The general objective of ANOHS is to support economic life in the Arctic area by promoting, in a sustainable manner, occupational health, safety and well-being in the industries working in the Arctic. ANOHS aims to increase awareness of Arctic work life, investigate common research needs and harness the Artic States’ research databases to solve the problems of work life and businesses in the Arctic region. It also compares and distributes best practices; creates joint projects; develops customer services; facilitates the mobility of researchers and experts; and arranges common training, education and dissemination of information.

The preparatory phase of ANOHS is a one-year project (from August 2016 to December 2017), initiated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH). This preparatory phase is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and partly by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and FIOH.

ANOHS and the Arctic Council

ANOHS supports Finland’s chairmanship programme of the Arctic Council 2017–2019. One of the aims of the programme is to support occupational health, safety and well-being in the Arctic. ANOHS is now in the process of being affiliated with the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) which is one of the six working groups of the Arctic Council.

ANOHS will support three SDWG priority thematic areas:

  1. Human health (exchange of information, assessments and innovations with particular emphasis on reducing death and disability from environmental/occupational risk factors),
  2. Reduction/elimination of inequalities (policies for the elimination of inequalities based on age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, or origin), and
  3. Science and research for sustainable development (facilitating good use of the Arctic region’s research institutions and extensive intellectual resources).

In the SDWG, ANOHS will work in close collaboration with the Arctic Human Health Expert Group (AHHEG).

ANOHS and UArctic

In the field of education and research, ANOHS works in close collaboration with the University of the Arctic (UArctic), especially in the framework of the thematic network of Working in the Arctic. The next UArctic conference will be held in Oulu, Finland in 2018.

ANOHS among other occupational health and safety networks

ANOHS aims to become the Northernmost extension of the two existing OHS networks: the Northern Dimension Partnership on Public Health and Social Wellbeing’s (NDPHS) Occupational Safety and Health Expert Group (OSH EG) and the Baltic Sea Network on Occupational Safety and Health (BSN OSH). Together with OSH EG and BSN OSH, ANOSH could work on the policy level (implementing OHS strategies), the professional level (combining resources to produce the knowledge and tools needed by work life), and on the practical level at workplaces (by using methods and tools tested in Arctic work). Information on the recent and forthcoming meetings of OSH EG and BSN can be found here.

ANOHS also supports the work of the International Commission of Occupational Health (ICOH) from the Arctic perspective, especially through collaboration with ICOH’s Thermal Factors Scientific Committee.