OSH EG comprises high-level experts from national ministries and agencies of Partner Countries and Organisations, OSH institutions, the research community, NGOs, and other relevant parties in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Sweden. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, the IOM, the ILO, and WHO are also represented. The Expert Group’s work is led by the Lead Partner (Finland), supported by the Co-Lead Partner (Lithuania). A list of members of OSH EG is available at: http://www.ndphs.org/?osh_eg#members
Aims and functions
The OSH Expert Group has the following functions:
- Exchanging information and knowledge regarding best practices, to assist partner countries in improving working conditions;
- Using available statistical and epidemiological information from official sources, to assist decision-makers;
- Identifying priorities and the need for support in developing policies and reducing gaps in their implementation;
- Initiating projects, and providing, when possible, support for planning, monitoring and disseminating results;
- Co-ordinating 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;
- Contributing to the Action Plan of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region;
- Being open to innovation and employing new methods of work to improve collaboration between partner countries and other relevant stakeholders.
Symbiosis between OSH EG and BSN
- Task/Expert Group of the NDPHS, set up by the government/international organizations of the Partnership in the field of OSH; experts appointed by the government
- The main role of the Task Group is, through the NDPHS Partners (including international organizations and national authorities) as well as its close links with public health bodies, to contribute to policy formulation on occupational safety and health systems and occupational health services, and to strengthen the co-ordination of actions, capacity-building, information; and to promote safety, health and social well-being at workplaces (Goal 10 of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy)
- Raising the position of OSH on the political agenda
- The Baltic Sea Network on Occupational Health and Safety (BSN) is a regional network of ten countries around the Baltic Sea. Its members are the occupational health and safety institutions of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Northwest Russia, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. The Network facilitates the exchange of information among the participating countries and also offers easy and immediate access to country information in the Baltic Sea region to users in other countries.
- At the beginning of 2006, collaboration with the NDPHS and TG OSH (BSN associated member) became closer.
The activities of the p are based on the long-term action plan of OSH EG , which was agreed on in the OSH EG and Baltic Sea Network (BSN) joint meeting in Tallinn, September 2015, and further confirmed in the PAC meeting in November 2015.
- Tripartite situational OSH analyses for better decision-making and addressing OSH challenges in the Northern Dimension area
- Updating/drafting of brief, comprehensive national OSH profiles (outline available). During the implementation of the “Health at Work” Strategy, most of the countries drafted tripartite OSH profiles, which are now in need of regular updating;
- Empowering the Member States to draft in-depth profiles on specific topics;
- Encouraging the Member States to ratify related OSH ILO Conventions;
- Improving the comparability of relevant indicators (occupational accident and disease statistics);
- Disseminating and promoting the results and recommendations of the “Reliable occupational accidents registration – indicators for prevention” project (Realloc), which ended in March 2015; now under discussion in EUROSTAT, EU OSHA
Project to be launched: Better prevention, identification and reporting of work-related and occupational diseases and emerging risks.
2. Co-ordinating national policy frameworks for health and safety at work and for the provision of working conditions conducive to health and well-being
- Draft/update of national OSH programmes, based on the above tripartite analyses (profiles) including action plans that are in line with WHO, the ILO and EU strategies.
3. Co-ordinating special national programmes for the development of occupational health services (OHS) for all working people
- Further improving the quality of OHS systems in countries with an operational system;
- Developing basic OHS concepts in countries in need of improved services. Concept to be approved at the highest political level;
- Drafting a questionnaire and survey of quality standards for OH specialists’ training, initated in autumn 2015.
4. Higher national commitment to the prevention of occupational hazards
- Based on the priorities set in the above programmes (Item 2), each Member State defines its targeted areas/hazards and related prevention programmes;
- Development of an Arctic OSH network aimed at improving work and working conditions in the arctic environment; part of the Finnish Presidency of the Arctic Council 2017-2019.
5. Providing a strengthened training framework for OHS staff in the Northern Dimension area
- Exploring training needs in individual countries, with the aim of developing suitable curricula for several countries in the region;
- Organizing co-operation with European and national training organizations.
6. Implementing policies more practically, by improving information dissemination.
- Ensuring the present level of information dissemination.
OSH EG holds two meetings per year; the autumn meeting is held jointly with the BSN OSH Network. Specific information regarding forthcoming and past meetings, including meeting documents and minutes, can be accessed on the Expert Group meetings web page