International news …in brief

news …in brief

female-focused online health and safety guide

list of online resources has been compiled by the European Agency for Safety
and Health at Work (EASHW) to advise employers on improving workplace health
and safety for female workers. It includes examples of practical guidelines and
relevant legislation, as well as best practice notes and research from European
Union (EU) member countries and elsewhere. There is also a list of links, by
country, to the websites of relevant organisations. Meanwhile, the latest
advice has been issued by the agency in its 2004 construction industry
campaign. A new fact sheet highlights the role of careful planning in reducing
noise by taking it into consideration at the design stage. During construction,
there should be a continual assessment of noise, said the EASHW.

health and safety standards to be updated

International Labour Organisation (ILO) has started updating global health and
safety standards for the fishing industry, which have not been changed since
1966 – with some dating back to 1920. ILO’s committee on work in the fishing
sector has now concluded preliminary discussions on revising the guidelines to
take into account working conditions in the whole sector, from smaller coastal
vessels to larger deep-sea ships. This would increase the proportion of
fishermen covered by the standards, up from the current 10 per cent to 90 per
cent. The standards, said the ILO, will “have the flexibility to ensure
wide-scale ratification and implementation; [and] would also include new
provisions on compliance and enforcement of the standards, strengthening the
role of both flag states and port states”. The ILO said the fishing industry
was among the most dangerous in the world, with fatality rates ranging from 150
to 180 per 100,000 workers.

roadmap to drive training across Europe

of the largest EU co-operative research projects has started work to create a
computerised resource centre helping companies improve their in-house staff
training programmes. The ProLearn Network of Excellence intends to
“revolutionise the way that individuals learn, both in the workplace and in a
university context”. It involves 160 business, education and government
organisations and is part of the EU’s European Research Area scheme which is
trying to unite expertise across the 25 member countries. The European
Commission said that as well as writing a ‘roadmap’ for boosting professional
learning involving high technology, and pinpointing areas for further research,
the project will set up a ‘virtual competence centre’. This would “spread
excellence to company-driven competence centres, chambers of commerce,
employment centres and trade and industry associations”. A key aim would be
helping companies develop tailor-made training for their employees.

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