Manifesto of the Bucharest PROMISLingua workshop , 5 August 2013

MANIFESTO OF THE BUCHAREST PROMISLingua WORKSHOP” ”E-learning and e-training in the support of Health and Safety for SME”

We, part of the concerned and interested citizens, meeting on the  workshop ”E-learning and e-training in the support of Health and Safety for SME” on 5 th August 2013 in Bucharest, want to underline  some essential aspects concerning the Health and Safety challenge  regarding Small and Medium Enterprises:
1. Even if they are not necessarily inscribed into statistics, the Health and Safety problems that are affecting  SME activity are real and  troublesome, leading to substantial material loss and also to very serious risks for the Health and Safety of the employees;
2. The recession that is affecting Europe for more than four years had aggravated the Health and Safety problems for the SME s as one of the first places to cut funds was here. Employees were asked to work in more precarious workplaces , to do activities with an increased level of risk; a lot of incidents and even accidents were not reported in order to maintain the enterprise functioning, even with a lot more risks than before;
3. National Authorities were also hit by the recession; a lot of the training and inspection activity was cancelled, more permissive approaches were adopted at the price of risking health and sometimes even lives.
4. A very useful help for SME regarding Safety and Health would be regarding storing and disseminating experience. A European system that would store anonymously near miss, incident and accident experience together with advices regarding mitigation and prevention and also local best practices that could be generalized could be invaluable. Most of the unexpected events that occur at the workplace are the resultant of improper work conditions combined with the lack of experience of the employees. A very simple process of collection and dissemination of this experience could worth a lot for employees and employers together.
5. SME s have (at least in Romania) not sufficient money for the best optimal process of assuring Health and Safety at work. On the other side they have, could use and trade experience. Giving experience SME could receive Health and Safety, in a knowledge based society. Profit should not be put before the safety and the wellbeing of the employees.
6. The National and European Union Authorities with attributions in the field should do a lot more regarding Health and Safety real problems. In this respect the European Union safety related institutions should became similar to the US counterparts- OSHA and NIOSH not just storytellers without value. Real knowledge needed for immediate safety should be accessible and free on their sites.
7. We are thinking that the development of IT tools could facilitate a lot the process of knowledge development in the Health and Safety domain, together with the dissemination of knowledge among all the interested parties.
8. A process of trading and exchanging safety knowledge should replace, for the new members of the European Union that are also the poorest countries in the EU the selling of safety knowledge.  In order to have a safety knowledge market, the domain should be developed with the contribution of all the interested parts. No one should be left behind for reasons of not having sufficient money to buy the necessary knowledge. Prognostics are showing that the worst case occupational accidents are migrating to the less developed European Union countries, where generally the legislation is more relaxed and the inspection specific activities are more formal. On the other side, a major accident occurring in one of these countries could be propagated among borders, with devastating consequences.
9. We found that the tool we were introduced to, PROMIS platform could be a good start on a safety market void of any practical instruments. We have appreciated mostly the knowledge pyramid developer that could make the difference between the actual situation and the knowledge based society.
10. We are asking all the European Union safety related factors of decision to act towards the development and dissemination of a Health and Safety Knowledge Sphere that should be available free and without restrictions in order to improve the essential safety at workplaces all around the European Union and contribute to the development of the EU economies.

                                                                                  Bucharest 05. 08. 2013

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