation during the first week of September 2008. The meeting was arranged successfully at the beginning of September 2008.

Direct objectives will be monitored by the following performance indicators:

Arranged meetings vs, plans: the meeting programmes and lists of participants

Reports on the profiles and the situation analysis

Plans for the BOHS pilot project implementation

Published Barents Newsletter issues

Indirect objectives will be monitored by the following performance indicators:

Occupational Health and Safety

Programmes at regional level have been prepared
Results Results for the 2009 activities:

Component I. Preparation of National OSH Profiles
• Regional OHS profiles on Murmansk area, Karelia, and Leningrad Oblast.
• Evaluation and follow-up meeting (Ib)
• Study visit/s to Finland

Component II. Preparation of the National OSH Programme
• Workshop meeting (IIa)
• Draft of the national programme

Component III. Providing Basic Occupational Health Services
• Consultation on the pilot
• Final meeting (IIIb) arranged
• Follow-up seminar (IIIc) arranged

Component IV. Improving Health and Preventing Accidents in High-Risk Sectors
• Light situation analysis on the OH&S at road transport: summary report
• Follow-up meeting (IVb);meeting arranged, recommendations for next steps

Component V. Advocacy, awareness raising, adding to the knowledge
• Barents Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety (three issues)
• Participation in the high-level policy forum (to be arranged by WHO, ILO, EU in Germany)
Total foreseen budget EUR 187,700
Total implementation costs
(for completed projects, if available)
no data
Conversion to € was done on
(according to the relevant
exchange rate at
Infoeuro Monthly Files)
no data
Financing agencies / organisations Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Project's URL / project's website no data
Papers associated with this project no data
Further information The project plan and application was first made in Finnish in August 2008 and submitted through the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The original Finnish application is attached. Some modifications have been made to the plans due to the request from the MSAH to decrease the budget, and due to the discussions with the partners at the beginning of December 2008.
Last posted: on 2009-08-26 at 14:59:05

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