Peer review meeting on use of web-based tools for OSH risk assessment held on 2-3 October

The Peer Review on risk assessment was organised under the Mutual Learning programme, and was hosted by the Irish Health and Safety Authority.

Risk assessment is one of the cornerstones in an enterprise strategy to ensure occupational safety and health (OSH), to prevent workplace accidents and work-related illnesses. It is also a requirement set out in the Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) Framework Directive (Directive 1989/391/EEC). The need for a simple, clear and cost effective way to ensure compliance with this obligation and to foster a positive safety and health culture - especially among micro and SMEs – has led to the development and use of web-based tools for OSH risk assessment.

The host country Ireland developed its own tool, the Business Electronic Safety Management and Risk Assessment Tool (BeSMART), to help businesses reduce unnecessary administrative burden of legislative compliance. Since 2011, BeSMART has successfully targeted over a quarter of Irish SMEs, allowing businesses to conduct and produce their own OSH risk assessments and OSH statements free of charge.

Using the example of the Irish tool, participants in the Peer Review meeting discussed national approaches and good practices in the use of such web-based tools, including their benefits and drawbacks, and the main challenges and success factors in reaching the largest number of users and sectors. The contribution of web-based tools to reduce perceived administrative burden of OSH risk assessment, and the effectiveness and impact of such tools were also addressed. Finally, the participants explored benefits and drawbacks of embedding the use of these tools in legislation.

The Peer Review was attended by Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Slovenia, Portugal and Sweden. 



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